Christmas Letter 2016

Photo of Brian, Melissa, and Lydia Koser

Merry Christ­mas 2016!

Greet­ings to all of our friends and fam­ily! We are all well at the time of this writ­ing, and we hope you are too. It has been an­other good, full year for our lit­tle fam­ily.

We have re­ally en­joyed watch­ing Ly­dia grow into the walk­ing, talk­ing (a lit­tle!), happy 15-month-old ap­ple of our eyes. We are blessed that she is very ob­ser­vant, quick to learn new skills, and rarely sick. Her newest skill is be­ing able to point to dif­fer­ent body parts when named. 👶

Lydia making a funny face

Melissa is still en­joy­ing the best job ever—be­ing a stay-at-home mom! Since Ly­dia is con­stantly grow­ing and chang­ing, Melissa al­ways has new chal­lenges to en­counter and new skills to learn. In be­tween that she is start­ing to get back into read­ing books, prac­tic­ing pi­ano more, and do­ing a cou­ple of crafts. 📗🎹

Melissa holding Lydia

Brian has been keep­ing busy at work, al­though he still finds time for ping pong on his of­fice’s new ping pong table. 🏓 One of his goals for the year was to get back into read­ing books; in­clud­ing au­dio books, he more than dou­bled his goal by read­ing 45 books. 📚🏆

Brian in the woods

Here are some of our high­lights, ac­tiv­i­ties and achieve­ments of the year:

In March, we did a thrift store date night with some of our church friends. Each cou­ple picked out a $10-$15 out­fit from a thrift store for their spouse, and then we all went out to eat to­gether look­ing ridicu­lous. It was a blast, and we caused a lot of peo­ple to smile (and prob­a­bly run for their cars!).

Brian, Melissa, and their friends dressed in their thrift store purchases
High fashion from the thrift store

In April, Brian at­tended a Men’s Ad­vance Con­fer­ence with the church, and thor­oughly en­joyed the fel­low­ship and teach­ing. We also took a day trip to New Or­leans with Micah Bucy, where we tried some lo­cal food, got some beignets, and lis­tened to a lo­cal jazz band on the street. We also checked out a cos­tume shop. It was in­ter­est­ing to see all the cre­ative ways peo­ple were mak­ing money, from jug­gling and magic tricks, to mu­sic per­for­mances, to be­ing a liv­ing statue. It was a very fun day! 🎷

Melissa with a living statue in New Orleans
Melissa with a living statue in New Orleans

Much of May and the month or two pre­ced­ing was spent hang­ing out with Micah be­fore he left for Cal­i­for­nia. We miss you, Micah! In memo­riam. 👨‍⚕️

Brian with Micah at his Medical School Graduation
Micah at his Med School Graduation

June saw the launch­ing of our pod­cast, Ten to One! We were en­joy­ing mak­ing top ten lists of dif­fer­ent top­ics, and de­cided it would be fun to record and share them with you! We are up to 25 episodes now, and look for­ward to record­ing again af­ter our Christ­mas hia­tus. 🎙

July was a busy month! Our church hosted its an­nual BBQ, Cake, and Pie com­pe­ti­tion. Melissa won first place for her de­li­cious Baklava Pie, im­prov­ing on last year’s third place fin­ish. Even now she is plan­ning which new recipes she will use as she con­tin­ues to mow down the com­pe­ti­tion. 🏆

Cross­roads Bake-Off 2016 - News Re­port on Melissa

We also cel­e­brated Cow Ap­pre­ci­a­tion day at Chick-Fil-A! This year Melissa con­vinced Brian to join her in dress­ing like a cow. 🐄

Brian, Melissa, and Lydia dressed up as cows at Chik-Fil-A
Moo!

Dur­ing Va­ca­tion Bible School, Brian and Melissa taught the 4th and 5th graders.

Some­body died in Au­gust, and Melissa was a part of it! Mas­querad­ing as the er­ratic world leader Gene­see Glasco, she hosted a mur­der mys­tery party for our Sun­day school class. A fun time was had by all, and we look for­ward to pos­si­bly do­ing an­other next year. 🕵

Brian and Melissa at the Murder Mystery Party
Genesee Glasco and Alfred Einstein

Sep­tem­ber was go, go, go. First we cel­e­brated Ly­di­a’s first birth­day. Bri­an’s fam­ily was able to at­tend along with our church fam­ily, and we had a fun day com­plete with pizza, cup­cakes, and a wa­ter­melon smash. 🍉

Brian and Lydia at her birthday party
Happy Birthday Lydia!

Next we took a trip out west for a va­ca­tion and a wed­ding. Our first stops were to visit Melis­sa’s fam­ily, first fly­ing to Col­orado to see Melody and her fi­ancé Nate, then to Los An­ge­les to visit Michael, Es­ther, and their chil­dren. ✈️ Next we drove up to visit Micah in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, then to Wash­ing­ton, where we vis­ited Dale and Donita. 🚗 Last we got to see Patty and Abe get mar­ried.

Brian, Melissa, Lydia, and Patty at her wedding
Congratulations Patty and Abe (not pictured, but he was there!)

One of our best va­ca­tions yet, and we were so glad to see every­body. For those ask­ing when we will visit next: it’s your turn to visit us in Al­abama. 😀

At the end of Oc­to­ber we trav­eled back to Col­orado to see Nate and Melody get mar­ried. So happy for you both!

Lydia newly born
Congratulations Melody and Nate! 💒

No­vem­ber saw us plan­ning and mak­ing a full Thanks­giv­ing meal for only the sec­ond time of our adult lives, and we started a new tra­di­tion: nam­ing the turkey! This year’s es­teemed bird was granted the moniker of Micah. 😆

Micah the Turkey
Micah the Turkey 🦃

Join­ing us and Micah were Mom and Dad Binzel and most of Bri­an’s fam­ily. The next day, Melissa par­took of her very first Black Fri­day shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. It ac­tu­ally was not too bad; peo­ple were po­lite and stores were not too crowded.

De­cem­ber, one of our fa­vorite months! We cel­e­brated our 5th an­niver­sary by pur­chas­ing wooden board games, Croki­nole and Quori­dor. We also en­joyed lunch at Steak ’n Shake, saw some Christ­mas lights and ate home­made hot wings.

Homemade hot wings
Homemade hot wings are delicious 🍗

To­mor­row we will be dri­ving up to Lou­siana to have a Very Koser Christ­mas. 🎄 All of Bri­an’s sib­lings and their spouses, fi­ancés, and chil­dren will be un­der one roof, along with Grandma Sabol, mak­ing a party of sev­en­teen! 🎉

We are look­ing for­ward to mak­ing 2017 an even bet­ter year than 2016. Thanks for your part in mak­ing our year, and hope­fully we will see you again in 2017. Merry Christ­mas! 👨‍👩‍👧

Brian, Melissa, & Ly­dia Koser

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