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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our Christmas card to you!

As I sit here on the eve before Christmas, it dawns on me that Christmas cards are just not happening this year.  I could list a dozen reasons why but the truth is, it just didn't happen.  Now before all of you black list me from receiving future cards, please know that I love and cherish every card I receive and next year I vow to get some cute darling cards out before Christmas. So this is my Christmas card to you!

2013 was an interesting year in the Murphy house.  January started our year with renewed energy and determination for a year of fitness, good health and charity.  Gary earned the title of Advisor of the Year at his work's national conference.  If he earns that title again this year, they will send us to Hawaii so we are eagerly waiting for the news again this January. He has had a very prosperous year at his job reaching several personal lifetime goals. Gary has also found a passion for fitness through Crossfit and his results have been amazing (if I do say so myself).

I joined J & M Strength and Conditioning where I began working on healing some old injuries through strength training.  Although I've spent much of the year researching treatments, doctors and natural ways of healing the disorders inflicting our children this year, I also started working toward a personal goal of starting a business in essential oils.  I am looking forward to launching this business in January.

Brayden finished the school year in May by earning the status of Outstanding student in school.   In Boy scouts he earned his Bobcat and made a winning derby car.

Brayden finished 2013 by winning the Reflections Art contest at his school in the area of Visual Arts.

Although Brayden's medical condition has left him homebound from school, he continues to make great academic progress.  His love for art and reading have really flourished in 2013 and we look forward to seeing him meet his potential when his brain begins to heal.

Teagan enjoyed her year with girl scouts. I was the cookie mom this year so we had a room filled with cookies in March.

She continued to express herself through fashion.

Teagan finally joined chorus again at the end of the year. She sings all day long in our house and it was a big step for her to get over her stage fright and perform in the Christmas program.

Teagan also bridged to brownies in girl scouts this year.  As you can see, she was thrilled.

For the first time, she was selected as a school winner in the Reflections art contest for photography.

Ellie turned three this year!  It is hard to imagine that she is no longer a little toddler.  She had an exciting year of YMCA classes, Gymboree classes and play dates.  She is such an active fun loving girl and it has been so rewarding watching her grow this year.

In 2013, we had many fun excursions as a family.  We took a break from the winter cold with a trip to a water park.  We all loved the fun and exercise this excursion provided for us.

We took a day to go hiking with the boy scouts in the brisk winter weather.

Gary, Brayden, Uncle Dennis and cousins John and Daniel took their annual backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains.

In June, we headed to the Outerbanks for a camping adventure of a lifetime.  You can read about that trip starting with this post.;postID=6499771748431410458;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=18;src=postname

We spent the 4th of July in Knoxville, Tennesse, visiting my mom, along with my Aunt Liz and Uncle Al.  We had a blast boating!

In August, we took our annual trip to Lake Michigan for what would be our last vacation in Lost Valley due to the sale of my in laws beloved lake front home.  We were fortunate to have some friends join us for a day.

Of course there was a golf out at Old Channel Trail.

and lots of dune climbing.

Our final trip of the year was to Pennsylvania to see Aunt Julie and Uncle Dan. Ellie had a blast with Aunt Julie at the Crayola factory.  The girls also had a visit to the Peep store.

As I reflect on 2013, I realize there were many good times, many trials and many firsts.  We have had to face the the unthinkable with regards to our children's health. The road ahead of us is long and uncertain. One thing we know for sure is that we are stronger as a family, stronger as parents and strong enough to battle the unknown in our quest for health.

So although we did not send out Christmas cards this year, we hope you know that we are thinking about each of you that have touched our lives in 2013. Whether it was from a visit, card, or simple facebook message, we appreciate each and everyone of you. We wish all of our family, and friends, new and old, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a safe and healthy New Year.

The Murphy Family

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