2008 in review

2008 was the year of writing.  Books (I worked on three).  Whitepapers (8 of them I think, maybe 10).  School papers (I went back to school in August).  But there was more, read on.


January started like every other year the past almost 7 years, celebrating my anniversary with my husband.  The best years of my life, thanks.  Also went to our CO State BPW legislative conference.  Felt a bit out of place based on my political beliefs, but stayed nonetheless to make sure the other side is heard.  Felt loved and wanted, just not necessarily one of the group.


February- I am sure there's something spectacular that happened then but for some reason my calendar archive is blank for February.


March- MIX08 in Vegas.  Let's just say it was interesting.  Spring break with the family, we drove to the west coast and back.


April we had our big (BIG) heroes launch event here in COS.  The PASS guys and the WIndows guys joined us .NET nerds and we had some 200 people for our event, that's huge for Colorado Springs.  Got sponsors to pick up the tab and the event was free for attendees.  The following week some friends hand-delivered to Steve Balmer a gift from our event since he declined my personal invitation to join us.  Maybe next one?  We started a cool proof of concept for a CRM customization, really enjoyed that project.


May was my birthday :)  anything else?


June- was supposed to go to Tech Ed, lead a few sessions.  Then Australia called.  How could I say no to that?  We snorkeled the reef, held koalas and went to 4 beaches in a week.  Stopped in LA to visit with family on the way out and back again.  Went to Vegas for a friend's b-day party.  I also started getting these great injections behind my kneecaps. 


July brought us to the east coast, NYC, Boston, Maine, and back again.  Vegas a couple of times.  We also "won" our dispute with the car and GM had to take back our lemon.  Started working another cool little CRM project, this one is more of a doing the right thing than a money maker, but rewarding just the same.  Also started another big ole custom enterprise solution with my buddy Tom.  Book on Excel released and book on women's issued released.  I started work on a national level with Business and Professional Women as a member of the membership committee.  What a great group of women!


August- kids back to school and we released the book.  what book? THE BOOK, www.thecrmbook.com.  What a great experience.  Yes, see, I called it a great experience!  Self-publishing was loads and loads and loads of work, but then we don't have to share the rewards, financial or otherwise, with anyone else.  The best part is the constant stream of emails from readers telling me how much time our solutions are saving them.  How cool is that?  Kids also got braces that month and I decided to go back to get my Master's degree.


September I spent most of it alone while Dave traveled.  And the weekend he was home, I was gone for my high school reunion.  Wow, that reunion was something.  Nuff said there.


October we all went to Rome.  Dave was still traveling and we took kids out of school and met up in Rome for a week.  Was great, ate lots of yummy food, saw some of my most favorite things.  We lost one of my most favorite employees when Cathy took a job elsewhere because the opportunity was so awesome for her.  Miss her.  Proud of her.


November was pretty quiet except for that whole election thing.


December started with a fast trip to Redmond, followed by a fast trip to the Bahamas without the kids.  Dave had a snowy car wreck, bad enough to kill the car, but not so bad that he was hurt, not even a bruise.  Now we are ending with the flu.  Bummer.


What does 2009 bring?


I already know Dave will turn 40 this year (I'm a yr behind).  Our oldest will turn 16 and think he should be driving.  Our baby will start high school.  I will be THIS close to done with my MBA.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer for three main groups.  Our children's schools.  Our .NET community.  Our business and professional women.  Why?


The short answer is because I like to make a difference.  I truly want to leave the world in a better state than when I got here.  I want to give back, back to all those that inspired me in my endeavors to maybe inspire the next group that passes by.  To then teach them to give back, to volunteer, to make the world better because they care.


More specifically why I volunteer...


The schools....well I've got kids in school and when they reach the age they are now, the kids want you to stay far far away from them.  Volunteering as I do, with the technology committees, allows me to be there helping without imposing on the experience my kids are having.  The staff knows who I am, who my kids are and I think that is very important.  I also think the kids having their freedom to succeed, to learn and to fail on their own is important and the way I volunteer does not impede that process.  I like to think that I make a difference with my work with these committees also, that I can help guide the decisions based on an area that I know, technology use.


.NET community...how cool is it that there is this huge, fairly well organized international group of volunteers whose whole purpose is the professional development of like-minded people?  I need to be part of something with such a broad reach and noble intent.  The technology world is always evolving and most people simply cannot on their own keep up.  This work helps to keep the profession moving forward.


Business and professional women....when I was in high school, I was in a pageant (no comments, please) and the sponsor was our local business and professional women's group.  They didn't just write a check and walk away.  They had members there helping us learn our routines.  They were backstage with us making sure we were ready for the stage when it was our turn.  They were involved because they wanted to be.  It was then that I knew when I was an adult, out working and growing my career that I would find a like organization and join it.  I did just that several years ago.  I have been so inspired by this group of women.  These ladies want to make the world around them better for all of us and they do things and don't whine about them.  I am now involved at a national level and love it.


I am not putting links to these groups, I am not recruiting for them.  If you want more info about any of them, let me know, I am happy to get you whatever info you want.


So, why do you volunteer?  And if you don't, why not?  What inspires you?  How can you bring that to others?