Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Week 21 - An extended weekend of holiday wondermous

Hey there, hi there and hello there all! I hope the holiday season has been going just wondermously for everyone as it has for me. I know it's been a while since the last chat, so this should be a good one I hope.

I'll start with the past week at Aflac. It was a fun-filled shortened week at the duck. Business was pretty much as usual with all the projects going on. I had to facilitate a couple of meetings and get the ball rolling on the big projects I've been working on and now I have a big presentation for some execs in a few weeks so that should be fun. I took a class on how to use Access which seems like a pretty cool program for folks that like building databases...this guy would not be that guy. We did have a delicious 10th floor partay where I made the ol' famous dad's breakfast casserole and it was a hit!

Last Monday was my final Junior Achievement class at Dawson Elementary. I brought all of the kids ducks and we had a great time. It was amazing to see the growth in just five short weeks that some of the students had just standing up in front of class and talkin about their business they created. I was attacked with hugs at the end and Miss. Baulkmon told me I should come back before testing time to help get them motivated in April because they enjoyed it so much...that will be fun. Each one of the kids wrote me a thank you as well and they were amazingly uplifting!

Now comes that most memorable part of the week...the trip back to Shueyville! So after I realize the transportation I was going to use on Christmas coming back was not available I knew I was in for a treat. Our flight took off fine and as we approached Moline, I felt the plane bank as the captain got on the loudspeaker, (pretend you're hearing this in a captain's voice), "uhh, ladies and gentlemen...there seems to be a dense fog in Moline and the tower officials will be unavailable in the next ten minutes so we are rerouting to Chicago." Damn. So after 45 minutes on the runway, they inform us (again in a captain's voice) that we can either a. fly back to Atlanta or 2. take a charter bus to Moline. So after we got vouchers to eat at the fine hot dog establishment, we all took our full bellies onto a charter bus for a 3 hour tour (Gilligan theme song) to Moline in the fog and almost freezing rain. After arriving at about 4 in the morn, I hitched a ride with a guy I met named Vince (no last name) and he brought me back to Shueyville...looking back, I guess I can understand why they have outlawed hitch-hiking, but I sized him up and thought I could take him if it came down to it.
Christmas then started when I arrived at 6 am on Friday morning. I went in to the mount to visit with Dean Castle and Anne two school mentors...they're absolutely amazing! After that Steph played chauffeur and took me to lunch with my two best Ryan pals...Funkmaster and Gump. We had a delicious lunch at Victor's Place...I do indeed miss those two clowns...looking forward to seeing Gump, his Jenna and Horman in a couple months down here! Then I tagged along with mom to work on a United Way initiative...I can't get away from the volunteering! Took a wonderful trip with Dad Seda down to Coral Ridge...good bonding time had there.
Then when the pigs were flying in the sky, I went out and had a gathering with one cool cat Jenny...ya, you made the blog:) So I'm not skilled at the whole getting together with a gal and taking her out on the town, so we ended up at Panera which was probably the best. Some hot cocoa, pb&j and good conversation took us over to the CWC and then a movie. We gathered for a bit in Shueyville afterwards and it was fantacular...I'll give her the smiley face sticker for the evening...which is a good thing!
After a super de duper breakfast gathering with my good friend Amy Lynn, who is amazing, and the newlyweds Ryan and Kim, it was time to start the Xmas season. Christmas celebrations were plentiful starting in Clutier and the ride back in what mom coined, "the snow-globe from hell." Eight inches of snow later we ended up back home. Sunday brought a reunion with Z and Ms. Jencks at the mount and then it was off to pops' for our little gathering (pictured above). I did get to see both of my nieces, Lindsey for the first time, which was nice.
Sunday brought the most gatherings of the season starting in Greeley with grandma and the Raves. Of course it was delicious cheesy corn noodles and ham with the fam. Then off in the sleigh we rode back to Shueyvilletown for our family gathering. Wonderful food and family time is always had there! Christmas morning brought the dreaded farewell to Blaker, Dad and's always tough, but I'm always happy to see them.
Off to Manchester I ventured for the fifth and final Christmas with all of the aunts, uncles and cousins. Godfather Dave always provides so much that I am thankful for as well as all of the other great family I have up there. Grandpa seems to be doing well and yes I did get attacked by the youngins yet again. I pulled a fast one on Megan for the gift exchange which I laughed at later that night.
Took a long ride home and after a long goodbye to Barb and Steph, pops and I headed back to Moline. It was a great chat and the time always goes too fast, but it makes a memory every occasion. The flight back home is another story...for another time, but I finally made it back and didn't have to stay the night and catch the Greyhound in the morning.
I will always miss my family and close friends, but you can't beat being home for the holidays. I love you guys and thanks for always being there:) Until next time...don't forget to have your pets spade and neutered.
Alwayz, Nate

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