Sunday, December 30, 2007

My 2007 In Review

This has been a year that was extremely different from anything I expected this time last year.

On March 15, we were blessed beyond measure with our 2nd child - Oliver (Ollie) Thomas!! He's crawling around really fast now, trying to stand up, eating some solids (with his 2 teeth), and generally just getting into all kinds of things with his wonderful big sister. Though we were expecting Ollie, he wasn't the only change in our household. The other big change was taking a new job with Lotus 911 and moving from South Carolina to Georgia. There were a lot of amazing little things associated with this move that still blow us away. I've not really shared it publicly, but we've seen God move in some great ways through it all. A quick run-down:

- I started my job on May 29.
- When I told my mother I had accepted the position, she told me that the night before she had been up all night praying and reading her Bible (for reasons she had no clue about at the time).
- We listed our house on a Saturday and had a signed contract by Wednesday.
- A former co-worker of my mother has a sister-in-law who is a great realtor in Kennesaw. Not only did she help with that, but she and her husband allowed me to live in their basement apartment for about 3 weeks. For free!
- My mom's sister works for a large mortgage company in SC but was able to help us with our loan in GA.
- About halfway through June we found our house in Acworth.
- We sold our house in Rock Hill on the last Wednesday of June and signed on our house here two days later and moved in that Saturday.
- As you can tell, June was pretty much a blur. The house is great and even the colors ended up matching the stuff we moved here!!
- And in the change, Emma Grace is just loving her pre-k school and her new friends!

That part of the moving experience was a true encouragement and we also saw God move in some other ways through that. Amazing.

I started off the year with some System i projects to work on and figured I would have a relatively quiet year with Domino. We got some new systems in at the phone company and IBM didn't have them put together, so that ended up being my job. It was pretty sweet piecing together a couple of 570s from the rack up and then working with IBM to build some LPARs and finally move over the Domino cluster. Along the way, there was also the whole DST debacle for the world! I did start working with the open Beta of Notes 8.0 and got a quote in Computerworld. I also finally took my last exam to become a PCLP for ND 7 (I plan on updating to 8 at Lotusphere 2008). But then I started talking to Nathan about whether there was anything open at Lotus 911. For the most part I was just looking for something different and more challenging. Of course there were some other factors, too. Things moved rather quickly and I was able to start with Lotus 911 the last week of May - after 7 years at Comporium.

My expectations of doing mostly System i stuff for 2007 were pretty much turned upside down and it's been "Yellow" work since then! I've been blessed to be working at a Lotus Beacon Award winner for most of this year!! I've learned so much and worked with many products that I wouldn't have touched otherwise. From working with a Whale Appliance to Quickr and Connections and participating in several Lotus Design Partner programs, I've been really kicking the learning into high gear. Then there's the customer assignments - some can be in swank locations, but they all allow me to work with Lotus products! The traveling has been cool (for the most part!), and the amount has been in line with what I was told (so that's cool too!). I've also learned a lot from seeing the different environments that we support. I could probably go on and on about this, but I'll just say that it's great working not only with some of the more well-known names in the community but with all of the other less public folks at Lotus 911. I had to laugh the other day because we were in an internal training session and there were 4 bloggers in the room and one on the phone!! I'm hoping that we can get some others blogging real soon... ;)

Some other highlights include:
  • Getting my review of Neal Morse's Sola Scriptura album linked from Neal's site! (By the way, Neal has a new album coming out soon...)
  • Going to see Gilbert, Petrucci, and Satriani at G3 in Myrtle Beach with Dale
  • Going to New York twice - I got to see the Yankees beat the Red Sox as well as hang out with Curt and Mitch the first time and then was in Times Square for a few days the second time.
  • I was able to also visit with some old college friends since we go through their towns going from GA to different places in SC as well as hang out with some of Jen's family while in NH

I could probably think of some other things that I didn't blog about already. As you can tell, it's been a year of transitions. I'm blessed to have a loving and supportive wife sticking by my side and two wonderful children! Even though it's been tough sometimes with the adjustments, it's also been a blessing - especially with my family with me. We've definitely missed our family in SC, but we've seen them a lot (and have been on the road a lot as well!).

So, here's wishing you and yours many wonderful blessings in 2008. And as you begin the new year, may this be your resolution:
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:2-6)

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