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.
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!