The goal was to have these awards out — LIKE — two days ago? HA! Didn’t happen. I’ve been pretty dang busy. And, I am fine with that. Plus, I wanted to write a little blurb about each of the winners — but, time did not permit me to do so. So, I blurbed on a couple of the key winners.
But, seriously, I am thankful for all of the nominees and winners. The impact you’ve all had in my life this past year is truly appreciated. I count myself a very lucky man to have so many great people in my life. So — thank you, thank you!
But, without any further adieu — here are the winners of the Family and Friends categories … CONGRATS!
Friend Category 2016
Friend of the Year: David Stuart
Dave has been Friend of the Year the past couple of years and there’s a reason for that. Because, he is one of the most loyal, caring and attentive friends you’ll ever have. No matter the time between phone calls or hangouts — nothing changes his friendship. It starts up where it left off.
I’ve known Dave for years, but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago playing church basketball that we became fast friends. If we aren’t going to a movie together, we’re going to Walmart or a basketball game. And, above all that we’re also going out to eat. As much as Dave asks me where I want to go — we usually end up at a Chinese Buffet at his insistence. Which I don’t mind, because I just love spending time with Dave.
You really can’t ask for a better loyal friend than Dave and I’m lucky that he considers me his #1 best boyfriend — even though I think he might tell this to everyone else.
New Friend of the Year: Blu Robinson
Blu — or Coach Blu to many — and I have become fast friends over the past year. We somewhat met last year during the Thankful 13 when he took a picture of me dressed as a turkey. But, not much came from that until the Frigid 5K this January when we formally met. He was a guest on The Runcast talking about Addict II Athlete.
Going into that episode I really had no idea how that episode would affect me. I really didn’t know Blu THAT well and had just heard about AIIA in passing. But, over the past year it’s changed my life — not just AIIA — but his friendship as well.
If it wasn’t for Blu’s encouragement I don’t know if I would have ran my 50 miler? I know if I did attempt it, I couldn’t have done it without the help of Blu and AIIA. Beside that Blu has really encouraged me to also share my message and to be more vocal of why I am on the road I am on now. It’s the whole message of AIIA.
Inspiring Friend of the Year: Jorge Garcia
Jorge has always inspired me. He really has a ‘never say never’ attitude. Plus, he’s one of the most real, most authentic and kind people I know. He’s really like an older brother in many regards, especially when we get talking and go off tangent after tangent.
But, Jorge has gone through a lot this year and through it all — he’s hardly ever complained. He just focused on the task at hand. Because, in his experience he’s learned that’s all you can do. And, I have the utmost respect for that attitude — something I try to emulate.
But, Jorge hasn’t let a heart attack and other injuries set him back. Sure, he might be pulled back physically — but, he’s still out there looking forward, aspiring, inspiring and reaching for his dreams. He’s a great example of perseverance and the ABSOLUTE need for a positive attitude to get through anything in life.
I want to be Jorge when I grow up.
I also want some chips and queso, but that’s unrelated to this award.
Running Friend of the Year: Jill Gabica
This is different from the Runners’ Choice Awards that I give out. This is a running friend that’s impacted MY running experience and life the past year. And, it once again — the award goes to Jill.
We’ve done some epic runs this past year — or aspired to do some epic runs. I can’t think of anyone more encouraging of my running. She was there for me during my 50 miler and the months before hand giving me ideas on training. She was the one who encouraged me to run a 20 miler on the treadmill at midnight.
But, seriously, we’ve got some crazy epic goals in store for 2017 and I can’t wait to tackle them! It’s always a party in the back with Jill!
New Running Friend of the Year: Jed Jensen
Cyber Friend of the Year: Brian Rayburn
Out of State Friend: Angie Smith
Friend Mom of the Year: Jill Gabica
Dad of the Year: Jorge Garcia
Friend Kid of the Year: Grace Warnock
Friend Couple of the Year: Stephen Hendrickson & David McCord
And, here is the family category …
Family Category 2016
Family Member of the Year: Tatum Rex Snow Minson & Thalia Grace Hansen
This past year was a BIG baby year for our family. Not only did we welcome two babies into the fold, but Jessie announced she was pregnant just a couple months ago. We’re finally becoming the baby making machine our parents always wanted. Then again — most of us are all in our 30s so it might not last that much longer.
Still — I can’t think of any other family members more deserving of this award than these two kids. They’ve got the whole family on a string. Tatum is Mr. Personality and just loves people. He has no perception of “stranger danger” and can endear himself to someone within minutes. Thalia’s personality is 100% chill. She has an easy smile which really strokes my ego quite well when I try to make her smile. I mean, her sister and brother were a tough crowd.
I am sure Jess and Scott’s baby will have the same affect on the family. And, will probably sweep the same three awards Tatum and Thalia won this year. YEAH BABIES!
New Member of the Year: Tatum Rex Snow Minson & Thalia Grace Hansen
Baby of the Year: Tatum Rex Snow Minson & Thalia Grace Hansen
Family Kid of the Year: Maya Faith Hansen
This has been a BIG year for Maya. She turned 8 and was baptized — but more than that, she’s really blossomed into quite the awesome young lady. She’s a reader at heart and such a tender soul. She truly has a heart of gold that I adore.
But, the other thing about Maya that has stolen my heart — is she’s become a RUNNER! She ran her first 5K with me in October and we are planning on once again running another 5K here in February. She doesn’t just love running — she’s pretty good at it too. She took first place in her age group in October and I am sure she’ll do it again in February. I’ll have to train to keep up!
Cousin of the Year: Chris Pope
I don’t see my cousin Chris that much — but, that doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with him. I’m very proud of the man he’s become. He is a Deputy for the County’s Sheriff Office and while he’s in the news for a number of “police” things. However, this past year there were two incidents that — quite honestly — put me in tears, because it’s something I know our Grandpa would do in the same situation.
In September Chris was able to assist a cyclist who had a heart attack — besides being a Deputy he is also a trained paramedic. In fact the Sheriff’s Office he works for is the only one in the state that requires deputies to be trained and certified. Talk about luck — no — a blessing.
But, later that month, Chris was a part of a chain of events that helped a struggling couple. I can’t rehash the story well enough to give justice — so read this. But, watching it on the news and reading the story has put me in tears — because I saw so much of our Grandpa in his actions and words. I also shed tears knowing how proud he, our Grandma and his Dad are of him.
I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this year’s award. I hope he knows how proud I am of him,
Family Mother of the Year: Nannette Hansen
Family Father of the Year: Matthew David Hansen
Sibling of the Year: Jenny Minson
Sibling In-Law of the Year: Scott Stallings
Welp, that’s it for 2016! It’s been a great year. Well, it’s had its’ moments. But, I feel like any setback felt has been setting up 2017 to be a year to remember.
But, thank you for being a part of my life. You all have made an impact and I am truly grateful for that — truly, truly grateful. I hope you have a magical holiday season and start off 2017 with hopes and dreams that will carry you places once unimaginative in your life.