Its been a whirlwind of a year, and I still feel like it only just began.. and now its ending!
January 2011- I was hired as a National Training Manager for a newborn photography company on Jan. 5th. After 8 months being unemployed it was a fresh start and a new beginning. The job required extensive travel, but Spencer and I decided it was the right job for me, and our time together would have to be quality over quantity. I began my training as a newborn photographer, and was terrified at the prospect of having to calm down newborns to take great photos... I'd never been a "baby person". Ironically I quickly discovered I was a natural, and people often asked me how many children I had at home! At the end of January I traveled to St. Louis where I met the other members of the training team, who have become some of my closest friends. We shot instructional videos at the headquarters, and I got to play mom to Amelia!
|Our pose training baby!|
I also did some freelance graphic design work, designing this logo for a chocolate company.
February 2011- February started out strong with a visit to Houston, Texas for work. I learned how to train and met a lot of great girls. I knew it was going to be an amazing job and very rewarding.
That same week, "Snowmageddon!" hit the U.S! In Houston there was a dusting of snow that shut down the entire city... and in Joplin back home, my sisters house was hit with piles and piles of snow!
She sent me this photo of my nephew... he apparently didn't like it very much...
Back at home, Spencer was preparing for his very first art show!
Spencer showed some of his work in the El Sea Art Show! I am so proud of him :) We have another Boston Terrier painting like the one above is anyone is interested!
March 2011- March I celebrated my one year anniversary from being laid off... I drove around town with the windows down in Arkansas, thanking my lucky stars for how my life changed for the better. I stopped off to see my sister and sent to her round dancing Mardi Gras dance where I spent the night playing pirate with my nephew...
I spent time in Arkansas, Texas and Miami in the month of March, escaping from the cold a bit and thawing my way into Spring.
April 2011- April was my month in Memphis. I was there for 3 weeks in a row, coming home on the weekends. I traveled via a small airline called "Seaport Airlines". Small commuter planes with no waiting in security lines and not having to arrive early to the airport to park and wait to board. I drove up, walked onto the tarmac and boarded the plane!
They fly a little closer to the ground than a large jetliner, so it was fun to take photographs
out the window! Everything was so green and lush in the month of April!
April was also the beginning of tornado season, and it seemed like I was playing keep away as I flew in and out of the areas hit the hardest each week. One week in particular I was down the street from a touch down in Memphis, and driving back to the hospital the next morning there were downed trees and power lines EVERYWHERE.
On the weekends I savored my time with Spencer and the puppies. We enjoyed quite a few nights with a nice big fire pit, and some adult beverages while we chatted about our lives and the interesting things going on.....Betty of course slept through it all, and Mia was out in the yard stalking birds in the dark.
May 2011- May started out good. My boss told me she would support me in going back to school and work around my schedule without any issues to keep me. That I was far too valuable to the team to lose. It was a truly amazing feeling to be so appreciated....
Sadly, devestation occured later in the month as I got a call from my sister that a tornado had struck in her town, Joplin Missouri. She had been at home when it hit, but had just returned from a baby shower in town only a few hours before. She was fine, but many of her friends she couldn't get hold of and they were driving into town to look for everyone.... What greeted her was this....
Her two best friends both lost their homes, and one only survived because he sheltered in the bathroom holding onto the pipes and a tempurpedic mattress blew up against the side of the wall, blocking multiple objects from breaking through the wall and killing him. I thank god my family was safe and at home a few miles away. Had they still lived in their apartment (pictured above on the left) the outcome may have been entirely different.
June/July 2011- June and July were busy months. I cleaned out my closets and cabinets to donate to my sisters friends, we celebrated my mom and I's birthdays at the lake and I spent quite a bit of time at home as we began to develop a brand new program for the training team called "Train the Trainer". The goal and purpose was so that each of the National Trainers (4 of us) would have field trainers in all of our districts, helping to ensure we were having good training going on at all times. :)
I also got to go to Portland Oregon for the very first time! The whole time I was there all I could think of was how much Spencer would love it, and decided we just had to return for a vacation together. It's such an extremely beautiful place....
August 2011- In August I spent lots of time at home with Spencer, finishing up paperwork and enjoying being together. We went on date nights every weekend and just loved being together. I also took another trip to St. Louis with my favorite co-workers where we took some time to try on some helmuts at Target!
Nuala in her Kitty helmut!
October 2011- Spencers birthday started out October, and we celebrated by going to Portland together!
We had an amazing time, walked 100 miles and spent time exploring the city, looking at artwork and eating a LOT of food. It was a perfect vacation and an amazing week. We ended up buying lots of great things for our house including new curtains, artwork, and frames! We are still in the process of putting everything up, but its going to be beautiful when we are done!
November 2011- November began a very heavy travel schedule. We begin unrolling the Train the Trainer program we had been working on for 6 months and I LOVED it! So far Train the Trainer has been my favorite part of my job yet, and has left me feeling incredibly happy and accomplished. not to mention i've gotten to stay in some pretty sweet hotels, like this one in Dallas...
Or this one in St. Louis....
It was a wonderful month, and got me excited for Christmas season!
December 2011- December has been a fabulous end to a great year. We decorated our home for the holidays and I actually got to be home with my family for a good 3 weeks. I spent time with Spencer, with my friends and I tried to relax and enjoy it all.
The season of tea also started, and I have filled my days with warm freshly brewed herbal, green and oolong teas while the termperature outside was a little bit balmy. We had a wonderful christmas with my parents and with Spencer's, and in a few days we celebrate the end of 2011, and the beginning of a brand new year together. There will be no big parties or loud fireworks at our home this year. Just Spencer and I with some good drinks, good food and time spent together as man and wife.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!