Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014 - It's been a while!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all.  It has been a long time indeed, but I promise I have a good excuse ... yes, I am finally done with my dissertation after a successful defense of the 139 pages of goodness.  So, I guess that means I have more time to type now, but for this time, I think I might just do a 4 month review in pictures ... hope you enjoy!
   Graduation week with a successful dissertation defense, hooding ceremony and about 20 family members plus friends joined for a great weekend.  O yea, and I hung out with my buddy at graduation, Dougy McBuckets McDermott, Mr. All America:)        Thanks to all the family and friends that came over the Omaha and hung out, even the trip to the zoo:)    O yes, and to add to the awesome of the weekend, I also received word that in addition to successfully defending my dissertation, I was selected as one of five International Greenleaf Scholars for my research on Servant Leadership ( which includes a chance to present at the international conference next year and $2,500 to further my research.  Then, just a week before my dissertation defense, I got word that my proposal to present at the International Leadership Association Conference this fall in San Diego was accepted ... pretty exciting times:)
O yea, the Duck has been pretty awesome as well.  We just finished up with our Employee Appreciation Week, a full five days of just having a blast with my teams from luau parties and limbo to tacky Tuesday dress up contests and dance-offs, it was the best week of EAW ever.  Pretty special to work for a great company like this I must say!!

This is also the year of the concert for Jenny and I.  We started off the year with a comedy show, but then got into the music in a big way with the Lady Antebellum concert with Kip Moore.  It was an awesome performance and just a great appetizer for the Dave Matthews Band, Linkin Park and yes, Justin Timberlake performances coming up over the next couple of months ... pretty stoked, and yes, we always manage some good seats ... yes, that's Jenny hangin' with her friends:)
We also had a pretty fun trip back home during the winter where I got to see my brother Blake do an absolutely amazing job during show choir.  My sister Steph and I even got to say hey to our old show choir director Westy!  On the trip back home we also had some fun in the snow with our nieces and nephews, walking on frozen water is always fun, unless you fall in right Jeff!?:)  Speaking of falling in, this year marked a new workout endeavor with some buddies when we competed in the Spartan race in Marchish.  It was about 5 miles and 15 obstacles full of awesome, minus the rain and chilly weather.  I think I am hooked now and am looking for other events in the area!!

We have had a blast with our friends this year too celebrating birthdays in Columbia and visiting our ol' Iowa pals in Charleston.  It was great to see the Funke family down South I must say.  Then Jenny and I were honored by our good friends the Demkos when they asked us to be the godparents for their first-born Sadie.  Ok, well maybe they didn't ask, Sadie actually sent us a text ... so talented at such a young age.  It was a truly humbling opportunity and an amazing baptism for our friends indeed!

The volunteer front has amazing as well when Jenny and I were able to join some pals for the Camp Kemopalooza event for some dancing and FUNdraising.  Even more fun though was the planning and execution of the 1st Annual Time for Art event in Columbia, SC.  I felt honored to bring this event to the young professionals of Columbia where we raised over 2,600 hours of volunteerism in one night ... you'll have to check out the video to see the amazing eve:) 
Just last week when we went back to the Midwest for graduation, Jenny and I had fun visiting with our family and friends to make some great memories at the trampoline park and playing rock-em sock-em robots.  It is always great to see all of the great things our family is doing from Steph's new master's educational endeavor, to Blake finishing up his Junior year of high school (holy schnikes) to Ethan's birthday and Addison's dance recital.  So many great things happening I must say.
Welp, that is about all I could handle in a matter of four months, but it feels good to be back on the blog scene.  Thank you again to my family for all of their encouragement over the last couple years as I finished up this educational endeavor, to my friends for always being there to give me a break from studies and have fun and to the most supportive person I know, Lincoln the Labradoodle ... o yea, and my wife Jenny ... really appreciate all the support you have given me:)
Alwayz, Nate