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

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!