Merry Christmas to All,
We hope many blessings come your way this Christmas season and throughout the New Year. Unbelievably another year has come and gone. We have had lots of excitement this year starting with the anticipation of the newest member of the Niall Family. Baby Niall is expected to arrive in the middle of February. Adriana loves the thought of being a big sister. Often she kisses mama’s belly and tells her new baby brother or sister stories. She usually ends the belly time falling on the floor pretending her new sibling just kicked her. We were honored to join in the celebration of the ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Augustine Senz, a monk at St. Benedict Abbey when we attend mass. What a beautiful gift to see a priest ordained, perform his first mass, and receive a blessing from him. That was a blessed weekend. In preparation for the new baby and expansion of the family business we once again moved. I can hear all of you laughing, MOVED again!!!! We live in the same community moving only about ½ mile from our old home. Now Michael has an office and our apartment is bigger. We are hopeful our next move will be to a house we own. Please pray for us. We started writing down funny lines Adriana says throughout the year but in the move we misplaced them. We’ll try to keep them for next year. Let us tell you about some of the adventures each of us had this year.
Michael: At the end of last year our family, with Michael at the lead, started a car repair business, Opus Sanctum Repair. God has been good to our family business. Just when we think there’s no business here comes three or four more jobs. The business has been a learning experience. Some cars are more challenging to fix and many unexpected challenges arise. Michael ran in the 5-mile race again this year. He came in third place but only because he was pushing Adriana in her stroller. Daddy’s finale for the year was his lesson on a flying trapeze. Although it was fun Michael says he probably won’t do it again. Michael is currently co-teaching a confirmation class and reading a biography of Saint Faustina Kowalska. God has helped Michael in being the spiritual head of the household. We have finally started praying the rosary every evening (at least two decades).
Adrianne: As usual Adrianne is keeping busy with Adriana. She started a new job last February but is looking forward to the birth of the newest baby and staying home with the two children. The new job is much better than the other because she goes into work to sleep which allows her the day to be with Adriana. It does take some time away from the family but we have learned to work with it. In Adrianne’s adventure this year she learned the importance of motherhood (better late than never). Learning about her vocation as wife and mother this year has been the most exciting part of the year. She feels truly ready for a new baby. She discovered the joys of being a mother after reading a few good books including The Dignity and Humanity of Women (JPII) and by attending a great retreat given by a music artist, Marie Bellet. She is a wife and mother who sings about her vocation. What a great retreat!!! She also stayed at the Abbey for two days away from the family. She can’t wait to do that again. Adrianne and Adriana did quite a bit of running around this summer. It reminded Adrianne of the gypsy days. Nothing beats fun summer day trips.
Adriana: Adriana is growing all the time. Her favorite saying is “Mama, I’m getting tall.” Most people say she is tall for her age. Any who know her mama knows she doesn’t get her height from mama, mama’s vertically challenged. At the end of Jan of last year Adriana started her greatest activity of the year, gymnastics. . She is very good at it but who would have thought differently with all the energy she has. It is a great way to channel that energy. Mama and Daddy love to go with her to the class. She had a great summer with lots of activities. She went on a few trips to different zoos, Drumlin Farm a few times, she had a few weeks of swimming lessons, we explored the botanical garden, and the Science and Discovery museum. From the list you can see she loves animals. We went on a fun birthday camping trip to York, ME. That was great. We went to the beach, Adriana’s first time swimming in the ocean and playing in the waves, Adriana’s first Trolley ride, her first salt water taffy, her favorite York Wild Animal Kingdom (Adriana still refers to this as My Animal Kingdom), the amusements, and a family visit. Adriana loves the amusement parks in fact she went with one of her cousins (a year older) this summer and Adriana wanted to go on all the rides but Brendan was afraid of many. She loved the roller coaster. She enjoyed a few family hikes we went on although mama was starting to get too tired by August so we put a hold on hikes until next year. Adriana went to two first communions this year. Since then she was been dressing up like she is going to make her first communion plus every time we are at mass just before we receive communion she always says “Daddy I can’t wait until I can receive communion.” We’ve taught her how to receive spiritual communion, which is such a great gift. She also enjoys praying the rosary often praying it by herself (she knows all the prayers) or reminding mama and daddy to say it. Believe it or not she also asks mama or daddy to stop at our local church to make a visit to Our Lord. She has shown mama how to be holy, to be a child. We also continue our tradition of apple picking. Adriana hasn’t missed a year. She went for the first time when she was less than two months old. She dressed up as St. Theresa for All Saints Day. Daddy did a great job sewing the costume; she was a hit at the Abbey, discalced (no shoes) and all. Adriana had an active and fun filled year.
We were glad to hear from many of you this year. We look forward to our adventures this coming year and hearing about your adventures next year.
Love and God Bless you all,
Michael, Adrianne, Adriana and Baby Niall