It’s that time of year when we all look back, take stock, make resolutions, and move forward. 2009 had its ups and downs, and overall I feel very lucky in many ways. I am curious about 2010… I have a sense that big changes will be coming.

2009 brought Jenny to her senior year of high school. It’s hard to believe that this time next year she will be away at college. Wow. She has been accepted at all three of her top college choices and I think she’ll be attending A&M at Corpus Christi to study marine biology. I am so proud of her and the choices she has made. She doesn’t drink, do drugs, or stay out late. Jenny and Chris wear promise rings indicating their choice to wait until marriage to take that next, big step in their relationship. She has chosen such a nice, young man in Chris. He is wonderful and treats her with respect.

Anna has had a very good year. Her seizures are more and more infrequent and she’s even made it through a few fevers without seizing. She continues to make steady progress in 2nd grade and really responds well to the smaller educational setting offered to her in Resource. She is currently battling anxiety and weight gain (from the Risperdal) and we are making healthier food choices and getting more activity into her daily routine.

This year Dominic started kindergarten. After a rocky start, he has settled nicely into the routine of school though he struggles with impulse control and hyperactivity. He was diagnosed with ADHD in the summer but after a failed attempt with medication and seeing a child psychologist, it is apparent that he is incredibly bright and probably bored. As he gets more challenging material at school, he should settle down some (we hope!).

Curtis and I hit a pretty major rough patch in our marriage but we are working on it, one day at a time. His capacity for love and change is amazing and I hope we can figure things out so that we can both be happy.

2009 brought us Charlie, our Labradoodle donated by Cheyenne Valley Labradoodles. He has turned into such a good dog. He is eight months old now and has completed intermediate dog training. We’re going to take a refresher course in January since we took December off and our goal is to have him certified as a service dog for Anna though it may take us another 12-18 months. We don’t know yet if he will alert us to Anna’s seizures since she hasn’t had one since we got him (that is a very good thing!). Here is a picture of Charlie when we first got him and another from around Thanksgiving.

2009 also introduced me to digital scrapbooking and being a creative team member for AnnaBV Designs and By Becca. They are wonderful ladies with whom to work and I’ve so enjoyed expanding my creativity and love for digital art. I became an Admin at CrumbSnatchers and really became a prolific siggy-maker there. I have so much fun working with other people’s pictures and feel very honored to be allowed to little pieces of art with them. I also had the pleasure of doing my very first photo shoot with an adorable 3-month old baby girl. Now that was fun!

I didn’t get to retreat this year with my Exceptional Women friends from the iVillage support boards due to financial reasons, but we are all committed to getting together in 2010. I can’t wait! We’ve become so close over the years and it’s nice to spend time with other moms who get it.

2010 will be a year of changes. I will be attempting to re-enter the workforce in some capacity… hopefully working with digital photography and Photoshop. I’m taking an Illustrator class in January and I’m studying restoration and retouching techniques. I love love love what I’m doing now and would be thrilled to find a way to earn money doing what I love.

I hope that each of you who reads this reflects back on 2009 with fondness and no regrets, treasure your blessings, learn from your mistakes, forgive, and love. That is what it is all about. Cheers!

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