December 19, 2011

Annual Christmas Letter 2011

Alyssa- Age 11 Kylie- Age 6

Dear Friends & Family,
Thank you for finding time to view our Christmas letter online. We decided to not only save the environment, but also some money and time by doing it this way. I wasn't about to give up our annual tradition entirely, so I came up with this. We have all had an amazing year and have had lots of things take place since last year's letter. Lots to be grateful and thankful for.

Brian: Brian will be celebrating his 6th year with Veolia Transportation/Valley Metro in March. He has obtained numerous awards for not only his great driving skills but also for his outstanding customer service skills. He loves his job and it truly shows. Brian's routes continually change throughout the year but he is based mainly in Mesa/Chandler/Gilbert/Tempe and parts of Phoenix. He has enough seniority now to pretty much get his first or second choice when it comes to his routes and ALWAYS has weekends off which is great. I am thankful for that, as he gets to spend tons of time with the girls when I am working myself. Brian enjoys working out and reading about health & fitness in his spare time and LOVES to take the girls to the movies.

Alyssa: Alyssa Brianne is now 11 years old and in the sixth grade. Time flies doesn't it? I can not believe my baby is going to be in middle school next year. OH MY!! We are already showing the signs of boy craziness and obsession on how we look. It's been a flashback to my childhood and a new vision of what my mom & dad went through. I have already apologized to them profusely! lol! Alyssa is an amazing young girl who is full of spunk and is always a jokester. She makes us laugh constantly. She is very witty & fast and quite the social butterfly at school. She is also very bright and was on the honor roll both last year and again this year. We couldn't be more proud of this young lady and what she can do. We have found her to be extremely artistic when it comes to computer graphics and also with her drawings and ideas. We are talking with her about attending an art school when it comes time for High School. Time will tell. Alyssa loves to skateboard, collect sunglasses and has a nice collection of Vans shoes in almost every color too. Her laugh is contagious and when she smiles I do too!

Kylie: Kylie Jean just turned 6 years old in November and is in Kindergarten. She LOVES it and has made tons of great friends. Kylie is still kinda shy at first, but really has broken out of that painfully shy stage and usually warms up now within a few minutes. Kylie has also joined girl scouts this year and is a Daisy Scout. She absolutely loves to be part of the group and enjoys being with all her girlfriends from school, after school. She is super excited about selling girl scout cookies next month and hopes to sell at least 12 boxes so she can get her cookie patch. Between us and her grandparents I think she will sell way more than 12 boxes. ha ha! Kylie is very happy, sweet and super girly. We are getting ready to remodel her bedroom and she has chosen a "Paris" theme if that says anything to you about her style. She is quite the fashionista! She is known at school for her pretty floral headbands and rhinestone accents. She loves anything sparkly or pretty and poofy. Another amazing and exciting milestone for Kylie this year is she can read! We are so happy for her, as she has always liked books and now she can actually sit, sound out the word and read it. Kylie is the only one in her class that has not lost a tooth yet. She is constantly asking when the tooth fairy will be coming and trying to wiggle her teeth to see if they are loose yet. So I imagine this will be happening before our next letter.

Jen: I am happy to say that this has definitely been my year and I believe 2012 is going to be just as amazing! I am currently serving on the board of the ASFA (AZ State Florist Association), and was voted to serve as the 2nd Vice President for 2012 which is very exciting. Last July, I helped co-chair the annual ASFA Expo which is the state's largest floral expo and we had an amazing turnout and event. Because of that, I was asked to take on the role as Chairperson and will be in charge of the entire event this July. I am already working on organizing the event with both Teleflora & FTD. Another amazing and dream come true for me is I was asked in the summer to join the Phoenix Art Museum as an Advisory Board council member for 2012. I am honored and truly in awe that I get to be a part of this group of individuals. We will be hosting several fundraisers throughout the year with the museum and I also get to be a critical part of the museum's Arts & Flowers program in April. On Tuesdays, I just joined a Mastermind group (aka book club) and we are reading "The Prosperity Bible". This is a collection of 19 books on growing yourself & your business. I come away from each group meeting super pumped up and empowered to take on the world. I love this group of people and can only imagine what the next year & a half will be like working with them. Now I know I must sound like a crazy woman, but this year I have also volunteered to be Kylie's girl scout leader and class mom. I try to volunteer in her classroom as often as I can and Kylie loves when I do. I'll admit, the girl scout leader work load is a bit much, but I make it work within my schedule and LOVE LOVE LOVE all my girls. We have 10 Daisy scouts and growing, as others hear about it and ask to join. I have such a great group of girls and feel that I was meant to do this. I enjoy each week and am looking forward to our Girl Scout Day Camp trip in April. I am truly floating on cloud nine as I am living my dream every day! I love my work & I love that I am here for the girls and get to be part of their childhood.

Ever After Florals: Our business was busier than ever and we had some super exciting things happen with that. We were chosen by AZ Bride magazine this past year to design for their "Best Of 2011" party and got to design all of the centerpieces and large entrance & stage pieces for the event which got us lots of exposure as well as trade for a large advertisement in their magazine. We were so blessed to get that, as the magazine is one of the top magazines in Arizona. We also were asked to provide bouquets for the fashion show at AZ's largest bridal show this past June. It was very exciting and over 10,000 were in attendance throughout the two shows. So I can now say our bouquets have been seen on the runway. LOL! We were also published in various blogs that asked for our advice on upcoming trends and provided photos of our work for them too. We were very lucky to have some of our work published again this year in multiple bridal magazines. I am always in awe when I find that out. And Ever After Florals was voted Best Wedding Florist in Phoenix by and awarded as one of the top florists by & Martha We have definitely come along way!!

Animals: Last December our dog Sweetie Belle had four puppies. Needless to say, we ended up keeping them all and have four dogs now. Two boys (Charlie & Buddy) and a sweet little mini Sweetie Belle girl (Honey). Although we lost our notorious 17 year old cat, Hissy Fit, last month, we know he had a long happy life with us and provided us with tons of the time Brian came home to his apartment (before we got married) to find his couch shredded to pieces.
It's amazing he survived after that. Ha ha! Now it appears that Divine intervention has sent us a cute stray cat in the neighborhood who we feed every morning and night. The girls named her Pumpkin. I am a sucker for animals in need.

Well we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and prosperous 2012. We hope you enjoy your holidays with those you love. We are thankful & grateful for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in our life. We are very blessed!
Brian, Jen & the girls!

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