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March 2, 2009

2008 Holiday Letter

That’s right, we’re still calling it that even though we’re 1/6 of the way through 2009.

So, Happy Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (21 Feb)!

Merry Donkey Races Day (22 Feb–in the Virgin Islands)!

Happy National Don’t Utter a Word Day (25 Feb–did not get the memo on this one until too late)!

Merry Public Sleeping Day (28 Feb–this one I can really get behind)!

Since I haven’t managed to get out proper holiday cards since 2006, I decided this would be a good start toward getting back on the wagon.

2008 brought us some amazing HIGHS:

  • Our first niece, Ayda Ellie, was born in March!  Neal was quite disturbed to find that she looked EXACTLY like my brother…not that he finds my bro repulsive but Chris is quite a big, beefy guy and it would just be a shame if Ayda missed out on her gorgeous mother’s genes completely.ayda-1100_8645100_8693
  • After about 5 more or less unsuccessful neck surgeries, I had a miraculous one is April.  Miraculous…there is no other way to explain how my life went from approximately 20 hours in bed everyday to…well, much less (can I help it if I love my bed?!)
  • We moved to Illinois for the research study of a lifetime, interviewing men in jail and their family members.  For more information, see…pretty much every other post on this blog.
  • I squeezed in an all-too-brief trip back to D.C. to see the people I love and miss, most especially Zoe and Aaron who are ridiculously grown-up now but as beautiful and loveable as ever.
  • Neal’s older sister Robin-Elise moved to Utah in October, directly leading to many wonderful weekends of “House”-watching, stimulating-conversationing, and first-Christmas-tree-decorating (Neal would have bah-humbugged his way out of this if not for Robin’s deep and abiding love of Christmas decor!)


There were also some lows, starting with a horribly painful and unsuccessful neck surgery in January; a sewage flood that took out, among other things, my shoes, our wedding gifts, and most of Neal’s paintings; neck pain and other health problems re-emerging in December.  Indeed, December was easily one of the toughest months of our lives as we faced some stark realities and spoiled plans.

Thankfully, those times also offered great opportunities for growth as Neal gave me blessings and gracefully became the spiritual center of our home.  He reminded me during the worst moments of 2 Kings 20: 5

I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold I will heal thee.

The emotional and physical healing is still in progress, but 2009 has already brought new things to be grateful for: I’m teaching my first course at BYU, Marriage Enhancement, which is awesome due to the truly good, trying-to-be-better students I have.  Neal’s business (Valley Educators) is having a banner year so far, which just floored us in light of the economic situation.

Truly, we have a blessed life.  And we hope you all feel the same about your 2009!



  1. You love House, like the tv show? I love that show!

    Comment by kei02003 — March 2, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

  2. Yeah, we love “House”…he’s so wonderfully curmudgeon-y.

    Comment by llcall — March 2, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

  3. Merry Christmas, Call Family!

    Comment by Andrea — March 2, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

  4. Beautiful scripture, great pictures, fun update. Miss you!

    Comment by V. Blanchard — March 2, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  5. We finally had our first Christmas tree last Christmas, too. It made December more cozy.

    Comment by Nikki — March 3, 2009 @ 5:17 am

  6. your niece looks like she could be yours! so cute!

    Comment by cat — March 3, 2009 @ 5:32 am

  7. Have you ever seen Jeeves and Wooster? I may have talked to you about it last summer. A young, unblighted Hugh Laurie plays an independently wealthy habberdasher who is attended/advised/assisted/clothed by Jeeves, his personal valet, a “gentleman’s gentleman.” Based on books by P.G. Wodehouse (whom you would LOVE, bytheway) it is a happy thought if ever there was one. And makes watching House at least twice as entertaining, knowing the man’s roots…

    Comment by Aislin — March 4, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  8. So glad to hear that after some really rough patches last year things are going well for you. I can’t believe you are teaching at BYU, I had no idea, how exciting!

    Comment by Michelle M — March 7, 2009 @ 6:01 am

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