Happy New Year!
Joyfully, prayerfully, encouragingly, happily, excitedly, honestly, and hopeFULLy, I wish you a Happy New Year.
I for one am unbelievably excited about what 2012 holds on so many fronts!
In our home, Ang and I are focusing on saving for a house with four walls of our own, and this is the year I pay off my student loan! We just made our last car payment on our minivan, and now... no more car payments! YAY! We also have a big reunion with my family in Hilton Head, SC this summer, and we will have more little and big cousins running around... my two sisters and brother and I have never had all our kids together in one place, and this will be the first time!
On the physical/health front, Angelique and I just started a 3-month Body For Life Cycle. We have done "BFL" as we call it a few times, and it has been so effective. IF you don't have a copy of Bill Phillips' book, Body For Life, we both highly recommend it. The program is easy to follow, and Bill infuses some great psychology into his plan to help ensure you work the program, even (and especially) if you don't or can't follow it 'perfectly.' Ang and I both ran today for the first time in 6 months for me and a year and a half for her! Oh, we're gonna feel it this week, and not in a good way! That's alright. For us, the confidence, energy, and self esteem that come from working out and staying fit are worth whatever aches we encounter. There is a great quote my buddy Joe Polish has plastered on the door of his fridge:
Nothing Tastes as Good as Looking Good Feels.
On the work front, I am gearing up to really market my new courses I've created, "Start Out Successful: Level I and Level II" to my music therapy community nationwide. We get absolutely no training in the business development side of career building in our degrees, so while music therapists may be talented once in front of a client or patient, if they don't know how to effectively, efficiently, AND PROFITABLY put themselves there in the first place, what good are those skills? I paid A LOT of money for my degree, and it did very little to teach me how to make the money back! LOL. College is funny; they expect you to invest more than any other amount of money except for a home without any roadmap for how to make back your investment and exceed it. The national student loan debt now exceeds the national credit card debt as of this year. So, seeing this in my industry, I figured I might as well teach the success and business principles other industries use to get up, running, and profitable to my own peeps so our field can actually experience some growth!
On the PUCK front, our luncheon, Wings of Hope, is next Wednesday, and we are pretty close to selling out! In fact, by this time tomorrow, we very well might be. That is really exciting because we were only given 4 months to plan this; it's right after the holidays, and we had other major projects in the works when we were gifted this amazing luncheon! Plus, it's our first time at the rodeo planning a fundraising luncheon. We couldn't have done it without the mentorship of our parent organization, Children's Cancer Research Fund. Without their support, there is NO WAY we could have gotten so organized and so successful so fast. Thank you to John Hallberg, Karen Skewes, Jenny Phyle, Kris Huson, Ryan Durry, and anyone else at CCRF we may have missed. Plus a HUGE thank you goes out to Dr. John Wagner, who is getting on a plane in MN before dawn, flying to CA to speak for 15 minutes, then flying home by midnight that same day. Awesome. Just awesome.
Big thanks in advance also goes out to our local committee and our table hosts. Again, without them, this event would not look the way it does AT ALL. It takes a village to move a cause forward, and a village has really stepped up here in Orange County to support us, and we thank you from the entirety of our hearts!
Ali is going to start piano lessons this winter, and Julian is just about ready for infant karate. Just kidding (about Julian).
Folks, life is GOOD. I am blessed to work a job where I get to see people in much rougher places than I am all day long. Granted, we were in a pretty rough place from about May 27, 2009 to October 11, 2010, but we're not there now. It is important to honor the past, but it is equally important to honor the present! We have been GIFTED this beautiful 4 month old boy Julian, a big sister whose favorite roll in life is just that... and a marriage we were smart enough to consciously create... and continue to create... together from day one. It is our job to RECOGNIZE and be grateful for THIS moment.
There are blessings in EVERY moment. It's just that sometimes they're easy to see, and sometimes they're easy NOT to see. That's the game. Find the blessing in every scene. Life's like one big word search. The blessings are sitting right there in plain sight, though sometimes they might look backwards. Sometimes you might be looking across for them, when they are sitting right in front of you... going up and down. THAT'S what makes the game interesting, and even fun, IF you are willing to play along.
Let's play in 2012!
Now, enjoy a photo collage of Ali's and my Friday morning "Squinky Fair and Concert Festival," as well as pics from D-Land...