The Christmas Letter Has Gone Digital

I have become a big fan of outsourcing.  This year I discovered that I could have someone else shop for my groceries and it has changed. my. life.  I did pretty much all of my shopping on Amazon this year, and mobile ordering my coffee has become a way of life.  It might be a sickness.

On my quest for a complete automation of my family’s home life I also discovered that Shutterfly has a department of elves that will print, stuff, address, stamp, and mail your Christmas cards.  I love America.

It is because of this you are likely reading this since I put a handy dandy little link on the back of our cards this year. So without further ado I present to you, my dear reader:

The Smalling Year in Review: Christmas Letter Edition.

2016 has been good to us and we hope you have found something amazing to be thankful for as you reflect on your year as well.  There was no shortage of hilarity and funny quotes from the two little people in our family [and the big ones, too].

First Up: The Big Guy

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Matt is working hard at finishing up his last year of school and still the cutest Barista at Starbucks.  He is currently pursuing a career in law enforcement which he is pretty excited about.  Matt’s heart for as long as we’ve been married has been to “help people” which neither of us had any clarity on until just recently but God is ever at work and He is slowly revealing those pieces of this very confusing puzzle.  We aren’t completely sure how this will turn out but we’re excited about what 2017 will bring for Matt!

Last year for Christmas I gifted Matt a trip to Jamaica with our favorite non-profit, Feed the Hunger.  He spent 4 days in schools, churches, and the community serving the needs of the locals there.

It was an incredible experience for him and we are hoping to take a trip as a couple in the coming years.

This One Got a Promotion

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img_9485Jude is 5 this year and still the funniest kid I know.  He’s had a great year at his new school and is still King of All the Things.  He’s taking his role of Big Brother seriously and gosh is he cute!

This year he played soccer for the first time and I think it’s safe to say sports may or may not be his thing.  Let’s be honest, he pretty much just played for the snacks at the end [can’t blame him, he gets it honestly].  We’re going to try baseball in the spring so fingers crossed a little of that athletic ability of Mom and Dad did get passed on to our oldest!

This year we also celebrate Jude’s decision to have “Jesus wiv in his heart forwever” — sidenote: the Holy Spirit may dwell within him but it doesn’t mean his isn’t a rotten little sinner some days.  #stoppeeingonyourbrother

And One More Makes 4

ike

February came and brought us this little bundle of joy.  Ike is 10 months now and is an eating machine.  Exhibits A-E:

He’s getting ready to walk soon and those meaty thighs will come in handy when he does.  Besides his love of food, he loves his Big Brother and making noise.  He’s loud and funny and sweet and stinky and full of life.  Matt and I can’t remember our life before him and now we can’t imagine it without him.

The Big 3-0

I feel like this picture sums up my entire year.

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I turned 30 this year and didn’t die so there’s that.  I feel like that alone should be celebrated!

I’m still working as a Children’s Pastor and enjoying the challenge of ministering to kids  and their parents in a crazy world.  This year has been an adjustment as I figure out how to keep the plates spinning and making sure everyone leaves the house with pants on.  So far so good.

We are looking forward to 2017.  It promises to be even more fun than 2016!  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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