This year comes to an end with a lot of changes, and has brought the Glover family to a place of excitement to see what our new year holds. What kind of year was 2015? Well, it’s been a year, to quote my ever-eloquent husband.
To put the best stuff up front, before you get tired of reading, Allen and I can sum up our year with a few short bullet points, lessons we’ve learned. Perhaps these lessons are not so profound, and truth be told, we could learn them over again every year, yet for us right now here’s what life boils down to:
- Health is an incredible gift that must be worked at, treasured and never taken for granted.
- True community where you can be yourself is a rare find.
- Kids and parents, hug them tight and keep them close while you have them.
2015 ended six years of service at St. John’s UCC in Catonsville, Maryland. We’ve settled the family in Howard County in a little townhouse, and moved the boys into the local elementary school. They both were having some trouble in Baltimore County schools, but in the new system they are both experiencing much-improved academic and social success!
Aaron’s talking more, not always a good thing (ha!), and his reading and writing have dramatically improved in 3rd grade. He still loves Music Therapy, enjoying his second year with the talented Ms. Kerry. Mark loves his 2nd grade class, and is making friends, doing great things in math, and enjoying a new-found love of graphic novels.
Last winter seemed too long in many ways: I worried for my dad’s health, and Allen lost his father. The experience did draw Allen and his sister Katina into a closer relationship, for which he’s very grateful.
I got inspired to start researching family genealogy again. So far, we got Jenn’s family back to Irish, French, Swiss and German roots, and took Allen’s dad’s side back to John’s Island, South Carolina. Now we just need a trip to Jamaica to research Allen’s mom’s side.
This summer, I took the boys, my parents and two cousins on a trip to Branson, MO. We enjoyed a great stopover at my grandmother’s house in Tennessee. In Springfield, we enjoyed a mini family reunion, and got to see about 40 of our Sowell-side family. Given how much worry we’ve suffered about Dad’s health (he’s in remission now, but we worry always), it was good for everyone to get to spend some time with Granny and Pappaw.
I spent the summer interviewing with new churches, and announced in November that I will be the new pastor at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Wheaton, Maryland. Pilgrim is progressive, Open and Affirming (our UCC lingo for LGBT-welcoming churches), and had women pastors back in the 80’s—I think that’s so great! All of us can’t wait until January when my service officially begins!
On a personal note of triumph for me, I’ve lost 60 pounds since the beginning of the summer. It’s been a TON of hard work, and there’s still more work to do. I haven’t felt this kind of personal achievement in a long time—it’s changed my way of thinking and acting and my energy is so much greater. I feel proud that health is the goal far more than appearance. Although looking thinner and wearing smaller clothing sure is nice.
Allen’s getting fitter, too, and both of us are enjoying Saturdays spent at the gym with the boys. Mark and Aaron are taking jujitsu and swim lessons, and both are making progress, getting stronger and more coordinated.
Allen’s still in real estate in New York, working out of a small office in Brooklyn a few days a week, then telecommuting on days he’s in Maryland. The commute is tough, but we both love living in Maryland and plan to build our home here. We both look forward to settling down in our own home, and pray that day will come in the next year or two.
Our family hopes this letter finds you all healthy and happy. If this year wasn’t what you’d hoped, next year holds the promise of something better. We wish all our friends a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and a Blessed and Peaceful New Year!
Love from our family to yours!