new year’s with auld friends

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Several years ago, some seminary buddies ventured to the tranquil quiet of a blessed lake house to recharge, enjoy time together, play games, cook, eat and just generally stop long enough to appreciate being alive.  In true Presbyterian fashion, it quickly became a tradition.  This New Year’s Eve, that tradition was renewed as those friends (minus two wonderful folks) gathered again.  This time, there was a precious toddler and two adorable dogs.  There were stories of churches and calls, of life and lessons.  And there were the same old friends, together again at that lake house as if no time had passed.

It proved to once again be a refreshing time of returning to myself: laughing with easy company, reading a great book while a dog and toddler snoozed on my lap, eating good food and being completely relaxed.  The lake house is apparently on the market, so this was a fond farewell to that delightful place.  Let me introduce you to the tranquility that was the past week off…

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Hayden slept in the crook of my arm, making it look like I had him in a headlock.

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Jessi’s dog, Ella, apparently did the same, though with one wary eye open to watch sneaky photographers.

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Gracie, Karen and Rob’s little girl, added joy and laughter to the group.  Can’t wait for their little boy to add even more fun to the mix!

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Jessi made amazing black eyed peas and ham for New Year’s Day.  Delicious luck all around.

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Gracie REALLY likes rice.

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And hats.

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The view from my room one early, rainy morning.

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A moment of complete bliss.

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Rob found a nice cozy place to curl up.

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This is Hayden’s pathetic “please just one chip” face.  Hard to resist.

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Jessi, Gracie and Ella taking a little stroll.

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Just the gals (plus Hayden).

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The whole crew (minus Sarah and Chris who couldn’t make it this time).  I really do have the most amazing friends.

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