Tuesday, December 27, 2016

In Which I Somehow Combine Christmas Cards & A Blog Post

Dear Friend ~

As I woke from a long winter's nap this afternoon, I was thinking how I had once again neglected to get Christmas cards out this year ... and while that reality was playing through my head, I was also trying to pull together the logistics of my next blog post.

Snuggling deeper under the quilt, I somehow put 2 + 2 together and decided to combine both worthy efforts into one hopefully worth-your-time offering.

I hope this isn't too tacky.  To somehow make up for a lack of tradition, I'll throw in some family pictures for good measure since that's always the best part of those Christmas greetings that show up in our mailboxes.

Please feel free to share our news with your family or old {I use that term lightly} friends who might wonder where we've disappeared to.

Blogging's become a major part of my life's rhythm in recent years.  Developing and nurturing this little online community has become a great big joy, so it's always a wonderful surprise to connect with long ago friends, clients, and far flung family members and hear you mention that you occasionally stop by the blog ... or that you're a regular reader.  

And as you've shared something that's inspired or encouraged you on these pages, your kindness has been sweet music to my ears and I've been so grateful for what God has done despite the miles that separate us.

You've blessed me.  

Tim has finally moved to part-time as he finishes up his 40 year career.  He's a happy camper 'cause this has enabled him to begin working with Habitat for Humanity two days a week.  

And when he's not here or there, you'll probably find him biking, pestering family members with texts as they try to work, continuing to set up his wood shop, or working on 'The Nest' above the garage which will soon be a lovely multi-windowed space for me to work, a quiet little nook to read and rest, a multi-purpose room for our family to overflow into when they occasionally arrive 'en masse.'

He loves volunteering up at Camp of the Woods in the Adirondacks whenever he can, lending a hand with renovations and little projects.  He misses hanging out at the coffee machine at the Poughkeepsie plant with his old work buddies, so he's always looking for ways to connect with people since life can get pretty quiet at the Cape off season.

We've joined a Wednesday night Bible Study and I go to a Women's Bible Study on Tuesdays.  We've met some really lovely people here at the Cape.  Rumor has it that New Englanders tend to be cold and standoffish, but God has led us to some who've been delightfully warm and welcoming.  

It's been good for us to be here in many ways.




We love being just a half hour from my Mom and doing life with her.  She's always inspirational and encouraging, with never a complaint or negative word about anybody or anything ... and at 86, quite a whiz at the computer.  Plus my sister's just an hour and a half away, so it's fun to have her drop in from time to time.  She remembers embellished details from our childhood that I forgot long ago ... and no one weaves a more entertaining story than she does.

I've continued to work with a few clients by phone this year, and have been talking with a few people here about possible ways I can begin doing some counseling in the days ahead.  I'm looking forward to what God has in store, even though I'm not quite sure what that's going to look like.  I'm at peace in the waiting, content in my days, and have been in no hurry to race toward something new.

And I'm enjoying puttering around our new house ... if you haven't seen pictures, they're right here.

We've just finished celebrating Christmas with the family ... God has been good to gather us 3 or 4 times a year even though we're scattered from Annapolis to the Cape.  We continue to remember my dad and little Tyler who went to be with the Lord in 2015, but God has been gracious to our family in our grief and through the challenges and the transitions we continue to navigate.

We're grateful.

Wishing you His greatest blessings in 2017 ~
Tim & Linda

Camp of the Woods, 44 years after we first met

Jenn & Barry's gang
Kathryn, Lydia, Andrew
Melanie doing a split

Kristin & Tom's girls
Alexa & Brooke

Kristin & Jenn
I just love the women our daughters have become

Barry & Tom
always a friendly competition to gain most-favored-son-in-law status

I want to be just like my mom when I grow up

it's been so fun to have my sister not too far away

catching an afternoon nap while 10 family members party just a few feet away

*


*

if you liked visiting here, 

54 comments:

  1. Aw. Merry Christmas. What a lovely home.

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    1. I hope your Christmas sparkled, friend ...

      ;-}

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  2. Loved your "Christmas card" post! I didn't do Christmas cards either! From overseas, it's just too much since I know they'll take so long anyway. Loved the pictures, especially the one of you and your mom. <3

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, Betsy! I can't even imagine the cost of postage from so far away ... yet there is that yearning to reconnect, isn't there.

      And it never quite disappears ...

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  3. Wonderful Christmas sentiments. If I do say so myself, it's a wonderful family!

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    1. Loved spending time with you guys on Christmas Eve! Thanks for making the long trek north ...

      And for the cupcakes!

      ;-}

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  4. Dear Linda, Tim, and Family,
    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
    Blessings for the new year!
    Love to see the pix of kiddies and all family members.

    {via email}

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    1. Oh - so good to wake up to your little note this morning. We've shared so many memories together along the way, haven't we ...

      I hope you guys are all doing well.

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  5. Merry Christmas, Linda! Thank you for sharing your lovely blog post and the heartwarming pictures of your beautiful growing family. You and Tim look wonderful, and I especially loved seeing your Mom! She still looks like the strong, kind, and loving woman that I remember.

    May God fill your lives with his blessings and joy in the New Year!

    Love to all, dear "old" (term used lightly ��) friend!

    {via email}

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    1. Yep, you've got it! Mom is still strong, kind, and loving. I am grateful for every moment we get to share.

      I know you understand ...

      Thanks for your sweet note!

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  6. Very sweet post!!! And a WONDERFUL Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And to actually get some decent pictures!

      ;-}

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  7. I loved seeing this recap of your year and seeing the wonderful photos! Have a blessed 2017, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 2017? Can you believe it's right around the corner?

      Here's to many encouraging words back and forth in the months ahead, friend ...

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  8. So enjoyed looking at all the pics of your home. So beautiful! Happy New Year!

    {via email}

    ReplyDelete
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    1. mmm ... if we could only shrink the miles. We so miss you guys ...

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  9. Lovely photos! I hope you had a great Christmas. I have loved connecting with you here this year. Blessings for 2017!

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    1. Me, too ... I'm so glad God's connected our pathways across the sea, Lesley.

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  10. Thank you, Linda. I love the photos. Including nap time. :) And that "nest" your hubby is creating over the garage sounds so inviting. I wish you and yours God's greatest blessings in 2017, too. Love and hugs!

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    1. I do love me a good nap time here and there!

      ;-}

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  11. Hey, I hope it's not tacky to combine cards and a post together because that's what I did, too!

    Happy holidays! You have a lovely family and it seems your life is really in a good season. Enjoy!

    Love that nap picture, and your "Nest" sounds like a wonderful thing!

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    1. Looks like I'm in real good company ... gathering all our special people in our online homes is turning out to be lots of fun! I'm loving it ...

      ;-}

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  12. What a lovely card! Thank you so much for this, Linda. It's a gift.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/12/your-dying-spouse-251-dont-be-eeyore.html

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    1. New Year's Blessings to you, Barbara, and all those barking buddies of yours ...

      ;-}

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  13. Delightful! Love the family photos! Such a special time of year, and I'm glad your family was right thee with you to enjoy it all! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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    1. We only get Christmas all together every other year, so we try to make every minute count. Thanks for sharing a bit of my joy, friend ...

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  14. i especially love the photo of you and your husband napping...the part I love is the hand in his as you catch a few winks. sweet

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    1. The nap took place early last month at a daughter's house. We never knew she took the pic 'til it turned up in my Mom's inbox and she shared it with me!

      Sometimes you just gotta sleep, ya' know?!

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  15. I absolutely *love* your Christmas card, Linda! It warms my heart to see/hear how you've settled into your new home. May 2017 bring much JOY and laughter, warmth and peace!

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    1. Yes, yes, June. Let's pray that 2017 offers us all new vistas and opportunities to create, serve, and love ...

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  16. Lovely words and pictures! I am so glad you appreciate the life you have been given and find the beauty in it all!

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    1. I loved your family Christmas pic, Sarah ...

      ;-}

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  17. What a lovely family, Linda! Looks like your Christmas was both merry and bright. Wishing you all the best in the New Year!

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    1. Merry and bright, yes, yes. I am grateful, for sure ...

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  18. LOVED this! Thanks for inviting us into your celebration and your family!

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  19. Thanks so much for ... your blog Christmas greeting ( I see no problem combining the two!) I LOVE all the pictures of your family and narrative of Christmas celebrating!

    Your family is beautiful! What a great heritage. Your Mom looks good too.

    I do read your blog posts regularly - you are a good writer and draw people in. Keep it up! - And may God bless you guys in the new year.

    {via email}

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    1. It makes me so happy to know that you're reading from afar. The years just vanish between us when we connect heart to heart, don't they ...

      Miss you so.

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  20. Fun Christmas card, and some very nice pictures!

    {via text}

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  21. Best Christmas card ever! Love to see the whole family, the guys' son-in-law competition and the napping grandparents. And so glad the decorations finally got on the tree!!!

    Holiday hugs

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    1. Oh thanks, Buds!

      And yep, those ornaments finally got placed on the 23rd. Not a moment too soon ...

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  22. What a joy to share a bit of your Christmas celebration here. Our own home is quiet again with the ten who arrived all back home again. How can grandchildren grow up so fast anyway??? It has been a joy to develop our relationship and I look forward to what the Lord has in store for us both in 2017. Love and hugs!

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    1. Pam, it sounds like we shared pretty much the same experience this year. Wasn't it just wonderful?

      These are the good old days, aren't they ...

      I thank God for every minute. Even the crazy ones!

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  23. Gorgeous! I love all the pictures and the piece has a 'puttering' feel to it that calms my heart. I look forward to your adventures, inspirations, and teaching this new year. Happy New Year, Linda!

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    1. Ah, and you know I'm a putterer! Maybe that's my love language?

      Why not?

      Thanks for the thumbs up for what God might have in store for us as we do community together in the months ahead. He always has something up His sleeve ... His intents for us are always the best, even if we can't quite glimpse it all.

      Happy New Year, friend.

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  24. I love this, Linda! I can totally relate to the bit about looking forward to what God has in store, even if we're not sure what that might look like. And Tim's project above the garage sounds delightful ... maybe you'll share photos when that space is done? :-) Such sweet pictures of your precious family ... many blessings to you all in 2017, my friend!

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    1. Yes, Lois, I think a number of us are beginning to see the waiting room door begin to swing open.

      Slowly.

      Our anticipation builds, our faith grows because we know that God's the One who designs our future. And when all is said and done, He knows best ...

      This takes the pressure off. All will be well.

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  25. BETTER than a Christmas card!! Thank you! What a precious family you are blessed with! As for the volunteering---it is my energy source!
    Happy New Year Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Volunteering as an energy source. Oh ... that's so meaningful! Thanks for letting us in on an important insight.

      Good stuff, friend ...

      And happy new year, too!

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  26. May your 2017 be blessed with peace, joy, love, and loved ones!

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    1. Thanks, Dar! I'm betting that you've made some delightful memories with your loved ones this Christmas ...

      May 2017 be filled with even more precious moments together.

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  27. Loved seeing the pictures of your family, Linda. Many blessings to you in 2017! Hugs

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    1. Many blessings to you, Lyli.

      Let's see what God has in store in these coming 50+ weeks!

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda