Dear Dad & Mom,
You will be so surprised when you visit this summer! The new bedrooms had barely taken shape when you were here last fall, but now they not only have color on the walls, but carpet on the floors and beds and curtains in, too! Merritt and I moved into our room the end of January. At that point, we moved the girls back into the living room and finished their sheetrock, getting them all moved in by the first of March, right before we came to visit you. (We knew if we didn’t get into the rooms before we left, things would get too busy when we got back. Thanks again for all your help with the addition, Dad—it would have taken a lot longer without your concentrated assistance!)
Thanks so much for your hospitality when we were there, your babysitting so Merritt and I could go out together—so good to see you all again. My siblings are growing up way too fast.
Dear Will & Natalie,
Thanks so much for stopping by en route to one of our very favorite places—Yellowstone! How I wish we could be there spending the summer with you (hearing the stories about the cases you deal with in a national park is amazing). But we’re sorta kinda busy here. It was a wet spring, and it’s been a challenge getting the hay in without rain.
It’s the first summer I’ve not worked in the family business, and it’s been quite nice to stay home with the girls. Not that I haven’t kept busy—oh, have I been busy! It seems the laundry and the cooking is never-ending. I didn’t have quite as much time for tending my herb garden or baking this summer, either. But the girls and I got lots of sunshine and had lots of fun together. It’s been fun. Plus, they got to take in their first parade, have visits from Great Papa and Grandma, not to mention you two, Dad and Mom, and a whole bunch of other family members—it’s been a full and busy summer!
It’s so good to see you two so happy together. I just wish you lived closer! Have fun with Dad, Mom, Jessica, and Caleb when they come visit (I’m so glad they get to come before Dad starts his new job!). Give our love to the grizzly bears—and most especially, Riverside Geyser.
Your wedding was beautiful. And my hubby got to come! I’m really glad it rained so he couldn’t be cutting hay, because I’m not sure I could have managed that trip without him. You didn’t know it then, but I was in the throes of morning sickness, and incredibly exhausted from our long summer, too. It was really nice to get away—but even more special to get to see you wed!
You were a beautiful bride. And you seem to have married into a really neat family, too! I’m excited that you will live a bit closer when your husband starts seminary. Maybe, perhaps, we can see each other more often—though probably never again as often as those carefree summers when it seemed we were always visiting there on the ranch.
I’m feeling old. Oh wait, we are old! But I wouldn’t trade our happiness now for those easy days of our childhood. And I know you’d agree—because when you and your new husband came over for dinner when we were visiting my family this fall, it appeared you two enjoy being married just as much as Merritt and I do. Here’s to being honeymooners forever!
your cousin Gretchie
Dear Dad & Mom,
It started snowing as soon as you left for Israel. We had a very white Thanksgiving! Not to mention a busy one, with you gone, and the guys trying to keep the work all done in addition to keeping us plowed out from under all this beautiful white fluff.
I think the snow is here to stay until next spring. But it helps it feel like the Christmas season, since I haven’t yet had the energy to tackle decorating. We decided that a tree wouldn’t be a wise idea for us this year, since Mary would be worse than a cat and dog combined when it came to ornaments and trees! Maybe between all of us we can keep her out of the tree when we’re over at your house.
I am planning to put up Christmas lights around a few of the windows—I think the girls would love it. We’re staying warm, thanks to our cozy house and ample wood supply for the stove. I’m making applesauce and apple butter and trying to get back into the swing of things since coming home from my parents’.
Merritt and I went into the hospital for an ultrasound on Monday (we left the girls with Marlys, remembering how Ruth had turned off the power to the entire ultrasound system during Mary’s ultrasound!). Our newest little baby is growing just fine—an active little one, hardly posing for the camera. But we got lots of pictures anyway—remind me to show you when you get home. There are a few other surprises when you get home, too—like our new car, large enough to hold our growing family!
We love you and can’t wait to see you when you get back. (Ruth has said nearly every day since you left that she wants you to “drive” back from Israel that day.) So thankful the fire wasn’t worse over there. But I’m still jealous you got to meet Elisabeth!
your daughter in law