Thursday, February 5, 2015

Reflections - Looking Back on 2014

December 31, 2014 ~ Happy New Year's Eve y'all! It's hard to believe that 2014 is coming to a close and 2015 is literally just around the corner... Seriously where has this year gone!?!? I can't wait to reflect back on all the things we have done and seen but what has made 2014 so memorable is having so many family and friends to laugh, cry, love, shake your head and have made so many memories with! I made it a goal to see 14 states that we have never been to in 2014. The deal is that it has to be  Brandon and I together and you can't fly in and fly out of the state.... you actually have to spend some time there) Here are some of the highlights from this past year:

January 4, 2014 - Kicking off another successful Mizzou Ambassador season with some of the greatest friends and volunteers that love and support our Missouri Tigers! What an awesome team!
January 23, 2014 - 2-hours of my life I will never get back because I let Gene and Shelly DeVore talk us into a concert.... it was horrible! We all learned a lesson on this one! 
January 25, 2014 - I love windmills. I was so excited that my windmill was actually up but today was a very very sad day... Brandon just sent me this picture of my windmill. Missouri winds I'm so mad at you I could scream! RIP Squeaker!
 February 12, 2014 - Painted the "Cowboy Boot"! My first time at Paint The Town and first painting of 2014! It was hard but it turned out awesome!
 February 15, 2014 - Celebrating the 3rd birthday of Jaxon James Adams on Uncle B's birthday!
(Actual birthday is February 16, 2011)
February 17, 2014 - Took Martha (aka: my momma) to Biloxi, MS!
(State number 1 of 14 in 2014)
February 17, 2014 - We also took Martha to New Orleans! We took an open top tour bus to give her the best tour within a few hours time that we had to spend there! Cafe Du Monde was a must!
(This was a state that we have been to previously for a George Strait concert)
February 18, 2014 - We took Martha to Gulf Shores, AL!
(State number 2 of 14 in 2014) 
March 31, 2014 - Celebrated the life of Central Missouri Honor Flight Guardian Mike Miller. I am so glad I had the chance to meet him as my life is better knowing him. Sadly, he was taken from us far too soon and traded in his Guardian title for a new title "Guardian Angel". Mike Miller..... You are missed!

April 15, 2014 - This was a bucket list item to be able to go to the ACM Awards so when the tickets went on sale I scored awesome tickets for this event! After all it's the 50th Annual American Country Music Awards in Dallas, TX! This won't happen until April 2015 but so excited!!!!
April 17, 2014 - Had the honor of receiving "Best of Columbia" Gold for Local Author and Bronze for Ultimate Volunteer. What an amazing experience and one I won't forget! Thank you Columbia!
April 19, 2014 - I was asked to participated in Daniel Boone Regional Library's Author's Day and got to talk (and read) Tom T's Hat Rack to a small group of people that attended! 
April 19, 2014 - Helped coordinate and plan a super sneaky surprise engagement with some wonderful people! My cousin Stephanie was totally surprised and it was absolutely perfect!
Wedding date was set for September 12, 2015! 
April 25, 2014 - Attended our 1st Cardinals game of this season with the Greening's! 
May 3, 2014 - Hosted a very special wedding at The Big Red Barn! Rebecca was the train-bearer in our wedding 17 years ago and I was more than excited to let her use our barn for her special day!
(Photo Credit: Terri Belcher)
May 10, 2014 - Captured this awesome picture of Carl Edwards and I at the Kansas Speedway!
(I also scored one with Jimmy Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Coach Pinkel!)
May 11, 2014 - Roni's 1st Mother's Day and she asked me to walk with her in the Mother's Day 5k in Moberly, MO. (This was the only 5k I did in 2014)
May 13, 2014 - I had the honor of being a Guardian to these two wonderful guys on Central Missouri Honor Flight # 27! They certainly kept me on my toes and truly enjoyed this day with them!
May 19, 2014 - Little did we know when I took Mattie Mae in to University Vet School we wouldn't be bringing her home. Sadly we had to put her to sleep while she was on the table getting some testing on her throat. The mass growing in her throat had grown so much that her airway was the size of a pencil lead. We miss you so much Mattie Mae! We had taken Bailey in for testing a couple days before and they never got to see each other again before we put Mattie to sleep. :(
May 22-24, 2014 - Flew out to Charlotte, NC for NASCAR!
(State number 3 of 14 in 2014)
 May 24, 2014 - We drove to South Carolina and although there wasn't much to see (we did drive around Hilton Head but it was nearly dark when we arrived) but we stopped for ice-cream and stayed the night here.
(State number 4 out of 14 in 2014)
May 25-26, 2014 - We drove to Savannah, GA stopping by Tybee Island and found a flea market while we were there!
(State number 5 of 14 in 2014)
May 27, 2014 - We finally got to pick up our Bailey-girl! She had major surgery to remove her thyroid and parathyroid. They needed to keep her for quite a while to make sure pain tolerance was good and that there wasn't any complications from her surgery. We are glad she's back home!
May 27, 2014 - The same day I picked up Bailey the Vet Tech that was working with both of our dogs had made this for me. Yes I cried all over again. I wish I had done this when we put Max to sleep but I just didn't think about something like this. Wonderful memory that we will treasure. We all really miss our Mattie Mae.
May 28, 2014 - I received Mattie's ashes today. I placed them in a box next to Max's ashes. (Hate the generic cremation boxes and felt they deserved better so I bought these boxes from a local art shop) Once Bailey is no longer with us we will put them all together again on our property.
May 29- April 1, 2014 - I had a chance to attend BookCon in New York and I even found my book at one of the booths! (While I have never been to New York I couldn't count this as one of our states in 2014 because Brandon wasn't with me)
June 3, 2014 - Special thanks to Lollipop Photography for capturing my wonderful family in a fun little photo shoot! If only my dad would enjoy these things...sigh! 
 June 9, 2014 - I had the pleasure of being this "Young" man's Guardian on Central Missouri Honor Flight # 28! What a wonderful guy! 
June 13-14, 2014 - I was kidnapped for a girls weekend! Many great laughs with my girls!
 June 22, 2014 - Co-Chaired a baby shower for Kari Laudano!
June 28, 2014 - We hosted another wedding at The Big Red Barn for Charlie and Amber! Charlie was stationed in Hawaii and Amber would be moving there soon after they were married...
(Photo Credit: Life Through A Lens Photography)
 June 30 - July 6, 2014 - We planned a fun trip out to Yellowstone with friends. Only we would fly to Seattle then drive through Idaho, Montana then to Wyoming. Yes we spent a lot of time in a van with a 7 month old and she did awesome! Such beautiful country and I would go back minus all the driving!
 (State numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9 of our 14 in 2014)
July 11, 2014 - Unveiling of Tigers on the Prowl and the most handsome-est "American GI" painted by Sharon Paulsell and Ashley Cooper! Awesome job ladies!
July 24-29, 2014 - We had the chance to attend the Baseball Hall of Fame to watch our St. Louis Cardinals Retired Coach Tony LaRussa be inducted. Very excited to witness this for a great guy and very deserving honor. We went with friends and traveled to New York then to Cooperstown, visiting and eating dinner in Vermont and then finally Boston taking in a game at Fenway Park before coming home!
(States  number 10, 11 and 12 of 14 in 2014)
July 29, 2014 - Spending another awesome year with our Chamber Ambassador family! I love these people (including many that aren't pictured) and enjoy celebrating with those in our community!
August 2, 2014 - Celebrating my birthday with these awesome ladies! We headed out on a junkin' trip with a few few things in between!
August 8, 2014- So what started out as a DeVry Date Night (date night with the DeVore's) included  dinner at AJ's in Macon, MO then up to Beiver, MO to see John Conlee in concert turned into stopping by my Aunt Darlene's and Uncle Danny's, pouring down rain and then walking up to John Conlee's tour bus to get a photo! Yes this really happened and we are still laughing about this one!
August 9, 2014 - As if last night's DeVry Date Night wasn't enough we headed to Sedalia, MO to the Missouri State Fair and had the chance to meet Sara Evans.
(Special thanks to a rock star friend, Ashley Simpson for some awesome tickets! Such a fun night!)
August 11, 2014 - Working with some pretty cool people on a fundraiser for Central Missouri Honor Flight! Stay tuned for more information! 
August 14-16, 2014 - Flew out to San Fransisco to meet up with Aunt Judy and my cousin Stephanie for some great adventures! This was our first time to San Fransisco!
(We have been to California a few different times so we couldn't count this trip)
August 17, 2014 - Spending some much needed time with Olivia Paige and Mikel Bryn McKee! You never know what can happen with Aunt Shell!
(Olivia's Birthday is March 23, 1999
Mikel's Birthday is May 8, 2009)
August 18, 2014 - First time ever in the "green seats" at Busch Stadium! I took Destiney Windmiller since Brandon couldn't go! Awesome seats and awesome view! 
August 23-24, 2014 - We flew to Chicago with the Greening family to take in a baseball game at Wrigley Field for the 100th Anniversary!
August 25, 2014 - So I paid off my Jeep and to reward myself ..... Well, I jacked it up!
August 30, 2014 - One more shot at the "green seats" at Busch Stadium with friends! 
It was awesome until just before the game when it poured down rain! Still made a fun night!
September 3, 2014 - Central Missouri Honor Flight # 29! Honored to be among these men and women that served our country and fought for the freedoms we have today.
September 6, 2014 - Attended the Orschlen's Party in Moberly, MO! What a fun night!
September 11, 2014 - Hero Tour in Macon, MO! Taking those that can't travel on a Honor Flight via a virtual tour using a laptop and several dedicated volunteers around the world making it possible!
September 12, 2014 - We got to fly to Chicago with my sister, brother in law and Jaxon! They had a wedding to attend and we had NASCAR to go to but we at least got to see them as we traveled together at the same time! Jaxon needed hot chocolate..... Such a mess!
September 12, 2014 - NASCAR time in Chicago with our buddy John!
September 12, 2014 - We drove to Indiana and checked out many places including Michael Jackson's childhood home! 
(State 13 of 14 in 2014)
 September 13, 2014 - Celebrating 17 years with the best husband a girl could ask for!
September 18, 2014 - Inauguration of Chancellor R. Bowin Loftin! 
(Never been to something like this before!)
September 18, 2014 - This is my second painting of the year and this was done at The Canvas on Broadway! While they painted Budweiser stuff I wanted to paint something different! 
September 19, 2014 - Loretta Lynn concert in Boonville, MO! Don't worry about the people that wouldn't move out of their seats for us to take one picture.... they were afraid that we were going to take their seats....Sugars, we are on the front row too and don't want your dang seats! Such a fun night and yes this was as close to getting a picture with Loretta Lynn as I got but I think you can tell from the smile on her face she didn't mind!
September 27, 2014 - Disney on Ice in St. Louis, MO with these two cuties!
October 3, 2014 - NASCAR in Kansas! I had time to get this piece signed for a friend and then it was cold, rainy and not worth standing out in this stuff so we went home early and got our Bailey out of the spa to spend the weekend with her! 
October 8, 2014 - Yellow Ribbon Mission Central Missouri Honor Flight # 30 - WOW!
(Special thanks to Veterans United Foundation for making this flight possible for an all Vietnam Veteran flight!)
October 29, 2014 - Nadine Trail Re-Dedication of very first Chamber Ambassador Tree! 
(Nadine's tree was removed during construction and was replaced)
November 2-3, 2014 - We took another adventure and went to Iowa to pick up a trailer!
November 7-8, 2014 - Wedding dress shopping with my little diva cousin!
November 10, 2014 - Central Missouri Honor Flight # 31 and these guys were absolutely wonderful! They certainly kept me on my toes but we are all like family now!
November 15-16, 2014 - I got to take my momma and my best friend on a junkin' trip in Indiana. Her favorite movie of all time is A Christmas Story and I took her to Hammond, Indiana to see the display before our junkin' adventure began! Loved our trip!
November 20, 2014 - I was accepted to the Hawthorn Bank Advisory Board! I have wanted to serve on a bank board for several years and finally had the opportunity! So exciting! 
November 21-28, 2014 - We had a chance to go to Hawaii and I didn't pass it up! We took my momma with us and it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip and crossing of state number 14 out of 14 for 2014! What a perfect way to end a goal and spend with some of my favorite people! 
December 1, 2014 - Pictures at the Magic Tree with our girl! Love! Love! Love! 
December 7, 2014 - Celebrating the 1st Birthday of Alexis Marie Spicer! 
(Actual birthday is December 2, 2014)
December 11, 2014 - Announcement of Capital Campaign for Welcome Home and #no1leftbehind
December 13, 2014 - We hosted the "Spry Christmas Party" at The Big Red Barn! We didn't have a huge turn out but those that came had a great time!
December 14, 2014 - I had the pleasure of capturing my best friends beautiful family in a quick little photo shoot! I love this girl!
December 18, 2014 - One of my veterans asked me to come to Troy, MO for their weekly "Coffee Talk" which has been going on for 4 years now and draws in about 80 veterans each week! What a wonderful thing and I was so glad to see him again!
December 20, 2014 - I have had the pleasure of helping my little sister with her Pink Zebra business including helping her set up her booths in a few locations. I couldn't be more proud of her!
December 22, 2014 - I got to help celebrate the 5th birthday of Kinly Ann Greening!
December 24, 2014 - Got to celebrate Christmas with our family!
December 30- January 4, 2015 - What better way to spend New Year's then in Las Vegas!

You guys I have had a lot of fun going back through my Day Planner (yes I use a Day Planner to keep my life somewhat organized) and reliving some of these moments. They make me smile, they make me cry but most of all they all mean something to me. Life is tough but with the right people in it I have enjoyed every second! Thank you all and let's ring in the New Year with welcoming arms! 2015 is going to be a great year!

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