I'm writing this yearly update later than I usually do. A few things have been unsettled, and I didn't want to write until I had some idea how they would turn out. We had been planning to buy the house we were living in, but that deal fell through in October, and we had only a couple of weeks to find a new home. (Lesson learned: Get everything in writing.) We are now renting a house in Suwanee, Georgia. We'll probably stay here until Bailey graduates from high school, then buy a house near the school where Pebble works. We were disappointed to lose that house, but it's probably for the best. There were many things wrong with it that we didn't notice until we'd been there a while.
We are still trying to sell our house in Dahlonega. Paying that mortgage and also paying rent has been a bit of a financial hardship, but moving back to Dahlonega isn't a viable option.
Over the past year, I haven't been working as much as I would like. My client's client went through a reorganization, and projects I was going to be working on have been held up as they were reviewed and replanned. This led to several weeks of me repeatedly asking when my next project would start, with the answer always being "any day now, we hope". It's been frustrating and a little scary.
The unexpected idle periods gave me time to reflect on my career path and what kinds of opportunities I should be pursuing. I've been working as an independent contractor, alone, for the past few years, and I realized that I missed being part of a team and having some ownership of the products that I worked on. So I decided I should consider giving up contract work and look for a permanent position.
I was lucky to find a great opportunity. On February 9, I start work as a Senior Software Engineer with Mobile Labs. I'll be working on systems that let people remotely test mobile apps. I'll get to do development work on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. A lot of the work involves reverse-engineering stuff and delving into operating system internals. I'll be working with a small team of experienced people, and I'll get to continue working from home. It seems like a great match for my experience and interests.
My family is doing well. The unexpected move at the end of October was stressful for everyone, but we've settled in to the new house. Bailey can now take the bus to school, and on the occasions when I do need to drive to his school, it is only a couple of miles away. The dogs love the fenced backyard. Pebble enjoys being closer to work.
Bailey traveled to London over Christmas break with his high-school marching band, to participate in the London New Year's Day Parade. I think he enjoyed it, but it's hard to get any information out of a 15-year-old.
I ran my first marathon in March. Unfortunately, a few days afterward, I was hit with plantar fasciitis, which kept me from doing any running at all for a few months and is still pretty painful. I was hoping to run the marathon again this March, but I haven't been able to train for the past couple of months. Maybe I'll run the Savannah marathon in the fall.
My beard is gone. I shaved it off while doing the job-search thing. Haven't decided yet whether to re-grow it.
So, in summary, things have been chaotic for the past few months, but I expect them to settle down. I'll have a steady paycheck and cool new stuff to work on and cool people to work with. We know where we'll be living for the next couple of years. Everybody is happy and healthy.
I've just noticed that this is the tenth birthday post I've written. Happy Tenth Anniversary to me!