Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year in Review - 2011

Another year in the books. A lot of things took place this past year. Here is a general list of things that happened throughout the year

January – I had my general manager’s conference in San Francisco and the wife joined me for the first few days. It was our first trip toDSCN0383 San Francisco for each of us. It is quite a town. We did some major walking and sightseeing each day while we were there. We saw Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, rode the Cable Cars and of course, Stephanie had her In-‘N-Out Burger. Not a fan but the wife is and we made it there on our second try. We did find out some unfortunate news while we were there my my great aunt passed away. I was not close to her but had the privilege to introduce her to Cameron a few months after he was born.

February – Found out what a GM in the lovely Midwest has to do during a winter storm. I was camped out for two days at the hotel. The wife was not a huge fan of that part of the gig; however, she still supported and understood why I had to do it. Had my 31st birthday as well.

March – Cameron’s first birthday. We had a crazy first year with him IMG_0799and all that happened with us. It was a fun time for him and he got to dig into his first birthday cake as well. It was quite the entertainment. I know that he had very little clue what was going on. It was pretty cool seeing all the friends and family come over and celebrate. It was fairly emotional for Cameron’s parents with all that had happened. I am grateful for every day I have after our story. I am grateful that I get to watch my son grown up and have the chance to teach him many things my father taught me. Thank you God!

April – July – Family and work consumed me during these months. Between audits, birthdays, and my second father’s day, it seemed like there was hardly any downtime. We did make a trek across the state for two reasons. Stephanie loved a Mexican restaurant in DSCN0788Phoenix and we saw that they had the restaurant in Kansas City. What makes it an even better day trip was because my brother was working out there with his company. So we went and had lunch with him out there and came back to St. Louis. The other major event was… Cameron’s first baseball game! Many thanks to our friend Kristi for the tickets. We had great seats and came soooo close to seeing a perfect game. We had a blast and got to see a Cardinals victory.

August – Well, I am glad that we made that trip to see him. Found out my brother was taking a job down in Florida with his company. I felt the same way that I am sure he felt when I left to move to Phoenix. We all agree that was absolutely the right decision (see wife, child, job, friends, etc.); however, it is still tough. It was a fairly swift and abrupt departure but he made his way down there near the end of August.

September – Fairly uneventful. Brother had just moved and I was preparing for an audit. Oh I guess there was one other thing. Early in the month, the wife came to me asking me to read a certain test. I told her to take another, and another. And then to go purchase the expensive test. Then we had a doctor’s appointment. Okay, time to accept it! Baby number two is on the way. We told our families and as many friends as we could before we did the official announcement: FACEBOOK!

October – We took a much needed vacation driving across our gorgeous country. We went to Washington D.C. for just about a week. We got to stay with a good buddy from college in Columbus, DSCN0020Ohio before we made it to our nation’s capitol. Before we got there, we made a brief detour to where Flight 93 went down on September 11, 2001. It is in the middle of nowhere! It was quite the drive but worth it. It was emotional to be where one of the planes went down on that tragic day. Once we arrived in DC, we went to where the plane went down at the Pentagon, followed by Arlington National Cemetery. Not the most DSCN0080positive day, but a day we will remember from our trip. We saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, JFK’s gravesite and a newer area I had not seen before. Section 60. It is the section where those who have been killed in action from the recent conflicts. I saw a family member crying on the gravesite of a loved one. You see some of the graves and how young those who died were. To see family members coming out after recently losing a loved one from serving our country, quite emotional.

I could go on and on about the trip; however, the next major event was: GAME 7 OF THE 2011 WORLD SERIES. We got tickets way in the bleachers and they were awesome seats. Once again, Kristi DSCN0318came through giving us the opportunity to purchase tickets and thanks to my folks for the early Anniversary present! We enjoyed every minute of it and when it ended, our Cardinals came up on top, many thanks to the local kid David Freese. What a night. Just being there for a game seven is one thing. Seeing your team come out on top, is astonishing. We collected pieces of confetti, fireworks, ticket stubs, etc. I have been to many Cardinal games in my life; this is one of the top three ever!

November – We had to breath a little after a busy October. We got to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents and my brother. It was a great day to give thanks for everything we have been given. The wife made a magnificent dinner for us all. We finished the month by heading down to Phoenix to visit friends. We had not seen these people since we left in July 2009. It was so great to see everyone that we could. We know we missed a few people; however, we are grateful for all of our friends we did get to see. Special thanks to Steve for opening up his home to us and to Rick for allowing us to use his car. Meant so much to us all.

December – We came back from Phoenix early in the month. We then introduced Cameron tree leaves and how much fun they could be. He took to it. He had a blast in the leaves and made both of us laugh for quite sometime. We celebrated Christmas over here with my parents. Another great meal from the wife and had more fun watching Cameron unwrap presents. Holy cow did he have fun! Stephanie’s mom made it in as well and got to watch him go nuts over Christmas presents. Even though her time was short here, it was still good to celebrate the season with her as well.

To sum it up, it was a wild year. Many ups and downs and we trusted God throughout them all. 2012 has a lot in store for us. Happy New year to all!

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