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2011 in Review

I’m sitting in Mom’s hospital room right now overlooking downtown Oklahoma City and the beautiful Capitol dome, reflecting on what a crazy year it’s been. Full of ups & downs. Full of highs and lows.

A quick update on Mom while I’m thinking about it. I stayed at their house almost all week as we tried really hard to get Mom better. Finally on Thursday it was decided that she needed to go back to the hospital, and this time we headed to a different one as her doctors at Baptist were unable to get her admitted, which was a terribly frustrating experience.  I could see what amounted to defeat and maybe a bit of despair on my Dad’s face and so it was decided to get her to Saints as we knew we could get her admitted there through Dad’s colleagues. She’s here now and while she’s definitely improving, she doesn’t know what’s going on and is incredibly confused. I think that’s the worst part about this whole thing – the confusion. She’s in and out of coherence and doesn’t really recognize us hardly.We’re hopeful that soon we’ll be able to have a more firm diagnosis, although at this point they are pretty sure that her vasculitis isn’t the main issue. It could be that because of her vasculitis, however, and the subsequent damage to her kidneys that has happened over time, that the pain meds, etc. are building up in her system and not being flushed effectively out of her body through the kidneys as they should be.

So. What happened in 2011?

We enjoyed roadtrips around Oklahoma such as Tulsa and Eufaula. As far as work goes, highlights included launching Pencil Shavings Studio (previously Pencil Shavings Paper) in January. The iPhone cases were launched in March and quickly became the #1 best seller. Writeups in various publications helped our success and sales continued to explode.

Simon’s big project in the first half of 2011, in addition to work as usual, was as the design co-chairman for the Orchestra League’s big fundraiser, the Symphony Show House. We got to attend lots of events and parties that we never would’ve been involved in otherwise and even got our picture in the paper a few times to boot!  There were lots of other fun OKC events that we attended such as the annual arts festival, the all-new Concerts on the Curve, the Ben Folds concert at the OKCPhil, and the Regatta Festival.

In May I celebrated my 30th birthday and we made a spontaneous decision to fly to Paris on a whim. But right before we left, we found out I was pregnant with baby #2. Paris and Normandy was a whirlwind of excitement and adventure that we will never forget. I’ve got the travel itch and can’t wait to get back.

Sadly, we lost baby #2  in July  at the beginning of what was the hottest and most miserable summer ever in Oklahoma.  I filled my time by working on projects such as Jude’s big boy room and work stuff. In August we took a little family vacation to Denver and got away from the crazy high heat for a week in a much-needed break.  I also participated in planning the first-ever Oklahoma Bloggers’ Night Out which was a huge success. I’ve really enjoyed building up new relationships with fellow OKC bloggers.

September it was back in the swing of things with MOMs group, Bible study, Mother’s Day out, and of course, work. I started saving money to attend Alt Summit and started getting excited for new opportunities. Sales at PSS soared in October with the release of the iPhone 4S and we had our best month ever.

The fall months were filled with work, birthday celebrations and family fun. Jude turned 4 and Simon turned 31 and we anticipated Thanksgiving with our families.  My sister moved to a new house in our neighborhood and on the same day, I won a white Christmas tree from Treetopia.  Jude & I visited my friend Julie in Texas and saw the ICE! exhibit at the Gaylord Texan.  We also had fun visiting Christmas Disneyland, AKA North Pole City, as one of our advent calendar treats.    Finally, Christmas Day arrived, and it was a different Christmas, but it was what it was.

Last night, on NYE, Simon and I went out on a much-needed date to Ludivine for their special prix-fixe chef’s tasting. It was mind-blowingly delicious and we sat there and reflected on all the blessings that God has given us. Yes, 2011 was definitely a year of highs and lows. But we also reflected that our goal is no longer just surviving like it was a couple of years ago; it is THRIVING. And we definitely accomplished that.  December was the biggest month ever at Pencil Shavings Studio.  Overall, Simon had the biggest year ever in his career, and I am blown away at how different and wonderful things are for him professionally now than they were even 2 years ago. But beyond that, I’m blessed tremendously by him; I am more in love with him now than I was when I married him. I’m blessed by Jude and his precious sweet spirit.

So 2012, bring it on. We are READY for you.

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