I choose however, to glean the positive from this less than stellar year. My 2 girls have been healthy this year. Ella's first year of life in 2008 was marked by many hospital visits - jaundice, vaccine adverse reaction and especially the end of the year w/ 3 bouts of MRSA, the first being exceptionally frightening. January09, she overcame it and has been healthy ever since! Laci has been healthy as always, something to never take for granted.
Tony and I had fun opportunities, ironically afforded by his lack of CSX employment to go to many Christian concerts this summer and fall. Working for CSX means no set schedule which means, forget about making plans. This was something we missed and it provided a much needed release from the everyday pressures of parenthood, allowing us to just be Tony and Mandy for awhile. Not to mention, we saw some great shows!!!
We've made new friends and connected with some we'd lost contact with. Our friends mean so much to us, and many are considerd as important parts of our family!
I finally took the step to start my photography business which has been a blessing. CreatedImage photography is doing better than I would have thought in its first few months, and that without advertising! I thoroughly enjoy the experience of working with people and the creative outlet it brings. Of course the financial aspects are helpful as well! I'm excited for the future of my photography and looking forward to being even more busy in 2010!
As rotten as some parts of this year have been, I can see God laying the groundwork for some real blessings for my family in 2010.
CSX is looking up for this year, and Tony immediately got a 25% raise when he got called back. When he can work steady, (possibly not til spring, but we're praying if he gets furlowed in Cumberland he can transfer to 1 of 2 other locations) we will definitely have an increase and release from financial strain.
We've recently decided to move to a farm house his parents offered us. We've gutted the place and have awesome floor plans from a wonderful Christian contractor who is known for doing excellent work and fast! He seems very excited about the job and is set to start the remodel and additions to the house in the next week or 2. We'll be gaining a lot of square footage in this house, and its going to have everything we wanted! Such a blessing.
2010 is looking so good, I have to say, hit the road 2009! I'm not looking back, I'm just looking forward to all that God has in store for us this coming year. Praying blessings on everyone and that this coming year find you happy. healthy and in the hand of God!