Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007 - A Year In Review

2007 has been a year of many blessings. That's not to say it's all been good, but even sadness always has a silver lining.

This year I entered the exciting world of blogging. I've always written, but historically, my writing has been private and for my eyes only. For me, blogging has been a huge leap of faith - would anyone care what I had to say? how would people like my style of writing? - and it's turned out great! Despite a lack of comments, I have a small, but growing regular readership and receive new hits from around the world daily. Maybe one day I'll see my dream of being published fulfilled. For now, though, I'm happy to be "self-published" on my blog.

I also discovered the joys of gardening in 2007. I grew three types of tomatoes, iris, lavender, geraniums, primrose, hastas, and quite a few other plants that thrived under my loving care. Next year, I think I'll give it another shot.

My Mary Kay business has grown by leaps and bounds this year, and I was the proud recipient of some very prestigious awards at our annual awards event. I was #1 in sales and team building in both my unit of over 100 consultants and our area of over 500 consultants. The award that meant the most, however, is called the "Miss Go Give" award and it's given annually to the Mary Kay Consultant who best personifies the Golden Rule philosophy. It is also the highest award given in Mary Kay. In the new year, I will earn a Mary Kay car and finish directorship qualification.

Dave moved back to Michigan this year, which saddened me, but was the right move for him. His carpentry business is thriving and he's in high demand. He's much more of a small town guy, while I'm a big city girl. He loves being able to hop on his bike or windsurfer, while I love being able to go to the opera or a museum. Although living close to my family is high on my priority list, he's only 6 hours away and we see each other about every 6 weeks or so.

Speaking of Michigan, Dad, Dave, & I spent a week at Watervale in August, as we always do. It was great to catch up with old friends, but my fun was tempered with Nana's near-death and hospitalization.

Due to severe illnesses in May and August, Nana now lives in a nursing home full-time. She is unable to walk, sit up on her own, feed herself, and can barely hold her head up when she's being fed. She has good days and bad ones, but I'm grateful that she's happy in her mind. Whether she's fishing for catfish, designing dresses for herself or mom, talking to her (long-dead) parents, or in Heaven with God and Jesus, she's chipper. Sometimes she knows me, but mostly she doesn't. Mom visits her regularly and has been an amazing advocate for her. If not for Mom, Nana would have died a very painful death earlier this year. I know Nana's time is short, but I'm eternally grateful she's still with us and that I was able to spend a beautiful Christmas with her.

My neighbor Joan Green passed away on Halloween. To call Joan my neighbor doesn't begin to convey the importance she held in my life. Joan and her family were my family. She was a second mom to both Dave and me. The night my mom tried to kill herself, Joan kept an eye out for Dave to come home from the hospital and when he wasn't home by midnight or so, she went over to find him sitting alone waiting patiently for the doctors to speak to him. Because he was 17 and a minor, no one would speak to him and give him an update on Mom, but once Joan arrived, she was able to get the doctors to talk and let Dave see Mom to know she'd be okay. Joan was always there for both of us no matter what. And although Dave was closer to their family than I was (they had a son Dave's age), I've always known I'm a member of their family too. I'll always be grateful that both Dave and I were with her until the end and got to tell her how much we loved her.

Betsey and Ross turned 11 this year and are still healthy, happy, and active. I expect that they may start to slow down and begin to show their age at some point, but fortunately, that hasn't happened yet.

I've had the great fortune of reconnecting with many old friends this year - Kelly, Karen, Rick, Joni, Steve, Jeff, Matt, and many others. Tim also talked me into attending the Lake Forest College Homecoming Reunion in October. I hadn't been to any events at the College since graduating 14 years ago, but I am so glad I went. I ran into a number of old friends, one of whom I saw again over Christmas. I won't miss any LFC events in the future. It's always fun reuniting with old friends and catching up on the many adventures from our lives.

My gratitude list runs long this year and is filled mostly with the relationships that enrich my life. If you're reading this, you've probably enriched my life in some way this year and I thank you and love you for being part of this great adventure.

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