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Joyous Heart design by TinyPrints

Every year that we've sent our Christmas cards since getting married, I've whispered a "Next year!" prayer that our holiday cards for the following Christmas would include a dog or a teeny new human or that one year that I was even ready to settle for a cat. Aaaand every year comes & goes just with me & Jared's faces gracing the front of our cards. It feels a little silly, I guess - Sending out a card that isn't a documentation for far away friends of how much older the kids look this year or an introduction of a new, furry family member. Hi, friends & family! Here's our faces!

But as I toss this dilemma around every year when it comes time to pick out a card and collect everyone's newest addresses, I think about the eventual Someday that I line up our Christmas cards from over the years. There will be the gaping hole from 2010 when I was so overwhelmed with wedding thank you notes that the thought of sending out a Christmas card made me nearly hyperventilate. There will be the year that I made my youngest sister & Jared climb over a barbed wire fence to take a wooded picture in a cow pasture. & the year that we laid in the Coulombs backyard, covered in beautiful golden leaves, just to end up using a B&W photo. There will be the year that I handcut confetti for us to toss over & over, just to spend 30 minutes picking it up off the floor of my parents’ back patio after racing the sunset to get the photos taken before it was dark.

& then... there will be Paris. The year when we stood on the Pont des Arts on an overcast day, locking our love onto a bridge in a city that felt like a home far away from home. The year that "home" became a very ambiguous term anyway, because going home from Paris meant going back to a new city that still feels far away from home. The year that we realized that "home" is people & family isn't just blood, but the people that bring happiness to your soul. Joy, you could say.

After spending 1/3 of the year away from one another, “joy” was certainly the overwhelming feeling as we finally found our way back under the same roof in August. It seemed like the perfect one-word summary to our very big year. Someday, I know (& hope) the cards of just Jared & I will be completely outnumbered. But in the meantime, I am grateful for another holiday season at this wonderful man’s side, with one more year of adventures to look back on, & another set of cards going out to the ones we love.

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because lezz be frandz.