An Amazing Start to the New Year

Wow, what an incredible start to the new year. I am 3 weeks in and everything feels great. Work has been phenomenal, I’ve been feeling much better with my training, the kids are doing great, I’m starting my volunteer work tomorrow at the Sharing Place and we have a little bun in the oven. Right now at work I am at 1000 days on the scheduled days list, which has been something that has taken a couple of years to get to. The markets have rebounded quite a bit, leaving me some time to prepare for the next big downturn (hopefully). I’m super motivated and engaged at work right now which makes it extremely fun to be there. I’ve spent so much time over the last year learning about finance and dividend stocks that I have a great foundation coming into the year. Naturally it makes me a little nervous when things are going and feeling so great, but you can’t let that slow you down, you just keep moving forward and understand that life has it’s ups and downs and know that you’ll have them and enjoy the ups as much as you can and prepare for the downs.

On Thursday January 10, we had the CHG Road Show which was such an amazing event and got me so excited for what lies ahead. The most amazing thing happened and it completely caught me off guard but I was nominated and then won the CHG’s Difference Makers award and have a chance to go on a 10 day humanitarian mission in Ecuador this summer. I’m a little worried that it may conflict with our baby being born but I am just enjoying this time and not thinking too much about it, and if it does I’ll just do my best to see if there is another option that I can do.  I’m so thankful for my company and the many opportunities that it provides me and my family. They also announced that the 2020  CHG Presidents Club will be at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman, that gave me such excitement when they announced that, I was giddy with excitement and will  not miss out on that. Even though I’ve got a great start to 2019, I’m thinking of all the ways I can make sure I don’t miss out on going there and doing plenty of preparation to make it by a wide margin!

Above is a collage of photos I put together of my favorite moment of 2018, and this is the post i added to my Instagram account that gave a nice recap of the year:

My 9 for 2018 doesn’t tell the whole story. The most amazing moments were so simple, like laying with my baby girl every night before bed as she falls asleep in my arms, or teaching Liam how to catch a football or do a jiu jitsu arm lock. 2018 had a few setbacks, we had a miscarriage but focused on how thankful we are for having Seneca and Liam. My wife was harassed by a thug in May (long story but had to do with our fight to adopt Liam). 2018 was my 5th year with CHG, the most amazing company ever, and my 5th Presidents Club qualified for. No bike racing this year but loved throwing the hammer down with my cycling buddies on the back roads, also riding up the 10,000 ft Haleakala in brutal storm conditions was epic. The family trip to Maui was the best trip ever and changed me, and seeing a whale 5ft away was out of this world. In 2019 I’ll be a volunteer for the Sharing Place, a support home for children who have lost a parent or both parents (more to come on this). I’m very much looking forward to another amazing year but my happiness grows as I get older by the more simple things, just savoring family or beautiful weather or a hard workout. 2018 resurected my love for investing but not for acquiring “things” down the road, but for building financial security, patience, frugality and experiences. I’m in a good place with cutting down on social media and giving that time to reading books, and most mornings I’m up at 5:45 to stretch/yoga, meditate or study, and working out all before I go to work. Well that’s it for me, I’ll be reading your updates!

 

October is in full swing

Well, the weather outside is chilly and we’re deep into fall. I’ve just barely put away all of the lawn and outdoor stuff and preparing for the winter. This weekend I built some new shelves for the garage to keep it more organized and looking nice. Seneca is about 10 days from being 2 years old and she is as cute as ever. She has so many new words and I just love how she says things. She is so polite and always saying “please” and especially “thank you!” whenever someone gives her something. She hasn’t learnt her colors yet and if I ask her what color something is, she always says ‘blue’. Lately she has been saying “I see ghosts” and “I see cows”, haha, I love that! She still absolutely loves Fairies and we have a costume for her and Liam to be Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Liam and Seneca play so well together and Liam is learning a lot in Kindergarten, he is so good with his words. The stock market has been week lately but my investments have done rather well over the last year, I’ve definitely made some good progress towards the future, while also learning a lot and building up my own ideas on things. Work has been going well too, I’ve been in the lead for quite a while and my 2019 pipeline looks good, and I’ll qualify for Presidents Club by the end of this month. I’ve been staying fit by riding as well as getting back into Jiu Jitsu.

Bonding with my baby girl

We just got back from our annual Lamb Days camping trip and it was so nice to be able to have so much time with my family. I’ve been having such an amazing time bonding with my little girl and she just wants me to hold her every where I go. On our trip there were so many great times when I could just hold her in my arms and she would lay her head down on my chest. Absolutely priceless. The other day I was out watering the lawn and I sat down on a rock and she came up next to me and sat down, then I put my arm around her and kissed her little head and just savored the moment.

We got back from our trip mid day yesterday and I spent some time with her out in the garden. She hung out with me as I gardened and weeded and watered. She would come up and play in the water that I sprayed on the lawn or come up and jump on my back, or even help me put some of the weeds in a bucket.

I’ve also been taking he her to her second round of parent lead swim classes. I got this as a gift for fathers day. I like to sing the songs to her even out of the pool. She likes to hold her baby dolls and say “side side” ( side to side). At lamb days Angie got her a cute lamb beanie and knitted octopus.

On the legal front we’ve gotten a protective order against Sherrie and now taken the fight to her. Work has been better, not as much of a struggle as last year but definitely harder than the past. I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about stocks instead of wasting time on social media. The portfolio is growing nicely but I since a storm brewing and I’m trying to mentally prepare for it.

It’s been a great summer so far but the best is just savoring every second I have with my daughter. I’m so thankful that I have the wisdom to understand how fast time goes by so I am spending as much time as I can with my kids.

July cometh

Wow, summer is really 1/3 over already? So far the last few months I’ve been so consumed with ways to save money and building a dividend portfolio. I’ve been spending countless hours researching dividend paying stocks as well as reading a lot of books and putting money away. It’s been so fun seeing the growth in my portfolio in such a short amount of time. It’s hard to believe that in 4.5 years I’ve gone from being in debt to having a solid net worth and such good momentum. I feel much wiser and more patient but still have so much to learn, yet have learnt so much from past mistakes. I feel that we’ve had such a strong market over the last 9 years that soon we will have a major correction so I keep that in mind an plan for that.

Seneca had been an absolute joy to be around, she is so fun to play with and I spend as much time as I can with her. She is trying to talk a lot and it’s so fun hearing her babble all the time. She says new words and it’s hard to keep up with them. I took her to the zoo yesterday and she was so excited to see the ‘big birds’ and elephants and giraffe. She loves to wrestle with me, she makes cute growling sounds, she loves water and chasing bubbles. She sleeps well at night and is the best baby I can imagine. I try to savor every second with her knowing just how fast time goes by.

Other recent things include trying to adopt Liam and sever parental rights. We also celebrated our 5th year anniversary and had a beautiful party on our patio. I’ve been riding quite a bit but no racing so I can save money. This week I have my sister coming to stay with us for the 4th of July. Work has been a fight but I love my job and my team, I find it engaging and have a better attitude than last year when I was struggling.

April 2018

I’ve been getting back into my interest in investing and reading lots of books as well as putting money away in dividend paying stocks. I’ve been having fun building spreadsheets and calculations for retirement as well as researching stocks. I haven’t felt as strong on the bike as I have in the past so I’ve been spending more time doing other things like Jiu Jitsu and working on home projects.

Liam is getting so smart, he is drawing and spelling things, he makes cute pictures for us as a family. Work has been a bit of a slump but I’ve been in a good mindset and having a positive attitude. I feel good about the challenges ahead and the growth that will come.

March 2018

Oh these last few months with Seneca have been so amazing. I love spending as much time as I can with her as she grows. She loves to entertain and make us laugh. She loves to make funny faces and raspberries. She is learning new words all the time. Today she said shoes, ear, eyes and coat. She puts her hand up to her ear when she says hi, like she is holding a cell phone. I spend every night putting her to bed and savor each second of being with her.

Work has been good lately and I’ve had some consistent results but not as high as in the past. I have really learnt from our recession last year and gotten better, and we have a great team now. I’ve been really focused on putting away money for retirement and studying dividend stocks. As for fitness, I’ve lost a decent amount after being sick and still working my way back, which is taking a long time. I hit a true FTP of 321 watts in an hour the first week of Jan and two months later I’m not even close.

We leave to Hawaii in 2 days!!!

Holidays 2017

I had an amazing holiday season this year and was able to take off a lot of time to be with my family. I had a total of 11 days off which was the most I’ve had off since my paternity leave and it was so great to have that time with my family. Angie had a lot planned so we were active with parties and visits from friends. We had a birthday party for Liam at Jungle Jim’s during the middle of the week. Liam was excited about the toys he got including a video game system I got that replicated a Nintendo system. I got him some Nerf guns and lightsabers for us to play with.

I absolutely loved the time I have with my baby girl, she was so fun to hangout with and I took care of her and put her to bed every single day. I spent lots of time playing with the kids. I also spent a lot of time working out and did plenty of long rides to get me fit for the new year. I tried my best to not think about work.

Thanksgiving Weekend 2017

It was a pleasant 4 day weekend for me to hang out with my wonderful family. On Thursday we had my father and mother as well as my Aunt Diana and Uncle Ted over. The weather was absolutely beautiful and warm, I also was able to get a lot accomplished and build some shelves in my basement as well as my garage, it was a very fun project and helped with organization. Angie and Diana made such a great Thanksgiving dinner and had plenty of leftovers.

On Sunday, we took the kids to the Zoo, it was the first time that Liam remembers going to one, and the first time for Seneca. Both kids absolutely loved it and the weather was again, perfect.

Seneca has been learning so many new things. She recognizes so many words and phrases, some of them include: Stand up! Shake your butt! Dance! She is also learning to walk but also doing her cute little butt scoot. She points to things, she also is extremely daring and loves to climb up on things.

 

4 years at CHG

4 years ago I started working at CHG Healthcare and I never would have imagined how much it would change my life as I walked through those doors for the very first time as an employee. The decade before I spent as a business owner, which had it’s highs and lows, but I loved being independent, how would it be working for a corporation? I had heard amazing things about this company but I was so worried that I would have a hard time integrating into the corporate world.

I’m happy to say that my worry of becoming just a number or a slave to a corporation didn’t happen. Instead I found a team and company that I believe in so much that I’m happy to be on the front line as a foot soldier. At CHG, we don’t have “bosses”, we have “leaders”. I’ve found a place where inspiration and personal growth are the blood of the organization. The core values are what we live by: Putting people first, continual improvement , quality and professionalism, honesty and integrity and growth. At the heart of every decision made, lies one of the core values.

This past year has been a struggle (in a good way). I’ve been stressed and pushed in so many ways which has lead to personal growth, humility and knowledge. It’s definitely been painful at times but looking back, I’m so thankful for these lessons, it’s made me tougher and more resilient.

I finally made it back into the green after several great weeks but I’m far from out of the woods. Here are some of the things I’ve learnt: I need to make it as easy as possible for others to work with me. I wasn’t working as hard as I thought I was. I was wrong about calls, I need to make 150 per week to be successful. Remove obstacles.

November 2017

Well I’m starting to wind down my work on the clubhouse, it looks better than I ever could have imagined. I learned a lot and gained a lot of tools so it was an awesome experience and looks great in my back yard.

Seneca is growing up so fast and can stand as well as climb up and down the stairs. She is so proud and happy when she stands up. She understands when I ask for a kiss, to stand up or to clap. She points at things she wants. I love seeing her learn and develop.

Work has been much better in the last month. My paychecks have been a lot smaller but I’ve learnt so much and feel like I’m much more engaged and happy.

4 weeks ago I damaged my ribs in Jiu jitsu and have been working on getting healed up. It is hard to sleep on them but I’m feeling much better overall and can’t wait to resume training.