Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010! A Blank Page

It's been a long time since I posted but the start of a new year seemed like the perfect time to pickup and start posting again. I have missed blogging and connecting with so many folks and apologies for not keeping in touch. Life was moving too fast for me the last half of 2009. Lots happened and most of it very good.

I spent 7 weeks working on a Habitat build and it was a good feeling knowing that I was able to help a young family spend their first Christmas in their very own home. If you haven't ever worked on a home build you should try it. This was the fifth time I had worked on a house but the first time I worked on one from start to finish. Quite an experience.

After the build was finished I headed to Seattle to become a Godmother! I am so proud to be a Godmother for the first time. My Goddaughter, Shea is a beautiful, happy girl and since she was born, I have been able to visit with her twice already!

Our family celebrated our first Labor Day Weekend family reunion at our house. We normally head to Standing Stone Park in Tennessee but this year we decided to make it a major event closer to home. We rented a room at a hotel around the corner so that we had pool access all weekend. Thought you might enjoy a picture of our granddaughter at the pool wearing her goggles. I call this picture "Pink."

Our neighborhood has a small park and do you remember the great burlap bags that I found during the summer on the way to work? Well, they became the perfect sacks for our sack races! Yes, we had an old-fashioned field day in the park! I planned a number of games and it was such a hit with everyone. The family decided they wanted to do it again next year. The event required a lot of planning and prep work so I will carefully consider whether or not to do it again but it was a ton of fun.

My husband lost his job in 2009 but not working gave him time to go visit family in Beirut. He left just after Thanksgiving so in the weeks before Christmas I was "home alone," but I loved every minute of it. Saw lots of movies too. Have you seen An Education, Precious, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Blindside - oh,the list goes on! So many great movies to see right now. And I watched Elf and The Family Stone multiple times. The quietness and stillness gave me time to take in lots of small things I love about the holidays - all was calm and all was bright. It gave me the opportunity to hold a girl party and it was a blast. As a result of the fun we had, we have already planned a girlfriend chili party to kick off the new year.

Christmas was wonderful and one of my happiest moments was having my grandgirls with me for Christmas mass. It was the children's mass and the girls got here just in time to join the pageant as angels. It was beautiful and I hope it is something they remember forever. I know I will. My family all arrived in time for Christmas eve. My husband had promised "I'll be home for Christmas" so we picked him up at the airport at 9:00 on Christmas eve. What a great celebration we had.

My son Sami is moving to Germany. This fall we spent lots of time with he and the grandgirls. Family time took precedent over everything as we helped him get his house ready for sale and we spent plenty of weekend time just doing things together. Our family is about to shift gears in a major way. We know it will be a great opportunity for us to travel but the move will also make it harder for family get-togethers. Our oldest will be in Germany and our youngest daughter currently lives in Portland. The distances are vast. New geographic challenges lie ahead but also all sorts of new travel opportunities do too.

To me the new year is like a blank piece of paper. We have before us the opportunity to do things differently, to add a new chapter to our lives, and I'm excited about it.


  1. I know how difficult it is having family so far apart. My older daughter lived in England for two years while my youngest was living near Philadelphia. As I live near Chicago, I missed my daughter fixes. When the oldest moved home, the youngest moved to Hong Kong for two years. Both are temporarily living near us now and it is heaven.

  2. Happy New Year, Friend! I have missed you and I've been thinking about you...Wondering if all was well! I am so glad to hear you have been so happily busy! You holiday sounded lovely and filled with family, making great memories together. Looks like 2010 will bring its challenges as far as the kids being a distance away, but you have a positive travel opps ahead! So happy to hear from you this evening.
    God bless,

  3. Welcome back Jojo! I missed you!

    You have been very busy but I'm glad to read it was mainly good things that kept you away from blogging.

    I understand the stress of having family far away...and yours will be very far, but we are lucky to have SKYPE and web cams and blogs and cell phones and e-mail and digital photos and all other ways to keep in touch these days.


  4. What a lovely treat to find that you have returned! I have been lazy on the blog front myself but will try and do better.
    I think many people were glad to see the back of 2009. So many people found themselves in difficult times. Here is hoping that 2010 will be kinder to them!