What a year 2015 has been! We’ve had many wonderful moments, and a few bittersweet ones as well. As I write this, I marvel at how many wonderful folks have come together across the area to join in the sandbagging efforts to protect Kimmswick and other area towns from flooding. The rain poured down this warm December week and the mighty Mississippi is still threatening. We have evacuated The Blue Owl and The Sweet Shoppe, as the water is expected to hit the levee today and to crest on Thursday. We are praying that the levee holds, but if it does not, we have everything out of there. We will be closed for at least a week, and we will keep you updated via social media. A very special thanks to the wonderful people from Kimmswick, the surrounding area, and a few that weren’t so nearby, who gave up their time and joined in the sandbagging efforts. Thank you to all those who are sending thoughts and prayers as well.

As I take a look back at this past year, I am so thankful to be able to connect with you on a regular basis. By reading, you allow me to share my love of family, friends, and community with you. We celebrated holidays together throughout the year, including Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and many other holidays. I hope that I helped you with my advice to thrive during Christmas time that I recently shared. We stayed so very busy throughout the year, with numerous community events, including the 5Kimmswick and The Working Women’s Survival Show. We celebrated the time we had in Festus, but with bittersweet feelings we said goodbye to the Festus Sweet Shoppe. We spent our “down time” staycationing in St. Louis and dreaming of wonderful weddings and specialty cakes. I was thrilled to share a few recipes with you, including my Spinach Tomato Bake, Reuben Meatloaf, and Texas Sheet Cake, and I hope that you had a chance to make and enjoy!

I look forward to a 2016 filled with delightful moments, amazing community gatherings and festivals, and much love from family and friends! As you enter this bright and shiny new year, I hope that you will remember that Dreams Really Do Come True!

All My Love,

~Mary