Tag Archives: New Years

Happy New Year: Reflecting On 2012

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Once again I find myself sitting in a plane flying at 30,000 feet reflecting on the past year. It’s crazy to me that it’s already 2013, I mean, what happened to 2012? Let’s take a moment and look back at the year in the life of “J Fed.”

As many of you know, Karen and I moved to Portland, Oregon back in October of 2011. That means 2012 was our first full year living on the West Coast. The best way to describe it would be to say it’s been a year of exploring and learning. We’ve made new friends, tried new restaurants, visited new places, and most of all, made new memories together. We’ve also been called Hotel Feder, as we’ve been fortunate enough to have many friends and family come to visit us in our new home.

The Cottage

I somehow managed to finagle my way to the cabin back in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota quite a few times. My time on Lake Melissa was well spent with a healthy amount of waterskiing, fishing, and relaxing on the boat. Karen and I managed to spend a week there together which was very nice, and yes, Otto came as well. My sister, Karen, and I also surprised my parents at the cabin for their 30th anniversary with an unannounced visit, along with a small gathering of their lake friends. The look on their faces when the three of us walked into that cabin was priceless.

The Car Connection's Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster

Karen and I took our first ever (and if you ask her, last) cross-country road trip this past summer. The vehicle of choice was The Car Connection’s Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster. That’s right, we drove from Portland, Oregon to Minneapolis, Minnesota in an Orange Hyundai Veloster. We also made a stop at Yellowstone National Park, along with Iowa to visit her family, and of course the cabin in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. All in we drove about 3,000 miles during the trip. I thought it was fun, Karen said we made memories, and Otto was just along for the ride.

Joel and Karen in Israel

Karen and I managed to get away this year in the form of a 10 day trip to Israel. We went on Birthright together, and it was truly a trip of a lifetime. We did it all, from riding camels and swimming in the Dead Sea, to hiking Mount Masada and visiting the Western Wall. Memories were made, friendships were formed, and life experiences were had.

This past August marked my second year working at High Gear Media. While my title hasn’t changed from Social Media Manager, I’ve taken on a whole new host of responsibilities. From managing our videos and being our front man with OEMs and marketing agencies, to helping test iOS apps and brainstorming new concepts, there’s never a dull moment. I’m looking forward to even more responsibility and new assignments in 2013.

JD Power Automotive Marketing Round Table 2012

I know you’re patiently waiting for an update on the furriest member of our household, the one and only Otto. We’ve lost count of which Mr. Fox we are on at this point, but it doesn’t seem to matter as Otto always appears to enjoy destroying him. Otto’s continued his travels, and at this point would likely have quite a few doggy air miles, if such a thing existed. Karen reminded me that this year Otto made his first trip to a pumpkin patch. He was a bit intimidated at first, but after a few minutes he decided it was safe to run around all the round things on the ground.

Otto in Pumpkin Patch Karen, Nonnie, and Joel

We had planned to spend Thanksgiving with friends down in California, but unfortunately we ended up making a trip home as my grandmother passed away at the age of 92 years old. She was the matriarch of our family, and the void she’s left can not be filled. She was an amazing woman who taught me so many things. She will never be forgotten.

The silver lining in her passing was that we were able to spend Thanksgiving with our family back in Minneapolis. Everyone really did pull together, and we tried to make the best of it. It was nice to be with family.

I know about this time last year I promised that this blog would receive more attention. If you spend even a few moments on this site, you’ll see that promise was broken. I swear it wasn’t really a lie, but merely something I just couldn’t deliver on in the end. Between work and my personal life, the blog has received less attention. It comes down to a mere lack of time, rather than a lack of motivation. As we go into the new year I won’t be promising that this blog will return to its former glory multiple posts every week, but I can say I’d like to see myself post here more frequently. We’ll see what happens.

While not as many changes in my life as 2011 (moving across the country, getting married, getting a different car, selling a car, etc), I would overall put 2012 in the win pile. It was a great year with some terrific memories.

So once again I find myself wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year.

Happy New Year: Reflecting On 2011

As I sit here on a plane flying at about 12,000 feet, I wonder how it can already be 2012 and why am I flying to Portland, Oregon to go home. Yes, it’s been a crazy year and it is time once again to reflect on the past 12 months in the life of Feder Feder.

Let’s start with the big one, I got married. Yes, in case you missed it, there is now officially a Mrs. Feder Feder (AKA Karen Feder). Karen and I got married on August 28 with perfect weather and all the family and friends a couple could ask for. It was a beautiful ceremony and an amazing party. While I still haven’t gotten around to uploading the amazing photos to Facebook, the day continues to replay in my head. There’s no question, I’m a lucky guy.

One would think that planning a wedding would mean a whole lot less time at the cabin in the summer. Luckily for me, my (now) wife and mother are rockstars. Working fast and furious to make sure everything was in order, all while ensuring my father and I were content with the amount of quality time at the cabin. In all reality, we spent quite a bit of time up North this past summer. There was plenty of water skiing and thankfully no major accidents. The fishing was terrible, but the cigars, Monster Lo-Carb, and company of my father made up for the lack of actual fish.

Funny enough, a mere month and a half after Karen and I got married, we packed up our stuff and moved out West to Portland, Oregon. My rockstar wife accepted a position with WebTrends as a Search Manager. Not only did we move, but I was traveling both the week before, and the week we actually moved. Needless to see, my champ of a wife moved us and unpacked us.

I’ll fully admit, the decision to move did not come lightly. It was a very difficult decision that we struggled with. Moving away from everything we knew, all our friends and family, might possibly be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Three months later, I don’t regret our decision. But I do still miss our friends and family. That said, I’m happy to report I can now make it to most places in Portland, including Costco and Chipotle, without using a GPS.

I celebrated my one year anniversary at High Gear Media and head into 2012 as the Social Media Manager. While my title hasn’t changed I’ve taken on more responsibility and definitely grown as a writer. The HGM Editorial Mafia breaks knee caps on a daily basis in an effort to make me both a better writer, and probably a better person. For that I am grateful. It’s not often you can say you truly love what you do, and I have the opportunity to say I love both what I do, and who I do it with. The team is terrific and I look forward to what 2012 brings.

Another milestone for me in 2011 was what I dubbed Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged. The week after my wedding I went seven days without touching both the Internet and Monster Lo-Carb. Yes, no Twitter, Facebook, or Email. My RSS reader just continued to collect stuff. Many people didn’t think I could do it. They were wrong. Even my own wife didn’t think I could do it. But she admits that I did. Just for the record, it wasn’t as refreshing as everyone said it would be. I felt lost in the world. Like I had no clue what was going on. Unplugging for a few hours, maybe even a day, is OK. But going seven days with absolutely no Internet or form of communication outside of talking on the telephone or texting, that just felt weird.

Back in March I made the decision it was finally time to sell my 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yet another tough decision. My Jeep had 172,000 miles on it and literally had three door dings. The paint shined and it ran like a top. It sold in a day and a half. While I truly miss my Jeep some days, I know it went to a good home. I have some amazing memories in that vehicle, but the time had come to move on.

In October right after we moved I purchased the new Federmobile: a 1991 BMW M5. After searching for weeks I found the right car waiting for me three hours north of Portland in Seattle, Washington. A three owner car with every service record dating back to the original delivery of the car. I not only have the records, but also have the original window sticker and key cards with the radio codes and key codes. While the car has 140k on it, most major mechanical parts have been replaced, and the expensive stuff like tuning the valves was done right before I bought it. While the car is my daily driver, it is more of a toy than anything at the current moment.

I know you are all wondering about the four legged member of our family, Otto. He’s doing well. I’m happy to report he is very happy in Portland and loves that our house has only carpet instead of laminate floors like in Minneapolis. He sprints up and down the stairs multiple times a day, all three flights. We are fairly confident the stairs has made him lose a little weight, but when we moved he was only 8.4 pounds, so he didn’t have too much to lose. He’s fully grown and loves to sleep. I am sad to report he finally killed Mr. Fox by ripping open his head. Mr. Fox had a good run of nearly a year and a half. Mr. Fox was replaced by, you guessed it, Mr. Fox II, who sadly was destroyed in three weeks. Otto is moving on to Mr. Fox III, but we aren’t sure about his chances of survival. So we already bought Mr. Fox IIII. Otto is also becoming a world traveler. This flight we are on right now will be his fourth flight. This time, we didn’t even sedate him, and he’s doing quite well.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family in Portland and were able to see both our family in Iowa, and our family in Minneapolis during the holidays. It was terrific to catch up with friends over the holidays and it truly reinforced what great people we have in our lives.

As you might have noticed since I moved to Portland, this blog has been lacking consistent content. The reality is much of what I used to write here is now being written for work. Duplication isn’t necessary. Going forward in 2012, I hope to get back into the habit of writing stuff here more consistently. This is a terrific outlet for my thoughts and I know many of my friends and family read this site to keep up with me and my adventures.

From all the above, I’m guessing you figured out that 2011 was a pretty good year. Some big life changes but all of them leading to new adventures. I look forward to tackling each one head on and seeing what 2012 brings.

So with that I’ll end with wishing everyone a healthy, and happy new year.