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What a Year

Most people like to look back on their lives on New Year’s Eve, and make their resolutions to build a better life going forward.  I do that most of the time, but as I entered my 30’s, I have been doing it more by my Birthdays.  As I turn another year older tomorrow, I wanted to count my blessings on the past birthday year, and blog on what has really counted in my life.  So grab a party hat and let’s blow out the candles!

A year ago I was celebrating my birthday at work- I wore my white party dress, felt great, and went in with a positive outlook on the day.  I looked forward to seeing the family that night, and hanging out with my Mom the following weekend.  Mom and I had a tradition of going out to lunch, strawberry pie at Perkins, and lots of rummage sales.  We were still on the path of moving to FL, but at that point it was all talk and eyes on 2012, not 2011.  It was a wonderful birthday, and everyone made it special.  I remember thinking THEN, I am a blessed woman.

I found that I had a lot of growing up to do this year.  Yes, I am nowhere near perfect, and I am flawed like everyone else.  I found that any storm I had to weather, whether of my fault or someone else’s, I always had my family, friends, and most importantly, God in my corner.  I grew closer to friends I thought I never would, and made some incredible new ones in WI and here in FL.  I found out who were real friends, and who were distracting me from the true joys of life.  It’s amazing how life takes you from person to person, and how some stick, and some just repel right off you, either leaving a mark or nothing at all.  I finally “get it” on what I want from friendship, and it is an amazing and beautiful thing once you do.

I learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of.  Too many times I passed on something, or was too afraid to say something, and I learned this past year to really find my voice.  Life is too short, and I needed those who I loved to know that I do, and those that had hurt me, to let go and forgive.  I used to hold onto things so tightly, so that any time someone would hurt me, I would reference it as a defense mechanism to protect my heart.  It’s hard to come to the conclusion sometimes that certain friendships shouldn’t have been formed in the first place, and it’s an even harder thing to act on it and stop the poison that has started to settle in.  In that same sense, sometimes the friendships you never saw coming can take you out of the darkest spot in life and teach you how to smile when all you want to do is cry.

Looking back at your life and yourself can be a very scary thing- I can tell you this from doing it first hand.  The great moments warm my heart, and the sad moments make me smile because I made it past them.  Sometimes you wish  you could go back and make better choices, or tweak some of them just a bit to make what you live through now a bit easier, but you can’t, so you have to learn to move forward.

It takes storms to realize what you have in your life, and how to never, ever take life for granted. I am married to an amazing man, and even with all the bumps our marriage has had… when he looks at me with that smile and those amazing eyes, I still melt.  We had quite the year together- planning, saving, talking and walking and we made it. Craig, we are here.

I had a dream.  I have actually several dreams, but this was the biggest one- to live in FL one day, minutes from WDW, and experience the magic and joy any time I want.  I sit here, as I type this, in my FL home, where I will hear the fireworks from my living room this evening, and where I will enjoy the Parks tomorrow with my family.  I wake up to the sun shining in my bedroom, and I wonder how I got here.  You can plan for what seems like forever, but nothing can prepare you for your dream being realized.

A year ago I was turning 36, living in Appleton, WI, working, and talking about moving to FL some day.  Tomorrow I will turn 37, living in Kissimmee, FL, playing in the sun with my family, and enjoying Epcot.

I.  Am.  Blessed.


  1. You are right, Amy. You do seem to be blessed. But, I truly believe that to be blessed you need to BE a blessing to others. You certainly seem to bring the blessings to your family and those close to you. Wishing you a magical day in this wonderful new world you have ahead of you. Enjoy it to the fullest. Happy Birthday, and pixie dust is being sent your way.


  2. You are right, Amy. You are blessed. But I truly believe that to be blessed you need to be a blessing to others. You certainly seem to be that to your family and friends. Lucky you to spend your birthday in the “world”. I hope you have a magical day. Sending you a happy birthday wish, and pixie dust for your birthday.


  3. Allow me to be the first comment to wish you a HAPPY AND BLESSED BIRTHDAY, AMY!!! 🙂 I won’t make it to Florida for my 38th, but plan to be firmly settled in by my 39th :). Thanks for paving a great path and letting us all follow along for the ride!


  4. Happy Birthday, Amy! It HAS been quite a year for you and, although I only came in on the tail end of it, I still feel so very happy for you and continue to wish you all the magic your new home can hold!


  5. Amy,
    I absolutely love reading your blog – your gift for writing is amazing. Hopefully at some point we will get to meet in person.

    I am thoroughly enjoying all of the scrapbook “stuff” I purchased from you on ebay. I have just finished 2 pages using photo mats and vellum that was included in the package. The pictures on the pages are the Fantasia topiaries from the 2009 F&G show. I will send pics in a separate e-mail.

    Again, your gift for writing and putting your thoughts into words is amazing.


  6. Great blog again amy!! 🙂 u are so great with ur writing!! Again i am so happy we became friends becase so much of what u write helps me through my life!! 🙂 love ya!! Have a great night…tomorrow is a magical day! Happy bday!!


  7. Amy, another wonderful do you do it girl? I’m happy that you’ll be celebrating your bday this year a happier woman..Have fun tomorrow!! Enjoy your special day & never forget how special & amazing you truly are..Happy Birthday honey!! (((big birthday hugs)))


  8. Happy Birthday, Amy! You are so right, you are blessed! I am sure this birthday will go down in history as one of your best, with your Florida dream realized for your family. Best wishes to you!


  9. HaPpY BiRtHdAy Amy!! Thank you for writing the blog. You are an inspiration. My dream is to also move close to WDW. I currently live in NC. My first WDW dream came true when I was married there, now I gotta work on my next dream.


  10. Wow! This gave me goosebumps 🙂 Happy birthday and thanks for willing to share your experiences with us. Hopefully one day I will be the one making the move to FL from Tx.


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