As Ferris once said, “Life moves pretty fast. [If] you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Life has been moving fast. In a half-assed attempt to catch up, this post is a review of our lives over the past couple of years.

I sort of wonder if anyone will see it. I know a few folks had this blog in their RSS feeds, but it’s been inactive for so long, it would not surprise me if those followers have since moved on. Posts used to show up on my Facebook profile as “notes”. But Facebook has since left that feature by the wayside. So perhaps it’s just for my own neurosis — an itch to put something here after noticing that my last post was nearly 18 months ago(!).

We didn’t share even a single post for the entire year of 2011. So sad…

2009

Even though we’ve posted since 2009, the last couple of posts (one in late 2009 and another in 2010) were just my personal ramblings and didn’t have any family news. The┬álast family post was the wild and somewhat terrible tale told by Malin about her emergency gall bladder removal surgery. That was shortly after the birth of our second (and final) child, little Ewan.

Later that year, Willem caught his first fish (two of them). My dad, the true angler of our family, took him fishing in local lakes around Peachtree City. He finally hooked a tiny (no, seriously, really tiny) fish swimming just off the shore of Lake Peachtree, just behind the Peachtree City Public Library.

Malin and I celebrated our 7th anniversary with a trip to Bacchanalia, and it was awesome.

My brother Jake not only left Boston (where he was working for Harvard), he left the country. He got a permanent resident visa for Australia and then moved down undah.

2010

Willem turned 5 and Ewan turned 1 in 2010 — fantastic birthday parties were thrown for both of these events.

Early in the year, I helped Malin put together a new arm of her photography business: Moirai Software. It began life as actions that she put together to speed up proofing in her daily photography work. Back in 2008, I helped her put together a script for creating storyboards. In February of 2010, she released the newest (and best yet) incarnation of the script for sale as moirai Compositor. It sold pretty well, which was a nice source of income for 2010 which, sadly, declined significantly in 2011 (though, thankfully, the well has not yet completely dried).

2010 saw me entering my beers into homebrew contests for the first time. I did pretty well! I was in the top 5 at an informal non-AHA event up in Atlanta and won a gift certificate to Octane Espresso as a prize. I received honorable mention for a barleywine that I submitted to the Peach State Brew Off (statewide AHA-sanctioned event in Georgia). The icing on the cake was winning a red (2nd place) and yellow (3rd place) ribbon in the first round of the National Homebrew Contest. The red ribbon was for a Specialty category beer (a black double IPA), the yellow for a dry stout.

Malin and I celebrated our 8th anniversary at The Iberian Pig in Decatur. It did not disappoint — excellence for sooth.

I had some interesting experiences at work. The company I worked for, Ventyx, was acquired by ABB in June. Around that same time, my team took on a grand experiment — no, not prohibition — Scrum (an agile method of engineering project management). It was an interesting time at work. We were very busy. In most respects, the experiment introduced positive changes in our process. Things went well for awhile. But I was slowly getting burned out (yes, this is foreshadowing).

Will started guitar lessons in August of 2010. That has had its ups and downs, but we’re hoping it will be good for him in the long run.

After a few bad experiences with our VW Passat wagon, we traded it in — and traded up for a vehicle with more seating. The troubles we had were, luckily, covered under the warranty (we bought it “certified” used, so it came with decent coverage). But I was not looking forward to paying for repairs out of my own pocket, so we got rid of it before it came to that. We had enough bad luck with it, that I felt it was risky to hang onto it after that warranty expired. The vehicle we replaced it with was a used Saturn Outlook — a variant of the GMC Acadia. It has three rows of seats and accommodates 7. It gets bad mileage (it’s EPA ratings are respectable, but we’ve never seen mileage that high with our driving, even during an all-highway road trip to Florida). Despite the poor fuel economy, it’s been a good ride — quite comfortable and very functional. Malin has even covered the rear with her business logo, so it’s multi-functional.

2011

Both Malin and I had some rather serious goings-on in 2011 with respect to work.

After working what was effectively the same job for over 11 years (through numerous acquisitions and various company names), I finally gave my notice. It was definitely a hard thing to do — the hardest decision I’ve ever made. I had a lot of great experiences and had a lot of awesome colleagues that I would certainly miss. But I was starting to get burnt out in the role I was in and decided a change was in order. So I quit the job at Ventyx, an ABB Company, and started a new path at Google. The acute may recall the subtle link I put in an old post back in 2007. I had interviewed with Google over three years earlier. At that earlier time, they were not hiring at their Atlanta office, so I flew to Seattle for an onsite interview (and took the whole family in order to make a vacation of it and to get a feel for the area in the event that they made me an offer). Well, this time they contacted me, they were hiring in Atlanta (which is important since I really like it here). I started the new gig at Google in April of 2011.

Malin had some major changes, too. We bought the Memory Cottage, a portrait studio just outside of Fayetteville whose owner, Debbie, was selling because she wanted to retire for both personal health reasons and also to take of her aging mother. So Heart is Found Photography is no longer a home-based business. Business was epic in November and December, thanks in part to buying the Memory Cottage customer database from Debbie along with the property. Remodeling at the studio, as well as very recent website updates, have ensued and consumed many a weekend since.

My old Audi A6 finally bit the dust. I had it close to 7.5 years and put over 100k miles on it. To replace it for my daily commute, I bought a used Nissan Altima Hybrid. It has been getting much better mileage than the Audi. I’ve observed fuel economy that is inline with the model’s EPA ratings (33-35 mpg).

Malin and I celebrated our 9th anniversary at Local Three. It was a fun evening, but dinner wasn’t quite up to the level of the past couple of years (admittedly, we’d set the bar pretty high).

Will turned 6 and started first grade. Yay, homework!

Ewan turned 2. Ah, yes, the terribly twos. And the miserable failed attempts at potty-training that come with them. Yay, parenthood!

And Jake finally returned to the US, albeit only for a couple of months. He came back in November, but didn’t manage to be here at Thanksgiving. But we did get to spend Christmas with him and made the most of his company.

2012 so far

Malin is nearly done getting settled in her new studio. I’ve been at work about 10 months and have been enjoying the new job (though it has been an interesting and sometimes uncomfortable transition — not due to anything at Google but just my own getting adjusted to being new and green at everything after being an expert for so long in my previous role). Google is actually a fantastic employer.

Jake returned to Australia after attending Will’s 7th birthday party. Our sister and brother-in-law from California, K and Cass, were also able to attend, so we had a very fun reunion with everyone in the same city (it had been almost 7 years, at my sister’s wedding, since the last time that happened).

I’ll be celebrating my 35th in just a couple of days, and we’ll visit with K and Cass once more as they come back through the Atlanta area on their way out and back to the west coast.