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Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

2012 December 24
by John

Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope this note finds you enjoying faith and family through the holiday season!

If we had to condense 2012 into a few simple words, we would say it was a year of transition and new experiences. We spent the year changing things up at work, doing new things at church, and ultimately growing quite a bit in the process. It was hard at times, but we found ways to make it bearable… as you’ll no doubt understand as you keep reading.

When we got back from the Appalachian Trail, we decided it was time to drop out of things for a while and simplify our lives, leaving time for things we truly wanted to do. As our external commitments wound down, we had more time for each other and for building relationships. It’s been good to reconnect this year!

It was a good thing we limited our commitments, because once school started for Liz, we were off to the races! Late last year she was covering classes and labs for people now on sabbatical that had covered for her while we hiked. All very exciting, but very busy! One of the lessons we learned was that you can weave a common thread of relationship despite the busy-ness of life, so long as you are diligent to pursue it.

Along those lines, we also joined a new small group at church. We left our old small group in an attempt to achieve “commitment nirvana” (nothingness on the calendar), but were hesitant about where that put us relationally within our church. We struggled with that decision for a few months until the church did a six week series during which they really wanted everyone in a small group for processing. So we joined a temporary group for that, but at the end of the series we all decided to continue meeting and studying together! It’s been refreshing to be in in a small group and not leading one. The chance to participate without feeling like we were trying to “be the leaders” or something has been nice. Plus, it connected us to some new people at the same time that it re-connected us to some old friends.

This past fall semester found Liz not only moving into the new science building, but also taking on yet another new class at Taylor University. For the first time, she was teaching biology to non-majors: BIO100. To say the least, it was a rocky transition. About 5 weeks into the course, she decided to forget her syllabus and see what her students wanted to learn about biology, rather than listening to her lecture through “the plan.” She was pleasantly surprised to find out what the students wanted to know, and really had a great time preparing exciting new ways to engage with the material! You teachers out there will understand the buzz she got from that transformation in class!

Liz has also taken on the creation of a new online lab course for Taylor, which has been an interesting challenge. How do you successfully run a lab course when the students will be taking classes on their own schedule, out of their homes? Thinking through all of that while changing up her BIO100 course was actually a lot of fun and made for a lot of interesting dinner conversations. J

In November, John decided it was time to leave RealMed – where he’d been employed for 10 years! It was a tough decision to make, but the opportunity that he left to pursue was just too good to pass up. It’s a chance to work with an old friend on some exciting projects, and it’s an entrepreneurial venture, which he’s been missing for years! So there’s a lot of unknown, but a lot of excitement too. He’s really enjoying his work so far, so that’s a great start!

So in the midst of all that. How did we keep our sanity? Quite simply, with lots of vacations. J In late May we travelled with some close friends to Hawaii for two weeks and had an absolutely amazing time. We’re traditionally not people that plan to revisit places we’ve been but on the flight back we had already agreed to go back. There is so much to see and do there, and lots of beautiful places to just sit. That trip was therapeutic for us shortly after the spring semester wrapped up. As summer came to a close, we did a lot more camping than we have done in a while. Well, other than the solid 6 months of it I suppose we did in 2011, but this was CAR camping. This was FANCY. We hit several Indiana State Parks with various friends and loved every weekend of it. We had forgotten how… comfortable camping can be!

So that was our year! For those we had a chance to hang out with, we really had a great time with you. For those we WISH we had a chance to hang out with, you’re on our call list so be ready. If you’d like to be certain you are on that call list, feel free to send either of us an email, give us a call, or contact us on Facebook. We’d love to hear from you! As Bilbo Baggins put it: “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

Enjoy your holidays! See you in the New Year!

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    December 24, 2012

    Love it and put us on your perpetual list :)

    • December 24, 2012

      We sure will! But this was an anonymous post so… Who is this? :)

  2. Kathy & Kenny permalink
    December 24, 2012

    So happy that your 2012 was such an amazing year.
    Life should be lived to the fullest and you two are doing just that.
    There’s always an open door here for you whenever you revisit Virginia.

  3. Dan permalink
    December 28, 2012

    Catching up on your happenings … sounds like a lot going on even post- AT. A belated Merry Christmas and best wishes for a most wonderful 2013!

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