Greetings from the Gautreaux/Jones family. This is our Christmas letter, but I am also hoping it can serve as our change of address letter, because we moved…in 2013! As most of you know we are in Pullman, WA. After nearly 6 years in my beloved rural Nebraska we decided it was time to get back closer to my family. I miss a lot about Nebraska (the kindness of the people, the slowness, the small town life), but I am happy to have better proximity to my family and to some fun activities. Upon moving to Pullman Keith and I initially worked together in the same family practice clinic. Things have morphed, and in 2015 Keith took a full time position at Schweitzer Engineering labs where he acts as their medical director. I am still at the same clinic where I mostly do OB/peds. Emaline and Chloe just turned 6 and their favorite thing to do is to just play together. They feed off of each other’s energy and imagination and they are never bored, nor are they ever boring. Their favorite activities are playing pretend with stuffies and dolls and doing art together. I occasionally force them into different activities as well, so they’ve dabbled in gymnastics, jump roping, biking, and most recently ice hockey. It’s so much fun to watch them learn and grow. I have stayed busy playing some volleyball this summer, and I am trying a new sport this winter - hockey! I love it.
The loss of Keith’s mother in November has been a sad and overwhelming event for us. Shirley had been so present in our lives and so energetic in her retirement. She traveled regularly to be with us and the girls over the years. Losing her was unexpected and heart breaking. Reflecting on her life made me really realize more than ever what an awesome mother she was to her boys. She was ever loving, ever supportive, ever positive and encouraging. Always the teacher, she gave them a broad perspective on life and humanity even within the confines of a small Nebraska town. As Jeffrey said at her eulogy, she gave them roots and wings, and as Keith said, “she made everyone feel important, because she loved everyone, and she spread that love as far as she could”. She was his best teacher. She loved our girls so much and showed them that love regularly. We are deeply saddened that she will not be there to see them grow up, and we hope to keep her memory alive with them as much as possible. I hope I can be as supportive and loving to my own girls. She was a great model for that.
Have a Very Merry Christmas y’all, and hold your loved ones tight!
Shaleah, Keith, Emaline, Chloe and Lucy