Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Christmas Letter

Dearest Family & Friends, December 2009

Merry Christmas to all our loved ones, another year and another letter. We hope the year has brought you many blessings and we that we get to hear about them soon!

Well, as usual, we’ll start with what keeps us the busiest….work. This December has marked 2.5 years at Golder Associates for me and I am still feeling lucky I get to work with people I consider friends, work for a company who is trying to help the world, not use it, and for the most part it doesn’t feel like the bottom line is the most important thing. I’m still juggling accounting, report editing/formatting, a multitude of admin needs and now assisting project managers with their project related administration. Although it’s been busy, we have begun to feel the economic struggle, and unfortunately we’ve had to see our office, and our “family,” shrink due to this. This latter part of the year has been a real exercise in trusting God, not only for my own well-being but for the well-being of my friends who are no longer part of the Golder family. Right now my job is not in jeopardy, and they say admin is actually needed more now, but some days can be a real balancing act between feeling the loss and being grateful for what I still have, so I take the advice of a good friend, and recently former co-worker, “all you can do is pray His will be done.”

The same can be said for Sean’s work situation. The economic pains are leaving few untouched, and cutbacks at Skybridge have Sean taking on two roles for the price of one, as well as still being the go-to person for many additional projects from upper management. At times it can be flattering they think so highly of him, that they expect he can handle it all, but sometimes the stress of such a heavy workload also takes a heavy toll. But after 7 years it’s hard to imagine finding another job with as many great relationships, great hours (aka, same as Lori’s), and decent pay, all of which add to how grateful Sean is for still having his job.

This year also brought us to the hard decision of returning to Winnipeg to attend a Church. We really loved Southland, we learned and grew so much from our time there, and would have preferred continuing being in that community, however we really felt called in Spring to make it a priority to try and bring family and friends into our Church community. That was unsuccessful with 1.5 hrs of driving every week just to attend, so in June we returned to Riverwood, the Church in Elmwood we attended in 2005/06, which we had really liked attending but just hadn’t connected to very well. It just so happens to be a 5 minute drive from our new house, I now had a friend that attends, and it is a very good Church for reaching the “un-Churched”, so we knew it was the best choice for us this time. We also decided to become more intentional about getting involved, so I am already volunteering as a substitute for childcare during their Tuesday night teen mom’s group.

The other big news for us in 2009 was our trip to Nashville. When debating where we would go for our vacation this year, Sean came across information on a fan event for our favorite Christian author, Ted Dekker, and so we decided to go to the event and add another state to our list of new states visited. We really enjoyed meeting Ted, and getting a sneak peek into his world(s). And we really loved the rest of our time there too, the beautiful scenery, the country music, the really friendly people, the weather, and more (pics up on Facebook). We can’t wait to be able to go back again someday.

Other than that, most of the same old has filled up our time. Of course, spending time settling into the new house, making it our own. Sean has joined me in my working out now that we have a home gym….although I’m not as dedicated as I was last year, but having Sean interested has re-motivated me J We have really enjoyed taking long walks in our neighborhood, it’s such a lovely place to walk, especially down Kildonan Drive, both a great exercise and special time together. I have also recently turned my crafting hobby into a business and have busied myself since June being a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, participating in workshops and other ways to promote my tools and creations. It’s been a great way to connect and reconnect with good friends, which is always a high priority. Especially now that we’re not making a weekly trip to Steinbach, it’s given me another excuse to make an occasional trip and visit dear friends.

We still can’t get enough time with family but I intentionally made time especially for the kids. I was determined to babysit, overnight, at least one of my nieces and nephew, and I did! I babysat Landon overnight and then Landon and Brooklynn overnight a few months later. A challenge, but I loved the one-on-one time, and testing my own care-giving abilities. Never thought a silent sleeping baby would keep me up most of the night! Brooklynn is in preschool now, how fast they grow up! She and Avery are a real joy, to watch them learn and develop is still a miracle to me. And speaking of miracles, a new baby will be joining our family in June when my sister Tami has her first child, yay! I will be an aunt again!

As usual, the year has flown by, a few landmarks in a mostly unremarkable year. The only thing remarkable is God’s faithfulness, continually giving us enough strength to tackle our current battles, and more than enough love to keep making choices to draw us closer to Him. Sean and I are approaching the end of our 6th year of marriage, and God continues to use us as an example of His forgiveness and love to each other. Our love grows as we daily understand more about what love really is, and it gives us renewed passion for the life we get to share together.

Well, that’s just about it for us and 2009. As always if you want to find out what’s going on with us before next December, feel free to visit me at and we wish you all a meaningful holiday season, full of warm memories, a reflective look at the year past, and a hopeful look towards 2010.

Lori & Sean

Sunday, December 20, 2009

List crazy

I've done a few things recently that aren’t on my big 101 list but they have been things I’ve been thinking I should do for awhile now, just wanted to ‘check’ them off my non-existent list in my mind :)
~ buy a ‘little black dress’

~ pass on my ‘wisdom’ to a young girl – I am participating in a compilation book of advice to a young girl, I am just turning it into a more graphically pleasing version, then I’m passing it off to her mom to add to the book

~ try to bake more – this year I baked; shortbread cookies, pumpkin cheesecake tarts, my best pie ever (not me who said that), pumpkin pancakes, ginger pear loaf, and now this week chocolate espresso shortbread cookies (although, not all turned out edible, at least I tried :)

~ make homemade soup – created a Tuscan tomato soup I love, and created a turkey stew with my hubby that is the perfect comfort stew for a cold winter’s day

~ attend a wine tasting – Arrington vineyards in Nashville

~ buy hand-crafted art for home decor – bought lovely handmade wooden signs for our dining room

~ wrote up and finalized a will for hubby and I

I’ve got so many things I have on my mental wish/to do list, I just can’t wait for my current 101 list to be done to start the next list! Lol. I've already got about 35 items for my list in 119 days :)
And here’s just the updates of my 101 list while I’m at it:
Out of 101 to dos - 55 Completed ~ 13 In Progress ~ 19 daily/weekly/etc. items implemented ~ 8 No Can Dos
15 LEFT TO DO! With 119 days to go! (as of last update - 12/20/09)

27. Organize craft supplies so I can find what I am looking for – just need to add a couple more shelves and then I have a place for everything and everything in its place36. Aim to use less than 5 days of sick time per year - 07/08 =6.5/5 days, 08/09 = 4/5, 09/10 = 3.5/555. Go out for a one-on-one coffee/dinner with at least 6 family members each year – 12/16
59. Go out for a coffee/dinner with at least one friend each month – 20/32
61. Organize a 'paper crafting' club that will meet every other month - have a Stampin' Up! Card club in Steinbach, next meeting in January if you want a spot :)62. Become a mom (even though this one is a little out of my control) – investigating more information about tipped uterus (which I likely have), and working to create better reproductive health with diet63. Join a cell group/Bible study – going to be attending a course about connecting/small groups at our Church starting January
79. My second tattoo – had my consult, have an appointment for the tattoo Feb.13, 2010
95. Make at least 100 cards for at least 10 different occasions, to have ready on hand for each year's events – created 65/100
97. Read about one book/month – read 17/32
99. Make at least two journal entries per week, on blog or on paper - 284/284
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