A look back on 2011 in my life

While I try to make sure that I build in some personal experience with my morale and motivational posts that I write, I rarely take a moment to just let you guys know what’s going on in my own life. As is common this time of year, there’s been a lot of “year in review” articles. Since I’ve never done it before, I think I’ll take a moment and reflect on the past year and what all has happened.

Started a new job at Tulsa World

Though I never thought I’d be part of the “dead-tree society”, I proudly took a job as a web designer and front-end developer at The Tulsa World in late December 2010, just three days shy of the new year. In the past 12 months we’ve rolled out some pretty ambitious designs and ideas that will go a long way toward securing the future of what has now become Oklahoma’s largest family-owned newspaper. I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of that. It’s been the most fun I’ve had in my entire life.

Gained new clients

I’ve started a great relationship with a client that opened up a new world for me. More on that in a bit.

Split the company

After a tumultuous year, my partner and I made the extremely difficult decision to go our separate ways this fall. Leaving Rocket No. 9 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I will miss working with Colin very much.

Lost some clients

You win some, you lose some. In addition to the wonderful clients I lost through the split from Rocket No. 9, this year I parted ways with a client who’s been with me since the very beginning of my career. It was a bittersweet moment, knowing that I could no longer provide what they needed, but glad to see that they’ll be okay.

Got back into comics.

As a kid and into my teenage years, I was a semi-regular reader of comic books, particularly Robin, the title series for Batman’s junior. DC’s launch of “The New 52” provided a perfect opportunity to get back into doing something that I thoroughly enjoyed in my younger days. In addition, it made for great conversation with some of the other comic geeks in the newsroom. By and large, the stories I’m reading now are outstanding. I’ve avoided some of the more controversial ones.

Began journaling on a much more regular basis.

I have the wonderful website of ohlife.com to thank for this one. Their friendly email they send me every day has been a great asset in continuing to write about my day almost every day, which is where the bulk of this post comes from. Sidenote: the desire to begin and continue a near-daily journal stemmed from what I’ve read about the success of folks who write things down. I’d strongly recommend you do so as well, even if it’s just a quick recap of your day.

Read some great stuff!

  • Got that whole box of Louis L’Amour books! (Thanks, hon!)
  • Quitter – A superb book by one of my new favorite authors.
  • Entreleadership – A book I knew I was going to purchase as soon as I saw who’d written it.
  • The Mackay MBA of selling in the real world. If you don’t know who Harvey Mackay is, you apparently don’t work in the business world.
  • Weird – This novel from Lifechurch.tv’s Craig Groeschel is one the best I’ve read in dealing with a culture that seems to run cross-grain from everything we’re taught to believe as Christians, and how to deal with it.
  • Re-read The Richest Man in Babylon. More relevant than ever. I received this as a gift from a beloved Aunt when I graduated from college in 2003. Though it were originally written in 1956, the principles listed in this story about handling your money are just as important today as they were then, if not more so.
  • Currently absorbed in Steve Job’s Biography. Enjoying it so far.

Discovered what I really love to do.

I hope that everyone has a moment in life where the idea of what they were born to do becomes as crystal to them as it was to me. When I met Jenny Deramo and her husband Brian and saw what they were doing and why, I knew that my new passion in life was to help her and others like her. From this passion comes the resurrection of my old company, with a new zeal and mission. I’m sure you’ll hear more about it later.

Had some really great moments with my family.

Most of these were with my wife and son, who is now 2 1/2. Being 2 is such a wonderful age. You’re exploring, learning, laughing, deciding and generally causing a stirring mix of emotions for mom and dad. My two-year-old has become extremely talkative, and is one of the funnest people I know to carry a conversation with. One particular experience that stands out: every day during the spring, summer and fall we made sure we spent time outside. Nathan’s favorite activity going into Summer was looking for worms under the rocks that surround our flowerbed and goldfish pond in our front yard. One day, I had completely forgotten why we were outside in the first place, and my son interrupted the conversation I was having with my wife with a stern rebuke. He pointed his chubby two-year-old finger at me and with an adorably hateful look in his eyes said, “Daddy, worms!” My wife and I laughed our heads off for a moment and then of course we went to check under the rocks for worms.

Some other memories from this year that stand out:

  • 7 years married to my wonderful wife.
  • The look in her eyes and face (and body 😉 ) as she begins achieving her weight loss goals.
  • The grass-fire that my brother started at our family’s annual Independence Day gathering.
  • My great-grandma Butch (a very extraordinary woman) passing from this life into eternity.
  • How out of breath I was when I began running again for the first time.
  • The joy of watching my son lift his hands and close his eyes as he begins singing a worship song from church, unannounced, in the middle of our living room.
  • The fulfillment of preaching to teenagers.

And so many more that I can’t recount now, but will remember at some point during life. Thank you Lord, for all the great memories, laughs, good food, warm hugs and fellowship with the people I love this year.

Bring on 2012 – I’ve never been more ready or eager to see you.

Habakkuk 1:5


  1. Julia on January 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Can’t wait to see what 2012 has to offer us. So excited to spend another wonderful year with you and our son. Love you so much and thank you for all you do for our family.

  2. Linda Choquette on January 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    So proud of you son. 2011 has been a wonderful year. 2012 is looking great so far! We are truly blessed as a family to share a relationship with the Lord and a fun relationship with each other. May 2012 richly bless all our family and friends.

  3. […] my partner and I split late last year, I was giving up about half of my clients. Though most of them weren’t recurring revenue, […]

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