End-of-the-year Christmas letter

Dearest friends and readers;

Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s hard to believe that in just a matter of days, it will be Christmas. Not too soon after that, it will be the beginning of a new year. That being said, imagine my surprise when I began shuffling through my posts and realized I began this blog over four years ago. Four years! Who would have thought? I would like to thank those people who have not only encouraged me to write my thoughts here, but have remained faithful readers in the process of my journey. Although I have never met most of you, I hope you realize that you have given me as much as I have given you … With every post, I shared a part of myself with you in the hope of giving you the motivation to live your life in spite of what difficulties may come to pass.

Below is my Christmas letter which gives a summary of the year’s events. For my new followers, I figured this would be a great place to begin the journey:

It’s hard to believe it has been about two years since we first arrived to Virginia. It’s been quite the adjustment for all of us, getting into the swing of things with dad’s new one hour commute to and from Washington, DC to deal with, as well as my adjustment to new personal assistant rules and regulations. But this year brought many surprises as well.

In February, we got a little taste of our “home” in Michigan with the record setting snow storms in Virginia. On the first, we got twenty-four inches of snow only to receive another eight inches two days later. Something good came of it though as dad was unable to go into work and had to work from home. In the end, this provided some quality time for our family. April approached quickly and I welcomed it with a bit of apprehension; after all, I was turning the big 30! But after a visit from one of my best friends, Ron, I was reminded we’re all young at heart. We spent her visit doing some of the usual girl stuff, such as going to the movies and shopping… Boy, did we ever! May May was a chilly month which brought several red letter birthdays. My brother Tim turned 31 and Rebekah (the smallest niece and my God daughter) turned two. They grow up too fast! Unfortunately, we were unable to celebrate with everyone at the Japanese steakhouse because my other niece, Elizabeth was sick.

On the 7th of June, I had an appointment with Dr. Scott Edwards at Georgetown Univ. Hospital to discuss my options in an effort to release the tension in my arm and increase my mobility; at this point, I had tried just about everything and had my doubts. The month also brought Elizabeth’s 5th birthday and we had a big party with all her friends and family. July brought back memories as the three of us; mom, dad and and I traveled back to Michigan to spend some time together. We rented our “old” cottage on little Glen Lake; I spent the majority of time reading as dad enjoyed discovering about his ancestors on ancestry .com. In August, I underwent surgery on my left arm; it was a success, helping me to gain 40° of passive range; I wear a brace at night and was rewarded (by my parents) with a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring, now that my hand lays flat.

My recovery process was a slow one, as we had a real difficult time arranging therapy. With God’s guidance, and a lot of waiting, we settled on the Fairfax Hospital to begin therapy. In early November, I finally achieved my ultimate goal of driving my wheelchair again by a joystick! It has been over five years since I lost my ability to drive using my hand.

During November, I also decided it was time for a change – I decided to become a blonde! Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to last; as I eventually had to go back to my natural color.

All in all, it’s been a wonderful year; full of God’s peace and understanding. I can’t wait to see what unfolds for the next chapter of my life!

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