What a great year. If 2005 was a year of transition, and 2006 was a year of adapting and getting settled, then 2007 was definitely a year of feeling of belonging. I finally feel like I'm a part of the Snoqualmie community, our neighborhood, and the Seattle area. I continue to make new friends, have new experiences, and find ways to give back. All while keeping to my commitment of being a true father to our two sons. To summarize, I would say 2007 was a year of eye-openers for me.
It is the year I became convinced I wouldn't sell our house no matter what the offer - our neighbors are just too valuable. They share the same humble backgrounds, the same family values, and are steadfast to those values even if we are in the minority in our community and this area of the country.
It is the year I figured out how to get deeply involved with the community by volunteering to help run the local Little League (Fall City, not Snoqualmie Valley, for those in the area). While the crux of my work will come in 2008 and beyond, nonetheless it feels good to get involved at such a deep level.
It is the year I helped support Amy move from one church to another, which was definitely not easy for her given her countless hours of volunteering at her old church. Nonetheless, it is clear that the move was the right one and she continues to get more and more involved and while things aren't perfect for her yet it's clear she is moving in the right direction.
It is the year that I watched my eldest son grow into a responsible little boy, as he does little things without my involvement or oversight. It's the year that the hard work in shaping his values starts to bear fruit, as he won a citizenship award and continues to get high marks in school for citizenship (even if he does lack focus and attention!). It's the year he made his own decisions (and right ones in my opinion) regarding his extracurricular activities and his commitment to them.
It is the year that my youngest son showed me he has an independent mindset and can hike with the best of them despite being two years old. And I learned he is both exactly like his brother and very different from his brother.
It is the year I bought my first Seahawks jersey, attended my first Seahawks game, attended my first Washington Husky football game, and my first Apple Cup (including my first practical joke on our friends that took us to the game).
It is the year Amy and I decided to sponsor two children, ages 3 and 5, in Sri Lanka. And we also decided at some point in the future we will have to take the family and visit them. (Note: we made this decision within seconds of hearing a great story of helping from Adam Salmon who happens to be the brother of the lead pastor at our church).
It is the year we discovered our summer getaway - Lake Chelan. We will be back there over and over and over. Especially if we buy some property there.
It is the year I experienced the peaceful enjoyment of whale watching in the waters off the beautiful San Juan Islands. How lucky we are to live so close to one of the most beautiful areas of the world.
It is the year I met and had intriguing discussions with several entrepreneurs - the owners of Cozi, Dreambox Learning, and Others Online. It is the year my resume became sought after, as Google, Expedia, Omniture, and Target reached out to me.
It is the year I realized how much I do miss my old college buddies, as I was able to visit them for the Purdue - Notre Dame game this past fall. Ah but they are all just a text message away :)
It is the year I've realized I've lost contact with more friends than I can count. The older I get, the harder it is to keep in touch, even with email.
It was also a year I probably accepted the fact that a very sizeable number of adults spend a good deal of time exploiting others for their gain, namely in politics and the media. Oh well, it is what it is, and I have accepted I have to quit pointing out their hypocrisy, their selfish nature, and the damage they do to society. If others are duped, that is their responsibility.
Man am I looking forward to 2008...