First, a quick recap of things that have already happened. We attended John’s first school concert, a night of patriotic songs in a tribute to the veterans, and it was a doozy. All pre-K through 5th graders were to perform, and the lunchroom was packed with parents. Only we were all victims of an elaborate hoax to get the building packed for a PTA meeting! The night started with an unannounced meeting to pick seven new members from the crowd, and “we will sit here all night, we need seven of you to volunteer!” the PTA president announced. It took a long time. What a joke! Also a joke was the gaggle of parents who rushed to the front of the room to record their children’s performances. They literally went and stood in front of the seated crowd, blocking everyone’s views. Many people in the audience yelled for them to sit down, but they refused. Like Louie CK once said, no one is ever going to watch those videos! The audience was in no mood for complying with the requests of the music teacher, either. The teacher wouldn’t start the music until the crowd was silent, and the crowd simply never stopped talking! They waited and waited and no one would ever stop talking, so the poor kids sang over it! What a poorly run event. At least Johnny sang his song with lots of gusto.

Other interesting things to happen since last blog post over a month ago:

  • Attending exclusive Tacodeli 20th anniversary party
  • Attending the Jollyville school carnival
  • Lonestar, Clay Walker, Restless Heart concert
  • Trampoline park for teeball friend’s birthday
  • End of John’s first teeball season
  • Registering John for his first basketball season
  • A bout of record cold weather resulting in school delays
  • Morning hike and visit to Mt. Bonnell
  • Baby Ada’s birthday party
  • Trick or treating
  • New cactus statue constructed
  • Edie’s first time on a swing
  • Family photo session
  • Visit to Austin Beerworks
  • Baxter escaping 3-4 times per week and being rescued by concerned neighbors
  • Edie’s 1-year checkup with 5 shots
  • John failing multiple hearing screenings due to ear infections
  • Opening of new CA Austin office which means I’ll split some time at home and in an office
  • Oh, and Lauren receiving a big promotion at work!

The holiday season is nearly here, and above all, that means craziness with kid school schedules and how we will manage to juggle that with our work schedules. Yes, I work from home, but no, I cannot watch two kids while working. Both daycare and elementary school follow the same calendars, and both are closed all of Thanksgiving week. But, despite daycare being closed, a couple of their employees are hosting a babysitting event at the school Monday and Tuesday which costs $40 per kid per day, so we’re pretty much forced to send them both. I will take Wednesday off and hang with the kids, and then I’m off work Thursday and Friday. Lauren of course must work every day that week, but seemingly will take Thanksgiving Day off. Going to have my hands full!

The following week I travel to Tulsa for four days of work. It’s the big Christmas party and a few of us from the Austin office are driving up together to save a few bucks on airfare. It’s a 7-hour drive, but really that’s how much time I would spend flying if you consider how early I get to the airport plus the layover. The week of the Christmas party is a good week to visit Tulsa because so many others that we don’t normally see face-to-face will be present. We will drive up Tuesday morning and return Saturday morning. Lauren, then, will have her hands full parenting alone for four nights.

Next, Lauren and I will finally be celebrating the 10-year wedding anniversary with a trip to New York City Dec 12-15. We’re flying Aunt Alice down to stay with the kids while we soak in the holiday spirit on the East Coast. Our flights are free, as we cashed in a year or two worth of Delta miles. Plans in the city are scarce so far, but Lauren is interested in seeing Hamilton on Broadway, and I found a big Christmas lighting event. I hope it is cold and there is some snow, otherwise it won’t feel very Christmassy.

The kids are both off for Christmas December 21-January 8. Some of it will be covered by the weekends, days I have off work, and a much anticipated visit from Dad and niece Emmy. Those two will have the luxury of entertaining John and Edie for a week while Lauren and I work as normal. We will each still likely have to take some additional vacation time to cover all the days off.

Later in January, I will be going to Las Vegas for my first trade show with the company, Affiliate Summit. I am scheduled to take over direct mail duties, and this conference will be important to attend and meet all the players in the industry. Add in a few Lauren work trips, and the next couple months should prove to be anything but routine around here!