2018 in review!
It's been an exciting year for us with a big move, and a lot of new things. We moved to New Canaan, CT for Chris to try out a new job. This is the first time he's moved Outside The Perimeter for more than a few months and we've now spent more time in Connecticut than all of those weekends and weeks in San Francisco. Living in a small town has been great, from Caffeine & Carburetors, to the Halloween/Christmas/etc events, to all the festivals including the apple cider festival (with apple cider donuts!), to all the parks, lakes, bookstores, coffee shops, etc.
While there are still plenty of things to explore and plenty of new places to go… We often end up at REI, Shake Shack, Sedona Taphouse, and the Norwalk Aquarium. 10 weekends here have been spent with some of you visiting us, and 10 weekends we've taken trips to visit some of you, and go on adventures in Vermont and NYC. We miss all of you, as well as Queso, natural gas, and gigabit internet. Target is a bit of a journey too. More money got us a smaller house, and car tetris in the one-car driveway continues (while our garage remains full of bikes, tools, and toddler stuff).
Autumn is having a blast, and loves to go to "Bunny School" (what she calls her outdoor nature preschool), swim class, and Bouncing Bears gymnastics. She already has 25 flights under her belt, and finally got her first stomach bug at age 2.5. Outdoors preschool has been a blast for her. She goes two days a week for half the day. They spend almost the entire day outdoors, even during snow, rain or below freezing temperatures. Autumn hikes, learns about wildlife and builds confidence through nature exploration. When not running around outside, she loves to watch Ponyo, Totoro, Tumble Leaf, Mickey Mouse clubhouse or True and the Rainbow Kingdom… while eating one of: “morning mochi” (frozen mochi bites), mommy water (carbonated water), strawberry marshmallows, or mac-n-cheese. Her favorite things are currently the color yellow, cats, rainbows, the ocean, mermaids and “creatures” from the ocean. (As you can imagine, being close to several beaches has been a big hit with her.)
She's had a blast with 2 babysitters, run her first "race" at Disney World, and has been busy making new friends. She loves to go to the local beach coffee shop and playground, is always asking to go “somewhere” (she loves to leave the house), or to get bundled ("bungled") up and have a snack and watch a show. Other frequent requests are to go fly on a plane or ride the train to NYC, or walk to the Starbucks patio to feed her cake pop addiction… but when she does want to stay home she loves drawing, painting, playdoh and playing pretend. Overall, Autumn has been a really sweet and good natured kid, but she knows how to push mom's buttons to get what she wants!
Pixie has adjusted really well to her new colder climate thanks to her own personal space heater and wide selection of winter coats and cozy blankets. She hasn’t made any new puppy friends here (yet) but she has become fast friends with all the employees at her new veterinary office and was featured being cuddled on their instagram page during one of her more recent overnight stays. She’s also turned out to be an excellent flying companion and has flown 5 times! She knows the drill by now and usually takes a nap until it’s time to see the guests we are traveling to see.
Autumn and Pixie have grown very close over the past year. It’s a lot of work monitoring them both so they play fairly together, but it’s definitely worth it. Pixie often tries to wake Autumn up from her naps because she misses her company in the afternoon, and Autumn loves to play with her and involve her in her pretend games. Pixie has also proved to be quite the brave family dog… recently, a sick racoon recently wandered into our yard one night and she quickly let us know of it’s presence! She has been a very sweet and fun family addition and we are so grateful to have her.
San joined the local New Canaan Newcomers group and has enjoyed taking Autumn to fun activities they host like the fall Halloween festival and December polar express train ride. She has slowly been getting back to illustrating regularly, and has been making progress on the script for a comic she is putting together. More on that in 2019! Running continues to be a bigger thing: San ran the Princess 1/2 marathon and Wine and Dine 10k at Disney World, and the NYRR Mini 10k in NYC which was the 10th anniversary of that women’s only race. Not content to "just" run, San also picked up paddle boarding (which we barely were able to fit in the new garage) and has had a blast paddling on Lake Redwine in GA and the riverfront in Rowayton, CT which opens into the Long Island sound!
Much of San's time is spent focusing on being a good full time mom to Autumn, meeting new people/getting acquainted with our new area, and traveling home to see family. It's a ton of work, but exciting and fun. Connecticut has taken a bit of getting used to, but there are a bunch of really great things: having 5 beaches in 10-20 minutes distance (which has lead to a hobby of shell collecting!), mild summers, vibrant fall leaves, living next to a pond and watching it slowly turn to ice as winter approaches, beautiful snow, weather cold enough that she actually gets to wear winter clothes, walking distance to a tiny town and the NYC train, and living near pretty running trails in forests. Life is very calm here compared to Atlanta but it’s been refreshing!
Chris is still very happy with his new job. Expectations were well set and learning more about the finance space has been a lot of fun (which is the opposite of what is going to happen to the economy next year). He's only gotten to hire two people so far, but has convinced 3 others to switch over to his teams. Even changing jobs and moving, he can't get away from Salesforce: one of his teams works with Salesforce and his only work travel this year (other than a quick overnight trip to Boston) was to the Salesforce conference in San Francisco. It's an 18 minute drive each way to work which is a huge improvement over 1h+ on MARTA, and getting an early start to the day means getting home at a reasonable time too.
He thinks we should have moved here for the mountain biking, there are tons of rocks which provides a lot more challenges, lots of places closer than an hour away to ride, and he's ridden at 16 new trail systems so far this year. The annual mountain bike trip with Atlanta/Portland friends was to Squamish/Whistler in BC this year and was tons of fun, and while he doesn't _not_ miss #fmrideATL and #dirtymustacheride, more consistent sleep has been amazing. A park in town has cross country races over the summer for $2/race as the sun sets which were all pretty great.
We don't know how long we'll be in this house or in Connecticut, but we're learning a lot and having a lot of fun, and hope to see you soon!