We hope this greeting finds you and your family JOYful and healthy. 2019 was a busy year for JAM and a year of really settling into Reno life. My personal focus word for the year was JOY (Jesus, Others, then YOU) and if you saw my million FB posts, the mood was always finding JOY in whatever was going around our lives.
Early in 2019 we visited Ohio to co-host the wedding shower for my youngest sister Beckey, and since the visit was just before Audriana turned one, so we celebrated that as well! Back in Reno, we hosted a ONE singular sensational party for Audriana at our home with lots of sparkles, family and friends! A few weeks after she turned one she took her first steps and has been climbing stairs, playing in the parks and keeping us on the move since then. Audriana knows all her colors, she’s starting to learn the ABCs and knows how to recognize counting just about anything. She takes swimming once a week and really loves the water. She’s grown out of anything under 24 months and we’ve officially retired the onesies. This is where I start to cry. Lol. Every time I rotate her clothing sizes up I think, another stage gone by. It’s been a true gift to be at home with her for every stage. She’s just amazing to watch embrace the world around her with curiosity, focus and excitement. And so it goes on…
In March we headed back out to Ohio again to be a part of Beckey and Alex’s wedding. Jenn as matron of honor and Michael as a groomsman. Audriana took part by looking absolutely adorable in her beautiful matching color dress. The wedding weekend was amazing and it was great to see our entire family and friends together. It was two very busy visits but as usual we managed to squeeze it all in making sure to see as much of the family as possible and have some fun with local hometown activities. Like pierogies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Football Hall of Fame. Good times!
We had many visitors this year, taking advantage of exploring the Reno and Tahoe area with them when here. Grandma came to visit us in July for 10 days and we kept ourselves busy during her visit! There is always a festival, an event or activity going on every week near to where we live.
In August we took our first JAM family vacation traveling to Kauai for 12 days. Well it was seven, but we lost a day with flight challenges, so we very quickly on the trip decided to stay longer. Great choice! We LOVED the garden isle and took advantage of all the beauty and activities it had to offer. With a toddler you can imagine that meant scheduled naps, lots of snacks, and activities! Audriana was really the dream traveler (it must just be in her) adjusting easily to delayed flights, time changes and very full days. We took her to a Luau with fabulous entertainment (like a production theater show) which she fell asleep during, a helicopter ride which she fell asleep in and many car rides to Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Hanalei Bay and around the island, where she was just a happy girl in the car or out. She especially LOVED all the birds and enjoyed feeding them.
We all loved the beautiful scenes of Hawaii- the beach, the blue waters, the green palms. We found Kauai to be slow paced (yay!), on the quiet side, super family focused, delicious food (and drinks) and friendly people.
We appreciated the Mahalo culture and found ourselves feeling at home after a few days. One of the special things we did was to take our annual family photos, in 100% Hawaiian made outfits on Poipu Beach, where we resided during our visit. The pictures came back just amazing! We absolutely loved Kauai and we plan to visit again.
We celebrated Halloween this year with our first annual fun festive and fearful party! Audriana did pretty well with Halloween, minus the part of the animatronics and daddy as Pinhead. She was the cutest little witch and we worked with her for weeks to get used to the idea of wearing a hat, costume, and broom. We had many Halloween celebrations to practice with.
We’ve all been getting more involved in our local churches with bible studies, play groups and organizations. Michael was recently initiated into the Knights of Columbus and since June I have been keeping busy with bible studies and groups with Audriana at my side for all sorts of outdoor and indoor fun with friends. Friends is one of Audriana’s most common words. That and “oats”, “no”, “ok”, “busy”, “come on”, “I do”, “funny”, “ice”, “cookie”, “read”, “mommy”, “daddy” and since a few months ago, her name. She’s just blowing us away with her understanding, expanding vocabulary and has quite the memory of what’s happening around her.
Both Michael (in March) and I (in June) rang in the Big 5-0 with fun celebrations and getaways. I was blown away by Michael’s surprise Lake Tahoe party having no clue what was up until the actual “surprise” moment. Both birthdays were adventures with snow tubing, bowling, games, exploring activities both in Tahoe and Reno. There’s never a lack of things to do.
Michael and I are still exploring what’s next for us, with Michael achieving his CPA for Nevada, making him licensed in both CA and NV. In JAM Team Ventures (our LLC) we purchased land and had it developed with a new manufactured home on the land, with Michael and our partner and friend taking a lead in all the activities. Michael is trying to golf more and is getting involved in the golf club in our community. We are both staying busy looking at what is next. Stay tuned…
That about wraps up the highlights of our year. We’ve celebrated holidays with friends locally and feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful people.
We are happy to be home for the holidays this year and we always welcome visitors to come and see us!
We wish you a JOYful 2020 and a beautiful Christmas season!
Jennifer ~ Audriana ~ Michael