photo by ANH Photography
Dear Family & Friends,
We are delighted to share with you all that the Lord has done in 2015! It really is incredible how much can fit into a year, and how much life can change in such a (considerably) short time. Share our joy as we walk through some of our favorite parts from 2015:
Last January, I (Tiffany) completed my first full marathon! This was a huge milestone for me, and something I’d had on my list of goals to accomplish in my lifetime. After completing the half-marathon in 2014, I scoffed at the thought of having to do 13 more miles on top of that, and swore that I’d never voluntarily run that distance. Thanks to some friends who know my competitive nature all too well, and my desire to complete it at least once in my life (though I had buried that pretty deeply), I signed up for the full. I will say that training for that race was THE most trying task I’ve ever faced, and I was pushed to limits physically, emotionally, and mentally that I was not expecting. It’s amazing what God can teach you about yourself during a long, drawn out goal you commit to. My 21 mile training run was by far the worst thing I’ve experienced. Only God’s grace got me through that one. I was spent in more ways than I could handle, and God met me there to both break me and carry me through. Race day, on the other hand, was incredible, and I say to this day that I would do it all again if every training run could be like that race. I know better than that. :)
Speaking of long commitments, Ryan and I officially became a CARES Team at the end of January, and threw our first event in February. CARES has been a huge part of our lives, and has become a large part of who we are. God has done amazing things in us personally, and again has stretched us beyond what we ever thought we could handle. As a team we throw 3 events a month for the residents of our apartment community, as well as welcome new residents and check in on those who’ve been living in the building for a while. We act as an extension of the management, and our goal is to connect with residents in a way that the staff just don’t have the capacity to. Our first year with CARES has been an absolute gift, and we could not be more grateful for what God has done both in us and in our community. We’ve been able to build friendships with people we would have never encountered otherwise, and love how those relationships have grown. God is so good. Pray that we would do our job well, and that the Lord would use us to bring hope and a sense of belonging in lives of those who have none through our being present.
In April, we received another gift and found out we are pregnant! This news was such indescribable joy, and Ryan and I cherished this secret life, thanking God for his good gift. We were able to tell Ryan’s family on Mother’s Day, and then my family during a visit to Florida at the end of May. Everyone was so ecstatic, and could barely contain their excitement! We made them wait until June to share publicly, and I think we almost had a few family members explode during that time. In the beginning of September we had a party to reveal that the baby is a boy! Now as we await the arrival of our son, we anticipate how much our lives will change for the good. I’m due on January 14, so we will hopefully have an update soon about that baby!
When we went to visit my family in Orlando in May, Ryan had conspired with my parents and surprised me with my first trip to Disney World! We all had so much fun, and that place really is magical (especially with kids). My oldest niece had her 13th birthday during our visit, and had no idea Ryan and I were coming! We got to surprise her with a horseback riding day, which is alone is a testament of how much we love her because I do not love horses. :)
In July we got to go back to Destin, our family’s tradition with Ryan’s side, and my parents and some siblings were able to join us for part of the trip! Now that my parents and little brother live in Orlando, it worked out to where they could come stay with us for a few days. We had lots of fun as always, but I sadly had to pass up some awesome boogie boarding days since I was still in the first trimester (not a good idea to go tumbling off a board with that current). That didn’t hold any of us back from some great volleyball tournaments, though. We always enjoy that vacation, and it is a great break right in the middle of the year.
In September we celebrated Living Water International’s 25th anniversary, and Ryan’s 3rd anniversary with the organization. Ryan is in the IT department, and has recently had the opportunity to expand his knowledge and explore some network administration within his duties. That is by far his favorite part of the job. I am especially proud of him as a wife, as everyone I meet at LWI is very quick to tell me how much they love him, and how helpful and friendly he always is. Love that.
This fall we celebrated 4 years of marriage, and are so thankful for all we have learned and experienced together! We have been on countless adventures, and are no doubt about to enter the greatest one yet as we become parents! We can hardly believe this gift entrusted to us, and can’t wait to meet our boy.
photo by ANH Photography
As you reflect on 2015 may you recall the good gifts the Lord has lavished upon you, and may you find thankfulness and joy overflowing from within. Let us encourage each other toward Him, and learn of His faithfulness as we walk through life. Live fully and love deeply!
Ryan, Tiffany, and Baby B