Reflections of 2011

December 31, 2011 by  

This Has Been An Awesome Year!

I want to look back at some of the highlights of this year. Although I don’t really have an event or pictures for it, the biggest highlight has been that we are all healthy and happy.  To have ten members of your immediate family there can always be so many things that can happen.  Knock on wood, but we have all been safe and without any serious illnesses.  For that we are TRULY BLESSED!


I was asked to go to Disney World with Collective Bias and Murphy USA to attend their National Managers Meeting. They wanted some bloggers who could assist in teaching some of their managers the value of social media, namely Whrrl (which is unfortunately no longer available). I had an awesome time!


My two oldest boys graduated from Army boot camp. They both joined the National Guard and had just completed the toughest training they had ever experienced. They  both came through with flying colors and I was the proudest Mom ever! They went on to San Antonio where they went through training to become lab techs. Talk about basically a medical degree in 6 easy months! Wow…. this was intense. They graduated from there in August and are now serving 6 months in an internship working and learning and still taking tests at Fort Campbell, KY (until March 2012)

army graduation


I returned to Disney World, but this time with Disney Social Media Moms. ( Day 1 , Day 2, & Day 3 posts ) I had SO wanted to take the kids with me this year. I signed them up, but when it came down to actually getting the plane tickets, we just couldn’t spend the money.   I of course still had a wonderful time. We got to be a part of a Disney Wedding, oh the magic in a Disney wedding…




Gleek Retreat

This was my 2nd year attending Gleek Retreat. It was in Holland, MI. I was one of the speakers this year at this small conference.  Being in such a small group is really nice.  We had loads of fun (as always).  This picture was taking on a dinner cruise that we got to go on.

Joe gets Married

This was one of my two big shocks this year.  Joe and Fulton had only met about 3 months ago. She was going to be shipped to another location and they decided to get married. Turned out that they sent her back to San Antonio after just a week and they did get to spend some time together. But it has been very difficult for them as even then, they were both in their barricks and not able to be a couple unless they went off base on the weekends. Then she was shipped to Ft. Lee, VA and he went to Ft. Campbell, KY. They thought they would get to stay together, but because she is active and he is National Guard, the Army rule didn’t apply to them.  They won’t be able to be together until March when Joe graduates.

Tim’s Graduation

Tim graduated from HS this month. He had an awesome senior year and really poured it on with his grades this year. We had a small family graduation party at the house afterwards. This is a picture of my Dad (80 yrs young) and Tim.


Here is a video I made for his graduation party



Family Vacation

We stayed close by and got some great opportunities to review some fun places due to my Explore Ohio with Sandy blog.  The favorite for all of us was getting to do the Canopy Tour in Hocking Hills. Alex doesn’t look too happy in this picture, but it is because he didn’t want to lean out over the edge (we were high up here, although you can’t tell from this picture). The guide was making them do it to trust the their lines.

Here is a video I made of our canopy tour

Collective Bias Job

While we were at the Columbus Zoo, riding on the train I got a call from Courtney Velasquez.  She offered me a job working with Ted Rubin helping to manage a new division they named cbSocially.  I was in shock.  I had worked as a member of Social Fabric with CB for almost two years, but had been doing less with them lately and was trying to figure out where I was going to go from there. I was scared to get excited, fearing things were going to fall through.  I was jumping up and down in my head, but I think I came across as very subdued on the phone.  It has turned out to be nothing but absolutely wonderful!  I started off as a consultant and was officially employed by Collective Bias in September. Can’t imagine a better job! I get to work in social media with my “CB Family” from home.

Type A Parent Conference

This is the 3rd Type A conference I have been to.  I drove to NC with Debba from Girlfriendology. It was fun having someone to talk to on this trip. Getting to see all my social media friends is always great. We talk online, but getting to see each other in person is always fun. You can’t beat a real life hug!  Here I am with Kim from CraftyMamaof4 and Debba.


Bentonville, Arkansas

Visiting the corporate office of Collective Bias for the first time.  I got to be there for their official ribbon cutting of their new location (which they have already outgrown!)  I’m not in the picture, because I’m taking the picture, but the Mayor of Bentonville Bella Vista is there in the red tie. John Andrews and Amy Callahan are holding the scissors.


Joe & Fulton visit

I was glad to get to meet my new daughter in law for the first time. She and Joe were so cute together, and I’ve never seen my son happier.


I was so excited to go back to EVO conference which is in Utah! It is just so beautiful there! As I was riding up the ski lifts looking all around, I was determined to bring at least my husband next year, if not the kids too.  I’m working on it for 2012!


Blogher in LA

I loved the weather in LA and the non-hectic pace! I had never been to LA before and really enjoyed it.  I was photographer for CB for our big Cheap Sally party we helped sponsor.

I think this was the first time that I went to a conference and really didn’t attend much of the conference, or parties. I was working while I was there. I had been putting in bunches of hours 80-90 per week on my job with cbsocially helping to get it off the ground.  But I still had a great time!

Here I am with Courtney Velasquez and Kim Janocko from CB.


Drive my Dad to VA to see my Sister

I have become my Dad’s official chauffeur to see my sis. I took him last year and he talked about going this year before we had even left there last year! My brother came this year also and we all had an awesome time.


Dave and I celebrate our 5th Anniversary

We went to Colorado to celebrate. Dave had been stationed out there when he was in the service and has always talked about and loved Colorado Springs. I found an awesome cabin to rent not far from that. It was so beautiful. I didn’t think we would have any problem with the altitude, since I was fine in UT, but I didn’t consider that the difference between 6,000 feet and 9,000 feet would make that much difference. Well it did. We both had problems with headaches and not feeling well, even though we were downing the water. But other than that, it was a great few days.



I got to have most of my family home for Thanksgiving.  Drew (striped shirt) came home from Ft. Campbell and my other son John (blue shirt to my left) came home from Lexington KY.  Joe went to VA to spend time with Fulton, so they weren’t able to make it.

family picture 2011



I did get to have all my kids home, but not at the same time.  Joe came from Dec. 19 – 22. He then went to VA to see his wife since she was unable to go further than 250 miles away from base (she was out of leave time). Drew my other son in the military came in on the 22nd, just in time for Tim’s 19th birthday. So the group in the picture above was the group we had home for our Christmas.

We celebrated Christmas eve on Friday December 23rd and our Christmas morning on the 24th. Then the triplets and Dave’s Drew went to their mom’s and my three boys went to see their Dad who was in town. But we had an awesome time.

I’m excited for 2012, and pray that it can be as wonderful as this year has been.  I don’t want to take any of it for granted.  I pray for healthy, safety and wise decision making for my entire family. Lord willing, I’ll be recapping 2012 with just as much joy and happiness.




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