Most Wonderful Time

From summer until now, life has been quite eventful for me and caused the latter half of the year to fly by! Whether for business or leisure, there was a lot of traveling involved, and, just like that, we are in what many call the most wonderful time of the year. Not only am I stoked that it’s Christmas time, but I have truly had the most wonderful time over that last half of 2021.

Quick version of events. . . After being a part of my buddy’s wedding in August, we evacuated for hurricane Ida, I had a work trip, and we had a surprise birthday bash for my mom. October was less stressful/eventful, but November was nuts! I took part in a[nother] buddy’s wedding, travelled for business, attended the Marine Corps ball, saw family, and travelled for work a few more times. The end. You’re all caught up!

The biggest event of September was having a surprise birthday bash for my mom. Everyone came from out of town and ended up in Charlotte to celebrate. Many thanks to all who showed up! Mom’s birthday was a weekend long event. She and I got to eat a fancy dinner on that Friday, my cousin surprised her on Saturday, the rest of the crew surprised her Saturday, then we all attended a baseball game in uptown inside a catered suite. It was a blast! On that Sunday mom went to the spa and we all went to a birthday brunch where we parted ways. This was a birthday to remember.

Before mom’s birthday weekend I had the opportunity to go back to camp and see my people there. Being back in my old stomping grounds with people I consider family was a wonderful experience. Everyone is growing up fast! Not only did I see my friends, but I also got to see someone I’ve not seen in over 10 years! Shoutout to Scott! Many thanks go to my camp family for having me and allowing me to stay with them (shout out to Jonathan and Jessica!). I did make a quick pit stop in Greenville where I was able to visit with my old roommate from many moons ago. He and his wife have kids so naturally we all got to play and ride bikes together. What a blast!

October proved to be uneventful yet busy. I continued to work at my part time job out in town while maintaining my work with the Marines. During this time I was able to take another class online from Liberty University. Just six more classes and I will be able to graduate! The best part of taking this class was that the military’s tuition assistance took care of the cost.

Once we got into November I remained busy up until a few days ago. I flew all over creation for both work and leisure. It was my privilege to be in my buddy’s wedding down in Orlando. Thursday night (of the Veterans Day holiday weekend) I flew into Orlando exceptionally late and waited two hours for a rental car. Yes, two hours. Dollar Car Rental has become one of my least favorite car rental companies. After getting settled I was able to get out and about and get involved with the wedding festivities. The wedding was a blast. It was great to make new friends and catch up with old friends from Disney. Now the couple is married and doing married things. Thanks for having me out, Mike and Marissa!

Following my trip to Orlando I went on a work trip to Nashville where I was able to take vacation immediately following. It was great getting to see another great friend and break bread out in Nashville. One of the highlights was getting to visit Ramsey Solutions Headquarters. If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey, this is his company. I stayed for the entire time they were broadcasting The Ramsey Show live. During the show I got to witness three couples doing their debt free scream. That was awesome! After Nashville I zipped over to Pigeon Forge and visited Dollywood for Christmas festivities. Have you all had their cinnamon bread?

From Pigeon Forge I drove down to Greenville where I received my least favorite haircut in a while. This was an important haircut to me because my sole purpose for being in Greenville was to attend the Marine Corps ball. The ball in New Orleans was cancelled so it was great being able to attend with some familiar faces. Seeing Marines I’ve not seen in a while was exciting. I enjoy getting to see these folks progress in their lives and careers with the Marine Corps. Very proud to know them.

When I got home from Greenville I had a few days back in New Orleans before I hit the road again. At this point we were well on our way to Thanksgiving. A bunch of family met down in Florida where we enjoyed each other’s company and comfortable weather. My cousin made the charcuterie to defeat all charcuterie. It was charcuterie in boss form. Not only did we feast on cheeses, but everyone else joined in to create all the greatest holiday treats (shout out to Aunt Karen for going full send, and to mom for making a Kentucky classic—potato candy!). Following Thanksgiving there was a trip to Universal Orlando where we got to enjoy food, fun, and Harry Potter. The whole weekend was wonderful.

Another late night flight got me back to New Orleans where I immediately turned around and headed out to Texas for work. Out in San Antonio I was able visit the famous Riverwalk. If you have not had a chance to walk around Riverwalk, I recommend it. Very cool! One evening I was able to catch up with a friend of mine who was also one of my Marine Corps Sergeant School instructors. There was much laughing and reminiscing about old times (like when he made us jump in a lake). A fine example of the brotherhood and lifelong bond between Marines.

After San Antonio I had one week back at home. This allowed me enough time to complete many tasks (including finishing my class from Liberty University!) before heading out again. I ended up in Baltimore for work where I also saw some more friends. Getting to see friends in many locations is always a perk of work travel. The Baltimore trip recently ended and now we meet the present. Christmas has creeped into view.

I guess that’s it. You are all caught up for the most part. Thank you for making it this far if you have. It has truly been the most wonderful time. Although it has been busy, I’ve loved the busyness and travel. Now things have settled and there is an opportunity to get into the spirit of the season. Keep the faith, and we’ll see you next year. Merry Christmas! Until next time: Be strong. Love God. Love others.

rejoice.always

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