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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Day of 2009

It's been a quiet day here in Stockholm. It is absolutely gorgeous outside.

It is rare that we have this much snow coupled with freezing temperatures extended across several days creating this amazing, frosty, beautiful wonderland around us.

I took Tanner for a midday walk and I was just dazzled by my surroundings.

A beautiful way to end the year. We've had a very quiet day at home today and tonight we are headed to some friends' who we haven't seen much of lately. Greatly looking forward to hanging with them, ringing in the new year, playing some Wii, and enjoying a great dinner. I am thankful that we aren't having this for dinner.It really amazes me that people willfully eat Lutefisk and actually look forward to it. Look at that plate. Does that look remotely good?
Give me a steak.
This is a steak my father cooked for me last March. I ate the entire thing and loved it!

Our friends have 3 dogs so Tanner is most welcome. We'll spend the night out there and enjoy a nice morning with them as well. They live in
Saltsjöbaden which is a lovely community on the water's edge south of Stockholm. Their house is set in the woods and Judy and Olle are just wonderful hosts. We look forward to an enjoyable time with them.

As the year is almost over, it seems appropriate to summarize it in some fashion. I look back on 2009 and feel it was a good year, except for being sick the last two months. But now that I'm feeling better and we've been able to enjoy such a lovely Christmas season, I feel content and satisfied with the year gone by. 2010 has some wonderful things in store for us, but I'll tell y'all about that another day. For now, here's my year in review for 2009:


Highlights:

We started the year with our annual trip to the US and enjoyed time with both families. We are thankful that we are able to travel back to the US as often as we are able to.

In February, we learned that my mom miraculously went into remission after fighting stage 3 ovarian cancer and has remained cancer free for the entire year. This has been such a huge gift to our family and we've enjoyed the new lease on life that she's been given.
In March, I took a little extra trip back to California in order to celebrate this great news with my folks. So many of our visits over the last two years revolved around sadness or hardship and I just really wanted to be with them during a season when my mom was actually feeling good. It was a great time and a huge gift from Doug who stayed behind to take care of Tanner and things at church. In April, we enjoyed an amazing International Pastors' conference in Turkey. This is at Pamukkale, where the churches in Hieropolis and Laodicia would've been.

We toured the area of the 7 churches of the Revelation and ended up with a few days in Istanbul. It was a wonderfully meaningful trip, fortified by the amazing conversations we share with other International Pastors in Europe.
Just waiting to walk into Ephesus!

Cruising on the Bosporus with Istanbul in the background.

The summer brought us loads of fun with our new boat, The Finnmaster. What a great little toy she has been for us. We spent many of our long and beautiful summer evenings out on the water, doing a little fishing, taking a dip, watching Tanner swim his little heart out...basking in the beauty of the amazing and wonderful long days of summer. We found time to take a hot air balloon ride over Stockholm as well. Breathtaking!
My folks ventured over to Sweden one more time and enjoyed some fun on the boat, playing cards and hanging with our dog. We were happy to have them here again.


In September we moved into our renovated sanctuary space. Everyone has been so thrilled with the results and we continue to find great joy in serving Immanuel International Church.

We enjoyed a nice break to the island of Sardinia in October, marred only by cooler weather than we had hoped for. Still, the scenery was just breath-takingly beautiful and the food and time together was truly wonderful.Unfortunately, shortly after we returned from Sardinia, I got sick with a bug that kept me down for 2 months. It was a trying time for me as I just couldn't get back to full health. Fortunately, I began to feel a bit better in time to decorate and entertain for Christmas and as I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, have really enjoyed the season.
These are mere highlights of a wonderful life that we enjoy together. I am very thankful at year's end that Doug is my life companion. His love sustains me and his humor brings me great joy. We love our faithful dog, Tanner, and feel grateful for the love and affection he shows us. He keeps us on our toes with his energy but we love exploring our beautiful city with him by our side.


Friends...we are blessed. I hope you feel the same. I look forward to welcoming a new year with lots of possibilities and adventures. May the love of God in Christ pour into your life and bring you peace.
Thanks for being a reader this year. I continue to enjoy blogging and feel humbled that you take time out of your busy lives to read what I have to say.
Happy New Year!