Friday, December 31, 2010

What a Year!

Pajama Jam '09
I remember New Year's Eve 2009 like it was yesterday. I remember thinking what a great year it was going to be. I had such high expectations for 2010. I remember telling Holly it was going to be the best year of our lives. With a baby due in the summer and the prospects of financial gain from my lawsuit, our future looked bright.

I guess as every year comes to an end you're compelled to reflect on the noteworthy events of the past year. There were certainly no shortage of events this year. When I think about this past year it starts in January. It was at that time I had my surgery and was bed-ridden for three weeks while recovering from one of the most horrific procedures one can imagine. It took two months to completely heal and now it’s just a fading memory.

During that time I was also in the middle of my lawsuit against The ICEE Company for trademark infringement. Which led to probably one of the few highlights of the year, a nice settlement check from them.

Of course during all of this Holly was pregnant with Grace. We were enjoying the pregnancy process and all the things that come along with it. We had such high expectations for our new baby and the way it was going to change our lives forever.

In February the water main to the house broke. This is what our front yard looked like for a couple of weeks while it was being repaired. 

In the spring, Holly and I were debating on what to do with our office when the lease expired in September. We had been at our current office for three years and simply outgrew it. There were some days I couldn’t go in because there was nowhere for me to sit and work. Plus we wanted to be closer to home and our new baby due in July.

So we called up our broker and started looking at new offices. He took us out and showed us some offices close to our house. Places we couldn’t have afforded 3 years ago were now in our budget. So after careful consideration we decided to purchase an office instead of leasing one. Something we would have never done if we had known about Grace’s condition beforehand.

July 13 was such a joyous day for us. We were so excited Grace came into this world and joined our family. For months Holly carried Grace and felt her every movement. On this day we got to meet our little bundle of joy for the first time.

About a month before Grace was born we started the loan process through the SBA for the office. We knew doing so during Holly’s last month of pregnancy could be challenging, but we figured everything would go smoothly and we could handle both. However, something that should have only taken two months to complete took over five months due to the incompetency of the bank and the SBA being paralyzed by bureaucracy. During those five months we gave birth to Grace, spent two weeks in the hospital with her, discovered her rare seizure disorder, were placed on Hospice care and her untimely death. It was a very trying time to say the least.

Then a day after we closed escrow we were notified one of our biggest contracts was being terminated. This was by far the biggest setback of our professional lives. I likened it to a swift punch in the gut that sucked the air right out of us. This significant loss in revenue was going to greatly affect our ability to operate and yes pay for our new dream office.

After escrow closed we still had to wait another month for the tenant improvements to get done. This just continued the ongoing saga of this purchase and all the stress associated with it. I had to put on my project management hat now and make sure everything was getting done to our specifications. I felt this just compounded the stress of losing Grace and took away from my time to mourn in peace.

Construction ended on my birthday and we were able to move in. It was one of the best feelings I’ve had all year. As soon as the last contractor walked out our door Holly and I embraced and cried in relief it was all over. The sleepless nights have ended and I have a certain sense of peace about me now. Perhaps it’s a fitting end to a trying year.

Earlier this week Holly had her Thyroid removed. She’s had a nodule on it for years and we’ve taken the wait and see approach to it. At every doctor’s appointment her doctor gets more and more adamant about removing it. This time he finally persuaded us. We met with a surgeon a week later and he said he would schedule it for the Spring. But then a couple days later he called back and said he had a cancellation and wanted to get her in on 12/29. Being a slow time of year for us we jumped at the opportunity to do it now. Fortunately everything went as planned and she's home resting now.

So we ended the year back in the hospital. I can’t believe how much time we’ve spent in the hospital this year. We should get a Thank You card or punch-card for a free burrito or something.

We'll spend New Year's Eve at home tonight. What a welcome relief I might add. I can't remember the last time I stayed home on a New Year's Eve, but I've never wanted to stay home as much as I do this year. I don't know what 2011 has in hold for us. All I do know is we'll continue to embrace life and make the best out of any situation fate throws our way.


  1. What a year it has been, for sure. My heart aches for what you and Holly have been through, something no parent should ever have to face. May the New Year bring you much peace and happiness.
    Cheers, to a New Year and a thriving business!

  2. I hope that 2011 brings good things for you both in every way possible. I’m glad to hear Holly’s procedure went well and that you were finally able to get moved into the new office, you both did not need one more thing hanging over you. May the new office bring you both a new beginning.