This might be kind of weird, but I just wrote this out as an ending to the book of our 2009 year so I can get it ordered and printed soon, and I decided to post it here.
This year has been a fairly good one for us, and we are so grateful for that. It started out at the end of a rocky patch in our financial status- which, try as we might to avoid it, was affecting a lot of other areas in our life. Unlike many people around us, we were able to get on the path of financial recovery when Ross got a job working with the Department of Veteran Affairs in Salt Lake. We would complain about the commute if it weren't for the steady paycheck and incredible benefits (a first for us since Ross was diagnosed with his epileptic condition). With that one prayer answered, things seemed to start falling into place for us. We had a regular schedule. We had a set budget plan and debt snowball program that had a definite end. We had peace of mind about falling ill knowing that not only could we now afford medical treatment, but we had medical coverage that mostly negated the need for payment aside from our Premiums.
There have been a lot of times when Ross and I would offer sincere prayers of gratitude, and then quietly talk about how we feared this calm patch might end. The truth is, we have spent our entire marriage waiting for things to rectify themselves. We have just been skating along from one trial to another. I don't know that any of them have been terribly severe or unmanagable- but never getting a break in between them has been rough. We are grateful for everything we have learned through those rough times- especially since we came out the other end of them together, but I cannot even begin to express how grateful I have been for this happy and peaceful time in our marriage.
Our family got to do a lot of fun things this year including taking a 3 week, all expense paid trip to Portland, camping with my family, and visiting the Goodman Ranch in California to welcome back Ross's brother. We went to the zoo, Bridal Veil Falls, the Red Butte Gardens, and many other lovely outdoor venues that we are blessed to live near. With the help of loving family and friends, we were able to keep our resolution of having weekly dates, and Family Home Evenings, monthly temple attendance, and bi-monthly overnighters together. I know that following that inspired council has helped to strengthen our marriage, our testimonies, and our family. I was also honored to be called to the Primary Presidency as the third councilor, and have loved serving in that capacity. All of these things have been a huge boon to us as we have struggled through some miscarriages and some other health problems.
Emma and Sara have grown so much, and are becoming such sweet and capable young ladies. They are such good friends. It makes my heart happy to see them loving and helping each other with no prompting from us. Both of them have greatly increased their vocabularies, and are the smartest and prettiest little angels we could have ever asked for. Sara loves to sing and dance, and is very close to being fully potty-trained. She is very affectionate and gives the sweetest hugs imaginable. Emma knows all of her Articles of Faith, a few hymns, and is so clever and sweet. She has been a huge help to me, since I became pregnant, and the best part is that she loves being useful. She searches for ways to help and needs only a thank you and a hug for payment. They both have smiles and laughs that brighten any gloomy day, and I could never thank God enough for the privilege he has given us to raise them.
This year has been a year of much needed, and much appreciated blessings. I wish I could better communicate my gratitude. I know that my Heavenly Father is aware of us. I have felt him guiding us along. He has been my friend and my companion throuh the good and bad times, and I just don't know where I would be without his Gospel in my life.