Saturday, December 8, 2012

2012 Christmas Card Letter

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

This year, in an effort to save paper, ink, time, etc., I’ve decided to put our Christmas card yearly update letter online.  (Plus, I can add more pictures!)  I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our little family’s big year.
We started 2012 similar to most years of our marriage – with Dan & Shawna toasting the New Year, reflecting on the past year, sparkling drinks in hand, all of us happy as a lark.  I suppose there were a few changes, though.  For instance, our glasses were full of sparkling juices, not wine, our bellies were slightly rounder (or much rounder in my case!), and we all had A LOT to look forward to in the coming year with the birth of our first children.
the camera didn't focus,
but you can still see how happy we are!

who wants sparking juice?
A few weeks later, Shawna returned to Indy to take maternity pictures of my growing belly.  And luckily she came when she did, because only 3 weeks later, on February 18th, Miss Annalyn decided it was time to be born.  A few weeks early, our little Peanut caught us by surprise, but she was healthy as ever and we were elated!  I’m sure all parents feel this way, but to us, she was PERFECT. 

she's her daddy's girl...

& her Mama's world
The next weeks were a blur of adjusting to life as Mama & Daddy.  At just 6 weeks old, we took Annalyn out to Nebraska to meet my extended family and be baptized in the church my dad (& several generations before him) grew up attending.  She got to wear the gown I wore, which was also worn by my mom and Aunt Kathy at their baptisms.  Michael’s parents and sister, Emily (Annalyn’s Godmother), also made the trip, so this little lady was blessed to have two sets of grandparents, two sets of great-grandparents, and a great-great-grandma around her.
our little lady

5 generations on my dad's side
4 generations on Mom's side
we are so blessed

Annalyn's great grandparents (Barry side)
we miss you, Grandpa

Annalyn's great grandparents (Banghart side)

In the blink of an eye, it was summer, I was back to work, and Remy Ann was here!  Annalyn was so excited to finally meet her new BFF.  It’s amazing for us to watch our babies grow and interact with each other.  I know the girls will cherish these first pictures together as much as we do. 
first meeting

first matching outfits

first sleepover
A month later, we all got to be a part of Emily & Aaron’s beautiful wedding.  The setting, ceremony, and company were perfect – not to mention the couple themselves!  We felt so honored to be a part of their wedding party and get to share in the happiness of their union



Michael enjoyed his summer off with Annalyn, but just like my maternity leave, it soon ended and he had to go back to work.  After much searching and hoping and praying, we are so blessed to have Michaela, Annalyn’s babysitter.  Words cannot express how grateful we are to have her in our lives.   The transition to both of us working full time could not have been smoother, but by September, we were in desperate need of a getaway.  A weekend trip with our friends to Put-In-Bay, OH was just the ticket!   That same month, the other 2012 Eddie baby was born – our nephew, Elijah couldn’t be cuter and we couldn’t wait to meet him!

our adorable nephews,
Theodore & Elijah

Fall has always been my favorite season and this year was no exception.  October started with a surprise 50th birthday party for my dad, including special guests Tim, Jill, & Eliza!  The party was a success, and we were so excited to meet baby Eliza.

our little husker & buckeye babies
Next came Annalyn’s first Butler Homecoming.  The weather was chilly, but since when do we mind an excuse to snuggle?  Tailgating was fun, the Bulldogs won the game, and we even got a picture with Blue II & Trip (Butler’s real-life bulldog mascots)!

The holidays have taken on a whole new meaning to us this year.  Everything is a first for Annalyn and for us as we rediscover the joys of the holiday season with our own little family.  We hope your holiday is just as magical and your new year as blessed as our past year has been.  Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light!


Michael, Ashley, & Annalyn
(+Dot & Gus!)

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