Merry Christmas 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We hope this letter finds you well.  As we reflect on 2013, it certainly has been a full year of blessings.  To start off the year, we were both able to travel with Medical Ministry International to Jamaica again to serve the people of St. Elizabeth.  We were able to lead a team from Cedarville/the Dayton area of 3 physicians, 2 pharmacy students, 3 pharmacy residents, and 4 nursing students along with Sarah our friend and nurse!  We joined approximately 30 more people in Jamaica and had 2 dental teams, and 2 medical teams going out each day.  Dustin felt since he had experienced driving on the left side of the road in Ireland, he could handle Jamaica as well.  His job as a general helper was to pick up meals for the teams and deliver them to their on-site clinics throughout the week.  He got to know the Jamaican road system very well, I don’t know how he never got lost! Check out the reflections from our team here! 

Our next adventure was in June, we headed to the west coast with our good friends Josh and Sarah.  We started in San Francisco and ended in Seattle.  It was so wonderful to see the beauty of this area and enjoy time with friends.  We were able to spend a day with my friend Mike from pharmacy school.  We hiked just north of SanFran with him and did some sightseeing.  Dustin of course got to see Apple Headquarters and was SO EXCITED to eat lunch at the Mac Cafe with his friend and past co-worker from Whirlpool Mark.

Josh and Sarah joined us and we explored more of SanFrancisco,  Napa Valley, the Redwood National Park, Brookings,Oregon,  Coastal Oregon, Crater LakeCentral Oregon, Portland & the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Rainer National Park, and Seattle!  The links above will take you to those posts if you want to read more!

Our next “journey” began in July when we found out we would be a family of 3 next year. We had been praying God would bless us with a child sometime in the next year and we were(are) so excited!  While it was an interesting first couple months where I was nauseous pretty much all day, and felt like sleeping 12 hours a day (or more!) we did manage to take a few days to spend at the beach in Hilton Head before I spoke at the Annual Association of Asthma Educators Conference in Charleston, SC.

Once September rolled around I was feeling much better and studying a lot for a pharmacy board certification test I took at the end of the month, it seemed like September just flew by!  In October we found out our family addition was going to be a little girl!  We were able to share that news with our family and friends and they are very excited too.

I made a quick trip to Albuquerque in mid October to present some of my research and then it seemed like Thanksgiving was here before we knew it!  Right after Thanksgiving Dustin was offered a position to work with Automattic, the company that owns WordPress, which is the software he has been working with in web developing over the last few years. He is still able to work from home with this position, and many of his co-workers are from around the world.  He is loving this new position and is excited to get to meet some of them face to face in San Fran this coming January.  I just got back from speaking at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Meeting in Orlando.  Let’s just say it was very nice to be able to walk outside without a coat for the majority of the week!

Now we are off to enjoy our last Christmas with our families as just the two of us, we anticipate 2014 to be full of much Joy and the challenges that come with a new baby.  We are excited to begin that journey and thankful for God’s provision thus far and continued provision as we step into the new role of parents.  We are thankful we have  our Heavenly Father, the scripture, and great examples of Godly parents surrounding us that we can lean on into the next phase of life.

We wish you a blessed holiday, and a joyous new year filled with Christ, family, and friends.

Melody, Dustin, and Baby Girl

P.S. Special thank you to Lauren Shepherd, she did all the pictures on this post & they turned out so great!   If you are in the Dayton area, check her out! We took the pictures at Country Charm Tree Farm in Xenia. Such a cute place to get your tree!