Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Card 2011

Dearest Friends & Family,

We hope you are well both those near and far away. We are very grateful for the many opportunities and friendships we have been blessed with. Our year has been filled with many notable firsts for our marriage, and an abundance of love and joy. We’d like to fill you in on the many adventures that the McElderry family has experienced during the 2011 year.

We never got to do an exotic honeymoon, just a cabin in the snowy woods.  But in March for Kristin’s parent’s 25th anniversary we went out to beautiful Cancun, Mex. The beach was gorgeous and the forest was full of Mayan ruins.  We stood by as Kristin’s parents renewed their vows in an open air Catholic church. The trip would have been our romantic getaway...if we didn’t have to share a room with Kristin’s sisters, which made it more like a slumber-party.  But we had a wonderful time nonetheless :)

In May, we bought a used spinet piano and broke four of our friends’ backs to get it upstairs. We need four more friends when we move because the first four won’t answer our calls anymore.  Having a piano in the home has been a huge blessing.  John plays it almost every night and Kristin plunks away at it occasionally.

July was a crazy month since we were camp counselors for our church’s Youth Conference.  We loved associating with the high-school-aged campers and learning from their simple and powerful testimonies of the Savior.  Almost immediately after coming back from the conference, Kristin left again to be the camp director for a Girl’s Camp. Through torrential rain and hurricane like wind, Kristin kept a group of 10 girls warm and well-fed in the middle of the woods for a week.  What a trooper!  John had to teach her how to build a fire with wet wood in preparation for the trip, needless to say we did a lot of “practice” camping that summer.  July was also the month that John had his first peer-reviewed article published in a scientific journal.  This was the fruit of more than a year of hard work.  He is sure there will be several more to come before he is done with his PhD.

In August we went on a date to the local animal shelter and fell in love with a blue-eyed white haired cat.  John, being almost immune to such sentiments, convinced Kristin to shake the feeling and leave.  In the car, we threw out hypothetical names for the cat and landed on one that made us both laugh. We immediately turned around and got our little Myao Ming.  He is such a good-natured, cuddly and well-behaved tomcat.

Kristin travelled backand forth to Peoria, IL for her job with Accenture for most of the year. In September she was relocated to a new project and is thankfully working in Ann Arbor again.  She also received her first promotion with Accenture in August. We are so proud of her!

Little by little we are learning how to keep our composure in the professional world, and then a holiday like Halloween comes along and dashes all progress.  Yes, all shame went out the window this year as we dressed as Mr. and Mrs Pacman.   Every kid on the block was staring at us as they saw two large yellow balls stroll hand in hand across the street.  Fortunately, for our exuberance, we won an award for “Funniest Costume” at our Church’s Halloween Party.

November was also a busy month, we had a really great Thanksgiving holiday. We roasted our first turkey (at least John did) and had some friends in our home with only minor casualties (burnt hand + turkey bowl football casualties). We are really enjoying this Christmas season and look forward to spending time with our family in Little Rock and Dallas in the next few weeks.

This next year should be equally if not more exciting -- John plans to graduate in the summer and we will be moving.... somewhere (TBD) when he finds a job.

Thank you for your love and friendship through another year. We love each of you and wish you a Merry Christmas.

John-David & Kristin McElderry (+ Myao Ming)

*This year we were limited in the number of Christmas Cards we could send out by mail... so unfortunately they didn't make it out to everyone we hoped for. However,  this is our card and letter for those who missed it.

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