2021 – Banner Year in Review

2021 has finally come to an end. If I had one word to describe this year, it would be CHANGES.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt many areas of life across the globe, it honestly had little effect on the amount of change my family and I experienced this year.

So, what is included in all this change I mentioned? Let’s look back at a few of the highlights:

  1. I left my role after 14 years at Mars due to a resource action on April 30th.
  2. I joined Microsoft as a Sr. Customer Engineer on May 17th. (post)
  3. We sold our first home in New Jersey where we lived for the past 17 years (post).
  4. We spent six weeks without a place to call home. Two weeks down the shore (LBI) followed by a month in a temporary apartment in North Carolina.
  5. We closed on our new home in North Carolina on June 30th.

We traveled more in 2021 than any other year in our marriage:

  1. We traveled to North Carolina twice prior to selling our home in New Jersey – a new home down payment on the first trip and then took the kids to see the house and area on the second.
  2. We visited the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky.
  3. We traveled back to New Jersey to attend our good friends’ daughter’s wedding in July.
  4. We traveled to Hershey, Pennsylvania to attend a family reunion with my mom’s side of the family and enjoy Hersheypark.
  5. One final trip back to New Jersey to attend my wife’s cousin’s wedding in October.

With the major changes and travel out of the way, it’s time to go through the list of items I wanted to accomplish in 2021 and see how I did:

My Faith

  • I will Tear Up My Bible.
    • I completed the reading part of Tear Up My Bible, but I found it much harder to find the time for taking notes and reflections.
  • I will pray with my wife daily.
  • I will pray with my children daily.
    • Finding time for prayer has always been a struggle for me and 2021 was no different. I prayed more this year than any other given all the change that we went through, but I still fell far short of where I know I need to be.
  • I will serve my church through the gifts that God has given me.
    • Not being able to attend church for much of the year, moving to a new state and having to find a new church home didn’t allow for as much service as I would have liked. The good news is that we have found a great church and are already working to get involved in using our gifts.

My Family

  • I will make spending time with my wife a priority – encouraging her and talking through plans and goals for our family.
    • My wife and I spent a lot of time together in 2021 talking about our future. The biggest topic of the year was by far our move from NJ to NC. I don’t think the move could have gone any better, but it was all because of the constant communication between the two of us.
  • I will make spending time with my childing a priority – encouraging them, playing with them, and engaging in the activities that interest them.
    • Throughout the year I made sure to spend time with our kids doing the things that they enjoy and have really enjoyed being there for them.
  • My wife and I will pay off our car loan ($18,000.00 USD).
    • The F-150 is ours (free and clear).
  • My wife and I will give some real consideration, thought and planning to move out of New Jersey.
    • No updates needed on this one. We obviously considered it.
  • My family and I will take the month of May for a road trip around the Western US.
    • We opted to take two weeks rather than the full month as we were closing on the sale of our NJ home on May 28th. We ended up in the mid-west (Kentucky) and had a fun time visiting the Ark Encounter. If you’ve ever wondered how big Noah’s Ark really is, I highly recommend the trip.

My Mental & Physical Health

  • I will complete Andy Frisella’s #Live Hard Program.
  • I will lose thirty pounds and keep it off – two pounds per week for 15 weeks (April 17, 2021)
    • I completed 75 Hard on March 16th and went from 200lbs to 170lbs. I won’t make any excuses; I fell off the Live Hard program in early April and have gained most of the weight back. I’m getting back at it in 2022.
  • I will read twenty-four or more books. Goodreads
    • Done and done. I read 25 books.
  • I will spend more time outdoors.
    • Moving to NC has allowed for new adventures. We’ve visited several parks in the area and plan to continue with this one in 2022.

My Career

My Mixed Bucket

  • I will post to this blog at least twice per month.
    • This post makes 19 for the year. Fell a little short, but plan to have more focus in 2022.
  • I will reduce my collection of unused technology items by either selling on eBay or up/recycling, as necessary.
    • The move helped quite a bit with this goal, but there will be some additional fine tuning in 2022.
  • I will buy a new iPad – hopefully for an iPad Mini redesign – Please Apple, Please 🙂
    • I decided not to wait on Apple and purchased an iPad Pro 11″.
  • On December 31st, I will declare 2021 a Banner Year.
    • I DECLARE 2021 A BANNER YEAR!!!

A big thanks to those of you that found my blog this year and decided to keep reading. I hope I provided you with some value and helped you on your Azure Cloud Journey.

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