2016…what a crazy and unpredictable year! Good in many ways, challenging in others, but a year of big changes. And no, we’re not just talking about our unexpected President-elect!
At the end of April, we celebrated the long-awaited arrival of Teddy James! In late March, Aaron and Cacey both flew there for the court hearing and took custody of Teddy. Aaron flew home for a two week stint of single parenting, and then flew back for the final week of visa appointment and preparation for travel. We missed connections coming home and ended up stranded in Nairobi, Kenya for a while…but it had already been two years of paperwork, so what was another 20 hours of travel? We finally arrived home and were united as a family of five.
Since then, we’ve been on a rollercoaster ride of adjustments, but we are enjoying getting to know this smart, funny 12 year old. Teddy started in fifth grade this past fall, at the same school as Spencer and Emma, and is wowing us all with his willingness to jump right in and give it his all. His English improves daily, his soccer skills are amazing and he keeps us laughing with his sense of humor.
Spencer started fourth grade this year, which was a big adjustment for him. Lots more homework and responsibility, but he is getting into the swing of things and rising to the challenge. This “older brother” thing was a little bumpy at first, but he really loves it now. We often find the boys poring over a book together or playing cards. It’s those sweet moments that make the hard days of parenting worth it!
Emma is now in second grade and just as bubbly and friendly as ever. It is impossible for her to walk by someone she knows without giving them a hug! She has been enjoying taking a Musical Theater Class where she gets to learn dance routines and hone her natural rhythm. If we’re ever sharing a meal together, there is at least a 50% chance she will announce her intention to put on an impromptu dance routine.
We celebrated our fifteenth anniversary this past April. You’re technically supposed to do that while both husband and wife are in the same country, but given that Cacey had taken up residence in Africa at that point, we postponed the celebration to July. Aaron used airline miles and hotel points to take us on a weeklong tour of England. One of us is a massive Jane Austen and Downton Abbey fan, so that was a dream come true. We also enjoyed wandering through Oxford, visiting Stonehenge, and touring Parliament and the Churchill War Rooms, to name a few things.
The business continues to grow — 125 amazing people have chosen to bring their talents and skills to Riskalyze, and we’re so grateful for them all. Cacey just wrapped up planning and coordinating Christmas parties on both coasts. Aaron flew 192,000 miles this year and is looking forward to a couple of weeks on the ground for the holidays. And given all this, Aaron made the tough decision not to run for a fourth term at Sierra College and left public office after twelve years.
We will end the year by moving just a few minutes down the road into a bigger home. With three kids, we are looking forward to the addition of a play room and larger yard. We are also looking forward to the addition of a guest room — so make plans to come visit us!
We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2017.
Aaron, Cacey, Spencer, Emma and Teddy
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken, says God, who has compassion on us.” –Isaiah 54:10