Monday, February 10, 2014

Going Out With a Bang: Top Ten Memories of 2013

This will be my last blog post.  Instead of fading out like I have been for the last year and a half, I am just going to call it.   11 years ago when I started blogging it served 3 purposes.  First, it was a way to keep people up to date about what I am up to.  This was back before social media was a thing.  With facebook, I am not very motivated to expand status updates into full posts.  Second, it was a means for me to write about viewpoints ad a continuation from my days of writing an op-ed column in college.  When it comes to political matters I now prefer to keep those to myself.  Over the years my status in church leadership has steadily increased, and as that has happened it as seemed more and more prudent to not allow for a wedge to be created.   When it comes to more theological posts, those have also decreased.  At Avon, I almost exclusively created my own youth group and Sunday school curriculum.  That was good, but the theological matters on my mind any given week were usually what I was working on, and I was not very motivated to re-write the things I had already been working on.   Someday, I might consider starting a ministry specific blog where I can post manuscripts of sermons and sh are the years worth of youth group lessons I have created.  The final purpose initially was to write about the things I enjoy, and that will continue as I continue to blog about board games that Abigail and I play together on our board game blog.  However, it does not make sense to re-post those things here.  Thus, this is my last post.

Abigail has been asking me to write this for like two months.  Every year I write about my top 10 memories, but we had a very hectic end of the year and January, and I kept putting this off.    As always the list is in descending order for dramatic effect.

10.  Surgery and Recovery
Not every memory is a positive one, but it is still a big memory.  That definatly describes this.  In December of 2012 I tore a minscus, and I had to have surgery in January.  It turns out that I hurt myself worse than initially thought and basically tore it in half.  This meant that after surgery I had to spend four weeks on crutches and keep weight off my knee as much as possible.  Now a year later, my knee is a lot better.  However, it will never be fully right again.

9.  Cincinnati Trip
It has been tradition to do a fun youth group trip over the summer and in 2013 we went to Cincinnati.  On this trip we went to Newport Aquarium, rode a duck, explored a conservatory, and wandered around the massive Jungle Jim's grocery store.  It was a really fun trip with a lot of participation, and it is a good memory.
8.  Chicago Trip
I got to take an eight weeks paternity leave in the Spring of 2013, and that was really appreciated.  Towards the end of that time we took a trip to Chicago.  We rode the train into the city, walked to Rain Forest Cafe and walked around the city.  Callie slept the entire time, but Connor loved it.  Now nine months later, he still talks about it.

7.  May Game Day
On May 4th (Star Wars Day!) the Game On! game group had an all day Star Wars game day.  We began that day with an 8 player game of Memoir '44.  When this WWII game is played with that many players it is a team game where one person for each team is a supreme commander who oversees the other three commanders.  In this game I was the overall commander for the defending French and Abigail was the overall commander for the Germans.  This was a really good game with a lot of back and forth.  Abigail started talking a lot of trash, until she finally made a bet that the loser would have to dishes for a week.  She was up in points when she said it, but  I took her up on it.  My side battled back and got the lead.  It got to the point where it was tied, but Abigail had better board position.  I took a gambit that would get the win, but required a die roll that had a 50/50 chance for success.  It succeeded, and victory has never been so sweet

6.  Meeting Wesley
In September, my sister and her family came over from England to visit.  It was nice to see Kristen and Matthew, but I really enjoyed getting to meet my nephew Wesley.  He is only three weeks younger than Callie.  It was really fun to see the two of them play together.

5.  Game On Game Con
In November, we took our occasional game days to the next level, by having an entire mini game con.  The event was over two days.  We had a few official events (including an awesome game of Werewolf that I moderated), and we had a silent auction.  We got several donations for that and we raised $500 for a local charity.

4.  Mission Trip  
I know every year I have been on a mission trip and made this list, the trip made the list.  In 2013 we once again went back to Nashville (same organization we went with in 2012).  We helped out with a program called Camp Skillz which is a day camp for children who came from impoverished areas.   In hindsight, this memory is a bit more poignant, because Edinburgh does not have a tradition of a youth mission trip.  That means this might be the last youth mission trip I get to participate on for quite some time.  

3.  Warhammer Invasion Tournament
Gen Con is consistently one of my favorite weeks of the year, and I especially liked that in 2013 it really was a full week for me.   The real highlight of Gen Con though was the Warhammer Invasion tournament.  While the game has a small following, it is a game that I played competitively.  I had several decent showings in tournaments, but at Gen Con I made it all the way to finals.  Going into the final game I was undefeated.  I id not manage to win, but I did finish second and the tournament was really exciting to play in.

2.  Preparing to Move
The last couple months of 2013 was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions as I began to discern how I could best fulfill my call into ministry.   I am not really going to go into details, but it is very evident to both Abigail and I how clearly God led us.  Until I got a phone call from my DS, I had no idea that I would be moving to Edinburgh.  However, it is clear to us that this is where God want us right now and the way it all came together was truly amazing.

1.  Callie is born 
Of course my best and biggest memory from 2013 is the birth of Callie on March 12th, 2013.  Of that day my best memory is the first hour or so after she was born.  For a couple of different reasons Callie had to spend a couple of hours in the NICU for observation.  I got to spend that first hour of her life with her, just the two of us (and the occasional nurse).  I know Callie will not remember that, but it is something I will never forget.


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