Merry Christmas from the Tavianos

Here’s our annual Christmas letter (well, it changes year to year ) that we’ll be sending to far-away family and friends…if/when I get around to it. Thought I’d post it here in the event that I never get it sent–then it won’t be a total waste. Although my faithful xanga friends already know all of this stuff, so maybe it’s still a waste. Anyway…happy reading!           

             Merry Christmas, Friends! I’m not sure where the year has gone—it has been a whirlwind, that’s for sure! We rung in the New Year (January 5th) with a bundle of joy—our 3rd daughter, Nina Gabriel—and we’ve been going nonstop ever since.

            Marla’s first book was released in March, Gabe started a new job in Columbus at the end of May, Ava turned four in June, we moved to Columbus in July, Gabe kicked off his new podcast at in August, Livi started kindergarten in September, and Gabe hit the big #30 in November.

            In other 2006 news, we welcomed a brother-in-law and two more nephews into the family, we took a family vacation to the Smoky Mountains in October, Marla turned 31, and Livi celebrated birthday #6.

            If you’re interested in keeping up with our family, check out our blogs at and That’s where our families find out all the big news in our lives—sad, but true.

            Nina is 11 months old and growing up entirely too fast. She’s happy as a clam and provides the rest of us with unlimited entertainment. Counting her older sisters, she has three mothers and loves every minute of the attention. We’re enjoying each fleeting second of her babyhood.

            Ava is an absolute mother hen and a bit of a drama queen. According to those who knew her mama best, she is much, much like Marla was as a little girl. She loves dressing up and playacting, babies and animals, airplanes and books, penguins and princesses. Ava is an original, and we love her for it.

            Livi is thrilled to be growing up—turning six was the highlight of her little life. She loves school, is quickly learning to read, and likes to write in her journal and have “publishing meetings” with Mommy. She and Ava are best friends (80% of the time) and create the most magical worlds together. Her sensitivity to others and her love for Jesus become more evident every day.

            Marla is blessed. She gets to stay home with her babies, write books, and do freelance writing work on the side as well. She loves living in Columbus, is excited about the new friends she has met this year, and is eagerly anticipating the release of her 2nd book, Is That All He Thinks About?, on January 1st. Two days after that, Marla and Gabe will celebrate their 9th anniversary. God has been so good.

            Gabe is enjoying his new job in Columbus. After 2 ½ years of self-employment, it has been such a relief to have benefits and paid holidays again. He continues to do some web site work on the side. Gabe’s newest adventure is the God’s Mac podcast which combines faith and technology and gives listeners the chance to meet people who are impacting their world for Christ. The podcast has reached so many already, and we love hearing their stories.

            We really can’t say enough about how God has blessed our little family. We have all that we could ever want—three beautiful, healthy little girls, a warm and comfortable home, a pretty good college football team right down the road (even if we’re VT Hokies fans!), writing and web ministries, a church we love, neighbors we’re getting to know (and praying for opportunities to witness to), almost a decade of marriage, a God who loves us and teaches us new things each day, a wonderful kindergarten teacher for our daughter, a loving and supportive extended family, and on and on and on.

            Thank You, God, for the most amazing gift of all—Your Son, Immanuel—God with us. He willingly came as a tiny babe—all for us. Truly incredible.

17 thoughts on “Merry Christmas from the Tavianos

  1. cowgirlgowest

    B&BW really has a smoked bacon scent??? That’s pretty much the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. Okay, so maybe not, but still! I saw that they had some chocolate scent and some other Christmas food items though… Do you know if your mom was visiting CU today? Because I really feel like I saw her in the restroom…

  2. bekisue

    I too am a newcomer to “marla’s new friends” catagory. I am glad to get a little more background on your life. I think your 2006 sounds like a whirlwind. Isn’t God so comforting when our lives seem all messed up? What an awesome God!

  3. KmHunsberger

    I am a bit emotional. While reading about how blessed you are…I got tears in my eyes. Maybe it is because I am humbled at just how gracious a God we serve and how thankful I am for all He has done for us, so reading all He has done for you just heightened my greatfulness even more. Either way…beautiful letter!

  4. jbnygaard

    Your gift is writing. Mine is photography. I tried to write a Christmas card. I wrote something, deleted it. Wrote something, deleted it. This went on for awhile. To reduce my stress, I had photo Christmas cards made and now all I have to do is send them. 😉

    I love your card! It’s always so neat to see HOW MUCH has happened in one year! I’m sure it was an eye opening experience for you when you read it all afterwards!

  5. gsowell

    Since I am a pretty new member of the “Friends of Marla” club, I hadn’t picked up on all the changes your life had weathered in the last year. Thanks for posting this! And thanks for the other stuff you post day after day!

  6. mrsnorthern8605

    Can you email me your address…we want to send you a christmas card this year (even though we live close!) Are you guys going to the play at church? We are going Saturday evening…we miss seeing you all!

  7. kkakwright

    I too love your comment about Livi and Ava being friends 80%of the time.  I have such good memories of Heather and I growing up being so close in age.  Imagining together, pretending together, dreaming together, learning together, living life together.  Sisters are an amazing gift.  How lucky all 3 of your girls are to have each other.  God is good, all the time. 

  8. Nixter77

    That’s a lovely run down of life and this year, thanks for sharing.

    I am so thankful that God has brought you into my life this year…

    I used the whole God with us thing in my post today too – must have been thinking along the same lines 🙂

    nixie = thankful for Marsy

  9. Abs7

    your family sounds wonderful and very blessed!

    i love that you pointed out that livi and ava are best friend 80% of the time. that is just how my sister and i were and now we are best friends 100% of the time. there is nothing quite like have a sister as a best friend!

  10. tonialynn59

    Wow, am I leaving the first comment?  My head is spinning from reading about your life!  What a whirlwind, huh?  God bless your family and you have a very Merry  Christmas!  God is so good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *