2015 in Review

Started writing on the 30th and finished the title. On the 31st I read the title a few times and looked at the white blank screen. 1st of the year puts some words on the page. 2015 has been an amazeballs year for me. Personally I’m feeling more comfortable as a person, as a dad, as a husband, as computer nerd, as all of the things than ever before. Far more ideas and concepts and approaches have solidified then ever before. Family and relationship wise things are improving every day. Physically I’m in better shape than I’ve been in for over a decade. Work is simply splendid. One of the top years of my life now that I’m looking back, and 2016 looks like it will be full of even more brilliance. Now some bullets:

  • My very good friend Jer Jer posted a year in review while I was writing mine and his format is much more eloquent compared to my obsession with bullets. I believe I shall copy how he wrote his

Home life

We moved into the house; HUGE! In 2014 we moved from a manufactured home we accidently bought into a fifth wheel trailer on the property. 2015 stared out with a fresh floor poured in a house with no exterior doors or interior walls and us living in the fifth wheel still. In July we finished the house to the point where the county signed the certificate of occupancy allowing us to legally move into the house. Shortly after moving into the house we sold the Fifth wheel = ]. June marked 3 years since we bought and started the process of preparing the land and building a house on it. We’ve been living in the house for months now I still walk around randomly saying “I love this house

While we were finishing the sheet rock in the house we tried to burn the Shed down while Khaleesi was sleeping inside. Cats had a bed on the shed deck with a heat lamp over it. Cats knocked the lamp into their bed and fire!!!. Luckily no one was hurt and the shed was salvageable. As a bonus / reminder I acquired a number of great burn scares from putting the fire out. Khaleesi is doing a great job living up to her name. She took out her sibling before birth, survived a fire, and we picked up a dog we named dragon so she can have a pet dragon; we named her well.

We live in an “nonconforming” “unconventional” house according to loan companies who refuse to give us money, but it’s perfect for our lifestyle. For me the comfort level and usability provided by the design is amazing. Our kids love the open space! We have rings hung from the ceiling, indoor only bikes, we run laps around the kitchen to get in that extra mile, we can setup for any project with room to space, we have a 200 square foot space dedicated to Legos. The home automation tracks and logs temperature down to the thousandth decimal point. The inside temp of the house does not vary more than a degree during a 24-hour period; this makes me hard.

We’re about to break ground on the next building and spend another year building. The house is at its core a 40×60 concrete box. We’re going to add another one connected to the back via a breeze way that will eventually be filled with five bedrooms. We keep having kids and some day they’ll want their own space vs. sharing a room with each other or sleeping in mom and dad’s closet. Khaleesi went form a cardboard box next to our bed in the fifth wheel to a crib in our closet. She don’t care she still has a nearly endless smile on her face all day long; such a happy baby.

Recent shot of the inside of the house from one of the lofts

Family life

We turned 38 this year and are not grandparents. Trenton as soon as you wake up put on a condom just in case. Trenton is a few years past the age I was when he was born, hence my saying not grandparents. We are parents of four children with one more on the way due in 2016. The kids keep growing and becoming more entertaining by the day. Somehow Michelle and I keep working out ways to get along better and love each other more. One of the bits I like to brag about when giving tours of the house are the arguments we had while building the house; there was one. The one argument we had was about the pantry wall. Michelle wanted a bigger pantry and I wanted symmetry. She asked for it, and I said “ok” – that was our argument. I’ve know people who divorced over a kitchen remodel because they could not agree.

Today the break of symmetry has turned into freedom and it’s becoming a theme in how we build things, so we both won. Maddex can cook meals, build anything with Legos, hold his breath underwater in the hot tub, ride a bike, and roller blade naked in the house. Mila sings and dances, takes care of everyone, flips on the rings, paints, bakes, and is an amazing princess. Khaleesi is starting to talk and climb EVERYTING and become involved in what we do. Trenton finally has a decent job fixing boats, and he bought a reliable car / truck. Kids are in school 2-3 days a week, every Thursday is hot tub day, and we ring a bell before we sit down for meals. Kids are going to drool when they hear a bell someday.

Starting this blog, and changing my primary email address are the result of big changes I’ve been working personally and relationship wise. Positive things to make all parties involved happier and healthier. I hope to continue along this path every year from here on out.

Borrowing from Jer Jer a family picture montage

Travel life

Normally we like to take road trips, fly places, get out and explore everywhere, hike, etc. 2015 was the year of house. We took a couple of short road trips and one long road trip in November. Short road trips took us to Grand Coulee dam, and the Long beach. Big road trip we stopped by Mount Saint Helens (covered in clouds sad), Oregon water falls, Idaho, Ely, Vegas, San Diego, Disney for a day, Brian and Michelle’s, then drove straight home 20 hours with sick kids and momma. This year momma is knocked up again, and we’re building more house out of pocket LOANS!!. I need to fly to Charlotte soon, take momma to Vegas or Florida, and we have a free place to sleep in Dublin for the year we should take advantage of. We’ll see what happens, but it should be simple to top last year.

2017 is going to be the big travel year. New baby buys us three months of paid paternity leave from work to be taken up to 12 months after birth of baby. We’re going to use those months on another continent. The savings has started and the planning will start soon. Oh ya, Can’t forget field trips for this year. Those are trips too right? We went to Wreath factory, Xmass tree farm, fish hatchery, fire station, and the kids put on a singing thing as a class at school.

Best we ended up with for a family picture at Disney land

Work life

Broke 7 years total working at Microsoft this year. Been in the same position for almost five years and I still LOVE coming to work every day. Leveled up / was promoted again this year. Which means I’m doing a good job and should keep doing what I’m doing. Every day at work is filled with solving complicated problems. It’s an awesome thing. Before morning sickness Michelle took up a day a week to spend in the shed writing and doing other things. She’s slowing returning to those days. It’s great for her to her own time and accomplishments. Plus, I like kid time too. It’s cute what the kids say when asked where we work. They say I go to Microsoft to work and Mom goes to the shed. The commute to work at 60 miles one way seems like a huge number, but personally I enjoy it. Armed with an unlimited audible budget, kindle in the car reading to me at 3-4x speed, plus commuting during none core traffic hours its hard to not find enjoyment. 2016 I hope to be doing the same job I am doing now and dominating it for years to come.

Health wise

Michelle and I have always placed in better shape on our list of things wants and needs. We’ve done lots of walking, and hiking, and mountains, and changing diet, and exercising, other things to accomplish in better shape. Then Kids come along, or stress, of living in a fifth wheel, or lawyers, or building a house and things fall apart. This year we made a big effort and met a few goals. Then Michelle go knocked up and had the worst morning sickness she’s had; For like three months. I’ve been fasting for a 24-hour period once a week for the last quarter of the year. Fasting has resulted in some positive changes for me, like dropping weight, shrinking my appetite and giving me some better food control. It’s not the best solution but it’s a solution that works for me. Whatever diet works for you is the right one in my head.

Off and on for the last year or two I’ve wanted to take up running. I’ve started then stalled, then stated again. Time has always been a big issue for me running; I solved that problem this year, and I’ve been running for 20 – 30 minutes every other day for a while now. I’ve noticed some great stamina improvements, and it’s helping me in better shape. Downside, the calves are killing me and not keeping up with the rest of improvements, which is frustrating, but I’ll power through and make it work. I won’t say I’ve gone out of my way to skip leg day, but I have ignored leg day, and have what I like to call bird legs.

Shot of me running in the rain – commitment means run in all-weather unless injured

2015 was one of the best years of my life – I’m happier, safer, less stressed, healthier, and have some great relationships in my life. 2016 is going to be full of even more win. Thanks momma Michelle for making it all possible.

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