It’s been my tradition, for almost as long as jonandnic.com has existed, to annually collect and post a sort of retrospective recap of the year past, and briefly re-visit some of the defining moments and events of the last 12 months for our family. Although having a blog means we can go back and read about these events, there’s a sort of catharsis in summarizing them, with the perspective that a few months of growth tends to give you…
It was actually late in 2007 that we came to understand that our adventure in New York had run its course, but with our second baby on the way, it wasn’t until January of 2008 that the details were in place enough that we could formerly pursue a move back to Canada. But that doesn’t mean we were ready for it. Like the move to New York, there was lots to learn and do and negotiate, so most of the year, necessarily, was sacrificed to that task. And aside from minor surgery for our little guy, and a last minute road trip to Boston, there were plenty of other distractions to keep life interesting.
While we started our good-byes, packed our little apartment and waited for Abi to arrive, we spent some time pondering the things we’d experienced and learned. There was plenty about our time in the U.S. that we’d enjoyed, and God continued to give us a new outlook on the things we’d been blessed with. But we weren’t really sure at all what He had in store for the next chapter.
She finally did, of course, and the moment and the day were as incredible as you’d imagine. But her arrival was like the gun shot to start a race, and from then on, things got really challenging. Just a few short weeks after our family had grown by one, we were seperated, as Nicole moved home with the kids, to begin preparing a landing pad for our family — and my career, which supports it!
It wasn’t much fun being separated, but I had a lot to do to keep me busy, so we pushed through it, and got in little visits when we could.
Things wrapped up nicely at work, in preparation for the big change, and with 4.4 shipped, and the boxes all packed up, we said the big — but not permanent — good bye to New York, and the other places we’d managed to visit… and moved in together in a little apartment in our College town.
And I’ll pause to point out here that it was a very nice apartment — but that living there with two kids and almost none of our stuff, made it very uncomfortable for us. House hunting, for our first real home, was obviously a priority, although not really a joy. Not, at least, until we found our perfect little spot, in a little town, conveniently located near nothing, but far away from nothing, either.
Fortunately, we had a busy summer to keep us occupied, with a challenging and exciting wedding (or 4) to attend, and some re-discovered “cons” in the pros and cons list for living in Canada vs. the U.S. And although we’ll probably never look back on that particular summer in our lives with fondness, the reward was worth the effort when we finally moved into a house, and for the first time in our adult lives, committed to staying some place for more than 2 years. We’re still adjusting to that reality, but we’re doing our best to make it feel like our own.
And besides, just because its our home base, doesn’t mean we can’t travel. A fact which made itself evident barely two weeks after we moved in, when we packed up the whole clan and headed back to New York, for one more State-side celebration of 2008.
Finally settled in, and still discovering what God has in store for us here, I proceeded to piss a bunch of people off, and then did it some more. But even in that, and in what God taught me in both the writing, and the debate over the writing, we catch glimpses of a plan that’s bigger and more exciting than we could ever imagine. For maybe the first time in our marriage, we have no idea what the coming year holds — we have no plans, or burdens or passionate fervor for a particular goal or task that we have to conquer this year. We just have the experiences God’s given us, the sometimes perplexing tuggings of His will on our hearts… and two beautiful kids, a great home, a good job, and a world-wide playground on which to discover His purpose for our family.
I can’t say 2008 has been a great year. But its been a good one, and we have every reason to believe that 2009 will be an equally amazing, but totally different adventure. From all of us, to all of you, our dearest readers, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a 2009 that is challenging, revealing and fulfilling…