This year the Haws family ventured out of our comfortable little space and began a lot of new and exciting experiences.
We started off the year with the decisions to go to the University of Miami for medical school and have a beautiful baby girl all at the same time! Sterling finished up his last semester at wonderful Weber State University (so sad to say goodbye!) as well as switched jobs to gain some hospital experience at McKay Dee right next to our house. He loved every bit of it and we are so thankful he got that opportunity as well as having no more commutes to SLC! I picked up two extra jobs by covering maternity leaves in Tremonton and Morgan---I'll spare you the Unique Places that Morning Sickness Hit stories, but it was a little crazy. (Special thanks to the Subway in Morgan for fulfilling all of my pregnancy cravings!) I also taught five of my nieces and nephews piano and we had one last farewell recital. We were also able to make it on one last camping trip to Goblin Valley with the Rasmussen family.
The last day of May we packed up our moving van (or rather, my sister Megan's family packed up our moving van--you guys are the greatest!) and cleaned out our most favorite apartment that we miss every. single. day. (or rather, my mom cleaned it out--love you mom!) slept one last night in Morgan at my sister's house and headed out on the longest road trip of our lives. Luckily, we took my niece Danica along with us and she saved the day. 40 hours later, surprised by how well our two toddlers did on the drive, we arrived in Miami at 2am in the middle of a torrential downpour the likes of which I had never experienced. I didn't even know Miami had a rainy season. I know that now. Oh, how I know that now!
We had some major bumps along the way with our apartment and getting moved in. When the second toilet started leaking I decided to call it a night, turned on the sink to wash my face and the sink started gushing water across my feet. But it all got worked out and we are SO grateful for where we live. We feel safe in our community, we love our ward, we have incredible neighbors, and a beautiful pool that helped us survive our first Miami summer. We couldn't have asked for better friends or a better home.
It's taken some smoothing, but I think we've got all the kinks and wrinkles worked out and are adjusted to the routine of med school with three kids in Miami. Sterling loves his program and comes home every day excited about a new aspect of medicine. He studies a lot but he also does a great job of managing his time. The kids have become little fish and both Ruth and Will can swim all by themselves (with floaties) and they love the pool. We swam up until the first week of November before we called it quits (they don't heat pools here and it gets cool enough at night and we've become big enough wimps that the water feels pretty chilly). We have a weekly playgroup with other med school/resident wives in the area as well as a weekly story time at our local library. I love the interaction with adults, especially ladies I can relate to, and the kids love playing with their friends! We also got a zoo pass and since Zoo Miami is massive (we've only recently seen the entire thing and we've been there ten times at least) and has a park and splash pad--it is a great place to keep us busy.
Ruth turned 3 in August and has seemed to grow by leaps and bounds in the last six months. She is so independent and smart and funny and keeps us on our toes. Definitely the oldest, she thinks she is the boss of this house, but her help is invaluable and she is just the sweetest. She loves dressing up in skirts and lace and anything frilly and pink. She loves music and learns songs SO fast. She is also the best at reminding us to say prayers and read scriptures and wants to be a ballerina when she grows up. Will is almost 2 and is definitely his own little self. He loves playing with balls and has a huge obsession with bikes (don't worry, Santa knows!). He has to check in with mom on a regular basis, but is pretty happy going off and playing by Ruthie, or by himself. His little language and his little walk are my favorite and I will be sad to see him grow out of this stage. He's my little man (all mama's boy) and gives the best hugs and kisses! Molly is four months old(!) and the cutest baby there ever was! The only place she is reliably happy is in her daddy's arms, but driving in the car or being worn in a carrier can also sometimes do the trick. Ruth is the best at getting her to smile and Will asks to hold her at least twenty times a day--they adore their baby sister! I can't get enough of her softness and baby perfection. I love this time that I have to be completely home with them.
The missionaries say that Miami is the only in-state, out-of-country mission. Oh, how true that is. They have also taught us about the Cuban finger point and Puerto Rican sneak while driving, haha. We have the cockroaches, the food with names I can't pronounce(but it's all really good), the insanely humid heat and torrential rain, and our ward is even bilingual so we wear headsets to understand everyone-although sometimes I think someone is speaking another language and then realize its English but with such a strong accent I didn't notice, haha! We are so out-of-the-ordinary that we, with a few others, are referred to as the 'white families' in the ward. The ATTENTION Ruth gets over her red hair! Sterling has been able to have some wonderful experiences at health fairs in the inner city locations, such as Little Haiti and Overtown. Miami has definitely been a huge adjustment, but we have enjoyed so much of it and are so glad we're here!
Here's to 2015!