Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

The ABC’s of the Hedlund Family in 2011

Annabelle: There isn’t another dog alive that gets quite as much attention as our Annabelle. We love her, even when she eats the plastic flowers on the front porch.

Basketball (lots and lots of it!): During the winter months, we spent several weeknights either going to our oldest son’s basketball games or driving him to basketball practices.

Creativity: Forts out of blankets, fashion design studios, painting, knitting, chess, and dragon-fighting duos—I love all of the creativity (and slight chaos) in my house!

Doctor’s Lady: My second book, The Doctor's Lady, released in September and kept me busy with a flurry of activity! This book is inspired by the Whitmans, one of the first couples to travel west.

Eager & Excited: My youngest son, at 8 years of age, is full of sparkle and a bundle of eagerness & excitement (with a dash of enthusiasm & energy)!

Father’s Day Picnic: We spent Father’s Day having our annual pizza picnic at the park. We love the chance to tell our special guy how much we love and appreciate him.

Great Grandma: We had the opportunity to visit and have lunch with my 92 year old grandma who lives in Iowa.

Homeschooling: We entered our tenth year of homeschooling, with each year being a bit of an adventure, especially now that our oldest has started high school.

Instruments: With four piano players and one guitar dude, what can I say, except our home is joyfully noisy most of the time!

Juggling: We find ourselves having to become experts at juggling—dance practice, swimming, basketball, youth group, guitar & piano lessons, classes, co-ops, etc. But our hearts and arms are full!

Keynote Speech: I had the privilege of giving the keynote speech at a writer’s conference in the fall at which I shared about my long writing journey as well as some tips for publication in today’s industry.

Lost Tooth: The tooth fairy doesn’t visit our house very often anymore (and has gotten forgetful over the years!). But the fairy managed to make a visit for our youngest who lost her first tooth this year.

Michigan Winters: We love Michigan. Yes, even when we get two feet of snow at the beginning of April.

New Neighbors: “They’re so-o-o-o-o cu-u-te.” My tween daughters say this regularly about our new little neighbor boys. Just glad the boys are 2 and not 12.

Overnight Trip for the Girls: The girls came with me to a book signing in Grand Rapids and we had fun staying in a hotel and hanging out.

Patriot Football Game for the Boys: My husband isn’t just an ordinary Patriot fan. He’s a diehard and has been his entire life. So, this year he was in heaven to finally get to go to a game.

Queen for a Day: Oh, who are we kidding. Our youngest isn’t just queen for a day. She pretty much rules all year long! But this year she celebrated her golden birthday, turning 6 on Oct. 6th.

Reading: I’m delighted to report that I’m raising rabid readers. Some days it's hard to get them to put down their books. (Ah, children after my heart!)

Swimming: As if swimming all summer at the outdoor pool wasn’t enough, the twins joined a synchronized swim team in the fall. They’re learning to do the splits in the water, upside down.

Tea Parties: The girls and I still have our weekly teatime together where we chat about girlie things (or go shopping!). Sometimes we even invite the kitty.

U-Haul: This fall we moved my mom to Midland into a condo less than five minutes from our house. We’re overjoyed to have her nearby, and not just because she makes a killer blackberry crisp.

Vacation: During the summer, we took a couple trips to see family and friends. On one trip we witnessed a mock Civil War battle and a re-enactment of an amputation (which was very cool!).

Writing: Somehow I managed to complete 2 full length manuscripts. I also signed another 3 book contract with Bethany House. Look for my next book, Unending Devotion, next fall.

X for DeXter: Our biggest and most loveable cat died this year. Dexter was as big as a cow, but my husband’s pride and joy (and my writing companion).

Yuletide Traditions: We celebrate our advent countdown with lots of fun traditions including Wise Man Day—and here are our 5 wise kids (especially our older kids who think they’re particularly wise!)

Z-z-z’s: Sleep? What’s that? Who needs it anyway!

Merry Christmas from all of us!


The Hedlunds


  1. Jody,

    This is BY FAR the best Christmas letter I've ever seen. Your family is gorgeous. :-)

  2. Jody,
    You are blessed with a talented and beautiful family! I hope and pray that 2012 will bring you even more blessings!

  3. What a wonderful glimpse of your family and its year. Thanks for sharing it with us. Wishing all of you a blessed and joyous Christmas season and New Year.

  4. Thank you for sharing your letter with us, Jody! I love the pictures. And what a great family photo. :)

  5. Beautiful family, Jody!! Merry Christmas :)

  6. Beautiful family! Merry Christmas to you all!

  7. Thanks, everyone! You're all so sweet! Merry Christmas to you all too! :-)

  8. I didn't know Dexter died!!! I'm so sad.

    Our oldest Golden is not doing so well. It's amazing how our pets become such a big part of us. We miss their unconditional love (and the fact that they can't talk back) when they're gone, don't we.

    Beautiful Christmas letter, Jody! You guys are one busy family!

  9. Are you kidding me!? That might be the first Christmas letter I've actually read in its entirety. What an AWESOME idea!

  10. Wonderful post! Love the girls wearing *MICHIGAN* sweatshirt (my alma mater) - GO BLUE!

    A long-term college boyfriend was from Midland (his dad worked for Dow Chemical, back in the days). His mom told me 'TIME' mag. once said Midland was a 'city of churches and apple-cheeked children' :)

    Cheers and happy holidays!

  11. Loved your Christmas letter and getting to meet the family. How do you have time to research and write such wonderful books, you sound so busy with all the children?
    Merry Christmas from Ga
    Paula O

  12. Great idea, Jody! Loved the opportunity to get to know you and your family better. And now I think I might just give your idea a try on my own website. I stopped sending Christmas cards and newsletters several years ago. Using your idea, now I can start a new tradition. I like it!

  13. What a clever Christmas letter, Jody! Loved the recap and the pics.

  14. What a wonderful way to highlight your beautiful family and so many of their accomplishments.

    A merry Christmas to you and the whole family! :)

  15. Thank you so much for your kind words, everyone! Glad you're enjoying the letter and a glimpse into our year!

    Paula, I'm not really sure how I find the time to write some days! :-) It can get slightly crazy and sometimes I don't find time to write (especially this time of year) until after the kids are in bed!

  16. Loved your Christmas letter Jody. You have a very lovely family. I just don't know how you keep it altogether being such a busy lady!

    Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  17. What a wonderful newsletter! Merry Christmas to all! I love the purple and grey in your family portrait.

  18. Merry Christmas, Jody! Love this creative alphabet year-in-review! You have a beautiful family (including pets!). And how neat that your Mom is so close to you now! Congratulations on your new book deal - looking forward to your next release. Have a blessed Christmas season!

  19. Seasons greetings from mine to yours! :-D

  20. What a beautiful family Jody! Thank you for sharing your year in pictures with us~ delightful. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and ongoing happiness & success in the New Year. Blessings!

  21. Thank you so much ladies! Merry Christmas to you too! :-)

  22. Awesome Christmas letter and beautiful pictures! Merry Christmas to you Jody!