This morning it was -8 degrees (-22 Celsius) here in Missoula, which was nothing compared to the -30 in Butte and the -47 in West Yellowstone; in short Montana has been hit by a deep winter freeze. Despite the fact that it is too cold to enjoy many things outdoors, the sun is shining brightly into my kitchen window and I am enjoying looking out and over the house behind us into the Sapphire Mountains looming nearby.
I converted my old blog to the new Blogger platform yesterday, changing the layout in the process. during the conversion I was looking at some statistics and saw just how sharply the number of posts I make has dropped off, from almost daily to not even monthly anymore...so I'll add that to my list of resolutions for the new year...that I will once again start posting regularly.
I thought I'd start by posting some of the highlights of my crazy 2006:
In 2006 I got almost 35 days of snowboarding in, including my first out of bounds experience. I enjoyed another season pass at Snowbowl and took my annual 4 day trip to Montana's answer to aspen, Big Sky.
In April I discovered my girlfriend and I were expecting. Lots of complicating circumstances, lots of anxiety but an overall feeling of joy and obligation ensued.
For the 4th year, I ran the Missoula ultimate leagues and we once again had a record number of players.
I traveled to Salt Lake in May for a men's Ultimate tournament, I hadn't played Open in a while, so it was fun and surprisingly I played decent enough to decide on playing another season.
I started training hard for the club Ultimate season in early June, only to be sidelined by an emergency Appendectomy. Despite this, I made the trip to Calgary with the Missoula team, where we finished 3rd. I also attended tourneys in Portland, Bozeman and Boise, all the while trying to grow my relationship with my girlfriend (as her belly was also growing).
In September our Ultimate team won the ID, UT, WY, MT section in Idaho Falls and qualified for the regional championships, where we then qualified for the national championships (as previously posted).
My girlfriend and I bought a home together in October.
On November 17, 2006 at about 6:00 PM, I proposed and she accepted...an hour later she went into labor.
On November 18 (as previously posted) our son, Liam John Hays O'Connor was born...the first non-Hoosier O'Connor (from our clan anyway) since the late 1800's.
We hosted Thanksgiving for much of my family.
Liam got to visit Indiana over Christmas and we spent New Year's eve in a hot tub down the Bitterroot Valley watching fireworks go off under a cloudless, star-filled cold, cold sky.
Not a bad year.
Being a Dad, at this stage in life, and in the manner I did it, has some unique challenges. I must admit sometimes I feel like I am not myself, rather I am a zombie going through the motions of work, changing diapers, getting up 4-5 times a night and doing it all over again. But as all of you parents out there already know, one smile from Liam or observing him interact with his Mom or siblings, and every other care in the world melts away. It's a feeling I've been waiting for a long time to have and it makes up for all the "stuff" I am missing, like snowbaording, hanging out with my friends and teammates, working out, vegging out and spending time writing letters and emails.
Happy New Year.