Thursday, December 29, 2016

Four years


After a quiet Christmas, we've been enjoying a calm week at home. We've been out most days for quick errands - trips to the library or the grocery store, a little drive down to the Bosque, hitting up the feed store for Layena and black-oil sunflower seeds, dinner out one night when the ham leftovers just got to be too much. Mostly, we're staying home, filling our days with books, crafts, games and movies, sleeping in, making fires in the evenings. It's one of the best things in our year, actually, these two weeks around the holidays when the schools are closed and the Bear's employer shuts down. Sure, we all get a little antsy with the free time, and I can't keep up with the eating or the dishes, but it's nice to have a break from real life for a while.

Among all the very sad celebrity deaths this year, I have to tell you that I am most upset about George Michael. Gutted, actually. He was my first and longest celebrity crush, since I was a little girl. I loved him even more when I got older. So good-looking! Just two days before his death, I was demonstrating his dance moves from "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" to my skeptical children. I'll always love you, George.

My Christmas presents this year included a new laptop, so we've been busy getting it up and running, moving all my bookmarks, photos and files from the old laptop, which finally churned and wheezed itself nearly to a halt over the past few weeks. It was only a couple of years old and not meant to be a long-term solution for my computing needs (which are admittedly few), but it was a real pain in the neck, especially at the end. I like my new laptop much better so far. I am sure it will enhance my life as a consumer of Teen Mom videos and murder-related podcasts only the most erudite and illuminating media.

Today marks my fourth blogging anniversary. I want to say thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blog. I'm not very good at responding to comments but I appreciate them very much. I am consistently surprised, and honored, by how much people care about me and my family.

As I've often said, blogging has helped me become so much more appreciative of my own life. Like most people, there are parts of my life I'd rather not share on my blog, some of which played a major role in my decision to blog positively in the first place. I've sometimes wondered if that's disingenuous - I'm deliberately avoiding shining a light on the lousier things. I'm sure there are people who view it that way and I get it - it's sort of a highlight reel. But I also know what I've dealt with and how it brought me down and prevented me from enjoying the bounty of good things in the life I've created for myself. Taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate them through photography and writing has helped me heal and grow. I am stronger for having reached out. I am better for having found a community filled with people who understand. Thank you again for being just plain good.

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 brings all the best things to you and yours.

33 comments:

  1. Happy blogaversary, that's a brilliant achievement. Yours is a blog I always love to read, you have created a very warm, friendly, welcoming place here. I'm glad you're having a good couple of weeks off. We're playing lots of games here too, and there's also been quite a bit of scooting and skateboarding. I'm off to watch a programme now that I think you would enjoy - a dramatisation of the lives of Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte and their brother during the years that they were at the parsonage writing. It's called "To Walk Invisible", maybe it will be available in the US too. Wishing a very happy New Year to you and yours. CJ xx

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  2. Happy New Year to you too, Jennifer. xx

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  3. Hello Jennifer and happy blogaversary! I, for one, am so happy you began blogging. I feel like I have a friend in you and I enjoy reading about your little family. I'm glad you're having a good week together and congrats on the new computer.

    There are parts of our lives that we share and parts we don't. That's okay. They are our blogs and we share what we can or are comfortable with.
    Blessings always,
    Betsy

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  4. Back in NY in the 1980s and 90s we had family time like you are describing here, when my husband was often free from work at IBM especially during the week between Christmas and New Years...precious time. I am glad you created your blog and I feel privileged to know you through it Jennifer. And I am sorry for the loss you feel because of the death of GM. An attitude of gratitude with hints of the negative human stuff of life and how I choose to note it and try to defeat it, but not let it rob me of my foundational joy, is how I choose to blog and is a genuine expression of how I face my life in spite of the many negatives in the world. I look forward to the new year and the posts that you, your camera, and new computer will produce. Happy New Year to You and Yours :) xx

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  5. I love reading your blog, Jennifer, and, discovering that we "knew" each other in another place just makes it all the more special for me. Enjoy your quiet time. Happy New Year! :o)

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  6. Happy Blogaversary! Four years is wonderful. I don't think there is anything wrong with focusing on the positives of life. There is plenty of bad and sometimes that's all that seems to make it to the headlines. I enjoy what you do decide to share. I hope you enjoy your new computer. Happy New Year, Lisa

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  7. I love your blog, Jennifer! I wish you and your family a very healthy and happy New Year!!!

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  8. I love reading your blog too and really appreciate your contentment with the everyday - a rare gift I think. Talking of the Brontes (as we literary girls do!) I am reading a fascinating book called "Weatherland" by Alexandra Harris who sweeps through 1000 years of English literature while keeping a keen eye on the weather. Fittingly my bookmark is a postcard of Robert Rauschenberg's Mint Hoarfrost. Happy New Year Jennifer.

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  9. Yay for your blog anniversary. I don't think anyone blogs to cover ALL the bases - it wouldn't fit the platform. People real-life journal in different ways as well. Sometimes I get tired of people saying that they just wish everyone would be more real which I think really means, "Tell me your bad stuff so I can feel better." That's not real in my book. Really loving people is blessing them and not burdening them with too many emotional ups and downs. You're a good writer, Jennifer. It's a pleasure to read your blog.

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  10. Happy blog anniversary. We're enjoying this quiet time too. I've never felt the urge to bare my soul on my blog either, I try to keep it a positive place to store memories.

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  11. Congratulations on four years, and all the best in 2017. May it bring you much joy. xo

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  12. Happy bloggoversary! I enjoy coming here and always leave feeling uplifted and peaceful.

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  13. Happy blogaversary. Please continue!

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  14. Many years to you and your blog! <3 * I totally understand that we don't blog all the hard things in life, of which there are always many and some very unexpected. But, I am the same as you. For me, when I look at my IG pictures, I get this sense of thanksgiving that is deep and healing. I see how blessed I am and how much I have to be thankful for. We go through a lot of difficulties in life but with thanksgiving, we have also a lot of hope and beauty.

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  15. Your hibernation time sounds similar to what I've always enjoyed especially between xmas and ny. I also put on a happy face most of the time on my blog because I try to live that way. Yes, I have some tragic things in my life that I don't talk about but we all have things we keep close to the vest. At least we should! LOL! Congrats on your 4th blogaversary.. I think we've been blogging the same amount of time. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    *:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*
      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*
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  16. Happy blogiversary, lovely girl! I'm so glad we met and connected through blogging. I always love visiting here and reading about your life. I'm really glad you're enjoying these weeks of rest. I don't mind telling you that I'm sick to death of hosting guests, changing sheets, laundry, cooking, eating, all of it. I have to go to the supermarket now then clean the house and make up the spare bed ready for our next guests and all I want to do is sit in my pyjamas and read. X

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  17. Four years is a great achievement and I'm all for the positive as well. It makes you look harder at what is good in your life, which can't be bad! Glad you're enjoying some quiet family time. I always feel it's a bit like hibernation straight after Christmas ; very essential. Have a happy new year. B x

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  18. I am glad you are enjoying your family time, it is not all that common any more that businesses close down over the festive period. We are all off work and school, too. It is a bit strange all being in the house together at once and for a prolonged period of time. Enjoyable though. Happy Blog Anniversary! I so enjoy visiting and connecting with you. I feel that I have made a friend and sometimes when I go about my day I think 'I bet Jennifer would like this' or 'I wonder how Jennifer would do this'. Your blog is yours and the decision to share some parts of your life but not others is yours! We all have parts of our lives, which we prefer to keep private. Lots of love, Christina x

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  19. Like everyone else, I am so glad I found your little space here and I love reading your posts, Jennifer. You have a gentle, kind and warm voice and it's lovely to read your thoughts. Please keep them coming :-) I think it's important to keep parts of our lives private – there's too much over-sharing in the world! Enjoy these in-between days and here's wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year. Sam xx

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  20. Happy fourth blog anniversary Jennifer. Your blog is always positive and this makes me visit you more and more. Have a wonderful New Year xx

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  21. Congratulations on your fourth blog anniversary, I always enjoy reading along. Your Christmas sounds lovely and relaxing, I love the time in between Christmas and New Year, though it's been a little different around here this year, but it's nice to not have plans to follow and just go with the flow.

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  22. Congratulations on your fourth year of blogging. I believe you and those like you that open their lives to the rest of us, affirm what is important in life - the joys of creating, caring for family, and as you say, searching for the goodness in life. Hopefully you will continue to share your life for many years to come.

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  23. Sounds like you are having a nice winter break and that you had a good Christmas. Hope you enjoy your new laptop. That's too bad your other one only lasted a couple of years. Mine have lasted 5-7 years. I got the Asus Zenbook last year and I love it. Only problem is, the tracking pad isn't working correctly right now. I've Googled the problem and it looks like I'd have to uninstall the old program and reinstall a new driver. Something I'd rather not take a chance on! So, I need to bring it to a computer repair person. My hubby got a new laptop right before Christmas - the Acer Aspire. Both of us got laptops with a solid state drive - no moving parts! And will help the laptop last longer.

    I couldn't believe it about George Michael either. We were at my sister's house on Christmas and my aunt was looking at her phone and saw the news. She told us and we didn't believe her at first. What a shock!

    If you choose not to share the more personal or grittier parts of your life on your blog, that is certainly your prerogative. Don't give it a second thought. Some bloggers share pretty much everything; others share nothing personal at all; and then there's those of us who are in-between. Personal choice! :-)

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  24. Happy bloganniversary! It is a pleasure to visit. Happy New Year and very best wishes for 2017.

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  25. Dear Jennifer, stay just as you are! Your blog is sweet and special, and I love to see and read it. I don't share some awful things which happen in my life either, and to have a blog space we control in our own way is perfectly therapeutic, I think. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family.

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  26. Happy Blog birthday Jennifer, I love your highlight reel style. xxx

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  27. Happy blogiversary Jennifer! Happy New Year! I hope that 2017 is a great one for you. :) xx

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  28. Happy Blog-o-versary to you!! And here's to a happy and healthy 2017 with lots of hooky goodness thrown in! ♥♥♥

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  29. Happy Blog anniversary and a very happy New Year. Wishing you everything you wish for yourself and your family. Take care.

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  30. David Bowie, Prince and George Michael all in one year has just floored me. I swear I almost cried when I heard about George Michael on Christmas day. Happy Blog Anniversary. I am glad you are here. Happy New YEar.

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  31. George Michael was a shocker, along with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds!! I too loved George Michael when I was in my early twenties and dancing to all his songs with my girlfriends...such an 80s icon. Last night we watched Star Wars IV in tribute to Carrie.

    Congrats on four years Jennifer! You have a lovely blog here, and it's a pleasure to visit. I disagree with people who feel we should share the bad stuff along with the good on our blogs. There is still such a thing as privacy that seems to elude some people who have grown up sharing every tidbit of their lives through social media. I think it's more a matter of privacy rather than honesty as to what we choose to share. I prefer to share my difficult things with close family and friends rather than the entire world through the internet. I'm happy for you that concentrating on the good things has helped you to be more positive in your life. Being thankful for the good things that come our way is far better for our well being than dwelling on the bad. You seem to have found a comfortable rhythm in your days that I admire.
    Happy New Year to you and your family :)
    Wendy

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  32. Jennifer your blog is fabulous and one of my favourite reads in blogland. We all have parts of our lives that we don't blog about, and I think that's fine. I have always felt that there is some sadness behind your words, and a sense of humility in your writing that often comes from having known hard times, so some of that has perhaps 'leaked out' without you even realising. However I find your blog uplifting, thoughtful, positive, and creative. It is just great, in fact. Like you I shed some tears over George. I loved him, and have seen him live too, only once, but he was just fabulous. I also saw him in a bar in Sydney, Australia, many many years ago (there's a wee story there, too long to tell....) and he was simply gorgeous. Wonderful voice, mega talented song writer, and did loads and loads for charity, all anonymously. What a guy. X

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  33. I love your blog, Jennifer! I have to say that I have lurked for many months andhave read your archives. Your cross stitch endeavours have encouraged me to pick up a needle again and I am working on the kitchen cross stitch you completed some time ago. Although at this point in my life, I require some assistance in the form of a magnifier! I wish you and your family the happiest and healthiest 2017!

    Best regards,

    Wendy

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