Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Review

It amazes me that today is the last day of 2011.  Where has the time gone?!  Last night David and I went to see the movie, The Way. It is a delightful film about walking the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain.  Well, its about more than just that, but it centers around The Camino.  David's father, Damaso, who is originally from Madrid, Spain told us about the movie while we were in Charlotte for Christmas, and when I noticed it was playing in Boise, I made sure David and I checked it out as soon as possible.  Anyway, seeing the film was the perfect way to close the year and give us both inspiration for our dreams for 2012.
2011 was a year of sickness for both David and I, but especially for me- from the Swine Flu last January where I fainted and fell through the shower door and I had to get 5 staples in my head, to David's ACL and micro-fracture surgery, to kidney stones, and the flare up of Ulcerative Colitis I've been dealing with, to David having bronchitis in September and the stomach flu on our last day in Charlotte... it was a mess of a year for us.  So our number one goal for 2012 is to do everything we possibly can to have a healthy year(s) ahead.

I've found a doctor in the New York who is doing some very promising research on Ulcerative Colitis, and he has agreed to take me on as a patient.  The success rates of his mentor/colleague in Sydney, Australia are 90%, and I am a good candidate for the treatment, so wish me luck!  The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is definitely helping, combined with the antibiotics (Xifaxin) and probiotics (Florastor) I'm taking to combat the imbalance in my gut. 

David has done a great job rehabbing his knee, and as he continues to heal, we are looking forward to getting back on the slopes for a great year of skiing (weather permitting- snow, please snow!)  We're both trying to get into better shape... who isn't after all that rich holiday food?!  And our goals of getting to the gym and to hot yoga are at the top of the list.

This year has also been filled with great little travel adventures.  We started the year by going to San Francisco for a few days last January.  We made a bunch of trips to McCall, Idaho for skiing, camping, and playing with friends and it's one of our all time favorite places to be so we feel very lucky its so close.  We also took a trip to Leavenworth, WA over Memorial Day weekend.  It's the most charming little Bavarian town in a very beautiful and lush part of the Northwest.  I took a week to visit the midwest: my family in Wisconsin, where my dad and I won the father-daughter golf tournament at his golf club, Iowa to see David's sister and family, and then on to Chicago to attended the wedding of my dear high school friend, Maren Baker in June.  David took a trip up to Montana and Yellowstone in July, (which I was supposed to go on as well, but sadly those darn kidney stones kept me home.)  In September, David surprised me with a trip to Portland, OR for my birthday.  We had a blast watching the season opener Boise State game against Georgia with a crowd full of BSU Alumni and supporters at The Grand Central Bowl.  And we finished our year of adventures with a trip to Charlotte to visit David's family.  Man looking back, we were very busy!
Our goal for 2012 is more of the same.  However, we'd also like to make sure we fit in some international travel as well.  Although we can't find two months to walk the Camino de Santiago this year, we might be able to find 10 days or so to bike it.  We'd also like to get up to British Columbia and the San Juan Islands to do some kayaking this summer.  Neither of us have been to that part of the Northwest, and we are dying to check it out.

David and I would also like to spend more time with both of our families, but because we live so far from everyone, its hard to fit both sides into one year, but we are going to do our very best to make that happen.  We have a standing invite to all friends and family to come visit us too... our door is open if you feel up for an Idaho adventure!  The start of our travel this year will be a trip to Portland for some post holiday shopping without sales tax... win-win for good deals.  I can't wait!  We're also planning to check out the Portland museums and possibly attend the symphony for a well rounded cultural experience.

With the economy the way it is, David and I are trying to pay off all of our debts including our mortgage as quickly as possible so that we can pay for everything in cash from then on.  We're close to having only house debt, and its a very empowering feeling.  Cash flow can sometimes be an issue, but its amazing how many things people spend money on that they simply don't need... and we're all culprits of this behavior.  Our goal for 2012 is to be as close to debt free as we can be, and we're working really hard to get there.

My personal goal is to procrastinate less.  I've been working on several projects over the past year, and I want to get them all finished.  I've also gotten back into writing again, which I haven't done much of since college (10 years ago... where has that time gone... oye!) and I'm trying hard to focus my attention on finishing the various writing projects I've started.  I know I have a best seller in there somewhere!  But it all comes down to procrastination.  I have the ability to do great things... now I just have to do them.  What are your techniques to avoid procrastination?  I'd love to hear them!

Our final goal is the most important one to me: to start a family.  We are currently exploring all options for starting a family, including attending an adoption seminar next week, and looking more closely at finding a potential gestational surrogate willing to carry a baby for me at a cost we could afford (an angel carrier (no fee- angels require only the cost of the medical expenses involved in pregnancy) would answer my prayers!).  I'm also continuing to work on curing the Ulcerative Colitis I have so that I could possibly one day have a healthy pregnancy of my own.  Having just come from a big family Christmas in Charlotte, I'm craving a baby now more than ever.  Our families and friends make our world, and both David and I are very excited to have a family of our own.  No matter how annoyed or angry you get at your family, there is something so healing about the bond and kinship in family, I find it almost magical.
Guess who?!
The thing I can most definitely say about looking back on 2011, is that we are so grateful.  We have an abundance of goodness in our lives and I couldn't feel more thankful if I tried.  We have amazing family, friends, neighbors, a cool-albeit eccentric dog, great jobs, a very nice house, and most of all, each other.  If I were to say one thing about 2011 its that it is easy to look back upon the year with 20/20 vision and notice all the flaws, but to see all the goodness that comes from each moment and decision of our lives is a lot harder, but its certainly worth doing.  I'm even grateful for this darn Ulcerative Colitis... it's made me a much more compassionate person.  I'm aware of others more than I ever was before, and if I'd never had to deal with the pain and embarrassment its brought me, I'm not sure I would have ever felt the kind of compassion for others its also given me, and that is a gift.

I hope you have a fun New Year's Eve where ever you plan to spend it.  Be safe and I look forward to seeing you next year!


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