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.