I am! Although 2010 has certainly had its merits, opportunities and fun memories, it has had a boatload of challenges as well. I suppose many of you out there would find that applicable to your own lives.
If you have been wondering where I have been hiding, let me tell you that the month of December for the past 10 years has been a month where I work, work, work and then work some more. For those of you who don't know, I am co-owner with my husband of an online retail business called Count Your Beans. We sell dolls, bears and collectibles through eBay, Amazon and our own website and the period between Thanksgiving and a few days before Christmas is the time when we work amazingly long hours to try and earn enough money to carry us through slower times.
It's sometimes hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit and this year was a difficult one. The month between my birthday (Thanksgiving) and Christmas provided a lot of testing of confidence, faith and courage. Although highlights of the month included taking the kids to an Autism Society of America holiday party, visiting Santa Claus, watching Ryan in his preschool church production and looking at holiday lights in the neighborhood, there was a lot of tension in our household throughout the month. I didn't like that and as much as I did to try and change it and focus on faith and love, there was just a lot of stress coming both from the business and daily life. Next December will be a better one!
Christmas Day itself was a happy one. We have a lot to be thankful for. Love my boys!
When I founded Count Your Beans back in 1999, we saw steady sales increases for about 8 years. I was really proud of what John and I had accomplished. Then we moved from California to Washington and the past couple of years have not been at all what we had hoped for despite trying to be creative and innovative. I won't go into all of that in detail but let me just say that with expenses rising and profits lowering, something has to change. We've been looking at diversifying our product lines and adding along different income opportunities. For me that will likely include blogging, freelance writing and continuing to follow my calling of building Aspierations into a portal of optimism, faith and encouragement for spectrum travelers and those who love them.
I started writing the Aspierations blog in 2010 with high hopes that I would be able to promote Autism and Asperger's awareness, acceptance and empowerment for those on the spectrum and families and friends who are touched by spectrum travelers. Although I am proud of the work I have done blogging this year, there is certainly much more to be done and I am optimistic that 2011 will provide open windows and doors of opportunity for me to let my light shine and follow my passions and dreams.
I have so much to write about in terms of family stuff for the past month but I'll save that for a future blog. Right now I just wanted to let my Aspierations friends out there know that I'm back, I'm pumped up and I am motivated to blog regularly in 2011. For those who stopped by in December wondering when I'd write again, thanks so much for caring. It feels good to know that there are people out there so thoughtful. I look forward to getting to know you better in the new year and hope that you'll take the ride with me.
Anyone out there have any special plans? Tonight John and I will be spending a fun evening at home enjoying a traditional New Year's Eve dinner of chicken and cheesy noodles and playing games on the Wii with Justin and Ryan. We got a new game for Christmas from my parents called Wii Party and it has been a lot of fun to play. It's actually a very good game for spectrum kids to use for learNing social and cooperative interactions with others. I'll share more about this later.
Yes, we are toasting with candles! Let Your Light Shine!
If you feel like it, please let me know your resolutions! If not, please say hi below and let me know you're still here! I've missed you, Aspierations friends and look forward to ringing in 2011 with you! May we all let our lights shine this upcoming year!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!