Reflective posts usually come at the end of the year. However, since I’m starting this blog at the beginning of the year, my reflective post had to wait until now.

skeet shootingI started off the year learning to skeet shoot. This year I’ve been to two major ranges and have shot hundred of skeet on my brother-in-law’s farm. I was hooked after the first “pull.” This eventually led to the purchase of my first firearm in April – a Beretta A400 Xtreme, semi-automatic shotgun.

checkrideOn March 14, 2013, after several attempts to schedule, I passed my private pilot checkride. This accomplishment was seventeen months in the making. Passing the checkride and walking away with my pilot certificate is one of the most amazing feelings. I have many goals related to flying that I’m hoping to accomplish over the next few years, but it all starting with passing the checkride.

In April, I turned 38. No big deal really; I’ve always liked even numbers.

crossfitOn July 17, 2013 I did something I had contemplated for quite a while – I started Crossfit. I know it may sound like I’m making a mountain out of a molehill here, but this is a big deal. Why? It’s just exercise, right? Wrong – it’s a lifestyle shift. I had already begun eating a Paleo style diet prior to beginning Crossfit. I had been working out at home, with P90X and Insanity. However, the big gains came with Crossfit. It’s such a unique style of exercise – high intensity and constantly varied, and it just works. In January I weighed 164lbs. On December 31st I weighed 165lbs. However, my body fat percentage has dropped from 12.1% to 6.5% and I thank Crossfit for that. The new family that I have made at Crossfit Infinity 1504 have been a blessing to me. Encouraging me and pushing me to go far beyond what I thought I was capable of. I have a long way to go with my Crossfit goals, but we all have to start somewhere. And that’s what I’m thankful for in 2013 – starting.

On July 8th, a good friend of mine challenged me to begin a year-long Bible reading plan. This is something that I had wanted to do in the past, but seemed like too large of a task. Ultimately, I accepted and am now on day 176, approximately 48% complete.  We are using the Blended plan from Youversion and track our progress with their iPhone app, sending screenshots to each other as we complete our daily readings.

oshkoshAt the end of July, we took an RV trip to Oshkosh for Airventure 2013. This event is the largest general aviation gathering in the world. We love family trips in the RV and this one was great. We stopped in Chicago on the way up, getting the chance to tour Wrigley Field, the second oldest baseball park in the country. The airshow and the exhibits at Oshkosh were incredible. I got the chance to meet several other pilots I had previously known only through social media. My kids have already started asking when we can go back. We will definitely make that trip again in the near future. So much fun!

5K_familyAlso thanks to Crossfit, I started running (a little) again. I ran two 5K races in September and October. On October 12th, my family – all five of us – ran in a charity 5K together. I was so proud of my family for running together. I hope we can continue to set a good example of health and exercise for our children in the years to come.

One of the goals I had for 2012 that I missed was to fly to a University of Georgia football game in Athens. This is one of the ways I had been looking forward to using my pilot’s license. In November of 2013, I finally made it happen. Me and my oldest son flew over for the homecoming game and had a blast. Flying saved us at least three hours of travel time and increased the fun factor exponentially. I’m looking forward to flying to several games in the 2014 season.

greeneggOne last thing that has improved this year is my grilling. In February I purchased a Big Green Egg and I haven’t looked back. For years I have cooked on gas grills. When we built our house years ago, I installed a natural gas line for my grill so I would never run out of gas. However, nothing compares to cooking on the Egg. I initially started with my normal grilling – burgers, steaks, chicken breasts, etc. I soon wanted to try more. Pork tenderloin has become one of my specialties, but I have also enjoyed learning how to manage longer cooks like ribs, turkey beef tenderloin and Boston butt. I look forward to branching out even further and trying new things on the Big Green Egg in 2014.

So 2013 was a pretty incredible year. I could get into all of the accomplishments of my children, but this post would be far too lengthy. My wife also returned to an office full time, which is also a story for a post of its own. I’m looking forward to 2014 and all of the adventure it is sure to bring. I always have liked even years. Let’s get it started…

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