Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Baurs! We have had a very full year which we will use as an excuse for yet again failing to get out real cards this year...
Our jobs, grad school, new friendships, nearby family, and travels kept our year packed to the brim and our attempt to keep up a blog has proved helpful as even we have already forgotten all that the year has held. 

In January, we travelled to the Pacific Northwest to celebrate our birthdays. We stayed in Seattle and visited Vancouver and Portland. We fell in love with the area and its gorgeous green scenery. It now holds a top spot on our list of favorite travels. Pictured below, Multnomah Falls along the Columbia River outside of Portland. 

In April, we moved into the Domain development and now we can walk out our door and right to a huge variety of shops, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. Most importantly, Matt now gets to walk to work everyday! We continue to spend our free time catching movies at Alamo Drafthouse, trying to whittle down our list of new restaurants to try, and catching up with work and church friends around town. 
Our apartment is the one with festive lights and the tree in the window as seen below.

In July, we travelled to our fifth continent when we joined a group from Westover and spent a week in Lima falling in love with children at a community that is home to over 900 homeless children. We had a  great time trying to keep up with the 5-6 year old boys we were placed with all week. Since we started supporting this mission, it was a goal of ours to be able to visit and we are grateful we had the chance to see this incredible place in person.  
After our week in Lima at the children's home, we flew to Cusco and toured the picturesque ancient city before traveling by bus, train and van to Machu Picchu. It was breathtaking to behold and we soaked up our hours on the mountaintop with its mysterious ruins and incredible views. 

Eduard was the highlight of our Peruvian trip, and really our favorite person of the year. He grabbed our hearts in a way that we will not be able to forget and it was special for us both to make such a bond with this unique child. He was likely newer to the community and didn't have the "cute" ways of getting attention that some of the other boys did, so when Matt went to him, chose him for his small group, and drew him out from the back of the room he was so delighted to be noticed and immediately lit up around Matt. Eduard is a talented little artist and we made picture messages back and forth to each other all week when our Spanglish failed us. He became very affectionate in our short time there and it broke our hearts to say goodbye. We pray for his future and that we might get to reunite again someday. (He is pictured below, being held up by Matt). 

After two years of working on my graduate degree, I graduated this month with a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership. We took a whirlwind road trip out and back to the graduation ceremony and are already enjoying the extra free time in the evenings after work. 
Matt was such a help and encouragement in so many incredible ways throughout the entire degree and reaching this milestone truly felt like a team effort. I am deeply thankful for supportive family, encouraging friends, excellent educators, and an endlessly generous and loving husband who all made it possible for me to pursue this level of education. 

With much of our family moving closer this year or living nearby in Texas, we were given so many opportunities to share in celebrations, football games, meals, and weekends together. We were grateful for further travels that took us to see beloved grandparents, to family weddings, and to new-for-us pockets of the US. 
We are also very grateful for the new friendships we developed through work as Matt became very active with coworkers, going to Top Golf, joining fantasy sports leagues, and playing basketball games twice a week and I made wonderfully close friends who now are neighbors who we meet for dinner, Christmas parties, and shopping dates. 

Despite the trials and illnesses faced by our families this year, we still find so many blessings to be grateful for as we reflect on 2013. We spent the last few days celebrating Christmas with the Heyens in Houston, and tomorrow we set sail on a Baur Family Cruise to Cozumel! 
We pray that 2014 is a blessed year for all who we love and we look forward to the new adventures to come. Merry Christmas! 

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1 comment:

  1. You guys have had an AMAZING 2013! It's awesome to see all the highlights in one post! I hope 2014 is just as fun! :)