racheljoi.com

a look back, a look forward

This has been a year of change and redefinition for me, and next year is full of promise. Starting next Friday, I’m hoping to write a weekly round-up of things I’ve been reading, games I’ve been playing, things I’ve learned, rediscovered, or found interesting, and thoughts on events. I’m sure you’re all terribly interested in my thoughts on these things, so I hope you’ll continue to read. But today, I want to wrap up the year with an overview and talk about future plans.

The year began with anticipation of moving. We decided in October 2014 that we were going to move in 2015, and we were looking at jobs in Colorado and overseas. We love Kansas City, but it was time for a change. I grew up moving every five years, and I was getting the itch after being in our house for just about that long. We told Carl’s company in March that we were leaving, that it would be great if it could be with them, but regardless, we were leaving by end of summer. They brought up Salt Lake City in April, and the more we learned about it, the more excited we became. We thought the move would happen in June or July, then in August, but it finally happened in October. Our house sold quickly, and we sold off most of our stuff, as we were moving from a 4-bedroom house with basement and garage to a 2-bedroom apartment with neither. It’s been good to do with less, but I think both of us would welcome a garage or basement to store our camping stuff and bikes. We love SLC so far. We’ve had some snow, we’re excited about skiing, and we’re starting to make friends. It’s a good place for us.

Another big change happened in July when we both changed our last names! I had my hyphenated name from birth, and Carl and I both liked the idea of having the same last name. Of the three last names between the two of us, we chose my mom’s. I have to admit, when we got married (almost 6 years ago!), I didn’t ever really think about changing my name. It didn’t make a lot of sense, as I had started to establish myself in law under that name, and Carl’s last name wasn’t really any less complicated than my own. Since I left law, I had been wanting to simplify it, and Carl finally asked me why I didn’t, and he offered to change his name too. It was very sweet, and it has meant more than I expected to have the same last name as my husband. We were able to change our names with very little fuss, Carl’s work colleagues thought it was great, and apart from a few notable exceptions, everyone has either thought it was neat or kept their opinions to themselves.

The third big change has been my delving into software development. I started learning Python in March (a college class in it 12 years ago barely counts as having learned it before), after doing some HTML/CSS/JavaScript stuff, and I’ve been doing small projects and solving math problems (gotta love Project Euler!). I’m doing a class on how to properly test software too, and my hope is to start as QA and move into test automation and then a full-on development job. It’s a lot to learn, but I’m enjoying it, and Carl says I already think like a software engineer (not that his opinion is the be-all and end-all, but it’s nice that he has that faith in me). I have a list of projects to conquer in 2016, and I’m looking forward to doing them. Keep an eye on my site for them!

In other news, I welcomed a niece in August (she’s beautiful), and I celebrated with friends and family for their own milestones. I gave two recitals, sang with multiple choirs, and went to both Universal Studios in Orlando and Disneyland in California. I made plans for Harry Potter things, learned new board games, learned to crochet, finished some knitting projects, and read a lot. It was a wonderful year, and next year looks like it will be just as good.

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