A Year Defined By Three Months: 2018

This special end of year blog post is dedicated to Bill Plate, the vice president for University Communication and CMO at Coastal Carolina University. Bill was the man who hired me and if not for his offer to join the team at #CCU, my life would not be nearly as fulfilling as it is today. On Jan. 4, Bill will work his last day at CCU. He has accepted a similar position at Utah State. He will be deeply missed and I will always remember how he positively impacted my life.

Going into 2018, I anticipated a change of pace. For the first time since 2013, I didn’t anticipate a major life event defining the year. With a move across the country (2014), an engagement (2015), a wedding (2016), and the birth of a child (2017) highlighting the past four years, I looked forward to 52 weeks of simple living in 2018.

For ¾ of the year, that is what happened.

From January – June and October – December, life was routine and relaxed. We worked our jobs, watched Sloan grow, and took everything one day at a time. We weren’t really building toward one big event, which, after several years of doing so, was kind of nice.

It is kind of intriguing to see how 2018 shifted when you look at the calendar. As I mentioned, life was smooth and predictable the first six months of the year. But after June 30 passed and the second half of the year began, the stakes were raised…at least for the first three months.

July was characterized by career mobility. With no major personal milestones taking place in 2018 (marriage, birth, etc.), I told those closest to me that I wanted to focus on reaching my full potential in the higher education digital industry. It all came to a head later in the month when I had a big decision about how I wanted to do that. I ended up accepting a promotion with Coastal Carolina University, becoming the assistant director for digital media. To continue working at an institution I love while staying close to Sid’s family was a big win.

Then came August. Those scorching hot days were spent preparing for a move! With our decision to stay in Myrtle Beach for the foreseeable future, we found a beautiful house in our desired location. If you have moved houses before, you know it is a monumental task. Despite it being an extremely busy month even without moving to a new home, we managed to pull it off thanks to the help/encouragement from Sid’s parents and our friends.

Of course, we will always remember September. Hurricane Florence took us on a roller coaster. The week leading up to landfall was emotionally taxing. One day things would “look good” and the next day things would “look bad.” We stopped playing games once national weather personalities and local meteorologists put Myrtle Beach in line for a direct hit. We evacuated the state and spent several days in Jacksonville, Florida. Although our community escaped catastrophic damage, the hurricane did lead to terrible flooding. Coastal Carolina didn’t hold classes for over two weeks. Horry County Schools shut down for a total of three weeks. It was a surreal time filled with frustrations. However, we escaped unscathed and the experience brought our little family closer together.

Things slowed down once October hit and would continue at the leisurely pace throughout the remainder of the year. But don’t think that nothing worth writing about happened during the first six months of the year or the final three. While July, August, and September might have defined the year, the other months brought highlights of their own. To name a few…

Sid started her fifth year of teaching, I started with the Knights of Columbus, and Sloan started at a brand new daycare. These endeavors widened our social circle and brought great people into our lives.

We traveled out west during the summer to visit my family and we vacationed at Lake Keowee with Sid’s family. My parents visited us in the spring and my dad returned for a few days in the fall. We attended a reunion for Sid’s mom’s family in October. We capped the year off with a short but sweet trip back to Spokane.

We spent countless days marveling at Sloan’s growth and laughing out loud at her silly and loving personality. We worshipped at St. Andrew and grew in our faith. We held gatherings for our friends and attended their functions as well.

Basically, we thrived as a family and it was so rewarding.

Now 2019 is on our doorstep. I once again have a big goal that would define the year. Will it come to fruition? Only time (about 12 months of it) will tell. Thanks to everyone who played a role in our lives during 2018. We value you and hope to continue to cultivate our relationships in the new year. Nothing but the best over the next 365 days! Don’t Blink.

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