It goes without saying, I didn’t exactly get to all the things I wanted to get to this year; however, I did get to many things I didn’t know I would get to accomplish in the past year. The year went by far too fast, and now I sit on my couch watching the ball drop… in this -9 degree weather… thinking “Why did I buy a house in Chicago of all places”…

Maybe the year went by so fast because I experienced a large amount of things this year… Here is to attempting to digest it all in one sitting (lifts a glass)

Personal Life

The majority of the happenings fall into this category: kids, love, homes, etc. A lot definitely happened this year in my personal life. So I hope you can follow it all!

Health stuff

Well this time last year I was still recovering from surgery. I am happy to say, just over a year later, that I am having no issues! I still have surgical scars, but no pain anymore! No odd bulge anymore! For those just tuning in, I had my inguinal hernia (groin) fixed last year. Basically I have surgical mesh implanted in that area now. No pain, no itchyness…all good here!

I was also having some digestive issues around that time. I believe it was mostly attributed to stress (which caused other issues)…but the endoscopy/colonoscopy came back negative for any issues! Thats a great thing to have heard around that time!

With happenings since 2015 still in mind, I found out that I had an issue with anxiety. I had so many odd symptoms related to this, that I was very scared at the time. I am happy to say that through therapy and a bit of medication, I am doing much better at the end of 2017 than I was at the onset. I am actually weaning off the meds and haven’t needed therapy in a few months. Thank you so much to my therapist, I hope you had a great year! I wasn’t too keen on meds and neither was my primary, but he could see what I was going through in my face. We made a plan that involved an end date, and executed it. I am so glad I did. Through therapy and meditation, I was able to learn how to take control of my life again.

Thankfully other than the pain of working out (joined a gym recently), health has been only as eventful as described above this year.

Love life

I am happy to say that I am still with my girlfriend. We are going on two years together in a few weeks here! She has been so integral in the mental and physical healing processes I went through in the past year. She did it all with a smile on her face, and I am so appreciative of that. Without her, I don’t think I would have made it through the year to end it on a positive note, like I intend to do with this post.

It was fun to do some traveling with her for a few weddings as well as moving in with her (more on that soon). Driving up the PCH was amazing! Forgetting my tux in Manchester halfway to Sanbornton was ineresting… Having her there along the way made it all the more better. I loved meeting more of her family as she loved experiencing mine.

I look forward to our 2 year anniversary and many more to come.

Delso kids

Where to start without making this post any longer than it needs to be… Nora is now in kindergarten and Liam is about to start Pre-kindergarten (same as Nora did)! Where the hell did time go?

It warmed my heart to hear at conferences that Nora likes to sing and she is reading/mathing at close to a 1st grade level! Shows how reading 4 books nightly helps her learn! She is so intelligent and caring…a bit too caring at times. She loves to draw as well!

Liam is following in the footsteps of his sister so quickly. How well Nora speaks has heavily rubbed off on him this year. I wouldn’t be suprised if he starts reading a bit before 2019 starts!

Fun things with the kids this year:

  1. First plane ride to NH for Uncle Sean’s wedding to Kate
  2. First and Second Star Wars movie viewing (The Force Awakens and The Phantom Menace)
  3. Nora learning how to play Pokemon card game
  4. Nora and Liam playing their first video games (Disney Infinity Star Wars, Minecraft, and Pokken Tournament)

New house!

After a few months of searching and 3 total offers, I and my girlfriend are the proud owners of a house! I feel that I am definitely more ready to handle a house than I was with the first one I owned with my ex-wife. I wasn’t nearly as happy with that purchase as I am with this one. I am excited when I encounter an issue or a problem (good or bad ones) with the place. I look at the as opportunities to learn something new. My tools have been used more since this purchase than they have ever been used since I received them.

Moving was interesting and I am still waiting on a refund check from the rental property I was in…but the move was much cheaper than it could have been.

I can’t wait to see what we do with the house this year together! I am looking forward to adding a fence to the propery and improving the basement layout soon. Further in the future it will be interesting to rework the kitchen and master bathroom!

Big thanks to our realtors Steve and Angelica for helping us through the process. Without them, I think the stress of losing two places before finally closing on this one, would have gotten to me more than it did. We can always say the first two weren’t meant to be, but then, you never know. Regardless, I am very happy with this home purchase…other than it being in Chicago…and the weather being -9 degress tonight!

Sprout Life

SproutSocial has grown so much in the past year! Its hard to think that I was employee #115 over in 2014 when I joined the team. We are now well over 400! The QA chapter was 4 people when I joined. Since then we have almost trippled in size and most of that is in the past year!

The best part of work? I finally got the promotion I have been working very hard for the past year and a half. I’ve improved in multiple areas including communication and mentorship. I’ve also been spending a majority of my time developing automated tests for the multiple development squads I have been a member of. Some notable projects I undertook for automation were reducing reliance on the UI to set initial test data states and reworking tests to use a more component oriented architecture as opposed to straight up page object mode.

A big shout out to my managers and team members with regards to this year. Without you, I wouldn’t have had the chance to grow in my career. I look forward to paying it forward this year!

Things missed

I definitely missed a few things the past year that I wished I would have gotten to. I am not dissapointed in myself for these, but they are things that I would say define me, and things I would always like to do more of.

I definitely did not sketch at all really this year. Maybe a few randoms, but nothing really well thought out. I also didn’t Thankfully, one of the things to be mentioned in my opportunities list should cover my art stuff.

I also don’t think I picked up my guitar too much this year. When I did, the kids wanted to mess with it. So I didn’t get to play as much as I got to show it to them, which honestly, is really not a bad thing. I am glad they are interested in it because I wish I was as interested at their age!

I don’t need to talk much about the goals accomplised…I think the above sections have already detailed that!

Opportunities for 2018

I would like to build a videogame. Thankfully the opportunity has arrived in the form of two co-workers! Also thankfully, this should include three things I’d like to do more of this year: music, art, and programming!

I can’t wait to work more on my house as mentioned above! Fences, walls and whatever comes up. I want to learn more about building things and improve my house.

Any time I make it to a concert, I want to be on stage. I would like to find a way to join a band again. I would prefer that to be with my band again, but I might not be opposed to playing with new people supposing I can get back into playing again.

Grow @ Sprout. I would like to partake in any work activities to further my career. I want to become a better mentor and leader of the QA team. Finally, I would like to do more in general, but also work related. I would like to blog more be it personal or work related.

In closing 2017

Its been an interesting but very rapid year with a lot of feels all around. Many things happened that I won’t forget. Many things happened that I will learn from and continue into 2018.

I am so gratefull for all the wonderful, caring people in my life. To Rev, my children, my family, my friends and my Sprout family: I would have had a much harder time this year without you all and I am looking forward to finding ways to pay it forward in the coming year. Thank you so much and wish you all the best!

Oh yea, I avoided politics in this but it was a huge part of 2017 as well… Enjoy Mar-A-Lago tonight Mr. President. Since its warm there, does that count as proof of global warming…or only local warming? ok ok I am done…time for bed

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