Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Ahhh...  Dear friends and family, I'm so sorry I haven't been here lately.  My computer died in September, and I've been "making do" with some old relics that don't quite have the toys that I'm accustomed to for my photos and blogging...  So, I've taken an extended break from this place.  BUT, hopefully, after the holidays we will be getting a new computer and I can get my blogging mojo back! 

In the meantime, I couldn't not post a Christmas letter!  So here goes:

Well, it's Christmas Eve Eve.  (Smile.)  And I'm sitting on the couch, Christmas lights lit, a fire in the fireplace, a poodle cuddled next to me, and my Christmas pjs keeping me warm and cozy!  I've already had a glass of egg nog, and am looking at our tree with thankfulness in my heart.

It's been another wonderful year.

Mike and I are still loving life in Minnesota, and loving our life together!  I can't believe we've been married 8 years (and together 12!).  Everyday is a blessing to my life - laughing together, exploring new places, and learning as we go.  It may be cliche, but I really feel I married my best friend - and couldn't ask for anything more.

My job is going well - and as busy as ever!  Our church merged with a smaller church this fall and we have gained another 80+ members!  Such fun to get to know these new faces and personalities!  (And such a challenge for our ministries to keep up!)  Our whole church feels really blessed to be healthy and growing - and excited as we look forward to what comes next...

And of course, we've been squeezing in lots of fun with family and friends!
**Lots of visits with our god-daughter and her family - especially making crafts and eating cookies!  (And a fun day at the zoo!)
**We got to see Mike's sister, Kerry, get married, buy a house, and have a baby - all in one year!  It's been so fun celebrating with her and the family!  (This is Gillian and her daddy - just a couple of weeks ago!  How cute are they?!)
**Saw a few concerts this year:  Civil Wars, Corey Chisel and the Wandering Sons, G Love and Special Sauce, Fitz and the Tantrums, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Amos Lee, Ray LaMontagne
**Enjoyed Mike's nephew, Brandon, visiting over his Spring Break for the second year - so fun!  (The boys enjoyed a day at the skate park...  Uffda!)
**The Huck (my Dad's side) Reunion was in Colorado last June.  It was such a wonderful few days - seeing family I hadn't seen in years(!), and getting to know the cousins that are my age.  Mike and I had a great time exploring beautiful places (mostly Denver and near Vail, CO) and spending time with some entertaining family!  We loved it.  (Dad and I in Vail, at the top of a gondola ride!)
**Got to go on my second mission trip to Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota.  Always a humbling and thought-provoking trip - and a joy to travel with the ladies from my church.  (Our fun day was spent at Mount Rushmore and Bear Country USA!  Too fun.)
**Spent a weekend in Wisconsin with Mike's sister, Shelly, and her family.  All kinds of trouble to get into there!  Here's Mike, his niece and nephew - playing nerf tag...  Trouble, I tell ya!
**Went sky-diving again (after an 11 year break)!  Our local food shelf/clothes closet/many other services for the underprivileged, Neighbor's Inc, held a fundraiser for their new building - get people to sponsor you if you jump out of a plane.  So, of course I did!  Ha!  It was a blast - and I hope to do it again this May!
**Mike and I had a wonderful vacation out West this summer.  We flew into Seattle, drove through Olympia National Park in Washington, and then down the Oregon coast, into Portland, and then back down the Pacific Coast Highway - all the way to San Diego!  It was a whirlwind trip - only 10 days - but so worth it!  Great memories!
**We began to buy our meat "straight from the farm" through True Cost Farms.  It's been really eye-opening learning about the practices of factory farms vs sustainable, humane farming.  And it's really intriguing how different the meat tastes!  We're loving the experimenting with recipes!  (And we're still loving shopping at the farmers' markets during the summer, picking berries at local farms, and doing our own canning - there's just nothing like fresh food in the dead of winter!)
**We were able to sneak in two trips to Minnesota's North Shore this fall - near Grand Marais.  If there is any place we love to get away to, this is it!  So relaxing and beautiful!  (On one of the trips, we went into Canada and walked across Canada's longest suspension bridge - just for the heck of it!)
**My sister, Emily, and her family visited Minnesota in August - what a wonderful treat!  My niece, Fin, is almost four years old - and they're expecting a little brother for her anyday now (actually, the due date was today!  I have my phone with me as I type!). 
**My other sister, Kayla, transferred to the University of Minnesota-Duluth this year.  Emily, Fin, and I got to join the caravan in moving her up there this fall.  A busy day - but the first time all three sisters moved one into the dorms! 
**Mike and I found a new hobby - Beer.  Sounds funny, but very true!  You'd be amazed at how complex and interesting the brewing process can be!  We go to tastings every month, have been to beer festivals, toured the Surly Brewery, taste craft brews every chance we get, AND Mike's going to be brewing his own batch this year!  (Go ahead, make fun...  I'm becoming a "beer connoisseur.")

I guess that's our year in a nutshell.  We were laughing at the dog the other night - and I realized, not a day goes by at our house without something to make us bust out laughing.  Even on those days when life is trying to get us down - we can always come home and find peace and love and joy.

As I look forward to tomorrow and all the festivities of Christmas - I think it's a day when we all come home.  Home to family and friends, home to faith, home to love, home to generosity - home to all that is good in the world.

Merry Christmas, friends!  And may the peace, love, and joy of the season find you wherever you may be this season!

Love,
Megs

5 comments:

Carol E. said...

GREAT to have you blogging again! What a great year you've had (and always have, since you carry joy with you). Merry Christmas!

Mom said...

Well--you probably knew I would be one of the first to read this! I love it when you and your sisters write! Take after your Dad! You letter is wonderful! I am so proud of you, Megan----and I thank God every day that Mike is in your life and a part of our family. Mom

Jill said...

Great post :)

Cheryl said...

So good to have you back! Thank you for your wonderful Christmas letter. Sounds like you and Mike had a very fun and adventurous 2011. Hope 2012 is filled with lots of love and laughter too.

JeannetteLS said...

I just came here for the first time. I loved the title of this post. I am almost sixty and THAT is how I feel this year. I am surprised beyond belief that this is how I feel, but am really glad I DO. You are right. The best is yet to come--especially with an attitude like yours. Love and gratitude shine in every word. I think I am going to have to come back.

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