35 was my year, the best year of my thirties by far. It started on my 35th birthday when my all time favorite singer Curt Smith wished me a Happy birthday on Twitter. Two days later, for the very first time I saw them live in concert. It was amazing to stand there and listen to them live with Marty, I really thought things couldn't get much better than that. I hated the picture after the concert and how big I looked, the thought of changing that still hadn't crossed my mind.
In October, we took our first family vacation in over 7 years to Georgia. It was amazing to be able to travel and be free. We had such a great time seeing friends and being free to explore the world again.. Our lives were normal again and we had no worries anymore.
We came home from vacation and my Dad was hospitalized, it was a bit scary at first but then the relief that he finally had gotten the care to get him healthy again. It's been nice not having to worry about his health anymore and knowing he is on track again.
I came home from LA and just a few days later was introduced to Janet Evans on Twitter. Through a series of tweets, she helped motivate me to get fit. Just a few weeks later, I took her up on her offer to swim with her and that started me swimming again. Not only did I start swimming again but I started training for my first triathlon. I never expected we would become friends along the way.
In January, We celebrated the first anniversary of Marty's transplant and sent off a letter to our donor family. A couple of months later, we heard from the donor mom and learned about our donor Jerry.
In March, I completed my first triathlon with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. Who would have ever thought I would do that? certainly not me. I had been losing weight and working very hard at getting fit. To date I've lost 40lbs and counting, all due to one tweet that changed my life.
April brought about a interesting turn of events. Easter weekend forever changed the course of the year and brought about amazing healing of my heart that I had long prayed for. The peace that weekend brought still amazes me to this day. Also, one meeting outside of the Hard Rock Cafe followed by a series of tweets changed the course of the rest of the year and the repercussions are far reaching.
Thanks to the kindness of three strangers, one evening in Los Angeles another dream came true. I sat in the same room as my teen hearthrobs and even hugged them or shook hands ( at one point held the hand of one) with two women who would become dear to my heart and my sister of the heart. Little did I know,what this one event would lead to.
In May, Conner and I once again traveled to see our beloved Amgen Tour of California. This year was special because our cycling friends came to stay with us and we got to meet so many in the cycling community. Then one day later, led to the crazy story of Operation Cookie bake and how not to make promises to Jens Voigt that you don't keep.
My kids grew, no more elementary school for us after the school year ended. They have been such great company this year, helping me get fit. Helping me out around the house more after I returned to work from being a SAHM for many years.
In July, our dear pen pals from France came to visit. Fanette and her boys came for 11 days, we had such a good time touring California and showing them the sites. The kids and I got to go to Universal with them and then my long awaited return to my childhood haunt of Disneyland with them. It was wonderful to see such good friends and spend time in special places together.
Then last month, I was able to travel to Hershey,PA for a long awaited girl's trip with my good friend. It also was with the two women I had met on Twitter who had become good friends also. It was wonderful to see NKOTB again, another dream come true. I also met so many wonderful people and made friends for life. I also got to meet my dear friend Janeen for the first time.
Then this past week, I was able to travel to LA once again and see my Mom celebrate her Disney anniversary. The best part was getting to be at Disneyland after it was closed and enjoy some one on one time with my mom.
None of this would have happened without the support of my loving husband Marty. He has been gracious to let me live my dreams, supported me while I was off having fun and worked hard to pay for it all. Thank you for loving me selflessly and letting me have fun. This year has been a wonderful gift and I am forever grateful for your support.
Finally, I was able to live fully, spread my wings and fly, experience new things, laugh, cry, challenge myself, share my story, try to make a difference and really enjoy life to the fullest. Thank you to all the people who helped to make this the best year of my thirties. I am so thankful and humbled by your support and love, I am just Julie, a simple girl who cannot fathom that she is loved by many.
I cannot imagine that 36 can top 35 but I cannot wait to see what happens. I hope to make some of Marty's dreams come true this year and sit back and watch him fly.