What a year 2011 turned out to be! It was a crazy, busy, fun, exciting, and eventful year for our family. Even though life can throw a few hard punches from time to time, 2011 was a year of blessings, accomplishments, hard work, living out dreams, and lofty pursuits. It was certainly a year of learning and growing. We are so grateful for the wonderful year we just completed together as a family. Téwa and I are blessed with four wonderful children that never cease to amaze us. Here is a quick summary of what's been happening in our lives:
Téwa: Téwa just completed 16 years (and counting) with Showcase USA Vocal & Dance Company. She continues to teach private lessons in voice and is one of the top interview and pageant consultants in the State of Utah. Her greatest accomplishment as a pageant coach happened in 2011 when she helped our beautiful Lea, prepare for, and win the Miss Pleasant Grove Pageant. She is truly an inspiration to anyone who is fortunate to learn from her. She is still running everyday and seems to have not aged a bit since I married her 27 years ago. She is a wonderful mother and a loving, devoted wife. Her happy, positive disposition is a blessing that lights and strengthens our lives daily.
Noah: Noah is a second-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Noah was able to visit many times throughout the year. It has been so fun when we are all together during his visits. He continues to play and write music. He completed his second marathon in 2011 and is already signed up for 2012. Noah is the Cassius Ellis Scholarship recipient at the University of Minnesota Medical School and is being featured in an article for the Biannual Publication of the Minnesota Medical Foundation. Noah’s is the ultimate big brother and continues to positively influence us, even though he’s thousands of miles away. Although extremely busy, he never hesitates to help the family with whatever is needed (lots of math, english, science and medical questions). We love the daily texts and phone calls to keep us posted on the latest “medical school” news.
Jesse: Jesse has been very busy working at Liberty Press and recording and performing his music. His band, J.WRIDE, released two albums in 2011, "Indigo" in February and "Love on the Run" in November. "Love on the Run" made the top 100 iTunes pop albums the week of its release. I get to spend a lot of time with Jesse and it's been awesome working with him. In March of 2011, Jesse was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. After many years of medical tests and incorrect diagnoses, we are grateful to finally know what was causing his health problems. He is learning how to control this disease and is doing very well. Having to live on a tightly controlled diet, he is becoming quite the cook. Jesse teaches us to love life. He knows how to roll with the punches. Although his talents are truly astonishing, he remains humble and kind. We have grown accustomed to the band’s constant practicing at the house and we love going to J.WRIDE concerts.
Emry: At the young age of 13, Emry has established herself as one to watch in the dance community. She is on scholarship at the Barlow Arts Conservatory where she is a member of the Senior Ballet Company. In 2011, she danced major roles in "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Nutcracker." She won numerous awards at dance competitions throughout the year including "Queen Overall Winner - Lyrical." Emry also continues to dance at Showcase USA Vocal and Dance Company where she is a member of Senior Jazz Company and Prestige Vocal and Dance Group. Her commitment to dance has not hindered her scholastic achievements. She currently maintains a 4.0 gpa at Pleasant Grove Junior High School. Emry is a bright light in our lives. She is generous, kind and extremely thoughtful. She loves life and is motivated to succeed at whatever she does. She’s still my little sidekick and still loves to work with me in the yard. This past summer Emry planted and maintained the family garden. She brings a lot of joy and happiness to our family.
We are so grateful to our Heavenly Father for blessing our family throughout 2011. Like most, we also faced some challenges, but as I look back on 2011, I will have very fond memories and will always consider it a fantastic year for things that really count. I am incredibly proud of my children and my beautiful wife Téwa. Words can not adequately express how much I love and appreciate them.
We take a few notes from 2011, we learn from our mistakes, we celebrate the victories, and we look forward with gratitude, love, faith, hope and determination as we start a new year as the Wride Family. Thanks guys, for making 2011 a great year!