2015 Christmas Letter

First, the photos: check out the Facebook album:


Now…how did 2015 go for the Wisleys? Well…I have to tell you, I think we’re adjusting pretty well to life in Fresno. When my Uber passengers express incredulity at my having moved from San Diego to Fresno, I explain that 98% of things are great here:

  • Our girls are in a fabulous school with great teachers.
  • Shanah has found her “tribe” up here; DEEP friendships that feel much older than they are (not the ladies…the relationships).
  • My job is going great. I’m doing meaningful work with tremendous colleagues.
  • Our house is fantastic. It’s comparable to the house we had in San Diego, and the rent is $700 cheaper EVERY MONTH!
  • Our cars, our home, and my workplace all have air conditioning and heat.
  • We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our church (The Well). I never thought we’d find anything like Flood, but we have. No, the music’s not the same, but that’s asking the world!
  • So really, the 2% that sucks is the weather. But nowhere compares to San Diego. We just need to get over it.

And we are! We’re loving life in the No. Here are some updates, arranged from youngest family member to oldest:

Emma is in first grade at River Bluff Elementary School. Her teacher is a good friend of Shanah’s, which is cool.  This has been a big year for losing teeth! From Emma: “My favorite color is blue. My favorite food is bacon. My favorite sport is soccer. My favorite animal is a dolphin. My teacher is awesome!”

Eden is in third grade at River Bluff, and is in the same GATE class with her really good friend. She is an avid reader and animal lover still. From Eden: “I like to draw. My uncle [Rob] bet me $20 and I won! I have always wanted tickets to go to the MineCon for Sky Does Minecraft. I like honey crisp apples. I like Persian cats. I like oranges. I do not like zucchini. I have a lot of cousins, and I had lots of fun meeting and spending time with some of them this summer. I have a dog (Millie) and a cat (Jelly Bean). I love my family.”

Shanah is really hitting her stride up here! She is a member of the Fresno Dolphins Swim Team (basically, she’s crazy and swims 3 days a week at O-dark-thirty in the morning). She runs occasional 5Ks. She leads a recovery-based Bible study at the Well, and is loving that “job”. Maybe it’ll turn into an actual job at the church some day, but for now she’s leading well and changing lives! She got to share her story recently in front of the entire Sunday congregation (and killed it, by the way!). She has found amazing friends with whom she shares coffee, Bible study, and emoji-laden chats. She has re-started her massage business (slowly), and has great stories about her work to help Melissa Carlson in her recovery from a massive stroke. From Shanah: “The Fresno life is a good one, filled with friends, family, and lots of activity. God has blessed us, and continues to bless us in ways we could not ask or imagine. I am looking forward to 2016 and all that comes with it!”

I, Shawn am doing really well, too. I’m loving my work as the Program Manager at Abraham Lincoln Middle School. I absolutely love my new principal (Mr. Charles E. Coleman, Jr.), and feel valued as part of a tremendous admin team where together, “we’re smarter than a super computer!” I have been driving for Uber and Lyft since March, and am having fun while working to pay down the family debt snowball (yes, we’re working Dave Ramsey’s program). I like driving, and I like talking to people, so Uber is the perfect side job! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I still find a lot of joy in food. I wish I could be paid big bucks to write foodie blogs, but know that’s probably not going to happen. I recently re-took the Strengthsfinder assessment, and am fascinated to report that my new top five are: Context, Competition, Communication, Harmony, and Activator. Dropping out were Significance, Relator, and Restorative (though I believe there are connections to be drawn to the new five. If you have any insights for me about this, I’m open to hear it! I miss his church/men’s group from San Diego tremendously, but am working to find that community up here now. I decided (finally) to join Shanah on Monday nights for Re:generation, and hope to find some ir0n-sharpens-iron friendships there (and want to take a quick moment to acknowledge my man-crush/best friend Cameron Little here!). For those curious about my diabetes and my leg, neither were particulary well-taken-care-of in 2015. I’m hoping for a turnaround with both of those! I’ve received a referral for a new endocrinologist, and Shanah and I are going to start the year with a Whole 30 cycle. I’ve also joined a gym…we’ll see!

What does 2016 have in store? Who knows, really! We’re excited to continue to sink our roots deep here in Fresno and see what growth God has in store for us. We’ve discovered that one of the secrets to successful living in Fresno is to leave Fresno as often as possible, so we’re looking forward to multiple trips to the coast and to the mountains (Yosemite and Kings Canyon). Eden is probably going to head to summer camp at Hume Lake! Beyond that, we are just holding on to life with open hands, ready for what God is bringing us to and through! May the Lord bless and keep you this year!


2015 Christmas Letter