Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Christmas Letter

Just for grins, here's the Christmas letter we're sending out to our loved ones this year...

Dear family and friends,

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time to bundle up and button down as we hustle and bustle our way into the New Year, maybe even singing a carol or two along the way. 2006 has flown by so fast; I’m not quite sure where it all went. It has been an interesting year, to say the least.

Early on in the year, we started to embark on the exciting yet nerve wracking voyage of becoming first time home owners. This is something we had been praying about, saving for, and planning on for years. When the time finally arrived, except for a few minor bumps on the road, we were incredibly blessed from start to finish. We had wonderful Realtors who quickly became our friends (and neighbors too, interestingly enough) and we found a great house in a wonderful neighborhood for a spectacular price. We left the world of renting in March and haven’t looked back since. We actually have a little bit of space for visitors, so y’all come down now, ya hear?

Shortly after moving into our house I, like all good puppy moms having quickly forgotten how much work, blood, sweat and tears it takes to raise a puppy to proper house broken status, started deliriously thinking about how we could add just a little bit more insanity to our lives. Ignoring the warnings by the crazy dog-hating naysayers among us, we decided to make good use of our nice back yard and get a sister for our 2-yr old fun and energetic Shih-tzu mix, Trixie. Enter Molly, the fraidy cat miniature Schnauzer mix who is just so gosh darn cute you can’t stay mad at her for more than, oh, a week at a time. Even if I hadn’t forgotten the difficulties Trixie gave us the first year of her life, I would not have been prepared for the new challenge that is Molly. Let’s just say that I’m through raising dogs for a very long time... quite possibly the rest of my life (or at least until someone comes along and zaps me with that Men In Black flashy dealie and I forget, once again, what kind of crazy person you have to be to raise a puppy.)

Dustin has been staying extremely busy with his job. Since re-joining this company a few years ago, he has quickly accelerated from a simple data entry position to an IT Manager of sorts. Last month, he hired himself a very much needed assistant. They seem to be getting along well, and hopefully eventually this will lessen the demand on his time so he can work more normal hours again. Prayers for this area would be appreciated.

I have been keeping somewhat busy with my never ending supply of hobbies. My mom and I are in the process of developing our jewelry designing business. Two Belles & a Bead should be officially launching (along with a full fledged professionally designed retail website) soon after the New Year, and we are quite excited. Our customer base has been slowly but surely growing, and we are having a blast with it.

Both Dustin and I have recently taken a liking to photography. He’s always had a good eye for it, especially when it comes to nature. I didn’t pick up on it until, out of necessity, I started to photograph our jewelry items to showcase on the web. From there the monster grew, and I find myself wishing I had taken some photography courses when I was in college (along with writing, and music, and a host of other things I have fallen madly in love with as of late.) Our cheap little 5 MP camera has faithfully provided us with a lot of great use, but we can’t wait to replace it with something halfway between the consumer and professional realms. I’ve also become a certifiable Photoshop addict. I’m having a grand old time learning photo editing, so if you ever find yourself in need of, say, your head on a cow’s body, I’m the gal to call!

This fall, Dustin had a hearing before the Board of VA Appeals in hopes of getting the board to raise his disability percentage to the next level. This has been an uphill battle, but we believe he has a good case and have high hopes that it will go through so we can afford to seek better treatment on our own for his injury and hopefully find something that actually provides some relief for his pain. We should be receiving notice of their decision anytime now. Prayers for this would be greatly appreciated as well.

Something that most of you do not yet know, but we feel comfortable in sharing now, is that we have wanted to add to our family for quite some time (with a less furry two-legged member, that is.) A little over a year ago, we decided we were ready to fulfill a lifelong goal and become parents; however, God has not seen fit to bless us with children yet. It has been a long and hard road… especially for me. It truly feels like a test of my faith that I am failing miserably. We’re not sure when the journey will come to an end, or even if it ever will, but we do know that somehow God will get us through. We know He hasn’t failed us yet, and we know He won’t start now. We’ve depended on the prayers and support of a few of our loved ones to help us through this. If you would like to, we would love for you to join us in praying that the Lord’s will be done in this area of our lives; and for the strength to endure whatever lies ahead.

We pray that this letter finds each of you happy, healthy, and hopeful for a joyous holiday season. We wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy and blessed New Year.

Lots of Love,
Dustin & Crystal

1 comment:

Bethany said...

What a lovely letter! I'm sure your family and friends will enjoy receiving it. You've inspired me to post ours on my blog.

Bethany (laughinggirl)