10. This was a year of meeting our neighbors and developing friendships with them. We are feeling more at home in Algonquin with each passing season.
9. Our old house has a new roof! Ok, not very exciting, but it does look nice and it’s a relief to have done. Next year, it’s gutters!
8. Matt turned 30! Friends joined us for a backyard BBQ, cake and ice cream, and bocce ball. Sara’s next–in January.
7. Sara has continued to freelance, having edited two books and written a couple articles in the past year. Her favorite was a book on platform tennis or “paddle,” an emerging outdoor winter sport. Matt’s still at Knowles and enjoying his work.
6. In May, Sara’s sister Gina was married in Tucson, Arizona. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t hot or humid there in May. Despite the weather, it was a fun, outdoor, family affair. It was Avery’s first time swimming and meeting a lot of the family.
5. A weekend at a Wisconsin Dells waterpark with Sara’s sister Lora and her family. Avery loves water (although she was afraid at times) so it was an appropriate family vacation.
4. Our church is less than a month from opening it’s doors. It has been so exciting to be a part of the building process. Matt has even taken some time to help with the interior painting. We hope the building is as much a blessing to the community as the church has been to us.
3. At 18 months, Avery is walking, running and talking. We are having so much fun watching how busy Avery is. She never tires of playing with her “babies,” a make-believe zoo of stuffed animals–and dolls. Of course, she likes to have every one of them at once. She loves wearing necklaces, bracelets and hats around the house, and she tries on dad’s shoes, too. Her favorite words (and animal sounds): uh-oh, no, mine, bye, puppy, baby, roaaar and me-ow. We like thank you and (pl)eeeeease. The most recent addition is poo-poo. Yay.
2. After six-plus months of work (and a couple electrical shocks), we’ve (almost) finished gutting and remodeling our upstairs bathroom (the only shower). It’s beautiful! Thanks to our neighbors who opened their home to us and even came over to help.
1. A Mason family cruise to the Bahamas in December to celebrate Matt’s parents’ anniversary. Mom and dad got a great getaway and Avery, a fun weekend to “get away” with anything with her cousin Nate, who is two months older. We snorkeled. Ya, mon.