Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seasons Greetings!

Dear Friends,

As we sit down to look at what we have been up to and condense it into a letter that we can send out to all of our family and friends, we are amazed at how wonderfully blessed we have been. We’ll do our best to give you some of the highlights…

We welcomed the New Year with our friend Heather Johnson in London. Heather came over from the States to be with us for fireworks on Westminster Bridge. But, not more than a month later we would welcome someone else…

That right! We were so pleased that Pippi Lois Suel made her stage debut on January 21st, 2008. All of a sudden, the bundle of joy that we had been anticipating was here. A week early, too! We think we were so excited to meet each other, we just couldn’t wait for that due date!

Not long after that (early March) Pippi’s Uncle Brett and Aunt Paula came to visit! Well, actually, Brett proposed at the top of an old English castle while they were here, officially making her “Aunt” Paula (we are thrilled!) and they have since been married. It was wonderful to get to spend some time with them and show them around England. Then, also in March, our great friend Liz Dally came to stay with us! We had Pippi dedicated to Christ on Easter Sunday with Liz, Claire, and Jez being godparents.

In April, Jason completed what had been an obsession of his for awhile: he ran the London Marathon! His goal was to run it in under 4 hrs and he came in at 3:58…just in time! What a great (but rainy, cold, and typically English) day! In May, the entire Suelfam (Jason, Sarah, and Pippi) continued our exploration of Europe with a trip to Vienna, Austria. We had a lot of fun and learned how to travel as a family. In June, we took a trip to Disneyland Paris…AND, we got Pippi’s picture taken with Mickey Mouse. We loved every minute.

In July, our friend Shannon Yates came to visit. Of course, we had a grand time showing her our little corner of England, but we didn’t know that we would be seeing her in the States later that same month. In late July, we had to travel home because Jason’s cousin, Rachel McManus, passed away due to complications with her Juvenile Diabetes. She was 19. The family was (and is) devastated by this tragedy, but the silver lining was that the family got to meet our precious daughter. And we got some much needed time with our families during this difficult time.

Since then we have just been hanging in and around Hereford mostly. We are both still enjoying our jobs: Jason as a Theatre Education Manager with 2XL Youth Projects and Sarah as an OT with the Dept. of Mental Health for Older People. We still spend LOADS of time with our dear friends Claire and Jez, whom we are happy to announce will be adopting in the new year…we can’t wait!! Jason did complete the Cardiff Half Marathon in October in 1:43, his best time yet. Pippi continues to astound us with her growth, and we love every second of her…she is more of a blessing to us than we could ever have imagined possible.

Pippi’s birth this year reminds us of how special Christmas is, and the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He was born into this world to save us and bring eternal joy and life, and we are thankful! By reading this letter, we pray that you are touched this Christmas by the love of your friendship in us, but mostly that you remember the true meaning of the Christmas spirit and take note of it in your own lives. Thank you for your friendship, support, and love this past year, and as we make plans to move back to the US in the months to come, we look forward to spending more time with each of you then.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Jason, Sarah, and Pippi Suel