So, 2007...overall, not a bad year. Not as many people that I know died this year as in years past. That's always a plus, and a nice change from the past few years. I traveled a lot less for work than I have in any of the previous seven years and am looking at another year of minimal business travel. It's been nice to be in town a good bit and for large chunks of time and I'm looking forward to that again in the coming year, especially since this will probably be the last year for a while that will happen. Speaking of work, I got another new cubemate and some more real estate and furniture (the only semblance of status available in cubeville). Oh, and a very nice flat screen monitor. Although I had to sticky my dinosaurs to the top of the monitor to keep them from getting knocked off on a regular basis. But, this has the added benefit of not requiring me to move those toys when I rotate the monitor 90 degrees on the odd occasions when things are easier to deal with in portrait orientation.
I'll finish the year up somewhere around 20 pounds lighter with a goal of loosing a bit more in the coming months (we'll see how that goes). I've become even more hard core about my workouts at the gym and have enjoyed the benefits of that time both in my physical strength and endurance and in the friendships that I've build with people at the gym. I even won the balance and functional strength competitions at the gym, which was pretty cool. I also started attending kickboxing class, which I tend to call "percussive therapy" and found that while I'm not very good at hitting things (which is probably not a bad thing), it is a lot of fun and a great stress relief, when practiced in a controlled environment.
I did some travel for fun this year. Spent some family time in Atlanta and got to visit with some friends while there. I got to attend the weddings of two friends from college, and both were great times (one didn't even require a drive of more than 90 minutes). The best week of the year (for the second year running) was spent in Colorado with a bunch of high school kids during the month of June. Great teaching, beautiful scenery, all the mini-golf you can play (and then some), lots of time to hang out with the kids. And I had the least difficulty with the altitude that I've had of any recent trip to Colorado (probably mostly due to my time at the gym). We have some vehicle issues and have to take one student to the emergency room (freak Capture the Flag injury. She's fine.), but it still qualified as the best week of the year. Second best week of the year was my return to Space Camp. There's lots about that trip in the archives on this blog. I met some very cool people, did some stuff I've never done before and had a very enjoyable week. I'll be heading back sometime in the next few years. Anyone want to join me? I also met another cool
Rounding out the cause for my using more vacation time than I earned in the year (first time ever, won't be the last), was the week long mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico. This was probably the week when I ate the best, drank the most water (although the week in Colorado would be a close second) and used the most sun screen. It was another good trip. I had more responsibility and learned that I really need to do more delegation (darn control-freak tendencies). I enjoyed organizing English camp, being one of the go-to people for special projects on the construction site and leading small group with the high school girls. And, despite the monotony of it, I did kinda enjoy moving 1000(ish) concrete blocks from one location to another on the construction site. This was due mostly to some of the kids who were at the end of the line with me making up games and giving names to the blocks as we stacked them. I think I will also retained the term "Mary block" for any broken concrete block. (Mary took care of removing all of the cracked blocks to the corner of the site reserved for the bits and pieces of the blocks.)
On the technological and entertainment front, I was introduced to (thanks Jason) and fell in love with Google's rss reader which has enabled me to keep up with more blogs and various other web sites than I'm comfortable admitting I read. I added more podcasts to my ipod including the very good
I spent a lot of time at church doing all sorts of things. I spent some time at home and managed not to kill anything in my lawn that I didn't want dead (although the killing things I do want dead didn't go as well this year. Especially with the summer deluges that defined the weather in June and some technical issues with my lawnmower, the weeds threatened to unionize and take over all of metropolis...starting with my yard.). I spent time with friends and family and friends who are family and family who are friends. I realized, although not enough and not nearly as often as I should, how truly blessed I am in so many ways.
Tonight, I'll celebrate 2007 and look forward to 2008 at the annual Tadpole Family New Years Eve Party (probably not the real name, especially since the family's name isn't really Tadpole, although the nickname continues to spread). Tomorrow I'll watch the Rose Parade, specifically looking for the
Oh, and maybe in 2008 I'll figure out how to convince Blogger not to add a line break after each of my links.