Happy new year!

We made it!

2017 was *quite* the year. I had a lot of fun last year doing things like exploring national parks in Utah with my love, getting good work done, and continuing to improve my work-life balance.

My 2018 intentions are simple: continue to grow my technical chops, take more personal time, and improve my wardrobe! ๐Ÿ™‚


Trying something new

After sporting a close crop for years, I’m curious to see what my hair does if I just … stopped cutting it. The answer is still TBD but this means that I’ve had to start looking actively for products to help assist me with managing my kinky hair.ย  Thanks to Twitter, I’ve learned about Kyra’s Shea Medleys and I am currently experimenting with their Original Butter cream.

It’s got a rather strong vanilla scent and is dangerously reminiscent of a dessert. ๐Ÿ˜€ The best part about it (for me) is that I can use it for *both* hair and body! So far, I’m about 2 months into my no-haircuts experiment and my hair length is about an inch and half in length. The hardest thing right now is combing it out but I’ve discovered regularly spritzing my hair with water before adding product helps a ton. Here’s to trying new things!

Who’s there?

Working on a team is a trust building exercise and I am learning to rely on each person to play their part to the best of their ability. I’ve made some missteps along the way but overall, I’m happy and proud of the work my team puts out. ๐Ÿ™‚

E is no longer with us; we were devastated and miss her every day. ๐Ÿ™ Her passing brought M & I even closer and perhaps soon, we will be ready. M is taking on more responsibilities, kicking ass ‘n taking names! We’ll be celebrating a milestone date shortly and I don’t think I could have picked a better partner.

I’m still my slightly workaholic self. I have a SMART goal this year to address this and I’m still enjoying my current employer. It feels great to do good work and have that be rewarded where it matters – respect and finances. I’m still behind in terms of retirement savings but moving here has allowed me to play catch up quite significantly.

Overall, good things afoot. ๐Ÿ™‚

Just breathe

I’m moving out West for a new job opportunity and as you can imagine, I amร‚ย excited and nervous. It’s a tremendous opportunity to work with newer tools and live in a part of the country that my husband & I are thrilled to be moving to. ๐Ÿ™‚

Very exciting times in our lives and yet, I caught myself today feeling a bit … off. The reason was something many of us do: comparing our current station in life with others and mentally berating ourselves for not being there. Then, I shook myself and realized that while I may not be *there* yet, life has been pretty good to me this year.

This position and the type of company (startup) it is lends very well to being a stepping stone to further dreams of someday living in tech nirvana i.e. California! I said no to working in CA for a bunch of reasons that made sense at the time (high COL which I felt would eat significantly enough into whatever salary to the point of making a lower salary in a different state very comparable).

With this new position, I was able to negotiate a compensation package which left me feeling very empowered. ร‚ย Pro tip: it’s *always* okay to negotiate. Even when the company says they don’t negotatiate. The key is *how* you approach that topic. I’ll no longer be a remote employee which I will miss but I welcome the new-to-me challenge of working full-time with other developers. ร‚ย Despite feeling good about this, I still fight the nagging feeling that I likely left “money” on the table but I’m confident that I will prove my worth and be rewarded appropriately. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m healthy, M is healthy, E is healthy. M is picking up a crapton of skills and rapidly becoming the go-to guy for QA and technical documentation at his place of work in addition to him becoming a remote worker. So, all in all, life is pretty good this year.

Not sure what the point to this post was. I just wanted to count my blessings out loud in this post. Life’s good and I look forward to starting a new adventure. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have said good byes to some pretty cool people, sending some notes to others, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten to say good bye to some. Here’s to making more memories and becoming a better human in the process.


Fitbit mania!

This year, health has been a watch word of sorts for me – financial, mental, physical, etc.

On the physical front, my Fitbit has been a godsend of sorts. My love affair with Fitbit is such that if I go walking and forget my fitbit, I feel an acute sense of loss. Needless to say, it goes almost everywhere I go now.ร‚ย I’ve become part of some Challenges on Fitbit and those have spurred me on to greater heights. The past 7 days, I’ve averaged ~ 15, 000 steps daily with just a little effort.

To cut this story short, here’s the take away: if you’re struggling with motivation to be consistently active, become best buds with your Fitbit and you’ll thank me later when you develop toned legs. ๐Ÿ™‚


Knock, Knock

It is I, the prodigal daughter of this blog (if it were a parent). ๐Ÿ˜›

Where to begin? Well, can I just express how WONDERFUL it feels to no longer have classes anymore? My time is actually my own to fritter away as I please! Of course, as a developer, I can’t actually sit on my thumbs all the time if I expect to progress. So many awesome going on in nerd land and it’s a great time to be a developer.

On a lot of fronts, I’m doing well. Since becoming a full-time employee at Humana (oh wait, we’re getting acquired by Aetna), my financial goals have been:

  1. Pay myself first. This means after receiving a paycheck, I shunt some percentage of that check into a variety of sub account (emergency fund, savings fund, travel fund, etc). I’m doing pretty well on this front and consistency of making that deduction with every paycheck has been key to changing my mindset.
  2. Pay my future self. This means contributing a healthy portion of my pre-tax check to my 401k and contributing to my other investment accounts. I’m currently sending 10% of my pre-tax paycheck to my 401k account and taking advantage of my company’s match. I also opened an account with Vanguard just to keep my portfolio diverse.
  3. Reduce credit card usage. At one point this year, we were down to 0 dollars but somehow we’ve crept back up. We’re still way under 30% of the credit for this particular card and that’s the only card we have a balance on. So, it’s not the end of the world but I hate paying “stupid tax” and credit card interest falls into that category

On the health side of things:

  1. Yours truly ran 2 5ks! My first ever 5k was the Color Run in a different state but these past 5ks were back in Athens. The Twilight 5k was a wet mess and I felt like I was dying but I made it in under 30 minutes. My next 5k shaved over 2 minutes off that time.
  2. I’ve actually gained a bit of weight (5ft2inches and 125lbs at the moment) but thanks to my daily walks and regular gym routine, it’s likely muscle and I look athletic & healthy.
  3. Healthy eating is becoming easier to do although this has come at the expense of my Food & Dining costs going up a little bit. I will have toร‚ย become more creative in how I feed myself.

I know, such a boring update but I finally feel like I am ready to blog again. No promises though. And happy July 4th! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last hurrah

This year, despite starting off on a weird note, is turning the corner. I’ve kept this bit of news to my chest but I’m an American citizen. ๐Ÿ™‚ my country of birth will always be in my heart but my allegiance is now to the United States of America.

I’m in my final semester of my degree and I’m so excited to be ending this chapter. I feel very fortunate to have a job in a field that I feel excitement for. In fact, my idea of fun is finding ways to make my code better be that via a smarter algorithm or following recommendations from ReSharper or elsewhere.  Yes, I’m an introverted dork and proud. ๐Ÿ˜€

All in all, good things are afoot.