Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!
2012 has been an absolutely amazing year for the Masheks! Of course this year, we’ve been watching our beautiful little boy, Drake grow up! It is so crazy to think at this time last year I was writing the last words of our Christmas letter from my hospital bed, as we welcomed our little guy into the world on December 11. It was wonderful that Floyd was able to use personal and sick time from teaching all the way through to Christmas break, so he had almost a full month off to spend at home with Drake & I. We enjoyed a quiet New Year’s at home and for the first time in many years fell asleep before midnight! I must say, though, we were incredibly blessed in the early months that Drake was an exceptionally good newborn—snuggly, not fussy, and melting your heart with every blink of his bright blue eyes.
Just before I went back to work, we learned that Floyd’s stepdad Nick had passed away. He’d been battling lung cancer for many months. Nick was a wonderful man with a great sense of humor, wonderful smile and laugh. He is greatly missed. Fortunately, our little family was able to make the trip back to Missouri to be with the family for his funeral services.
I went back to work full-time in late January—just six and a half weeks after giving birth. It was extremely difficult going back and leaving him at daycare for the first time, but he adjusted wonderfully. Drake started sleeping through the night on a pretty routine basis around four months. This is also the time he started eating solid foods. We learned quickly rice cereal was yucky and he loved banana oatmeal! Just before Easter, we dedicated Drake to the Lord during a service at our Iowa church home, Prairie Lakes. At six months, he started crawling. Between months six and nine he started getting more adventurous, pulling himself up onto everything in sight and pushing a walker around. By 10 months—he was off and running!
Nana and Papa Steavenson made frequent trips to Iowa to visit their grandbaby. We also enjoyed a few visits from Floyd’s twin brother Vaughn, his wife and their three children, his sister Sheena and friend Dustin with her son Dominick, Gran & Faf, other friends and family.
In June, we took a mini-vacation with my parents to Minneapolis with Drake in tow. He did pretty well in the car, and was a great little guy through the whole trip. As a treat to my mom for Mother’s Day, I got tickets for her and me to see the traveling Princess Diana exhibit at the Mall of America. It was fantastic. The boys did a little shopping, and after mom and I finished the tour, we all had lunch, then picked out an outfit for Drake to wear in his 6 month pictures. We spent a lot of time in the hotel pool—it was Drake’s first time in the water and he LOVED it!! Before we left the Twin Cities, we took a steamboat ride on Lake Minnetonka. It was relaxing and quite enjoyable. Drake fell asleep toward the end—what a great end to our great little getaway!
In late June, we visited friends in our old stomping grounds of Quincy, Illinois. Our good friend Julie Ginos took Drake’s 6 month photos, which turned out beautifully! We stopped at my old station, KHQA and had lunch with former colleague Stephen Johnson. It was the first time I’d stepped foot in my old office since I left over 6 years ago.
We made a quick visit to Missouri in July so Floyd & Vaughn could celebrate their birthdays together with a pool party in Elsberry. Drake got to enjoy the water again and spend time with his cousins.
While Floyd was on summer break, we kept Drake out of daycare all but two days a week (to keep his spot for the fall), so the boys had a lot of good bonding time.
The fall flew by with the busyness of work and school. We got to watch an exciting football season at one of Floyd’s schools as the team made it all the way to the state championship game, finishing in second. We were also thrilled to attend my cousin Ben and his new bride Casey’s wedding in Missouri.
We enjoyed an awesome Thanksgiving in Missouri, which included a family celebration of Drake’s first birthday. We’ll be spending Christmas here in Iowa with my parents.
All year, we’ve been blessed to lead a great small group Bible study with other young couples, whom have become great friends. We’ve also stayed very involved in the Waterloo Jaycees. I was honorably named a top local Jaycee this year, and Floyd & I chaired the “Gift of Giving,” taking 90 at-risk youth shopping for Christmas gifts.
It’s been a whirlwind of a year, one that’s included a lot of personal and spiritual growth. Our hearts overflow with the joys of parenting. God has blessed us with an amazing gift, and we will treasure the blessing Drake is all the days of our lives.
Here’s hoping joy finds you, too, this holiday season!
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This post was written by kmashek on December 16, 2012