Christmas Letter 2015

Dearest Friends and Family,
I can’t believe it is Christmas time again! I guess twelve months have passed since the last time I sat down and wrote to all of you. We were nestled in the mountains of Southern California enjoying being so close to Grandma and Grandpa Lawhead. Since that time we have been on assignment at Hilo Medical Center on the big island of Hawaii, near home in Newport Oregon, and now after a whopping 4,761 mile drive from our driveway across the United States (the long way) to the Atlantic Ocean at Virginia Beach we find ourselves in the Appalachian mountains in the college town of Charlottesville Virginia. We have seen several states really well and several have just been driven through, but we now can see the finish line with only five states unvisited; Tennessee (which is on the calendar for January), North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Alaska. We are expecting to be done travel nursing this year sometime, but things don’t always go as planned. Now as we travel we are not only missing our family back home, but missing each of the new friends we have met at each assignment. After close to two years of travel nursing I’m sure now that all the amazing places we have visited have not changed us nearly as much as the people we have met along the way.  
Chad, my balance, is amazing at juggling our crazy life. He has picked up some amazing new skills this year including but not limited to thread injecting (masculine form of sewing) some pretty nice looking, sturdy, and comfortable hammocks, speaking some pigeon, and making sushi and spam musubi. And we can’t forget the whole assignment we lived in a hotel that necessitated major crockpot cooking mastery. I thank God every day for Chad. 
Caleb will be eleven next month, I don’t see how that can even be possible. His favorite things in life are Minecraft, Legos, and reading. He is quite excited about the new Star Wars movie coming out soon, growing his own Padiwan braid in preparation for the primer. So far it has been pretty fun having a Jr. Higher in the house. We will keep him, as he is still good for at least two hugs a day although I have to bribe him to get to kiss his cheeks that I used to kiss hundreds of times a day when he was a sweet little baby.
Hannah is eight this year. She is growing up right before our eyes. She is much more studious than her big brother. Getting her ears pierced this last year, cutting off her long hair and starting to carry a purse makes her look so grown up, really, she does act it too. This mama is not ready for her to grow up. She likes to pick out outfits that she thinks are cute, and I am enjoying her girliness. 
Eve, is now a vivacious five year old. She continues to have personality to spare, a big smile for everyone, and a way of becoming instant best friends with each new person we meet. She is eagerly learning to read, maybe a little too eager for me. I suppose it is an exercise in patients and remaining calm. If everyone saw their cup as full as Eve does this world would be one happy place.  
As for me, if you have kept up with our blog there are no secrets. Perhaps I am too open. I don’t really know. I know this adventure has matured me, but has made me perhaps a little too self focused. I wonder if home will ever feel like home again, I wonder what will become of the friendships we have made in our travels. Our travels have not been easy, and have had their “not fun” moments. But I think now and as we look back on the memories we will all agree it has been/was worth it.  
Merry Christmas friends and family we miss each and every one of you. 
Much Love, 

The Owens Family

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