Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009...like wine, only got better with time

2009.

Where do I begin?

It has been quite a year. It amazes me to look over various pictures, facebook & blog posts and even my top iTunes songs I’ve played this year to get a good feeling of what 2009 ultimately means to me. First and foremost I’m thankful that life is a marathon and not a sprint. This is evident in how the year started off for me.

In January I found myself in a deep depression. We were three months into our apartment life with an unclear future to what was next—staying in Puyallup or moving back to the Kitsap/Mason County area. For me, the effects of my business decisions in 2007 had finally caught up to me in the failures of 2008. I felt like I had let my family down and I was in a pretty bad place. I still remember the day I visited Flaming Geyser State Park and wasn’t sure I was going to come back. I found true therapy in writing…and that’s exactly what I did. I wrote out my life’s story—the pain, the failures but also the joy and happiness that there was in my life. I’m very thankful for that rainy day in January.

Well, except for the usual whining associated with my job and the economy, it was a fantastic year! The house we left for dead in foreclosure remarkable came to life in February. I figured with all the fervor behind President Obama’s plans to help people keep their homes I’d give it a shot. We were already experiencing the worst case scenario financially so we had nothing to lose. We finally moved back into our home in June and the loan re-modification was finalized in November. Things will still be tight, but this puts us in a better situation than before. Just need Kristy’s daycare to take off to help with the mortgage. ;-)

I also witnessed the gift of a second chance. My little brother stepped up to the plate again in May and found a beautiful bride. I was honored to be the best man at Russell and Brecken’s wedding. He was lucky enough to find such a caring and precious woman to put up with his crap. I think she gets a gold star for taking him off the down-on-your-luck streets of Kirkland. LOL!!! I also enjoyed injecting a little fear into the best man’s speech—if you know, then you know. It was probably the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen and it was wonderful to see a buddy of mine, Pastor Steven Davis officiate the ceremony. It was a great day.

But before the wedding could happen, there had to be a bachelor’s party. Where else should we go then out of the country and tear up Vancouver, BC. Peter, Russell, Jeremy, Randy and I had WAY too much fun. A good amount of alcohol was consumed, a car was impounded and Russell got intimate with a dishwasher (don’t ask). Probably the most fun I had ever had with the boys…..until October.

OMG! Oktoberfest in Leavenworth. I’m pretty sure we drank the beer garden dry. We had such a wild and fun weekend and horribly nasty hangovers that I’m not sure we could ever match it. But, that’s what I said after Vancouver, BC. LOL! I also had the great opportunity to catch up with old friends. It was awesome to hook-up with Glenn and Shelby Miller. Ask Shelby about the Leavenworth pumpkin sometime. Ha! Ha!

This past year also was a chance to try new things. I picked up the hobby geocaching. For those of you who need a refresher:

Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure (not $$$). A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.

Geocaching is a silly little hobby, but three things attracted me to it: 1) IT’S FREE!!! 2) I could do it with the family—Jessi and Jon really got hooked, and; 3) the thrill of the hunt is greater than the finding of the treasure. I really enjoyed looking for caches while listening to the Seahawks suck it up this year—figured it was better than wasting my time actually watching the games. It was a tough year for me for sports.

The Mariners were the only bright spot for me. It’s nice to see the M’s turning things around after many dismal seasons. The Seahawks saw the winningest coach in team history leave, only to be associated with rumors of replacing the general manager before he was shunned and took a new job in Cleveland. For as successful as the ‘Hawks had been, it appears things are going to get worse before they get better. Speaking of getting worse, I can’t leave out my beloved Cougars—one of the most horrible seasons ever. There are numerous reasons for why, but there are many more reasons for hope in the next few years—it’s always darkest before the dawn. GO COUGS!!!

I had the chance to fulfill a dream of mine during the summer. I decided to enter myself into a contest called Joe The Fan that was being put on by 950-KJR. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the four finalists. I took to the air like a fat kid at a candy store. I ate it all up and had so much fun. Although I didn’t make it out of the first round, I had a blast. My prize allowed me to take Kristy out for a great night at the M’s game and enjoy a comfortable stay at the Silver Cloud across from Safeco Field. Big thanks to Ian Furness and the rest of the KJR crew!

Some local stories that unfortunately made national news had a big effect on me in 2009. The most prominent, and closest to home, was the senseless murder of the four Lakewood Police officers. The Forza Coffee shop where it took place was a location I had visited many times in the past for a cup of joe. I still cannot imagine how the families will move forward except with courage and faith that life goes on. The memorial service was amazing. I watched the entire event at PLU and couldn’t keep my eyes dry. Losing a total of six officers since Halloween has been heartbreaking in the Puget Sound. My prayer in 2010 is laws are changed and we don’t lose anymore of the men and women in blue. May the ones we've lost find peace in wherever their journey takes them next. Gone, but not forgotten.

No way to flow from that so, shifting gears…

The kids had a lot of fun in 2009. Jessi and Jon were part of the local community play, Oliver. They put in countless hours of rehearsal and performed exquisitely when the show hit the stage in July. This was such a great moment for me being their dad. I think I watched half the performance through water stained eyes!

We had the chance to surprise our big Twilight fan with a surprise trip to Forks in September. The look on her face when we pulled out of the drive-way and broke the news was priceless. Forks was littered with tourists and shops took advantage of the Twilight craze by selling merchandise and land marker maps. That was a great day to be the parent of a tweener. Our adventure took us out to LaPush where this country has some of the most beautiful landmarks out in the Pacific Ocean. We all had a blast and were dog tired by the time we got back to our hotel.

In all, 2009 was a very good year. When I finally realized there was more to life than chasing around every temporary high—yep, stole that from Stacey Orrico—I knew that when life gives you lemons, you throw them back and absolutely demand cookies!!!

I raise my flask (groom’s present) to 2009 and embrace all the great memories. I pray that 2010 brings hope and prosperity to those who truly seek it. As for me, I’ll continue to seek the winning lotto numbers. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let the contest begin...

I went up to Seattle today to be an in studio guest at Sports Radio 950 KJR AM for the Joe The Fan contest. It was so much fun. I met the other guys and then we had a chance to spend an hour with the host, Ian Furness and talk about ourselves and some of our views on sports. I could have stayed at least 4 more hours!

I have spent the last two days getting the word out to friends and family to head over to www.kjram.com to vote for me. The support has been outstanding, but the contest isn't over yet! There's three rounds/weeks of voting and I can't become Joe The Fan without everyone's help.

Cool thing is, even if I don't end up being Joe The Fan, Kristy and I will enjoy a special gift of a stay at a hotel by Safeco Field and a gift certificate to Jimmy's Restaurant.

I am cautiously exciting and can't completely let loose until I am declared JOE THE FAN! Thanks again for everyone's help and support!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Joe the Fan!!!

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted to the blog. Been pretty busy. Life got a little more interesting today. I've been selected as one of the final four to remain in a contest called Joe the Fan on Sports Radio 950 KJR!

I entered the contest because I figured I am the right sports nut for the job. If I win, I receive season tickets to any local sports team for one year! Plus Kristy gets a gift for putting up with my sports butt!

So please head over to:

http://www.kjram.com/pages/ianfurness_page.html

and vote for me to be Joe the Fan. I would appreciate your support so much and please tell your family and friends! Thanks!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A terrible loss...

My heart cries tonight for the Hizey family. As most people know, young Sebastian Hizey lost his life last Friday night at the monster truck show at the Tacoma Dome. The six year old was enjoying a fun family outing when a tragic accident took his life. Now the family has to learn how to move on without their boy.

I had the honor of meeting the father this morning. It was only a 20 second meeting, but it broke my heart. I shared my condolences, gave him a hug and told him our family is praying for their family. I walked away almost in tears.

I’ve taken my kids to the monster truck show. It was a fun family event and we expected to walk away with great memories. I cannot begin to understand or comprehend what the Hizey family is going through. The loss of any of my kids would be devastating.

The greatest lesson I will take from this is to hold my kids closer and spend just a little more time with them. Please keep the Hizey family in your prayers and if you feel moved, donate to the Sebastian Hizey memorial fund at any US Bank branch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

When it rains it pours!

As of now, the Pitts clan is surving the Great Flood of 2009! Fortunately we find ourselves on the right side of the Puyallup river as the west side is starting to flood. It's insane to see how fast the river is flowing and the size of the logs floating down towards Tacoma.

I stopped by the boardwalk under the Puyallup River Bridge to a crowd of other looky-loos and I was shocked at how quickly the river was rising. The apartments in the background of the picture were experiencing a flooded parking lot and were getting ready to evacuate the tenants!

I talked to the folks at the office of our complex and they reassured me that it's never flooded the neighborhood so that was good to hear! The kids have no school on Thursday because of the flooding. So far they've missed four days between the snow and the floods...should be in school until the end of June...ha ha ha!!!

Other then that, we had a good time at home celebrating New Years Eve by eating lots of juke food and playing Rock Band on the Wii. As a family we expect GOOD and big changes this year in almost all aspects of our lives. As the year rolls along, I'll share more of what we know and what you don't ;-)

Stay dry, stay safe and most of all...stay sane!