Friday, March 1, 2013

Love always...

And so for some, you will have received this in hard-copy already - well with one minor modification - Joy felt the reference to "annus horribilis" was out of place.  I'm OK with that - it's a part of my colonial heritage I suppose.  But this is my blog so the original version gets a run - for good or ill.  And being a blog, I get to toss in a few extra pictures.

Seems late the day before Christmas Eve to begin writing our family Christmas letter, but our fabulous family photographer and friend will be home from Oman right after Christmas and so we decided to send out New Years greetings.  If you are not used to the Christensen family doing things differently, then why the heck are you receiving this – you obviously are not that familiar with us.

 I’ve been mulling what to say for a few days, and to be honest, it’s been hard.  The many tragic events in the US and wider world this year, especially with one so close to Christmas have torn at me.  I’ve written about them elsewhere so won’t dwell on them or my feelings about them here – a Christmas/New Years epistle seems after all not the place – unless of course you are the Queen.  But that notwithstanding, this year I go a different way…

For this year has not been “annus horribilis”.  From the prologue of Love Actually, one of our favorite Christmas movies:

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around.

In the times we’ve spent with family and friends there has been a lot of love AND a lot to love for us this year.  These things give us hope and joy.  Our girls have had continued to amaze us as they have grown. 

Mallory graduated after an amazing four years of high school and has not missed a beat in the transition to university.  Overnight, a year of lasts turned into a year of firsts.  As always her life is full of great people and so while she is sorely missed around the house she is making her way in the world as we have always wish for and known she would.  Nonetheless, there are days we will always remember; senior prom, graduation ceremony and backyard party, and that sad/happy day she walked off through security on her way to university.

Jillian also continues to grow and find her voice.  She loves life and somehow finds time to balance hanging out with friends, sport and schoolwork.  Being Jillian, she still enjoys a little down time in the quiet coziness of her own room also, although that space has expanded some having commandeered most of Mallory’s room and closet space.  Sport remains one of her passions with the thrill we all got to share in as she and her very young hockey teammates made a statement going undefeated and taking the Colorado high school state 
championship in the fall.         

Joy and I continue to marvel at all the events in our lives and the great friends we get to share them with.  Of course we miss the dear friends we have made in other places we have lived, but are enjoying life and this season here in Colorado.  I think we both can relate to Mary in the Christmas narrative by Luke:

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Our love to you, and lifes blessings also for 2013.