Christmas Letter 2015

Photo of Brian, Melissa, and Lydia Koser

Merry Christ­mas 2015!

Greet­ings to all our fam­ily and friends! It’s been an­other full and blessed year for us. Jan­u­ary had an ex­cit­ing start: when we re­turned from vis­it­ing Melis­sa’s fam­ily in Hon­duras, we dis­cov­ered that a cou­ple of rats had been us­ing the apart­ment in our ab­sence. The next few weeks were some­what stress­ful as we washed and wiped every­thing that was out in the open, and learned to hide all our food. We were very glad to dis­cover the rats had not got­ten into any of our draw­ers or cup­boards, which saved a ton of work. Even­tu­ally we found all their holes, sealed them, and man­aged to trap one rat and, er, re­move its pres­ence from the house.

In June we were priv­i­leged to host mis­sion­ar­ies, the Ja­son and Ash­ley King fam­ily, dur­ing our church’s Mis­sions Con­fer­ence. We en­joyed get­ting to know them and the other mis­sion­ar­ies. The con­fer­ence was a great bless­ing and chal­lenge, and ended with a BBQ/​cake/​pie bake-off at our church. Melissa placed third with her prize-win­ning Swiss Roll Cake, de­thron­ing many pre­vi­ous champs. She looks for­ward to plac­ing first next year.

We spent our sum­mer va­ca­tion in Or­lando, FL, at­tend­ing the Dice Tower board gam­ing con­ven­tion. For three days we en­joyed play­ing board games, meet­ing new peo­ple, par­tic­i­pat­ing in Dice Tower ac­tiv­i­ties, and just be­ing nerdy among oth­ers like us. We even got to play a cou­ple games with one of the found­ing mem­bers of the Dice Tower!

Brian and Melissa at Dice Tower Convention with Sam and David Healey
Dice Tower Con! With Sam and David Healey!

The last night of the con­ven­tion we at­tended a pi­rate din­ner show, fea­tur­ing swash­buck­ling ac­ro­bat­ics and pi­rat­i­cal ro­mance!

Brian and Melissa at the Pirate Dinner Show

From June to July we got to spend a whole month with Melis­sa’s brother Tim be­fore he shipped out to Japan. We had a great time of board games, movies, and just hav­ing fun. We also toured the USS Al­abama, ex­plor­ing through­out the en­tire ship.

Melissa and Tim on the USS Mobile
Tim showing off his Navy knowledge to us lubbers

Around Christ­mas 2014, we dis­cov­ered we were go­ing to have a baby! The won­der­ful ladies of Cross­roads Bap­tist Church threw a baby shower for Melissa in Au­gust, and Mom and Megan Koser got to at­tend. So many won­der­ful gifts were given, and once again we say thank you!

Our lit­tle Ly­dia was born Sep­tem­ber 3rd at 7 pm, weigh­ing 7 lbs. 10 oz. and mea­sur­ing 20 1/​2 inches long. Brian was won­der­ful dur­ing la­bor and de­liv­ery, and the staff at Springhill Med­ical Cen­ter were very sup­port­ive. The birth went well with no com­pli­ca­tions, and re­cov­ery was swift. Melis­sa’s par­ents and sis­ter were pre­sent for the birth, and Bri­an’s fam­ily ar­rived the day af­ter. We also got to see Melis­sa’s Un­cle Le­land and Aunt Marty, and a week later her brother Dale and his fam­ily vis­ited as well. It was a very ex­cit­ing time, and we were so glad to see every­one! Many thanks again to every­one who helped us with meals and house­work those first few weeks.

Lydia newly born
Lydia on her first day

Just af­ter Ly­dia was born, Brian switched to a new job. While be­fore he was do­ing data­base work in the med­ical field, now he works for a con­sult­ing firm, do­ing many dif­fer­ent pro­jects in many dif­fer­ent fields. Al­though he can no longer walk to work, the new of­fice is close enough to still come home for lunch every day.

Since Ly­dia was born, Melissa has not tried as many new or chal­leng­ing recipes, pre­fer­ring to stick with those that are quick and easy. How­ever, ear­lier this year she did make deep dish Chicago-style pizza, fried ice cream, and from-scratch straw­berry donuts. She also made some cin­na­mon candy for Christ­mas. The links lead to those recipes on our web­site, where you’re also prob­a­bly read­ing this Christ­mas let­ter! Speak­ing of which, Brian has made a few changes to the web­site, im­prov­ing the ap­pear­ance and adding recipe tags.

We’ve en­joyed get­ting more in­volved in our church this year. Melissa is now play­ing the pi­ano full time. Un­til Ly­dia was born we taught the 3rd-grade class of our Wednes­day night chil­dren’s Bible club and taught a Sun­day morn­ing preschool class once a month. We also got to help out with Va­ca­tion Bible School this sum­mer, teach­ing lessons, songs, and Bible verses. Work­ing with chil­dren can be chal­leng­ing, but it’s al­ways re­ward­ing.

Bri­an’s fam­ily was able to visit for Thanks­giv­ing again this year, and we en­joyed a hearty meal to­gether. We also got to watch his sis­ter Megan per­form in a pro­duc­tion of The Scar­let Pim­per­nel at PCC.

The Scarlet Pimpernel cast
Megan and her boyfriend Josh Hutt, who played the Scarlet Pimpernel

Lo­gan Hard­ing took our Christ­mas pho­tos; hire him to do video or pho­tog­ra­phy at Shad­ow­point Me­dia. Bekah Haas made Ly­di­a’s scarf and booties; get your own at the Softly Sweet Face­book page.

Lydia in her knit hat and scarf
Our precious girl

To­day is Christ­mas, and as we post this, we’re en­joy­ing spend­ing Christ­mas with Bri­an’s fam­ily again, in Louisiana.

If you pass through Mo­bile in 2016, please stop by and see Ly­dia (we’ve found that she's the main rea­son peo­ple visit nowa­days 😊). Look­ing for­ward to a great 2016,

Brian, Melissa, & Ly­dia Koser

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