Christmas Letter

A Christmas letter? From Amy and Jesse?

Surely you’re not serious!

It’s true. We actually wrote this. While this isn’t the first time we’ve written a Christmas letter, it is the first time we have managed to send one out! We just used the internet this time. So Merry Christmas!

Yes, it’s almost New Year’s, but so what. Happy New Year as well, while we’re at it.

Yes, we really are that geeky. Aside from the fact that we’re posting our Christmas letter online, Amy put a QR code on our Christmas card.

The words on the side are from “I Celebrate the Day” by Relient K. As I (Amy) mentioned earlier, this hasn’t been the easiest Christmas for me. That song has been instrumental in helping me to keep perspective on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

2011 will go down as a very interesting year in the annals of the Carrigan family.

In December, Jesse graduated from UW with his BS in Computing and Software Systems. In February, Amy threw him a graduation bash and surprised her hubby with a rather fun gift.

After that it was time for hard-core baby preparations. Painting the nursery, decorating, and the baby shower.

And then, some time around May 10 something else happened, but I can’t remember what it was…

Oh yeah.

We kinda had a baby.

Aravis has kept us very busy. She’s closing in on 8 months old and she is absolutely beautiful. She’s crawling now, just busted out her first tooth, and is working on her babbling. Her great grandma Jean declares her to be a very bright and alert baby. All of her grandparents and great grandparents are ‘worthless’ when she is around.

We were hit hard with a series of sorrows in August and September. We had bought a Toyota RAV4 in April because Jesse’s 1992 Nissan Sentra did not have room for a car seat. We loved driving it and it did great for several months. At the end of August, Amy and AJ were coming home on 72nd in Tacoma when a car pulled partly out of a driveway and distracted Amy. The traffic in front of her suddenly stopped and she had to hit the brakes. She was able to stop in time but the driver behind her wasn’t. The RAV4 ended up being totaled, and we ended up having to file a claim with our insurance company because the other driver was underinsured. Praise God no one was badly injured (Amy had a mild concussion from the impact and some neck/back pain). This also was a financial blessing in disguise.

The day after the accident, Jesse’s parents came over. They spent a couple of hours with us and Aravis. Dad was going on a trip to hike in California with his brother for about 2 weeks, so we said goodbye and wished him a good trip. Mom called at about 3 P.M. on Sunday of Labor Day weekend from the hospital at UW Medical Center in Seattle. Dad was in the ICU. He had suffered sudden internal bleeding related to chronic liver disease, and the prognosis was not good. Around 11 p.m. on Sept. 4th, Tim Carrigan went to be with Jesus. He was a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather, and a good man. We deeply miss him and wish he had gotten more time to spend with us and with AJ, but we’re thankful that he’s finally well.

Despite the frustration and heartache of all these events, we saw God’s grace in it. Because we had gotten such a good deal on the RAV4, we got more money than we owed on the car. We were able to pay off some credit card debt and buy a new car at a better interest rate. Dad left for his trip the day after the accident; because Amy and AJ were in the accident, he and Mom came over. If the accident hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have gotten a last chance to be with Dad. Dad loved life, but he never wanted to linger ill and helpless. He didn’t suffer long, and we were grateful that he didn’t.

The holidays were a strange time this year, split between the joy of AJ’s first Thanksgiving and Christmas with us and the sorrow of Dad not being here with us. We spent as much time as possible with both of our families, with the truth in mind that life is short and fragile, and we only have so much time on this Earth with the people we love. Thank God for our hope in Christ, and that our lives don’t end here.

With that, goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen this year and we have a lot of hope. May God give you grace, peace, and joy this year in Jesus.

Jesse, Amy, and Aravis

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