I love this time of year: Christmas letter writing season. It’s an opportunity for me to reflect on the year that has been in our family’s life. In looking back at this year, I’m not sure I have adequate words to voice the beautiful year it has been. Once again God has been faithful to our family and has poured out rich blessings into our lives and we are so graciously thankful that we are able to share them with our dear family and friends.
Highlight of 2011
Early in January our plans for 2011 took a drastic shift. Our anticipation of a baby in May was dashed with news of our miscarriage. This was a season of sorrow and loss for us, but also, a season of growth in our relationship with one another and those that surrounded us in support. We learned much about the limits of human-planning and were well embraced by God’s love. During this time I learned of God’s desire to bless His followers and of His faithfulness, even in times of loss and then of waiting. And now we rejoice with expectant hearts for the arrival of our baby in March! We are so thankful for this gracious gift.
Our year has been filled with much celebration with family. Early January travels brought us to
It had been a year and a half since we first introduced my parents to our new home of
Our July long weekend was spent at my sister’s place in Okotoks where we were able to spend lots of time with the ever growing Isaiah and Rachael. My close friend Rahimay and her husband, Joseph, also drove out from
August also brought the arrival of Josiah William into the Rostek family, born to Ryan’s brother & sister-in-law Josh & Cassie. Ryan’s parents celebrated their first grandchild and we have enjoyed being able to watch him grow from 1 day old, since they live so close by.
This year has also been filled with numerous wonderful times with friends. We spent the first weekend in March in Whistler with a group of friends including our friend Brad who flew out to join us. The girls cross country skied while the guys hit the slopes to snowboard and in the evening we cozied up in our rustic cabin for dinner and games.
In March I had the pleasure of a visit from my good friend, Erin, from
Our summer was rounded out by numerous activities with Chris and Vicky. We hiked some classic
We have also enjoyed watching our friends’ families expand and continue to pray with those friends who desire the joy of children. Of particular note, we were able to meet Raymond, Brad and Ashley’s little guy, as they stopped en route to
It was wonderful to open up our home to both Erin and my parents this spring and they politely accepted that our toilet situation was a little strange. You see, Ryan initiated his operation toilet train Fritz. You can ask Ryan about all the details of his successful cat toilet training, but suffice it to say that our visitors were okay to share a toilet with us while Fritz monopolized his own during training. It is now lovely that we are litter-box free and we have a toilet with auto flush so Fritz can do his business with no clean-up required. Indeed, this is one of Ryan’s biggest accomplishments of 2011!
One of my biggest accomplishments of 2011 was completing my first half-marathon at the Run for Water in Abbotsford on May 29. I knew this was a goal I wanted to accomplish soon, but with a knee set-back in December I was unsure when I would be able to. With support from my awesome running partner Sarah, massages, and chiropractor visits I was in great shape and completed it in 2 hours 47 seconds! Ryan also ran in the 10Km run at this event, so it was fun to be able to participate in this “together”.
In May we officially solidified our commitment to our church by becoming members of
We have both been blessed with great work opportunities in the past 2 years, and in June we were both able to enjoy new “positions” with work. After much hesitation to apply for the position, I finally applied for and became Pharmacy Manager of the Pharmacy at Walmart. I have enjoyed the position more than I even thought I would and though my work days are busier it has also increased my work satisfaction. Ryan and his friend Nate created Persona Blinds here in the
The Last Hoorah
With summer wrapped up we began to plan for what we called “Our last Hoorah.”: our last vacation just the 2 of us. We love
Indeed this year has been full of so many good things. I too easily forget what we have been given and despite trying to keep this letter as succinct as possible the blessings of this year are too numerous to limit to a page or even two. We thank you all for sharing in our lives and welcome a new year and a new horizon of opportunity.
This Christmas we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us, and we pray that each one of you would be able to experience the LIFE that having God with you brings.
Merry Christmas with love from
Ryan & Cheryl & “bump”