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Happy New Year 2011

Jan. 18, 2011


Happy New Year from Mom to Mom! We're a bit late in saying this because for me (Linda), my new year is just starting today—January 18, 2011.

For the past several weeks, we've had the joy of having our daughter Erika, husband Richie, and 2-yr-old granddaughter Gabriella with us. It was sheer joy. But then last Saturday night they flew back to Dublin, leaving the house very empty and way too quiet.

Yet quiet can be good, in its own way, I've discovered. Especially at the start of a new year. There's so much to ponder. Reflections on the past year. Hopes, dreams, and questions for the new year. You can read my reflections on facing an unknown future here.

But I wonder what kind of new year you are experiencing so far this January, and what your hopes, dreams, and questions are for 2011 both for you personally and for Mom to Mom?

Speaking of January, I wonder if it isn't what T. S. Eliot famously called April—"the cruelest month." The holidays, with the fun of family visits and extra parties and messages in every day's mail from far-flung friends, are over. The house has been "de-Christmased." And it's cold. Very, very cold. At least in Wisconsin.

And I think of moms especially in January, when the weather sometimes limits outdoor excursions and kids—and moms!—tend to get sick more often. Just when they most need to get back to Mom to Mom, weather and sickness sometimes keep them housebound. What joy when they finally get out again—and back to Mom to Mom!

Speaking of getting out, there's a great opportunity coming up for moms to get together for a one-day "shot in the arm" of encouragement, learning, and growth. On March 11-12, 2011, thousands of moms will come together for the Hearts at Home national conference in Normal, Illinois. You'll find details attached, but I just have to put in an extra plug: One of the keynote speakers is one of my long-time favorites: Jennifer Rothschild, and another is a new favorite: Jill Savage, CEO of Hearts at Home. You'll love them!

Some of you may remember that last Fall I mentioned that I would be attending one of the Hearts at Home regional conferences in Rochester, Minnesota. Well, attend I did—and it was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend Hearts at Home conferences to any moms who can get there. Make it a girlfriend get-away. Hint to your hubby that this would make a great Valentine's gift. And if you do get there, come visit us at the Mom to Mom booth, as we'll be exhibiting at this conference and would love to see you!

Meanwhile, I do truly wish every one of you a Happy New Year. And I feel I can do that with confidence because of what John 10:4 reminds us: "He goes before." God bless your January—yes, even January!
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