EVERY year I have big plans to get professional pictures made. While visions of sugarplums may be dancing in your heads, I'm mentally going through all of our closets putting together a suitable outfit plan for the five Burdens.
I start in November; choosing a spot in my mind for the perfect picture; like a Christmas tree farm with a backdrop of a wintry sky or a painted sunset behind a field of tall, lazy dead grass.
I even skim through the Shutterfly and Tiny print advertisements choosing a card; imagining what I'd put on it.
Didn't happen again in 2016; not for a lack of ideas or desire, but a lack of time.
A Christmas card hasn't happened for this family in the past three years.
It isn't because we aren't proud of our family. We are.
Hayden finished welding school this summer and is taking classes to get a degree in Welding Technology. That guy can cook bacon and eggs for an army of men (and then eat it all himself).
Hallie has become the sweetest mentor for Rylie. She also got her driving permit (but neither she or I are too gung-ho for the driving part.
Rylie got a cell phone this year. Don't give her your number unless you want to be texted ten emojis, daily. She's baking like crazy. She made a little wedding cake for a couple earlier this year and has made cookies, brownies and a lot of mess.
Jason and I had a summer sabbatical that goes down in our book of memories as one of the most enjoyable, most memorable and most rejuvenating summers we've ever had. Thank you, church, for giving us that gift that took years off of our lives, put pep back in our step and grew us in our walk. We love you.
Besides sending a picture of ourselves, this card carries greetings to a whole bunch of people we don't get to see anymore (like much-loved people from our hometown, our church families (and when I say family I do mean family) in Chilton and Trinity and a host of old friends and cousins, aunts and uncles. We miss you and regret that miles and years have created a distance. You're still close to our hearts.
To some of you whom we just met in 2016 (and even some who we've never met in person) we want to say that we're glad God has placed you in our circle. I'm amazed at how God never stops placing new people in our lives to work alongside (or even over social media). Makes me expectant and enthused for 2017.
To others we want to say that we're thankful for you. For those of you who leave your mark on our lives by leaving gumbo at the door or constant encouraging comments on posts, you may not ever know how grateful we are for you (because I'm just about as good with thank you notes as I am Christmas cards). Thank you for those of you who treat us like family and for those of you who pray for us. We're better because of you.
Still bewildered that God uses us and blesses us like he does.
Merry Christmas and a Hopeful New Year!
With all of our love (even if in a slightly lame manner),
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.