Merry Christmas 2014 from the Holwicks

Dear friends,

Christmas is the celebration of God visiting our planet as a little baby. Celeste and I will soon be able to relate to that in a more meaningful way, as we become grandparents in July 2015. Daniel and Kara shared the blessed news with us over a Facetime (video) call at Thanksgiving. We canít wait for the "little pumpkin" to arrive. The birth will be followed by another wonderful event, the wedding of our Sarah with Gordon co-grad Matt Headley in Vermont this coming August. He actually met us in a Friendlys restaurant in Connecticut to ask for her hand in marriage. I like traditional guys like that!

The joy of new families was balanced by sadness. After enduring multiple rehab facilities, Davidís father died in Clearwater Hospital with all his kids and Mary Ann present. We had a short memorial service for him in Florida and the military burial in Arlington in April. It was a very dignified ceremony, and just the way he would have wanted it. The brisk walk behind the caisson reminded us of the many who have committed their lives to our country. He loved the Army and he loved us.

Our kids continue on their paths. Daniel will be a Registered Nurse soon and is currently a paramedic in Boulder, Colorado. His wife Kara is finishing up her masterís degree and works as a Training Specialist for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. Josiah and Julia are still in Denver and fly all over the place making videos and commercials. Some of them use his drone to take sweeping shots from high up. Their company has progressed enough to hire an intern to help them with the editing process.

Rebecca felt it was time to expand her horizons so she moved to Lake Tahoe, just in time for their massive wild fire. She is teaching kids swimming and rock climbing and yoga and she also cares for a special needs child part-time. Sarah moved to Massachusetts to be closer to Matt and she found a job as a first grade teacher in Beverly. Matt is at a new car dealership because he wouldnít sell his soul to the old one. They are spending a lot of time wedding planning right now.

Celeste and David had several fun trips this year. In May they spent five days in Cancun (not nearly long enough) and in July went to Massachusetts and Maine, where we helped the Triehys sell their lake cabin. We expected that to be a long-drawn out process but it was snapped up in two weeks for a good price. We returned to Massachusetts in August for an anniversary trip. We visited Davidís first apartment in Beverly Farms and found the living room where he proposed to Celeste is now a kitchen. The local pizza place was unchanged, however. We stayed at a fancy inn on Craneís Beach and took long walks there like we did as newlyweds.

September was our big outing. Everyone but Sarah made our way to Montrose, Colorado, for a super bike trip planned by Daniel. Celeste and David had brand new Cannondale mountain bikes and a little bit of conditioning and took on the high alpine meadows of the Rockies. It was beautiful and exhausting. The third day was especially interesting. We raced down long canyons while Becca drove our big van to the next campsite. She didnít quite make it because the transmission blew out on Niche Road outside Gateway, Colorado (population 0). By Godís grace a woodcutter came upon us and dragged us with a chain to the local gas station. Beside the station was an almost-free campsite that the locals didnít realize they had (Becca noticed the sign) and in the morning our well-used AAA towed us back to Montrose. While it was getting repaired (it required the high-price option, of course) we drove Beccaís car to the original destination, Moab, and rented bikes to tour Arches National Park. It is not a Holwick vacation unless some excitement is thrown in.

In October our church told us to keep one weekend open with no commitments. No other details were given but it turned out to be an extravagant celebration of our 25th year in Ledgewood. Two hundred friends and family showed up, including all our kids except Josiah, and they put on a delicious meal. For a finale they presented us with sun hats, sarongs, a ukulele, and a trip to Hawaii. David has always wanted to go to Hawaii and in April we will go there Economy-Plus thanks to our friends. God has been good to us and we hope he gives each of you a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

David & Celeste