Merry Christmas 2013!

Thom Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas from the Thoms!

In another break with tradition, Natalie and I are turning to our seriously-neglected blog to fulfill our Christmas greeting card needs this year. If you really want, you can click on our picture and print it to hang on your fridge/door/dartboard :-)

But now, it’s the time of year to look back and reflect on what we’ve learned in 2013, what we’ve accomplished, and how the Lord has blessed us. For starters, in April we moved again. It’s nothing in comparison to some of our military friends, but we’re now in our third residence in 4 years. We’re looking forward to a day where we can actually settle down in a home for several years, but for now, we’re happy to have an apartment that’s very affordable and super-conveniently located to Natalie’s jobs and a lot of shopping and eating — whether the latter is a positive or negative, we’re still unsure.

Natalie has spent all of 2013 as an Instructional Assistant in Westfield and will be making a small pivot in jobs there to start 2014 — moving within the same school to an ESL Assistant position. This should not only give her the opportunity to impact more students on a daily basis, but it’s also a position that’s not going to be cut at year-end, unlike her previous role. In May, Natalie also began working at the Starbucks right around the corner from our home, and, despite the late (and occasionally early) hours, she enjoys working there… and Michael enjoys the fringe benefits of being married to a barista!

Michael wrapped up 2.5 years of working at Slingshot SEO in June, and he transitioned to a new role at DK Pierce & Associates, a healthcare reimbursement consulting firm in Zionsille, that same month. You can read more details about this change on his personal blog, but suffice to say he is very happy with his new role. He also has had one of the busiest years for playing music in a while, perhaps since college. In addition to his regular (now tenured!) gig as Second Trombone with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, he also plays lead trombone with the Director’s Jazz Orchestra, the Nickel Plate Jazz Orchestra, and the Mudsock Jazz Combo. In fact, if you’re a fan of jazz, come check out the DJO with guest artist Wycliffe Gordon on Saturday, February 15, 2014.

Yogi is settling into his role as Grumpy Old Man, and yet he still likes to fightplay with us when we come home from work like he’s a young pup. He turned 9 this summer, and he’s now on “Senior Dog” food. An AARP membership is imminent.

Running was another common theme for Michael and Natalie both again this year. Michael ran the Carmel Half, the Geist Half, and the Monumental Half marathons, and Natalie ran the Sam Costa Half and the 500 Festival Mini marathon. They both ran the Indianapolis Half marathon as well. 2014 looks to be a bit of a lighter race schedule, but let us know what you’re running — we hope to see some of you at some of the races!

2013 has definitely been a reminder in patience and being content with what we’ve been given. Despite the trials we go through, God has blessed us with amazing family and friends, more material things than we could ever need (despite our constant desire for more), and most of all, he gave us his Son. I know Christmas means many things to most people, but don’t forget that it’s not just the birth of Christ we celebrate… remember why he came — to save us all, to be an example to us all, and to ultimately be Lord of our lives.

Until next time — Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love,
Michael and Natalie

Moving Day Cometh and Goeth

Grilling out the very next day!We’re all in and basically settled! Last Saturday we had 12 awesome people (family and friends) pitch in and help us move. Having that much helped made it so incredibly easy (that and the fact that we were only moving 3 miles away). We were loaded in about an hour and a half, and unloaded in about 45 minutes. Then it was lunch time! After lunch we began the actual unpacking process – that’s considerably slower. But by the end of the day, everything was (basically) in its rooms, the TV was functional, the network was up and running, we had both bathrooms stocked, and the bed was usable! So, basically everything one needs.

Yay, new house!Since then, we’ve just worked on fine-tuning our setups. It is so wonderful to have so much space. While only about 240 sq. ft. larger than the apartment we came from, the house just feels so much bigger! The vaulted ceiling in the entry/living room helps, as does the more open living room/kitchen/dining room area. Also, having a deck overlooking a pond is a wonderful thing. It is so peaceful to come home from work and light up the grill, sit on the porch, and watch the ducks (and geese, ugh) play in the pond.

Natalie and me just before it all startedThe only good story to tell from the move that I can think of was the fact that we finished loading the truck, shut the door, and said “Sweet! Everything just fits!” And then I remembered the garage. (We had a one-car garage at the apartment.) Fortunately, there wasn’t much in there, but we did have to return briefly (literally a 30-minute round trip, including load and travel time) to get the grill, the bikes, and a small assortment of other boxes and items from the garage. Whoops!

All told, the move went very smoothly. And nothing was broken! Many thanks again to those who helped. Hopefully we can have each of you over sometime soon. :-)

Yogi approves

The Big Move

We move on Saturday. We were fortunate enough to have friends recently buy a new house and offer their old one up for rent, and that will be our new dwelling place! We’re so excited to have more space, a real garage, an extra bedroom (office), and a yard.

We’ll be sure to update this post with pictures of the move as we have them!

Kids???

Whoa, settle down. I just created the category so that there’d be one here, for the future. We’re not quite there yet.

Though that does bring up an interesting topic for discussion. What have you and your spouse talked about? Have kids as soon as they happen (leave it to chance), or wait a while? And how long? What are you waiting for?

Unpainting for the Move

A quick time-lapse video I shot of our unpainting (priming) of the walls in our apartment. We have to return them to a primed state so the painters can then just lay one coat of white and call it done. Enjoy! (Oh and thanks to our friends Daniel and Miranda for helping!!)

Getting Up and Running

I have just put this site together and will be working with my wife to populate its content soon.

In the meantime, please check out my site at http://www.michaeljthom.com.