2008 has gone by quickly for the Minear family and has been busy enough that weʼve finally gotten around to writing a Christmas letter.
We started the year saying good-bye as many of our friends left us behind in Clovis. We were sad to see them go and hopeful that weʼd soon follow their lead. We made a trip to Indiana in February and John was able to do a lot of genealogical research and even meet a distant cousin!
Over Easter weekend, Angela visited John in San Angelo, where he was taking a 7-week-long class, and shared the good news that we were expecting our first child on November 22. The next ten days were a whirlwind; after we called and e-mailed everyone we know with the baby news, John found out that he was accepted to Weapons School. After another round of phone calls and e-mails, we got one more piece of amazing news, we were leaving Cannon AFB and moving to Misawa Air Base in Japan! Yes, that all really happened over a space of ten days!
John got back to Clovis just in time for Angelaʼs first prenatal appointment and we got to see our little Nugget on the ultrasound screen. He left for two weeks in Las Vegas just as the movers got to the house and Angela experienced her first Air Force move on her own. Thanks to help from a few friends, everything went smoothly. Now weʼre just waiting to see if everything survives the move to Misawa! Angela moved in with her parents in Ennis and John spent his two-week ʽvacationʼ in Ennis, building a workbench for Angelaʼs dad and working on the ranch. It was hard work, but he needed the time outside in preparation for six months in the vault at school.
John moved to Nellis AFB for the remainder of the year, and Angela spent her time in Ennis. We met up in Huntsville, Alabama, at the end of July when John was there for a class trip and Angela was at a family reunion in Tennessee. She drove three hours just to see him, but thatʼs what you do in the military. The next time we saw each other was for Labor Day weekend in September, and by that time we knew that we were having a girl. We had lots of fun together in Vegas and even got to see another Cirque du Soleil show thanks to a great military discount.
John missed out on seeing Angelaʼs belly growing from day to day, so he was very surprised the next time he saw her! She started having contractions two days after the babyʼs due date and by the time John got to Ennis on the day before Thanksgiving, Angela was in full-blown labor. He got to the hospital just two hours before our beautiful little girl, Annelise Marie, was born by c-section. She weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. We came home from the hospital two days later and John got to spend a few days with us before returning to school.
And now itʼs December. John just graduated from Weapons School and is now a Weapons Officer. The graduation was a lot of fun and he even received an award! Weʼre packing up here and driving back to Ennis for Christmas, and are then flying up to Indiana for New Yearʼs. Weʼre coming back to Texas just in time to attend a wedding (one of Angelaʼs cousins) and have Annelise baptized, and then weʼll be leaving for Japan on January 21. We canʼt wait to start that adventure!
Annelise is amazing. Her smile is beautiful and although she looks likes Angelaʼs baby pictures, she has Johnʼs mouth. We will be communicating with the grandparents, aunts, and uncles by webcam so they donʼt miss out on all of the fun stuff while weʼre in Japan. Sheʼs discovering her hands and stretches all the time, Angelaʼs pretty sure she did that in utero, as well. Annelise is a little wiggle-worm and weʼre enjoying discovering all of her quirks. Annelise just went to the doctor, and at 3 weeks has grown an inch and now weighs 9 pounds, 4 ounces!
Johnʼs going to be very busy in 2009, work will take up a lot of his time and Angela & Annelise will take up the rest. Heʼs hoping to find some time to paint and as a family weʼre looking forward to making trips around Japan to see our new home. Angela is going to spend all of her time chasing Annelise, which is already shaping up to be quite a job. She also canʼt wait to get back into base life and make new friends in Japan. Angela misses the volunteer work she did at Cannon and is hoping to find some fun stuff to do at Misawa. Annelise is going to be spending her first year doing all kinds of things, sheʼll be travelling across the world before sheʼs even two months old! She canʼt wait to move to a new place and make friends, although it will be weird for her to be surrounded by people sheʼs not related to!
Check this page regularly for updates, weʼll do our best to post stories of what weʼre doing and plenty of baby pictures. We love to get comments from our friends and family, so drop us a line!
John, Angela & Annelise
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