Christmas Card 2.0

I didn’t send Christmas cards this year. Because I forgot to order Christmas cards this year. It’s the first year since we’ve been married, and I feel a little guilty about it.

I wrote a post about this that included an entire recap of my year, which was a big one, but I couldn’t seem to make myself post it.

Maybe because it was more for me to have the memories for myself.

Maybe I thought you’d be bored or uninterested.

Whatever the reason, I realized this morning that it’s likely because I wanted to share something else. I wanted to share some things I’ve learned in 2018, and while wishing you a Merry Christmas, I also want to share my wishes for you in the coming year.

Moving away from the only home you’ve ever known is a truly eye opening experience.

I’ve learned that I am much stronger than I ever realized. Part of me thought I’d live in endless anguish leaving behind my home and all that entails. But I’ve found myself thriving in spite of it. I’ve taken on many new challenges, tried countless new things and forced myself to branch out of my comfort zone a million times this year. It’s made me feel brave, and empowered, and successful. I was so deep in my comfort zone before that I didn’t even realize what I was capable of.

I’ve learned that distance is no match for true friendships. That you and your people can love each other well, even from hundreds of miles apart. Best friends find a way to keep up. Whether it’s visits to see each other, FaceTime calls from book club, thoughtful snail mail, or 7 a.m. phone calls because that’s all you can make work. Not once this year did I feel disconnected from my people. You’re always a phone call or text or email away from the ones you need.

I’ve learned to not take for granted where we live. Growing up, my family vacationed in Colorado and Tennessee, and from an early age, I fell head over heels in love with the mountains. Fortunately, I married someone with the same appreciation. We honeymooned and vacationed in the mountains. And now, every single day, when I look out my back door, or take my dog for a walk, or even just run errands around town, I have to pinch myself. I will never ever get over the mountains. I loved them in spring all green and bright, I loved them covered in wildflowers in summer. I loved their picture perfect fall foliage. But absolutely nothing beats the snow covered mountains in winter. They’re breathtaking.

I’ve learned that marriage is the greatest gift. Honestly, I’ve known this since the day we said, “I do.” But somehow starting over in a new city with your spouse makes it even more evident. I feel like we’ve been on a year-long honeymoon, which is pretty incredible considering we’ve been married seven years and together for 15. It’s been so fun exploring new places and having new adventures together. Our love for the mountains is strong, but our love for each other knows no bounds, and for that I am eternally thankful.

I’ve learned, even more than ever, the goodness of God. His infinite blessings this year have been a constant reminder that we are here for more than ourselves. We’re here to love others. And not just a selective group of others – ALL others. We’re here to build bridges, not tear them down. We’re here to be kind. We’re here to help. We’re here, not to gain wealth or power, but to share our wealth and gain empathy.

In 2018, I learned to live my life elevated, and I couldn’t be more thankful that you followed along. It has meant the world to me!

In 2019, I wish you friendships that constantly remind you of your worth. I wish you adventure and challenges that remind you what you’re capable of. I wish you beautiful experiences that bring you true joy. And most importantly, I wish you love that knows no bounds.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has sent us a beautiful Christmas card! I love and cherish each one and I hope to get back on board next year.

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