Sunday, January 22, 2017

Looking back and forward

10 years ago today I wrote my first blog post.  When I started it was a way for me to share information on my travels and life living abroad with family and friends back home. This was before the days of Facebook, well maybe it existed but it wasn’t used as widely as it is today.   As my life changed the blog did as well.   I never imagined when I started this blog how big a part of my life it would be today – not personally, but professionally.   I don’t blog as much personally but now a big part of my job is to blog.  Maybe because I spend so much of my days writing for work, I’m burnt out at the end of the day.   Or maybe I’m burnt out at the end of the day because I am now wrangling a cat, a dog, a husband and an 8 year old. 

It’s strange to look back over the last 10 years and think about how much things have changed.   That one tiny decision I made to move to London has changed my life in many ways.   Had I never left Boston, I may have never moved to Seattle.   If I didn’t move to Seattle I would not have met Dave.  If I hadn’t met Dave I would not have moved to Colorado.  If I didn’t move to Colorado, junior would not be my son.   Were the last 10 years all great, no.  There were some definite hardships and tears but today there is no place else I would rather be.  (Disclaimer:  right now I’m sitting in an airport getting, heading out on a business trips.  There are many places I would rather be than at the airport, but you know what I mean).  

Through these moves I have met some amazing people, developed lasting friendships, and learned a great deal about myself.   Sitting here thinking about the past, I can’t help but think of the future.  Not knowing what the future holds is always a scary thing for me.   While I am scared I am also hopeful and optimistic.  One of our family traditions at bed time is to discuss what our favorite part of the day is.  Even when a day is dreary and miserable we have to focus on the positive.   To dwell on the negatives is not good.   I will continue to take risks, speak my mind, and attempt to be a positive influence to others.   I may even blog about it.     

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Year in Review

2016 was a rough year, at some times it seems like there were more lows than highs.  But one thing we are teaching junior is no matter how bad a day is there is always a positive in it.  Instead of focusing on the negatives I choose to look at the highlights.  Last night at dinner we shared our top five favorite moments of the year.

This isn't as easy as it seems, especially when people keep changing their minds.  Junior decided he needed to give us six items, and I was told I cheated with one of my selections.

Here are the top moments for our family.


  1. Starting a new job.  I was fortunate to find a job that enabled me to work part time as we moved to Seattle in 2015.   In 2016 I was ready to go back to work full time, unfortunately the company I was working for was unable to offer me a full time position, but a great opportunity came my way.    I am still working from home which is great and trips to the company's headquarters enable me to visit family and friends which is an added perk.   
  2. Renovating our new home.   You may think I'm crazy but I enjoy remodeling projects.  Well I enjoy choosing materials, I dislike the unexpected surprises that often appear.  One unexpected find on our recent renovation led to our installing my favorite feature in the house - a hidden bookshelf door.    What else do you do when you find a water heater sealed behind drywall in the master bedroom. 
  3. Vacations and travel throughout the year.   I was told I cheated with this selection and I couldn't lump all vacations together as they were not all equal.  I say hogwash.   I love to travel and explore new places.   Vacations this year took us to visit family and friends, attend opening day at Wrigley Field and see the team that would go on to become the World Series Champions,  and spend time relaxing on the beach.  I also managed a weekend away with a friend to knock another state off my list and visited South Dakota. Only four more states to go.

  4. Concerts at the zoo.   We took junior to his first concert, Weird Al, at the zoo.  He loves his music and we liked the fact that when he got bored there was a supervised play area we could take him to.  Dave and I also went to see Brandi Carlile there, I think this was the fifth time we've seen her and I never get tired of her shows.  
  5. Junior's new school.   The 2014-2015 school year was rough and stressful.   Over the summer we made the tough decision to enroll junior in a new private school that was opening near our house.  Three months in and I would say it was absolutely the right decision.  He is having a much better year and the school is willing to work with us and figure out strategies that work for junior.  Being in the right environment makes such a difference.   I love that he gets upset when he can't go to school because he is sick or there is a holiday.   

Dave's list
  1. Cubs winning the World Series.   (No surprise this was #1 on his list). 
  2.  Oceanside Christmas vacation. 
  3.  Visiting his brother in San Francisco during March Madness.
  4.  Cubs Opening Day at Wrigley Field. 
  5.  Fremont's Heron Hunting Club.  (Also no surprise that something beer related made the list).  

Junior's list
  1.  Helping Paddy with her legs.  The dog is getting old and has arthritis.  Junior is responsible for giving her medicine to help with the arthritis every morning.   
  2. Getting a new house.  
  3. Spending time with the family.  
  4. Playing in the snow. 
  5. Eating at the pig truck.  Ever since junior saw a TV show about places to eat in Seattle that featured Maximus and Minimus he wanted to eat there.  This summer his wish came true.
  6. Learning martial arts at school.   (This was added after I mentioned him going to a new school)