I can’t believe the holidays are here again!  It seems like yesterday when MaryAnne and I were doing the rounds sitting on as many Santa’s laps as possible…for the blog of course.  *Please see last year’s post for a list of our favorite Santas!

It has been an amazing year, full of friends, family, fun, and so much love.  And you all know that we love to share all of our favorite places to be together.  As we look back and reflect on the past year, we have been filled with all the emotions that come with life:  sorrow, joy, but most of all gratitude.  This year has seen so much joy in the new friendships and partnerships formed, old friends continuing through lighter, fun times, but also through tougher times with steadfast support.  I have felt very lucky starting this blog as a way to share our interests and passion for exploring, eating, drinking, and writing.  And although that is how we found each other, I have seen deeper similarities and shared values between us.  Our ties to our families, friends, and community.  As we share and celebrate all the moms and dads that we see around us starting their own blogs, small businesses, pursuing their passions and dreams we are finding ways to collaborate with these inspiring friends and look forward to an interesting and fun future.  MaryAnne and I value our family ties:  spending most of our weekends with our immediate and extended family members.  We both took epic multigenerational family trips this year.  Our children spending special moments with their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  We will tell you guys all about our trips with some travel tips in upcoming posts.  

Reflections Going Into the Holiday Season

We are excited to re-engage with our online community again.  You may have noticed that we have been away for a bit.  We have had some personal challenges and losses of special people in our lives, and we both had to focus directly on our loved ones.  My daughter spent some time in the hospital with a serious condition that really shook our family.  She has been home and back in school, and it has brought me the deepest sense of gratitude for every moment that I have with my family.  MaryAnne has experienced some personal loss of loved family members.  And our community suffered a loss of a beloved member as well.  But we go through these difficult times with the love and support of family and friends.  We celebrate by eating, drinking, and simply being together; and as MaryAnne says, “Live, Laugh, Love.”  PurpleWays is that journey.