As we inch closer to Christmas and the end of 2019, here at The Reporter we’re writing “year in review” articles, which made me think about what I’ve done over the past year.

For me, this year has gone by so fast. It’s hard to remember everything I’ve done, people I’ve interviewed or articles I’ve written. But, a few things stick out in my mind.

As for work, there have been a few changes and memorable moments. First, I got a couple of new bosses. Taylor Beck stepped up as editor, and Patrick Graham became the new owner of The Reporter. They’ve both help make the paper better. Also, we have a new reporter, Daniel Taylor, and he’s really talented and brings a lot to the paper. Plus, he and his wife, Stephanie, have become my friends. They’ve even let me pet-sit for them, and their two dogs are so adorable.

Another work-related, memorable moment was winning the Alabama People Against a Littered State (PALS) Governor’s Award in the media category. I was really surprised to win, and I’m always happy to promote the awesome things Marshall County PALS does for the environment.

In my family life, a lot has changed as well. My aunt passed away last year, and since my grandmother recently passed, my family feels like it’s getting smaller. But thankfully, my brother, Ricky, married my sister-in-law, Katie, and then he officially adopted my nephew, Bryson — plus, they have a little bundle of joy on the way. So, I’m going to have another nephew pretty soon. Since I’m not able to have children, my brother’s kids will most likely be my parents’ only grandchildren. So, my parents and I plan to spoil them as much as possible.

My friends have really rallied around me this year too. My friends at work, or “my work-family” as I often refer to them, have been supportive through good times and bad. They put up with my crazy-rants about whatever’s going on at the moment, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Emma, Jen and Rachel have also really been treasures of friends to me this year. I couldn’t have made it through without them.

I think the most memorable part of this year was when Jen and I went to Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the weekend to see a rock concert. We toured the city, stayed at The Read House, ate at Bridgeman’s Chophouse for dinner and brunch and saw four awesome bands rock out at McKenzie Area. The road trip there and back was just as much fun since Jen and I both act silly and make each other laugh so much. It was an adventure I’ll never forget.

Looking back over the year, there’s been many ups and downs, but I made it through it all. And, I am better for it. I’m excited to see what 2020 has in store for me.

Nickie Simpson is a staff writer for The Reporter. She can be reached at nickie.simpson@sandmountainreporter.com.

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