Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Year in Review

Happiest and Merriest to All of You, Our Loved Ones!

Thank you for stopping by to read our 3rd annual Christmas/Year in Review Letter. And thank you again for understanding our desire to be more cost effective and "green" with our yearly update.

2011... Wow- what a year it has been!

We have hosted a number of family members in our home this year, which has been fun. We were fortunate enough to host my parents and my sister several times. However, the most memorable guests we had (and the most fun) were here during the first 2 weeks in July. My sister-in-law, Margarita, visited with my niece (Rosie) and my nephews (Frankie, Alex and Adrian). We hadn't seen Margarita, Frankie and Alex since 2007, so this visit was highly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed. From birthday parties and shopping to family picnics and New York City- we had a blast fitting nearly 5 years into 2 weeks!

Our year has been significantly less eventful than last year. No weddings or injured bones this year, but recovery was high on both mine and Brandon's list (his knee and my ankle). And we've worked hard at it.
The business I began last year was forced to take a back seat to several unfortunate circumstances for me and my partners. We did, however, host a Clothing Swap that we named Stop in Swap. It was a great experience and a venture we plan on further pursuing. I did have a chance to do a bit of tutoring earlier in the year, which was quite an experience for me, since I've never done it before. I also have been babysitting a couple days a week since August, for a good friend of mine. The kids are 2, 3 and 6, and a joyful hand full. I have learned so much from these children and have enjoyed seeing "the fruits of my labor."

Brandon is still working diligently at the hospital and serving faithfully with the Air National Guard. We have been praying about his desire to go full time into law enforcement. We are hoping a position will open up soon for him in the right place.

Much of this year was dedicated to raising money for Brittany, the daughter of one of my business partners. (Note: I have been given permission by Brittany and her family to share her story.) Brittany is 21 years old but has been battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia since she was 14. A few years ago she was also diagnosed with an auto immune disease. This year we've had a bowling fundraiser, a car race fundraiser, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser, a letter fundraiser and an Entertainment book fundraiser (which, incidentally, is still going on until January 5th- contact me if you'd like one). Currently, Brittany is undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. She originally went there for a 1 week study on auto immune diseases; however, during her time there the medical staff discovered some things that her regular doctors have missed all these years. The most major discovery the doctors at the NIH have discovered is that Brittany is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately, a donor was recently discovered, and she will hopefully have her surgery at the beginning of the new year. I am passionate about helping Brittany fight this debilitating disease. Please seriously consider helping her with a financial blessing during this time. For more information on Brittany and to make a donation to her, please visit This young woman and her family need our support in the most severe way. If this was you or your child, you would be desperate for help. So, please- HELP! And if you absolutely have no way of helping Brittany, than please keep her, her parents and her siblings in your daily prayers.

Please, also continue to pray for us. I am still in dire need of a job. We are struggling badly, but we know that God is still working on our behalf. He is faithful and just, and we trust Him completely.

We pray for you and yours often. Although, we may not speak to many of you on a regular basis, we never forget to pray for you. Please don't forget to keep us updated on your life. And please update us with any address or phone number changes, birthdays, special occasions, etc.

Hopefully we'll have more to share with you in 2012. After all, that "post marriage-second year of marriage-have a baby already" pressure is on. We are praying for God's will in this area.

We love you all and wish you the brightest of Christmases and the most blessed of New Years.

Our Love and Best from Our Home to Yours,
Brandon and Camille

"Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
'Glory to the newborn King!'"

Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 In Review

Happy Holiday Season to all of our Family and Friends!
(and anyone else who happens to come across this)

This year I am writing our 2nd annual Christmas letter online to be more prudent with our resources. Thank you for understanding.

2010 has been a year unlike any other we have experienced or will ever experience again, I'm sure. The year started out with my move back to NJ from Virginia Beach. As much as I loved being in VA, I was excited to come back to NJ since it meant the count down to our wedding day was truly under way.

In February, my wonderful bridal party blessed me with a beautiful bridal shower. I can't even begin to explain how grateful I was (and am). We had a lot of fun and a ton of great munchies. On March 27 we finally reached our wedding day! It was a beautiful day and far exceeded our expectations. God truly blessed us in every detail. Spending that day with our loved ones made it even better.

Our honeymoon was great. We stayed in Alexandria, VA and took day trips to Washington D.C.. On our way back to NJ we spent a day in Baltimore, MD. The trip was so much fun. we truly enjoyed delving more into our nation's history and beauty. If you have never taken a trip to D.C. you should definitely make the time. And definitely go the National Archives. There's something about seeing those important documents that shaped our nation's foundation of existence- the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What poignant, truth filled words!

On April 8th I got a call from the Census Bureau offering me a temporary job, and on April 9th I began working for them. Working for the government is really an interesting learning experience.... Anyways, an 8 week position turned into a 5 month job. While there, I had the privilege of meeting some really great people, and I'm especially grateful for a friendship I forged with two very motivated women. We had some business ideas and turned them into a business. In October we made it official and registered our business with NJ. We are now Sseccus 4 Success, LLC. We specialize in Real Estate Investments, Corporate Event Planning and Entertainment. The Coporate Event Planning aspect is my baby. If you, in fact, have any needs that fall under that heading please contact me. ;o)

Brandon has been amazing at supporting and encouraging my dreams. He has taken his role as a Godly husband very seriously. I am excited to see what God has in store for Brandon. He has been blessed with an incredible, creative mind. He has visions and dreams, and I can't wait to see them into fruition. We are just under 9 months into marriage and learning a lot. And we can't wait to learn more.

For a great week at the beginning of October, my niece, Rose, visited with her son, Adrian. We had such a wonderful time visiting and catching up on life. Adrian will be 2 this coming March and what a big bundle of joy he is. His smile and giggle are so infectious. We took Rose and Adrian to my sister's for a weekend full of laughter, a mini bonfire, apple picking and lots of chatting. We wish it never had to end, but alas, all good things eventually reach the same destination.

Last weekend my sister and her family visited for the day to share an early Christmas with us. We had so much fun watching movies, eating well and playing Pictionary. I never played Pictionary before that, even though I've owned it since I was in Jr High. What a riot!!!! If you have never played Pictionary- play it! The more people the more fun.

Since we got back from our honeymoon we have been working on making our apartment into our haven. We have done a lot to accomplish this and still have a ways to go but it's fun seeing things arrange themselves into what we dream them to be.

We have battled a lot of health issues this year that seem to never stop but we just keep on perservering. On October 20th Brandon hurt his knee at work. He is under going physical therapy, and we are praying PT alone will be enough. On November 4th, I broke my ankle and had subsequent surgery on the 8th to insert a plate and 7 screws. The journey is a long and crazy one; however, we are learning a lot about ourselves and God through it all.

Please keep us in your prayers. We need them. And we will continually pray for you. You need prayer also. We love you and want God's best for you.

As this year nears it's end please learn to trust God with your life in a way you have never done so before. If you have never made the decision to place your life in His hands, do so now. If you're not sure how, please ask me. I will help lead you to the throne of grace.

May you have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Camille and Brandon