I wrote this letter in response to the Temples letter to us. The Temples were the couple that counseled Brad and I in our premarital church classes. They were such an amazing couple and we hadn't heard from each other for about a year. I thought the letter would be a good summary of our 2010 for your blog kids :)
**It was such a pleasure receiving your Christmas card and letter! We can not believe Trey is already a teenager. Your family looks so beautiful. I can only imagine how busy you must be with four kiddos. You definitely got us laughing when you spoke of Tori in your letter. I was reading your letter out load to Brad and we both started chuckling. Ellaina is three as well and she pretty much always has us on our toes too. We try our hardest to stay a couple steps ahead of her, but from time to time we are not so successful :)
She is our high spirited child, with a fun personality. My mom tends to remind me that I was very much that way too. She goes to preschool twice a week at Cottonwood Church and enjoys it. She loves to go swimming, princesses (especially Cinderella), books, and is all about playing with her friends. Every morning she asks me if we are going to play with "my friends" today. We try to have at least one play date a week. Brad's sister Kim and I usually get the kids together once or twice a week as well. My nephew is two, so all three kids have a blast together.
Braden is 19 months and is just like his daddy with his sweet and shy nature. Actually he is only shy at first and then becomes our little chatter box once he warms up to people. I was worried he wouldn't get a word in, with how much Ellaina and I talk, but that is not the case at all. It is quite the opposite, which makes it more fun for Ellaina and him to play together. We made the mistake this year of not getting them similar toys for Christmas. This has caused a little bickering...mostly over the scooter. I clear out my photography studio after each session, so the kids can bike and play around in it. We feel so incredibly blessed with our little ones. They both have such fun personalities and big hearts. It has brought us such joy watching them grow thus far.
Brad is still working for TXI. About a year ago they promoted him to Plant Operator of the McKinney plant. He now works about five minutes from home, which we all enjoy. There company has been supplying the concrete for the big State 121/Hwy 75 construction, so he is still putting in around 60 hours a week. Thankfully he really enjoys his work and all the challenges. He doesn't like being bored, and the promotion has kept him from being that. He also gets to remain outside about half the day, so that is a bonus to him. As strange as it sounds, his long work hours has only made our relationship stronger. We all get so excited when daddy arrives home and really cherish the time we get to share as a family. It doesn't leave us time to sweat the small stuff, so usually we don't. Our house might not always be as clean as we would like it, but our family is stronger then we could dream instead :)
As for me, I get to stay at home with our kids. Brad works so hard to make that possible and it has been such a blessing. I always wanted the option to be able to stay home with our kids, which was part of the reason we moved to Texas. Now that we have made it happen, I can truly cherish every moment of it. I keep a blog and make a book of it every year, so someday my kids can read all about their childhood. It also helps my family in Minnesota feel closer. I do get the best of both worlds since I still have my photography business. We moved into a house that allowed me to have a portrait studio in it. It works out perfectly and allows me to do the other thing I LOVE! I am also the Hospitality Coordinator of a church MOPS group. It allows me the opportunity to welcome and meet some amazing women.
It is crazy to think this is what our lives have become in five short years since our marriage began. I could have never dreamed it better...unless of course we were still in Minnesota at times :) When I got your card I started thinking back to all your helpful advice. We were truly blessed to have you both for our preparation couple. We are definitely a stronger couple because of it. Thank you for all you have done for us! We will continue to keep Trey and you all in our prayers. Hope have a wonderful Christmas and a magical New Year!
Brad & Kym Jackson
**Well, that was a summary of what's happening in the Jackson household 2009. Of course all the good stuff is right here in our blog. It will be fun to read it 30 years from now when our kids may have kids of their own :)
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