Friday, December 31, 2010


if we know each other in real life, this letter may have arrived in your mailbox this week. if we know each other and you didn't get one, don't worry, this version is better--it has links!

Friends and Family,

When I first tried to write a letter to you all, the only thing I could write was:
“This year our family was only together for 4 of the 12 months. Bah-humbug.” 
Must’ve been a bad day.  But this morning, as I reflect on our year, I realize we have had many incredible experiences and so much to be thankful for…

JANUARY: After completing Basic Training, Seth came home for two weeks over Christmas and New Year’s. On January 4th he returned to Ft. Benning, Georgia to finish Advanced Individual Training (AIT).

FEBRUARY: Quinn and I flew down to Ft. Benning to attend Seth’s graduation from Basic and AIT. He was awarded “Honor Graduate” of his platoon and, because of high test scores, was offered a slot in Airborne school. Quinn and I returned home, Seth stayed in Georgia to jump out of airplanes.

MARCH: After completing Airborne, Seth finally returned home! A few days after his return, we took our first big family vacation to Cape San Blas, FL. It was a wonderful time for our family to reconnect. On the 24-hour drive there and back, we got to spend time in Georgia with my grandparents and other relatives.

APRIL: Between Seth’s training in Georgia and his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan we found ourselves in a sort of limbo. April was spent trying to establish a bit of normalcy. Seth started his own company—Beaver Creek Construction. (We live by Beaver Creek. Creative, right?) It may seem like a strange time to start a business, but it allowed him to work as a sub-contractor for the short time he had at home.

MAY: Piper turned 3 on May 8th! She loves princesses, play-doh and painting. Later that month, I surprised Seth with a trip to Canon Beach, OR. Seth and I both spent a year in Canon Beach when we were first dating, so it was great to spend time in a place with so many memories.

JUNE: Seth and I celebrated 5 years of marriage on June 4th! He spent the month at Camp Ripley, MN for AT (Annual Training). The girls and I tried to stay busy—going to the farmer’s market, the Art Festival, and even an I-Cubs game on Father’s Day. While Seth was gone I had the house painted and re-roofed as a surprise. It was great seeing the look on his face when he pulled in the driveway!

JULY: We tried to spend as much time together as we could. Seth and I were lucky enough to take an incredible hot-air balloon ride. Something we’ll never forget. Quinn Margaret turned 1 on the 28th! She is very sweet-natured and loves to snuggle. She already looks up to her big sister, which sometimes gets them both into trouble!

AUGUST: On August 1st, Seth left for a year-long deployment. It was a very difficult good-bye. He spent the month of August at Camp Shelby, MS in training. Piper started preschool on Mondays and Fridays and it was a great distraction. I’m not sure who loves it more—me or her!

SEPTEMBER: Seth continued his training and spent a few weeks at Ft. Irwin, CA. They got to experience America’s version of Afghanistan in the desert there.

OCTOBER: In October I had the opportunity to visit Seth in Mississippi. We had a wonderful four days together and (thanks to his aunt & uncle) stayed in a beautiful, secluded cabin near Jackson. By the end of the month, Seth was in Afghanistan.

NOVEMBER: The girls and I spent Thanksgiving in Chicago with Seth’s aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was a great time and we may have to make it a tradition! Seth had his own make-shift Thanksgiving complete with canned egg-nog.

DECEMBER: The girls and I have decorated our little tree, visited Santa Clause and mailed Christmas gifts to Afghanistan. This will be a difficult Christmas for our family, but we are very blessed.

God has used so many people provide meals, baby-sitting, house-cleaning, and even gifts to brighten our days. Thank-you for your support and prayer as we try to live a normal life under abnormal circumstances. We love you and we’re so grateful to have you in our lives! Merry Christmas!

Seth, Bethany, Piper and Quinn

that includes you, dear blog-readers! you guys are awesome. i don't know why you care about our little family--but i'm so thankful that you do!
you are so kind and sweet and funny and cute! i wish we all lived in the same neighborhood so we could go on walks together!  and take our kids to the park! and go shopping! and have coffee! or...other beverages! and bump into each other at the grocery store where we exchange eye-rolls cause our kids are being monsters! but, even without shopping and chatting and eye-rolling--i still value my friendships with you guys.
2010 was a hard year. but it was a great year, don't ya think?
and we have so much to look forward to in 2011,
including; the great, triumphant return of our mr.a!
(okay, that's not for like, another 7 months, but still!)


  1. Best wishes for you guys in 2011, you'll be back together soon.

    P.S. Cannon Beach is my most favorite Oregon beach and my husband and my choice getaway spot. :)

    Glad we "met" in 2010 through this crazy little blogging world.

  2. I ran into your blog awhile ago and just love it! :) I hope these next few months go quickly yet are full of enjoyment with your two beautiful girls.
    Happy New Year!

  3. Oh I love this! So sweet, and such a great recap of the year... :)

  4. This is fantastic, and your family is so beautiful :)! Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  5. Ok, Jess and I are sitting her making over your blog WE LOVE YOU! you're amazing... You're so good with words and everything! Happy New Year!

    Nicole and Jess :)

  6. Bethany. Love ya gal! Glad we are somewhat neighbors. I just wish I ran into u more. Prayed for Seth just the other day... And will continue to! See u on the interstate soon. Next time I won't almost cause an accident! :)
    Kim V

  7. I. Love. Your. Blog! Although we have been through very much the same thing (husbands gone both last year, and this), when you put it into words you seem like such an incredible woman...heck you ARE an incredible woman! Here's to 2011, the year of REUNIONS!!



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