Christmas Letter 2014

Hello Family and Friends, we can’t believe it’s time to write our annual Christmas letter again. This year has flown by! To start the year Dustin spent a few weeks on the road traveling to Las Vegas and San Francisco for his new job at Automattic. He was able to spend some time at the Automattic Headquarters AKA “Hawthorne” and meet some of his new co-workers. February we spent preparing and anticipating Baby K’s arrival! In March we were blessed to meet our daughter after a few weeks of additional waiting. March 12th to May is pretty much a blur of sleepless nights, although Dustin did manage to take a work trip to Barbados while I was home with a colicky 5 week old. He won’t be able to live that down!

In June, we welcomed a brother into our family, as Jaclyn tied the knot with Sean! Our summer was pretty low key, Melody started back to work late May and it was a nice transition because the semester was over, so she was able to focus on her practice site and preparing for the fall.  Dustin traveled to Wisconsin for work, he probably could have gone somewhere more exotic, but the group decided to join up with the Milwaukee WordCamp Conference. This also helped the wife jealously factor!

In August we had to travel on the same weekend, so thankfully Grandma and Grandpa Hartzler were available to take care of Baby K! Melody made a whirlwind trip to Chicago for a training session, leaving Dayton at 7am Saturday and returning Sunday afternoon. Dustin headed to Dallas, TX to speak at the Podcast Movement.

By September, classes were in full swing at Cedarville, Melody coordinated two courses and kept busy with her clinical practice this fall. Dustin got to attend his first Automattic Annual Grand Meet-up. This year it was held in Park City, Utah. He had a blast getting to meet everyone that he works with online. As soon as he returned we headed to Florida to take Kenley to the beach for the first time! If you missed that post, here it is!

In October we added another brother to the family. Ashley and Brian tied the knot as well. It was fun to get to introduce Kenley to lots of family and friends with two weddings this year! Before we knew it Thanksgiving was upon us and then Dustin headed off the first week in December to Austin, TX for a team meet-up.

As we look back on the year, we can’t believe we have a 9 month old already! She is crawling all over the place, pulling up, saying Da-Da and the occasional sound that seems like Ma-Ma. The Da-Da is when she’s happy and the Ma-Ma is only when she’s upset, ha! We are so thankful for her, it’s amazing to see the world through her curious beautiful blue eyes. As we reflect on our Savior at Christmas, it amazes us that an All Powerful God took the form of a helpless child to come into this world to save us. The gift of God’s Son as a sacrifice for our sins has become even more real as we hold our precious child.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” ~Philippians 2:5-7~

Gerber Baby Contest

Hi Family and Friends!

Hope you are all doing well, we can’t believe the holiday season is about to be upon us! We are excited to share that with K this year! We wanted to ask each of you a small favor, she is in the Gerber Baby Contest, and we would love it if you could vote for her! The contest runs until December 14th and you can vote daily for a child in each milestone category. If you want added to our daily email reminder to vote list please comment below or email us! Here is the link to vote. You do have to put in your birthday and an email address each day to vote, just use your generic junk email!  :) The picture below is the picture you will see on the voting link!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Dustin and Melody

 

Hartzler-001

Congrats Brian and Ashley!

Just wanted to post an update about another addition to our family. In October, my sister Ashley got married. Kenley acted like a perfect seven month old and stole the show, kidding of course.

Melody and I were both in the wedding party and we were fortunate to have Melody’s parents around to help with Kenley during the day. It was nice to have an extra set of hands because Kenley is much more active than she was when she was only three months old :)

Here are some of the pictures that were taken at the church.

Then we headed down the road to the reception which was held at The Barn at the Meadows. It’s a popular wedding reception spot in Wooster and a really neat location. It’s an old barn that’s converted into the perfect place for a fall wedding reception.

We took some fun fall photos before the festivities began, including some shots of Kenley.

Our family has grown quite a bit in the last year. In the last nine months, we’ve added a daughter, two brothers (in-law) and a niece and a nephew. Whew!

Photo credits to Marty’s Studio.

Vacation 2014

As we wrap up our first vacation as a family of three, we just wanted to share some of our memories from the week. There were a lot of firsts for baby K, including her first plane ride and her first trip to  the beach!

We flew out of Cincinnati because they had a direct flight to Tampa, we always try to avoid stops if possible, especially now when traveling with a baby. We timed the arrival perfectly and were able to walk right on the plane as it was boarding! We didn’t intend this however, but traffic and our ticket not saying “infant in arms” required some delays.  Most people this would make nervous (those that have flown with me in the past can attest!), but most of the time it works out for me, I hate the hurry up and wait process when flying!

We arrived in Tampa on Wednesday afternoon, got our rental car and headed to one of Dustin’s favorite vacation spots Sweet Tomatoes, after a yummy lunch, we made a quick trip to Target for diapers and other essentials. Then conveniently Whole Foods was in the same plaza so we grabbed our groceries for the 3 days in the Tampa area. Our time there we spent enjoying the beach in the mornings and the pool in the afternoon. Baby K did great, even napped in my arms on the beach one day.  It was definitely a different type of trip to the beach with a little one who constantly wanted to eat the sand! It rained a good amount most evenings, but we got one clear night where we were able to watch the sunset over the water. One of my favorite things to do..such a great reminder of the vastness of God’s creation. K is super close to crawling, so a nightly ritual was Dustin trying to teach her! Not sure why he wants her to be more mobile, I’m ok with a few more weeks of the sitting, no crawling stage!

We headed to Orlando on Sunday to enjoy some time at a nice resort my mom was able to give us a few days at with her RCI points.  We’ve already decided we need to come back in about six years when we are ready to bring her to DisneyWorld. The property is great, multiple pools, 2 lazy rivers, mini golf, game rooms, all in the heart of the disney properties.  We went to Downtown Disney this morning to walk around a bit, and of course get K a souvenir. We enjoyed the pools and lazy river and relaxing here. We are headed home tomorrow. Hope you enjoy our cute baby pool and beach photos. Since K turned out to be a good traveler…we are dreaming up the next more adventurous trip for 2015!

Baby K is 6 months!

 

We can’t believe it’s been 6 months already since we welcomed our beautiful little girl into this world!  We wanted to share a quick update and some photos for those that don’t catch her updates on Facebook!  All is well here..we are getting sleep most nights!  She started sleeping 8 hours straight early on but when teeth started coming in or she hits a growth spurt we are up at least once time.  She’s babbling, rolling all over the place, and sitting up!  She’ll be crawling before we know it.  Stay tuned for professional photos next week!

 

 

 

Congrats Jaci and Sean!

Just wanted to post an update! The last three months have flown by, can’t believe how big Kenley is getting, she was 13 lbs this week!  She is doing great and we are getting some sleep most nights. :) Last weekend, my middle sister Jaclyn got married.  It was a beautiful day all around. She looked gorgeous! Dustin and I were both in the wedding, so thankfully Dustin’s parents came with us to assist with Kenley. Here are some pictures of our little family in the park before the wedding!

 

 

The wedding was on the BB RiverBoats on the Ohio River.  The ceremony was on the top of the boat and then the reception on the top floor.  The weather was perfect, the only interference was a boater who honked his horn multiple times and the whole boat shouted during the ceremony. Can’t wait to see the photographer’s pictures of the ceremony.  Here are a few from the reception.

 

Those our some pictures from the day that were taken with our camera.  We can’t wait to see the photographer’s shots, I need an updated sister photo in my family room and some updated family photos (we all looked pretty good I must say!) Here is a little part of my speech, I’m so proud of Jaclyn and so honored to be part of this special day!

“…it’s a joy to watch my little sister marry her best friend today. My “Amber” baby is all grown up! For those of you that don’t know, when mom was pregnant with Jaclyn I had been in the nursery at church where there was a baby Amber. I kept telling them I wanted an Amber baby and low and behold they named her Jaclyn Amber! We have some great memories growing up from playing travel agents in the back of the conversion van on those what seemed like never ending drives to the beach with the brochures found at every restaurant stop! Or once we got there making seashell museums and trying to charge the family admission.

Getting to cheer together in High School was also fun (probably more for me than you since you were always lil Hall & I’m not sure you liked that)! But also in high school I watched you grow to know Jesus and accept him as your personal Lord and savior. I was a proud big sister then and now. Jaclyn you never cease to amaze me with your determination and drive, you always get done what you set your mind to. Even if it’s different than our family is used to, you were never afraid to set your own path. I love your passion for your work and serving the community around you. I also love watching you serve Brookelyn and Gregory, it’s very apparent how much you already love them.

Sean, I am excited to finally have a brother! It has been a joy to watch your relationship with Jaclyn grow over the last few years. I am thankful that you also seek Christ in your decisions, and I pray that you will continue to seek him now as the head of your household.

My prayer for both of you is the same as Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, one of my favorite scriptures verses. Found in Chapter Ephesians 3 vs 16-19.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I pray that God will bless your marriage abundantly as your household serves him and seeks him daily.”