Recapping 2011: It’s good to be back

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The smile sums up what was the best year of my life ... until 2012.

Ah, the end-of-year column/blog. I did one every year until 2010, largely because the year sucked for the most part. I look back at the difference a year made, and it’s staggering. It was so much better that it demands a return of the end-of-the-year blog (I’ll start with the end of 2010, which set the table for 2011) …

SEPTEMBER 2010: “Back in the days you was a girl I went to school wit …”

I’d just moved to Topeka, was working part-time at Hill’s Pet Nutrition and involved in a dysfunctional relationship straight out of a bad reality show. Still, there was that Sept. 8 Burlingame High football game. The one where I saw a girl from high school who happened to look pretty damn good …

OCTOBER 2010 : “And now I can’t deny, nothing lasts forever …”

The lone highlight was storming the field with my dad after Missouri’s win against No. 1 Oklahoma. The video represents the official end of the aforementioned relationship …

NOVEMBER 2010: “Scared to death, no reason why, do whatever to get me by …”

A tough month, going through the motions, summed up perfectly in one of the most underrated songs of all time …

DECEMBER 2010: “And I can’t be holding on to what you got when all you got is hurt …”

Moving on emotionally, healing, looking ahead to 2011 …

JANUARY 2011: “A green-eyed boy meets a blue-eyed girl …”

As written in previous blogs, the girlfriend pursued me for a while (not that I was smart enough to catch on right away), and when we did finally hang out, sparks flew. Yes, we met 20 years ago, but it really was, to paraphrase, a green-eyed boy meeting a blue-eyed girl. And it’s still this …

FEBRUARY 2011: “You the whole package, plus you pay yo taxes …”

Our first song. Also the month we traveled to Ames for our first Missouri game together. Also met her kids, who I’ve grown extremely fond of …

MARCH 2011: “We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field …”

The first of many trips to Royals games. Can’t express how great it feels to be home and close to The K again …

APRIL 2011: “Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around …”

I was patient when looking for the right job. It took nearly a year, but I landed on my feet at my alma mater as a media specialist. After 11 months away from the business … I missed it severely. I’m fortunate to end up with the job I have …

MAY 2011: “She’s got a smile that it seems to me reminds me of childhood memories …”

Two memorable moments: 1. Roasting the girlfriend’s sister, who’s been a friend for 20 years, at her birthday bash with a Happy 40th sign (she’s 36). 2. The girlfriend’s 20-year reunion, where the dorky freshman (me) was with the hottest senior in school …

JUNE 2011: “And when you finally fly away, I’ll be hoping that I served you well. For all the wisdom of a lifetime, no one can ever tell …”

My father and I, both Joplin, Mo., natives, drove home to see the aftermath of the May 22 tornado. A horrific scene, but the trip came about a year after I moved home and stayed with dad for several months before “flying away” …

JULY 2011: “My momma told me don’t lose you, cause the best luck I had was you …”

I followed those orders, moving in with the girlfriend in Overland Park. We also had a trip to St. Louis, taking in the zoo, a ballgame and several other sites …

AUGUST 2011: “He’s racing and pacing and plotting the course …”

During this month, I got serious about getting in shape, running up to three miles every day in 100-degree temperatures. And I did go the distance in the following month. My first alumni magazine also published during this month …

SEPTEMBER 2012: “Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on go play …”

I did something I’d always wanted to do in September: run a 5K. Without stopping or walking. This month also capped a 60-day stretch in which my weight went from 247 to 215 pounds. We also rocked Winefest, tearing up the dance floor to “Moves like Jagger …”

OCTOBER 2011: “Are you ready for some football? …”

I think I watched more football this month than any other month in my life, partly because everybody in the family loves it …

NOVEMBER 2011: “And just like the clouds, my eyes will do the same …”

This song really doesn’t apply, though it definitely would rain … I just love the song, and it became a hit about this time. The best one of 2011. Highlights in November included watching Missouri whip Kansas (again) at Arrowhead and Thanksgiving …

DECEMBER 2011: “All I do is win, win no matter what …”

So to sum up 2011: New girl, new nephew, new job, 40 pounds lost, 8,000 hits on this blog …

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