Finalizing 2011.

2011 has been a year of triumphs, tests, and growth in the most remarkable ways. It has been a test of faith – in both myself and in others – and has solidified who and what I am on so many levels. We have strengthened old friendships, built on fabulous new ones, and cleared the negative from our lives.

Val and I were married in late September, before embarking on a life-changing two days in st. Augustine for our honeymoon, then came home to scoop up my daughter and move forward with the rest of our lives.

My health, though having grown increasingly worse this past year, is on the verge of improving as I received a lead from a friend that may make all the difference in 2012. Either way, my outlook is positive and I am not letting it beat me. I am not giving up without a fight.

Art for Cures rose from the ashes just as Gumtree was laid to rest, though not permanently. Art for Cures will be coming out of the gate tomorrow with signups for a new swap>auction project and everyone is excited to move forward and create something wonderful for the fight against MS.

School is coming along well and I am thoroughly enjoying my Masters degree. It has been challenging and not without its hurdles, but I love Full Sail and am looking forward to buckling down on my thesis.

My girl is growing like the proverbial weed and has made a lot of friends over the past year. Her creativity continually holds me in thrall and I have enjoyed every moment of watching her bloom. I am looking forward to the years to come as she explores her own life and makes her own adventures.

We found a wonderfully cozy church near our home that has welcomed us in with open hearts. We have made some incredible friends there whose love and support has already seen us through the rough spots of 2011.

The Year of the Dragon, my grandmother’s sign, and my own personal Year of the Phoenix, 2012 is going to be an overwhelmingly successful year on all levels and I wish that for you as well. May the coming year overflow with blessings that you recognize, may it be full of opportunities for kindness, and may your year be full of love, family, and friends.

Happy New Year!