Reflecting on 2010 Holiday Miracles

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

This year started out with a bang.  I've been truly fortunate to have a can do attitude in this Northern Virginia real estate market that is saturated with Short Sales.  Higher volume agents from years past stepped aside and waited for these Short Sales to pass.  Some thought me silly for charging headlong into the Short Sale Listing business. 

The way I looked at it, and still do, is that these are families that need my help.  And in helping them avoid foreclosure, I am continuing a great track of real estate success.  There is no greater source for referrals than a truly grateful client.  So my business continued to bloom in 2010.

My husband's health had us concerned, as has since the holiday season of 2005 when he acquired an auto-immune disorder.  This auto-immune disorder is known as IGAN and when you boil down what the disease does and translate it to understandable terms,  it attacks a persons kidneys with immunoglobins that get stuck in the kidneys' filters and block their ability to function. 

My husband has been fortunate in that this disease seems to be slowly progressing in him, but this year we faced some moments where it looked like it had picked up the pace and that his condition looked to be getting worse, fairly quickly.  Then, during the spring and summer two things happened.  His doctor adjusted a dosage of blood pressure meds and my husband took on a very rigorous whole foods diet.  The results have been great.  My husband's latest lab work shows that his kidney function has improved.  Furthermore, he has dropped about thirty pounds. 

My husband's will power, particularly with regard to his diet astounds me.  Try going a week without eating something processed with ingredients you can't pronounce.  It's nearly impossible.  But James has done it and seen some great results.  Reinforces to me that all the things we ingest probably are harming us, but that's a subject for another post.

Finally, another miracle I see, reflecting on this holiday season is that a stray cat my husband and I could not even get near back in 2007 when we first encountered him, has become a half-indoor lap cat.  We call him Gray Kitty.  He still likes to go outside, but gone are the days of him being afraid to come near us. Now we can pat our laps, he jumps up and will push his face into yours.  He'll even allow us to pick up him and carry him around.  In fact, when you do pick him up, he starts purring instantly.  He has become a member of the family.

I can't tell you how Gray Kitty makes me smile whenever I step outside and hear his bouncing meow from a distance as he literally runs to jump in my lap.  The trust and love he shows us is truly a miracle born out of patience and persistence.  After all, every animal expert we consulted about him said he would never be a friendly, people-cat.  There is something special about earning the trust and love of an animal, especially one that never knew people until he was a year or two old.

This holiday season my family has a lot to be thankful for.  My husband's health, a new furry family member and a thriving business.  Can't wait to see what 2011 has to offer.



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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Chris Ann...,your husband's improved health is the best of the miracles......I hope his health continues to improve.....

Dec 16, 2010 09:56 AM #1
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website


I wonder how many people could report that such bodily funcitons are actually improving because they are disciplined about eating.

Dec 16, 2010 10:11 AM #2
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Chris Ann-That is wonderful news and you deserve all the best. I wish you, hubby and fur babies many blessings in 2011.

Dec 16, 2010 11:38 AM #3
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I'm glad both James and Gray Kitty are thriving under your watchful eyes.

Dec 16, 2010 11:50 AM #4
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

You have had a wonderful year of miraculous happenings.  Here is wishing you an even more miraculous 2011.  I'm with you on the processed food thing;  we are looking for a "farmette" somewhere nearby so we can become much more self-sufficient and start taking control over our food.  Hope James continues to see even more improvement! 

Dec 16, 2010 01:56 PM #5
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

What a great outlook you have Chris...yup, when life throws those curve balls...there's always a miracle behind it. we come!

Dec 16, 2010 04:26 PM #6
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Hi Chris, I'm happy to hear your husband is doing very well! That is awesome! As for Gray Kitty, he trusts you because he just does :) Animals know whom they can trust and whom they can't. Besides, who wouldn't trust you? :)

Dec 16, 2010 11:19 PM #7
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Barbara:  It's odd that it did improve, as people with IGAN are not supposed to ever gain ground, only go into recession.  I'm glad that neither one of us is listening to that.

Jim:  I think it's the diet, he thinks it's more the meds. Either way, he's doing great.

Sharon:  Same to you.  You deserve a peaceful 2011.


Dec 17, 2010 02:43 AM #8
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Cindy:  Apparently I'm good with humans and felines....plants and flowers shouldn't come near me.

Susan: One of the goals this Fall (which didn't get done) was to clear out a brushy area in our postage stamp backyard and start a garden in the spring.

Sally:  Looking forward to the New Year and what it has to offer. 

Jackie:  My Mom's cat had some issues about our house, but at the time, she was one of three and not used to other cats.  We gave her to Mom and she blossomed into a truly loving cat.

Dec 17, 2010 02:45 AM #9
Anne Clark
Metro Referrals - Gainesville, VA

You and James deserve all the wonderful things that have happened this year.  I'm so glad he's doing well.

Dec 17, 2010 04:09 AM #10
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Anne: Thank you. We are also blessed to have you in our lives.

Dec 17, 2010 04:14 AM #11
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Chris Ann - thanks for this post and for sharing your year.   Best wishes to you and your family into the new year and beyond.  What an uplifting story.

Dec 17, 2010 02:25 PM #12
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Chris Ann, wow, you certainly have a wonderful attitude, can I have some of that please? I am happy to know that your husband is doing better, and the kitty is certainly a blessing too, and a fun one!

Dec 18, 2010 12:56 PM #13
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Michael:  It's nice to have good news to share.

Andrea:  I am blessed.  And my attitude had to be learned.  I was't always a glass half full gal.

Dec 19, 2010 03:26 AM #14
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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