Our Christmas Letter for 2013

Dear Friends,

I had every intention of writing a Christmas letter and inserting it in my Christmas cards, but that didn’t happen. Life gets busy, and you have to be flexible.

Wanted to share with you 10 highlights of 2013 for the Trudel family. For those of you who notice things like this, pardon the switch between 1st person and 3rd person point of view.

1. John began the year with a new venture: he is managing a pool & spa maintenance business. I admire him for having the guts and stamina to start a business at his age. He is like the Energizer bunny…says he thinks he’ll work at least 5 years.

2. In January Daniel, age 26, finally moved into his own apartment. Yay! One bird launched from the nest.

3. Julie gave a senior voice recital in March (I think…we made several trips to Jackson, MS this semester). She did a fine job. So proud.

4. In May Julie graduated from Millsaps College with a B.A. in Spanish and a concentration in voice.

5. In the summer Anne started traveling for work. Attended a copywriting seminar in Indianapolis in June (and got to see longtime friends Sharon & Jim Myers and their 3 kids). Went to a children’s ministry conference in Greenville, SC in July, the Congregational School for Development in Denver in August, and at the Apprentice Institute of Spiritual Formation at Friends University, Wichita, KS, in September. Decided after missing a week in the office each month that business travel is not always as glamorous as it seems.

6. In September Anne turned 55, and there was a huge party with most of  my cousins  present. Wait, no, the gathering was not for my birthday but for the wedding of my cousin Nick (Joe’s son) and Stephanie in Hilton Head, SC. It was a beautiful wedding on the beach. My 91-year-old uncle officiated. John and I made a vacation of the trip. We spent some time in Charleston and enjoyed a day trip to Savannah from Hilton Head. It was great fun to be with my cousins on my birthday.

7. September 14 was a big day for more than one reason. In addition to being Anne’s birthday and Nick & Stephanie’s wedding day, it was also the day Julie left for Madrid, Spain! (The second bird launches from the nest!) She is spending at least one year there as a teaching assistant, and she’s tutoring children on the side. She is getting lots of experience with various ages of children. It will be exciting to see where she winds up.

8. Between the end of October and November 22, Anne made three trips to Canton, NC. On the third trip, she and John brought her dad back to Nashville to live with us for the winter. We will decide next steps after we see how Daddy, age 91, does this winter. He’s yearning to get back to North Carolina, and he had just put down a deposit on an assisted living place that we both liked before coming to Nashville.

9. We spent a quiet Thanksgiving at home, and that was a relief to Anne after traveling so much. We keep in touch with Julie by Skype and e-mail. Technology is a marvelous thing. (Except Anne is still learning how to use her smartphone. Evidently she is smartphone-challenged.)

10. We set up a Christmas tree this year after no one caring about whether we had one last year. (Anne missed it.) Our cat, Lily, has had a heyday with the tree. Before ornaments were put on, she climbed halfway up the tree. Now she thinks it’s her personal playground, and she’s launched a few sneak attacks from under the tree. She has also adopted a few cloth ornaments from the bottom of the tree.

All in all, 2013 was a most excellent year for the Trudels. Just like anyone else, we’ve had our challenges, but we feel richly blessed to have friends, family, a roof over our heads and other necessities, jobs we enjoy, and a wonderful church home.

We wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and a hope-filled New Year.

Love,

Anne & John