Christmas Letter 2017

Here is our 2017 Haws Family video:

Our family has had a big year! New town, new year of medical school, new baby! The beginning of the year was spent enjoying as much of Miami as we could fit in. Enjoying every single minute of living close to such great friends and also getting over morning sickness with baby #4. My parents came to visit and we were able to go several places with them-the Fruit and Spice Park, the beach, Wynwood Walls, the Farmer's Market for our favorite ceviche, Robert Is Here, the Miami Zoo-which was so nice to be able to play tourists and visit our favorite spots! We also had a ward camp out in March that was a huge success with our kids. We swam and swam and swam and tried to pack up our house a little bit before moving the first week of June. It was hard to say goodbye to so many of our wonderful Miami friends, but so exciting for us to move to Delray Beach. Sterling's dual degree class for MD/MPH complete their 3rd and 4th year rotations in Palm Beach County and we were excited to move a little bit (an hour and a half north) out of the big city. Delray Beach has been amazing for our little family. We live in an adorable little neighborhood with a huge park right on our street and a very quiet area where we feel very safe letting our kids ride bikes and play outside all day, every day. I get to walk with the kids to take Ruthie to school every morning and Will goes to an adorable little United Methodist pre-k on M/W/F. We live closer to the beach and closer to the library--so life is heaven, haha! Five days after moving we got to welcome a new baby to our family-Russell John Haws born on June 9, 6 pounds and 11 ounces of just pure softness and sweetness. He has been loved and adored and squished by all his loving family members since day one-I definitely think he's a keeper! My mom was able to come out for a week and she finished unpacking our last few boxes and cleaning our last few rooms and bike riding all around the neighborhood with Molly in the baby seat behind her. I don't know what I would do without her! We spent the summer enjoying the pool and the beach and the library programs and soaking in all the Florida sunshine and all the beautiful new baby glory. In the fall, Ruth started Kindergarten (what?!?!?!?) and Will started Pre-K (he only goes half day three days a week) and they both love school and have great classes. I love the time I get to devote to Molly and our weekly dates of grocery shopping with only us and the baby! In September we were lucky enough to evacuate (thanks to Sterling's school recommending it and cancelling all of his obligations) to my sister's house in Pittsburgh for Hurricane Irma. We found out Sterling passed Step 1 while driving--so we enjoyed the entire week like a vacation. We were very concerned for our friends and loved ones down in Florida, but it was a welcome break from medical school and an excuse to have some family time. Our apartment had no power for seven days, so we are very grateful we could leave and not have our tiny baby stuck in that heat and humidity without power for so long. We came home to lots of debri but everything just how we left it and we know we were very blessed. Sterling was able to drive down and help with clean-up in the Keys, which was a really neat experience. In October Sterling's family came to visit! We had a blast enjoying the ocean and playing games all night long! It was so fun to see them and to show them our Florida. In November, I flew to Utah with baby Russ for an unexpected funeral in our family. While it was a hard experience, it was such a relief to feel the love and support of a huge extended family and that Sterling had the availability to watch the kids while I went. We have been truly blessed this year as well as reminded of the important and wonderful things in our lives. Russell is six months old now, rolling over and eating like a champ. He is constant smiles and laughs and still the center of our family's world. Molly is 3 1/2 and loves all the barbies and princesses. She is always my willing helper and sidekick throughout the day. Will is 4 (almost 5) and eats, drinks, and breathes bike-riding. He can easily ride his bike around for 2-3 miles a day and still beg for more. He also loves dogs, planes, and cars. Ruth is 6 and starting to read everything in sight. She draws and traces and colors for hours on end and loves to create things and give gifts. She started piano and is good at reminding mom to give her lessons! I am doing all the things--drop offs, pick ups, appointments, play dates, parks, pools, bike rides, cleaning, church, shopping, etc. I am in love with Florida's winter right now and being able to constantly get outside and enjoy the sunshine with my kids. It's a beautiful stage of life, and if the sand would magically stay out of my van I think it'd be perfect, ha! Sterling spent the summer studying like crazy for Step 1 (he passed!) and then started 3rd year rotations. He LOVES it. He LOVE LOVES it. This year has been so much fun for him so far. He loves everything he does, it is all interesting, but right now he is in psychiatry and it is by far and away his favorite thing in medicine. He enjoys it so much and is loving life. 

We are especially grateful at this time of year for our Savior and for our family, and we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! 
Love, The Haws Family

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