Festivus 2008

In Front Of "The Tree"

In Front Of "The Tree"

The baby gates are installed and locked so I should have a few minutes to type on the computer before I’m back on baby patrol. It’s Saturday evening and a good time to reflect on the year. Where we’ve been. Where we’re going. What’s filled our life this past year. The year of change. First, I know that these Holiday Newsletters are sometimes received with mixed reviews so I’ll do my best to keep it short and simple, not under 30 seconds but hopefully under 5 minutes. Here we go:

The biggest event that has kept us busy all year is this new kid on the block, Dylan. Nothing you could have said would have prepared us for the experience of being parents. This year has been full of events: blowouts, crashes and plain raw happiness. Out of all our experiences in life, this has been the greatest by far. Now our boy is turning 14 months and is walking all over the place. He still enjoys riding in the jogging stroller about twice a week but does prefer daylight instead of late night runs. We know that time will not slow down and it’s important for us to enjoy and maximize each day.

In March, we moved from Santa Rosa to Auburn. We had been renting a very small apartment in Santa Rosa near Howarth Park as an experiment to see if two adults and one baby could co-exist in 500 square feet without driving each other crazy. Although we ultimately realized we could all share one bathroom and one bedroom, after nine months it was time to end the experiment. A few years ago we had bought a rental house in Auburn and when the tenants moved out it seemed like an ideal time for us to move in. Fortunately my job allowed me to work from home a few days a week, so once again we packed our belongings and loaded the Penske moving truck (the 8th time in the 14 years we’ve been married) and had a new place to call home. At the same time, we decided it would be better if Nicole could stay at home full time with Dylan. So she left her job at Symmetricom and is able to focus on raising her two boys: Dylan and me. We’re still adjusting to our new surroundings and settling in and always love company, so come and visit any time.

We’ve been lucky to travel and see new places in 2008, most of the time in conjunction with races or work. However, having a baby has definitely forced us to travel with a lot more gear…and patience. Years ago we might have been the ones throwing a glare in the direction of a crying baby on a flight but now we’re on the other end. Obviously, it has given us a completely different appreciation for parents and children. We took some trips this year: Phoenix, Wisconsin, Chicago, LA, Denver, Washington DC and Jamaica. I’m still running about 5 or 6 marathons each year with the Clif Bar Pace Team, helping other racers qualify for the Boston Marathon by running a 3 hour and 10 minute marathon. Out of the marathons this year, the Marine Corps Marathon was my favorite and one that I hope to do again. Nicole and I both really enjoyed the Washington DC area. Dylan came with us on all the trips and is getting to be a pro traveler. In June, we were disappointed when the Western States 100-Mile run was canceled days before the race due to forest fires. I had been looking forward to running it for the second time but unfortunately it seemed like the whole state of California was on fire that month. For weeks, the air quality was so poor that sometimes we couldn’t see more than a few hundred yards outside our house.

There’s not enough time to write about work (I could write an entire series but it would be very boring to all but me) but in November, just a few weeks ago, our tiny company was bought by Mediware, a much bigger and public company located in Kansas. This was bittersweet as I started working with Hann’s On Software when we worked out of the owner’s house and there were only 4 employees (2 developers, 1 support person and 1 receptionist). That was more than a dozen years ago. Having a bigger company behind us should help us focus on growing our product. So now I’m working for Mediware and for the most part still able to telecommute out of our house. Yes, technology can be both a blessing and a curse. 

This year has been remarkable on many different levels. All of us have been impacted by the economy and what feels like constant “doom and gloom” on the news. But at the end of the day, at the end of the year, we are grateful for the friends in our lives and for the times this past year we could share a few moments with you. We hope for more times together in 2009.

Merry Christmas and blessings to you and yours!

Looking for the adventure of a lifetime in 2009?

We are currently accepting applications for the following positions:

Wanted: Tiny and extremely flexible crew for Race Across America to help me bicycle from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The toughest endurance event in the world.10 days (+/-) starting June 17th. 3000 miles. Endless, boring hours. Cramped quarters. No sleep. No glory. No moolah (all food, lodging and entertainment included). Lifelong gratitude. A journey never forgotten – if survived. No cycling experience necessary.   Diaper changing experience a plus. Only serious inquiries please. To learn more about this position, visit www.raceacrossamerica.org

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