Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25, 2010 - Happy Belated Birthday Ma!

Hey there, hi there and hello there with a special happy birthday to my mom. Been saying that for 25 years now, that's crazy ... not all on a blog I suppose, but many renditions of the birthday song have occurred:) Also, a big congrats to cousin Chad and his wife Kristal on finding out they have a little one on the way. O yes, then another congratulations to Jenny's sister Kim and her husband Ryan on their first born ... what a busy week!!
It's been a couple weeks since the last blog, it's been one of those crazy times in life where work is full of craziness, school is gearing up for finals, soccer started up and volunteer work is in full swing. If I were to complain though, I don't think anyone would listen ... and heck, that's the way I like it anyways!! I think this picture of Caden somewhat represents how crazy it has been lately;)
Work has been full of 2011 business planning for the last few weeks and it came to a climax this last week with our final deliverable being turned in Thursday ... yahoo! O wait, now all the revisions are coming down the pipe. We turned in a couple project profiles that combines would save the company nearly $1,000,000 in their first year!!! My team did the competitor analysis, captured the customer desires, analyzed all of the cost benefits and put together a pretty compelling story in my eyes ... but my eyes don't make the decisions I guess, so keep your fingers crossed that they get accepted. Had some wonderful 1v1 sessions again this past week too,which is always the most rewarding part of the job. Just spending time with my team members to give them some feedback, listen to their thoughts and figure out ways we can improve ... lovin' some leadership!
School has been crazy busy as well with finals starting tomorrow eve. Bring on some Strategery ... yes, that's Strategery:) Wednesday I'm going to need some help as Finance has been kickin' my hiney over the last few weeks, but I'm confident I can at least pass. My favorite course though is this Social Enterprise gig. I've learned quite a bit in the hundreds of pages of casework I've read and already been able to apply it to my work with the not-for-profits I am a part of. I've got a big analysis due in a couple weeks, so after finals the work will continue on. In a few weeks I'll put an end to year number one at Emory and Entrepreneurship will start my final year of studies for the fall. Class on Tuesday and Thursday nights wouldn't be bad, but then add a full Saturday curriculum and this August could get a bit crazy!
Time outside of work and school has been great too! I had my first United Way Board of Directors meeting a week and a half ago where I was the youngest by about 10 or more years, but an enthusiastic bunch there was indeed. Truly the movers/shakers of the community, I just hope I'm able to make some sort of impact. It may have been accomplished as they asked me to take over the reigns of the volunteer outreach committee. My first meeting as chair was this past week and we shook things up a bit with a strategy session. Great ideas were had and more involvement from committee members is on the horizon, it's exciting indeed! Then we had our quarterly Literacy Alliance board meeting. Although not as well attended as I had hoped, we accomplished a good bit. It's always reassuring to hear the founders say how far we've come in the last couple of years, but hard work is on the road ahead with limited funding and board members being able to give less and less time. We'll keep on truckin' though!
Been spending some quality time with the lady and the pooch as well. Had a couple dates over the last couple weeks, one was to the Meritage where a wonderful meal was almost spoiled by me spilling/throwing water right in Jenny's lap. Fortunately, she's awesome and it didn't phase her too much ... I'm sure my face was a bit of a cherry shade. We've been playing some soccer together and even played the field at a softball tourney to benefit Easter Seals this past weekend. Today we dominated the yard and the 110 degree weather helped us lose about 5 pounds a piece, this weather is crazy.
Sounds like folks back home are having a bit more difficulty with Mother Nature, wishing everyone back home and especially in Manchester the best in their recovery from the torrential downpours. Also wishing Steph the best on her inaugural RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, what a studette! I need to get on calling some people back home, but until then ... I wish you all the best of weekends and weeks ahead!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11, 2010 - Sibling Reunion ... Classic

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all. Just hangin' with Jenny, Steph and Blake for a fun-filled weekend.
Aflac, although only about 3.5 days last week, felt like about 6 days worth of work. We're still in the midst of the business planning season and successfully had our first deliverable last week turned in with another due this week for all the projects we want for next year. It's crazy to think how much time, energy and high-pressure is spent spent planning for the next year when the day-to-day execution is just another day, maybe that's just backwards to me:) O yeah, then one of our VPs said we should pick up another system to be in charge of on the team, just have to take it with a smile on the face I suppose. This week I have my Tier II Precision Leadership Certification Presentation for the Sr VP and other execs ... fingers crossed!
Only a couple more weeks of class left and I am lovin' me some Social Enterprise, learning about fundraising, strategy and how to make organizations a bit better. I'm really looking forward to this getting these core courses done though so I can focus on some more fun classwork.
Best part of the weekend was not the 17 meetings in three days, or wonderful strategic management knowledge ... it was Blake and Steph making the voyage from Shueyville to Columbus for a week of fun in the sun! They came in Thursday night, hung out Friday morning before a visit to Dinglewood for a scrambledog ... mmm tasty. Afterwards, the siblings and I went down to the Riverwalk for an awesome bike ride and photo shoot in the rain. Saturday brought about another visit to the Flint River for a five mile excursion down in the kayaks/canoes with Pat. It was great good fun in the sun floatin' down the river with family and friends. The evening was another BYO beef and beverage with 10-15 good pals. Blake and I dominated some ping pong and we grilled a massive amount of meat with lots of friends. We also had some intense around the world ping pong for a good three straight hours, it was awesomee sweaty-ness.
Sunday Blake and I headed to Maple Ridge for a good nine holes of golf and let's just say that we stopped keeping score after the first hole ... ya, it was fun indeed to go off-roading for another photo-shoot. After some church, we hung out before our first soccer match of the season. I'm looking forward to a foursome of golf tomorrow morning before work too, should be fun.
Welp, it's time to play some cards with the visitors ... hope you all have a great night and a wonderful week.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010 - Happy 4th of July All!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all ... and yes, a Happy 5th of July!! It was a gloriuous weekend of food, friends and fireworks, you just can't beat it.
We'll switch it up and take the week backwards, starting with a great showing of Toy Story III today. Spanish Buzz Light Year cracks me up and he artists that made that film were pure genius:) Lots of time was had at the pool this weekend, which is reflected by the redness of my belly button. When the belly button burns, that's when you know you've got a good tan comin'. The grill was put to great use this weekend as well with steaks, burgers, hot dogs and of course the cheddarwurst which is an American classic over the fourth.
We had ourselves the first annual couples ping pong tournament as well this weekend, so it wasa good thing I've been putting Jenny through intense training so we could be like Forrest Gump and take the title:) Good times were also had down at the Thunder on the Hooch with some fantacular fireworks. We even took the pooch down there and he was a champ, not even fazed by the fireworks or crazy sparklers that Jenny was flaming around.
Aflac was pretty fun over the last week, although I had a pretty short staff, we got a lot of shtuff done ... including the first crack at the business plans for the three departments we're in charge of. Also had a great chat with one my employees - a real heart to heart about what I think he needs to do to be a leader, which means big change. I think he's got it in him, so I hope our plan goes well over the next few weeks to get him back on track. The shortened week is coming up tomorrow and ending Thursday since Steph and Blake will be in town.
Had a pretty solid extra-curricular week as well with some fun classes up at Emory. Our Strategy class brought in a couple rock-star guest speakers that talked about brainsteering vs. storming and the effect it can have on an organization. My independent study course on Social Entperprise has been amazing too, I'm learning so much that I hope I can bring back to The Literacy Alliance and United Way. Speaking of, I met with the CEO of our local UW last week as he gave me a brief orientation before starting on the board of directors in a couple weeks ... apparently I'm the youngest by about ten years, hope that goes well:)
Don't know if I could handle much else right now, but sure am looking forward to Steph and Blake joining Jenny, Caden and I this weekend. Some canoe action, ping pong, golf (hopefully Blake doesn't beat me too bad) and lots of food I am sure ... good thing we're sticking with P90X or else the scales would be tippin'!!
Hope you all have a wonderfully short week and I will chat with you later.