The New Pellegrini Page

Earlier this summer I decided that since I was finished with school and was about to start having ample free time to work on projects of my own choosing, one thing I would like to do is re-design our family blog. Well, here it is! I started working on it earlier this week and just finished it up this evening. I started getting tired of the old design a while back, mainly because there was too much color and the image gallery at the top of the page was a weird proportion that was hard to find pictures for. Both of those concerns have now been mitigated and I’m quite happy with how things have turned out. In my opinion this new design is much more readable, and the image slider is much more flexible, meaning that we can easily add images of all shapes and sizes.

Speaking of images on the website, I’ve been contacted by a few different people asking why the images look bad when they download them from the site and print them. Please don’t do that. In order to allow the page to load quickly, the images on the site are all shrunk down and optimized for viewing on the web. If you print them the quality will be horrible and they’ll come out looking really grainy. If you’d like to print any of the images from the website just go ahead and email me and I’ll be happy to send you a high resolution copy that is suitable for printing.

Anyway, back to the new site. I like the simplicity of the color scheme, I really like the new fonts, and I like the new layout, particularly the sidebar on the right-hand side (only visible on large screens). I intentionally included a list of recent comments in the sidebar in an effort to encourage people to leave more comments. I fully realize that most people don’t love writing nearly as much as I do, but your comments are all very much appreciated; and remember, this is all ultimately for the kids. Someday they’re each going to read this site from top to bottom and the more variety they can get other than dearest Dad and his random ramblings, the better.

Things have been going great around here lately. As you probably saw in Jessica’s most recent post, last week we bought a 2007 Honda Odyssey. Although I never thought I would see the day that I’d be purchasing a minivan, I have to admit that it’s a very nice vehicle. Before we pulled the trigger on the Odyssey I was really pulling for an old Volkswagen Vanagon from the 80’s or 90’s. Not a hippie van from the 70’s, but a camping van with a table and fold-out bed in the back. Those things are super cool and have a lot more style than most of the current minivans, but ultimately we decided to go with something that was safe and reliable. Once again we tried to make the responsible choice by thinking with our brains instead of our hearts. That being said, the Odyssey rocks. Last Saturday morning I took the girls out on an impromptu road trip in it so Jessica could sleep in after a late night at work. I was really impressed with how well it drove, how comfortable and spacious it was, and how good the gas mileage was. Over the course of 90 minutes the girls and I covered tons of farm roads throughout Snohomish county and had a great time pointing out all the horses, goats, and cows.

Today was a pretty big day for me at work because it marked the end of the project that I’ve been on for the past 18 months. Although I will surely still be helping out on it in the future from time to time, I’m going to be moving on starting next week with a new project. They’re basically ‘giving’ me a JavaScript framework that was written a while back by one of our senior software engineers who no longer has time to maintain it. We’re trying to get several teams throughout our organization to adopt the framework and use it to build their applications, but before we can expect anyone to do so we need to upgrade it by adding support for new features. That’s where I come in. I’m excited about it because it’s definitely a higher level project and will give me an opportunity to showcase some new skills. Hopefully this will be the driving force that gets me over the hump and into a Web Dev II role.

Another exciting thing that happened for me today at work is I finally got a parking pass for the garage in the building. I’ve been on the waiting list for just as long as I’ve been on that initial project that I finished today (18 months) and now I can finally stop parking on the street and start parking in a safe, covered garage. It’s really ironic that both of these things have been going on for so long and they both finally happened on the same day. Cosmic.

One final bit of excitement came this afternoon when I picked up my Acura from the body shop. Recently I decided to start selling a bunch of my stuff that I was no longer using. I placed ads on Craigslist for things like: both of my surfboards, my grappling dummy (Bubba), one of my guitars, my punching bag, a microwave, and more. In a week I was able to liquidate enough stuff to pay for some body work on the car. There was damage on both bumpers, plus on the rear quarter panel on the passenger side. The shop did an excellent job, which including re-painting a significant portion of the car, and re-striping the whole right side. It now looks brand new and I couldn’t be happier. It’s one of those things that I probably wouldn’t have done had I not sold all this stuff, but I’m so glad I did because I’m going to be driving this car for a while and every time I looked at it my eyes would always wander directly to the problem areas. The interior was already perfect, and it only has 30,000 miles, plus now the exterior is perfect, so I’m stoked!

Our German studies are continuing to go really well. We were a little concerned with how people would react, mainly because we realize that doing something like this isn’t exactly what most people would consider ‘normal,’ but so far the reaction we’ve been receiving has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s still really early in the game but Jessica and I are both studying daily and you wouldn’t believe how much we’re learning. I truly look forward to my daily studies and love passing on my newfound knowledge to the girls. Having studied languages like Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese in the past, the art of learning a new language is coming fairly easily to me, however German shares almost no similarities with the aforementioned. Luckily for us, a lot of the German words we’re learning are similar to their English counterparts, which makes them easier to remember. I can already tell that the German language is much more beautiful than it generally gets credit for, mostly because there’s an apparent science behind it. The way words and phrases are constructed is really interesting to me, and the fact that all nouns are capitalized makes me look at writing and speech differently. When you’re writing in English you usually don’t stop to think about which words are nouns and which ones are verbs, but in German you have to. This is just one small example out of many that proves to me the value of becoming bi-lingual.

In addition to our German language software, Jessica and I have been studying with a free app on our phones called ‘Duolingo.’ It’s a really popular app that offers free lessons in a variety of languages, and the format of it is really fun because it basically turns everything into a game. You get points for different achievements, and once you accumulate enough points you get to move onto the next level. That’s actually a common characteristic that I’ve found in several language applications, but it’s something you have to a little careful of. In a traditional game setting the goal is always to move onto the next round or level, but when you’re trying to learn a language the ultimate goal is to speak the language, not accumulate points and pass levels. Therefore I often find myself redoing the same levels multiple times because I’m more concerned with retaining the words and phrases than I am with scoring points.

The girls are continuing to get their daily doses of German as well. Jessica and I are focusing on taking standard words and phrases that we always say to them in English, and saying them in German instead. For example, when we put them to bed at night, instead of saying “good night,” I say “guten abent.” When I leave the house for work or errands I say “auf weidersen” instead of “goodbye.” And when I want Ava to say “thank you” I have her say “danke” instead. Little things like this are going to slowly start settling in their minds without them even knowing it. I’ve also started doing a little research on Amazon’s presence in Germany and was pleased to find out that we have a big new office building in Munich, which is the city that I would most like to live in. We have a website called ‘loveFilm.de’ that’s based out of that office and could end up being a target of mine in the future. Being able to transfer within Amazon would be the best-case scenario but we’re still years away from that, so for now the focus is to keep on improving my skill set as a developer, continue to gain seniority at Amazon, and continue to get better at speaking German.

It’s a 3 day weekend for me and luckily Jessica is off on Sunday and Monday. We’re not sure exactly what we’re going to do but we’ve talked about a possible day trip to Whidbey Island. Jessica is craving Pizza so I think we’ll be going out for that on Sunday. Now that I’ve got my car back from the shop my main focus is on selling the Durango. Tomorrow I’m going to do some work on it; things like changing the oil and oil filter, rotating the tires, and getting it all cleaned up and detailed. Hopefully I’ll have it posted on Craigslist by Monday and then we’ll see what happens. Happy Labor Day and enjoy the long weekend!

My new ride

We have known for a while now that we would need to replace our SUV. As a family of 5 with 3 members needing car seats for the next several years, we figured a mini van was our only choice. We considered a lot of different options from old VW Vanagons (definitely the coolest option in my opinion) to Toyota Siennas. In the end we settled on a used Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey has been the #1 selling mini van for a long time running now and I believe that they have also been the highest rated in safety. After looking at all of our options it really did seem like a no brainer. Once we decided that we were definitely interested in a Honda it didn’t take long to find one that we liked. We looked at lots on line but in the end we only went to 2 different dealerships before we found the right one. It was the right price and had all of my must have items so we said yes on the spot. They detailed it the next day and picked Michael and the girls from our house after work on Friday night (I was at work) to take them to the dealership to pick it up.

As much as I hate to admit it, it truly is the nicest car I have ever owned. So far the girls seem to approve, Ava especially loves to ride in the new van. I am personally enjoying the automatic sliding doors more than I ever expected and the spaciousness for both the driver and passengers. I didn’t really love the idea at first, the feeling of morphing into the typical soccer mom frightens me. The more I thought about it the more comfortable I became with the idea. Soccer moms aren’t so bad; I like soccer. The truth is I think I like mini vans too.

We have been doing our best to enjoy these last few moments of summer. The girls and I have taken as many impromptu park outing as possible. We spent a day at the beach last week and visited the Olympic sculpture park in downtown Seattle a few weeks back. We’ve been to the petting zoo, the splash pad, had friends over to play a few times and rode bikes in our cul de sac. We have been getting to know many of our neighbors better in the past few weeks as well. We had the family next door to us over for a BBQ this past weekend and then joined them for dinner at their house earlier this week. They are a great family and are close friends with many of the other families on our street. I feel very fortunate to have several great neighbors and look forward to getting to know everyone better. Our next event is a Seahawks game day party with the whole block in a few weeks, and another weeknight dinner, probably next week, with just our next door friends. We’ve even confirmed a camping trip next year to Lake Chelan with a few families. Our new neighborhood really is the prefect place for us with so many great people near by tons of kid friendly things to in the area.

We will have some exciting baby news to share soon. I have my first ultrasound scheduled for Monday, September 15th. They will be checking for a number of different things at the appointment but the most exciting is the sex of the baby. We will of course spread the news as quickly as possible. I was able to hear the heart beat at my mid wife appointment this week and have been feeling a lot more movement at night. This is the point for me when things start to become a little more real because you can finally feel the baby. I’m really looking forward to getting to see him or her at our ultrasound, finding out the sex and deciding on a name. Although this pregnancy is proving to be much more difficult than the first two, I’m doing my best to stay positive and enjoy the little things. After all, this is the last time I will get the pleasure of being pregnant.

We’re hoping to get out and do something fun this weekend since we will all have Sunday and Monday off together for the holiday weekend. We haven’t made any plans but talked about a possible trip to Whidbey and going out for pizza (my current craving). I’m sure the weather will dictate how much fun we have, we’ll see.

Learning a new language

Recently, on the way home from the Amazon Summer picnic, while the girls were fast asleep in the back seat of the Acura, Jessica and I started having a conversation about life, culture, and our futures. This was a deeper subject than our general banter and babble, but it got us going in a direction that neither of us could have seen coming. We talked about how we wanted our children to experience, and have an appreciation for, different cultures and ways of life. We talked about how neither of us had left the country until we were adults and how we didn’t want our kids to be able to say the same. We also talked about how the rest of the world places such an emphasis on learning multiple languages, yet in the U.S. there is nowhere near that same level of commitment to understanding and appreciating cultures other than our own. In my personal opinion, this is a prime example of why most of the rest of the world views the United States as arrogant and ignorant. So, we decided to do something about it.

During that car ride we made a commitment to start learning a new language, and teaching that language to our kids. I’m sure that as you’re reading this you’re expecting me to say that we’re studying Italian, and believe me that’s exactly what my heart wants to do, but in this case I decided to listen to my brain rather than my heart… Something new for a change ๐Ÿ˜‰ Based on a variety of factors that include cultural relevance, potential work-related opportunities, and geographic location (to a degree), we decided to start studying German. After that initial decision was made, I started doing my homework on Germany and quickly felt like our decision was validated. In addition to having a strong tech industry, I learned that Germany has by far the strongest economy in all of Europe. Ever since World War II, Germany has placed an incredible emphasis on not just rebuilding their country, but on becoming an economic powerhouse and global business leader. Our thought was simple, although learning to speak Italian or Spanish would be good, it doesn’t provide any intrinsic value to us in terms of opportunities. The same can’t be said for learning to speak German. In addition, I firmly believe that if you can learn to speak German, you can learn any other language you choose.

Making a decision like this is great, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t act on it. Anyone that knows me knows that once I set my mind on something I don’t waste any time getting it started. To a certain degree this felt very similar to the decision I made 3 years ago to commit myself to web development. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one thing I learned about myself throughout that experience is that I’m more than capable of teaching myself how to do anything I wish, and the same is true for Jessica. So, we didn’t waste any time and immediately ordered the ‘Instant Immersion German’ software kit from Costco.com. If you’re familiar with Rosetta Stone, this is the exact same thing, except that it costs 90% less. Within a few days the software had arrived in our mailbox and we wasted no time in getting started.

Not only did we want to start studying the language, but we also wanted to start familiarizing ourselves with the culture. So, we went to the book store and picked out a few books related to German history, and one full of German short stories. We decided to go all in, and so far it’s going great. I had no doubt that Jessica and I would enjoy the new challenge, but I wasn’t sure how Ava would do with it. Obviously Elise is too young to know what’s going on, however that’s good because as she is just now learning to speak, she’ll essentially be learning two languages at once. Well, much to our delight, Ava LOVES it. We’ve gotten into a routine where Jessica and I are each spending 20-30 minutes per day working on the language with our newly purchased software, and both of the girls love to sit with us while we study. After a few days Ava started running up to us saying “Can we play German!?” To her its a game, which is exactly what I was hoping for. She loves to sit in our laps, watch what’s happening on the computer screen, and repeat the words. Not surprisingly she’s doing incredibly well. The other night while I was cooking dinner, Ava and Jessica were working on colors and Ava got 6 or 7 in a row! I seriously couldn’t be more proud of her. It’s amazing to me how much each of us have learned in just 6 days, and it excites me to think of all the progress that we will continue to make. All it takes is 20 minutes a day and the results are incredible. I’m finding that phrases that I struggle to remember at night before going to bed are clear as day when I wake up the following morning.

Now obviously we want to make use of all this studying so we’re already considering our next big adventure, which would be relocating to Germany for a few years. What’s just as obvious is that you wouldn’t make this type of move on a whim. We were able to get away with something like that when we moved to San Diego, but something of this magnitude takes so much more preparation and planning. Plus we just bought a house that we love and want to be there for several years. So for now, we’re thinking that sometime in the next 4-5 years we would be ready to move abroad. That gives us plenty of time to learn the language, learn the culture, and verify that this is something we truly want to do. We’re still very much in the ‘honeymoon phase’ of this whole idea, and it’s more than possible that our feelings about doing something like this won’t be the same 4 years from now that they are today, but I can promise you that the idea excites us, and no one can argue that learning a second language can only be helpful to all 5 of us.

One thing we can’t stop talking about is how amazing it would be to be centrally located (in Europe) and be able to take the kids to so many different countries. Places like Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, The Netherlands, Croatia, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, and more are only a train-ride away. A good friend of mine that I grew up with named Jamie had this exact same experience with his family. After working at Microsoft for a few years he had an opportunity to transfer to one of their offices in England. Knowing what an incredible opportunity this would be for his family, he jumped at the chance and was able to introduce his kids to a wealth of cultural experiences. They have since relocated again to Australia, continuing an adventure that will forever shape each of their lives. I want that same type of experience for my family and am willing to do whatever it takes to make it a reality. Amazon has a strong presence in Germany, meaning that a transfer would be very possible. If not, there are plenty of companies in Germany that I would be honored to work for.

At this point it’s a bit of a pipe dream, but its something that Jessica and I are committed to at some point down the road. For now, we’re going to enjoy learning the language, and look forward to the day that we can sit down and watch something like ‘The Lion King’ in German. I hope this doesn’t come across as too much of a shock, but stagnancy isn’t something that sits well with us, and providing the greatest possible set of life and cultural experiences for our kids is of the highest importance and priority for our family.

Ready for a relaxing weekend

While last weekend was full of hustle and bustle, the forecast for this weekend looks like lazy with a chance of napping. Why were we so busy last weekend, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Saturday we attended the annual Amazon Family Picnic, which was being held at the Century Link Field and Events Center. Like last year, we had an absolute blast! Although Amazon only does two employee events like this per year, they really do them right. This event is meant for everyone to bring their families to, and they seem to think of everything. The following list describes most, but not all, of the activities and attractions they provided for us:

  • Stadium Tours
  • Tons of free food and drinks
  • On-field games and activities
  • Mini-golf
  • Lazer tag
  • Bulldozers and other construction equipment for kids to play on
  • A toddler zone with sand pit, treats, and some huge inflatable play areas
  • The biggest Bouncy Castle you’ve ever seen
  • Huge inflatable slides to go down
  • A live band
  • Jugglers
  • A kids stage with all kinds of shows going on
  • Professional photography
  • Henna Tattoos
  • Caricature drawing tents
  • Blue Thunder – The Seattle Seahawks Drumline
  • More food and drinks
  • And much more…

We figured out last summer that this would be a highlight of every summer to look forward to and this year certainly didn’t disappoint. The girls had tons of fun playing on the Seahawks field, while Mom and Dad particularly enjoyed the stadium tour, photos, and the food. This is just one of many reasons why I love working there so much! By the time we returned home everyone was pretty tired, so I decided to get back to work on my garage loft project. Although I made progress on Saturday, I ended up spending nearly 10 hours on Sunday working on it. The good news is that I was able to finish it up Sunday evening.

As with any home project, things didn’t go exactly as planned, but in the end it all worked out very well. I ended up having to build 3 separate lofts, mainly because the joists in my ceiling don’t all run the same direction. For 2/3 of my garage the joists run east-west, but then for the final third of the garage the joists run north-south. Although I already knew this going into the project, it ended up causing me to have to re-evaluate my plan at a certain point. Regardless, I was able to get a TON of stuff off the garage floor and up on the loft. The ultimate satisfaction came once I stood back, looked it over, and had no doubt in my mind that everything was steady and secure.

Doing a project like that gave me lots of confidence about my abilities to build things, and I did it 100% on my own, which made the accomplishment feel that much greater. I’m already planning some new projects, including building a work bench, as well as an outdoor shed in our back yard. The shed probably won’t happen until next Spring but there will be plenty of home-related projects to keep me busy in the meantime. First up, I’m getting to work on the gas edger that my manager gave me. Tonight I’m going to start taking the motor apart, cleaning it up, and looking for areas of trouble. As mentioned in previous posts, I’m really interested in engine mechanics and hope to someday graduate to working on cars, but for now small projects like this are the perfect way to get started.

Earlier today I attended Amazon’s bi-annual All Hands Meeting, which is held at the Key Arena in Seattle. It’s a 3 hour meeting that gives various managers and executives from throughout the company a chance to share the news of what their teams and organizations have been up to. At the end Jeff Bezos always comes out and does a 30 minute question and answer session. This is your chance as an employee to ask a direct question to the CEO, and either he will answer it on his own, or he will delegate the question to one of his executives, known as the ‘S-team’, who answers it on the spot. Having been to several of these all-hands meetings, this question and answer session has become my favorite part. This time, however, included an extra special ending that people will be talking about for a bit.

I’m sure many of you are aware of the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’ that’s been going on lately. If you’re not, its a fundraising challenge going on all over the country, and possibly the world, to raise money and awareness for ALS (more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s disease). The idea is simple, you either pour a bucket of ice water right over your own head, or someone else does it to you, then you challenge someone else to do the same. I’m not familiar with how the financial part works out but I’m sure it’s raising lots of money. Well, Jeff was recently challenged by Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, and he decided to accept the challenge and do the chilly deed as a grand finale to our company-wide meeting. As soon as he started talking about it everyone, including myself, pulled out their phone and started recording. He decided to have fun with it and put on a pretty funny show, which you can see here on my YouTube page. It was a pretty fun way to end the meeting, and everyone seemed to get a kick out of it. I was seated pretty far back so the video quality isn’t great, but you’ll get the point. Hope you enjoy.

Overlooking the Seattle Harbor at the Amazon Summer Picnic, 2014
Overlooking the Seattle Harbor at the Amazon Summer Picnic, 2014

Having fun playing on the Seahawks field
Having fun playing on the Seahawks field

Our New Addition

Chances are if you’re reading this post then you already know the good news that I’m about to share, but just in case you don’t, it’s my great pleasure to announce that Jessica is pregnant with our third (and final) child. At this point she is finishing her first trimester and everything looks good. I’d be lying, however, if I said that it has been easy on her up to this point. It’s probably more fair to say that she has already dealt with more sickness through the first three months of this pregnancy than she did with Ava and Elise combined. No exaggeration.

If I remember correctly, Jessica was hardly ever sick when she was pregnant with Ava, and only slightly more so with Elise. The good news is that she may have finally turned the corner. Today she went all day without any sickness or disruption, and with the first trimester coming to a close chances are the hardest part (other than delivery of course) is behind her. As expected, I feel terrible seeing her sick, as do the girls, but there is nothing any of us can do for her other than be supportive and show concern. She’s been such a champ throughout this whole ordeal though. Never once has she expected any sort of pity or sorrow. Her strength and overall positive attitude throughout the past three months has been a great inspiration for me.

The official due date is February 5th, and based on the medical evaluations she’s had so far the doctor says there is a 95% chance that the pregnancy will run its course without any type of problem. The elephant in the room at this point is whether we’ll be having our third girl, or our first boy. It’s natural for people to wonder, and I truly do understand where they’re coming from, but it annoys me that everyone thinks we’re hoping for a boy. That is not the case at all. As cliche as it may sound, the only thing I’m hoping for is a healthy baby and a healthy wife. To think that we will be even the slightest bit disappointed if we don’t have a boy is absolutely ludicrous. We’ll be finding out the baby’s gender in the next six weeks, and in an effort for maximum preparedness, we don’t want to wait one minute longer than necessary. Thank goodness we bought a four bedroom house ๐Ÿ˜‰

The thing that’s most crazy to me about all this is that Elise and her younger sibling will be even closer in age (19 months) than Ava and Elise are (20 months). This means that we will have had 3 babies in a span of 3 years and 3 months. Apparently 3 really is the magic number. Without getting too far into our personal details, I can assure you that this will be the last baby for us. Although a family of five may have been considered on the small end during our parent’s childhood, it is definitely large for today’s standards. Although we know we have more than our fair share challenges ahead of us, we couldn’t be happier, luckier, or more excited about the family and lives we have created for ourselves.

In other family news, Ava has recently started going to preschool on Mondays. Although she is still only 2 years old, due to her advanced vocabulary and physical size advantage, her teachers have placed her in a class with 3 and 4 year olds. So far she’s doing great. Like her Daddy many years ago, she hates seeing Mommy leave and breaks down for a few minutes, but quickly gets over it and ends up having lots of fun. Her biggest trouble at this point is spilling milk on herself during mealtimes. This past Monday she went through both outfits Jessica brought, and ended up coming home in borrowed clothes provided by the school. I’m sure she’ll get over this very soon, and both Jessica and I couldn’t be more proud of her with how she has adjusted to this new phase of her life.

Elise is also doing quite well. Although she still hasn’t quite ventured out on her own in terms of walking, she is more than capable of getting around the house. She is also getting quite vocal. Not only is she speaking constantly in her own baby language, but she has picked up on several words that Ava normally says. These days if you ask Ava “What does the cow say?” Elise will often beat her to the punch by announcing a prolonged “Mooooo”. It might be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. If only she would do it on command. I can tell that the only thing holding her back from walking at this point is confidence, and I expect it will be any time now that she breaks through that barrier.

Last Wednesday I took the day off to celebrate my birthday with my girls. After having breakfast and taking a walk around the neighborhood the four of us went to the swimming pool. This is quickly becoming Ava’s favorite activity and she talks about it constantly. Not sure what we’re going to do once summer is over but I’m sure we’ll figure something out. Watch football maybe? After swimming we went home to clean up, then met my good friend Sean for lunch in Greenlake. This was his first time meeting the girls and he didn’t disappoint. He showed up with a bag full of stuffed animals, as well as quite a few rare silver coins that the girls could start a collection with. He also bought us lunch, which was far too generous. I certainly wasn’t expecting all this but appreciate it so much.

In an effort to increase my skills as a handyman I’ve recently taken on a fairly large project; I’m building a suspension loft in our garage. It’s going to be 20 feet long, four feet deep, and suspended about 8 feet above ground level. This will provide us lots of storage space and will make up at least somewhat for the fact that we are one of only two houses on our street that don’t have a three-car garage. I’ve been doing lots of research on this type of project, as well as getting advice from several trusted sources. Hopefully I’ll have it done in the next couple weeks.

I’ve also recently grown an interest in learning more about engine mechanics, and just today I picked up a gas powered lawn edger from my manager at Amazon. It doesn’t run anymore so it’s a perfect small project for me to get my hands dirty. I bought a Kindle book tonight on how to repair small engines used in outdoor equipment, and can’t wait to get started once I finish building the loft. The ultimate goal for me is to get to a point where I can work on cars, but I figured starting small like this was probably best.

Things are also going really well at work. I’ve been on the same project for the past year-and-a-half, but this is my final month. Starting in September I’m going to be working on a new project, so I’m pretty excited for a change of pace. It won’t be too long before I find out whether or not I’ll be receiving a promotion to a Web Developer II role. I’m not worried about it at all because either way I’m going to come out of the process with a very clear idea of my path moving forward, including which areas I need to focus on the most. If it doesn’t work out in the fall I’m confident that it will in the spring, which is the next time they do promotions. Either way I love my job and still feel extremely fortunate just to be there.

Sorry for not having any new photos to post this week. I’m sure we’ll have some next time. Lots of exciting news coming soon…