2018...What a year!

2018...What a year! 


On New Year’s Eve it seems only natural to reflect on the year that was and look forward to the year that will be.  I love this time of year also, as I see everyone’s favorite posts from the past year, or using the Top Nine app for their Instagram to show their top liked photos from the past year. For my last blog of the year I’m going to touch on my personal top 10, here goes:


1.  Atlanta Braves 4-Game pack.  I took advantage of a great deal the Braves were running this past season and got to go to 4 games.  We took the first two games a few days before Father’s Day and watched them play the Padres.  Later in the year, my dad and I took to the road for the final two games of the Boston series in Sept.  The Battery at the ball park is really cool, get there early and check out the menus for some great food.  I strategically scheduled these games around bobblehead giveaway games, so If you do that get there early, they go fast.  We also sat in four different areas of the stadium itself for each game.  The second level behind 1st or 3rd is a solid choice.  Chop On. 


2.  Trip to Charleston, S.C.  My wife and I hopped a plane and went to the charming town of Charleston, S.C.  We loved it.  While we walked down Rainbow Row and took a picture in front of a huge Pineapple Fountain, we couldn’t help but view Charleston as a city very similar to New Orleans...but without the New Orleans.  If you find yourself there walking down King St. Stop into Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, you’re welcome. 


3.  First trip to Tampa Bay.  Each year my wife and I make it a point to have a family vacation where it is just our family.  We want to give the kids experiences and what better way to do that than to take a trip and see what the world has to offer.  This year was special because Grayson has played for the “Rays” on his little league baseball team for the past few years and I had gotten us tickets to see the Rays/Yankees.  Not only that, but we took a Pirate Cruise in the Bay – which was a ton of fun and visited the largest aquarium in Florida.  The other highlight of this trip, Conrad wore batman gloves, mask and or a cape and every event.  Don’t believe me?  Scroll through my Instagram page... 

4.  Pensacola beach Brawl.  I’ve never been so proud of 4th place in my whole life.  I competed as an individual in a CrossFit competition in Pensacola this fall and placed 4th out of 42 competitors in my division.  I was proud of this for a few reasons.  1.  I trained hard for it, and hard work does pay off.  2.  It was my first individual competition since 2012 at Pensacola where I was not last but certainly at the bottom tier – let’s say bottom 5 – from last.  I have been doing CrossFit officially now for over 6 years, I look forward to 60 more. 

5.  My first hockey game.  Julie and I took a quick trip to Washington D.C. this past spring.  We were just seeing the Cherry Blossoms bud when we were almost trampled by about 300 individual groups of field trip students on their yearly trek to see the National Mall.  Despite the heavy traffic from charter buses, I experienced one of the fastest pace, exciting and dare I say it – more entertaining than football sport I’ve ever witnessed.  It was the Washington Capitals vs the Winnipeg Jets.  I left the area with a new respect for the sport, an eye witness account of Alexander Ovechkin grabbing his 600th career goal, a double overtime win for the Capitals, and a mascot bobblehead. 


6.  I published my third children’s book titled:  The Jelly Toast Monster.  When I describe the story behind this book, I am very honest and forward.  I say, “I gave my son some jelly toast one morning and it was apparently delivered in a way he did not like, and he lost his mind.”  Usually when I say, “He lost his mind” I get a look as if I just kicked a dog or cursed in church or something.  I guess its taboo to say what really happens during a toddler tantrum.  In any case, Conrad is a character in himself and I couldn’t resist developing a story about my son.  


7.  Family Vacay to the Smoky Mountains.  It had been about 3 years (maybe longer) since I had been up to the Smoky Mountains.  We took a trip this year with Julie’s mom, her Step-dad and our Grayson and Conrad.  There were some remnants from the fire of 2016, but I do love the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge area.  We attended the Hatfield and McCoys show and it was very entertaining, and we also checked out Dolly’s new show as well.  I made it a point to go the Christmas Place this year and allowed my sons to pick out their own Nutcracker for this season.  Proudly displaying on our mantel is a well-rounded trooper Nutcracker (Grayson’s) standing beside a Strom Trooper Nutcracker (Conrad’s). 

8. I published my second children’s book titled:  The Adventures of Smelly Sock:  Into the Yard.  I love this book, where my first book The Adventure of Smelly Sock told of the origins of how he came to be etc.  This book is the launching point for an entire series.  Two things I love about this book, I incorporated our house and our yard to make it personal but being able to have the illustrator capture my dad's old Snapper mower we used to cut grass with was extra special.  The second thing is what I write inside of this book when I sell it at a show to someone.  I write “Always Adventure!”  Words to live by. 

9.  Jovie Marie Delk.  My daughter was born December 4th and she is growing like a weed and we love her so much.  Granted, she’s a Pee/Poop/Napping machine right now and is causing her mom and myself some outrageous sleep patterns (or lack thereof) but when I think about how the year started and we had to go through a miscarriage and then to see this miracle we get to hold in our arms, well...God is good. 

10. Delk Party of 5.  This year culminated in a wonderful Christmas season with our Delk 5.  It was really amazing getting pictures this Christmas with me holding Conrad (as he did not want to cooperate in any pics). Julie holding Jovie (while she wears a perfectly proportioned bow) and having Grayson in the front standing tall.  Taking this kind of picture is always daunting , as one kid is sneezing, one is looking at a bird out the window and one is crying.  I’m desperately holding a smile as not to appear fake and Julie whispers threats to the boys to be still.  The picture is taken, and we look at it and review it.  It seems almost perfect and then we realize Grayson is crosseyed, or Conrad had his finger in his nose.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Case in point, the pic below. These are memories, and it will be my most cherished from 2018.

2018...What a year! 

Russell DelkComment