Hello, everyone. This blog has moved to JOHNVOELZ.COM!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Adios 2008

What a year.

2008 was full of blessings and some really tough things as well. Here are some of the things that will mark 2008 for me forever. The good, the bad, the trivial, the silly, and the indifferent in no particular order (except for #1 for obvious reasons).

#1 My good friend Randy Shafer went to be with the Lord. Randy was not only a good friend and a fellow pastor, in many ways he was MY pastor. He spoke great things into my life. Randy was part of Coriolis with Dave and I. He came to Westwinds just two months after I arrived. We weathered tough transition together. He was a big part of our decision to stay in Michigan. He passed on the 22nd of December. Just days ago. He changed me forever.

#2 I had three assistants this year. My assistant, Angie left to pursue other opportunities early on. Then, came Frank and that didn’t work out. Now, J is at the helm. Love J. I don’t want any more changes here. Tough changes. J, let’s rock 2009.

#3 Cruises. In April, Tahni and I flew to Miami to get on a ship for the Bahamas. Pampered Chef was sending us because my wife rules. However, I opened my big mouth and said I just got over a stomach illness when I fell prey to their wicked deceitful signage. They put our butts on a plane back home and wouldn’t let us go. The payoff? Pampered Chef sent us on a private cruise in December and paid for everything down to the gratuities. Even got an upgraded room. Blessing in disguise.

#4 Wine Tasting. A highlight for us this year was the very special wine tasting we attended to raise money for Kalein. Hosted by our good friends Randy and Chris Elrod, this event was classy and upped the ante for us as wine connoisseurs.

#5 Concerts. Dang. I saw a lot of great bands this year. I won’t list them all here but here’s a tease . . . Foo Fighters (twice), Lenny Kravitz, The Raconteurs, Radiohead, Black Keys, The Police, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Third Day, Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Nine Inch Nails . . . yeah, 2008 was the year of rock. Lollapalooza with my son was a memory of a lifetime.

#6 Ap(art). Over 20 artists gathered to create art for 24 hours straight and auction it off for charity. We had our problems (the internet went down, some promo fell through the cracks) but all in all, this event was very successful for a first run and a few kids are going to art school because of this effort. We were also able to donate a small amount to the live-in artists at The Armory Arts Village.

#7 Gadgets and fun stuff. This was the year the Voelz family got spoiled with cool technology. Many of them were gifts. From my iPhone to the High-Def big screen, to the Chumby, to the Wii and Blu-ray player, we feel ridiculously fortunate.

#8 Sushi. Here’s the deal, Jackson SUCKS in the restaurant department. BUT, this year we got a killer sushi place. I can’t tell you how excited I am. They know me by name there. Chef, Henry often makes us special items not on the menu just for fun.

#9 Soccer. Connor rocked the field this year. Their team took division title. I also had a blast announcing all the home games. Proud.

#10 School. Tahni and I both started school again. Tahni is pursuing a design degree and I am plugging away at my Masters in Communication again.

#11 Book deals. Dave and I were both approached for book deals this year. Though the book we are writing together is still being considered, he landed a deal with NavPress for his solo project. This year should be fun. I feel like I have so much to say.

#12 Cre:ate. A.K.A. re:create, this un-conference think-tank always proves to be special for us. This year, the time we spent blessing the Kalein project was amazing. Kasidy also went this year to the Kalein property and vowed she would one day attend Kalein and pursue her art. The inspiration in my little girl’s eyes is priceless.

#13 Karysa and Charlie. Thought they got married in the last couple of days of 2007, it may as well have been 2008. They are now outside of Seattle and Charlie is on a sub for the next few months. Karysa loves the Pac NW as we do—it is in her blood.

#14 Connor and the car. A huge buck hurled himself into the side of Connor’s Honda this year. Wiped out the entire passenger side. The car got fixed and was in better condition than before as our body shop guy went over the top and repainted and de-rusted the whole thing. A few weeks later, Connor hit an ice slick and ran it on to a boulder. Barely scratched the car but the boulder bent up the frame. Car was totaled. Just found another Honda this week.

#15 Arizona. The elders demanded I take vacation this year. So, we kicked it off at Grandma and Grandpa’s home in Arizona. Relaxing. Beautiful. Karysa was able to fly out and meet us as well as Tahni’s brother Doug and the whole family. For the first time, all kids and grandkids were together on Tahni’s side of the family.

#16 Chicago and the WIRED NextFest. Always wanted to go. Took the staff. Special time.

I am so looking forward to 2009. The thread that runs deep through all my highlights is Jesus and people. Can’t live without them.

blog comments powered by Disqus