2013. I’m not really sure where to start. As somebody who normally dislikes change, this year was nothing but and as far as I can tell...I’m still here and kicking. This was our first year in Austin, Texas. This has turned out to be the best change we have ever made. It is an amazing city with great people and an awesome culture behind it. This kicked off the rest of the year for us.
After graduating nursing school at the end of 2012 Melissa took the test and officially became a licensed RN in January. At the same time she started her first job at the Austin State Hospital. This was a much needed boost...finally two incomes! That excitement lasted just long enough for the student loan payments to kick in. Yeah. We celebrated by buying our first new car; a 2013 Dodge Dart. After several months there she made a move to Cornerstone Hospital doing acute care instead.
After being a little nervous about a new school the kids made lots of great friends pretty fast. Chase is still trying to achieve perfection in school and Rachael has stepped up this year to work towards better grades and not talk so much in class. I’m sure it’s hard for somebody with the social status of an eight year old. Chase was finally convinced to try a sport. We opted for baseball; it went pretty good. Although he won’t admit it, I think he had fun. He got hit with a few balls, left with some bruises, and did pretty well at second base. We knew sports weren’t really his thing but I wanted him to have the chance instead of regretting at least trying.
I spent the majority of the year working remotely for CRANE | WEST. It was great to work for a company that allowed me to relocate and continue doing what I do. I volunteered on the film venue crew for SXSW which turned out to be pretty awesome. I’ve been invited back as a theater manager for next year. After four years with CW and having moved to Austin I started looking for other opportunities. It wasn’t long before one came around that I couldn’t ignore. I accepted an offer from Monkee-Boy to be their Senior Front-end Developer. It has been amazing so far. Extremely talented people, a creative inspired culture, and lots of perks that just make you love what you are doing.
What’s the best thing about Austin? The food. We spent the first two months trying as many new places as we could. Our taste buds loved every minute of it; the bank account not as much. Melissa found her go to Mexican place in Trudy’s. I found BBQ and burgers everywhere. Have you tried the burgers at Moonie’s? For the love of all that is good...go now!
Although we didn’t do a big family vacation we stayed pretty busy with our new surroundings. Pinballz Arcade is basically the best place on Earth. We got to experience ACL for the first time and Rachael about died when she got to see Fun. Other things that kept our attention was bowling and laser tag at Main Event, Round Rock Express baseball games, Austin Toros Basketball game, season passes for SeaWorld, Sherwood Forest Faire, MSU Football game at AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium), a day in Corpus Christi, exploring the USS Lexington aircraft carrier, Lego KidsFest in Houston, taking a boat out on Lake Austin, the July 4th Frontier Days Celebration in Round Rock, checking out the San Antonio Zoo, watching The Sandlot on the RR Express baseball field on the jumbotron, a trip back to Wichita Falls/Lawton for Meers, four awesome days at Great Wolf Lodge Resorts over Christmas and so much more. Finally we wrapped up the year by finding a house we really liked and getting out of the apartment.
Thinking back on everything I’m not sure I’m ready for this year to end just yet. I failed, I succeeded, I set goals, I missed goals, I burned out, I got motivated, I changed...and I’m okay with all of that. We have lots of plans to make 2014 another great year but lets not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.
TL;DR For somebody that doesn’t like change...2013 wasn’t bad.