Do not create with the purpose of serving others. Create because it is part of you. Create because you have too.

2009 – The Recap

Originally posted December 31st, 2009

Wow…It’s almost over.   2009 will shortly be behind us.  What a year it has been!   Today I bring you by Best and Worst of 2009 in words and in photos.   This post is pretty long so sit back and I hope you enjoy.  If you are on dial up, exit now as this post is photo intensive!

Best – The best thing in 2009 is my family, both my immediate and my extended.   I’m continually amazed at how amazing they all are.   The joy they bring me and my life is unmatched.   I travelled a lot in 2009 and my amazing wife and best friend kept it all together.   I thank God everyday for my family.

A special shout out to Mrs. Gnat for loving me and supporting me through all my trials and tribulations.  I love you honey!  I think you are my angel.

Best – My Church.   A couple of years ago we decided to leave our old chruch and join our friends on a church plant team.   Living Stones was born.  It’s an amazing community.  I’m surrounded by people I love and look up too.    Living Stones is filled with stewards of God.  More than once in the past year, they have gotten me back on track.    I invite anyone and everyone to come.   Check the link for information.

Best – Gnat Website.   It’s been a crazy year.  I switched to a dot com from my WordPress blog.  That was fun and trying at the same time.  My google ranking dipped back to zero and it took quite a bit of time to link back up, but it’s going stronger than ever.  The year was capped off with a top 10 ranking from!  Ton’s of other good links from both bike and photo sites.   Traffic is going crazy!   I’ve got some great ideas for the coming year.    My camera website is taking off too.  Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to keep it perfectly up to date.  I wish I had a partner with the camera site but I’ll get to that next week.

Best – XXC Mag.  My friend Jason Mahokey has inspired me in so many ways.   He started a labor of love.  As if XXC wasn’t enough,  I’ve even gotten to contribute here and there with both photos and words.  I hope I have those opportunities again in 2010.  Thank you Jason.    There is nothing like XXC and Jason should be commended for it.   I have a feeling we are only seeing the beginning of XXC.

Best – Friends – I’ve grown as a person because of the people around me.   I find it interesting, though, how the internet has changed how friendships are formed, built and maintained.    I can’t believe the power of the internet and I feel I can travel almost anywhere in the USA and find someone to welcome me and show me their trails.  Pretty sweet.   That said, there is still no replacement though for face to face and time spent doing actual activities with friends…preferably riding bikes!

Best Solo Ride – Kokopelli.  What could be better than riding almost 145 miles in one day through amazing beauty?

Oh yeah, riding 145 miles, camping with friends and then riding in Moab!  That makes the ride even better!

Best – Ride with friends – 1st Annual Fargo Ride.   Good time.  Good trails.   Great friends.   Look for an update on the 2nd annual Fargo ride next week.   Don’t miss it.    I also loved the Rawland Ride so I’m calling that out here too.   Same reasons.

Best Trip – Paris with my wife for our 10 year anniversary!

Best – Photography – I feel like I’ve really grown as a photographer and feel I’m developing my own personal style.   Every artist needs to find their own way.  I am finding mine and feel I have a direction to pursue in 2010. Photography kept me sane in 2009 during some tough times by giving me freedom to learn and explore.

Best – My Favorite Photo – This  photo sums it all up for me.  Exploration.  Beauty.  Clarity.  Uncertainty.

Worst – Travel – While I’ve gotten to go do some pretty darn cool stuff, I don’t like that I can’t share it with my family.  I spent too much time away from my family in 2009.  I am sick of airports, airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, long lines, and the smells of travel.

So….That’s a wrap for 2009.   Can’t wait to see what 2010 brings!

Thanks to all of the friends, family and readers for encouraging me in 2009.  I sure hope I can keep you all coming back here in 2010.

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