This year has brought a lot of changes to our little family so we thought it would be a good time to begin sending out that annual Christmas letter. We hope it finds you all happy and well this Christmas season.
The year started with the surprising early arrival of our sweet Charlie (Charles) on January 2nd. We love our happy, adventurous, redheaded baby (who is quickly becoming a toddler) and having daily little adventures with him. When he was less than a week old, he was diagnosed with Phenylketonuria (PKU) from the results of his newborn screening test. PKU is a rare metabolic disorder that requires adherence to a strict low-protein diet to ensure proper brain development and function. Learning about PKU and how to best care for Charlie has been, at times, an emotional roller coaster. We are forever grateful to those who kept us in their prayers during those first several months. God truly answered them and gave us strength and peace when we needed it most. Charlie is doing fantastic and Katie is learning how to cook all over again.
The months following Charlie’s birth were quite busy as we both defended our theses and prepared to receive our master’s degrees from BYU in April. After graduation we moved to St. Louis where Keith had an internship in a seed physiology lab at Monstanto. The heat and humidity were a shock to our systems so we were glad to take a trip to the northwest in June to meet the newest member of the Temus clan: Brooke Jaggi, born to Sarah (Katie’s sister) and Darren. While in Washington, we took an excursion to Long Beach where we enjoyed riding bikes through the dunes and tasting the wonderful food of the Garlic Festival.
In August we packed up again and moved further east to Raleigh, NC where Keith is now working on his PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics at NC State University. He is enjoying his program and research on pest and disease resistance in winter wheat. It is a beautiful area and we are all enjoying exploring it bit by bit. Fall was stunning and Charlie especially loved playing in the mounds of leaves on during our walks.
We took a wonderful trip to Utah and back to Washington in September to spend time with both sides of the family and celebrate with Liz (Katie’s sister) and Cory when they got married in Logan. We are so excited and happy for them!
We are thankful this year for the blessings of loving family and friends. We are thankful for our Savior and the peace and strength that come only through Him. May His love fill your Christmas season and bless you the whole year through.
Keith, Katie, and Charlie Merrill