Friday, January 2, 2009

The Year In Review

2008 has come and gone. Another year gone by, another year ahead with endless possibilities. Typically I am one who prefers looking forward to the coming horizon, rather than looking back at the landmarks getting smaller as the distance grows. However, every year right around this time I afford myself a little time reminisce about the past year in all aspects of my life.

For the purposes of this blog, I've decided to take a little time and go through more than 100 blog posts that have made their home here and pick my favorites to revisit. 2008 was quite a year and it was hard to choose, but after some thought I've come up with the Top 5 Sons of Norway Blog moments for 2008 (in no particular order):

  1. Marcia Stein's Norwegian Experience. I chose this one because it was so much fun for everyone involved. We couldn't have hoped for a better first-ever winner of the Norwegian Experience Recruitment Contest. Marcia had a great time and it showed in the interviews I had with her while she was traveling across Europe. It was a lot of fun to hear about her trip first-hand, and from the e-mails I received it sounds like a lot of people enjoyed reading about it. And remember, not too much longer and I'll be announcing the winner of the 2008 contest, so make sure to keep an eye out for that.

  2. Sons of Norway's 60th Biennial International Convention. I'm including this one for a few reasons. First of all, this was the first time that Sons of Norway members all over the world could get real-time updates from the convention floor, thanks to the blog, and be a part of the convention experience from their offices, living rooms, libraries or coffee shops. Second of all, it's one of my favorite blogging topics because there was so much to write about. From the wonderful people in District 6 who put the convention together to all the delegates who came and helped set our course for the next biennium, everyone had a story to share or an experience to relate.

  3. Members' stories about their experiences with the Norwegian Resistance Movement during WWII. I loved this series (and the accompanying Viking article) because it told the stories of our members in their own words. Brave people who fought against an unjust regime, each in their own way, in hopes of returning their beloved homeland to what it once was. A free and fiercely independent country.

  4. Announcement of the election of Sons of Norway International Officers. The International Board is made of a great group of people. I've worked with many of them for nearly a decade now and I think they're doing a great job. I'm really looking forward to their leadership in 2009. But , that's not the reason why I find this to be a memorable blog moment for 2008. You see, from the time I first joined the HQ staff back in 2000, when Penny Joseph Knudsen was president, all the way through to 2008 I had a pet peave related to the convention and election International Officers. It was this: after every convention where new international officers were elected, it would be months before we were able to make any kind of public announcement to the members. It was understandable, because the various publications we use have a lead time of 2-3 months. But for the first time this year we were able to announce the election of officers the same day as the election! Sons of Norway has always been a strong believer in keeping our members as informed as possible about news items and I think this is a huge step for us.

  5. 2008 Norsk Hostfest. Another first for us, in that we were able to bring members from all over into Hostfest and show them around a bit. I really enjoyed being there this year and I hope everyone enjoyed seeing what we're up to. It's the largest Scandinavian festival in North America so we want everyone to know about it and see what all the fun is about. Hopefully after seeing what a great time it was, we'll see some new faces at the 2009 festival. Also-if you liked the Hostfest coverage, check us out this summer because I think we'll be doing something similar at the Scandinavian Hjemkomst festival.
Now you may be asking yourself "why only 5 instead of the usual top 10?" Well, the answer is simple. The blog didn't go live until halfway through the year, so it seemed appropriate to cut the list in half. However, if you really need 5 more posts to feel complete, then check out these honorable mentions:

  1. Lutefisk: It's not so bad
  2. Norwegian Olympics Coverage
  3. Norwegian Music on Myspace
  4. Extended Interview with Ambassador Wegger
  5. Getting to Know...(series)

So, that was 2008 in a whirlwind, wrapped in a nutshell and then paraphrased. Whew!

Alright everyone, have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday!

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