Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

In the interest of saving a tree, I'm taking the Christmas letter to the blog. The blog is, after all, where you can read about how we spent about 90% of our free time in the past year, namely in the renovation and upkeep of the house! Our big "house accomplishments" this year were finishing the basement (track back a few entries for that story), taking down 5 unhealthy trees, and putting up the new fence in the backyard. We also put in a new brick pathway in the front yard around to the side and finished the game room, although I haven't had time to blog about either of those projects just yet (check back after the new year for pics and more!)

In non-house news, I have become an avid face-booker, while Sean remains staunchly anti-social networking sites. Facebook, as it turns out, is pretty helpful in writing a Christmas letter, because I can look back at what I've been doing to find interesting highlights. Not that anything I post to Facebook is all that interesting, but I found a few good reminders of what else we did this year...
* Took great trips to Puerto Vallarta (our far-away honeymoon), Lanesboro, MN (revisiting the spot where we took our "local" honeymoon), Snowbird, UT, New Orleans, LA, and, of course, ever-popular Grand Blanc, MI.
* Celebrated our first wedding anniversary
* Moved Jeremy and Teri to Rochester (More family in Minnesota! YAY!)
* Nursed all 3 dogs through a several-month long bout of intestinal illness (all are well now)
* Celebrated my baba's (grandmother's) 90th birthday with a family reunion party
* Celebrated my mother's retirement
* Mourned Michigan's pathetic football season
* Celebrated the results of our Presidential election
* Hosted our first large Thanksgiving dinner (without burning the house down)

At the risk of using a very cliche line from every Christmas letter ever writter, we've been really busy and really blessed with good times and good fortune... In fact, until I looked back for things to write about, I'm not sure I realized just how great this year has been for just about everyone in our collective family.

For 2009-
* We're keeping our fingers crossed for our jobs (as I know many others are).
* We hope to take a long road-trip out west, where I have never really traveled and Sean has mostly just "driven through".
* We're planning on *starting* the mammoth kitchen project, which includes expanding the back of the house, adding a half bath, and completely remodeling the kitchen. (That may be done in stages, and will likely be on the list for next year too!)
* We vow not to bring home any more dogs.
* We hope to have raspberries and blueberries in the garden (among other yummy edibles), if they survive this already-frigid winter!

As always, we have lots of space, and there is always an open invitation for anyone coming to visit, or just traveling through.

We wish much love and peace to you and your family, from all of us...
Nadja, Sean, Hannah, Shadow, and Maggie