Minnesotan in training: January 8, 2014


I caught a little flak from my wife for not writing a year-in-review column. So much happened in 2013 that I could certainly put it down on paper. As a professional procrastinator, I believe the mantra “Better late than never,” so here goes.
In January, Sarah and I signed on the dotted line to purchase our first home. I kicked off February by proposing in that home while we were inspecting repairs and exactly a month later, we were officially home owners.
February and March also gave me the chance to take part in two of Maple Lake’s largest events: the 38th annual Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby and the 36th annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Both events are impressive and I’m looking forward to them again this year.
April brought way too much snow, considering it was technically spring. As if it wasn’t snowy enough here, Ed Pawlenty and I ventured north of Brainerd for the Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program. Thankfully, Sarah and I were able to sneak away to Phoenix, where my college roommate, Jay, got married. Though it meant wearing a black tux in 100-degree heat, it was worth it to see my friend marry his best friend.
With May came my 26th birthday. Though it wasn’t a “big one,” we celebrated at a Nicholas David concert in Minneapolis.
The summer months brought engagement photos and a couple camping trips with my future in-laws. It started to sink in that I’d be married soon, and that was a good thing. 
I also had a chance to take in my first Twins game at Target Field and a Steve Miller Band concert. 
At the newspaper, I had the chance to cover the Gear-Head Get Together and the 2013 State Amateur Baseball Tournament. Once again, I was blown away with how well Maple Lake comes together to draw visitors in for big events.
Summer was definitely busy. I did my best not to complain about the heat, knowing that I’d miss it once the cold temperatures set in.
With September came my second trip to the Great Minnesota Get-Together. After listening to Journey from outside the grandstands the year before, we decided to attend the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis show. We made the most of a weather-related delay and enjoyed the grand finale of the Minnesota State Fair.
No offense to the other months, but October was my hands-down favorite. Marrying Sarah had everything to do with that. After months of planning, Sarah officially became my wife. We honeymooned in Mexico and have since settled into our home together.
November couldn’t quite compare, even though it did include taking Sarah to her first Vikings’ game, thanks to a wedding gift from some longtime family friends. Oh, and I grew a moustache for Movember. So, the first highlight of December was shaving that.
Other highlights included celebrating Maple Lake Elementary School’s designation as a School of Excellence and sharing my first Christmas with Sarah as a married couple.
And there you have it: 2013 in a nut shell. 2014 definitely has its work cut out for it to match the last year, but I have nothing but confidence that it will be another great year in Maple Lake.