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Tuesday, April 29th

Thursday, April 17th, our daughter Emily was born. We're excited to welcome our baby girl into the world. Since early January we've been to Cancun with Derek, visited Mike and Stephanie, went to my mom's to celebrate Sarah's graduation from USC with her Masters of Social Work. I went to Steve and Kathryn's for an always fun LAN party, and then we both went to their annual non-LAN party.

In March my mom watched Derek while Sarah and I took a tour of the Koval Distillery in Chicago, and the past few weeks have been filled with visits to the hospital as we kept thinking Sarah was going to have the baby, but as it turned out she was just in early labor for the better part of a month. All of that is done now that Emily is here and everyone is healthy and happy.

Sarah's parents and sister watched Derek while we were in the hospital and both her parents and my mom visited us to meet the baby while we were there. This past weekend my sister Jessica and brother-in-law Steve came up for lunch for their turn to meet Emily before heading to a friends house. Today I'm back at work and looking to find the new normal with two kids in the house.

Friday, January 3rd

Starting back in November, we had a great time at the cabin for Sarah's birthday. It was up by Mineral Point, WI and we managed to go see a couple of movies (since Derek stayed with his grandparents). We also drove down to my sisters in Lafayette for a combined birthday celebration for Sarah, Derek, and my brother-in-law Steve, and we went to Sarah's parents for Thanksgiving. The rest of November was fairly house-centric, and we endured increasingly cold temperatures without heat, aside from some electric heaters.

December saw Sarah finish grad school, her internship, and her job. I went out for my monthly evening with Steve, helped Dean install a whole-house water filter, and met up with Eriq and Matt B for coffee. The weekends were mostly taken up with work on the house. Christmas Eve and Day was at Sarah's parents, and the following weekend we spent back at my sisters, with the rest of my immediate family. New Years Eve we braved the snow and went up to Eriq's house in Milwaukee.

I apparently neglected to mention in my last update that we're having another baby! We've recently learned she's a girl. She's due near the end of April, so we're very excited. We're hoping we can get Derek potty trained before she arrives, since two in diapers isn't my idea of fun. He's talking more and more, and has recently taken to yelling "Mom!" very loudly and repeatedly. At his two year checkup at the end of November he'd crested thirty pounds and three feet.

Monday, November 4th

Once again it's long break recap time. We had a rainy day with my mom at the Dunes, spent a lot of weekends working on the house, went to a fancy dinner with Steve and Kathryn, spent more weekends and a week off work on the house, Will ran the Chicago marathon for the third year, we missed the annual McCarty pumpkin carving because we all caught a bad cold, and this weekend we're going to a cabin for Sarah's birthday.

Along the way I had coffee with Mike, coffee with Eriq and Matt B, dinner and movies with Steve, went to dinner with Sarah's parents and family a time or few, and visited my mom with Derek. Derek's getting better at talking, little by little, and he wore a monkey costume for Halloween trick-or-treating.

At work I got to training for Configuration Manager, but it's been slow going on getting the new server. I've got ITIL training next week, which I know will be...thrilling. There's not a ton else to report since we're still in the thick of house/Sarah's grad school. Another month and a half and she's done, so hopefully we'll be able to get the house into shape.

Tuesday, August 27th

Hello, August. The summer has been largely dominated by continued work on the house, since we're trying to get a new boiler setup before winter. We went up to Sarah's parents' property over Memorial Day, we went to a cabin in Viroqua, Wisconsin for my birthday, and we went camping in central Illinois at Walnut Point State Park last month. A couple of weeks ago we went up to Mike and Steph's. I set up a NAS for Steph's work and we had dinner in Lake Geneva.

I helped Matt B rebuild the retaining wall between his neighbor's house and his last month and I helped Nicole and Rob paint the back of their house this past weekend. The near-endless help we've gotten from friends and family on our own house is chronicled —as always— on the house blog.

I bought a new (to me) motorcycle in June, trading in the Suzuki for a Kawasaki Ninja. It's red and all scratched up on one side, but it's eight years newer and it starts reliably, something I couldn't say about the old bike. I've mostly ridden it to and from coffee with Mike, as well as coffee with Eriq and Matt B. It's really nice to have a reliable bike.

Sarah's just wrapped up her second-to-last semester of graduate school, with her last paper due tonight. Her final semester starts in a week or so, and we're both glad the end is in sight. We're going down to the Dunes this weekend with my mom. Derek is saying more words, but not yet stringing them together. He's getting much more sure on his feet and falling a lot less. He's sleeping in his own room and finally sleeping through the night (for the most part).

At work I've been setting up Configuration Manager 2012, with luck we'll be able to transition off of Altiris in the next several months. I'm hoping to get to training next month, which should help the process.

I think that covers the highlights. We're excited about the future. This year has been all about moving things forward and hasn't left much time to just enjoy ourselves. Next year I think we'll be able to relax just a little bit, especially if we can get the first floor of the house done.

Wednesday, May 15th

Oh, where does the time go? The last two months have been busy. In March we had a demo party to remove the stairs, Mike and Steph came down and we went out. The following weekend was the annual McCarty party. The tenants in the condo moved out after buying a place of their own, and I got the condo re-rented a few weeks later. We had Sarah's family down for Easter.

April we didn't get out as much since it was the end of the semester for Sarah and she had final papers due. I took Derek down to my mom's to help her move furniture so she could get her living room painted, and we helped Sei Youn move out of his apartment. Eriq and Dean came over to help with the house. Derek is walking full time, but other than a few new words isn't much different. Bigger, obviously. He's growing really fast.

The last couple of weeks Sarah was off school and now is starting a new internship, but other than my monthly night out with Steve and meeting Eriq and Matt B for coffee, I haven't been up to anything exciting other than working on the house. We're planning to go up to Sarah's parents' property for Memorial Day and to a cabin for my birthday, but between Sarah's school and the house we're expecting to have a pretty quiet summer.