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 notĀ just the birth of Christ we celebrate… rememberĀ 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!

Michael and Natalie

Still quiet

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