Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


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Christmas Letter 2020

Dear Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Here are a few highlights of our year:

This year has been full of settling into our wonderful home and neighborhood and enjoying seeing our two little ones grow so much!

Thanksgiving 2020

Stephen has worked from home since February, and it is great to have him around more. He gets to connect with the kids more from working from the guest room. Stephen (plus a few family and friends) finished fixing the clutch on his truck, so the last few weeks he has been having time to organize and settle into the garage. I’m excited that we can park the car in the garage this winter. He parents and even his brother came to visit this year, which was a blessing.

Grandma Anne had fun hanging out with us!

I enjoy being a wife and mother, as well as fitting in a bit of card making and writing around the edges. I’m still a children’s leader for Bible Study Fellowship, which is all online, so I am getting better at doing teaching videos as that is how we are teaching the kids about God’s Word. Joel loves to see his teachers on video! My Mom was able to visit a couple of times this year, and we would love to have other family and friends come visit!

Joel turned three last month, and he is into the climbing, jumping, and running stage! He loves climbing and sitting on tractors, playing with Molly (he randomly just gives her hugs, which she loves! She beams at him), and seeing family and friends. He likes to paint, play basketball, and play with the neighbor kids. Grandma Anne made him some flashcards that he likes to practice his numbers with (and Molly likes getting into those and other flashcards we have!)

Molly will be one on Christmas Day, and she is a firecracker—feisty (she has a great stern look—she would make her Norwegian Grandpa Rick proud), lovely, and she can scream pretty loud! She loves to eat, is cruising around on the furniture, so we will have a walker soon, and she loves playing and learning from Joel. She has brought so much joy in this hard year for our world.

Yes, this year has been hard emotionally, but my hope in Jesus has helped me process the grief and death we have had to face. Jesus came to earth as a baby (that is what we are celebrating with Christmas—his birth), he grew up, then he let himself be killed to pay the price for all the things we have done wrong—our sin. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, died so that we can know God, His Father, again. God created each one of us and wants to know us. We just have to receive the free gift of eternal life that Jesus paid for to know God again (because we can’t know God when we have sin in the way). Knowing God brings satisfaction, peace, and hope even when a pandemic hits, loved ones die, jobs end, dates break up… There is so much life and hope in Jesus—please accept His offer of love and life. If you have any questions, please ask me. The Bible tells this story, and the gospel of John is a great book to start reading.

May you feel the peace that comes from Jesus and His love for you as 2020 ends and a new year begins.

Love, Mary, Stephen, Joel and Molly

Copyright 2020

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P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope


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Teaching the Christmas Story to Our Son

img_0991Three days ago, Stephen held our 13-month old, Joel, as I pulled out the Nativity stable and set it on the top of a bookshelf. Then we got to unwrap the characters in the story! First we pulled out the angel to hang on top of the stable: Joel liked touching her wings. Next we unwrapped Mary. As I showed the figure to Joel, I said, “This is Jesus’ mother!” Then we found baby Jesus lying in his manger—Joel was interested because he likes babies. And then we unwrapped Joseph, as I said, “This is Jesus’ earthly father!” We enjoyed looking at it for a minute more before he wanted to get down and play.

Yesterday I picked up Joel so he could see the Nativity scene again and I told him more of the story, “Jesus came down to earth as a baby because He loves us!” He looked at the figures thoughtfully—it felt like he understood what I was saying. Then he smiled and wanted down so he could play.

It is such an honor to teach him this beautiful true story!

I don’t remember when I first heard the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke 2 in the Bible, but it was early like we are teaching Joel. He is enjoying the colored lights, music, and seeing friends; I’m glad we get to share with him whose birthday celebration this day is in honor of!

We aren’t the only one teaching him the Christmas story; a couple of weeks ago at church we came back to the nursery to pick up Joel and he had colored his first picture at church! I love seeing those colored marks–his coloring skills consist of making dashes and sometimes dots.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! May your 2019 be amazing and full of delightful transitions.

Love, Mary Hope and the guys

Copyright 2018

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope


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Christmas Letter 2018

2018 has been sweet (baby smiles), salty (tears), achy (from moving), satisfying (from making a home together in a new place), and invigorating (from serving at a new Bible study group!)

The sweetness of seeing a baby grow and flourish in front of you is better than I even hoped! Sometimes Joel’s blue eyes sparkle when I come in to see him after his nap. He likes turning my head to look and see if I have earrings on. First he started rolling across the room in the summer, then he switched to crawling with one peg-leg or “crab” crawl. Now he is a quick crawler and is practicing standing without holding onto anything. He loves playing in the kitchen and exploring the pots and pantry items. Yesterday he was making a drum out of a big soup pot. At 13 months he is able to balance without holding anything, and he has tried to take one step between his walker and a freezer; running will be in the near future! This year sweetness also came through getting to help a friend with the labor of her third baby. Babies are such a blessing Continue reading


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Merry Christmas, Friends!

I’m valuing the people in my life more and more because relationships with God and people are what is important! I’m thankful we get to celebrate God wanting to know us so badly that He sent His son as a baby–Jesus. Merry Christmas, Dear Friends!
-Mary Hope

Copyright 2016


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Merry Christmas, Dear Blog Friends!

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I hope you are having a peaceful day!
I’m so thankful for Jesus’ birth, for time with family and friends, and for Christmas fudge. 🙂

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Here’s a few more images from this Christmas season:

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There IS Hope

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The Christmas season can burst with joy or if one has lost someone in that year, it can be so sad. I just want to remind those who are struggling during this Christmas season that there’s hope!

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