My 2010 Year in Review

Posted: December 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

My 2010 started out probably a little more interesting than yours – not on purpose.  On New Years Eve 2009, I was looking forward to spending the evening with just my wife and her parents.  Our plan to play games and ring in the New Year quietly in our home in Mechanicsburg.  No ball drops, no gunshots, no pickles, no all-nighters with the teens.  It was supposed to be a seemingly uneventful night.

Then Max stepped in.

Our dog Max is a mix of Jack-Russell and Beagle.  He’s a pretty chill dog but he has his moments where his Jack-Russell energy takes over and he becomes a dog that rivals the dog from the movie Marley and me.  When we first got him on our honeymoon we fell in love with him right away.  We could practically fit him in the palm of our hands he was so small.  But as he grew – he learned to chew.  He chewed up computer cords, pieces of our couch, and every stuffed animal that came in his sight.

When we found out Vicki was pregnant late in 2009, we knew we’d have to train him to calm down his aggression.  We began scolding him for his energetic outbreaks, and we even began using mops, brooms, and our greatest tool: the beater.  The beater is basically a rolled up newspaper wrapped in duct tape that is used to remind Max who’s in charge. We felt like we had done a pretty good job as Max had begun showing signs of maturing and growing out of his chewing on everything phase.  Then on New Years Eve… we had a slight setback.

While Vicki’s parents were gone dropping off Vicki’s brother and sister off at a New Years party – Vicki and I were patiently sitting at home watching a food network marathon.  As Vicki was laying on the couch, Max was laying beside her – almost protecting the baby in the womb – with his eyes closed.  I have no idea to this day if he knew his soon to be sister was in there or not, but as the show we were watching went to commercial, I leaned in (rather quickly) to surprise him.  Surprise him I did, and surprise me he did.

After Max bit me in the nose – I could see the remorse in his eyes.  Meanwhile, I was in the bathroom taking a look at the damage.  He got me pretty good, almost completely removing the bridge of my nose.  We called our friend Betsey who knows a thing or two about these types of emergencies.  Within minutes we were on our way to her house.  After stopping there, she gave us the news we were not hoping to hear.  We were going to have to go to the emergency room.

We arrived in the emergency room around 9 o’clock, and we would eventually watch the ball drop while still waiting.  It wasn’t until about 12:30 when we were finally given a room.

So 2010 rolled in with a bang, and although it didn’t start out so well, it turned out to be an amazing year.  Max would ultimately calm down – never having another moment that like again.  Thankfully 🙂

Here are some of my other favorite highlights from an amazing year:

Snow – In Feb/March 2010 – We recv’d between 20-30 inches of snow

Mike Cox speaks in Youth Group – We had our largest group ever (to date) the night we had professional football player Mike Cox of the Kansas City Chiefs come and speak at youth group.  His then fiance (current wife) would also share her testimony that night which made for an awesome evening.  Mike and Dana also gave me the privilege of singing in their wedding which was an amazing honor.

Meeting Casting Crowns – We were able to go to see the Casting Crowns and Kutless when they came to Hershey.  There were about 20 others from our church that went along, but through the power of twitter, I was able to win backstage meet-n-greet passes to meet the band.  It was a really cool experience as I consider the Casting Crowns to be my favorite band.  We were able to get the whole bands autographs and also snapped this very cool picture with lead singer Mark Hall and the drummer Brian Scoggin.

Winning 2nd place in our church softball league – One of my favorite things to look forward to each spring is playing softball.  As a kid, my favorite sport was always (and still is) baseball.  Softball is the closest thing to baseball and playing on our church team with a bunch of awesome guys was one of the highlights of my year.  Having Joey Johnson show up the night of our championship game (which we unfortunately lost), was a great moment for all of us.  Joey was one of our best players who left after 3 or 4 games to serve our country in the US Navy.  So proud of you Joey!

Seeing Teens accept Christ and Baptizing them – This has been an amazing experience for me the last 2 years.  Each summer the past 2 years, we have baptized teenagers.  This year we baptized 8 of them.  All total we had 13 teens accept Christ in 2010.  Praise God for all he continues to do through our church and the youth ministry that Vicki and I are so privileged to serve in.

NAOMI! – By FAR the biggest highlight of my year was on June 21, 2010 when Naomi Joy Riggins was born.  She has been such a blessing to Vicki and I and we are so blessed to have her in our family.  I cannot even comprehend life without her at this point.  For Christmas this year, 4 days after her 6 month birthday, she gave us a pretty awesome gift – she crawled for the first time.  It’s tough to pick just a few, but here are my favorite pictures of my precious little bundle of JOY.

First Ever Picture

Still in Hospital

Not a football fan… yet 🙂

Naomi and Max… already friends 🙂

Naomi and her Nanny… before saying good bye

Mommy… please let me out of here 🙂

Is it Christmas yet?

Saying Goodbye to two Grandparents – This year my grandfather from my mom’s side and my grandmother from my dad’s side both went home to be with Jesus.  At my grandfathers funeral, I was given the opportunity to honor my papa by singing “Give Me Jesus” in Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va.  At my grandmothers funeral, I was given the opportunity to honor my nanny by singing 4 songs with my cousins Lindsey and Anna and my older brother Jason.  We also sang “Give Me Jesus”.  Every time I hear that song now – I think of my two grandparents up with Jesus and can’t wait for the day to join them in glory.

Growing Closer to my Wife – I wouldn’t be the man I am, the dad I am, the Youth Leader I am, the husband I am, without the love, support, encouragement from my amazing wife Vicki.  She is everything I could have ever imagined her to be.  She never ceases to amaze me and I am so thankful and blessed to call her my wife and best friend.

2010 had it’s up and downs, it was filled with triumph and tragedy.  There are things we wish to remember and things we hope to never think about again.  Through it all, God has shows us that He remains faithful through everything.  He is still here, right where He was this time last year.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  Never let us go and walk with us every step of the way.  At the beginning of this year – I told the teens to “Go all in in 2010”.  I am thankful for giving it all to Jesus this year and telling Him to take my life and use it for His glory.  I made mistakes along the way, but in the end I can look back and say – Thank you Jesus for making 2010 the best year of my life!

And I am looking forward to an even better 2011!

  1. bryan says:

    great post Matt! what an awesome year you had, best of everything to you in 2011.

  2. Vicki says:

    Thanks baby! Nomi just told me it’s been an awesome year for her too. We love you tons!

    P.S. As I read this Max was going nuts barking at some car outside. I think he still has a long way to go 🙂

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