Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Nearly New Year! =)

Hello Friends and Family!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday! As is somewhat of a tradition with me, sending out Christmas cards or a Christmas email was an intention, but it just didn't happen! Life is busier than ever these days! But it's also fuller and more rich than ever. I thought I'd put a little update out there for folks to read...if you wanna. =)
The biggest highlight of this year was the birth of our beautiful little daughter, Kara Lynn, in late February. Although I guess I shouldn't say little...she was 10 lbs at birth! She arrived quite hastily, waiting only 10 minutes after Ryan and I made the mad rush to the hospital! (That is quite a story...) She has been a light in our lives and an absolute joy. It goes without saying that we all just adore her, and having a little girl is so incredibly fun for me! Her older brothers are so engaging and sweet with her, and surprisingly they aren't too rough with her...most of the time. =) Kara has a gorgeous head of red hair, which has delighted us all since the moment she was born. Her fun little personality emerges more every day, and we love that she has a little bit of feisty-ness, just as a redhead should! She is now 10 months old and always so much fun to watch...she army-crawls at top speed, loves to bop and "dance," and is now starting to try and pull up on things. We can tell it won't be long til she's cruising along furniture and walking. It's amazing to think that in just a matter of weeks she will be turning 1 year old! She is growing up much too fast, as children tend to do.
Our little Jacob is now a bit more than two and a half, and he's becoming more of a little boy and less a toddler every day! He is all boy and loves cars, trucks, trains, planes, and dinosaurs. He is so much fun and so stinkin' cute, despite the fact that a bit of the "terrible twos" are finally starting to kick in. Even when his mischievous, naughty side comes out we often have a hard time not laughing at his antics! He is definitely developing more of a stubborn streak and a determination to get what he wants, and we can't say there is a lack of brotherly fighting that goes on between him and his older brother. But they love each other and have a lot of fun playing together...hearing them laugh together in their room is one of the best sounds ever! =) Jake is a very affectionate little boy and we love that he is always giving or asking for hugs and kisses. Even though he's not the baby of the family anymore, he still gets doted on quite a bit! =)

Thomas is almost 5 and a half and has morphed into a full-fledged big kid! He started kindergarten this year, and even though he's a summer baby and one of the younger kids in his class, he is super tall and stands about a head above all the other kids! He has loved being in school, and even over this Christmas break he has talked about how he's excited to go back. He's learning so much all the time and we are amazed when we watch him, once our first little baby, now learning to read, write and do math! He's a social butterfly and always talkative...he's rarely shy and always has something to say to anyone he meets! He always keeps us laughing with his silly and clever remarks. He is also a big help to his mom now that he has two younger siblings! 

I've spent the year learning how to be a mother to 3, and it has certainly been more work than I've ever done in my life! But I've adapted and even though life is always busy and more than just a little crazy, I'm happy to say our transition to being a family of 5 has gone well. Carving out time for myself is difficult these days, but I'm always trying to find a few minutes here and there to do things I enjoy. I love photography and have a fabulous camera that I received as a gift from Ryan last year. I spend lots of time using it to capture photos of our beautiful kids, and I'm always learning more about photography and trying to improve my skills. It's been awhile since I've done much singing, but this summer I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone (WAY out!) and sang in a local contest, just for kicks. I didn't win or anything, but it was a lot of fun and a total thrill to be up on a stage again! I remembered just how much I love performing and I hope to push myself to do more things like that in the year to come. Overall, I'm really just a big homebody, and some of my favorite times are just watching movies after the kids are in bed! 

Ryan has kept quite busy at work, as always, and we are grateful that his drywall contracting company has continued to have plenty of business. He works incredibly hard to make sure of that! Besides work, he's been keeping up with his favorite things like snowboarding, motorcycling and now he's getting certified in scuba-diving for an upcoming family vacation to Hawaii. It's a good thing he's certifying with his brother because I am way too chicken! Ryan is definitely the adventurer of the family! He is an awesome daddy to our 3 kiddles and he is particularly smitten with our first daughter...which is so fun for me to watch! He loves to rough-and-tumble with the boys and they go running to him when he walks in the door every day. He is also a big help to me with the added work that comes with our growing family...I can definitely say he does the dishes more often than I do, and he is a really, *really* fabulous cook!

Ryan and I also celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this month! We didn't celebrate with a lot of fanfare (Yet! Hawaii in April!), but the family we have created together over the last decade is our greatest anniversary gift possible, and our truest source of pride.

10 years of being a family has passed so quickly! There are ups and downs all along the way, but we can decidedly say that we are greatly blessed in our lives. We are so grateful for our healthy, happy, beautiful children, our wonderful parents, siblings and extended families, our home, our steady job, and most especially, for the gift of Christ in our lives. Even after Christmas is over, Christ's light continues to shine, brighter than any in the world, and His love and sacrifice are the greatest gifts we have ever received. We wish you all a spirit of light and love in your lives, and we hope the coming year will be your happiest and most fulfilling yet!


The Laidlaws

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