Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Letter 2012

The Holloway's 12 Months of 2012
This has truly been a whirlwind year for us! We've traveled well over 10,000 miles, visited 7 states and driven through many more. And I thought the best way to give you a feel for what we've been up to this year is to give you a monthly play by play!

January--We were blessed with a visit from Travis' parents. This was their first time meeting Bethany, and we loved having them here for their short, but sweet, trip.

Making a cardboard box car with dad

At the Nature Center with grammy

February--We enjoyed lots of time playing inside as well as time playing in the snow! 
Helping dad shovel

Reading with dad

March--Our birthday season began, with Travis turning 27. I successfully made my first creme brulee and Grace helped make her first rice crispies. :) Grace was also potty trained! The weather turned warm early and we were excited to go outside and play.

Playing in the sun
Travis eating his birthday creme brulee

Making rice crispies

April--Was a month of firsts! We embarked on Travis' first externship to Evansville, Indiana, Bethany had her first Easter, and we bought our first van! I also celebrated my 27th birthday.
First Easter

Going on one of our many walks in Indiana

May--Grace turned 3. Travis ran his second 50K race (50s for Yo Momma). I celebrated my first mother's day as a mother of 2. And we moved to our new house across town and then busily prepared for our second externship.

Our Big 3 year old

Mother's Day
New house and new ride

June--We went on Travis' second externship to Tucson, where we were blessed to stay with my parents. We loved playing with Grammy and Poppy, swimming, going to the zoo, visiting with Grandma Bern, Uncle Jim, and Cousin Dorothy, and getting in some date nights. While we were there, we also made a weekend trip to San Diego to see some more of my family (my Grandparents Roger and Helen, Aunt Angie and Uncle Dixon, and Cousin Jill and her family), all of whom Bethany was meeting for the first time (and it was our first time meeting Jill's daughter Starlee). And, last but not least, Travis' parents came down for a quick weekend trip, and we had fun swimming and seeing the sights of Tucson with them.
On the beach in San Diego

Visiting my grandparents in San Diego

Visit from Dave and Anita
Date night

July--Travis traveled up to Colorado for his third externship, while the girls and I stayed in Tucson with my parents. It was hard to be apart, but SO much better than it could have been with my parents around for support (thanks again!). And for the last week, we were lucky and got to go up to Colorado to be with Travis!

Skyping with dad

Some dad time in Colorado

August--We drove straight from Colorado to Idaho, where the girls and I spent two weeks with Travis' family to visit and help prepare for his brother Tyler's wedding (Travis had to be in Cleveland for a clinic rotation, but joined us in Idaho a few days before the wedding). Before Travis left for home, we celebrated our 5th Anniversary (in July); it's been 5 great years! Also, while we were there, the girls and I got to go to my family's mini reunion in Albion, where we enjoyed visiting with family I hadn't seen in several years (or ever met, and who hadn't met the girls). We loved being with ALL of the Holloway clan (many of whom were meeting Bethany for the first time as well) for a little reunion and of course the wedding. We left right after the wedding, and spent the last two weeks of August at home, enjoying home and preparing for the next externship.
Anniversary date

Grace and my cousin Audrey's daughter Abby

The Holloway clan

At the pre-wedding dinner

September--We stole away to Oklahoma for Travis' fourth externship. We were blessed to have our good friends Bart and Shantyl Stears there, as well as friends and fellow students, the Miskins (and their family), there too. We had a great time going to the parks, library, zoo, and having dinner with all of them. Bethany also learned how to crawl!
On the carousel at the zoo with the Stears

At the park with the Miskins

Crawling to dad
October--was Travis' final externship (in Temple, Texas) and some more family reunions. Travis' brothers Jason and Brandon both live in Texas, and it was wonderful to get to spend time with their families again. And if that wasn't awesome enough, both of our parents came down to visit too! We spent the week before Halloween with my parents, seeing the sights of Temple and visiting friends and family in Brenham and Austin. Then Travis' parents came down the weekend before Halloween (Bethany's 1st!) for some Halloween festivities and to see Travis and Jason run their (2nd and 1st respectively) 50 mile race in the Texas hill country. They ran a great race, and Travis even got a PR!

At a Harvest fest with Rachel and Brandon's family
With some of my dad's friends in Austin

At Travis and Jason's Cactus Rose race
Trick or treating with the cousins

November--we finally traded in our travelling shoes and (for once) stayed home! Our sweet Bethany turned 1 (time flies!). And we celebrated our first Thanksgiving away from family, yet with good food and good friends.

Cupcake smash
Playing at our neighborhood park

Playing in the leaves in our backyeard

December--we have spent celebrating Christmas as much as possible with: Christmas lights watching, seeing the Nativity Display in Kirtland, visiting Santa, watching Christmas movies, making gingerbread houses, reading Christmas stories, bringing goodies to friends, and really trying to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

The much anticipated trip to see Santa

Visiting the Nativity display in Kirtland

And since a newsletter wouldn't be a newsletter without a little rundown on what each of us is up to now...
This year, Travis began his 4th and final year of Podiatry school here in Cleveland (can we get a "Huzzah?!"). In March, he was released from his calling as Young Men's President, and was on a hiatus (due to travelling) until November when he and Jenny were called to be primary teachers. Travis continues to love to run and always wishes there was more time for training and racing. If you'd like to read more about his running adventures, you can go to his and his brother's blog at

Jenny (I) has spent the year honing her packing, co-pilot, and kid-tending-in-the-car skills.:) But seriously, 2012 has been a year of growth for me, learning (slowly) how to become a better homemaker, mother, wife, and person. This will be the first time Travis and I have had a calling together at Church, and I'm really excited for the opportunity to work with him! In November, I took my love for dance and new-found interest in fitness, put the two together, and got licensed to become a Zumba instructor. I'm looking forward to preparing myself to teach at a fitness center next year, and hope that this will be a great way to not only make a little extra money, but also feel fulfilled in doing something that I love.

Grace is our resident sweetheart. She's a little mother already, making sure everyone is taken care of. A recent favorite memory of her was from last month, when I layed down on her floor for a little nap and she brought me a pillow and some animals and then tucked me in for a rest. :) She loves to be silly, laugh, sing, paint, color, read (and is beginning to recognize a lot of words!), play with her Little People and Pooh animals, dress up, watch as many movies as we'll let her, go to the library and zoo, and spend time with her family.

Bethany is our curly haired cutie. She loves to dance, clap, make elephant noises, stand (which she just started to do), be chased, play with Grace, look at books, play with: socks, shoes, bracelets, colored pencils, and Little People, and snuggle with mom and dad.

This has been a busy year, but better than we ever could have imagined! We're looking forward to our next big adventure in 2013!

With warmest wishes to you and yours!

Travis, Jenny, Grace, and Bethany

1 comment:

Rachel Holloway said...

I loved reading everything--and hearing the whole rundown. I am sure you will love having that for journaling sake someday too!

It was such a busy year! SO impressed with how you guys managed everything. :) And of course, we loved October and having you here.