Yada yada yada.... and I'm back!

Now I know this is a really poor excuse for a 1-year absence, but the desktop I am writing this long overdue post on has literally not worked in over a year. And no that doesn't mean I deserve your pity because I have been cut-off from the cyber-world since then. It's just when I got it back today, up popped my long neglected blog as my home page and I suddenly felt the inexplicable urge to blog again - go figure!

So here's a quick recap on what's happened to me since I last bothered to post:

My job as an Event Coordinator at a new $7 million Conference Center in NW Okieland has been a complete blessing in my life. I think it's possibly the best fit in a job I have ever had and I NEVER expected to find something like it out here.

One of the reasons I have not been around is due to the quite frankly astounding success the Conference Center has enjoyed and continues to do so, since it opened last March. We were expected by our City bosses to do somewhere between 25-50 events in 2012, we did 147 in 9 months! We already have around 110 booked for 2013 and since the New Year have received an enquiry daily and sometimes two.

Christmas decor at work

I love my work as it's just so varied. Our events have included weddings, family reunions, trade shows, seminars, safety meetings, banquets, church services, birthday parties, a PBS premiere, fundraisers... in fact there really isn't much we won't turn our hand to if asked. My friends and family would tell you I was born a planner and organiser and so it's no surprise I enjoy it so much.

2012 was also the year I took control of my life long weight issues. I gave WeightWatchers the time and effort it deserves and it has rewarded me richly. I lost 60lbs in 9 months and it has made such a difference in so many ways. I slipped somewhat in the last 3 months when we were crazy busy at work and I let it lead me astray, gaining some 18lbs back. But nothing disastrous and I am now back on the wagon and aiming for a very achievable 40lbs gone in 2013 which will put me where I want to be for good.

Tip: Huge baubles make a girl look skinnier!

I'd like to thank WeightWatchers for living up to its promise, "because YES it works" if you commit to it and you really do not feel deprived. I'd also like to thank Jennifer Hudson, who I personally feel is the best ambassador they have ever had, she has certainly inspired me.

December 2012
The Hubster is still my better half and we have now been happily married just over 7 years. 2012 was a difficult year for him, with the sad loss of his mother and a stressful few months leading up to it. Then in November he had an alarming health incident known as Transient Global Amnesia, which gave us both a very scary week until the tests were complete and we had an answer. But there are no lasting after effects and it will hopefully never re-occur, so life has returned to normal.

In May we joined a new church and it would be true to say in my case I have finally found my spiritual home. It has renewed my faith, strengthened it and I now find myself growing in my faith on a daily basis. I am in no doubt it's one of the main reasons I am finding the trials of life we all have to face easier to handle.

I finally found an American sport and team to love, like I had back home. Come on down.... NBA Basketball and the Oklahoma City Thunder.... I am now a huge fan! We got to attend a couple of games last season (including a play-off) and are going again in a few weeks to see them play the Minnesota Timberwolves.

On April 15 a massive tornado hit the west part of the town where I work within a 1/4 mile of my workplace, causing extensive damage and loss of life.

The storm claimed six lives and injured 36 people. The storm impacted 224 homes and businesses in the area. Of those, 73 were destroyed, 22 sustained major damage and 21 had minor damage. My workplace was in the center of the damage field and for 3 days I had to drive through Police barricades to get there. Believe me, it looks so different than on tv when it's somewhere you drive through daily and I was pretty emotional for a few days immediately afterwards.

One of the damaged homes in this picture belongs to someone I indirectly report to, he had a narrow escape without injury. I know a young girl who was sucked out of her house and miraculously survived being blown a 1/4 mile away! There were others affected who I work with or know personally, and the whole experience was an eye-opener for me on strength of community, faith and moving forward after a natural disaster.

I got to vote for the first time in 2012 and was proud to do so.... and I exercised one of my constitutional rights when I bought this!

Some things happily remained the same, our very own fur-babies on the right over there are all still with us and thriving. I'm still part of a great book club and I still regularly get a laugh or a kick out of life here in the USA from a British perspective! And yes I'm still confusing the locals with Brit'isms like chuffed, car park and loo.

In fact just today I had a giggle when I passed a Plant with a large sign proclaiming it to be the 'Snubbing Division'! I commented to the Hubster that us Brits are all experts at snubbing.

So that's the highlights and lowlights of 2012 in a nutshell, it's a year we won't forget.

As for 2013 - well I already know it's going to be crazy busy at work, we have our very own HGTV project having inherited Gary's moms home which is in need of major refurbishment, and we will become grandparents in May.

Plus it looks like I'm blogging again!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back after your long absence. Sounds as if 2012 had more ups than downs for you - hope it continues that way. Though sorry to hear about the tornado damage and Hubster's loss.

BTW, you might want to disable word verification as many people no longer visit blogs that have this turned on. Blogger changed this last year and now you have to type in long strings of numbers and letters that are very hard to read.

Gaelyn said...

So glad you're back. Sounds like an exciting job and congrats on pursuing your weight loss. You look great!

Iota said...

Wow, that's quite a year! Great to hear you in such good form. The job, church, and weight loss must all be very energising. Look forward to reading your blog again.

That storm on April 15th had us hiding in our basement. A tornado passed by, but for a good 10-15 minutes, it really looked like it was coming straight for us, and going to go right through the middle of the city. It veered to one side, and lifted as it went over a corner of the city, so there wasn't much damage, and no lives lost.

Star said...

Exciting news about your grandbaby coming along. When is he/she due? So sorry to see the damage caused by the tornadoes but glad you are settled in Oklahoma.
Well done with the weight loss and Happy New Year to you Sarah.
Star x

Sherri said...

So glad you have joined us again!! Alot has happened to you since you last blogged! Glad that you have had such a success with your Weight Loss Journey. You job sounds awesome and sounds like you really love it! Sorry to hear about the damage that was done by the tornado-they are so scary! Exciting news about the grandbaby-I will be a Nana again in April! Another little boy for Jenny and Kevin. Owen, their first little boy has been such a joy and I'm sure Jack will be too! HUGS and I'm glad you are back, I have missed you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a life, full of joy and upheaval! I am so glad you survived the storm and have had a productive year. Welcome back to blogland. I hope to see your blog more often!

Lynne said...

I'm so glad to see you blogging again! I've always enjoyed reading about your life here in the ol' USA. Welcome back!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I'm so happy that you are back among the blogging classes. Your last year or two have been very busy. I love the conference center that you work in. There is nothing like it within a huge diameter.

I had to laugh, you are packing now. You are truly American.

Expat mum said...

Wow - what a year you've had. Here's to 2013 - I expect great things from you! Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Congratulations are due for the wonderful new job and for the weight loss. I'm sorry about the tornado damage in the city where you work, but I'm glad your workspace was spared. I look forward to hearing more about your busy 2013.

Betsy Adams said...

Wow---so GREAT to hear from you... Congrats on that fabulous new job... Sounds fabulous--and I'm sure that you are really GOOD at it..

I wondered about you when I read about that tornado... Scary to be so close... Yipes..

Congrats on the weight loss. You won't recognize me either. I lost about 100 pounds and have maintained the loss since August. The maintaining is harder than the dieting... ha

SO glad you are back.

Mare said...

I was pleasantly surprised to see your new post listed on Kay's blog. You had quite the year in review. Wishing you a fantastic 2013, and don't be such a stranger.

Jill of All Trades said...

Yeah, you're back! Welcome, just as I have been pulling back in the blogging department. Tried my hand last year up until about October at posting everyday. It took a toll on the brain cells.

Congrats on the weight loss and job! I'm a bit jealous!

So sad about tornados, they can be so devastating.

Vote, YES!


Daryl said...

welcome back!

Melessa said...

My feed reader was telling the truth!! Thanks for the update! Our museum doubles as a venue for rent and I certainly understand how busy that is. Congratulations on the job, the weight loss, and the pending grandchild!

Kay said...

You certainly do look wonderful, Sarah! 60 pounds is fabulous!

But what a year you had. Your highs and lows were all very memorable. I hope the recovery from the earthquake is progressing well.

I was so happy to see you back after such a long time away. I'm glad I just got back from California so I could visit again.

Winifred said...

Lovely to see you back again. I've popped over a few times to check over the past few months & here you are.

What a year of mixed emotions you've had. I've joined Weightwatchers recently so I'm hoping to lose some weight over the next few months. Not a huge amount but I need to be healthier.

I'm glad your job has worked out so well, it's great when you love your work.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Welcome back! Great re-cap!

Congrats on the job, the weightloss and generally sounding like one happy lady.

Looking forward to hearing more.

Sandy said...

Lovely to see you again. Sounds like a packed 2012 and wishing you all the best this year. BTW- you look FAB!

Lendal said...

Good to see you back...glad you've had a grand year...now come back to following 'The Hornets'...we're having a fun time as well!!

Linda @ Friendship Tea said...

I am glad you are back to blogging. It has certainly been a busy year for you and the Hubster. I am so glad you enjoy your job! Congratulations on the great success of the Center. I thought of you many times during the months you were away.