Sunday, December 3, 2017

Ending on a high note...

November 29 - Today I am thankful for being "one of the guys", I definitely believe that the other people on my team know that I am a woman but they have started to accept me as one of their own.  It's hard starting out on a new team and having to prove yourself all over to people you've never met.  Especially on my current team - since all 8 of us are new, there is an odd competition environment that I am not used to.  But I must have made some progress as my new team saved me a reservation for dinner and my new boss took me around to show me some projects he wants me to take care of.  Work is going well and I feel as though I will be able to make a really good impact on the company, which always makes me happy.

November 30 - Today I am thankful for my sense of humor, the conference room would get very up tight after hours of new engineers competing for the top spot.  I would casually throw out a joke or quote a movie to lighten things up, kind of like a mom thing to get your kids to redirect except these were full grown adults (ones who should know better, but I digress).

***Update - all of my darn fish died. :-(  So I have gone back to the drawing board and ordered all new filtration systems and we'll see if we can get it back up and healthy.

I love my 30 days of thanks, probably more so since this month with two weeks traveling for work it would have been easy to get down...I must admit there were several days that it took me much longer than it should have to come up with a thankful post.  Sitting in a swelteringly hot conference room listening to others boast about their skills and experience knowing that I could be home with my family was a true test of my ability to bite my tongue, luckily I didn't bite it off.

Here's to December and staying on the home front. :-)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Catching up...

November 24 - Today I am thankful for the experience of being a contractor.  I have never done this before, an hourly wage, no paid time off but more money per hour.  It's still kind of odd to me but I am thankful to get to see how so many in my field work.

November 25 - Today I am thankful for Shop Small Saturday, Kelley and my folks and I went to The Keg to have lunch followed by Christmas ornament shopping and Kelley and I left the sleeping kiddos with Joe and ventured out to a brewery to catch up.  Without volleyball every week we don't see each other as much as we would like.

November 26 - Today I am thankful for visitors that just stop by, we were doing our wonderfully normal Sunday routine (I call it normal and wonderful because it very rarely happens but when it does I love spending the day home, cooking, cleaning and hanging out as a family), when Joe got a text that several groups were stopping by to say Hi.  I think at least one set just really wanted to meet the new puppy but that totally works.

November 27 - Today I am thankful for the fish tank in my office, I love watching the fish and just got all new ones yesterday (although minor update, it appears as though two of them have already died and one more is on the way out) perhaps that species does not appreciate my tank.  But nonetheless I like having them around and eventually find ones that do well.

November 28 - Today I am thankful for Joe and his attitude, while I generally think of myself as a super positive person I am packing to leave for Raleigh NC again today and it would have been really easy to get down about it.  Joe just keeps reminding me that it is a short trip this time and I will be back Friday evening and everyone will be fine so let's just get through it.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Laughter, Tic Tacs and Family

November 21 - Today I am grateful for those times that you actually "Laugh Out Loud", I always love these times.  I received a text from Carri today showing me a picture of Summer reading a book we got for is a very heavy book with many stories in it and Summer loves to pick up heavy things.  Which I reminded Carri when she showed me the picture which apparently made her LOL, I love that feeling.  I am reminded on a pretty constant basis (since those that I work with and I USUALLY have very little in common) that at our base all people are 73% water which means we at least have that much similar.  I try very hard to get a long with everyone and find something to talk about and laugh about, so I take great pride in knowing someone actually laughed out loud.

November 22 - Today I am thankful for Tic Tacs, many years ago I started a bribing system in the grocery store that basically if the kid(s) were good we could get Tic Tacs at the checkout.  It has morphed in the years because now they not only all have to be good, they have to unload the car when we get home and put up groceries in order to earn them.  Either way, for a dollar purchase I get a lot of help and a fair amount of reminding the kiddos to watch their P's and Q's.

November 23 - Ahhhh my favorite!  Today I am thankful for Thanksgiving & Family.  Tadd and Carri went to her folks place in North Dakota, which was sad for us but I know how excited her family must have been to see all of them and have them around for a visit.  We went to my Mom's house and enjoyed a wonderful meal and great company.

When did my big girls get so big?  I cannot believe how fast time flies.

A picture with a selfie stick as everyone tells Papa with the longest arms that he's doing it wrong. LOL

These two men and the effect they will have on these little people and who they become.  I am so fortunate and grateful to have them.

Hunter was clearly very confident that Papa would catch her as she zipped off the slide.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Size 11 - And the "Bigs"

November 19 - Today I am thankful for the size 11 high heels that I purchased on accident.  I normally wear a size 10 and heels always hurt to wear, but while at the store I tried on some size 11's and while they were a little looser than I would have liked I went ahead and bought them.  They are cute little bootie ones that when I wear two pairs of socks fit very nicely.  Now fast forward to North Carolina...I went ahead and brought those big beasts just in case and sure enough I wore them and two pairs of socks for the whole trip.  The company I work for chose not to rent me a car since my hotel was only a half mile a way.  Did I mention walking a minimum of a half mile everywhere I went in heels?  So yeah I was very thankful for those.

November 20 - Today I am thankful for the "Bigs", they are officially on Thanksgiving break and are helping out more than even they could ever imagine since this is my first week at home with the new job, it is a very nice and very thankful experience.  Not to mention that again I was reassured that I chose the right job when Chewy was feeling a little sensitive at 10AM and could meander her way into my office and crawl up on my lap for some snuggles while I was busy watching a class on a new piece of software that is getting ready to launch.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My new job

I decided to keep this part separate from my 30 days of Thanks.

My new company is called Tierpoint ( we specialize in hosted solutions which basically means that rather than having a server at your company for your files, emails, websites and such that we will host them in one of our datacenters so you rent space and time rather than buying hardware.  This is a model that most businesses that are in the small to medium size are going since hardware is very expensive.  I work directly for a team that does Disaster Recovery which is quickly becoming the most profitable part of the business, some time ago it became apparent to companies that if all of that data and files you have at a data center being backed up were ever affected by a natural disaster or even just lost power for an hour your company would be held accountant able for that lost customer information.  This is an extremely costly error that a company could make so we sell a service that will make it so your stuff is replicated to another geographical location just in case.  If the entire town of St. Louis loses power we can route all of your information to a center in Tennessee in a mater of minutes.  As you can image we can charge a lot for this piece of mind and most companies are very happy to pay it rather than paying for all of that lost work time.  We currently have 120 clients waiting to be provisioned which means that they have been sold all of the products that we offer (including Disaster Recovery which comes last) and are just waiting to go live and call it good.  They start getting all of their space and what not available to them but we can't charge them their monthly bill until we have gone through every step.  Those 120 are waiting at the disaster recovery line item and since our team didn't exist and the operations team doesn't have time to take care of it, some have been waiting too long.  The operations manager was approached by the CEO to fix the issue and he responded with I need a team that can to the implementation part.  In comes me and seven other engineers to help out.  It's an exciting job and will be very rewarding as we start to catch up on these, although the sales team has backed off of selling waiting for the lag to disappear and have promised to ramp back up when we have cleared we could be busy for a very long time.

I've already been assigned my first projects and am looking forward to starting them on Monday. :-)

Catching Up

Fortunately I wrote some of these while on my trip and just had them saved.

November 9 - Today I am thankful for my Mom and her willingness to help out with the kiddos. I went in to work today and got my hair done before my next new job and my Mom took the time to come down and hang out with the kiddos so Joe could get work done. Our life is definitely a fine example of it takes a village. 

November 10 - Today I am thankful for last days that lead to new beginnings. I dropped off my laptop at People’s Bank today after writing my fair well and shedding a few tears. I have to remind myself to embrace the change and keep a positive attitude - I don’t generally like being at the mercy of a situation so having to find another new job so quickly kind of spun me for a loop. 

November 11 - Today I am thankful for the best type of surprises. We were watching The Avengers hanging out in the living room - with the littles completely distracted and the bigs holding on to every word...when the front door opened and you could hear a soft voice say “knock knock - hello”. When the kids turned around and realized that it was Marmee standing at the door the excitement could no longer be contained.

November 12 - Today I am thankful for rental cars. We don’t have a spare car for me to take to the airport and I was supposed to borrow Tadd’s but it is broke down right now so I concocted the idea to have Carole pick up a rental car from the airport yesterday and drive to our house so I could return it today. Which I will then pick up another rental car on Friday night and drive it to her to be used to get her to the airport on Saturday morning. With some crazy USAA discounts it even turned out to be cheaper than parking would have been.

November 13 - Today I am thankful for first days.  My parents moved around a bit when we were young and we morphed into little people that didn't mind being the new kid on the block.  This type of "training" at a young age helped me out today.  I always find it exciting to be the one that people are still curious about.

November 14 - Today I am thankful for FaceTime, while I just sat there and sobbed after seeing all of my favorite people running around and showing me there day it makes such a huge difference compared to a regular phone call especially with someone Chewy's age.

November 15 - Today I am thankful for hotel gyms.  I didn't sleep particularly well on the trip which was of no surprise to me, but that also meant that I might as well just get up and going.  I would wake early and join the rest of the "I travel but don't want to get too far out of shape crowd" before the sun came up.

November 16 - Today I am thankful for the perfect timing of Grandperson's Day at Tyler and Austin's school.  While I cried myself to sleep thinking about I, myself missing it (for the first time ever) I knew that the magic of having both grandma's there for the lunch was going to be amazing...and it was.

November 17 - Today I am thankful for those random people that come in and out of your life.  While sitting around the airport waiting on our plane to board, I struck up a conversation with two mid-twenty year olds who turned out to work for a networking company I know quite well.  We all ended up sitting together for the 4 hour flight that also happened to be rather bumpy as we flew into a snow storm in Colorado.  It was a refreshing four hour conversation about everything from Gettysburg to Healthcare and I was so happy to be sitting next to people that made the trip go by much faster and more enjoyable.

November 18 - Today I am thankful that the last week felt like a blip in hindsight.  I sat drinking my coffee in the playroom this morning thinking about how long the trip had seemed while on it, but how short it really was now that I am home.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Marmee & Two Hour Delays

November 7 - Today I am thankful for Marmee, Carole, Mom, Mrs. DiFabio.  This woman has selflessly given her time to our family more times that I can count.  As my impending training trip to North Carolina gets closer it became evident with Joe's expansion and me being gone that help with the kiddos would be a huge benefit.  As she has done so many times in the past, Carole rearranged her whole schedule and dropped (probably nicely set down) her responsibilities to come out and make sure that my household, children and husband are in the best possible care.  I could never express in words what this act means to me but I can say that she takes the cake for my thankfulness today.

November 8 - Today I am thankful for two hour delays, while I don't want to sound greedy...clearly a full snow day is MORE magical but as it is all of the kiddos are building with Legos in the playroom and will be able to play together for at least the next hour and a half which warms my heart.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Our yard

November 6 - Today I am thankful for our yard.  Last night before it got too cold or dark out we bundled up and headed out to get some fresh air.  I love our yard and watching the kiddos and animals run wild in it.

And Miss Tyler Mae received an award at school for exemplarily citizenship in helping others. :-D

Monday, November 6, 2017

Progress & Change

November 5 - Today I am thankful for progress and change, we sat down with the kids after Tadd and Carri had left for the evening and watched the movie Hidden Figures.  The movie takes place in 1961, which for all intents and purposes isn't that long ago.  I watched as Austin's face twisted into uncomfortable expressions...asking, why can't she just use the restroom in her building?  What does the term "colored" mean?  Why would she have to wear high heals if she also has to run all the time?  I have always believed in the saying "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - this coupled with my belief that we still have progress to be made - makes a movie like this a necessary watch for my kiddos.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


November 4 - Today I am thankful for family and what that has grown to mean.  The kids and I attended Hannah's 5th birthday party, who as many of you may know is Chris and Heather's daughter...Chris who is my step sister's ex-husband and Heather who was his crush in high school and now his wife.  We brought the new puppy with us so he didn't have hang out in a kennel at home by himself...even with his fluff he is small enough to fit under parts of our fence so I didn't want to leave him in the yard.  He was a huge hit and Morgan pretty much just carried him around all party, which was nice to see because he's been having kind of a rough go at it lately, apparently life gets more complicated by the time you are 10.

Friday, November 3, 2017

30 Days of Thanks

I wonder if I tried for 365 days of thanks, if I would actually remember and carve out time to write in my poor blog.  As it least I will get some time on here in November.

November 1 - Today I am thankful for my time at People's Bank/Interbank1.  While it has been short, measuring in at only 9ish months...every job interview I have had recently can be attributed to the new technologies that I have worked with here.  Take for instance the new job I accepted on Monday, I will be a contract to hire (which just means that I will work for Insight Global for six months until the company decides to keep me on) Disaster Recovery as a Service "DRaaS" Engineer for Tierpoint specializing in a software package called Zerto.  Basically I will make sure that Tierpoint's clients won't lose any data if something happens to their servers.  It's a very exciting job, the pay is great and after training - which will take me to Raleigh, NC for a is 100% remote.

November 2 - Today I am thankful for the stars aligning.  Not sure what all had to happen but I do know that Hiro passed away, Joe texted our breeder to let her know, she said that she had some puppies but that they were all taken, she texted back two weeks later and said one of the homes backed out and he was ours for free if we wanted him.  This little amazing fluff ball became a member of the family last night.  We are calling him Amos, I am still working on his fancy Japanese name for his paperwork....although since he is a "long coat" Akita we won't have to show him.  Yay!

November 3 - Today I am thankful for the school's rule on fevers.  Austin was playing yesterday at recess and came in complaining of a stomach ache, when they took her temperature she was at 100.9 which means she has to leave school and be out for 24 hours.  I normally would be annoyed by this rule but today seemed like a great day to keep her and Tyler home. :-D

Monday, June 19, 2017

Look at our walker...

So many emotions run through my mind when I watch Hunter with her firsts.  Her learning to walk, feed herself and communicate are all important firsts in her life but lasts in ours...her being the last baby and all.

I mean just look at that salad dressing covered face?!?!

I love this terrarium that Tadd and Carri gave me two Mother's Days ago...I think I am on my fourth round of succulents in it but that's ok. :-)

Monday, June 12, 2017

And now we're in Soccer.

Joe desperately wanted the girls to play baseball, since it's his love.  But I missed the signup deadline and we really wanted them to be in some kind of organized sports this year, so it looks like Black Forest Soccer is it.  I signed up with the thought that they would be playing against the same 12 kids all year but at least it's outside...turns out soccer is quite popular out here, with 220 kids playing.  Whoa!

This is one of Hunter's favorite places to stand and explore outside...the girls fairy gardens don't have much rhyme or reason to them after everyone "plays" with them but they sure enjoy it.

Look...the last of my babies in non-footy PJ's.  Whew, what a fast year this has been.

Soccer Orientation Clinic...the park is beautiful and only 5 minutes up the road from us.

Can you tell that I finally bailed her out of her stroller...that's a look of shear excitement there.

Friday, June 9, 2017


Whelp the library and I were just about friends - right up until "Critter Day" today.  Luckily the girls are far more brave than I.

This nice plastic play place was much more my speed and allow my racing heart to slow down a bit.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

More Summer fun....

Not only are we having fun this summer but we are also having a lot of fun with Summer.  I am trying (even though I am working) to do something fun for the kiddos each day.  Even if it's something little I think it will help in making their summer magical (and let's be honest I don't have that many more summer's with the bigs before they would rather do something with their friends).

Joe had the kiddos at home yesterday so I could go in for a meeting, but then I got off early enough to stop by swimming lessons.  The littles love playing with the blocks while the bigs swim.

Look at that "used to be too scared" Goose floating all by herself.

Chewy got this bunny for her birthday from Great Grandma (the girls dressed her up) and she loves to hug her.

I am not a big fan of the park, but it was available and we brought sandwiches and hung out with Carri and Summer.

This last weekend was Colorado's annual "you don't need a fishing license to fish" weekend.  So we took advantage of that and Joe's last little bit of patience and drug Summer and our kids to the lake to drown bait and snag sticks.  Of course we also needed to stop for lunch and dinner.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Look where we ended up today...and being sleepy.

Zzzzz...that's me adjusting to my new self induced schedule.  I have never been given a schedule at work and to be honest I don't think they care when or where I work just that things get done.  Which for a Momma with four kiddos is the perfect schedule.  So I have decided to get up and going and logged on to work by 6AM so I am done around 3ish if I want or can take a longer lunch and stay on a little later.  I LOVE my new quiet time in the morning and get so much done with work that it's insane - take for instance myself and one other person on our team were given a project a week ago or so, we decided to split it in half equally...I am completely done with my half other than one or two items that I am waiting on answers about and the other teammate is about 10% done with theirs.  Give me two solid hours of quiet in the morning with nothing but coffee and I can literally rework the world, especially since it's too early to do housework because everyone else is sleeping.  I am not a morning person and it has been a tough two weeks while my body adjusts to waking up and getting going that early, but I think (since I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm this morning) it is finally starting to kick in.

With my new found time and freedom the kiddos and I decided to take advantage of a science presentation at the library today, we couldn't help but invite Summer and Carri along too.  The littles weren't paying very close attention but stayed quiet while the bigs were holding on to every last word this scientist was saying (who just happened to be a woman and made my heart happy).

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trying desperately hard to keep up...

Trying desperately hard to keep up with my blog.  I myself click on Anne's blog every single day as a way to make the distance between us seem now that I have nice things to say again, I would like to keep up with it.

Of course that often means more and more pictures, but I think that's a good thing. :-D

We are biting the bullet and taking the girls back to Donna's Dolphins for swim lessons - even though they are expensive they seem to be the ones that work the best.

Last night after an amazing dinner at Carrabba's (Goose's choice for her birthday) we came home and the girls asked if Jackson could sleep in bed with them.  This picture turned out blurry and dark since I didn't want to risk the flash waking them up - but wow is that one full bed of little people. :-D  Jackson did end up waking up in the middle of night (quite possibly from heat exhaustion or suffocation being shoved in the corner) but they sure thought the beginning part was neat.