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Thank you and Merry Christmas to you, Josh and the kids! Enjoy!


That is just awesome! I bet you still can't wipe the smile off your face after seeing that video :) Merry Christmas to you and your family!!


Merry Christmas Karen and family! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Amy N

God bless every single one of you! And please send our thanks to Josh Downs for serving our country. His message was beautiful and made this old Grinch shed a tear. Merriest of Christmases to all of you!

Ellen Patton

Merry Christmas to your family near and far!


Tears in my eyes! Merry Christmas!

Lori S

Merry Christmast to you and your family Karen!

gina f.

Merry Christmas Karen!! hope you and your family have a great day! You did a great job keeping your traditions while Josh is away!

Nancy Wyatt

Awe, that makes my heart ache a bit for you guys. I know you will all be reunited again soon. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas sweet friend! xoxo from Conroe, TX


Merry Christmas to you and all of your little love bugs!!!!!


As frustrating as technology can be...isn't it just amazing that Josh Downs was able to record something so meaningful from so far away and send it so quickly to you?! Thanks for sharing this with all of us Karen. Merry Christmas Karen, Josh, Ross, Cole, Courtney, & Annie! I hope the new year brings a truly joyful reunion to your family!


Merry Christmas & God bless you & your family!


Merry Christmas Karen and Kids!
Merry Christmas Josh!
May the New Year bring you all back together! HOMECOMING KISSES ROCK!


Thanks for sharing - Merry Christmas to all of you!!


Merry Christmas, Karen and family. May the New Year bring you all safely and happily together.


Oh...this makes me tear up too. His voice is totally "crackly" with emotion, but you can tell that he is SO strong. Family hugs to all.
Merry Christmas.

susan lew

Merry Christmas to you and your family... Thank you so much.

Sandra A

So much emotion packed in this post. Merry Christmas to you and your entire family.


Watching that video brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing it! Merry Christmas to all of you!


Merry Christmas to you and your family! It is so strange to have seen so many pictures of your Josh Downs in classes and on your blog that it was fun to hear his real voice.


Merry Christmas to you Karen, Josh and your beautiful family. What a special gift...thank you for sharing. God bless all of you!!!


Whoa! Just saw Josh Downs on the news saying hello. I don't comment on your blog often (ever?) but I do read and enjoy it! Was the link here the same as what was on the news? I couldn't get it to work on my computer. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I'm so grateful for families like yours who sacrifice so much for the rest of us. Thank you.


Can anyone post a link to the video? Not working here and I'm dying to see it!!


Merry Christmas and God bless!


...and then there were tears!!!!

Merry Christmas to all our SERVICE MEN & WOMEN!!!! What a sacrifice to be away...especially this time of year!!! I'm missing my boy TREMENDOUSLY!!!! The first Christmas holiday we've EVER been apart....

Paige Rodriguez

Karen, I don't think you've said before.... Do you have any idea when Josh Downs comes home?? I know how much you miss his hot calves and every other ounce of him too!! I hope soon. : )

Elizabeth C,

What a great message! So special.


I bet you have watched that a million times:-)

Lisa Risser

Wishing your family a very Merry Christmas and sending my heartfelt thank you to Josh for serving! The sacrifice that all service men and women (and their families) make on behalf of our country is appreciated!

Corrine A.

Merry Christmas to you Karen and your beautiful family! I hope you can find some Christmas miracles even without Josh Downs by your side. Thanks for sharing your video. Josh Downs, Merry Christmas and THANK YOU for your service!


Wish you a wonderful Christmas from Germany.
Love your blog and i thought a lot of you,your family and Josh the last days ... :) You're so strong and so full of love... may the new year bring you all together!

Merry Christmas


Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! That's awesome!!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

tara pollard pakosta

so sweet, merry christmas josh downs and all of you, karen.
hugs and prayers with you all this christmas!

Ann S

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I pray Josh will be back home safe and sound soon and you all will never have to spend another holiday apart.




Link's not working for me on my Mac, but I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas just the same.


That made me cry! I hope he's home safe and sound to you guys soon!


Merry Christmas Karen to you and your family. Thank you so much for the sacrifices that your family has made for our country and our freedom. Hoping this will be the only Christmas you and Josh will have to spend apart.


Best Christmas present ever!! God bless him and keep him safe. Cheers to you for being such a strong woman!!

Paola Norman

Merry Christmas to you and your family. I'm sorry to hear Josh isn't with you and your family to celebrate but he'll be in your hearts. The video is so sweet. May the New Year bring Josh and the other service men and women home safely to their famlies. Peace to you all :)

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

Thanks so much for sharing with us Karen! Merry Christmas to all of you! xoxoxo


Merry Christmas to you and yours :)


Merry Christmas to you and Josh too, Karen... and to all your adorable children.

betsy Johnson

I hear scrapbookpictures is closing it's doors on 01/01/12.

tammy t

Finally got the video to play and you can hear the love in his voice. We send you love and hugs from Bellingham, Washington. And I am so impressed with you and holding it together with him gone during Christmas. And if you ever feel like you are not, know that you are being held up in prayer by many of your readers who love you even if we have never met you. You have shared in such a way that many of us feel like close friends.

The very Merriest of Christmases to you. Even in the midst of things.


teresa b

Tears!! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

ana roat

It's CHRISTmas...!!!

Much love from our house to yours!!!



If I was techy enough to post a link to Jon Lennon's "Happy Christmas" on YouTube right now, I would, so this comment will have to do for now...
Thank you both for your inspiration.

Robin N

so I went back and read through all of 2006... what an amazing year you had!! and I can't believe Courtney's hair was so long--AND had curls!! I love that looking back you can see the kid's same expressions they still use--Courtney's 'big girl' tolerance look; Coley's no-teeth smile; and baby Annies sweet 'o' mouth poses and sparkling eyes...
I'm glad you're still blogging. Are you still scrap booking as much? I had no idea you had your own line, and kits, and everything! You ARE a renaissance woman!
Thank you for sharing!!!


Hey Karen...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I just saw that is closing January 3rd. What are your plans for photos?

Tree surgeons London

I say kudos for using your savy and learning how to embed the video using html. Well done


I just found your blog after a not great day at about 9:30pm and I am smiling after reading 3 post. I love how you sign off on the posts, I read hundreds of blogs a day and have never seen anything like it. And if you are reading this Josh Downs, you are one lucky man.

Allison Clem

Thank you for finally writing this post. I had forgotten up it, until a couple of days ago, and I thought, Karen never posted about her triathlon like she promised-I hope she still does it. My husband and I were on a relay team for a triathlon this past August. I did the swim, he did the run, and my 67 year-old stepdad with black lung did the 26-mile bike. All I thought was, I don't want to come in last. However, we did. I blame it on my stepdad-darn his black lung! But in all seriousness, it was super awesome to have trained for it. All of the other athletes there were inspiring. I'm feeling you on the anxiety in the water. It was more than I thought it would be. Thanks so much for sharing your story!


Ok, so I was reading your post and could totally relate to not knowing how old you are! I too was born in 1973, and about had a stroke when I realized that we were the same age...39! Until I did the math...38 baby....38....39 this year! We will turn 40 in 2013!


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