Tuesday, June 07, 2011


(Cross-posted from Leif's blog.)

The ol' postal service delivered the diploma cover for my master's in computer science today. This was after receiving my diploma rolled up tightly in a cardboard tube a couple weeks back with a postcard voucher for a diploma cover. That was after skipping (sorry, Mom) the six hour graduation ceremony I wasn't keen to sit through at the beginning of May. That was after actually finishing up last December. That was after taking (cough) 9 (eh hem) years to finish it while working full-time, being married, moving a few times, throwing away 9 credits due to transfer, throwing away another pile of credits after abandoning my first thesis, finishing a basement, designing and building another house, and raising a baby to a pre-schooler.

I am far prouder of this degree than I ever was my bachelor's. I was raised with the expectation of getting a college degree. It was always a foregone conclusion in my mind that I would finish that one. I struggled a bit with my bachelor's (I'm looking at you Electric Circuits I), but I never had reason or occasion to consider quitting. I can't count the times I wanted to give up on the master's.

Special thanks to my wife and daughter for putting up with me during all that, to my adviser, Rocky Ross, for helping me finish, to Neal Richter for nagging my butt into gear more than once, and to Erich Hannan, my boss through most of that interval, for supporting me doing work and school.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

I am so thankful this morning...

This morning I got up at 5 to go to the gym, but when I looked out the window and saw the beautiful sunrise over the mountains I got another idea and went for a run on the trails around our pond instead. It was beautiful! It makes me really thankful for our new home. We've already mentioned how much we love our new house, but I don't know that I've mentioned how much I really love our new neighborhood.

(In case you haven't yet seen it in person, the red house in the middle of the picture is ours.)

I love that I can head out my front door and within feet I am on a trail that is great for running or walking.

I love that we are just across the street from a beautiful pond, and that our pond is home to all sorts of creatures we're getting attached to. I took a break from my run and watched a big white pelican gliding along in the water. We frequently sit at the dinner table and watch the heron who calls our pond home. There are plenty of geese and ducks, too. I thoroughly enjoy the pond!


I love that we have friendly neighbors. Whether we're at the park with Eliana, taking a stroll around the pond, or just happen to be outside when someone walks by, the people in our neighborhood are quick to smile, greet you, and strike up conversation! I love it!

I love that we live in a kid-friendly neighborhood! Many of our neighbors have small kids, so Eliana has lots of little friends to play with! The neighbors across the street have 4 little girls, 2 of whom are close to Ellie's age. Just a couple houses down from them are neighbors with a couple little boys around the same age. Down the road from us are some friends we met last year (before we OR they lived in this neighborhood!) and they have a daughter and two sons who are close to Ellie's age. And in just a week or so another one of our friends is moving in down the street and one of her sons is Eliana's friend! It's so nice to move someplace new and instantly become a part of the community. I'm so thankful for that!

I love that Eliana's preschool was just around the corner this year. I love even more that Petra, where she will be in the fall, is building a new building just a couple blocks from our house! It's fun to watch the progress and know that's where Ellie will be going to school in just a few short months!