Happy New Year! Our new annual tradition is to take some time to reflect on the year past and share some highlights from each month. Thank you to all the friends and family that continue to make us smile!
The year began like the previous year with home improvements, beginning with a new garage door. The original is on top in the photo below. This photo also highlighted the need to start the new year with pressure washing the driveway which was done a few days later.
We said goodbye to Rodimus Prime. We sold the Tesla Model 3 and replaced it with a Tesla Model Y named Thundercracker (from Transformers). More details on that adventure here
January ended with an indoor rock-wall climbing birthday celebration for Easton.
Another month, another major home renovation: 28 all new exterior windows and a new front door! The original view from the front is seen in the top photo below. Window World did a great job with the installation. It was a remarkable transformation indoors with 95% of the outdoor noises being eliminated and with no more cracks/pops/howls from the busted seals of the original windows we finally saw regulated temps inside the house. Best of all – they all open and shut. Bonus feature: they fold in so we can clean the outside of each window without needing to go outside.
Mom celebrated another trip around the sun with a dinner at Salt in Alpharetta. Yum!
Jack’s High School put on a play: The Little Mermaid. Jack was in theater class at the time and he worked on several of the props used in the play, so of course we had to go check it out. The student playing Sebastian stole the show – he was hilarious.
Another month…. yup…. more home improvements. The house was built and lit using boob lighting and we are just not fans of that style of lighting so we have embarked on a journey to rid the house of all the boob lighting in favor of recessed can lights. The main level was handled when we remodeled after moving it, so this year it was time to tackle the upstairs. We started with the gym followed by the main upstairs hallway and a few months later came back to the master bedroom. Haley’s and Jack’s room still have the boob, we might get to those in 2024. And the master toilet has one boob left, but we are almost done with the upstairs. The basement might have one left as well but is not a priority.
Cherish achieved what very well may be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement: She had 2 hole-in-one’s at the Fairway Social putt-putt. Mom managed to capture the moment on camera!
Jack took another trip around the sun. 15 years old!
Then Jack and his chess teammates won the scholastic chess championship.
Another month, another…. just kidding. We ran out of money so no home improvements this month. Instead we celebrated Easter in Tennessee, ran the Mimosa 5K, and Cherish took her first trip to Brasstown Bald!
Remember back in January when we sold the Tesla? Well the new Tesla arrived in May. To celebrate we bought Cherish a new bicycle. Why? Because the new Tesla has a tow hitch for a bike rack so we can finally take the bikes places. We then went for a few bike rides. We took a trip to Hilton Head Island with Haley, Cherish celebrated another trip around the sun, and we topped the month off by attending the Ed Sheeran concert. At the Taste of Alpharetta we acquired some custom bobble heads. Thanks State Farm! Oh, and Cherish was promoted at work. She’s now a “Manager 2.” We also visited mom’s house where she was hosting a party.
On June 15th we celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary by visiting the Atlanta Sundial restaurant. It’s not the same experience now that it no longer revolves around the city, but the food remains excellent!
July turned out to be a big month for us. After a rainstorm washed out our day hike to see some waterfalls we found ourselves passing Babyland General in Cleveland Georgia. Cherish had never been so we decided to stop. It’s lost most of its magic and feels more like a store than an experience, having relocated twice since it was originally built back in the 80’s. And they no longer have Furskins.
Since it’s not summer without baseball, we bought some cheap seats to go see the Braves in what turned out to be the worst part of the stadium. Temps that day were in the high 90’s but with the sun, our seats felt like it was 130 degrees. It was so bad we left our seats and hid out under the deck and watched the entire game standing, at least until some people left and we got to sit down.
July is also Peachtree Road race time and Cherish and Bryan gave it a run again this year and we spent some relaxing time at mom’s pool.
Oh, and we brought home a dog: Milo! I didn’t realize at the time that would be the last blog post of the year for me, something I’ve resolved to do better about this year. More about Milo can be found here.
With the summer coming to a close, Jack started 10th grade, Cherish and Bryan took a 4-day-trip to Chicago (learn all about that trip on this blog), we went tubing in Georgia with the Cushanick’s, then ended the month spending an afternoon at the Tino lake house.
It had been too many months without a home improvement project … so we added wall-mirrors to the gym. A huge thank you to Chris Cushanick for helping with the install! They were a beast and I could not have done it without his help. Our original plan was to add a second set to the other wall but at this point I’m not sure if we are going to do that.
Haley took another trip around the sun and hit a major milestone: 21 years old! Bryan and Cherish participated in the Atlanta PNC 10-mile race, but had to run separately after Cherish developed some pains in her legs that forced her to drop down to the 5K. Bryan attempted to set a new personal record by trying to beat his fastest 10-mile race from 11 years prior! He missed achieving the goal by 2 minutes! And then there was Halloween where Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf came out to play.
The month began with a trip to Atlantic Station to see the Cirque du Soleil performance of Echo. It was wonderful. Bryan and Adi and Dad took their trips around the sun. On Thanksgiving Bryan and Chris ran the Atlanta Half-Marathon where Bryan attempted another personal record, once again thinking he’s Superman and can beat his fastest half-marathon race from 12 years prior. He did not PR, missing it by 8 minutes, but was thankful to cross the finish line still standing. Note to Bryan: do not ever wear that headband in public again. In fact just burn it.
On the work front, Broadcom completed the acquisition of VMware so the month ended with Bryan now working for Broadcom.
The year ended by starting what we think will be a new family tradition – Christmas vacations. Since this year neither of the kids were spending Christmas with us we went to New York City. The kids showed up the weekend before so we could get our family photo, then Cherish and Bryan hit the big Apple for seven days. You can read all about the New York Trip here.
Back in May 2022 Broadcom announced its intention to purchase VMware. Broadcom has a history of drastic job cuts when they acquire a business and the uncertainty of what was going to happen to Bryan’s job once the deal closed created a great deal of background stress for both Bryan and Cherish for most of 2023. Life doesn’t just stop in the face of uncertainty so we tried to push this situation to the back of our minds and live the life we wanted, but not knowing how much longer Bryan might have a job taints most of the financial decisions that we made this year. We are fortunate to have been able to do all that we did.
Bryan received a job offer on November 28th 2023 to work for Broadcom, but the offer came with the stipulation that the End User Computing division was being divested. A huge sigh of relief from a year of not knowing what was going to happen was immediately replaced with an even more uncertain future for what happens next on the job front.
To end the year, we began booking flights and hotels for our biggest couple’s adventure yet: a three-week trip to France and Italy in May of 2024.
Oh and Bryan decided to run his first marathon the last weekend of February 2024. Oh boy!