December 24, 2014

Blogging Buddies (Back from a Break)

The night before Thanksgiving, I was thinking about all that I'm grateful for.  I read the post I wrote about Thanksgiving last year.  Some of the things I listed were:

Our home, warm & strong, that shelters me not just from the cold & snow, but from the busy & sometimes invasive outside world.  My own peaceful, private space where I can be. 

My family. 
I'm grateful that our kids are healthy & happy. 
I'm thankful for the security we have due to Mitch's skill & hard work. 
I'm thankful for our shared beliefs & values.  Beyond everything, we believe in our family.  I'm grateful to always know this.

The patch of woods we live on.  I've been reading a lot lately of some hard times & hard places, and I am so grateful for abundant firewood to warm us & wildlife to feed us. 

Clean northern Minnesota air & water. 
All the pretty things the good earth offers for us to see & be a part of.  

I'm thankful for interesting books.  They are some of my favorite acquaintances.

For the peace & clarity around me as I get older.  Making decisions to no longer sacrifice myself & my time for things that aren't important to me.. this is coming easier, and it's wonderful. 
I'm thankful for learning.
I'm thankful for crossing paths with & knowing many good people, and the ability to share with & learn from them. 

For all the amazing things I've been able to see, do, & experience.
And for all the amazing things I've yet to see, do & experience; I'm thankful that I have them to look forward to.   

Thanksgiving came and went, and I've since been focused on the flurry of the holiday season, coinciding with the flurry of basketball season, coinciding with the flurry of family life. 
I've taken an unintentional break from blogging.
And I've been thinking of my blogging buddies.  I'd like to talk about them.

I've been jotting thoughts, sharing photos, documenting our family life for almost nine years, the better part of a decade.  Over the past couple of years, I've come to know some of my fellow bloggers as friends.  I think of them like modern day pen pals, some like extended family. 
There's DJan; when asked a question such as "who do you really admire?" ..I automatically think of her.  There's TexWis girl, talented artist and perhaps the most dependable commenter I've ever had, she has made my day brighter many times.  There are two Lindas who I've come to enjoy.. Linda W. and Linda R., both of them adventurers in their own rite.  At first I kept them straight by thinking Linda West (Linda W. lives in my favorite place, Oregon) and Linda R.V.  (Linda R. travels the country to it's most beautiful places in an RV with her husband.)
My fellow Minnesotans from the lower part of the state, Grandma Barb, and Troutbirder, who lives near my brother-in-law and feels as if he could be one of my own retired history teachers.  Make that two Barbs.. Barb in beautiful Breckenridge also.  And two Lynn(e)s.  Lynne in Michigan, and Lynn from France.  Two Karens.. Karen in Australia, mother of 8, I've grown to care about her family from afar.  And Karen who lives in Switzerland and France and travels to amazing places.  Stewart in Melbourne, gifted writer, deep thinker & earth observer, with a sense of humor.  Arija, whom I admire also in Australia.. 
Nina, kindred spirit from Scandinavia..  LadyFi, in Sweden, who captures the world in photos in ways I hope to glimpse it each day.  Ranchwife Robyn in South Dakota, Marcia, Michelle.. and Brandi, fellow mother of five.  George and Betsy in Tennessee, their happiness makes me happy.

When I go weeks without finding time to read or write,
I think about these friends around the country and the world.  I might wonder how their day is going, or their name might come up in conversation with my family. 
If you're reading, you've all touched my life in some way. 
I'm thankful.

I'm eager to catch up with you all again!

I found these hearts made of snow on our front porch one early December day, left by Lilly. 
Peace, Love and as William Woodworth said, “Rest and be thankful.”


  1. Good to hear from you! I too was wondering about you and your family and missing your posts. You are one of my favorite bloggers - amazing photographer and a talented writer (I can only hope to aspire to be as good in both arenas) Wishing you and your family a most blessed Christmas and New Year! :)

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family Amanda! I've been on a blog break too. Hope to catch up with you and all my other blogging friends in 2015

  3. Welcome back! And I wish you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons.

  4. Oh, such sweet hearts. :-) I know and love a lot of the same dear folks. We live in a mighty fine neighborhood here in blogland, don't we?! :-) blessings to you!

  5. Beautiful post Amanda . . . you write beautifully . . .
    and you live out your life with just that . . . authenticity to your core.
    Thank you for mentioning me, I think of you and "my others" too throughout my days.
    Wishing you Merry Happy Christmas Days . . .
    With my love,

  6. Wishing you a joyful holiday. I've been taking a break from writing too as the hubbub of the holidays mounted on top of wedding planning. Wedding is now days away (on the 29th) for daughter Sarah.

  7. Awww, shucks! You just brought a whole bunch of love into my home, with all those wonderful bloggers and me, too! I love our blog universe, and you and your family bring so much beauty into my life, it staggers me sometimes how wonderful it all us. Merry Christmas to you and your family, with bundles of love sprinkled with cinnamon. :-)

  8. It's great to hear from you again. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

  9. Hi Amanda, Great to hear from you... Hope you and your little family have had a wonderful Christmas. We were hoping for snow here --but NONE. It's cold but sunny! Oh Well....

    Looks like I'm going to have another knee surgery in January... I had a meniscus tear in that SAME knee in 2010--and have torn another menusus now.... Am really having trouble walking this time... NOT fun --especially during the holidays.


  10. How sweet and kind, Amanda. You and your family who have combined pioneer traditions and values in the 21st century of Minnesotas northern forests, caught my interest and admiration right away.....May 2015 be the best ever for you and yours :)

  11. Amanda,
    I often think of you and simply wonder "how are you?" I kow you are a busy wife and mother and always enjoy when you have a chance to post.

  12. What a moving and sweet post! So glad to hear you are all thriving. I wish you all many good things in the coming year.

  13. A blog post to warm the heart and feel your glow of thankfulness for many things which we easily take for granted. So pleased to hear from you again Amanda.
    I hope the winter months will be kind to you this season and that warm blue skies, fluffy clouds, greenery and open water find their way back into your days sooner than expected.
    Our lawn badly needs mowing's only been a week. Lots of welcome summer storms and showers so far this summer to keep surrounds green rather than brown and fire-prone.

  14. Hi Amanda, Such a lovely written post! Your thoughts echo in my mind ... I have thought a lot, and also started to "clean" my daily life, evaluating the things and my time . . . in order to focus on things that matter most. Trying to find a balance - the golden middle. Family being a top priority ... Ain't it amazing how our children grow so fast ... Yet seizing the moments together - or out and about - saving them to a mothers heart ... printed with love. At the same time, having kindred spirits in the different corners of the world (you know, my childish mind wishes that teleportation-doors would exist - wouldn't it be fantastic for you to open a door - and step into my kitchen a Thursday afternoon, so we could have a cup of tea together :)
    I'm glad to hear that you're doing fine - I'm peeking in via Instagram ever so often (our teens are keen on keeping their privacy so I'm not posting pictures of them online) - seeing Beau's sweetest present under Christmas tree, your house being decorated for Christmas, and the Ro-Bunk off course ;-) ... Your captured moments bring a warm smile on my face!