The history of Scott and I's holiday greetings is pretty varied. After we first got married it was hit or miss as to if we actually got around to sending out cards, sometimes with the occasional "recapping the year" letter stuffed inside. After Lexi was born I made a more honest effort to make sure to send out greetings with pictures, a task that has become simple with the ease and affordability of picture cards. I love Shutterfly. Their service is great, quick, and on the very rarest occasion that I'm not 100% happy with my product and have to have something reprinted, they are courteous and quick about the replacement.
Even though we decided to forgo sending cards to our normal list of about 75 recipients this holiday season, opting to send you greetings here instead, we do still need to send just a handful of cards out to the generation of Grandparents who we know don't read my ramblings here throughout the year. (OR probably more importantly, don't get to see the girls grow up through all the pictures I post!) So I ordered up 1/2 a dozen cards with my cute little girls faces plastered on the front and then decided that I should put forth the effort to include a holiday letter as well. I find it funny that I felt so strongly to do so considering in years past when sending to "the masses" I've been happy with taking 30 minutes to design and order a card, print out labels (I have to say if it wasn't for the creation of a mailing list a few years back in Excel, which allows me to merge and print address labels with little more than the click of the mouse, none of those mailings would have EVER happened), and wrestle the rest of the family into helping me assembly line stuff, stick, and seal around the end of November. But this year I felt compelled to take the time to summarize our year in print for the benefit of those 5 receiving addresses. It probably helps that I spend so much time writing here and enjoy it so much. I'm happy to report I was able to fit the year's summary onto 2 pages (one page, front and back) AND I even used slightly larger than normal type font for easier reading by aged eyes. It's amazing to me to think of two pages as a short amount of writing space. It really does make one think about every word that one chooses to put on the page! Thankfully I don't have that worry here!
A gal here in town a few months back told me last year she sent out an EIGHT page holiday letter. HOLY COW!
I told her she needed a blog...
So August 2008. August is kinda a sad month...only because it signals the end of summer and our lazy days filling up our schedule with whatever we feel like doing that day. August this year also seemed to be the turning point in my commitment to blog more regularly. I don't think consciously, but with the changing of the season (the end of RAGBRAI and the thought of the first days of school signally the coming of fall) I often get reflective and have the need to take a little look at life in all of it's various shades. And this blog has offered me up a space to do so more openly than just in my own brain...which is where all of this "conversation" has normally taken place through the years. I know, it's scary looking inside my brain. And to think on the outside I seem so quiet and calm!
It was fun to take the standard 1st day of school picture again just outside our front door with the green of the lawn and the cheery backdrop of Black-eyed Susan's...and then to compare it to last year's 1st day of school picture.
What a difference a year makes!
August is also a happy month because it means the bounty of the summer gardens is coming into full force. We're so lucky to have a wonderful farmer's market here in town where you can pick up everything from organic produce to handmade wares. A local favorite is Humphry's sweet corn stand. They set up every day in a parking lot on Hwy 146, starting the day with a truck bed full of fresh picked corn. They take shelter from the sun under their shade tent and sell until the truck bed is empty, only to repeat the scene again the next day. It is by far the best sweet corn you can get in town and it's always a joy to stop to buy from their stand regardless who in the family is selling that day.
As you can see, Brea was of the age to fully appreciate the yumminess and fun of sweet corn this year...and Lexi had all of her front teeth which made for easier eating than last year! It wouldn't surprise me if my Mom, after reading this post with a mention of garden bounty, searches out her seed catalog to sit and browse through with a cup of tea. I wouldn't mind doing that myself today...it would help me to forget the fact that it's -4 degrees out right now!!!