Christmas and the New Year

As always December moved pretty quickly, but this was one of the best Christmas seasons that I could remember. Angie held down the fort at home while I worked, she took care of getting gifts for people and keeping things flowing around the house. Seneca started to understand Christmas a little more and recognized Santa Clause. We took her to her first movie on the day after Thanksgiving and she loved it, it was ‘The Grinch’. We’ve been visiting the aquarium quite frequently on Sunday nights and the kids absolutely love it.

Seneca is sweet as can be, she loves to entertain us and she is learning lots of new words. She loves to hang out with her Daddy and we are like peas in a pod. Whenever I go work on my computer or shovel snow outside or work on projects, she is usually right by my side. Ever since Halloween when we had our ghost projector, she loves to explore the house and look for ghost with me, she says ‘I see ghosts’. She still really loves Fairies, Minions, Lion King and Snow White.

Liam had an amazing birthday, we went to CousCous and then to the Christmas in Color light show in South Jordan that was such a blast for the kids. We had a few Christmas parties to go to but overall it didn’t seem to hectic or overwhelming. I took him to see the Bumblebee movie and he loved it, we spoiled ourselves with popcorn and then went to eat at Rumbis afterward. 

CHG threw an amazing Christmas Party for the kids on December 7th, they did a great job with fun activities for the kids and a delicious breakfast. We spent some time there instead of rushing through it. They also did a great job with the Company Party however for some reason I didn’t feel all that great and didn’t say out too late. On Dec 14 we had our Trial and neither Liam’s birth mother or father showed up. The mothers rights were terminated so we never have to deal with her or her family again, but the trial goes on for Zach. New Years was pretty mellow, we had Jaron and his family over for a bit, along with Marcus and his new girlfriend. Not much happened and we all went to bed early which was great and gave me time to work out the next day and feel productive.

I decided to take off work Dec 21-Jan 2 so that gave me a very long break and it was much needed. I spent a lot of time with the kids and knocking off chores and reading books. By the time I came back on Jan 2, I felt absolutely refreshed and have such energy for this year and I’m feeling more ‘goal oriented’ than ever. I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my spreadsheets and building a pathway to residual income. I’ve learnt so much over the past year and read so many great books on investing, which of course has a lot of chunks of wisdom that pass over to the rest of my life. I’ve got some tough goals ahead of me but I’m ready to jump in.

Yesterday I did the training for The Sharing Place which was quite an eye opening experience as I though it would be. It seems like an amazing charity and I’m sure it will be humbling, heart warming and rewarding to work there over the next year. So many people (volunteers and coordinators) shared their stories yesterday and I met some of the great people volunteering. Earlier in the week I told Liam I would be helping some kids who had lost their parents and he was moved by that. He told me yesterday “I hope you can help some kids that are sad” then gave me a hug and a kiss.

Thanksgiving Week 2018

This was an absolute fabulous week with some good time off from work. On Monday night I took the kids to Classic Fun Center for some skating. Liam brought his scooter and cruised around while I pushed Seneca around the rink walking behind her. The kids had so much fun and on our drive home Seneca made me laugh so hard by saying her name while Liam was trying to talk, making him so mad. I left work early on Wednesday to start my weekend off early.

On Thursday my parents came out as well as my aunt Diana and uncle Ted and we had amazing dinner that Angie prepared. My father seemed to be doing so much better and the kids absolutely loved hanging out with him. On Friday I spend the day at home just hanging out with the kids and helping Angie get the Christmas decorations set up. On Saturday I took the kids to the Grinch Movie, which was Seneca’s first movie. Here are  some great photos from this week:

On a separate note, I was able to qualify for Presidents Club with my October results, leaving 2 extra months to add to my GM for the year. We just created a new compensation plan that hopefully will allow me to be in the top Tier for compensation next year and improve my results. I really want to have a good year of adding to my portfolio and creating plenty of residual income. Bitcoin has been crashing, down from $11,000 last year to under $4000 this week. It is a great lesson for me to watch all of this and make sure I know that I need to stay clear of speculation.

The Fairy Forest

This past week was amazing and I got an unexpected surprise. On Tuesday Angie gave me a little box with something so incredible and amazing yet, I can’t speak of it right now. I was completely caught off guard in a good way because I had always wanted to experience that type of unexpectedness. This past week I’ve been thinking about how our family will change and grow over the next few years and how we can prepare for that.

On Sunday, Angie and I took the kids up to the canyon in Kamas and met up with Alexa and found a place called the Fairy Forest which was so fun to let the kids run around and explore. We played around for an hour and a half then came back to Salt Lake and ate at BGR in Sugarhouse.

 

Labor Day Weekend 2018

We had a spectacular Labor Day weekend and had a lot of fun things to do. I worked hard on Saturday to build a second bench for the backyard but then that left me enough time to enjoy the rest of the weekend with the family. A few weeks back when we were doing our family photo shoots, I saw a bench idea out at Day Break and it gave me some good ideas. The first one took me a couple of days to complete but I really wanted to finish the second one in one day so I would have the rest of the weekend, but it was exhausting work.

On Sunday we had the day to enjoy at Lagoon. I went for a bike ride during the morning and had time to take a quick nap then head out. We had an absolute blast and Seneca really enjoyed riding on all of the rides with Liam. The weather was perfect and we stayed until the very end, the kids were so exhausted and fell asleep on the way home. This past week my parents stopped in and stayed the night and were able to play with the kids. I had an Xray on my kidney stone and it didn’t show up, it’s quite a mystery that it dissolved, and hopefully it did just that. Yesterday I went on a 100 mile bike ride and the miles went by quickly, then we I hung out with Liam for most of the day. We put a blanket out under the stars with Seneca and watched planes fly by.

Seneca is now 23 months and so fun, I love watching her learn things. Her biggest passion is for Fairies and I sit with her and watch the Tinkerbell movies on Netflix. She has several friends to play with including Aya and Sparrow. She loves her grandpa and grandma and likes to say ‘hi ma ma’ and ‘hi bumpa’. Lately she has been fascinated with putting on her shoes herself. She hasn’t quite got it down but every morning she tries. She loves looking at bugs and bees. She loves Moana and Frozen. She likes to say ‘beeshoe’ (meaning shooo bee’s) to get the bugs away.

Liam started Kindergarten last week and was sad the first day but quickly got acclimated and now has a lot of stories to tell and new friends he talks about.

My Birthday and turning 44

Well I certainly had an exciting birthday due to a kidney stone. I had planned to take off Thurs and Friday from work, but still work on my birthday. When I got to work I started feeling some dull pains in my abdomen which made it hard for me to concentrate, I had to leave work and come home to have my wife take me to an appointment, but by the time I got there they told me to turn around and go to the ER. Once I got there they gave me some pain meds, did a CT scan and told me that I had a 5mm kidney stone. They sent me home with some meds and told me to pass it. After that the pain went away but I have yet to pass the stone and am unsure I will be able to without some type of intervention. I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in the mean time.

Later in the day we went out to dinner at JC’s Sushi, which was a blast with the kids. On Thursday I felt a little bit better and was able to do a light workout, then mow the lawn and in the evening we went to an 80′s concert and took Seneca to her first concert ever which she absolutely loved. On Friday I worked out inside then went downtown with the family to watch the Tour of Utah in 100 degree heat. Saturday was pretty mellow and I just watched the tour from home and worked in the yard. On Sunday we drove up to Guardsman’s Pass and watched the final stage, the weather was perfect. Then we dropped into Park City and had dinner there.

Seneca at her first concert, at Red Butte with Wang Chung and When in Rome

Seneca has been so amazing lately, learning lots of new words and just being a cute little bug. She is so entertaining and loves to play, laugh and make us laugh. She loves her fairies and wants to ride a bike so bad. Lately she has said many new words including “grandpa, grandma, bike, wheel, tickle”.

Seneca’s Firsts

I’ll try to keep a running list of first words and milestones, I should have started this earlier but oh well.

  • Late October 2017 – 1 year’s old, starts to stand up for the first time, pops up around her birthday and then starts standing a lot better. Says ‘mama’ and ‘dada’, ‘baba’ and ‘be-be’ for Binkie.
  • December 2017 – starts taking her first steps in Mid December. By January she is walking and by the end of Jan she is speed walking.
  • Jan 2018 – she is getting good with her sign language and can say a lot of things. She pats her leg for dog. She says ‘meow, meow’. She says fffff for Fish at the Aquarium.
  • Feb 1, 2018 – she holds her cell phone up and pretends she is calling me and says ‘hi dada’. She loves baths and pats her tummy when she wants one.
  • March 7, 2018, says ‘shoes’, ‘eyes’,
  • March 11 while on our trip to Maui she starts nodding ‘yes’, so cute! She is starting to say Fish all the way through. She signs Bird by pointing to the top of her head. Today at the pool in Maui she chased some birds around while pointing at her head.
  • Aughfff is Avocado. Booah is Bird. This month she is eating so much. It’s getting nice outside so we go for walks every night and she sings. She loves Frozen and Moana, she is a good climber and gets up and down the stairs easily. April 23, 2018
  • May 17 – she’s saying more and more all the time. This week she said Fairy, more, door (singing along to the Frozen song, Love is an open door), me.
  • August- yesterday she said grandma and grandpa while on the phone with my parents, sounds like “bumpa” . Other words include “moon”, she calls bugs “bees”. She says “towel, shower, bike, bye bye’. She now likes to wear her pink helmet and loves for me to put her on Liams bike. She has a Finding Dory splash table that she loves to play in.
  • September 2018 – so many new words. This week she said her name Seneca, she says ‘hi Cows’, she says ‘Beeshoe” to tell the bugs to go away. She calls walking “walkie” and she loves to say Hi to everyone and everything.

Happy Moments in January 2018

The holidays have been absolutely amazing and I had so much time to spend with my family. It was great taking 10 days off, the only other time I had done that was while I was on paternity leave. I did fun things with my family every day and got in to the habit of putting my baby girl to sleep every single night, and now it has been 2 months since I have done that. I will put her in my arms and rock her to sleep while she drinks a bottle, then pop a binkie in her mouth and let her fall asleep. I savor every moment and make sure i am so present, I think about how thankful I am for these moments and savor them.

Angie got me an amazing present for Christmas, daddy-daughter swim lessons. I did my first one in the last week in January and although I was sick as a dog, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It was such an amazing experience and was one of the happiest moments I have had. What a wonderful bonding moment with my daughter, she was so happy and stared into my eyes with the biggest smile and her twinkling eyes. I told one of my co-workers how amazing it was and she said that it was too bad she is too young to remember, but I disagree, I think these moments build that bond stronger between us. We take them into the pool and sing songs while we teach them swimming motions such as kicking, floating and paddling.

Liam has been an amazing big brother and loves to play with his little sister and teach her things. I have a hard time getting him to bed because he just loves being awake so much, as I write this he is laying in his bed and singing songs. I am so happy that I have these two children in my house and it is so fun to hear them talking and babbling with their cute little voices. I love my time with them and never want to be too busy for them. I love being a father and teaching them, but also having fun with them and making them laugh. I love holding Seneca and chasing Liam with him in my arms, this makes them both laugh and scream with excitement.

Work has been great, after a tough year I feel like I am back in action and our full team is firing. The mood is much better and we are off to a great start to the year. I am so thankful for my company and the amazing things that it gives to me and my family. I am so thankful for the Presidents Club trips that allow my family to have amazing experiences. I love that it allows my wife to be a stay at home mother and spend time with my baby. I love the challenges that make me a better person, and the relationships that my job gives me. I love being so close to work, and the home that I was able to purchase. I am excited to leave to Maui in a month from now and am having a blast getting prepared. I plan on riding my bike up Haleakala which is a bucket list item.

Fitness has been great up until getting sick 3 weeks ago. I had some high 1 hour threshold power numbers leading up to that and probably lost some fitness, but hopefully I can get on track soon.

Seneca’s first birthday

My how time flies, Seneca is now one year old and Angie put together an amazing birthday party for her this past weekend. The theme of the party was “Twinkle Twinkle little Star” and we had a great turnout of friends and family. Angie made a wonderful gluten free cake and a delicious chicken tortilla soup for our guests and Seneca got some great toys to play with. I was able to finish up the playhouse for the most part, at least enough for the kids to go play on. What a great first birthday!

Trip to San Francisco for Presidents Club

This was my third year at Presidents Club and this time I was able to bring the kids, and it was Sececas first ride on a plane and a boat. We were able to go to Alcatraz on the first night then there was a cruise around the bay with dinner and dancing.

On Friday we visited the Wharf and then took Liam to the Arcade museum, then went to dinner at Aliotos and then had a sundae at Ghiardelli Square. On Saturday we went on a Bay Cruise with Liam then went to the aquarium. Later that night we went to a party right in the middle of Union Square, after that we went to Ruby Skye for about an hour.

On Sunday I took Liam to the Museum of the Sciences in Golden Gate park, then when we got back we walked to Chinatown for dinner. On Monday I got up early and went walking with Seneca and took her to the point on Broadway that overlooks the city and Bay. Later we went there again and did photos with the kids. We then walked down to Columbus street and had some lunch then went back to Macy’s for a sundae and then went home. Great trip with the family!