31 Days of Gratitude - In an attempt to publicly express my gratitude for the people that have impacted me in some way in 2015, I'm setting out to write one post a day sharing what I appreciate about them or what moment that marked me. Some of these people I know well, some I've only met, and some I'm just getting to know. There is no ranking to these posts and they aren't meant to put anyone on a pedestal. They, like you and I, are imperfect people with their own flaws, some you may have experienced. Despite those flaws, I believe we all need to have our positive characteristics called into light and celebrated. This is that attempt. 

David Park is a such a great guy and I'm grateful to have gotten to spend time with him in 2015. David and I met a few years back through a mutual friend on a 30ish mile bike ride. David and his wife just had gotten some bikes then and David quickly fell deeply in love with cycling. Since then, he's gone all in and has become quite the bike racer and an asset to the Team NL squad. David and I always enjoy getting together to talk about bikes, racing, and cool things we could do with cycling through Team NL. More than that, we connect on many other levels beyond cycling, which I'm most grateful. 

We share a deep faith that our lives are meant for something bigger than ourselves and that we have a responsibility to do something meaningful with them. David is a such a caring guy and it plays out through his profession as a fire-firefighter as well as in every interaction I've seen him have with anyone when we're together. He's always engaging beyond a simple hello and is kind to everyone I've ever seen him talk to. He's generous with his knowledge and experiences while wanting to learn from those around him. 

I'm grateful for our growing friendship on and off the bike, David. You encourage me in many ways and I look forward to spending more time with you in 2016. Lets do some long rides together this year!

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AuthorAndrew Hoffman

31 Days of Gratitude - In an attempt to publicly express my gratitude for the people that have impacted me in some way in 2015, I'm setting out to write one post a day sharing what I appreciate about them or what moment that marked me. Some of these people I know well, some I've only met, and some I'm just getting to know. There is no ranking to these posts and they aren't meant to put anyone on a pedestal. They, like you and I, are imperfect people with their own flaws, some you may have experienced. Despite those flaws, I believe we all need to have our positive characteristics called into light and celebrated. This is that attempt. 

I've been fortunate to marry into a wonderful family. The Brate's are some of the kindest, warmest, and loving people I know and I'm grateful for that. I couldn't have asked for a better family to be forever connected to that wasn't my own, and eight married years in, they are my own. 

Dave & Connie - You've done such a wonderful job raising your daughters and creating an environment where they could grow up and learn what it means to love others well. I'm grateful for all the ways you continue to care for them and incorporate Austin and I into your families as your sons. You're grace, generosity, welcoming spirits, and genuine interest in our daily lives is welcomed and appreciated. I'm grateful for all the character traits I've seen you both demonstrate over the years that have impacted me and marked me as ones I need to emulate as a husband, father, and a neighbor trying to love others well. I truly hope that Michelle and I can do with our kids half as well as you've done with your own. I'm looking forward to the many years ahead and the life we'll get to do together. 

Austin & Linda - Thank you for welcoming me into the family all those years ago and making an effort to get to know me as a person and not just a guy dating your sister. Your kindness and genuine interest welcomed me to the family and continue to make me feel like I'm a part of it. I'm grateful for sibling in-laws that are also friends. Whether I show it well when we're together or not, I do appreciate all the times we get to spend together and to see our kids grow up closely as cousins. 

As I reflect on the past year, the times we've spent together, and the fact that our family is loved deeply by you all, I can't help but be grateful. 

Posted
AuthorAndrew Hoffman

31 Days of Gratitude - In an attempt to publicly express my gratitude for the people that have impacted me in some way in 2015, I'm setting out to write one post a day sharing what I appreciate about them or what moment that marked me. Some of these people I know well, some I've only met, and some I'm just getting to know. There is no ranking to these posts and they aren't meant to put anyone on a pedestal. They, like you and I, are imperfect people with their own flaws, some you may have experienced. Despite those flaws, I believe we all need to have our positive characteristics called into light and celebrated. This is that attempt. 

Coming from an advertising agency background where resources and creativity flowed widely to a no-budget nonprofit organization has continued to be one of my greatest frustrations at NL. I'm constantly dreaming up ideas on how to better position NL in the community from a marketing, branding, and communication perspective. It matters greatly to our growth and success, and I'm always feeling limited in what I can do. However, I've been capable of doing a ton of great stuff because so many people have invested their time pro-bono or at a significant discount over the years to help us. There are many I'm grateful for when I think about it. 

At this time last year, creative work for our website, Team NL, and a whole host of other NL projects was backing up. It was going to be too costly and the timeline too short to hire it all out, so I had the idea of hiring a design intern, which I had never done before. It turned out to be one of the great decisions of 2015 because of Lily Fenoglio. We had some other great candidates, but I connected to Lily because of her natural ability, desire to work and learn, and something in her spirit that I  knew connected to the position we were in at NL at the time. Lily was the perfect fit and she did a ton of great stuff for us. 

I'm grateful for Lily far beyond all the "work" she did for us, which was great. I appreciated how she wanted to jump right in on design projects as well as a volunteer on projects. Her creativity was a breathe of fresh air every day in the office and the fact that she was accomplishing everything I wanted to be working relieved some of the tension I have with feeling constantly under-resourced in the communication realm of NL. Lily ended up interning for us for a solid 5-months of time and became a part of our team. We were sad to see her head to Ashville, NC in May, but knew it was the adventure she needed as a person. 

Since then, Lily has run her first half-marathon on behalf of Team NL and raised some dollars for us, which helped fund a roof. She's an advocate for our work and will always be a member of our NL team. Thank you, Lily, for being exactly what NL and I needed in 2015. Like everyone else you've impacted in FW, we wish you were still around, but are glad to see you doing well in NC. 

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AuthorAndrew Hoffman