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Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  I wanted to share some highlights from our Christmas card photo shoot.  We tried to take our photos this year at the Stanley hotel but the weather would not cooperate at all.  Not only was it freezing cold, the winds were insane.  If you’ve ever visited Estes Park in the winter you’ve probably experienced some crazy wind at some point.  We literally couldn’t get a single photo without our hair blowing around crazy.  After some major hair brushing in the car we decided to drive around town and look for a spot sheltered from the wind.

Eventually we ended up at the YMCA camp.  Brian hiked down to the frozen pond and found a spot that was mostly wind free.  He set up the tripod and motioned us down to the frozen pond, I stepped out of the car and that’s when fear set in.  Are you kidding me?  We’re taking family photos here?  The spot where nearly 10 years ago I fell walking down to the pond and fractured my spine?  This is really happening?  I guess Brian saw my look of panic on my face and walked up to help me down… I had a death grip on him.  The good news is I didn’t fall again, we were able to get some family photos and I conquered my fear of the YMCA frozen pond.

My son Corey visited us back in August and I wish he could of visited us for the holidays but he’s busy with his own plans and I have to respect that.  He was greatly missed though.

Haley recently turned 18 this year and was accepted into University of Texas, and she’s so excited to study medicine.  I’ll talk a little bit more about her below.

Ashley is doing great living here.  She’s taking culinary classes and has a new found love for cooking… and that means she’s usually making a huge mess in my kitchen!  She turns 16 soon and I can’t believe how the time has flown by.  She absolutely loves living here with all the beautiful nature around us.

I need to be honest this has been a very hard year for me.  Acclimating to this new life was tougher than I thought it would be.  Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love living here but it’s been a transition.  New house, new climate, trying to find new friends but not really having time because we’re so exhausted working on home projects and then there is Haley.

I haven’t really talked much about our situation because it’s been so hard.  After a lot of back and forth she decided not to move to Colorado with us.  She was onboard at first but she changed her mind and wanted to finish her senior year in Texas.  She has a late birthday and turned 18 soon after the school year started and as an adult we gave her the choice to stay.  Even though she flys down to visit every 6 weeks or so it’s been extremely hard on me emotionally.  I’ve felt unbearable guilt and that on top of the moving and remodeling stress has been a lot to cope with. It’s caused a little bit early empty nest syndrome and I’m trying hard to be strong.

Like I said it’s been a hard year and I’m excited to start a fresh one.  Brian and I have started going on winter hikes up in Rocky Mountain National Park and it’s been great, almost like therapy.  Nature therapy.

I’m taking a blog break for several weeks, a much needed holiday break, and to spend precious time with my family.  I’ll be back blogging sometime in January.  I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  2020 is going to be a beautiful new year for us all!