It’s a big topic this time of year. For children of countless generations, not believing is associated with growing up. As if the pinnacle of maturity is attained with the position.
We had this discussion with Brooklyn nine years ago, when she was in the 2nd grade. So-and-so in her class didn’t believe in Santa, and so-and-so had shared all kinds of information with her about why she shouldn’t believe either.
After she finished passing it along to us, we just shook our heads in sadness. We said, “I guess this classmate of yours will never be able to go to Disney World.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Well, Disney is all about magic,” we explained. “To experience Disney World is to experience magic. And Christmas is kind of like Disney World. It’s full of magic.”
We concluded that as long as she believed, she would receive not just gifts, but the magic of Christmas.
We never had another conversation about it, but have heard the information passed around our house on occasion. The thing is, no matter how grown up we are, no matter how much we know or don’t know, Christmas is nothing short of magical. And it’s not just a seasonal feeling, it’s one we’ve experienced throughout the highs, and even the lows, of 2017. It all comes back to that whole believing thing.
This greeting is about the highlights of the year. It’s such a joy to recount some of them to share with you.
Topping the list is our Meadows Magical Moments with Mickey. We celebrated being married half our lives, marking our 18th anniversary in Disney this past June. For us, it really is the happiest place on earth!
On March 4th, Brooklyn celebrated her Sweet 16. Disney style. Party guests dressed up as Disney characters and we dined at Disney themed tables decorated by Shawna, our friend with Water Walker Event Planning. Our friend Mallory took photos and we reminisced with our family and friends watching a slide show of Brooklyn’s life. Everyone who came to celebrate made it completely magical for her.
Brooklyn recently started working part time at QuikTrip while keeping up with a decently busy school schedule. She took advantage of the concurrent enrollment opportunity, completing six hours of college credit this semester; a fantastic accomplishment for a junior in high school!
Jaron is equally as busy, but without a driver’s license, which means his busy is our busy. He ran cross country for his second year and received the Tiger award for his team leadership, along with an award for being in the Top 5 of the Metro Lakes Conference. During cross country he was playing fall league soccer. Currently, he is busy in basketball season with the school and a tournament team, along with managing 8th grade studies. His naturally geared math/science brain is having to invest more time and attention to some of his other not-as-interesting classes, but we’re thankful to say, he’s managing well. Our Eve of Christmas Eve baby has already passed his mama and sister in height, but is still as sweet and loveable. No one ever need ask Jaron twice for a hug! He gives them freely. We celebrate his #14 this December 23rd.
The third child continues to hold the title for most laid back kid ever! We celebrated Caden’s 11th birthday on August 15th amidst the annual chaotic preparations for back-to-school. While sitting in the car for the last schedule pick-up, we discovered Caden was conflicted on where to choose for his birthday dinner because each of his siblings were trying to sway him in the direction of their own favorite restaurant. The guy is so chill and laid back that he truly didn’t care. The decision was made by everyone texting their vote and it panned out for Caden to enjoy a deliciously juicy steak and a generous portion of dessert, his true favorite.
His 2017 included seasons of baseball, soccer and now back in basketball. He attended church camp this summer, heading out for the week without any of his siblings, but some of the best pastors and buddies ever! Through the kids ministry Caden has the opportunity to minister to others once a month helping lead worship in the preschool church service. He loves music and he loves people. A perfect fit!
Gavin turned 8 on July 13th and is as active as every other individual in our home. He got plugged in with a great baseball team and played with them for his second spring this 2017 year. Gavin’s favorite position is catcher. He received all the gear for his birthday to pursue his interest. He got to put it right to use for fall baseball. Right now he is with the same team playing basketball. They’re doing pretty well for 2nd graders playing in a 3rd grade league, learning a lot through the experience. Gavin spends hours on end, either alone or in collaboration with Caden, expressing skillful ingenuity through his impressive Lego creations. Although he has the loner personality of the family, he’s grown significantly socially. His teachers describe him as funny and a leader. Gavin is reading two grades above his own and has this intriguing way with numbers. It’s exciting to think how God will work all these details together in his future.
Brandon and I are truly just keeping up, but quite thankful to have so many to keep up with. He is continuing his engineering work as a project manager contracted with Rose Rock. We are incredibly grateful for the turn around in the oil and gas industry over the last year, living with cautious optimism in this unpredictable economy.
I’m still hanging out with my NICU babies for a shift a week and spending the rest of my workweek speaking and writing. A highlight this year was being invited as the keynote speaker for Saint Francis’s Hospital Week. What an incredible privilege being able to speak into the lives of those I so greatly respect and admire. And it’s super awesome that next year is already lining up with more speaking opportunities!
At the moment there are five writing projects on my board. One is our cookbook, which will be available for purchase very soon. I have two children’s books and a devotional book in the works, but the priority project is my memoir. It should be finished and ready for an editor in the spring. While it doesn’t have a title at the moment, it most certainly has a message. It’s more than the story of our life; it’s a story of overcoming life’s darkest moments, about persevering through life’s painful places. It’s a story for every person on the planet and one I would be so grateful to have your help in sharing with others. Please join the list by subscribing for free at heathermeadows.com!
Six people who have enlisted in turning these visions into a reality are our advertisers. Their investment allowed us to revamp and redesign our website to accommodate these upcoming projects. Please consider supporting us by supporting them.
The year has certainly contained some magical moments. And so does this season.
Mailboxes contain more than bills but personal greetings. That alone is magical. Companies celebrate. Families commemorate. People are kind. Friends give. Individuals reflect. It’s a season full of awe and wonder. But, is Christmas full of awe and wonder and all the magical goodness because we’re anticipating it and looking to find it? Can every month be like December?
This family has to say yes, because we see the magic of Christmas throughout the year. We see the awe and wonder of the Christmas story every single day of the year. A Savior who came to bring everyone a happily-ever-after. A Savior who says we can believe because nothing is impossible for Him. Those are some truths to believe in! And we have to say it feels pretty magical to do so!
Brandon, Heather, Brooklyn, Jaron, Caden & Gavin Meadows