My goodness, the year has already decided to come to a close. Before these final hours of 2015 tick away, let’s relive the year with my annual look back at the year gone by.
Go Johnny Go, Go
I think the first thing of significance that comes to mind for the year is our first full year of parenthood. Johnny started the year a teensy 4-month-old, and now at year’s end he’s walking, teasing the dog, and saying a few words. He’s sleeping better, thereby letting us rest fully through the night, though his wake-up times need some improvement. He has spent an entire year in daycare now, where the teacher turnover rate is absolutely staggering. But, they seem to take good care of him, especially in his Tiny Turtle room. On weekdays, we see him first thing in the morning and for an hour before bed. It seems like we hardly see him at all. I could spend all blog talking about Johnny and the changes he has gone through, but I want to focus on other things too… so…
Work Is For The Birds
Personally, I am still working the same 8-5 job five days a week, but it has improved a lot from the beginning of the year. I picked up the oft-mentioned freelance job in early September and the extra cash has literally all gone towards credit card debt, except for the Mexico trip, which of course was paid for with credit cards. So, really, all of the money. Doing essentially two full-time jobs at once is often challenging, but I have a pretty good system worked out. I can usually be found on my laptop on the couch after Johnny goes to bed, cranking out various projects for both companies. When not working or parenting, I enjoyed doing nothing. I’ve reached that point in my life where I look forward to that 8-10pm time slot of nothingness… again, on the days that I don’t have work to do.
Lauren, too, has held the same job since January 2012, with many highs and lows. She traveled some for work, going to a show in Anaheim (with Johnny and Aunt Alice) in March, and Denver in the summer for a team-build. Lauren, like me, is often found working on her laptop at night, but unlike me, she is only getting one paycheck, which she is quick to point out when I’m complaining about work piling up.
Thanks For Visiting
Mom and Dad visited Austin in February for a few days, and experienced the coldest weather of the year while visiting. We were even able to fire the fireplace up! Ice storms in Dallas actually delayed their return to South Dakota by a day. In March, Patrick Lynch and Charlie Ahern visited Austin for a few days while Lauren and Johnny were at the previously-mentioned Anaheim expo. We hit up an Eric Church concert and I showed them the local BBQ, bar, and karaoke scenes despite more unusually cold weather. Our next out-of-state visitor wasn’t until Aunt Alice’s recent December visit.
Wedding Bells and Grandma Bells
To help combat the lull in between visitors, we went back north two times. The first trip was in June for Lauren’s brother Matt Poulter’s wedding to Calla Parochetti in Iowa. We went out a day early to explore Chicago, and then strangely decided to stay another day in Iowa and depart our hotel room at midnight to arrive in Chicago for a 5am flight. Such a weird schedule. In August we went north to see both families as well as old friends. In South Dakota, we stayed very busy with a day in Aberdeen at Storybook Land with Jordan and Alex’s families, followed by a visit to Grandma Bell’s house in Doland. The next day the family spent the afternoon on Lake Byron. In Minnesota, we got together for various outings with friends including Christian and Jaime Berglund-Huseby and Chris and Sarah Domenichetti Walsh. And of course, spent lots of time with Lauren’s family. We even rang in Grandma Joyce’s 90th birthday with dinner in Chanhassen and made it out to a Twins game.
Still not satisfied with our quick trip in and out of South Dakota, I took my own solo trip in November and made plans to hit up every old spot I never get to see anymore, including Sioux Falls, Madison, and Huron. The visit was highlighted by me surprising Mom and Dad at dinner in Huron, which was pulled off perfectly with the help of Alex, who tricked the parents into going to Huron to supposedly celebrate Hadley’s improved behavior in kindergarten.
There was a little bit of in-state travel as well. Brian Mego approached me about planning a secret vacation for our families to a “cooler” destination to escape the hot Texas summer. Well, one thing led to another, and we landed on the hottest possible place and at the hottest time of year–Galveston in July. We also made a quick overnight trip to Houston in May to see an Astros game with Joe and Krista Allen, and take in the Houston Space Center… again, so extremely hot.
And then there was the very recent Mexico trip.
When not traveling, we tried to better our home by installing hardwood flooring and upgrading to a new dishwasher that we can hear ourselves think over. I also painted most of the walls in the house a grayish-blue, saving on hiring a painter. We had some bad luck too, as heavy rains literally washed away all the grass in our backyard, and damaged the roof, neither of which have been fully repaired yet. We even got proactive and removed a giant old ash tree from the front yard. Basically, my time spent doing yardwork is down about 90% from our first year of home ownership, but with good reason… lack of time. And with both of us working longer hours than ever before, we decided to put some of that money towards a bi-weekly house cleaning. Great, great decision. So nice to come home to a sparkling house ever other Tuesday.
A Doggone Adjustment
Baxter was around in 2015, too, though he didn’t get much love on this blog. He isn’t as neglected as I may make it sound, though we certainly aren’t out running him every day or making dining plans revolving around dog-friendly establishments. The year was a big adjustment for Baxter as he and Johnny have learned to co-exist, and Baxter gets a bulk of his daily calories from food Johnny drops or throws, or in many cases that Baxter just outright steals from Johnny’s hands.
The sick bug frequently made its way into the Glanzer household, no doubt largely due to daycare germs. Johnny had the flu early in the year which was a major scare. He also came down with a weird unidentifiable rash-like thing that the doctor feared could be serious, but nothing ever came of that. Whenever someone got sick, it seemed we all got sick. I can’t even begin to recall all the different times that Johnny got sick in some fashion, but whenever it required a doctor visit, it had to happen on a Sunday where we had to visit some sort of after-hours clinic. Whenever Johnny had to miss daycare, one of us had to miss work. We typically alternated days off, or split up a day between the two of us. There were so many such days.
Champion On a Technicality
We caught just about every Twins and Vikings game on TV. The Twins surprised us with a winning record, and the Vikings delighted us by clinching a playoff spot. My fantasy baseball teams sucked majorly bad, but my fantasy football teams both went on deep playoff runs–one team winning third, and one team controversially winning the championship when Yahoo failed to acknowledge a Denard Robinson stat correction for my opponent, Tom Valvo, in the semi-finals. I played a lot of pickup basketball at work in the summer and Callaway offered free yoga to the marketing team, but other than that I participated in no athletic activities.
ATX, Home For… A While Longer
2015 was our fourth full year in Austin and fifth overall. I loved the colder winter months and the record rains in the spring, but I still can’t manage to adjust to the extreme heat of the summer. Like the summers before it, I tended to stay indoors as much as possible, though Johnny had other ideas. There were times where Austin was awesome and felt like home, and there were months where I yearned to move back north. Probably not a 2016 thing though. Perfect segue opportunity, however…
Just about all of Lauren’s family will be filing through Austin early in 2016! We have confirmed plans from Pete Anderson and family in mid-February, Steve and Anne in late February, and the Rosoks in late March. My parents have talked about a spring visit as well. Lauren and I have discussed going on one last trip somewhere before Johnny turns 2 and his airfare is no longer free, in addition to a very likely visit to Minnesota sometime in the summer. As of now there are no weddings on the calendar or babies due in the family, so for the most part there aren’t many commitments on tap.