Summing up 2009

Note: This is the newsletter we sent out to everyone, so apologies if you're reading this for the second time.

Dear friends and family,

Looking back, we realise this has probably been the most eventful year of our marriage thus far. Raoul moved to a new job, we had a brief holiday in Johannesburg, and Zak was born, to mention a few of the events that happened.

The year started with Hannah about 6 weeks pregnant, and Raoul starting to wonder where he was going to get the money from to afford the pregnancy. We're pleased to say that God has provided for us the whole way through. Hannah read up all she could about pregnancy and kept Raoul up to date with how things were progressing. Hannah also decided that she wanted a home birth, and we chose some midwives a number of our friends have used.

In February, Raoul became dissatisfied with the situation at work, and decided to find a new job. A week later, Raoul had resigned, and was working out his last month at IOL. In April Raoul started his new job as a Python developer at CareerJunction, South Africa's top jobs website.

The night of the 1st of April, Hannah was rushed to the hospital for dehydration. After much too-ing and fro-ing, she was finally admitted, and Raoul eventually left the hospital at 2am. We spent most of the next day at the hospital waiting for the gastroenterologist to pitch up, and hoping to get out of the hospital before being charged for a second day. Raoul was very happy to discover that his boss is a very understanding man, and he was given the day off to look after Hannah.

Later in April, we flew up to Joburg for Dee (nee Delakisa) Koko's wedding. We spent a week up there, and connected with friends, went to the Zoo, and even took photos of the house Raoul spent much of his childhood in. We felt very "big" and "adult" on the trip, having flown up and booked ourselves a retal car and accommodation, something neither of us had really done before.

At the beginning of July, we found out that our baby was breech, and would need to be turned, or else Hannah would need to have a c-section. We decided to have an external version, where the doctor tries to manually rotate the baby, but the "seamonkey" was not going anywhere. A c-section was booked, and we welcomed Zachary Snyman into the world at 12:16 on the 29th of July.

Hannah's mom kindly flew out from the USA to help us out for the first 3 weeks after Zak was born. Melodie landed on the 4th of August, and wasted no time in making herself at home and helping out where ever she could (thanks Mom!!).

At the end of September, we celebrated our second anniversary. It has been a very enjoyable and busy two years, and we look forward to many more together.

In October Raoul became permanent staff at CareerJunction, and his boss was so impressed with his work that Raoul was promoted to the level of Senior Developer. Raoul has been given more responsibilities and is also now a team leader.

In December Raoul was part of a fairly important software deployment and database upgrade at work. This puts into place the first few components needed as the company moves forward in it's plans to various bits of software and systems. Raoul had to be on site the whole time, but everything ran smoothly, and the deployment and upgrade was successful.

And finally, we celebrated Zak's first Christmas. Zak didn't understand what was going on, but we're sure things will improve as the years go by Wink

As the year comes to an end, we are grateful to the Lord for caring for us, protecting us, and carrying us through it all. God made sure that our medical aid covered both of Hannah's stays in the hospital and most of the costs surrounding the c-section. He protected Hannah and Zak from harm during the c-section as well. Not only that, but God has given Raoul a job with very understanding superiors, and a company that goes out of it's way to make sure that all is well with our family.

We'd like to wish God's blessing on you and your families. Many thanks to everyone who has supported us over the last year.

Lots of love,

Raoul, Hannah & Zachary.

Update: Oops, August was so busy, we forgot to write about Raoul's grandmother's visit. Raoul's parents drove up to Port Elizabeth to fetch her. Granny Snyman was very taken by little Zak, and loves him to bits!