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It seems incredible that another year is upon us.  Last year ended up being a bit rough for us personally, so we're looking forward to better things ahead. As some of you may know, Julia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in October of last year.  It came as a huge shock to us. She had been experiencing some medical issues, but we thought we were working through them.  After a particularly long weekend, she woke up with no feeling in her left leg.  Over the next several days, that feeling slowly climbed higher and started causing difficulty with walking and functioning.  An MRI revealed lesions on her thoracic spine in the mid back area.  The result was a barrage of doctors visits, infusions, more tests, and ultimately seeing an MS Specialist.  We were grateful during this time period that Julia works for an incredible group of folks who gave her all the time she needed and that our little soap company was able to be flexible enough to allow me to be with her as much as possible.  Unfortunately, that meant cancelling a few of our planned shows for 2013 and re-evaluating our schedule for 2014.   Although we may not be attending as many shows in 2014 as we did in prior years, our little soap company is still growing strong and we are thankful to be refocusing on it again. We are on the path to accepting our new "normal" and what it will mean for our lives now and moving forward.  With this in mind, we made the decision to choose our charity for 2014 rather than putting it up for a vote.  Whispering Willow will be contributing to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  They are immensely helpful to those newly diagnosed, providing education materials and support and, of course, they are working toward a cure.  No one says it better then the Society itself: The Society's mission is to  "mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS."