What a year it was for me, personally and professionally. Some of the opportunities I had in 2010 still amaze me and I hope to be as fortunate in the future. Personally I couldn’t be happier or more proud of my family, but since this blog tried to focus on the professional side of me, you won’t see a ton of the husband and kids thrown in here. My outlook on 2011 is good. Professionally a new product release, Dynamics CRM 2011, will be good for business. Personally our kids will both be marching at Disneyland and our oldest will graduate high school and start college. My wish to you all is a safe end to your year and a happy 2011 that is what you make it to be.
I think I traveled more this year than any other year in my life. I flew a total of 77,246 miles and covered North America, Africa, Europe and Asia. I spent time in Colorado, New York, California, Washington, Nevada, Illinois, Georgia, Minnesota, Louisiana, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Washington DC. (was my first time to Idaho and Montana, cool to cross a couple more off that list)
In January Dave was asked to go teach a class in South Africa. Since Africa was highest on my bucket list of places to go, I knew instantly that I would join him. Then because it’s so far away I didn’t feel right leaving the kids here in the states, so they came along, missed two weeks of school. I was fortunate enough to be able to not only attend the inaugural meeting of the xRM user group in South Africa while there, but was able to speak with them a bit too. It’s really cool to see the giving nature of developers globally for the greater good of our profession. On a personal note, we did go early and take a traditional safari and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. I was able to pet baby lions, to see so many giraffes I lost count and spend days totally amazed that I was seeing such a far away and fascinating place. Then while we were driving through Kruger National Park and I was reaching over the seat in the car to get some Twizzlers for Dave and we hit a bump, I broke a rib, then icing on the cake, two days later my anti-malaria medicine made me sick. Talk about pain. I told myself that I would be an adventurous eater and eat what was offered to me by our hosts on our safari. I ate kudu, warthog, impala and wildebeest. Wildebeest tasted awful, impala was soooo yummy and the others were ehh.
February brought me to the end of my MBA program. So proud of the accomplishment, but I do miss the weekly classes a bit (call me crazy) and I miss the people too. Spent the entire program start to finish with the same 8 people, we became close and I don’t get to see them often enough since then. I was able to attend my first ever Microsoft MVP Summit. Having known so many MVPs over the years it was great to be one and go. We finished the month with the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta v2, a huge success (RMTT v3 is March 5th!)
March was pretty quiet for us; we even stayed home for spring break for like the first time ever. We had so much snow we all agreed it should have been named snow break, not spring break. I think we’ll head for sunshine next March.
April took Dave and I to Belgium and Ireland. Belgium was nice, having lived there before it wasn’t touristy, but a nice few days for just the two of us. We explored some new places, had some great food, and spent a good couple days in a CRM 2011 class. Ireland was another item on my bucket—list, so glad I got to go. Was very green, was overcast, was bad food, just what I had expected. The big Dynamics conference, Convergence, was in Atlanta. It was great to go and I presented a few sessions. I loved the sharing of ideas and again the great sense of community. In April I was also renewed as an MVP.
May made me 40 years old. I knew I wanted to be a great 40, so I planned a party. Friends from all over the country flew in for Memorial Day weekend and friends from all over Colorado came for my party. We had a big cake, decorated with candy of course; we had good wine, good tequila and good conversation for hours.
June was great because I got to share Tech Ed with my son. He earned his own free pass by working and helping at the Birds of a Feather sessions. The night before the conference began we were walking to our hotel and I slipped on the road and broke my big toe/foot. Since it was in New Orleans many folks assumed I’d been drinking but I was totally sober, just clumsy. When I followed up with my doctor at home he suggested I should have been drinking, the drunks never get hurt. J
July started with me getting an emergency root canal in Hawaii by a semi-random dentist from the phone book. I was so abscessed that the anesthetic didn’t work, so I had the root canal without anything to deaden the pain. Yup, worse than the rib and the broken toe combined. The rest of July was great, we had a wedding (congrats Mike and Amy) and we were able to spend most of the month there, working still but with great scenery.
August took me to the DC area for business. When I picked up my rental car and left the airport, I didn’t even make it a full mile before a lady ran a light and ran into me. I had the unique experience of returning a rental car that was wrecked. I was basically fine, a little sore, couple bruises from seat belt and steering wheel, much better than the lady that hit me and broke both arms. I hadn’t had a car accident since I was 20 years old! Kids started school then too and I officially feel old with a senior in high school.
September presented a challenge, Dave’s birthday. He is impossible to buy for, we are already so fortunate. So, we took the family on tiny little planes to Yellowstone for the long weekend. We had never been and had some great family time (no cell signal or internet for 3 days!) and took some great pictures. Also in September CRM 2011 went to Beta and NDAs were lifted, so we could TALK and BLOG about it! xRMVirtual had its highest attended meeting ever, some 500 on the live event and several thousand views of our recording for our meeting introducing the product before the official beta launched. We were defiantly honored that our group was given such a great opportunity. It shows the power of community and how serious it is taken by our friends at Microsoft.
October was a month of being a marching band mom. The Pine Creek Eagle Marching Band did great! High scores, awards and a 16th place finish in the state.
November presented us with another challenge, where to go on miles the week of Thanksgiving? The kids have the full week off school and we had bazillions of miles (well, almost) to spend. We kinda threw a dart and wound up in Japan. None of us had ever been and it was great to share all the newness of that with each other. The flights were long (not as long as going to Africa though) and the food was good. Japanese women are beautiful and just as fashionable as the French. And my son told me I looked like a tourist. Hmmm, you think?
December was another proud mom month; both kids had solos in the band concert! They did great, was very cool and very proud. I also had the chance to work on a cool little project with an old friend. We donated our time and made a customized CRM for a dog rescue, took us a weekend and it was great working with her again but also rewarding to give back. What remains for me in 2010? Dave gets home tomorrow and we have no plans at all other than enjoying our family until the next crazy thing comes up (which looks to be January’s trip to Brazil and perhaps Dubai).