For a hot minute, I was concerned that Matt and I would not have a viable photo for our annual Christmas card.  Thankfully, I was able to scramble and pull together something kind of adorable, honestly.  I'll share it here next week, but I want to mail them first on the off, off, off chance that someone on my Christmas card list actually reads this blog (not likely).  Anyway, I wrote this gem and hated for it to go to waste, so...

Greetings from Nashville!

This year has been sort of a whirlwind, and frankly, we just couldn’t get it together to get a decent picture of the three of us – a task made more difficult because our dog is somewhat antisocial.  Here is a piece of clip art that represents Piper pretty well.


Our year has been fun, fast and extremely fulfilling. and we are fortunate and grateful for that. Lots of home improvement projects - some planned, others were surprises - but the upshot is, we love having ice cubes and filtered water on demand.
As in years past, a lot of our leisure time is spent at Bridgestone Arena cheering on the Nashville Predators.  You would be surprised at how many rabid hockey fans a relatively moderately sized city in the Southeast can produce, but we’re among them.  This year, we got plenty of time to enjoy them.  We were pleasantly surprised to see them make it all the way to the Stanley Cup, and between us, we managed to attend quite a few playoff games.  Matt even managed to get a ticket to see them play a game in the finals.   It was an exciting time, and it once again established Nashville as a place that people want to be.

This Spring, I made a big change.  I cut my hair much shorter.  It's sort of a longish curly pixie or short curly bob. A Pixob.  Or a Boxie.  Either way, it looks great.  It's so much easier and I think it really suits me.   Oh, also - I left UL/PureSafety, my employer of 10 years to take a job with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee!   Before you say anything, I have nothing to do with your insurance coverage, so I cannot help you with the $1000 MRI that they refuse to cover.  I’m sorry about that.  Not at all sorry about the new job as I could not have picked a better place with better people.  It was scary, but I’m glad I took the risk.  The upshot is that I am traveling considerably less.  That gives me time to celebrate Taco Tuesdays, to meet up with friends, to take yoga classes with goats, and so on.

Matt’s work travel has picked up a little.   Even though his destinations have been to some beautiful and fun locations,  work travel is still... work.  But Matt is in his 13th year working with the same company, and he is a valued asset to his employers.  When he isn’t traveling, working, or watching hockey, Matt is creating.  He is still shooting beautiful photos, but the camera has taken a backseat  this year in favor of drawing and painting.   He has a real aptitude for it – he enjoys exploring light and shadow, blending, perspective.  It has been a nice way for him to unwind, and we're both enjoying the results.
We haven’t taken any leisure trips this year, and hope to rectify that in 2018.  We have spent time with various members of both families – and on that front, everyone is well and happy.  Although we miss the ones that are gone, we have managed to add some people to our family over the years.  Even if they aren’t ours in the legal or genetic sense, we claim them and are richer for knowing them.   One of my colleagues introduced me to the term "Logical Family", to refer to the family that isn't biological.  I like it.  That said, I would like a vacation.  One that requires shaving parts of me that don't normally see the light of day, and involves fruity rum drinks.  Please.  And thank you.

Piper has had a great year.  She made a few daring escapes, including one across a four lane state highway.  We have doubled down on securing things so that she won’t R-U-N-N-O-F-T  any more.  The best news for her is that she has made a friend.  His name is Brody. He lives next door and reminds me of Snoopy.   He visits for playdates, and they are well matched in temperament, size and energy. We like his owner, too. It has been a win all-around.

This has been quite a year, and we are grateful to our friends and family who have been a huge part of our lives.  At this time of year, we hope that your hearts and bellies are full, and that you will help others however you can.

It's the most wonderful time of the year,