Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Greetings from the Shepherds

Wow! Hard to believe another year has flown by. I'm happy to report it was another year of marital bliss in the Shepherd household. Everyday is of course just another day in paradise around here, but these are some of the highlights from the year:
~We managed to survive serving in the nursery. What was meant to be a "3-6 month calling" became an 16 month venture. Word on the street is our ward is splitting in January and we'll be released from the nursery. Surprisingly, I think we'll both miss it.
~Nathan got his second promotion at work! He is still enjoying his job with Wal-Mart and we are grateful that his job brought us out to Bentonville. Laurel on the other hand, works at a place where there is no such thing as a raise or a promotion (no bitterness here) but still finds her work as a health coach to be challenging and fulfilling.
~We took a fabulous trip to New York City with Nate's parents. We saw all the sights, went to Newsies on Broadway, and checked one more place off our bucket list.
~We drove the long trek to Utah in July to visit the Feuz side of the family. We entertained ourselves by listening to the Hunger Games and making frequent stops to walk Ollie. Half way across Nebraska our AC temporarily went out and I was afraid the flame of our love would too, but we survived, albeit a little grumpily for a few hours :) We ran our 15k in Logan, did some camping, and spent a lot of time hanging out with the fam.
~We had several visits over the year from both sides of the family. We are so very blessed to have family who will take the time to fly out to Arkansas and come stay at the Ozark Inn.
~Speaking of the Ozark Inn, we made several updates to the Inn this year. Next thing you know, we'll be a 5 star hotel! We've upgraded from an air mattress to a real bed in one of our guest suites! We've also finally finished painting (almost). My favorite improvement was granite counter tops and new back splash in our kitchen!

~Our niece, Chloe was born. She is such a fun baby and we are so happy Bryson and Alyssa live in Bentonville, so we get to see this sweet girl often! We are also excited to have another new niece and nephew on the Feuz side of the family in early 2013!

~The biggest highlight from our year was probably the addition of Ollie to our family. I never really thought of myself as a "dog person" let alone an "indoor dog person."  Nonetheless, I've seen the light and Ollie has converted me. He certainly keeps us entertained and we feel lucky to have him.

All in all, its been a busy but wonderful year. Just like anyone else, we've had our trials and struggles along the way, but we know our Father in Heaven loves us and His plan is infinitely better than anything we could come up with. We are so grateful for all we have and for this time of year to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May you feel the love of Christ in your homes this Christmas season as well as the whole year long. Merry Christmas!