Since it’s New Year’s Eve morning, I can’t help but look back at 2010 and ahead at 2011. Life is really good for me these days and 2010 put momentum in the right direction. I feel well set for 2011. While that’s the big picture, it’s nice to look at some of the pieces that made me smile.
Some of My 2010 Smile Moments
- New Orleans shortly after New Years. I went down a tad bit earlier than required for the Beltwide Cotton Conferences so I could catch up with Phillips friends Mark Logan, Mark Austin and Debbie Randolph. Loved it! Also had a chance to eat a yummy roast beef po boy at Parasols before the institution changed forever.
- Seattle with lifelong friends AND new friends too. On the heels of New Orleans, I headed straight to Seattle, meeting up with Debra on the way! She and I went to see the cemetery where Jimi Hendrix was buried on our way to surprise my sister Cheryl really good. That was followed by work at the American Farm Bureau’s annual meeting where I finally met two of my brothers from other mothers in real life! I met so many great friends there that I have to just point you to the blog posts (first, second, third and final).
- Incredible vacation in The Philippines. What a set of memories to relive! Just the thought of it makes me crave a mango shake! I had such an incredible time seeing the sights and getting to know the people there. And to do all that with my dear friends and expert guide Albert & Geeta… well, that will never be replicated. But it will be followed up by more travel overseas! (Since I saw some agricultural sights, there are some blog posts if you want to get caught up - farm geek while on vacation, public plant breeding, BBoy getting me a coconut, central plains of The Philippines andveggie field day).
- Commitment to blogging more frequently. That nice long vacation… well it was great being off the grid for the most part. But it sure took a massive toll on my blog stats! January 2010 I had my biggest blog month and then February was a crash. I decided I had to post more regularly. That started my broad practice of capturing ideas when they struck and writing most of my posts over the weekends on my downtime.
- Two great girls, two great graduations! Within a month, I made two trips to North Carolina to see nieces graduate – Alicia getting her bachelors in education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Nikki graduating from high school. Since then I’ve watched as both of them have grow with new experiences, Alicia’s I’ve seen close up for the last several months as she’s in Memphis for grad school and Nikki’s from afar while she’s in college in North Carolina.
- Creation of the AgChat Foundation. I guess this really started in 2009 as farmers Mike Haley, Darin Grimm, Ray Prock and Jeff Fowle talked about how to pass along what each other was learning about social media. But the effort really picked up steam in 2010 and with the help of others, the ideas formed into the AgChat Foundation. Awesomeness that it was my privilege to participate in. (Read more.)
- A couple of trips to Chicago. Its the sort of stuff I likely wouldn’t have imagined possible as I started 2009 but I flew to Chicago to meet Gail (a social media friend) and got to go Wrigley Field and a Moonalice concert both (a bit on the blog). A few months later, my trip included a weekend visit with long-time friends and a chance to meet a crowd of social media friends for the AgChat Foundation’s first training conference (blog posts one, two and three).
- A big reunion with friends from church camp. There are special places in our lives and a campground called Bethany Hills near Nashville, Tennessee is one for me. And the people with whom I shared major moments in my discovery of my faith are among the closest friends even all these years later. It was unbelievable to be back in that place with some of the same people as well as meet their spouses, kids, etc. I am blessed.
- Reunions with family members and dear friends we don’t see often enough. There were lots of reunions, sometimes with one or two and sometimes with a bigger group. All were appreciated.
- So many shared milestones and memories. Mentioning the graduations of my two nieces… those are efforts that have been underway for years. Major milestones were also shared as a dear friend got married, or I joined others to celebrate the life a loved one had and to mourn the loss. I also had a chance to celebrate the birth of a new loved one and even share that first Christmas. Events like football games made better by a great marching band (love that nephew of mine), a baseball game, concert in the park, Clapton in the Forum, first tux, a first ride in a Cinderella carriage, a long drive with the top down shared with loved ones, the first farm visit, special dinner for birthdays, pool nights, a football weekend, etc… I am blessed.
For 2011, I expect a good bit of change, including my move to St. Louis. Like 2010, not all the change or events will necessarily be positive but I think the glass will continue to be more than half full. And I may not be able to do some of the everyday shared milestones (a fact pointed out as a dear friend told us she’s expecting twins this year). But I can already see many great times on the calendar for 2011. I feel certain, that the change will do me good and with the great people I have in my life, the coming year will be another one to remember.
Thank you to all the folks shown in these photos and to the ones who’s images I have swirling in my head as I reflect on the past year and look forward to 2011.