Here We Come 2019!

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All gathered together, just after Christmas.

It has been a whirlwind few months, and once again we’ve not updated this blog as often as we’d like. Days after our last update, on October 8th, in a much planned ahead event that he kindly waited to let us be a part of, Josiah proposed to his amazing Julia, on bended knee in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland. Norbert and I got to join her father and two younger brothers as excited witnesses – along with all the scores of tourists who cheered along too! Their wedding won’t be until the end of September, giving us a bit of a break between two weddings in our family within one year! Also in October I got to fly out to Denver with Josiah for the 2nd Birthday of his precious daughter Aubrieanne. I was there for a week, and Siah for several days and we made lots of sweet memories. In November Anna and Shiloh moved up from Orange County and joined us living at Grandma’s, giving them a break financially and making wedding planning so much easier.

 

Speaking of wedding planning – Anna and Shiloh’s wedding was beautiful; it was the intimate and quiet ceremony they wanted in an enchanted garden setting. They asked Norbert to perform the ceremony, and it was his honor – and his first wedding (though not his last, Josiah and Julia have also asked he perform their wedding). January in Los Angeles can be iffy, and though the weather had been beautiful and mild for the weeks and days just before, January 5th ended up wet and cold (by So. California standards!), and yet it never poured until long afterward, and the light rain let up enough to allow the ceremony to happen, if a bit soggy, and then stopped completely for the reception time. And the bride and groom were never upset, but fairly floating above the weather concerns – they were getting married regardless of the rain and were just happy it was finally happening, wet or no.

We were blessed to be able to have a special collection of family and friends join us, several from far away – including Norbert’s mom Ibolya from Hungary, dear family friend Zuza from Serbia who accompanied Ibolya and translated for her, and my sister Sarah from Oregon.  And while Anna’s best friend Ali could not make it due to having just flown back to Hungary, two special friends were able to come – Skylar from Arizona and Kyra from Colorado. Kyra is Aubrie’s mama and has long been a special friend to all our kids and Aubrie’s birth only made her family membership official, it had already existed before and she was thrilled to be Anna’s Maid of Honor. Anna really wanted a ‘small’ wedding, the final count was 30 and they kept it to that select handful of close friends and some family. It’s been funny to watch as Julia begins planning her and Josiah’s wedding, the difference in the personalities and in the weddings both girls were planning. Julia and Josiah’s will be the bigger event that the bulk of our extended family will be invited to, and yet both couples will still get married.  It’s a reminder to me that the wedding is ultimately not what is most important – but rather, as my cousin’s three year old daughter exclaimed when seeing pictures of Anna and Shiloh’s wedding, “Wooow, she’s SO married!”. Big, elaborate wedding, or small, intimate affair – either way, a marriage began, and it’s the marriage that matters. Our family is indelibly altered for the better by the addition of Shiloh, and we can’t wait for the official addition of Julia (though we certainly already consider her another daughter!). The creation of the new Ennis family, of Mr. & Mrs. Shiloh Ennis was a joy to witness. Our family grows, and theirs just begins.

Enjoy the many pictures from the past months and especially from the wedding (more to come, not all are edited yet)! Much is unfolding and changing, I’ve not had much time to collect many thoughts – it has been an amazing season for our family, not just in Anna’s life. Norbert and I return to Hungary along with our dogs Stitch and Gizmo in less than a month, on Feb. 17th. We return home, and we are beyond ready. We are also looking ahead to a new season, with some new possible ministry opportunities we’re excited to pursue, as well as continuing in our hosting of retreats for pastors and their wives and in seeing those retreats expand.  It has been a fruitful, significant and memory-making season for our family here in California for almost two years. We know we made the right choice in coming, despite the expense and challenge. The changes in both Anna’s and Siah’s lives alone, in being here for them through these changes, would have been worth it – but God also, of course, also used this time in our lives and we are grateful and rather in awe. It has been a season of ‘taking care of our family’, and while that never really ends – we’re still parents and grandparents – we’re excited to be stepping forward into a new season with less family-care and more opportunities for serving others outside our family in Hungary. Here we come 2019!!

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