Merry Christmas!

Family Updates

The year 2012 has been a year of “firsts” for us.

As most of you know, we were married on March 3rd of this year and are blessed to report that each new day just gets better and better.  🙂  As a result of our wedding came many “firsts” — such as our first kiss, our first trip with just the two of us, and our first home.

God has blessed us with a beautiful and spacious apartment in a quiet part of Darien, IL, just minutes from work, church, and Aldi — our favorite place to shop.  The neighbors are quiet and friendly and the view is lovely.  We even have a nice park in our “backyard” which is nice when little friends come to visit.

During our engagement, the Lord provided us with our first few pieces of furniture through friends at church and local Craigslist listings.  The Lord even provided us with a really nice mattress for our bed at an incredible discount!  So, as a result, we started our home with a couch, a desk, a bed, and a dining room set as our first pieces of furniture.  Over the last nine months, the Lord has seen fit to fill in the “missing pieces” and our home is now fully furnished and ready for visitors like you…even on short notice.  🙂

Our first trip as a married couple (after our honeymoon, of course) was to Wisconsin for the wedding of Valerie’s younger brother.  It has been a busy year of weddings for us as we have attended well over half a dozen of them together, including the weddings of three of our own siblings.  It has been neat to hear the stories of so many other young couples and how God has brought them together.

This summer, we enjoyed having our first overnight guests and have truly enjoyed opening our home to family and friends and sharing the gift of hospitality.

Also this summer, Valerie enjoyed her first opportunity to visit the Waller farms as well as her first Waller family reunion (well, technically it was a Perhai family reunion but that’s part of the Waller extended family).

In September, Adam had his first business trip after the wedding…and Valerie was privileged to get to go along too!  🙂

This fall, we have even been able to work on our first web development project together which has been a lot of fun.  It has been so neat to see how much our interests overlap and yet our personal areas of gifting complement each other’s weaknesses!

We just finished celebrating our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple and are greatly looking forward to our first Christmas together as well.  We have been truly blessed in this our first year of marriage.  While we don’t know exactly what this next year holds, we look forward to it in eager anticipation, knowing that our loving Heavenly Father delights to give us His best.

Even as we look back on that first Christmas night, we see God giving mankind the gift of His very best when He sent His very own Son — His only Son — to come to this earth to live, to die, and to rise again so that our sins could be eternally forgiven and we could live with Him in heaven as His adopted children.

Whether this next year is a year of “firsts” or “lasts” or just the normal “status quo” for you, God’s gift is still available to you for He longs to receive you as His child and pour out His blessings upon you as well.

As we exchange gifts with one another and engage in the many holiday festivities, may we be ever mindful of God’s greatest gift to us — His Son, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas and God bless you in the coming year!

~ Adam & Valerie Waller

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Special Memories

Family Updates

It was the big night, the one for which they (well, Valerie anyway) had been waiting for several weeks.  Work was done for the day, dinner had been eaten and cleaned up, and the calendar had been kept clear.  With a batch of fresh gingersnaps just out of the oven and some music of the season playing in the background, it was time to begin.

“Begin what?” you say?  I guess I did leave out that important detail, didn’t I?  🙂

It was time to decorate the apartment for Christmas…their first Christmas together as a married couple in their own home.  🙂  While Valerie has helped to decorate the family home for years, she was really looking forward to decorating her little apartment this year and making special memories with her wonderful husband, Adam.

Out came the boxes with the Christmas decorations and the fun began.  They knew they didn’t have a lot to work with but the didn’t really know what exactly they did have.  They opened the boxes and began discovering together some old things made new by their new position in life and some new things received last year to be used for their first Christmas together.

One thing they had realized ahead of time was that, though they had a handful of ornaments, they didn’t have a Christmas tree.  They had done some looking but most of the trees were too big for their little apartment and even the little ones were so expensive.  They were still hoping for a tree of some sort but nothing had seemed just right yet.  Then, as Adam was pulling things out of the boxes, inspiration struck.

“Honey, did you already have something in mind for this piece of garland here?” he asked.

“No,” said Valerie, “I hadn’t really thought about it yet.”

“Would you mind if I used it for something then?”

“Go ahead.” she replied.  “What did you have in mind?”

With a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, Adam replied, “A Christmas tree!”  He showed Valerie a very quick sample of what he had in mind and then got right to work.

Meanwhile, Valerie continued pulling out the few other little things she had stored away, including the ornaments that would now have a place to hang.

The one thing Valerie wasn’t so sure about was the wreath on their door.  It was so summery but she didn’t really have anything to replace it with…or so she thought.  As she rummaged through her boxes looking for something else, she was reminded that she had an old straw base for making a wreath.  With some extra tulle and flowers from their wedding, she got to work on making a new wreath while Adam finished working on making their tree.

Both finished about the same time and stood back to admire each other’s new “masterpieces”.  They pulled out a string of lights and then added their handful of ornaments…just exactly the right amount for their little tree.

Remember those special memories Valerie was looking forward to making that night?  Well, that little tree will always be one of them.  🙂


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Abundantly Blessed

Family Updates

With four married children in Valerie’s family now, it was a special treat to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with her entire family all in one place this year.  At least two of the ten children are headed for the mission field in the years to come so opportunities to be all together like this may be few and far between.  In fact, we actually waited until Friday to celebrate so that everyone could be there…including the latest edition, Cody Marshall Barta, born just that week!

In preparation for our time together, Mom Mueller sent out a little survey to ascertain everyone’s favorite dishes for our Thanksgiving feast as well as some of their favorite Thanksgiving memories and/or traditions — the things that “make it Thanksgiving” to each one.

She felt this would be especially important and helpful since we added several new family members this year and were starting some new family traditions.  After all, who wants to make something only to find out no one in the current gathering even likes it?

It was quite fun to see the results come in and hear the feedback from the different ones.  While there was a good bit of variety in the food favorites, everybody seemed to agree about their favorite memories.  We all said that the thing that “makes it Thanksgiving” to us is the time to relax together and “be family” and, one way or another, to spend time reflecting on and sharing the many, many blessings of the Lord upon our lives over the past year.

As we took time as a couple to reflect on what God has done for us, we were again amazed and overwhelmed by the goodness of our loving Heavenly Father Who has poured out His blessings upon us in abundance.  Just last November, we were engaged, then married in March, and already we will be celebrating nine months of marriage this next week!  Time has flown by so quickly and our relationship just continues to grow sweeter and sweeter every day.

We have seen God provide a wonderful home for us and everything we need (and more) to keep it furnished and functioning well.  We’ve been blessed to be able to host friends and family in our home — for a visit, for a meal, and some even for an overnight stay.  We have experienced very little sickness and have had good health overall.

God has blessed Adam with a steady flow of work and even given Valerie some fun short-term projects to do on the side from time to time.  We have both enjoyed being involved in ministry at our church.

In truth, the list could go on and on.  Not every day has been perfect and free from care or concern but we have been richly blessed!

Yet, even when there is struggle or uncertainty about the future, our God still holds us close as His children and reminds us that we are blessed even in those days for it is then that we draw closer to Him.  This is a good reminder as we move into the Christmas season and look ahead to what God may have for us in the coming year.  We may not know what the future holds but we are blessed to know the One Who holds the future in His very hands.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Wallers!


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