Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7, 2012 - It's been a while

Why hey there, hi there and a long awaited hello there.  Yup, I've been slackin' quite a bit on my blog duties over the past few months, so figured I would pick it up again. Many happy birthdays have been had, including my wife's:)  Also, had a great visit back home for a couple weddings with cousin Jered and friend Sarah, as well as quality time with the fam.
The Duck has been wonderfully good times indeed as the only constant is change:)  Since we last spoke, I've had the great opportunity of adding five teams, another 50 folks and changing up the team's focus as part of the new organization.  You know what makes work great, the people?!  Don't get me wrong, I love that the team identified $750K in postage savings in less than a week and the successful completion of projects, but the people make it all worth it!
The volunteer front has been pretty amazing as well, in fact, dare I say spectacular!?  I was honored by the Easter Seals organization that I have helped over the years with the Edna Kendrick Memorial Award for service to those in the community with disabilities, humbling indeed.  The most exciting volunteer event is that for the last three years with the Literacy Alliance, we have been very lean in our spending because the funding was scarce.  At the end of August I went to the Columbus City Council meeting where we received some amazing news, over $100,000 in funding to improve and expand our programs while hiring more staff.  We've come a long way in the last three years and for the first time in a while, we'll be in the positive at year end not just with the programs, but with our money:)  In addition to that good news, we started up our Live United Youth Council with United Way in our second year.  We've already had two meetings and another this week with local high school students.  They've packed food, elected officers and begun to fundraise for their own allocation process.  Young Professionals has been pretty amazing too with many projects and success stories.  Last year we had just under 300 members and my goal as Vice Chair of Membership this year was to hit 350 by year's end, which we smashed already in September and our well on our way to 400!!  We had a great Screen on the Green event with over 1,000 folks, but I'm even more stoked about our upcoming event Time for Art.  It's the first in the USA where local artists have donated over 30 pieces of art that we'll put up for silent auction.  The cool twist is that instead of bidding your money, you bid your volunteer time.  Yup, local not-for profit organizations will be there to match folks up with their time, talent and treasure ... very excited indeed!
It has been a little over a month since Jenny and I had to make a tough decision about our dog Caden.  Unfortunately, his degenerative disorder wasn't allowing him to get the nutrients he needed and he was losing weight and unable to eat without putting it back up, even with his hi-chair.  So, we mad the decision that he didn't need to suffer any longer and put him down.  He was such a great dog and such a big part of our life.  We didn't realize how big until we went a few weeks coming home to no dog, so we found the newest addition to our family ... Lincoln the Labradoodle.  He is quite the little fuzzball for now, but a smart cookie indeed.  He's got the whole sit, lay down, shake and a great walker in the morning and evening:)
Jenny started a new endeavor on Monday and Wednesday evenings as she began her certificate program at the local technical college in cabinet making, yup, the only nurse in scrubs with the power tools!!  Jenny's woodworking skills are pretty amazing as she and our friends the Demko's have come up with their partnership name, DEMKlein design.  They're building up their inventory of awesomeoness starting with punkins, yes, that's punkins with no m!
The main reason that I haven't been blogging regularly is that the majority of my at-home computer time has been working on papers, posting reflections and working towards to the ol' doctorate with Creighton.  In fact, I had a great chance to visit the Creighton campus a couple of months ago for orientationand to meet classmates.  It was fun to see such a great campus and I even was able to spend some time with the great folks at our Aflac call center in Omaha.  Heck, my dad even came over for a day of hanging out in Omaha which was a wondermously good time indeed.  Over the next couple of weeks I'll finish up my first 20 page paper on the importance of financial literacy in high school education.  It's been a great program thus far, can't wait to keep on learning. 
Welp, it's about that time to go play with the pooch, hope you have a great beginning to October, a wonderful month indeed!  

Alwayz, Nate

May 27, 2012 - What a month!!

Hey there, hi there and hello there all.  Wow, what a crazy busy month this has been, maybe the busiest of all time ... OK, probably not, but wonderful indeed.  Had a graduation, a trip back home, some work, a trip to KC and all sorts of fun.

Since I last wrote, we had a great Employee Appreciation Week at Aflac.  The week started off with that trip to Callaway Gardens with Jenny and then the week was filled with prizes, food and a chance for me to dust off my ol' announcing skills for over 700 tenured employees.  Our celebration at the Civic Center was fantacular fun times while the afternoon volunteering with the team was even more meaningful.  The PIC team headed over to PAWs Humane for a wondermous afternoon of walking and washing dogs for the YP Servant Leadership Day of Action.
O ya, then I graduated from Emory ... which was awesome indeed:)  I had the great delight of being our class' orator with a speech on how to LIVE life (  Jenny and I made a weekend of it, probably the most supportive person ever ... thanks honey:)

O yes, how could I forget that we also flash mobbed our commencement day with a special Taio Cruz remix, wow what fun group of friends ... will never forget, thanks for the great memories.
Then it was back home for another graduation of little sister Becca Boo Bear Bridgewater, off to UNI to study accounting.
It was fun to be back home to see friends and family, especially our nieces and nephews that have grown up so big, wow!
It was our first trip home since the honeymoon, so the kids thoroughly enjoyed their African drums and gifts as noise makers, sorry aunts/uncles:)
May was one heck of a month, I mean all of that and then it ended with a wonderful trip to Kansas City for the SIFE USA National Expo.  It was great to see my mentors Tom and Tony in addition to some of the crew from the MMU team.
  I was humbled by the SIFE Alumnus of the Year honor joining great alum company indeed:)
A bonus about the trip was a visit to my best friend Gump and his wife Jenna.  Made for a fun weekend and we even had our ol' roomy Horman join the fun for a golf outing and walk around town.  I miss those two, great friends indeed:)
Welp, that was a fun month ... what a year ... and we're not even halfway done!