Growing up my mom/dad always used to write a little letter about the highlights of the past year, and include it in the Christmas cards they sent out. There was also the occasionally family that sent similar letters to us. In any case it’s a nice way to keep up with people you don’t get to see or talk to all the time. And since Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year, I didn’t have to time to send out cards, so this is the letter I would have included to each of you with my card.

2011 has been a year of changes and of challenges and blessings. Just before the year began, on Christmas Eve of 2010, Rob and I said our vows to each other and got married. The past year has been at times a challenge for both us, as we learn what it means to be husband and wife, and to live with each other and communicate (well try to!) with each other. Most of the time, God has blessed us greatly with patience and understanding and above all happiness. We spent the first four months living with his mom and her guy in their rather large split-level house, with a small herd of cats (much to my delight! J ), before we made our annual move in May to Mackinac Island. There both of us worked for Mackinac State Historic Parks as historic interpreters. Rob worked mainly as an 1880’s American Soldier until the Blacksmith took him under his wing. Rob apprenticed with the Blacksmith for the remainder of the summer until taking over his duties in full in the Fall. He also worked as a tour guide for the Haunts of Mackinac, leading ghost tours around the island.

I worked the same position I’ve had for the last 5 years, as a historic house interpreter, which meant anything from cooking over an open 1830’s hearth, to leading visitors in 1880’s dances, to blacksmithing. I was sort of the jack-of-all-trades for the parks. I also worked in a new coffee house that opened up for it’s first summer, “The Lucky Bean” I was a barista there in the mornings. That job was a blast, I learned how to make delicious drinks and got to meet a lot of cool people! My boss Carolyn, was also kind enough to allow local artists and crafters to sell their goods in her shop, and I had great success selling handcrafted wood-burned jewelry there.

Several times over this summer, God blessed us repeatedly, he provided housing and income and but Rob in the right place to become the full time blacksmith (which includes a raise). And once the season was over and we left the island for the winter God continued to bless us. He connected us with a cozy 3 bedroom house we share with our friend LeeAnn. He provided enough money this summer that neither of us have to work this winter, so we “retired” I get to spend my days however I please, crafting or drawing, or playing games. I have time to cook yummy dinners and I even learned how to Can food this fall! LeeAnn’s been great  showing us around all the cool music things Northern Michigan has to offer, we play music every Wednesday with a couple older guys in the next town over. We’re also able to have our feline friends with us, Pax, our new-old cat, is a 12 year old guy we rescued from the Shelter. He’s been a joy to have around. We’ve also got one of my old friends from Rob’s Mom’s, Orange Kitty, (a big orange tabby) Who’s taught Pax a thing or two about sharing.

2011 was a good year, and I expect the next one to be even better. God has truly blessed us, more than I can imagine, and I know He’s got even more good things in store.  May He bless you too as you start your New Year.

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