We hope this finds you among family, friends, and warmth this Christmas season as you look with anticipation to the new year. 2013 held several highly anticipated milestones that remind us God has us right where we are supposed to be.
Jaxton Edward Penick was born October 21 at 12:38pm, weighing in at 7lb. 15oz. and 20 inches long; he is now 10 weeks and in the 97th percentile for his height and weight. Jax is a champ and has stolen our hearts, as well as the affection of anyone who sees his big gummy grin.
We were overwhelmed with the kindness of so many in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri who hosted and attended baby showers in anticipation of Jax's arrival. And many thanks to so many who have reached out to welcome him as well!
Lincoln has fully embraced his role as big brother, often sitting next to a sleeping Jax for long periods of time. We enjoy Kansas City and take full advantage of the vast running trail system; this year we ran almost 2,000 miles collectively. Coincidentally, Jax is an early riser and loves to be bounced!
After the New Year, Starrla is returning to Mothers Against Drunk Driving as National Senior Director, Programs, learning the new balance of motherhood and leading in an organization that is making tremendous strides in legislation, education, advocacy, and victim services to positively impact society; she loves what she does and leads a very talented team that develops and manages their national programs.
Mark graduated December 20 with a Ph.D. from Dallas Baptist University. This year, he traveled across 37 states and Canada to do in-depth interviews for his qualitative phenomenological dissertation and as a result has been invited to consult and do contract work over the next months with I am Second. After serving at churches for over 10 years while simultaneously completing a Master of Divinity and doctoral studies, 2013 has been a sabbatical season providing Mark with the opportunity to complete his doctorate by writing his dissertation and also preach and speak across the south and midwest. In 2014, we anticipate God's next assignment for Mark as Senior Pastor. We invite you to pray with us as we seek the church where God would have us serve.
Please continue to stay in touch and let us know if your contact information has changed. We regularly post updates and current pictures of Jax on twitter and facebook. Know that we love you and are deeply grateful for you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Mark & Starrla