A Christmas Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

I can hardly believe that I’m typing a Christmas letter without the slightest intention of printing it, folding it, stamping it, stuffing it in an envelope, addressing it, and sending it to anyone.  It’s going up on my blog and I’ll link to it on Facebook.  My, how times have changed.  I remember years of sitting down at the kitchen table with my mom to face the Herculean task of sending the family Christmas letter (tri-folded into beautifully embossed Christmas cards) to hundreds of people in our pen-and-paper address book.  It was roughly the same amount of work that I put into my wedding invitations.  Maybe I lack sufficient nostalgia to send old-fashioned cards via snail mail, or maybe I’m just too tired; either way, it’s all digital this year.  But enough with the digressions and on to the Wilson family 2010 year in review.

It might be a little quicker and easier to list what did NOT happen this year.  We did not move to Norway.  We did not purchase a pet komodo dragon.  And we did not learn a flying trapeze act and join the circus.  Pretty much everything else that could happen, happened.  Okay, slight hyperbole, but it has been a very busy year.

Tim is in his fifth year working for the Navigators at Glen Eyrie Castle.  His role as database administrator has expanded over the years to include a variety of different functions, including working on the websites for the Glen and Eagle Lake Camp, running sound and lights for various conferences, doing general IT support, and personally providing guests with Italian opera singing telegrams.  Except for some mixed reviews on his bel canto, he has experienced great success in every task he’s given.  I can’t talk to any of his co-workers without having them mention how amazing he is; to which I always reply, “I saw him first!!!”

In January, I (Emily) started graduate school.  I’m currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English Literature and Rhetoric at Colorado State University in Pueblo, which is about an hour’s commute.  I also entered my seventh year of teaching and my fifth year at Evangelical Christian Academy.  I’m currently teaching British Lit, American Lit, Composition, AP Lit, and Honors Comp, and I’m also head of the very small English department.  I find teaching English more rewarding and fulfilling than I ever hoped a job could be.  I still have “those” days when being a trash collector looks really appealing, but when my students decide that Moby Dick was the “Shark Week” of early 20th century New England, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.  They are smart, charming, and so much fun to be around.

Over spring break, Tim went to Florida and helped lead a group of teenagers on a week-long bike trip that ended at Disneyworld.  The trip involved quite a bit of manual labor, but it was a great opportunity for Tim to get out from behind a computer screen and be involved in some hands-on ministry.  He also had the opportunity to visit several of our good friends in Florida.

Soon afterward, my school experienced what felt like the greatest  miracle since the loaves and fish: ECA was accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International.  This represented three years of blood, sweat, and tears on behalf of the teachers and administration.  I ended up serving on three committees and developing course outlines (detailed curriculum plans) for eleven different classes.

Both my first semester of grad school and my twelfth semester of teaching ended successfully, and Tim and I prepared to take a trip to the North Pole to study the migration patterns of polar bears.  No, actually we embarked on a voyage far more daring: taking high school students to Europe.  And to throw in some additional drama, my sister Jenna and I were in a car accident the night before we left on the trip.  Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, but we were both very sore and my car was totaled.

Despite this setback, the next day we flew to Paris.  I co-led the trip with the French teacher at ECA, and our group of 19 spent nearly three weeks in Bourg d’Oisans, Paris, Rome, and Sorrento.  We began with a mission trip at Camp des Cimes, the camp in the French Alps where Tim grew up.  We did a lot of landscaping, some concrete work, and general cleaning, working in time for hikes in the glorious Alps and visits with French friends.   We then traveled to Paris for a study tour, taking in the gardens of Luxembourg, the art of the Louvre, and the pastries of every bakery we passed.  We then took an overnight train to Rome (which remains my favorite city in the world!) to enjoy the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, the Forum, and gelato.  Tim flew home early from Rome so that he could return to work, while we traveled south.  We finished the trip with a tour of Pompeii, the Isle of Capri (hooray for lemon slushies!), and the beautiful coastal town of Sorrento.  As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I’m ranking pastries up there with Mona Lisa and gelato with St. Peter’s Basilica.  What does that say?

Shortly after our return to the States, we enjoyed a visit from my mom, dad, and sister Amy.  We did a lot of the touristy stuff in Colorado–Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Old Colorado City, Green Mountain Falls, etc.–but also just enjoyed visiting together.  After they left, we went about purchasing a car to replace my bashed-in Saturn and found a lovely Honda CR-V that was a great deal.  The only catch was that it was a stick shift…and I had never driven a stick shift before (Tim already had a stick shift car).  So we spent the next few weeks going to parking lots and testing the strength and vitality of our marriage as Tim taught me how to shift and work a clutch.  I’m happy to report that we, and our marriage, survived the ordeal.

In August, our lives changed dramatically as we welcomed a Korean exchange student named Daniel into our home.  He is a freshman at ECA and we have thoroughly enjoyed teaching him about American life and language as we learn about Korean culture from him.  It’s been especially fun this month to introduce him to American Christmas traditions.

While Daniel’s arrival was one of the brightest parts of our year, it was closely followed by one of the saddest events.  Othello, our sweet golden retriever, died very unexpectedly.  He was a faithful companion, and we miss him terribly.

Things remain very busy for us at church.  Tim runs sound and serves as a deacon.  I taught 2- and 3-year-old Sunday School for the first part of the year, and then joined Tim as he worked on a church history class for the adult Sunday School.  This week, he will wrap up six months of teaching, and he has thoroughly enjoyed and excelled at his first teaching experience.

We are certainly grateful to God for His goodness, faithfulness, and mercy to us, which He has shown again and again throughout the year.  We are also grateful for the love of friends and family, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year.

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One thought on “A Christmas Letter

  1. Merry Christmas! That was a good read. You’ve had a very full & eventful year. (You had me for the whole sentence on the polar bear expedition. lol)

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