Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

AJ, Gracie, and I have had an eventful year. After living in Minnesota for 5 years, we sold our house and moved to New Jersey. Now, we live 9 minutes from one set of grandparents and an hour from the other set. Minnesota was a wonderful place filled with wonderful people, but also the place where we experienced the hardest time of our lives. This new start has been just what we needed.

AJ is in 2nd grade and will turn 8 years old this January.

Gracie Olivia (she’s decided to go by her middle name of “Olivia” in school) is in 1st grade. 
The schools in our town of West Windsor/Princeton Junction (the town has two names. It’s weird like that in an old state like New Jersey) bus the kids to different schools throughout the town. We did not do this on purpose, but rather than the school down the street from us, the town happens to bus both the children to Dutch Neck Elementary, the same school that their father, Andrew, went to as a child.
It's been 14 years since I left North Jersey, where I was born and raised, for UCLA. After all these years, New Jersey no longer felt like home. Plus, we live an hour from old friends and my numerous relatives. But as time has passed, I’ve experienced how wonderful it is that they are a car-ride away, rather than a yearly plane ride. We do miss Minnesota’s snowy wonderland, but not the biting cold! Saying goodbye to those we love in Minnesota was hard, but AJ and Gracie say that they are so glad that we can see their grandparents all the time now. After these years of being a single mother, this makes my heart so relieved and happy. We are also making new friends here, causing it to feel more and more like home—a new home, not one of my old childhood nostalgia or yesteryear, but a new home. Please keep in touch. And if you are in the area, we would love to see you.

With much love,

- Grace, AJ, and Gracie Olivia Mark


  1. Your journey, your testimony is such an inspiration to so many! So happy to see those beautiful smiles on your faces! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

  2. Grace, so glad to have you in NJ now, and so glad to have gotten to know you in person, after following your blog for these many years! Praying this new start will be a blessing to you and your kids. By th way, I love the photos in this post! Not sure what words would describe them, but something like vibrant, yet peaceful/natural.

  3. Thanks, Elaine! You've made us feel so welcome by having us in your home so constantly. You've played a huge part in making us feel more and more like this is home.