Well, here we are in April… So much has already happened this year that it almost feels silly to look back at 2011. Well, heck. It is silly. So the best thing I can think to do is just bury this post under another post. And come on- who really cares what I did in 2011? Still if your’e reading this (I expect my family to, but anyone else who has ventured in here gets my “You So Crazy Brave” salute) you need to know that I did write most of this last year. I just never got around to finishing it. So with much regret and embarrassment here are some 2011 highlights and… uh… stuff:
I’d say that 2011 was a banner year for the Hughes family. All the kids are doing well, Fran is doing great, I’m feeling good. Work and home life have stabilized and, for the most part, life is running smoothly.
Fran is my rock (a soft sexy rock). She runs our household with enthusiasm, unparallelled organization and a somewhat manic passion. She’s still working at BHQ part time as well (she likes it- don’t let her tell you otherwise). I don’t like to gush but I feel very blessed to have Fran as my wife. Last year we added a fourth child to the brood (yeah “added” – like buying another plant). Chole is like an angel. She wakes up smiling, she bubbles all day and her smile melts any heart. Gabe has become a moody, picky, life of the party four year old socialite. Claire is a mess-prone, sweet-natured, selfless six year old and she’s a ravenous reader. Michael is a manipulative, scheming, logic-loving eight year old with an irrepressible passion to win. I know every Dad thinks it, but I have the best kids in the world (they do seem to be slightly skewed toward the evil side though… in a twisted way it almost makes me proud).
Growth at BHQ has just been incredible. I’m floored by how well things have gone, how much progress we’ve made and how far we’ve come. I really feel like we’re hitting our stride now and our momentum is going to take us further than we ever dreamed.
I believe we owe a large portion of our success to the BHQ team. We have incredible people who are dedicated, responsible, innovative and who have exceptional attitudes and directed focus. I wish I knew them all better- it’s gotten to the point where I simply don’t have the deeper one-on-one relationships I used to have with all of my employees. But I am grateful to all of them. Go Team!
In late 2011 we acquired the unit next to us giving us some much needed space for products and supplies.
We changed the upstairs layout to accommodate more people (Mr. Ping Pong table was replaced with additional desks). We added a sound stage as where we film videos for our YouTube channel (KnifeHQ).
The storefront is a thing of beauty. In store customer traffic increased a good deal in 2011. We have really high hopes for 2012 (read: we want our store to break even!).
The packing & customer service centers continue to grow as does the warehouse. They said we’d never fill it. They said we were crazy. Now they say “Can we work for you?”
On a personal level things are good. Sometimes I feel like there’s too much going on, but on the whole I think things are pretty balanced. I have fallen off the health bandwagon a bit, but I’m sure I’ll muster up the strength to climb back on. Having a new baby has made exercise very challenging. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I assume it’s because child rearing occupies an additional portion of my wife’s time and, in turn, my time.
At this point I really only have two hobbies left. Blogging and my car (UtahCorvette.com). I could actually see myself as a full-time blogger one day. Cam’s blogging service. And speaking of cars… it’s almost time to go car shopping!
Fun Holiday Stuff
Halloween: The kids always love to go out on Halloween. I feel like our neighborhood is pretty safe and so we let the two oldest go out and about with their friends. Fran took out the littlest two this year. I stay home, watch some TV and hand out candy (and eat some of it… a lot of it…).
Christmas is always a little stressful since I work in retail. But we always find time to get the tree ready, drink hot chocolate and make gingerbread houses. Well, this year we opted for graham cracker houses. They were easy to build, just the right size and each kid got their own house to decorate.
And I think there was a New Year’s Party in there somewhere. With a new baby I don’t remember a whole lot. I think we played ImagineIf and ate ice cream. It’s all a blur. If you were at the party (was there a party?) thank you for coming!
One nice thing about staying in the same house for a long time is you can really settle in. Rooms get organized in just the right way (after much trial and error), you have time to paint accent walls, decorate and really figure out how to live in your house.
Our workout room got a much needed makeover. We rearranged the treadmill & rowing machine in a much more efficient layout. We also got a larger TV (built in wireless is an amazing feature which I’d recommend to anyone) – possibly justified since we spend so much time in this room.
Speaking of efficient layouts… We had a room in our basement that was kind of a disaster. In the center was a pool table and then there were two couches on either side of the room. Some bookcases in the corner rounded out the debacle. Stacy to the rescue again (she did our bedroom).
Sometimes it just takes a different perspective to figure out the best way to allocate space. With the pool table shifted over we were able to create a nice sitting area. We also added an electric piano for the kids to practice on.
The book shelves fit perfectly along the side wall and aren’t visible as you enter the room anymore. Stacy painted the room with a very light grey color and hung a large world map & mirror (both from Ikea) for decoration. We have dubbed our newly reorganized room “The Study” (where, oddly enough, Uncle Plum was murdered with a candlestick).
And there’s tons of other stuff that I simply don’t have time to blog about (robot revolution, my trip to Venus, the time the sun went nova and killed us, etc). Looking back 2011 was a pretty darn good year. No regrets. Hopefully 2012 will be even better.
Posted by Cam Hughes