Christmas Letter

December 22, 2011

I know a lot of people write and sent out a Christmas letter.  We've never done it before, but I guess this year seems as good as any given the amount of change in our lives.  Since I just sent out birth announcements, and we are still working on Thank Yous... sorry if you haven't received yours yet, we are slowly getting through them... I just can't see myself taking on another task this holiday of addressing all of the cards/letters and getting them in the mail.

I decided that most of the people I would normally send this letter to anyway, read my blog.

So here's you go... here's is our Christmas letter... ENJOY!

Dear Friends, Family, and Blog Readers,
As I was wrapping Christmas presents the other day, I could not believe that another year has come and gone.  I can hardly believe that in two short days, we'll be celebrating Christmas with our family of 4. 

Shortly after Christmas last year, I attend the wedding of my niece in Portland, OR.  I went solo, while Mike and "L" stayed home.  It was nice to escape Minnesota January for 4 days in balmy Portland, and it was so fun to see my sisters, mom, and brother Bob.

Me and my oldest sister... don't we look hot?
It wasn't long after arriving home that I was staring at a positive pregnancy test in February.  I spent February, March, April, and most of May puking. 
Baby Lily at 6 weeks as a tiny bean.
In March, after dealing with some issues with "L" refusing to go down stairs, we discovered that he had very bad eyesight, and had no depth perception due to the difference in sight between his two eyes.  So... at 3 years old - the same age I was - he got his first pair of glasses, and we started patching his "good eye" nightly for a couple of hours.  Just a week ago, he was cleared to stop patching.  He has made amazing progress, and yes, I am happy to report that he will now walk down stairs again

In April, I was interviewed and photographed for an article about weight loss bloggers by the big paper here in town, the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  I thought it would probably just be a small article with a small picture.  Imagine my surprise when I opened up the paper and saw my picture taking up an entire page!
In May, Mike's sister and her little boy traveled to Minnesota to visit with us for a week.  The boys had a great time visiting the Mall of America, the zoo, and going to a baseball game. 
In August, we celebrated "L"s 4th birthday!  It is hard to believe that he was once a tiny little 3 pounder that we could hold in the palm of our hand. 
On May 12th, our world turned upside when we learned at our 19 week ultrasound that there were complications with our baby.

We spent the months of May, June, July, and August at doctor appointment, after appointment. I had 28 ultrasounds and 1 MRI during my pregnancy, but despite all of the dire predictions, our baby, Lily Grace, was born on the 16th of September via a scheduled C-section. 

She was 5 pounds and 9 ounces and 18-1/2 inches long.  She spent 36 hours in the NICU, but came home when I was released 4 days later!

Prior to our hospital release we finally had our answer to the difficulties during my pregnancy.  Lily is missing 1 chromosome - an "X".  She is an XO instead of an XX.  But that's about all she is missing.  In the past 3 months she has shown us that she is a feisty little character, full of projectile vomit (from a horrible case of reflux), but even more full of smiles.  She has beautiful blue eyes!  Lily will likely have surgery next summer to remove excess skin from the back of her neck and a remainder of the growth from the back of her head.  It is considered cosmetic and should be outpatient.  Given all the scenarios we could care less that Lily is missing one of her "X"s.  She should be able to lead a relatively normal life.  She will never be able to have children of her own, and she be quite short, but we will support her as a family however we can.

We've spent the last 3 months loving on our little girl.  I can't say Lily has been an easy baby.  She has horrible reflux, and is very colicky, but even in the hardest of moments, I find myself staring down at her, and thanking God for letting us hold her and love her on this side of my womb.

The same day that Lily was born I found out that I won the people's choice in the Minnesota's Most Valuable Blogger contest!  Thank you to everyone that voted for me.  What a thrill to find out I won on the day of Lily's birth.

Last night as I was feeding Lily I was listening to Christmas music on my iPad.  Silent night started to play, and as I gazed down at the sweet little girl resting peacefully in my arms, I thought of Mary as a mother... many thousands of years ago, and I cried as I wondered what her pregnancy was like, what struggles she went through before and on the night that Jesus was born.  I wondered what she possibly could have thought when she found out that not only was she pregnant with a child she didn't plan on but that she was going to give birth in a barn! 

Dear friends, families, and strangers from around that world that have prayed for our family this year.  It is because of your prayers, and the amazing power of that baby, that was born in Bethlehem long ago, that I hold my daughter tonight.  I will never find the words to thank you enough.  This is by far the best Christmas I have ever had.  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Mike and Sarah
"L" and Lily
Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, goodwill towards men!

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  1. you are blessed indeed! your children are perfect!!

    Merry Christmas!!



  2. God Bless you and your family this Christmas and through out the New Year!

  3. Merry Christmas Sarah!
    Watching your beautiful baby girl defeat the odds that were stacked against her, and growing (albeit slowly!) has blessed my heart more than you know. Many prayers were said by me on her behalf. Watching those prayers be answered brings tears to my eyes......
    Much love to you and yours.....

  4. Great letter. What a year. I've always thought Christmas much more meaningful with a baby in arms. Makes me emotional!


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