odds and ends from a life under construction

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Waking up: Where I’ve been for the past four months


You ever have one of those tasks that keeps popping up in your to-do list? The one that makes you think “I should really take care of that” all day, every day, but you never quite get around to actually taking care of it?

For the past four months, that’s been this blog. I have lists of post topics, numerous half-done post drafts, tons of photos, even more ideas swirling in my head, and… nothing has gotten done. Maybe I lost my “mojo.” Maybe I was too busy (although my average score on Drop7 and the height of my building in Tiny Tower Vegas might tell you otherwise). Whatever the reason, it just didn’t become a priority. But in the past few weeks, I’ve felt ready to come back and tackle it again – and it doesn’t hurt that I’m still getting traffic and have (hopefully non-boring) things to talk about. I’m filling up the backlog. I’m scheduling posts like a good little blogger. There is more to come.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to since we last chatted:

Running. In early November, which technically pre-dates my blog hiatus, I went to Disney World (that free trip I won, remember) and ran in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I have a separate recap of that coming, but it was a highlight of my year, even if – spoiler alert – it rained the entire race. My winter training after the race left something to be desired, but I’m back on the horse preparing for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend (less that three weeks away!) and the Skirt Sports 13er on my birthday (and I’ll be giving away a race entry to a lucky reader soon).

Travel Planning. In addition to our Disneyland trip next month and my return trip to Wine and Dine weekend in the fall, we’ve also booked our very first cruise. Next January, I’m going to run the Walt Disney World Marathon, and then the following day we’re getting on a big boat and sailing for four-ish days to and from the Bahamas. It’s a Disney cruise, of course. I’m also going to San Francisco in June for a return trip to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, as I was one of the lucky few to snag a ticket in their lottery. Hello to all the people popping in because I was featured on MacRumors!

Losing Weight. Not that much, but enough to be significant. In January, on the second anniversary of my Lap-Band surgery, I hit my goal weight. And then I kept going. I’ve officially dropped 92 pounds since surgery, and I’d love to drop 5 more to get down to a racing weight just under 155. Sure, I might try to hit 100, just to be able to say I lost 100 pounds (it sounds exponentially more impressive to some people), but I don’t think that loss will be maintainable in the long term. I’ve been hovering between 159 and 160 since I hit my goal, so my body seems to like that general neighborhood.

Cleaning House. It sounds so mundane, but it feels epic. House prices in our area are through the roof, and we’ve felt an ongoing flip-flop between staying put and moving. Staying put is winning, mostly because anyplace we’d move to would also be expensive so we wouldn’t really net anything beyond a larger mortgage payment. And that has meant making our house more livable for the long term. We have remodeling dreams – enclosing our large patio into a family room so we can reclaim some of our open floor plan for a dining table, adding a rooftop deck, building a loft into Evan’s room since the ceilings are so high, etc. But a bigger priority is clearing out junk. I’m a packrat when it comes to certain things – namely books and craft supplies – but I’ve been doing my best to get organized and get rid of things I’m never going to use. We’ve got stacks of books to donate, tons more crafts supplies have been distributed to Evan’s daycare teachers, and the amount of cardboard I’ve been able to generate (so much stuff was still in boxes because we had nowhere to put it) has far surpassed the capacity of our bi-weekly bin pick-up from the city. This very afternoon Jason is probably going to load up the car with broken down boxes (our staircase landing is a maze of things we need to get out of our house) and take them to the recycling center. Progress.

Moving On. At the end of February, after three years with a company full of people I admired and loved working with, I decided it was time for a change. For a long stretch, I’d been in charge of tasks that didn’t really capture my imagination. There was long-term potential for my role, but I also felt I would be better served by a new environment and new challenges. So I said good-bye to my friends, took a week off for some funemployment, and then started a new job where I’m designing again, which feels amazing, and challenging myself technically. I’m at a software company, which is the opposite of an agency in many ways, and I’m the lead User Experience Designer for a new Mac desktop application that’s launching early next year. I’m roughly six weeks in, and I’m happy as a clam. I feel like my pilot light had dimmed a bit and now it’s finally fired up and bright. Maybe that’s why coming back to my blog feels fulfilling instead of draining.

Launching. Speaking of designing, I’ve been working for a few months now on some product designs for an online store I want to open. Everything will be print on demand, so no inventory (one of the most expensive parts of my previous failed retail venture), and it will be easy for my to get an idea fleshed out, throw it up on the store, and see what happens. I’m hoping to get everything open to the public before I had to San Francisco in June, so be on the lookout. There’s no real direction to the store yet, other than it’s all stuff I’d buy for myself.

Parenting. Our kid is still adorable, still smart as a whip, and still making us laugh until we hurt on the regular. He’s pretty much potty trained now, with the exception of the occasional overnight “accident” (he’s in Pull-Ups at night, because we don’t want to clean up wet bedding at 2 am just yet), and he loves to make sure everyone knows what a big boy he is. He’s also obsessed with Octonauts, and he’s learning to write his letters and numbers. For his third birthday back in December, I went overboard and made insane dinosaur-themed goody bags for his daycare class (instead of throwing a party, which means we really are as lazy as we seem). I took copious amounts of photos, and I’ll probably do a little recap post here soon.

And that, friends, is how our winter/early spring went. What have you been up to?

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