Oh, How Our Family has Grown!

1998- it was a big year!  My husband and I both graduated from Moody Bible Institute in May.  A month and a half later, we began our married lives.

We lived in a tiny basement apartment in Chicago when we celebrated our first Christmas together.  We bought a little tree and decorated it with our ornaments- of which we did not have many.

Each year since, we have added to our ornament collection.  We have a tradition of buying ornaments everywhere we go as a way of remembering special trips or places.

On our third anniversary, we went back to the place that we got engaged- Wisconsin Dells– and we celebrated our love for each other.  And of course, we bought an ornament…

We moved into a 2 bedroom apartment which was really the first floor of a 2 story house and decided that it was time to start trying to have a baby.

Christmas 2001 found us mourning the loss of our first baby.  By the next Christmas, I was pregnant again.  And Christmas 2003 was a wonderful celebration of our growing family.  Our little girl with the dimples had brought so much light and life to our little family.

The following year, we said a tearful goodbye to our friends and church family and our beloved Chicago and we moved to South Bend, IN.  We bought our first home and made many memories there.  In 2005, we welcomed a cute little baby boy into our family.

Our family of 4 felt complete.  We expected to add many more ornaments to our collection, but believed that  this would be our last “family” ornament.  We had a yard sale and sold all of the baby stuff.

And then we moved to Connecticut.  Our first Christmas there- 2007- was in a little cottage that was smaller then our 2 bedroom apartment in Chicago.  We were cozy in our little home and had a wonderful celebration with our church family.  But we were ready to move into something a little bigger.  Especially when we discovered one of the biggest surprises of our lives.  I was pregnant again!

In 2009, we were blessed with a blonde haired, blue eyed baby boy who quickly took up residence in all of our hearts.  We could not imagine our lives without him!

Certainly THIS would be our last family ornament, right?!!

In 2011, we moved again- this time to Rochester, NY.  We are now in the biggest home that we have ever lived in.  God knew that we needed this.  Because in 2013, we will welcome our 4th Baby Daye!

As we decorate the Christmas tree each year, we are overwhelmed with God’s blessings and His goodness to us through the years.  We had no idea what paths God would lead us down.  In 1998, we might have expected that on our 14th Christmas together, Dave would be in youth ministry and I would be pursuing a degree in counseling since our 2 children would be in school.

But we would not change where we are or how our family has grown for anything in the world.

I wonder what our family ornament will look like next year…

Later this week, I will be sharing some very special guest posts with you- these posts will be stories based on ornaments.  This post was the kick off to this little series!  Hope you enjoy them all!