Happy Holidays & Greetings from Jacksonville! Wow…it has truly been an exciting & incredible year for the two of us. In fact it’s especially hard to believe we opened First Coast Trust, our first company, here in Jacksonville only one short year ago this month. Getting married, moving to a new city, and starting a new company with your spouse was more than either of us bargained for, but I think we both agree that given the chance we would do everything exactly the same.
For those of you who were able to make it over to St. Augustine in April I cannot begin to tell you how much that meant to both Kevin and I. Words cannot describe what an amazing day that was for the two of us, so thank you for sharing in our special moment. Of course after the wedding we jetted off to Hawaii which was truly a blissful honeymoon, as well as, the perfect holiday to transition into married life, which I could hardly wait to begin. (If you ever visit Kauai and you decide to hike the trail by Hotel Princeville don’t let anyone tell you it is a 45 minute hike, plan on 7 hours and BRING water!)
This past week I surprised Kevin with a short getaway back to St. Augustine to celebrate his 30th birthday. We started by enjoying a picnic lunch at the Fort in the exact spot we exchanged our vows (somehow I was also able to recreate the 40 mile an hour winds we had on our wedding day, but again we were lucky, no rain!). After our leisurely picnic and day, we went back to the Casa Monica to reminisce and to enjoy a wonderful dinner and evening at the hotel. Though we haven’t been as friendly to Delta as Ted & Catherine McMullan, we have been able to squeeze a few trips in this year. We took a weekend hiatus to the Bahamas to help Robin Campen surprise Ben for his 30th birthday (we traveled on a plane that lands and takes off in the water which was a unique and somewhat scary way to fly) as well as a trip to the beautiful and interesting city of Savannah to celebrate my birthday (age deleted on purpose).
We have come to the conclusion that there must be something in the water here in Jacksonville because most of our friends are now pregnant, including Ben & Robin who are due in mid January with a baby boy, so we started drinking bottled water and do not plan on making the switch for at least another year or so. We are also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the McMullan twins who are due in March. There were also two additions to the family (Ethan Harpe & Avery Reynolds) who were both born just after we returned from our honeymoon.
Now we are busy gearing up for a huge 2006 and we can’t wait to dive in. Our first year has been nothing short of exciting, as well as, a fantastic learning experience, especially for me. Kevin has done an excellent job at molding both myself and our staff into a stellar company and we have vast plans for this upcoming year. Our company was fortunate enough to be featured on the front page of the business section in the Jacksonville Times-Union and Kevin has become the expert advisor for real estate financing for the Jacksonville Business Journal. We also made the 2006 list of Jacksonville Magazine’s “Best New Companies”. This exposure has helped communicate our message of helping families with custom financial solutions.
Most importantly we want you all to know that although working 12 hour days this past year has kept us from being able to speak with all of you, in 2006 we look forward to staying in touch with everyone on a more consistent basis. I hope this note finds you all well and healthy, and we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a truly happy New Year!