But, there were a lot of bright parts to the year, too (like this one, or this one, or this one, and even this one).
Life is like that, in one way or another things tend to balance out.
One major blessing that has recently come into our lives is that in December I was offered (and then I accepted) a position at a new company.
It's called CoughDrop (learn a bit about us at this link or find us on Facebook or Twitter if you'd rather).
Not only am I excited about a new job opportunity which is a better fit for my family (I can work from home and set my own hours), but I am also incredibly passionate about CoughDrop itself. This is something I really believe in and a product want to see grow.
CoughDrop is an AAC app which allows people who struggle to speak due to autism, stroke, ALS, traumatic brain injury, etc to communicate using technology.
What? You've never really heard of AAC?
Well, I hadn't either (not in big fancy terms at least).
AAC is technically "augmentative and alternate communication" which can include anything from facial expressions to sign language -- any communication that isn't speech. However, when most people refer to AAC they actually mean a device that a person can manipulate in order to have it speak for him.
Here's a sweet, little sample of what I'm talking about.
(WARNING: Synopsis of wonderful new company to follow.)
Anyway, CoughDrop isn't just any AAC system. This program has been built around two core ideas.
1. CoughDrop is cloud based: This matters because a communicator's saved information and settings are available to them when they log in on any tablet, computer, or phone anywhere. This is unique because most AAC comes on ONE piece of equipment meaning that if the device breaks or if you leave it at grandma's house or if the teacher or speech therapist needs to keep it overnight to update things then the communicator is left without a voice. Not ok.
2. CoughDrop is usability focused: Instead of writing code for an immediate need of an individual and then allowing others to use that personalized system and try to fit within its framework, CoughDrop is designed to be user oriented, easily maneuvered and functional for all.
(Ok, it's safe to look again.)
Mostly, we feel like this is a great opportunity for me and for our family and I'm excited to take on this new challenge. I have a lot to learn, and I'm working hard on that. I want to be an asset and to really do my best (and maybe even a smidge better than that).
Should be an exciting new adventure -- an adventure I am incredibly grateful for.
More than anything else, I am thankful that Heavenly Father was very aware of the needs of our little family and He opened a way for things to work better for our entire crew. This opportunity will relieve some of the financial pressure we have felt and will allow Josh to cut back at his second job considerably (which means we will get to see him a lot more...HOORAY!!!).
This answer did not come when I wanted it (which was, like, as soon as things were hard because hard is rarely comfortable or fun) but it came in the Lord's time and waiting on His plan and trusting His way has given me strength that I know I needed (even if I didn't really want it).
So, here's to the new year and to new opportunities and new growth. I'm looking forward to it.