Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 22, 2009 - That was one fast week ... woo

Hey there, hi there and hello there to you all.  A special hello and happy birthday to my Grandma Naber.  Your kindness is an inspiration and even at 82, your smile still fills up the room.  I hope you are well and that your birthday brings you a big smile:)
It was probably one of the fastest weeks at work in some time I must say.  We worked quite a bit more on our social forum initiative over the last week in addition to refining our future state plan.  Mike asked me on Friday to give our future state presentation tomorrow to the division heads, so I hope it goes well.  Our team has put so much work into it, now we just need to go out there and make it happen.  I also learned on Friday that I will have two more people reporting to me, undercover of course:)  Alicia and Jaime will be joining our future state team as Subject Matter Experts.  I know both of them excel and should be great additions to the team.
We had another SIFErs in Action meeting this past week where each of us shared our statement of purpose (which I will try to post next week).  I also was able to show the rest of the folks our Hurricane Relief video from New Orleans.  In addition, it was a busy week on the volunteer front as more duties are coming down the pipe.  I met with the Literacy Alliance's accountant to modify our balance sheet and income statements.  Previously, they were very cumbersome and not easy to understand.  So, I put together a much more legible statement for the board ... cross your fingers that they enjoy it!  Soccer practice is continuing as well and team En Fuego is looking pretty good ... although I've noticed that I always have a bunch of weird kids.  Haha, takes one to know one ... I get it:)  O yes, and Miss Georgia Pageant events are starting to get started again and they've asked me to continue as the program-putter-together-guy.  We have a board meeting tomorrow eve, so it should be interesting.  Saturday was quite fun as well when a bunch of the SIFErs got together to help Easter Seals.  I can tell we did good work because my back is aching because of all the mulch we laid and shelving units we put up.  It's such a great organization and they sure know to treat their volunteers well with cookies and music!
I had a fun sleepover at Rick's this weekend ... it brought me back to the ol' days at Funke's house.  Today was a gorgeous day, so Jason and I headed out to Maple Creek for 18 holes of golf.  I must say, I did break 100, but 60% of the time my driver worked ... every time.  I am getting a bit better, but I am glad I'm not too intense because losing ten balls would've really frustrated me;)  Then we had some soccer practice action last night and I quickly realized I should've been running for a long time!
Dad and Barb let me know that they're going to be coming on down for a visit that last weekend in April and I just heard tonight that my best friend from back home, Ryan and his wife Jenna, will be coming the weekend before that.  We may head down to Panama City for the weekend, but I'm sure it'll all work out when they get here.  Jenny and I are also finalizing our trip to South America which will include Peru (Machu Picchu), Rio and Argentina ... that's going to be fantacular!!!
Well that's about all I know ... again, I hope you have a great birthday Grandma and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone back home in less than a month!  Until next time ... go get 'em tiger.

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 16, 2009 - A Valentine's Day to remember ...

Hey there, hi there and hello there everyone.  A belated Happy Valentine's Day to you all and a special President's Day to you ... especially those lucky dogs that got today off:)  I apologize for the late blogging action, but I didn't see Waverly Hall until 11:30 last night and Mr. Sandman was calling my name!I had a pret
ty brief week at Aflac last week as I was in the office just three days.  We accomplished a great deal and even today I learned that our long awaited Online Services web redesign is coming sooner than we thought ... which is a first!  I also found out that my boss-man Mike is going to have me be the "community manager" of our social forum coming up in the next few months which will be a very exciting opportunity to continue my blogging experience with the duck:)  Last Thursday we had the best leadership activity that I have been a part of at Aflac in the last year and a half.  Motivational speaker (or a motivated speaker as he likes to call himself) Brian Biro joined us for a day of "Breakthroughs."  He shared with us various heart-felt stories about his experiences and how we can help our teams approach breakthroughs in our personal and professional lives.  He was truly able to bring simple concepts to the forefront once again with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm.  Brian even
 had us go on a "blind date" with a peer of ours we did not know.  I hooked up with Troy from our Nebraska call center and we went on an excursion throughout Claims, bought some food out of the vending machine and visited the men's bathroom ... all while I led Troy blindfolded:)  (Incriminating pictures let the rest of the group know of our trip to the restroom ... laughter ensued).  We wrapped up the day with so much energy I was sweating ... which isn't hard to believe I know.  Everyone in our group (over 75 people), had the opportunity to have a breakthrough; literally with their hand and a board ... karate style.  The great thing about it was that every single person overcame their fears and broke through the board.  It was a very
 moving experience which brought tears to many people's eyes when they realized that all they had to do, was break through!
The work week was great, but my first Valentine's Day with an
 actual valentine was even better!  I took Jenny up on her birthday gift to me and met up with her in Chicago on Friday for a little weekend getaway.  I knew the trip was going to be good when my flight left on time and even landed early which is unheard of for me!  She picked me up and we had some amazing (heart-shaped) Chicago style pizza at Giardano's.  After walking it off a bit on Michigan Avenue, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for one of the best concerts I've been to in a while.  We scurried over to Chicago's House of Blues for the Alternate Routes and Matt Wertz concert in the best concert hall I've been to.  The place was packed and both groups put on a 
great show for the packed house.  Friday the 13th finished without any black cats or broken mirrors, so I knew the weekend would be ok.  Saturday we did a lot of chillaxing (a mixture of chilling out and relaxing).  We walked the streets of Chicago to visit the Art Institute, went to see the ice sculptures at Grant Park, the magic bean in Millennium Park before refueling at the Grand Lux
 Cafe (great suggestion Sunshine:).  Afterwards we putzed around a bit before going to see the Valentine's Day fireworks downtown which we both thoroughly enjoyed.  After a movie (The International was pretty good) we relaxed in the hot tub before hitting the hay.  Sunday was just as wonderful after the best continental breakfast I've had at the Residence Inn.  We took a stroll down to Millennium Park again, but this time we stopped for a fantacular time on the ice rink for some skating.  We were both a sight to see indeed ... including our Michelle Kwan-esque turns.  That was probably the best time had during the weekend for me, but we ended it with a visit to Navy Pier before Jenny dropped me off at the airport.  Although it was a great weekend, it always gets a little tougher to say goodbye at the end ... but thank you so much for a wondermous weekend in the Windy City!
Well, there is still lots of work to be done this evening for the Literacy Alliance's Trivia Bee kick-off tomorrow, so I better get at laying down some beats on Garage Band ... did I mention I love my Mac?!
It was great chatting with everyone over the weekend, seeing my old pal Shannon and learning that I may have a couple visitors in the next few months!  I can't wait to see the Flugum family again as well as Dad and Barb; I'll try to warm up the temp for you!
Until next time ... enjoy what you do!
ps, glad to hear you're having good times sis!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 8, 2009 - Bring on the sun!

Hey there, hi there and hello there.  Well cousin Katie, happy 21st birthday to you:)  I heard everyone back home is experiencing a heat wave ... I will have to say 70 degrees this weekend went over quite well!
Work went quite wonderfully this last week at Aflac as the strategizing continues.  I've had to help put together some presentations for our leadership and it has been fun doing some ol' power point slide action.  I also was able to help present to our field force state administrators this week to let them know about the glorious Online Services.  In addition, I'm still trying to figure out this whole social networking bit at Aflac, but it should be pretty interesting as we dive into it a bit further.  I did hear the good final news that I will be able to participate in the Six Sigma Green Belt training later this month or March.
The most exciting piece of work this week though was Wednesday night when I got the call from Haleigh (the lady we threw the shower for the previous week) that her water had just broke (yes, I learned all about that).  She let me know that she probably wouldn't be in the next day - or next couple months for that matter.  Haleigh and Levi had a 7lb. 10oz. little boy named Sawyer.  I went and saw him Thursday and he was a cute little kid (aren't they all) with a full head of hair.  Mom and child are doing well, which is great news indeed!
I had a good deal of meetings this week for Young Professionals as we're creating more community partnerships (including one we just made with Columbus and the Valley magazine).  Moreover, I helped our Executive Director of the Literacy Alliance work together our 2009 budget proposal for the city funding, so keep your fingers crossed.
This weekend our SIFEr group at Aflac got together for a fun project with Neighborworks.  We invited our business guests as we learned about the importance of revitalization in a city.  Each group even had the opportunity to make their own community, go through some hardships and create a plan to bounce back.  It was good fun that was followed by lots of soccer action today.  My u12 coed team (En Fuego) came together today for our first practice and had a blast.  I lost a couple of ringers from last season's team, but we picked up a couple new characters so I am pretty excited about the season.  Then I realized how old I am getting when I practiced with my team afterwards ... I'm still sore!
Well, next week's blog may be a bit tardy as I am going to meet up with Jenny in Chicago for Valentine's Day (yes, ahhhhh:).  We're going to a concert, ice skating (or jumping in puddles, depending on the weather) and just doing some sightseeing.  It should be a great time indeed.
Until next time though, have a fantacular week.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1, 2009 -Yeehah

Hey there, hi there and hello there.  A big happy birthday to cousin Kayla T and Macy!  Here I sit, typing to you on my brand spakin' new iMac and what a glorious feeling it is.  I went ahead and started those taxes that come around every time this year, so thank you US government for allowing me to contribute back to our economy:)
It was another wonderful week of planning again at Aflac for the future of the Policy Service department.  I'm starting to enjoy this whole strategic aspect of the job, it turns out thinking three to five years down the road is pretty fun!  I was able to do some more work with our Online Services, but the most exciting part of the week was all the fun the guys on the PIC team had planning the baby shower for our compadre Haleigh.  It was a surprise party of which the guys did all the shopping, decorating and planning.  It went swimmingly though indeed beginning with the girl game of "guess that baby food" which was followed by the guys' game of change the baby's diaper while not 
looking.  The girls decided to put a little twist in the game while our eyes were closed and add sweet potato baby food to the diaper ... what a nice surprise ... not!  I guess I came in last place since I wrapped my diaper around the baby's foot, whoops.

It was a pretty slow volunteer week until Friday hit.  A few of us did go visit the CSU SIFE team to give them some idea
s for projects as they begin to create their presentation and annual report.  Then, on Friday it was time to dress up like a cowboy for the Columbus Chamber's Biddin' on the Banks Goes Country partay.  I volunteered through the YP group as a greeter and met some pretty cool individuals while eating some scrumptious food!  Saturday our Atlanta Area SIFE Alum group got together up in Atlanta to chat about how we can all get together for some service action.  There were about 4 of us Aflac SIFErs then 4 other SIFE alum from throughout the Atlanta area.  It's always nice to meet some new folks outside of work and it sounds like it'll be a good time here over the next couple months.
Then, Patrick and I ventured to Lenox Mall in Atlanta for my biggest purchase of the last few years ... my new 20" iMac:)  Going into the day I had no intentions of purchasing anything, but once I arrived in the Apple store I was too excited ... I think I had too much sugar to be shopping!  I tell you what though, this thing is absolutely fantacular.  I've got great video and picture editing, budgeting capabilities and this thing called Garage Band where I can make my own music ... so, I've been laying down tracks all day long:)  O yeah, and that wasn't even the most exciting thing that happened when we went to the mall.  I was actually able to witness a real-life Cops TV show experience when an undercover cop took down a large fellow whom was shoplifting.  It was quite the show indeed as Patrick and I got caught in the Godiva store as it all went down.  I contemplated the ninja moves I could've pulled out to have been that guy that helped save the day ... but the guy was pretty big and he would've put me down pretty easily:)
I'm starting to read this new book called the Groundswell that talks all about social networking, blogging and the impact of the Internet.  It's pretty interesting to learn how it could apply to business; "But the first step to understanding the groundswell is to dip a toe in it."  So I guess I'm on the right track with this blog action, but I do highly suggest that you give it a shot whether you blog, wiki, join a social network or just get more involved online, it's pretty fun!
Well, I suppose I should get back to playing with my computer, but until next time ... peace out.