Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28, 2010 - Two months down ... ten to go!

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Well here it is, the end of another month ... almost one quarter of the way done with 2010 and just finishing up watching the Vancouver Olympics, way to go USA! A special happy birthday to my buddy Jason, even though his birthday is February 29th so it doesn't really count until a leap year:)
Just found out I'm going to have a new boss at Aflac this past week and learned a very valuable communication lesson ... the grape vine should not travel faster than news from leadership when big things change as many more questions are asked than those that are answered:) We had a pretty intense week at work this week as everyone is analyzing their workload and trying to determine the priority activities moving forward to the final month of the quarter. I personally had a pretty productive week I do believe submitting two executive proposals for big projects and continuing the book club I started with my team members. I think I can already see a change in behaviors as we focus on the book, "Bringing out the best in people," by Aubrey Daniels. It should be a pretty interesting ride to see the different perceptions at the various levels in the organization.
This week also marked the annual Literacy Alliance Trivia Bee which is our big FUNdraiser each year. This year's event brought in more than $13,000 to support literacy programs in the Valley and we had a great time to boot! I also had a couple transition meetings for the Miss Georgia program, yes, I am getting that one off my plate somehow ... and, I met with the Live United Youth Camp crew to start the planning for the 2010 youth volunteer camp. They asked me if I was still interested and I will have to say that I don't know of another thing that I've done down here that has had a bigger impact on my life and the lives of those around ... of course I'm in for another year.
A relaxing weekend was just in the cards as I finished up mid-terms at Emory this week. It was a big sigh of relief to be done with the Financial Accounting final and then meet with my amazing group today to start on some coursework. This weekend was fun hanging out with friends, celebrating promotions, kind-of birthdays and just relaxing with Jenny and the dog. I hope these weekends continue as they are rejuvenating indeed. Welp, I hope you all had great weekends as well including sporting events with Steph and Blake. Best wishes for a wonderful week ahead:)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 21, 2010 - A little R&R is always wonderful!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all. It was amazing indeed, the opportunity to relax over the weekend with some good friends and Jenny ... plus the dogs of course. It seems to be a pretty slow birthday season, so I guess I will wish my childhood idol Michael Jordan a bleated happy birthday:)

ItalicMy first four day flex week was pretty quick, but it's amazing how five days of work can fit into four days! Although I thoroughly enjoy most everything about Aflac, there are some things that will some day be glorious to be away from ... bureaucracy and reporting!! I've said it from the beginning that red tape will one day drive me away from corporate America. I feel that I have earned the right to provide people with information, but every time I do so, it seems like our leadership puts handcuffs on myself and my team by mandating we run numbers through seven different levels before passing along to a customer. I understand the importance, but it is thoroughly frustrating at times not being able to provide those in need with the necessary info when I have it right at my fingertips. On the other side of the coin, every single day I walk into my job excited for "work" because I know I have an amazing team and we have a blast getting it done! This week was again proof of that as one teammate's tragedy and another's celebration brought our team closer than before. One of the guys on my team had a very unfortunate miscarriage with his wife last weekend and all of our hearts went out to he and his wife. Then on Wednesday, we came together to celebrate another team members first child with a baby shower for he and his wife. Although it was tough, it was amazing to see everyone together for the bad and the good, that's what really makes it all worth it.

Emory is going to be a bit of a bear this week with with two midterms, Marketing and Accounting ... yahoo! I will say, I got back my first case from Financial Accounting and almost aced it with a 98, I was pretty pumped:) O yes, I was also very pumped on Tuesday night when I got the email that I made it in to the China Study Abroad excursion this May. So, Jenny, Jason, Meg and I booked a flight on Thursday for a ten day trip to Beijing and Shanghai starting at the end of April through May 9th ... more info to come, but I can tell you one thing, it'll be amazing:) We also had a great breakfast this past week for the Literacy Alliance Trivia Bee participants. I was able to chat with the crowd about the impact we have on the community and have some great grub too! This week will mark the 5th annual Trivia Bee fundraiser at Columbus State. Come on out Thursday night for a wonderfully-free night of clean fun and cheer with a great group of people!

The best part of the week began late on Thursday night after we booked our trip to China, Jason, Meg, Jenny and I packed up the pooches and our gear (Griswold style) and headed up to the North Georgia Mountains for a weekend at the cabin. We played lots of cards, ate even more food and enjoyed a great bit of sleep:) Friday night the girls decided they would try and be nice by getting the car ready for us, but I think they missed the memo that a steep incline in a slick forest does not bode well for heavy vehicles and yes ... we got stuck. We were stuck so bad that a kind samaritan and his PT Cruiser were needed to pull us out, embarassing yes, but memorable nonetheless. Saturday we ventured to Amicalola Falls for a hike with the dogs and a great experience out in the beautiful country of the mountains. As you can see, it was a gorgeous view of the falls and hike through the park. That night we grilled some steaks and looked up at the millions of stars in the sky after a 60 degree day. We packed up Sunday in nearly 70 degree weather and ventured home after the R&R for a rollerblade ride with Caden.

What a great weekend indeed, can't wait to see what the week has in store.

Until next time, have a super-fantasatic day.



Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 14, 2010 - Happy Valentine's Day

Hey there, hi there and hello there and happy Valentine's Day to one and all. It's been a crazy week from sunshine to snow and back to sunshine today ... maybe snow tomorrow:) A big birthday wish out to Karley and Jason Urell this week, hope Ely treats you well!
For the first time since rain days back at the car wash, I was let out of work early for snowfall. It capped off a work week that just flew by. We had our State of the Company meeting this past week where many of our top leaders, including our CEO Dan Amos, got up to talk about our company's position. Obviously every organization had a rough 2009 and planning for 2010 to be tough as well, but just listening to our leaders was an inspiring opportunity to learn where we're headed over the next year. Our team is really going to focus on the retention piece and hope to push "fast forward" throughout the year. Also this week as our day-long motivational speaker series. All of the leadership, over 100, for the Customer Assurance Organization gathered together for an emotional ride with Brian Biro as he took us through his breakthrough leadership module ... and then some. He brought many to tears with his inspirational stories and everyone got to karate chop through a wood board.
Outside of work this week was pretty fun too. Classes up at Emory are going well with midterm exams just around the corner, crazy to think I'm almost halfway through classes again! I did find out that I might still be able to go to China yet this year, so fingers crossed as I hope to find out by Wednesday.
Also, Columbus was shocked this week with that late week snowfall. Not often that 49 of the 50 states have snowfall all on the same day, but we got about 3 inches of perfect snowman/snowball weather and Caden didn't know what to do with himself:) It was hilarious to watch him eat the snow, play fetch and run around. Caden also had a play date with Jason/Meg's pooch Molly this weekend as she stayed the night Saturday and we hung out all day today as Jenny had to work.
Jenny and I did have a nice date day on Saturday as we played in the snow in the morning, went to Fuji for lunch and then headed to the star-studded flick "Valentine's Day." It was no blockbuster, but it was pretty good I must say ... especially with Jessica Biel/Alba and Jennifer Gardner, they sure are talented! A night walk with the dogs wrapped up a great Valentine's celebration. O yes, I did deliver some home made white chocolate covered strawberries and was apparently voted "Boyfriend of the Day!" Must've been the cut out heart shaped balloons and tissue paper flowers, yup, I'm corny;)
Welp, time to get some dessert and watch the All-Star game ... maybe some Olympics, go Team USA! I'm looking forward to a short week and visit up to a cabin in north Georgia with Jenny, Jason, Meg and the dogs.
Hope you all have a super fantastic week.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010 - Another week in the neighborhood

Hey there, hi there and hello there. It's about an hour before the Super Bowl and the neighbors are on the way to hang out with Caden and I, so this might be a short one so I can get ready for the commercials and the Who Dat nation Saints ... I'm calling e-Trade commercial being the winner! O yes, a happy birthday out to cousin Katie during this week leading up to Valentine's Day.
Aflac went pretty well this week as we continue to shape our 2010 projects and even start to plan for 2011. It's pretty exciting working on the future state team even though we do get caught up in some fire fights at times. Some of the analysts on the team are starting to break out a bit more while still others are getting their heads around how to take the lead. I had a great catch up with Bob, one of my mentors last week. He always helps to put things into perspective for me during crazy times. This week should be fun as we have our state of the company meeting and a day long leadership retreat on Thursday.
I have to admit, school is going very well so far this semester. This Financial Accounting is coming back to me, thanks MMC accounting professors for the foundation! Marketing Management continues to be pretty darn exciting indeed, Chip is one crazy professor but I am learning a lot. Keep your fingers crossed that I get to go to China this year for an Emory class as this past week I made the waiting list ... forgot how bad it stinks to be an "underclassmen:)"
I've caught this dang YouTube craze, so I dove into the way-back photo files to document my European travels for your viewing pleasure. I know it was back in 2006, but the memories of the Eiffel Tower, the Sistine Chapel, the Red Light District and Running with the Bulls in Pamplona seem like it was just yesterday ... hope you enjoy!!
Well, I know you all are ready to go watch this game ... I hope it's a good one and that the Who Dat nation comes out on top. How amazing would it be for the city of New Orleans if they come through? I can only imagine!!!