***Meet the Rother’s…I was charged with writing the family Christmas card this year. It’s a little long, a lot of sarcastic and an attempt to sum up 11.5 members of one crazy family! Enjoy!!***
Let’s be honest, Christmas cards have evolved quickly. What once was a cheap card celebrating the coming of our Savior with a quick hello has turned into a money-making scheme for holiday industries. The card must be creative, cute and cool so people think highly of our family and how we’ve raised our kids, who if we’re honest aren’t the perfect angels we paint them out to be.
Then there’s the whole letter thing. How can we inform people who truly care about family updates and don’t already know from social media without airing too much dirty laundry and bragging too much?
I’ve been charged with this task. If you’ve figured out a way to do this well, let me know. I’d love to file it away for next year. Until then, here’s my best attempt (brace yourself because the sarcasm will run heavy 🙂 ). And since most of you don’t really know me, I’ll start with me.
Many receiving this card have either never met me or at the very least remember the tomboy, sports playing, Lego building Lindsay. Well, I’m not quite who you remember anymore. I’m 26 now and thankfully no longer rocking the bowl cut! I live in Branson, MO and have my own comedy show on the Strip”…call me and I’ll get you tickets! Totally kidding, but I do live in Branson. Weird, I know, but I love it. I’m a director at Kanakuk Kamps, a Christian, sports camp where it’s our goal to develop Christ-centered leaders. We do this through sports, activities and a ton of fun as well as by hiring “cool’ college students to show kids we can be different than society. A big part of my job during the year is traveling to campuses to interview summer staff”…we hire about 1,700 students, so it’s a big job! On top of fun and college aged role models, there’s also a spiritual component. In a society continuing to shun truth, we stand on The Truth, Jesus and the Word of God, and teach campers about character development, decision-making, independence, peer pressure, eternal life, relationships and so much more through a lens centered on the Gospel. I LOVE my job and believe in what I do. I’ve learned this is vital, and I’m thankful to enjoy my job. Besides work, nothing too much has changed for me. I know you’re all wondering”…there isn’t a wedding coming anytime soon. I’m single and embracing it. I tell my family all the time I’m open to when the Lord opens the relationship door in my life (tall, truly knows Jesus, hard-working and someone I respect”…that’s what I’m waiting for!). I’m going to Zambia (I’ll help you out”…that’s in Africa!) to help put on camp for orphans the day after Christmas. I’ve never done anything like this and couldn’t be more excited! Seriously, if you’re ever in Branson, let me know!
Enough about me”…let’s get to people who are actually interesting. My bigger sister (no I don’t mean fat, just older) Dana is doing well and rocking life. Her and Ryan live in Tulsa and both have learned a ton the last 20 months on how to balance career/life with parenthood. They would never say this, but I can”…shhhh”…don’t tell them, I don’t want them to get a big head”…they’re doing a really great job! Ryan has a major hand in building very large projects in the Tulsa area with Manhattan Construction while Dana is the Assistant Vice President of Marketing at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa. They’re both doing great in their jobs, but the thing I’ve been most impressed with is how they’ve been able to both take a step back from their jobs, still be successful and make their family priority. That being said, the first “Haynie’ grandson will be 2 in April. Harrison’s the sweetest, most observant, joyful little guy I know in all of Tulsa! He has a baby brother brewing too”…arrives April 2014, and in basketball terms I couldn’t be more excited to round out my starting five with this new addition!
My biggest sister (again, no she HASN’T gotten fat either, she’s just the eldest!) Jamie is rocking life as well. It’s been a roller coaster couple of years for Jamie and Chad’s family”…but much like an actual roller coaster, when you get off of it you look back and even though the ride was wild, you’re glad you did it. The Smith family has grown to five. In November 2012, Emerson Knox entered the world earlier than expected. After open-heart surgery, four months in the NICU and a rocky entry into the world, we just celebrated the 1st birthday of a healthy and extremely happy boy. And in case you don’t know, Emerson has Downs’ Syndrome. We won’t know the severity until he gets older, but regardless he is the most laid back, smiley baby I’ve ever met. The epitome of unexpected circumstances turned blessing”…but isn’t that what God specializes in?! Kaedyn’s almost 9. He LOVES Legos and has recently become interested in golf and tennis. We’ve been pleasantly surprised getting to see his loving side as he assumes some big brother responsibility with Emerson. Paxton is 5 and a half. He’s super playful and really funny. He’s playing basketball for the first time and simply loves emulating Kaedyn”…hopefully this can be channeled well! Chad is delivering like it’s his job…because it is! For real, he’s an OB/GYN at OU Health Sciences Center and just assumed a new role as the Medical Director of Perinatal Safety for OU physicians. Jamie is no longer teaching and now has the privilege of staying home with the boys”…I don’t have kids, but if I’ve learned one thing in all my babysitting and aunt duties”…it’s a full time job!!! Let’s just say she’s the Smith Household’s CEO!
As for Mama and Papa Roth (i.e. Sam and Linda), they are living the grandparent dream right now! Does life get better than being healthy enough to make unbelievable memories with your grandsons but also get to send them home to their parents when you need a little break?! They are the best MiMi and PoPo too. I didn’t understand it when I was a kid, but selflessness oozes from these two”…the way they parented us and now how they spend time with their boys. Besides grandkids, Dad’s still in the business of softening hard water at Culligan. They absolutely LOVE living in Edmond and have found great community there. The one thing they wish was different about their lives: all three of their girls living in the same town. Regardless, they are the best at supporting, encouraging and giving us advice while always allowing us to be our own people, make our own decisions and spread our wings to fly. We tell them all the time they need to take advantage of their health and travel now, so I’m hoping a few trips to see places they’ve never seen are in their near future! (Mom, you can pay me later for this line 🙂 ).
Well, hopefully you feel caught up on the Rother’s world. So often I don’t stop long enough to realize how blessed we are, but stopping to write this was a beautiful reminder of how much we have to be thankful for. And no matter what the circumstances are surrounding any of us, may we all be reminded this holiday season that it’s Christmas, the time when Jesus, also known as Emmanuel (literally means God with us) became flesh. 30+ years later He surrendered His life on a cross to pay the penalty for sin that we all deserve. He is the HOPE of the world. No matter the circumstances, Jesus is real, alive and the hope we all need. God, thank you for sending your Son”…may our adoration toward you this holiday season be our best because that’s what you deserve. Whether I know you directly or not, I’m thankful for how you’ve played a role in the development of my family.
Merry Christmas friends!
Lindsay (Sam & Linda’s youngest)
P.S. if you’d like to stay connected year round (specifically to me, but sometimes with my family as well), I also do a little blogging on the side. Letters for Lindsay has become a fun sounding board for me. Check it out here: www.lettersforlindsay.com.