Here are a bunch of things I did last year… I tried to come up with 22 of them, but I could only formulate them into 20:
Had a baby
We had a baby! Another girl! It’s great but also a lot of work, we’re still adjusting and being reminded what it feels like to be sleep deprived. We’re back to optimizing the system that is our household so we can get a little bit more order and time to ourselves. With paternity leave, I ended up with about the last 3 months of work off.
Read some books
The Great Sex Rescue (Sheila Wray Gregoire); Gentle and Lowly (Dane Ortlund); Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Peter Scazzero); Bully Pulpit (Michael Kruger); Something’s Not Right (Wade Mullen)
Ran some miles
I ran ~551 miles, down from 650 in 2021 (but up from 400 in 2020). This past year, I felt pretty healthy and felt like I was getting some good consistent miles, albeit slower. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of knee or back pain, for example. My average pace slowed to around 8:30, which was a little sad (since I still remember those days when I’d run everything at 7:20).
Ran 2 races
The Lake Union 10k with Nora and the “Washington Rock n Roll Half” in Bellevue. The former was a pretty great race (marked by low expectations, a conservative start, and gradually picking up the pace), and the latter was a pretty seriously demoralizing one (legs already felt dead, a very aggressive start, and disrespect for the distance, with my whole body shutting down by the end).
16 bags, 13 of which were from Onda Origins (honestly, mostly due to convenience - they’re the closest to our house, lots of single origin, and a bag comes with free drip). The other three bags came from Victrola, Olympia Coffee, and Zoka (I splurged on a bag of $27 geisha beans). Almost all brewed with a V60, but I bought a 6 cup Chemex so that I could do some larger brews (particularly to share those geisha beans with friends). I also used the espresso machine at work a little bit and finally started steaming my milk a little better.
According to Spotify, I listened mostly to Jonathan Ogden, Blackpink/Twice, and Porter Robinson/Madeon.
Played worship at church
Keyboard, only like once a month. One notable time was that I was the lead instrument for the first time in a worship team setting (other instruments being electric guitar, drums, and bass), which was a really fun experience.
Spoke on a testimony panel at church
The church does testimony panels with ~4 people, where the whole service are those people sharing how they came to faith in Jesus and how it has changed their lives. I got to speak on it, and the event helped force me to do a lot of thinking and processing. Perhaps in a divine act, the recording was deleted and is now unrecoverable.
Community at church
Relationships take time, for sure. We’re starting to find a closer sense of community at our church - through playing worship, virtual life groups, and infrequent in-real-life hang outs. Nora enjoys church more now (it helps that there’s a children’s service), so our attendance is more consistent. Suzi went to some fellowships and even taught a felt flowers class. We recently got into an in-person young families group that has been very beneficial for us.
Nora gymnastics and dance
Gymnastics 3 times a week, dance once. We have a little bit of a community/presence at her gymnastics gym, and she’s in a mix of competitive and non-competitive classes. Nora is getting close to doing cartwheels and can do a 360 from a platform into the foam pit; apparently she is one of the staff favorites!
San Diego in the summer
Legoland. The zoo (mostly looking at bugs, but the gondola was cool too). A lot of different beaches (my favorite was Coronado).
Tulsa in the summer and December
Went to Tulsa in the summer for a little bit of a family reunion, but mostly kept working. Worked out of Doubleshot a lot, and a little bit out of Rattlesnake Cafe. Surprisingly, there were some days that I’d be at Doubleshot for 6 or 7 hours.
Became an engineering manager
It formally happened in May, but I had been doing managerial things for about a year at that point. This is a newly created subteam of the one I had been on, called “Investigation Tooling” within the Trust organization. Ambitiously, this will get a dedicated post.
Had a summer intern, hosted an ops rotation
There were only four engineering interns at Airbnb this past summer and I just so happened to get to host one! They modernized/rewrote a tool that the original cofounder Nate Blecharczyk wrote (that code also counts Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong as a contributor).
I also got to host someone I knew from the Trust operations organization, assisting them in doing software development part time for 3 months. It was kind of amazing how well they did, despite having a non-traditional background and no industry-level software experience. They already had really solid problem-solving and communication skills, so I was often surprised how far they could get without my direct help. And since they were already a domain expert in our product, they actually had a better sense of what would be helpful to build.
Social impact at work
Helped resume some Seattle office volunteering relationships (Arboretum, Adopt-a-street). Still on a small team helping put together quarterly employee panels for a non-profit called Dev/Mission. Doing stuff like this is some of the most fulfilling stuff I’ve done at Airbnb.
The science museum (Pacific Science Center) finally reopened, so we got a family pass. Worth it. There are still some sections of the museum that we haven’t explored. The butterfly garden is usually the first thing we do.
We also renewed our membership at the Museum of Flight, which is the closest museum to our house and a big open space with some kids sections to let out energy on cold days.
We went to the Woodland Park Zoo once or twice. It’s a bit of a drive, but the zoo itself is huge.
Changes around the house
Suzi coordinated a bunch of changes around our house. We switched around all of the bedrooms upstairs. A murphy bed got installed in one of them. A new bunk bed in another. In the living room, we extended the fireplace out of the wall and centered it (it was originally off-center by a few inches). New live edge dining table with bench seating mounted into the walls. We tried gardening more seriously (Suzi does that every year) and after 6 years, got some much-needed help maintaining the invasive weeds taking over our property.
Nora - hanging out, sleepovers, Halloween, parks
First time trick-or-treating in our neighborhood (since it was delayed by the pandemic). First sleepovers. We went to the Great Wolf Lodge for the first time over her spring break (which led to Suzi getting really into those claw arcade games). Nora got into Legos. We spent time at Discovery Park, Golden Gardens, Kelsey Creek Park, Seahurst Park, West Fenwick Park, and local neighborhood parks/community centers.
Honestly didn’t do much (mostly keep the lights on and upgrade libraries), but it’s the sort of side project that I eventually return to when I don’t have much time going on. I switched the backend to use Next and launched the web version of it - you can see my profile at https://boba.life/david. I was thinking about winding it down because I spend nearly $20 a month keeping it up (DigitalOcean server, AWS RDS and S3), but every now and then, someone will find it and seem to really enjoy it. A friend’s teenage daughter stumble upon the app and start using it.
As far as we know, we had managed to avoid getting Covid during this pandemic until the very end of 2022! First positive test came on Christmas Eve. We ended up getting it staggered, so the whole thing stretched out across at least two weeks. Fortunately for the kids, it ended up being relatively mild.