Thanksgiving is finally here, and it is one of my favorite holidays. Food, football, family and friends. What more could you ask for? Keeping up with tradition, here are the things that I am most thankful for this past year (in no particular order, barring number one).
1. My Wife – Getting through the wedding planning this past year was a bear, but it was worth it. Being married to my best friend has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. San Antonio Jane makes me incredibly happy, she is always there for me and she inspires so much creativity in me (not to mention that she is an amazing cook). I am so thankful to have such a loving wife.
2. The Smart People Who Surround Me – I am blessed to have such smart and talented people who surround me with the different activities I do. Be it a co-founder on a museum tour project, developers who have helped with iPhone apps, Rackers who have let me film them explaining difficult concepts or being goofy in funny videos, a videographer who has a knack for the right angles and bringing out the best of the folks he’s taping, an agency who has produced an amazing digital short film that rivals Pixar, a team of writers who have made some fantastic content, peers who can quickly execute the daily work tasks so that we can focus on being creative and bosses who believe in me enough to give me the freedom to try creative things, the people who surround me are the ones who enable me to achieve things that I thought were impossible.
3. Geekdom – This collaborative workspace is transforming San Antonio. Located on the 11th (and now 10th) floor of the Weston Centre, Geekdom has quickly grown to be 500 members strong of people who are entrepreneurs, technologists, developers, makers and creatives. I’d bet that one of the companies from Geekdom will gain some serious traction on a national level in 2013.
4. My Family – Each year I learn to appreciate my family more and more. I am thankful to have three of my grandparents still alive (one who just turned 90 years old) and a great relationship with my nuclear family. This year has also seen my family grow, and I am so blessed to have a mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law who have accepted me as part of the family. Finally, I am excited to have become an uncle with the birth of my first nephew, nicknamed Baby Blue, and am extremely thankful that both he and his mom were both healthy.
5. The Rivard Report – This past year has seen a local blog rise to prominence. With the tagline of “Local, Independent and all about San Antonio,” The Rivard Report has become an outlet for San Antonians to find out information about our city along with the people who are changing it for the better. If you haven’t checked it out, it is worth a read.
6. My Company – My professional career has taken twists and turns, from working as an analyst at a distribution center, then a consultant for an automotive company with territory in Hawai’i and Texas, to being an analyst/project manager at a local technology company, to trying to start my own business and tutoring inner city SAT prep once it failed, to returning back to the technology company as a project manager, to ultimately winding up in a role as a content marketer. I don’t know why my company took a chance on me being in marketing, but I am thankful they did: I have never had so much fun at work in my life.
7. The Puffy Taco – This taco is puro San Antonio. A friend recently rolled through town and got to experience one for the first time; it is one of the joys of living in the Alamo City.
8. Big Bend – I got to visit Big Bend for the first time this past year and was extremely impressed. Located in the middle of nowhere, it is one national park that all the visitors have to desire to be there (there’s no one who just “happens” upon Big Bend). Truly one of the best places to take in the Texas sky.
9. My Friends – Some of my friends I’ve known for a long time, others are new. One has provided encouragement and editing of my writing and has helped me develop a better style. Another is always up for camping in the mountains of New Mexico. And countless others helped me with my wedding by being ushers, DJ, emcee and wrapping my car. Still others are there to bounce ideas off of, go on Instameets, play volleyball and grab a beer. I’m thankful that my friends can put up with me, even when I’m sometimes not the best of friend to them.
10. Margaritaville Margarita Machine – This has been one of the greatest pieces of technology that I have ever owned. With some tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, ice and a press of the button, I can quickly create a concoction that will make you dance without inhibition.
11. My House – I love my house and my neighborhood; it has me right smack dab in the middle of where everything happens. I’m so glad my wife got me to look beyond the smaller floor plan and a single bathroom.
12. Shower Conversion Kit – Speaking of that single bathroom, when we first moved into that house there was only an antique bathtub; no shower was to be found. Thank goodness for the shower conversion kit.
13. Kindle – I was one of those people who resisted the Kindle for many, many years. It wasn’t until a good friend gave me her old Kindle when she upgraded to the Kindle Fire that I realized how amazing this little device is; while I might always have a soft spot in my heart for printed text, reading on the Kindle is so dang fun.
14. Bliss – This has to be one of my favorite restaurants that I got to visit this past year. The food at Bliss is amazing, but the atmosphere and service takes it to the next level. I know that I didn’t write a proper review of the joint, but look forward to doing so in the near future. I just need to be able to get some really good photos of the food (it was twilight and my pictures just didn’t seem to come out).
15. Scooter – This is a random entry, but my dad had surgery on his foot. This scooter lets him place a knee on it so that he can wheel around on his hurt foot and walk with his good foot. Without having this invention, he wouldn’t be able to get around so well.
16. My Health – Seems like this past year went without any major issues affecting my health. I look forward to playing some basketball at the “Y” and running more to help be even healthier this upcoming year.
17. Whataburger All Time Favorites – This year saw Whataburger make some of their all time favorites (including the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich and Patty Melt) mainstays on the menu. Thank you Whataburger, thank you.
18. My Bike – I hadn’t been on a bike since I was an early teenager and would ride one up to work at a local record shop. My wife got me a bike and I have loved riding it all over town. This has been one of the things that single-handedly took me back to being a kid.
19. French Press – One of the best ways to make a cup of Joe.
20. Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy – Now you’re talking. In fact, I can smell some now! Thanks for being such great readers and I hope that you and your family has a fantastic Thanksgiving!