Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year In Review

Here's the best that I can remember from 2011 with links to many of the highlights...Please be sure to read my blurb at the end. Thanks guys!!!

January-In January I had the opportunity to speak at the Stony Brook CF Center in Long Island, New York. I met some absolutely wonderful people and was able to touch some snow which is always a treat. We were also knee deep in getting Mandi's body ready for IVF. That in and of itself caused some very memorable moments.

February- I celebrated my 31st birthday and then quickly realized that I only had 6 years left to live. I'm of course being very tongue in cheek there, which I know would surprise most of you (NOT). The two things that were seared in my brain from this month was finding out that we were pregnant and the sperm extraction that led us to that moment.

March- We had our first annual Outrun CF Virtual Race in March and it was a smashing success. We received pictures from all over the world, and there is no doubt that CF awareness was spread and more people were active on that day. We also had our very first ultrasound and were able to lay eyes on our little Peanut.

April- We continued with weekly ultrasounds (a perk of IVF) and of course celebrated Easter with family. Another highlight was having a very successful clinic visit in which I blew a number I hadn't seen since 2003. I was about 6 or so weeks post hospital and really felt like I was getting in the exercise groove.

May- In May we celebrated one year of wedded bliss! to celebrate, we took an impromptu road trip out to Canyon Lake for a day of relaxation in the sun. We enjoyed a little bit of exploring as well as a feast of fruit while sitting in the back of the truck overlooking the lake! 

June- We found out that we would be having a girl this month!! We also took our annual trip to Rocky Point, Mexico to enjoy some family time, my cousin's wedding and playtime on the beach. It was also my first time snorkeling in a very long time and I thoroughly enjoyed it!!

July- Mandi and I headed out to South Carolina to enjoy the 4th of July weekend with some friends. They live on a lake, so we had many days full of swimming, fishing and boating. The fireworks show was beautiful and the only issues we had was packing for the trip and packing to come home :)

August- August was a big home improvement month around our house. Mandi went out of town for the weekend and I really wanted to surprise her with some changes when she got home. We were also knee deep in birthing classes but were able to break away for a trip to California for a good friend's wedding.

September- I spent a good part of September in the Hole which was a good chance for me to get tuned-up before the arrival of Peanut. Speaking of her arrival, she took Labor Day a little too seriously and gave us a little bit of a scare. The weekend after I got out of the Hole we were able to take some maternity shots which turned out to be amazing!!

October- This had to be the best month of the year! On the 16th we were able to celebrate Mandi's 25th birthday, and then about 44mins after Mandi's birthday ended, we were given the best birthday present of our lifetime. Mckenna Day Sharpe was born at 12:44 am and weighed in at 6lbs 2oz and was 17 inches long. She truly was a little Peanut!!

November- We got adjusted to life with a baby this month and did everything we could to spend every single second of every single day together. We also were pleasantly surprised to see how all of the maternity photos turned out, and if I may say so myself, I married a model. Mckenna seemed to grow-up a little bit each day and it was exciting to watch her grow into a little person. We were also able to host our first Thanksgiving meal at our own home with the help of my Dad and step-mom. It was so great to be able to spend time with them and watch them love up on Mckenna as well.

December- December was much like November in that most of the month was spent in amazement as we watched our little girl grow before our eyes. We also were able to make the perfect Christmas gift for family members with the arrival of Mckenna's first photos. We were also able to take a great family trip up to Williams, Arizona to ride on the "magical" Polar Express. We're hoping to make it a family tradition of sorts and I will admit it was a pretty  good time. As a bonus, I got to touch some snow for the holidays!!

And finally, I want to give my sincere gratitude to all who have followed our journey over this past year and shared in all of the joy, chaos and life-changing events. We are truly humbled by all of your kind words and support. We appreciate each and every comment as you guys give us the energy and strength to write in this blog almost every single day. If there are any particular subjects you would like me to write about in 2012, please let me know. This blog is just as much about you guys as it is about us.

Again, thank you, thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Have a safe and happy New Year and I'll see you guys in 2012.

Love from my family to yours,