Thursday, December 29, 2011

December Moments 2011

 It's almost time to bid farewell to 2011. It's actually only hours away! Another year gone past.  For me, it is a time of deep gratitude for what was and as I get ready to hang up a new calendar, it is a time of hopefulness for what can be. I know for the most part, what I paint on the 2012 canvas is in my hands. However, it's the experiences that happen when we aren't too caught up worrying about what we should be painting that create a masterpiece.
I thought I would share my annual holiday letter on this post as well as a few photos of moments that made my heart smile during this past yultide season.

Christmas Morning
25 December 2011
"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold everything is softer and more beautiful." Norma Vincent Peale

Happy Merry Holly-Days to you and yours! Finding time to make time to spend with each other can prove challenging especially when are so many important things to take care of! I find myself hearing all of the usual sentiments of the season. Questions such as, "Are you READY for Christmas?" or "Gee I wish I could stop by/have some tea with you and visit but I have TONS to do before Christmas Day" the list of busy-ness goes on. What if (and this is just a thought) we really DID slow down...and savor the season and each other? Enjoy the moments that add up to create magical memories? Eggnog lattes, freshly baked goodies, the smell of a fresh Christmas tree, beautiful carols, twinkling Christmas lights...and children who still BELIEVE in the wonder of it all. I suspect they (the moments) are there, waiting for us to embrace IF we just allow the time for them to happen. Let's see if I can recollect some of our "moments" of 2011. We have begun our journey to be totally self-employed and living in a little villa by the sea in Italy creating awesome iPhone/iPad apps and interactive children's stories. We released Astoria! Sights to See With Skyler Seagull in May. It is a travel iPhone/iPad/iPod app with a talking seagull named Skyler as tour guide for Astoria, Oregon. Nate also created a Marine VHF app that helps mariners use Marine VHF frequencies. When he is not doing freelance interactive work he is working on one of our many creative projects. I am still seeking a publisher for one of my completed children's books. Would love to have one of my stories printed up the old fashioned way in addition to having it be on an iPad. Santa??Could use a spot of help with that request. We feel totally blessed that Ronnah, Mark, Shiloh, Isabelle and Cameron as well as Jessi, Kyle and Carter will be celebrating Christmas with us. That is the best gift I can think of to find under the tree. Well actually they will not be UNDER the tree, but I'm sure you caught what I was going for. Christmas. It comes once a year.
Enjoy it and your friends and family.
May the coming year surround you with much love, prosperity, good health and magical moments.
Laura, Nate, Kona the dog and Zoey the Kat

In approximately 4 hours Nate and I are going to head downtown to participate in a "year to year" 1.5 k walk/run.  I've got my jingle wrist bells and kazoo ready!  My nephew Ty just "face-timed" us from Afghanistan.  He was just beginning the New Year on that side of the world. I think it's great that technology actually allowed us to chat "face to face"! Me in Lake Oswego-land and Ty half way around the world in Afghanistan. I only wish that the people who inhabit our wonderful planet could embrace peace and respectful co-habitation as quickly and easily as technology is introduced into different cultures and countries. As John Lennon so eloquently wrote in his song Imagine, "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."
Imagine by John Lennon

I guess that about wraps up this Holly-Day post, other than including a few pictures of some of my make my heart smile moments.
thankful for visit from cousin

picking out poinsetta's at Al's

picking our own CB tree

volunteering at a bookstore

 A Charlie Brown Christmas

stockings hung with care

*stringing popcorn and cranberries at 4 in the morning while watching a I Love Lucy Christmas special   *going out for a fantastic breakfast with friends and family and then attending the Portland Christmas Revels medevial holiday presentation   *eating frosted butter cookies with our afternoon tea   *gift of one man presentation of A Christmas Carol from Nancy the Neighbor  *both daughters and all the grand-munchkins spending Christmas with us  *learning to play "Munchkin" with the munchkins  *opening night of the Festival of Lights at The Grotto  *listening to the music of the season  *"stanza standoff" with granddaughter Isabelle..we learned The Night Before Christmas  *just to name a few....

a gift
our tree

make a wish snowflakes

family :)

baking command center

enjoying the smells (and flowers) of the season

"they don't move"