Here is a copy of the photos that we included on our annual Christmas card, as well as a copy of the letter included with it:
|Credit to Barb of Simply Fabulous Photography for these beautiful images.|
2011 – Our year in review:
After months of injections, an ER visit, several IVs, 9 months of being very sick and of sub-par parenting on my part…things all paid off when our 3rd little miracle arrived in the form of a healthy 9 ½ pound little butterball that we named Maxwell Grant (middle name is my grandfather’s also). We are so grateful to have him in our family.
· Mark completed his first year officially practicing as a “real” (non-resident) doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was a purely surgically based practice & he really loved it there. His co-workers were like a second family to him also.
· 5 weeks post c-section, and without having looked for another job at all, Mark received a great job offer (that took us back home to family in Utah) and we couldn’t pass it up. We got the official agreement to dissolve Mark’s 5 year contract in Scottsdale over the phone during our drive from Arizona to Utah for a planned family vacation (to welcome my brother home from his mission). So, we accepted the job offer while on vacation and just flew Mark back to turn over his practice (in 10 days) and hire a company to pack our house!
· We had literally been looking at homes to buy in Arizona one week (no plan to leave anytime soon), and then we ended up with a realtor in Utah the very next week (while on our vacation). However, after 10+ years of renting…we bought our first home!!! Funny tid-bit…our realtor (who we loved, for anyone needing a referral) ended up being a former elementary school student of Mark’s from back when Mark taught P E during his undergrad schooling!
· Although we were only in Arizona for just over a year, we are so grateful for the experience that we had living there and particularly for the people that we got to know there. We are also so indescribably grateful for the opportunity to move back near our families – one cannot put a price tag on that. We don’t believe the timing of this move/job change to be coincidence, and believe that we may only know some of the reasons. Included in those is the unexpected passing of my dear grandpa just weeks after we moved here. We were able to see him, get a picture of him holding Max (who was given his middle name), and my grandpa even helped to participate in Max’s blessing. We were also grateful to be with family during the grieving process. Additionally, we feel so blessed to have moved into our home in this neighborhood – and heaven knows how important timing was for us to have stumbled across that.
· Noah: Turned 5 this last year, developed quite a swing while playing t-ball in the spring, developed his fish-like aptitude for swimming in the pool next door to our Arizona home, jumped ship (pun intended) from his pirate obsession …head-first into a beyond-obsession with all things Star Wars (we have a feeling this may stick for a while). After 2 years he is still holding strong to his declaration that when he grows up that he wants to be “an elephant studier in Botswana”. He just received his yellow belt in his karate class which he loves. He enjoys memorizing the various Japanese words involved in the aikido form, and has great attention to detail when his taught something new by his sensei. He loves chocolate, caffeine free diet coke, spaghetti & tacos (and is really a very good eater). He still loves to memorize/act out movies, stories and has the memory of an elephant. He started Kindergarten this year and it’s been so much fun to watch him start to put letters together. He loves his teacher and has enjoyed making some friends at school too.
· Lincoln: Just turned 4. He continues his obsession with Toy Story & Buzz Lightyear, is super active, and is also very affectionate. He loves back scratches, the color green, almost all fruits and veggies (but not meat), and especially loves to smother his baby brother Max with kisses and hugs (often a bit too much, but it’s hard to complain). While being really agile and athletic, Linc is such a busy-body that he rarely has less than one or two bruises/cuts at a time. He also just got glasses yesterday, so if you see him then feel free to join our “make a fuss” campaign over how cool they are. He started pre-school (2 years pre-k) this year, loves feeling like a big boy, thinks everyone is his friend, and already knows all his letters.
· Max: Is almost 6 months now and already a whopping 20 pounds - my Moby Wrap is one of my new best (back-saving) friends. He was our first colicy/gassy baby – gave us a run for our money the first 3 months (and I’ve NEVER been so sleep deprived/exhausted in my life) but he is a sweet, happy, smiley little guy now. He adores his brothers and while he started out looking exactly like Lincoln (we liked to joke about them being “twins” since they were conceived at the same time with in-vitro, Max was just the one put on ice)…Max is starting to look more like himself now. His big, gummy smile with a big dimple in his left cheek melts my heart and I simply love to squeeze and smooch that chubby, giggly boy. He’s been a great nurser, and just (very happily) started rice cereal recently. He has two monkey toys that he loves, likes the doorway jumper, and is pleased to have found his own hands, feet, and voice!
· In a year of many big changes for us we are so grateful for the consistency of family & friends. Thank you for being a blessing in our lives!
Love, The Woolleys
Feel free to check out our family blog at www.hollyandmark.blogspot.com (hopefully we’ll be updating it soon)!