Welcome to the thirty-first edition of our family year-end letter. Other than a few very difficult years, this life has been pretty happy for us. Robin and I love the annual letters that come our way at this time of year. We have far away friends we hear from once a year (no, they aren’t on Facebook, gasp!). We hang their family pictures on our fridge and smile.
So, let’s skip past the stressful days, car repairs, unexpected expenses and hard days that come into each of our lives and get to the good stuff!
Donald Jacob (23)
Here’s the biggest news right off the bat. Our family added a member this year when Laura Mason became Laura Linscott! (I’m trying to convince her to change her middle name to Lynn. Nice ring to that.) Our baby got married! Officiating their wedding ceremony was the highlight of my year. I can’t even communicate what that felt like. I remember 2011 when I begged God to let me live long enough not to spoil my daughter’s wedding. I’m pretty pumped that not only did I survive but got to hang around to go three for three in the officiate-my-kids’-weddings category.
Jake and Laura live just a few miles away and attend our church. (Can I tell you how much it thrills me to see them walk in each week? So cool!)
Jake works harder than a coal miner at being a chef. His hours are way too long but between cooking, hosting wine pairing dinners and handling special events, he is building a resume that will open doors for his future endeavors. Laura is working in retail and hoping for a lead into her field of study which was in the investment/finance world. If you do that stuff you should hook her up. She’s a smart cookie.
Sharaya Michelle (25)
One of the things I love most is getting to witness my daughter and her husband Jake (yes, we have two Jakes) still acting like newlyweds after three and a half years of marriage. I love hearing them laugh and I love seeing her Jake play with her and goof around just like her daddy has done since she was born. What a gift it is to see my daughter’s husband give her support, encouragement and praise!
Shara and Jake and our granddog golden retriever (moose), Bailey, live about 20 minutes away in Yarmouth. Jake manages the front of the house at the same restaurant where our Jake chefs. (Is “chefs” a real word?) Shara loves her job working with autistic children. This summer she passed her boards and now has a bunch of letters after her name.
Joshua Abram (27)
We had the thrill of going to NYC to listen to Josh use a lot of large words that we didn’t understand to defend his PhD research. The charts and illustrations sure were pretty and all the science nerds seemed genuinely interested. So, that was cool. It was fun hanging out with he and his Frozen-obsessed wife Kristen (I like to tease her) for a couple days, sleeping on the floor in their tiny apartment and eating at nice restaurants.
Now he is at Tufts Medical School in Boston to get his MD (more letters after his name too) and Kristen is a nanny for a nice family.We are in the process of converting our basement into an “apartment” for them to help them while Josh finishes at Maine Medical Center rotations for a few years. (Okay, okay, you’re right. We also would like them close so we can love on our future grandbabies!)
Robin (still looks like 29)
What a huge relief in August when Robin left the stress of her hospital job to reenter the world of education. I love hearing her talk of her students and seeing her eyes light up when she makes a connection. I have to admit that I most love that she now has days off and holidays and summer breaks and SNOW DAYS. She continues to run and I actually got her to join me for TWO cycling events this year! I’ll have her with me on the Trek Across Maine in no time. (Don’t tell her I said that. It’s my secret plan.) I used a surprise Christmas blessing to buy her a “new to her” road bike.
Her job is so close that it is faster for her to walk to school each morning rather than drive her car. She looks pretty cute heading off with her lunch and her school bag each morning.
I’m thankful she continues to put up with having a husband like me who nearly gets us thrown out of Walmart by playing with most everything I pass. She usually just laughs and shakes her head.
Me? (51 but look like 60)
I celebrated 2 years since Josh saved my life by giving me half of his liver on 5/7/12. (Video of our story) My recovery has been truly remarkable. This year I hit my goal of a half-century ride (50 miles in one day) and had several weeks of 150+ miles on my bike. I plan to mark 3 years by completing the American Lung Association Trek Across Maine in June. That’s 180 miles in three days. (Is it tacky to hit you up to sponsor me in our Christmas letter? Um, yeah. Guess I won’t … yet. More info about that right here.)
The little church that asked me to take the lead is not so little anymore (fbcwestbrook.com). It is fascinating and humbling to watch so many people come out each week. We have so many new friends now. Robin and I are enjoying it a lot.
I am fighting the workaholic part of my personality and trying to maintain balance. There’s so much I want to do! I may dial back on my photography business in 2015, shoot fewer weddings and maybe eliminate senior portraits to help me preserve some times of rest that were lacking this year.
This year wedding photography took us from Maine to Florida to Indiana to Ohio and then Hawaii. Yes, it is certainly a rough life!
Pom has made zero progress educationally and zero change in her career this year. She seems content to lay in a tiny, curled up ball in her fluffy pink bed for most of every day. Robin calls her “Eighty-eight” since she ranked 88th in the list of the top 100 smartest dog breeds. That may be a bit high from what we’ve observed. I’m pretty sure she takes after me while the rest of our kids are smart like Robin. We love our mini-schnauzer even though she won’t go out in the rain to do her business without her raincoat. (Pom has a Facebook page. Yeah, really.)
So there you have it. That’s a lot of the news from the Land of Linscott.
We pray that your 2015 will be spectacular. We pray that the challenges you face will make you stronger and that you will climb over them quickly. We pray that you will be happy and enjoy friendship and community. We pray that you will know Hope in 2015.
We’re blessed to have so many friends, great neighbors and such a tight family.
Far away friends, please stop by when you’re traveling to New England?
Have a wonderful 2015,
Scott, Robin and Pompom