For me, it is hard to label 2019 as something specific. I have thought about this reflective end-of-year blog post for a couple weeks now and no definitive theme has emerged. Does that mean that the past 12 months have been anticlimactic or boring?
Ha! Don’t make me laugh.
Although I can’t assign a single adjective to summarize the entire year, I can offer a few. Productive, blessed, and challenging are all valid when it comes to describing 2019. As with 2018, this year was characterized by a couple different breaks in the calendar. The first six months were rather smooth while the second half was more of a rollercoaster. By the time I wrote my blog post marking the midpoint of 2019, I already had a feeling that the latter six months would be a bit more intense than the former.
Just a couple days prior to writing it, Sidney found out she was pregnant. We were overjoyed by the news and excited to give Sloan the ultimate gift, a sibling. Family was big this past year. The three of us enjoyed a lot of special time together and once we knew we were having a baby, he (yes, we are having a boy) became part of our clan as well. Sloan has enjoyed watching Sid’s belly grow and is anxiously awaiting her brother’s arrival.
Having all of Sid’s immediate family within a 10-minute drive has continued to be a blessing to us. Even with the close proximity, the best memories this year were made with them in the Florida Keys when my sister-in-law got married. Although we didn’t make it to Spokane in 2019, my immediate family filled in the gaps by visiting us in Myrtle Beach. My parents came South for Sloan’s birthday in March and again in the summer. My dad made his annual October visit and my brother and his fiancée joined us for a week of fun in July.
Our faith played a big role in 2019. After joining the Knights of Columbus in 2018, I became more actively involved in 2019. I am so thankful for my fellow KOC brothers who I have been able to develop rich relationships with. Helping out with Coastal Catholics has also been a highlight for me this year as well as attending the South Carolina Men’s Catholic Conference. Sidney has taken the biggest leap of faith out of any of us in 2019! I will provide more information in 2020 but let me just say that I am very proud of her. By observing Sloan, it is easy to see why Jesus loved children so much. Her honesty while praying and singing hymns has warmed our hearts in 2019.
In terms of my career, 2019 will forever be defined by my presentation with Lindsi Glass at the American Marketing Association Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. Nothing is more empowering than when your work is validated by your colleagues from across the country. Back on campus, our #CCUSocialMedia Program continued to win national awards while engaging our #TEALnation audience. Most importantly of all, I grew closer to my University Marketing and Communication team members as we stuck together no matter what.
In 2019, the little things mattered. Sloan’s friendship with her partner-in-crime, Jacqueline, prospered. I got to know my gym family at Legacy Fitness better. We survived another hurricane. Sidney moved from the second grade to the fourth grade. We enjoyed a weekend getaway to Atlanta. We attended numerous community events and fests. I took Sloan to just about every playhouse and park in Myrtle Beach. We discovered the fun of TopGolf. This year we had few dull moments, but when we did, we enjoyed them.
I would be remiss if I didn’t quickly recognize that the end of the decade is at hand. The 2010s will be remembered as the start of my professional career. I have served two incredible higher education institutions, the University of Montana and Coastal Carolina University, in two great communities, Missoula and Myrtle Beach. The decade will also be remembered for making the best decision of my life––asking Sidney to marry me. I also won’t forget the proudest moment of my life––becoming a father.
But this post is more about 2019––it is about the promise of 2020. Much of what was accomplished in 2019 will set us up for a banner year in 2020. We got a baby coming and a lot more! Thank you for reading my blog, your support is appreciated. Until next year, happy holidays! Don’t Blink.