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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year and what's been keeping me busy!

Dear Friends

Its been a while and I apologize for the silence emanating from this blog for so long. Christmas is an extremely busy time of year for us. We have lots of family and lots of activities and it has been impossible to write. I regret not having at least posted my wishes for you all to have a happy and holy Christmas but I hope that it was such nontheless. I have missed out on so much in my absence and have tons of catch-up reading to do.

Family is always first for me and so my poor little blog suffers... it is as God would want it. Giving love to others and showing care and compassion is ultimate, especially in this Season of goodwill, which I am constantly reminded should be year-long and not just at Christmastime. (The Season officially ends for us on January 6th...The Feast of the Epiphany, so our tree and decorations stay up until then.)

Just a few of the things that transpired since last I wrote:

My dog had pups:

This is Xena...the one we kept. The others got good homes just as I prayed for!

 On Christmas Eve, after Mass, we have dinner and then sit around the tree with our Advent Wreath lit and read about the birth of Jesus. We then open the gifts that we have given to each other. We started this tradition when the children were younger and we realized that Christmas morning was so hectic that they literally tore through the wrappings and had no idea who had given them what. We wanted to make sure that they appreciated each other's lovingly selected gifts and to understand the thought that goes behind gift giving and to keep Jesus central in our Christmas celebrations.

Christmas morning (early..really early!)  we open gifts, head up to my mother's for breakfast and then come back to have a late lunch with my in-laws. Here's Lillie with the Barbie doll she asked for (she also got a telescope to look at the stars per request)

We spent our New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at a beach house with my husband's family...we are a large and rowdy bunch! It was a blessing to do this especially because my mother-in-law has not been well and she was able to enjoy this time with her family all around her.

Here's Lil in the hammock (which she hogged the whole time!) and getting a ride on Daddy's back:

My children are still on vacation until next week...all except my eldest who went back to university today and my second born who went back to work today after the New Years long weekend.  Blogging will still be a bit challenging until they are all back into a routine. I have missed my friends and being a part of the greater communities and the inspiration and encouragement you all provide. Thank you to everyone who has been checking up on me. I appreciate the love and concern.  Being away from the blogging scene has allowed me to reassess my goals and I realize that I need to de-clutter my life a little bit. I have over 800 e-mails in my inbox, would you believe!

Its tough but I realize that I need to step back a bit and decide what I really need to keep on subscribing to. There are so many wonderful blogs to read out there. As I approach my one year anniversary as a blogger, I cannot believe how much I have grown and learnt. I remember actually commenting that I couldn't believe how many blogs some people subscribe to and where did they find the time. Hmm...I wont tell you how many I've subscribed to but you can take a guess by the number of e-mails that have accumulated in the past month (and that doesn't include the ones on my blog feed!).

There are so many exciting things to be a part of here in blogland. I usually just jump right in with the best of intentions and find myself in too deep. I guess I need a healthy dose of discipline. Darlene Schacht at Time Warp Wife has a really great article on that here. Nevertheless, these are just some of the events  that I've encountered ...I think that they are worthy aspirations and, though I will not be able to do them all,  I sure do need this encouragement and accountability. Maybe you'd like to check them out for yourself.



I pray and hope that each of you and your precious families will have all the blessings of God poured out in abundance upon you in this new year. May you all have homes filled with love, peace and joy and may God supply all your needs and comfort you in all your sorrows and afflictions. 

I look forward to catching up and reconnecting with everyone. See you in blogland!


Nicole said...

All those blogs and you took time to read and comment on mine. You're sweet. :)

Sounds like you have quite the Christmas celebration! Warm weather and swimming are quite appealing at the moment. Though we've had a mild winter so far, the last few days we've been experiencing artic air. Brr...

Cute pups - glad you found a home for them!

Kristin Bridgman said...

Welcome back! Cute puppies! and cute Lillie! And swimming in the water! I'm sitting here bundled up in a quilt in front of the fireplace, ready to fix me some hot cider. I'm so ready for warmer weather!

It was fun to get a peek of your home.
May you recoop from the holidays and have a blessed New Year! If you ever decide to quit blogging, PLEASE don't leave me!!! ;)

Lisa Maria said...

Nicole...I love stopping by your blog, its always refreshing and inspiring. Honestly I'd love to see a white Christmas but I'm glad to be in the sunshine (not sure how I'll deal with the cold!)

Kristin, my friend, meeting people like you was the best part of blogging for me. I won't disappear on you, I promise!

Anonymous said...

Nicole, I enjoyed your blog and all the nice tradition. I think I will try the gift opening one at our house. it can get a little bit crazy and I usually sense the lack of enjoyment or appreciation when we get too much gifts from family/friends. Nice thoughts. Happy new year... you can visit my blog at