Dec 29, 2010

2010 Year in Review

2010 went by in a flash. I am very fortunately to have spent another year with my wonderful wife and I'll take as many more as I can get. Here's a recap of 2010 from my vantage point.

2010 began on a quiet note. Julie and I slept through the ball drop at our house and watched Auburn play Northwestern in the Outback Bowl on our new TV.

We invited our good friends (the Branches) and my sister over to watch Alabama take on Texas in the national championship game a few days later. Auburn finds itself in the same position the Crimson Tide enjoyed last year and it really just feels like yesterday when all of Alabama was focused on the Rose Bowl. I only played golf once in January.

February was more eventful at work than at home. Julie and I observed Valentine's Day quietly at home.

In March, my father and I traveled to Milligan, Florida to do some yard work around the ancestral home and family cemetery there. Many man hours have been spent trying to stay ahead of the weeds on this property located just outside of Crestview. It is increasingly difficult to spend the time there that is required to keep the house and property manageable. Upon returning, I pronounced this visit as my final trip to Milligan. I also managed to play golf twice in March.

April was a busy (and dangerous) month. We watched Duke University's mens team win their 4th national championship at the Branch's house.

I severely cut my finger and almost bled out on the opening day of the 2010 Master's Golf Tournament. This injury did not prevent Julie and I from hosting "Sunday at The Masters" a few days later. We had a lot of fun and I must make a note to start searching for a green jacket at local thrift stores earlier in 2011. Julie and I also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary in April. We spent a long weekend in Savannah and really enjoyed ourselves!

Also in April, Clay Branch and I checked in with most of the Auburn football coaches when Tiger Prowl 2010 rolled through the Birmingham area.

I was able to put my wedding anniversary gift to good use in May. Julie gave me a gift certificate to play at Farm Links Golf Club. Clay Branch and I played 2.5 rounds that day and I could not have been happier.

Later in May, I attended the hottest wedding known to man (Lena and Robert Hardy [Emily Branch's brother]). On the work front, I decided to join the Pelham Lions Club to boost my business networking opportunities. I was a member of the Atmore Lions Club and enjoyed that experience very much. Unfortunately, the Pelham Club is slightly different: I'm the youngest member by at least 20 years. Most of the members are retired so business networking takes a back seat to heated discussions about the weather.

June was a fun month! Julie and I took spent some vacation time down at her parent's home in Destin with the Branches and our other friends: the Talbotts from St. Louis. A week full of oversleeping, overeating, diving board contests and good friends. I even got to play 3* rounds of golf! (*one of the rounds was at the local par 3 course).

In July, I celebrated our nation's independence by playing two rounds of golf in one week. I was thoroughly entertained by my cousin (EmKay Whatley) at an outdoor concert at Starbucks. She is very, very musically inclined. At the end of July, I drove Julie to North Carolina to the McIntyre Family reunion. Lots of my mother's family came down for our wedding so it wasn't too much of a shock for Julie. But that many McIntyres gathered together is a sight to behold! I also got to meet Duke point guard Nolan Smith.

August presented a chance to relax and cool our jets. I played golf on my birthday. Alone. No one witnessed my hole in one. Additionally, Julie and I attended her 10-year high school reunion at the swank Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore. It was a little awkward for me to be around so many old folks.

Ah, September. College football season! Julie and I enjoyed helping Auburn start their season thanks to her wonderful and generous parents. We got our first sampling of Cam Newton at the Arkansas State game (lots of questions about the AU defense were raised during this game).

We also got to see a very exciting catch and run by Auburn's #1 wide reciever at the Clemson game.

Continuing the football feast, Julie and I attended the football game and homecoming festivities at Huntingdon College.

My sister watched the Kentucky game with us in October. My new cousin Will Wilder was born in Auburn a few days later. Julie and I got to meet him when we were in town for the Arkansas game. (The Arkansas game will always be special for the Wilder family. Will's sister Margie Grace was born during the same week a few years earlier!) Julie and I went to Camden for a visit on Halloween weekend and watched the Ole Miss game on TV with my parents.

More football was in store for Julie and me in November. We were invited to watch Auburn's homecoming game against TN-Chattanooga on pay-per-view at the Branch's home. The next week, we attended the Georgia game and watched Nick Fairley and company end a long losing streak to UGA.

Also in November, Julie and I attended a dinner that honored the first Hispanic Lions Club in Alabama. The event was sponsored by the Pelham Lions Club and I was told that a local news camera captured a wonderful shot of Julie and I staring into each other's eyes. Truth be told, she was probably giving me her patented death glance and verbally abusing me telepathically for making her go to this event with me. We spent Thanksgiving weekend in Camden (the location of the Iron Bowl determines where we spend Thanksgiving).

December has been a blur because of work and Christmas shopping. Clay Branch and I played in the Bring Your Old Buddy golf tournament the day after Auburn won the SEC Championship game. We were well prepared for the cold weather after our experience last year. Too bad our advanced planning for the cold weather didn't help with this shank.

It's been so cold since then that the BYOB outing that I have declared it my last golf outing of 2010. We played well but I would have liked to have finished on a better note. If you're keeping score, I played less than one round of golf per month this year. I'm going to improve on that in 2011. Julie and I exchanged presents with my family in Camden on the 18th and celebrated Christmas with her family in Auburn on the 25th. I think we will continue our own tradition of spending New Year's together in Birmingham.

I hope you had a great year and that 2011 will be full of blessings!

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