Christmas Letter 2017

Photo of Brian, Melissa, Lydia, and Amber Koser

Merry Christ­mas 2017!

2017 was a busy year with lots of changes for us.

In March, Brian trav­elled to Penn­syl­va­nia for his first busi­ness trip. The best part of the trip was that it took him close enough to visit fam­ily.

Brian with Grandpa Koser
Holy cat!

We got to see a lot of fam­ily this year. The first event that brought a lot of us to­gether was brother Mat­t’s grad­u­a­tion from Air Force train­ing.

Brian, Melissa and Lydia with Matt Koser at his graduation

We’ve en­joyed con­tin­u­ing to pod­cast. It has cer­tainly helped us get to know each other bet­ter, bring­ing out things we’re ei­ther very united or very di­vided on. One of our proud­est mo­ments was hyp­ing Oreo O’s in our ce­real episode and then learn­ing less than a week later that it was re­turn­ing to stores!

In May we got to use one of Melis­sa’s Christ­mas gifts and see Celtic Woman in con­cert! While we en­joyed every minute of it, our fa­vorite parts were when they sang old fa­vorites such as “Orinoco Flow”.

We’ve stayed busy with dif­fer­ent church ac­tiv­i­ties, some of the more mem­o­rable be­ing the Mother/​Daugh­ter Luau and a dessert auc­tion. Melissa en­joyed mak­ing crab ap­pe­tiz­ers for the for­mer, and a gor­geous cake for the lat­ter. We also got to par­tic­i­pate in our yearly Neigh­bor­hood Bible Time, this year help­ing teach the preschool class. It was both pre­cious and in­ter­est­ing; you just never know what those kids will say or do at any given time.

An­other cou­ple big events were Bri­an’s sib­lings wed­dings. Con­grat­u­la­tions Matt and Amanda, and Josh and Megan!

Brian, Melissa, and Lydia with Matt and Amanda
Brian and Melissa with Josh and Megan

Melis­sa’s brother Tim fin­ished his ser­vice with the Navy, stay­ing with us for a few months while also dri­ving across the coun­try to visit fam­ily and friends. While he vis­ited we took our sum­mer va­ca­tion in Or­lando with friends Micah and the Smiths. It was a fun week filled with a Pi­rate Din­ner Ad­ven­ture, a trip to Dis­ney Springs, a spur-of-the-mo­ment movie the­ater trip, and lots and lots of games.

Brian, Melissa, and Lydia with the pirate captain
Arrr!

A cou­ple weeks af­ter va­ca­tion we moved to a house in prepa­ra­tion for baby #2. The move went smoothly with help from our church friends, and we are now lo­cated a 10-minute walk away from Bri­an’s work­place. We took the op­por­tu­nity of a fresh start to split our two book­shelves into his and hers, draft­ing all our books to de­ter­mine where they’d be stored. Nerdy, but it’s how we get our thrills.

Our books piled on the floor
Books stacked by author and genre

A few other high­lights of the year were our birth­day cel­e­bra­tions. For Bri­an’s, we got a babysit­ter, ate at a fancy restau­rant over­look­ing the city, and stayed overnight at a lo­cal bed and break­fast. The next day we toured down­town Mo­bile, then headed back to the apart­ment for a sur­prise birth­day party! For Melis­sa’s, we ate es­car­got (first time) and schnitzel at a lo­cal Eu­ro­pean restau­rant. For Ly­di­a’s, we had friends over for a Sesame Street party.

Sesame Street-themed snacks

In Oc­to­ber, Hur­ri­cane Nate cleared the way to the hos­pi­tal so we could wel­come our new ad­di­tion, Am­ber Lon­don Koser! We were blessed to have Tim, Mom and Dad Binzel, and Mom Koser help­ing us the first few days af­ter she was born.

Lydia and Amber on the bed

Two weeks later, our church held its an­nual pie and cake com­pe­ti­tion. Melissa was still re­cov­er­ing from child­birth, but at Bri­an's en­cour­age­ment she sent a blue­berry cream pie with him and en­tered it in the com­pe­ti­tion. It won! This is her sec­ond year in a row win­ning first place in the pie di­vi­sion.

Hope your 2017 was as mem­o­rable as ours, and we hope to see many of you in 2018!

Brian, Melissa, Ly­dia, & Am­ber Koser

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