Entering 2016 will mean drastic transitions for our growing family. With a master's degree and new licensure under our belt, and a new job, new house, and new baby on the horizon, who knows what this year will look like.

2015 has felt extraordinarily busy, but in an everyday grind kind of way. As we planned out the year, we knew it would mark the end of a short-term plan we had set a few years ago —surviving long enough to obtain Jessica’s Master’s in Social Work (MSW), and planning from there. What we didn’t anticipate was having the direction for our next season naturally fall into place before we finished. In October we sat down to iron out some goals for our next phase, and I’m truly glad we did. This is what they looked like (in no particular order).

  • Be debt-free within ten years, except for a mortgage
  • Obtain Jessie’s Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker Certification (LICSW) within five years
  • Move me into a more career-type job within two years
  • Move into a new house before our two-and-a-half year old starts school
  • Find an activity that Jessie and I can do together consistently

Another Diploma

Jessica finished up her Masters Degree in Social Work :tada::smile::+1:, so we are making solid progress toward her LICSW. Our year was consumed by making time for her to complete her internship and independent study project, coordinating childcare, and trying to give each other breaks from demanding children. It has been trying, but we could not be more proud of our momma! She worked insanely hard and has managed the early stages of another pregnancy marvelously —all while inching closer and closer to her dream of leading therapeutic groups.

Jessica's Hooding Ceremony
Jessica's Hooding Ceremony

A New Job

As we dive into the new year, I will be starting a new position at Kaggle —an awesome company that facilitates work in data science and is based out of San Francisco. The interview process I went through was fantastic, and I could not be more excited to be part of such a talented team of professionals. A huge draw for me was their remote work culture, so I will be adjusting to working from home now. I have received some sound advice on what it looks like to adjust to this type of work style, but will have to learn on my feet what it looks like practically for us.

I will be a Front-End Engineer, but will potentially be involved with some of the design work Kaggle needs to have done. I’m thrilled that my entire skillset could be utilized, and am looking forward to helping however I can. This is definitely the kind of position we were hoping for when we made our goals, and it is both rewarding and exciting to see it come to fruition.

A New House

Another recent development has been the purchase of a new home. We weren’t actively seeking a new home, but a great deal came up in a neighborhood that we love, so we started taking steps towards making an offer. After some negotiating, we have reached an agreement that is contingent on selling our home. Needless to say, we’ve shifted our mindset quickly and are in cleaning and decluttering mode.

Throwing this on top of the growing heap of irons we have in the fire is definitely a big decision, and sometimes I feel like we’re crazy for even thinking about it. But we see ourselves being able to stay in this new home for quite a while —the neighborhood is great (Mimi and Bapa are in the lot behind it :smile:), it would have a devoted office for me, and there would be enough space to for us to grow. Speaking of which…

EDIT: To our frustration, closing on this home fell through. We came to an agreement, but the sellers ended up selling it to someone else :disappointed:. Perhaps we’ll find another!

Our Third Child

We’re firmly planting ourselves in a sea of diapers with the addition of our third child come June, but are definitely excited. While it wasn’t an explicit goal of ours, we are looking forward to expanding our tribe and meeting a new little person. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified every now and then, but that is more the exception than the rule. Gulp.

New Goals

There are a few more major goals that we would like to move toward as a family, but I am happy with the progress we’ve made so far. I’m not sure we could handle any more right this second. Here are a few personal goals I want to aim for in 2016.

Live a more active lifestyle

It is extraordinarily easy to live an inactive lifestyle in my line of work, so I want to make it a point to use my gym membership consistently, get out of the house, and participate in city league sports.

Make time for my hobbies

I am energized by learning, tinkering, and stretching myself. Maybe I could pickup the guitar again, build something new in my workshop, create more art, improve my chess game, or throw a round of disc golf.

Invest in friendships

There are a some key friendships in my life that I value highly, and I want to actively keep them connected and growing.

Move towards Jessie’s dream of leading therapeutic groups

My dear wife is terrific at what she does, and is happiest when she isn’t wearing her mom hat full time. I want to continue to push us towards her dream, even if we have to juggle a million things to make it work.

Give Jessie a night away from the kids once a week

My wife is facing a very daunting transition by staying home with the kids in the forseeable future, and I want to make sure the life isn’t squeezed out of her soul in the process. We already have a date night once a week, which is a God send, but hopefully we can also make it work for her to just take a night off.

Closing Thoughts

Developing and pursuing goals has grown to be a very important part of life for me. I feel my role within my family is to provide direction, and know I can do that more effectively when my thoughts are organized in this way. I’m not one to stick to goals or rules at all costs, but having something measurable to move and gauge against toward has served has served us well. Here’s to 2016! :confetti_ball:

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