While I can’t imagine that we will experience an uninteresting year anytime in the near future, this has been a particularly interesting year. It’s tough to highlight every exciting thing and all the people who have been a part of our life, but here are a few things that stood out about the year.

The cold months were blurry with Clair recovering from an open heart surgery that she had in November, 2010. Despite the surgery being reported as a success, there were several weeks of her being on a lift restriction — with a small enough weight limit she could not pick up any of our kids. As is often the case with these things, more friends than we knew we had came from all corners of the world to help with meals, driving kids, watching kids, cleaning and visiting. It was humbling and touching.

By springtime, Clair was fully recovered and the family spent some months enjoying a return to normalcy. The highlight of our spring was the joy of remembering how great normal life is.

The highlight of the summer was a trip to Frisco, Colorado for a family reunion. When Clair’s family is together, it’s a total of 40 siblings, spouses and kids. We had such a good time with everyone and loved Colorado. The weather was perfect, the town was smallish and friendly, the scenery breathtaking. Seriously. I don’t ever recall being in awe of nature until we drove through a mountain pass between Boulder and Idaho Springs. We hope to spend many weeks there in the coming years.

In early fall, the girls and I discovered that we love to go on hikes together. We made several visits to Holliday Park, Brown County State Park and Turkey Run state part. Theo joined us a time or two and impressed us with his endurance and drive to explore.

We also received some bad news this fall. I’m not a doctor, but I believe the medically accurate way of describing the situation is that the valve that Clair had installed in 2010 is jacked. Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time talking to Cardiologists, surgeons and friends who are doctors about what to do next. Unfortunately, the best thing for Clair and our family is to have another surgery as soon as possible. We are planning this now, but I would imagine we’d have it performed in late January or early February. I’ll provide updates here on the blog as well as on Facebook (friend me at ericmwhite at gmail dot com) and twitter (@ericmwhite).

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a great friend to us. We hope you enjoy the holidays! Keep in touch in 2012.