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First solo Christmas letter

This year has been full of big life changes. It’s been such a wild ride that when I look back, it’s hard to see where I came from because of all the twists and turns.

This is my first solo Christmas letter as an adult living on my own. Usually, I’m featured in the family newsletter that my parents send out around Christmastime, but this year I think it’s time for me to own the update and let you all know what my life has been like for the past year.

I graduated from Liberty University in December 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Since I had an extra semester to kill before participating in the graduation ceremony in May, I decided to attend Focus Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs, Co., a one-semester program that ultimately changed my life. I made so many amazing and lasting friendships while I was there, and deepened my relationship with the Lord. It was an amazing opportunity, and I would encourage anyone who is interested to take the plunge and apply. You won’t regret it.

Focus Leadership Institute -- Class of Spring 2010

After graduating from FLI, I flew back to Liberty and graduated alongside my roommates, classmates and friends. The Class of 2010 was dubbed “the last Jerry generation,” since we were the last freshman class under the watch of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr. He was definitely missed. My parents, siblings and both sets of grandparents were able to be with me at graduation, which was a huge blessing.

A week after I graduated, I began my new job as a copy editor with The News & Advance, Lynchburg’s local paper. It was a quick transition from student to young professional, especially when I had been expecting to go home to Spokane, Wash., for good. But after securing a car and an apartment in less than 48 hours, I accepted the fact that I would be in Virginia for a little while longer. Seven months later, I am happy to report that I still love my job and my coworkers. I couldn’t have asked for a better entrance into the “real world.”

I recently became a volunteer receptionist at Bikram Yoga Lynchburg, where I also practice yoga four times a week. It is a 90-minute class in a 104-degree room, so it works up a good sweat. After sitting at a desk all week, it feels great to stretch. The yoga studio is owned by two sisters, and I’ve had a blast getting to know them so far.

I was only allotted 5 days of vacation for the year, so I was able to go home in July to see my good friends Drew and Amanda get married, and then again in October to attend Jay and Janet Jarvis’ wedding reception. It was good to see my family and friends, even though my visits were too short, and I look forward to my next visit in March 2011.

I have an amazing roommate, Kim, and we adopted a dog from the animal shelter in September. She is a 4-year-old lab mix named Mia, and she has been an awesome addition to the apartment. She protects us and loves on us like crazy, and we wouldn’t give her up for the world.

me and Mia
Kim and me

I currently attend Oasis Church in Amherst County. It is a growing community that meets in a high school gymnasium, and the teaching has been fantastic. I am challenged every Sunday, and I love being with a group of believers that is real and honest. It makes me miss my church family at Berean Bible, but Oasis has done a good job of filling that hole while I’m in Virginia.

I was not able to go back to Spokane for the holidays this year because I’m working on Christmas Eve and Christmas. I’m missing everyone back home, but I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’m looking forward to the day when I come home and don’t have a departure date. But until then, I love and miss you all very much, and can’t wait to see you soon.

This year has been awesome, challenging and everything in between, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it for the world. I’m looking forward to 2011 for so many reasons, but mostly to see what great things God is going to do.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

How Christmas all began

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. ~ Isaiah 9:6-7

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Christ follower. Wife. Mama.

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