First off, apologies for being rather lax in my posting this week. It's heading into Christmas and hence, busy, busy. Presents, food, cooking, etc., etc. I know, I know, plenty of excuses, but truly, it's been hectic and will stay that way till after the New Year. I might not get many more posts up until the New Year. For today, I'm here to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Also posting our annual Christmas letter that we're sending out to friends and family .... oh yes ... in case you're wondering 'cos I haven't changed the names in the letter ... I'm "Deanna" and "Steve" = "The Boy". :-)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
It’s hard to believe it’s that time of the year already. It was a year filled with the best of intentions, starting with the fact that since we missed sending out Christmas and New Year greetings last year, thinking to make up for it with sending out Easter greetings instead. As you are well aware, that did not happen. Well, better late than never, and hopefully, this has reached you in time or almost in time of the festive season.
We’ve had a rather busy year for 2011 with some significant events. Deanna turned 40. We celebrated out 10th wedding anniversary. Steve turned one year shy of the big Six-Oh at 59. 2012 will have another significant event in our lives.
Our year has been spent with some travel to the US to visit Steve’s family. Unfortunately, Steve’s dad suffered a severe stroke but we have been blessed with his miraculous recovery and he’s doing incredibly well now. Life is almost back to normal in the Shipley home in Minnesota as Steve’s dad’s recovery has been stupendous. We made two trips back to the US to visit and enjoyed the time a great deal.
We’ve also spent a lot of time in our home in the Hunter Valley. We’ve put some effort into setting it up into a proper home and now it feels like “our home”. We’ve been enjoying some significant time up there and splitting our time between the Hunter Valley and the city. Still loving living in the city but the Hunter is always a lovely time away and a nice break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Sydney living.
Aside from that, this year has been spent focusing on the relationships around us - spending lots of time with friends and family. We’ve started a Singles and Strays dinner several times a month, inviting friends who are on their own, either single or without their significant others to our home for a home cooked meal. There is usually lots of leftovers to be had for the boys too. We just had out last Singles and Strays dinner for the year which saw us enjoying a prawn and gorgonzola risotto, roasted pork belly with vegetables and salad, finished with a crème brulee. Deanna’s taken to and really loving cooking and Steve’s taken some cooking lessons too, so he’s helping out in the kitchen as well.
A very generous friend gave Steve a BBQ for his birthday this year and that’s making its home in the Hunter Valley. The BBQ is Steve’s domain and for the first meal, he cooked up ginger and soy tofu steaks, prosciutto wrapped asparagus and honey marinated chicken drumsticks. It was a very delicious dinner.
Speaking of relationships, we want you to know that you are remembered fondly this holiday season. We wish you and your family good health and happiness, and hope to be able to catch up with you in the New Year. God Bless.