Hey there, hi there and hello there from snowy South Carolina - a couple inches of the powdery stuff has shut down the city, so we all get a bonus snow day to just hang out! It was a great closeout to 2013 and has been a fun start to 2014. Naturally, 2013 wouldn't be complete with our Top 10 of 2013 video recap, so hope you enjoy the good times had in the Klein household this past year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK6BxXk6yIY&list=UULoF65i50fEbEkDDXtDK1rA&feature=c4-overview.
We had a fun trip home for the holidays with a flurry of six Christmas celebrations in the matter of just a few friends which made for great times with family and friends. Santa made an appearance at the Bridgewaters in Blairstown, tasty food in Shueyville, fun games in Manchester and sledding in Cedar Rapids, all the makings of a small-town Iowa holiday. When we were packed and about ready to leave, I heard someone running down the stairs only to notice that Becca had packed a bag ... for what, at the time I did not know until I was informed of a plan that had just been made 5 minutes prior to have a visitor join us for the ride home:) It was fun to have another traveler to round out the holiday visit.
O yea, then literally two days later I get a call from Jenny on my way home from work asking if I could get the next day off. Unfortunately could not, but her plan that she and Becca devised in the last hour to go to NYC for New Year's Eve seemed like a good one. So, January 30th about 4 hours after the idea was hatched, Jenny, Becca and Meg all hopped in the Rav4 to make their way to NYC for the big Time Square ball drop, and yes, they got to hang with Seacrest, crazy girls!
Aflac has been quite busy indeed as the 4Q into January with our quality and other teams. Over the last couple of weeks I also took on a new role managing the day to day activities of our new business area, so it has been a fun whirlwind of learning and presentations on how we are going to close out our year, yahoo! I enjoy a crazy day every now and again to get the juices flowin', but it makes it so much easier when you have great people on the team, which I am thankful for indeed:)
We also had our quarterly volunteer activity at the Duck where we pulled in over 125 stockings for less fortunate children in the midlands and stacked boxes for Salvation Army's gift give-a-way, it helped put a new perspective on all we have indeed. Then, I found out my reading buddy Mykel not only was the top reader in October for his grade for books, but in November and December he was the top in the grade for words read again, pretty rewarding feeling indeed. The Time for Art event is heating up too as it's just right around the corner on Thursday, April 3. I have secured a few pieces of art and hope to get some more in the coming weeks.
We have had a lot of fun already in 2014 with New Year celebrations with friends and even a comedy show in town. Jeff Dunham is one of my favorite comedians, so being able to laugh through his show was a blast, and a good ab workout:) Then, just a couple weeks ago Jenny and I joined another 8 of our friends up in the NC mountains for a weekend of relaxation and good times. Let's just say for the couple Olympics, team 'Merica pulled out the victory and we had a blast with our friends just hanging out without a care in the world. This epic weekend was followed by our very own DIY plumbing experiment where we successfully saved about $400 takin' care of business, hilarious fun indeed:)
Almost forgot, about two weeks ago I was able to successfully propose my dissertation to my committee which was a great step to have done in the process. I received some great feedback to help me as I go forward with my research and the final 40ish pages. It's looking like maybe an August dissertation defense now as I add a few things to my topic to make it a bit more relevant, good times indeed.
Welp, Lincoln and I are going to take a nap or maybe watch a movie because there is literally nothing on the 3 stations we get during a work week:) Hope all continues well for everyone and that 2014 has started off wondermously!