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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year to You from Us

I love getting Christmas cards from family and friends updating us on their lives, but I hate doing them. This year, I decided to take a slightly more 'high-tech' approach and create an interactive "Happy New Year" letter from our family to yours.

Luke (13)
Has had a crazy year. He turned 13 and demanded 😉 a birthday party for such an important life transition. So, we did a mud run. 

He also participated in several plays. He was in the chorus in Alladin at Draper Park Middle School and was a leading role in his Beginning Theater class. 

He was also an ever-present participant of Jazz Band at DMPS. Here's a couple of examples of his handiwork:

Luke's at a new school (more on that later), but is still grooving out!

Luke has been running cross country more and more. This year, he was on the official Timberline Middle School Cross Country team. 

Yep, that's an after race photo.
In the spring, he unexpectantly ran the Zion Ragnar Trail with Ryan.

And he metaled at the Utah Summer Games 10K with his cousin and ran with Ryan.

Finally, Luke did two scout camps this summer. One camp was in the Unitas and the other was a fifty-mile hike. Impressively, he got both his swimming and his hiking merit badges in a six week period. 

Suzanne (11)
Suzy, or Annie, or Suzy Annie. . .or SUZANNE! (when she's in trouble) turned 11 this year in August. 

She turned eleven at the Sheffer reunion at Bear Lake. She couldn't ask for a better, bigger party!
I suspect Suzy's favorite part of her year was taking care of Grandma and Grandpa Sheffer's chickens or swinging on their swingset with cousins. She's on the bottom of the pile!

Suzanne is a riot and has done really well moving into our new townhome. She even joined the school choir. 

The thing Suzanne loves the most is spending time with family. 

She's our little Aspie, and we love her! (And we love the surprising number of Suzy-selfies we find on our phones!) #asperrgersisitsownadventure

Eric (9)
Eric turned nine in November. He loves the Gateway Children's Museum, so we had to go for this birthday.

Sadly, Eric's lizard died a few days after our move. Unfortunately, it foreshowed how difficult this transition would be for him. 

He's definitely still our joker and future-paleontologist. 

Eric loves scouts. He loves being involved in anything he can and creating any time he gets the chance!

He also did choir with Suzy, but decided it was 'too girly' after the first few practices. Good thing that is over for the year!

Hands down, Eric is our daredevils which leaves me a bit nervous for his future.

Ryan and Bridget
Ryan is still working for STG where he consults for the LDS church. He works specifically on projects related to the discovery centers for Family Search. Check out more here. He loves working at the church office building because he gets to snap photos like this:

One of the funniest weekends we had was doing the Ragnar Zions Trail Run. Ryan registered with some former cross country mates; I volunteered; and, Luke ran because they were short one runner. It was one of the highlights of spring!

Happy Birthday, Ryan!
I am still working on my PhD, and just completed my first final draft; meaning, I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel even though there is still an effectual struggle and defense to be argued.

I also attended my 20-year class reunion. AAHH! I'm getting old!

I chopped my hair. 

We bought another home this June. Now we have one in Cedar City and one in Draper, both in Utah. (Why not somewhere else? Good question, good question.)

Moving to Suncrest turned out to be an amazing experience for our family. We have wonderful neighbors, a quiet street, and clean air. Yep, that's pollution hanging 'down' in Salt Lake County.

Also sadly, both Ryan and I lost grandparents this year. Ryan's grandma, Eldeane Sheffer passed away and my grandpa, Ira Reynolds passed away. They were both beautiful funerals and reminded us of what is really important!
Eldeane Sheffer's funeral

Ira Reynolds' funeral

All-in-all, despite the normal ups and downs of life, we had a great 2016. 

Fathers and Sons!

Going to Temple Square for General Conference

Luke got Ryan a matching shirt, so they could run together.

RootsTech 2016

Hiking in our new 'backyard'

Playing the iPad together, Christmas 2016
Lagoon! Summer 2016

We had a wonderful Christmas too!

We hope your 2017 is beautiful! Love, Us