September 28 , 2003

The biggest news of all is that WE FOUND A HOUSE! Val and I bought a small house on a big lot, with plans to live in cramped quarters for a while and do a lot of construction to build the house we really want. The house is in the Mills Estates section of Millbrae (the same city which hosts SF International Airport), which is great views and great schools. See more about the house here.

Lots has been happening since my last entry back in August. First, Dad and Reggie came for a visit the weekend of August 16/17, and Susan and Joel and the boys came too. So we had a big family gathering, and it was a lot of fun. The girls don't see Grandpa Ed and Grandma Reggie often, so it was especially good for them. Of course, the day they arrived was particularly busy since it was also the day of Val's company picnic. But even through traffic and hot weather it all worked out fine.

Work was especially busy during August. The work I do is about the design of user interfaces for computer software, and we were nearing the end of a product release. At that point, all of the software has to go through a review of the user interface, so we were swamped with up to 20 hours a week of product reviews. Whew! Now, very late in the release cycle, is a bit of a lull time in some ways, but soon it will pick up again as we ramp up for the next release. There's *always* a next release!

On August 27 we all flew to New York for cousin Kira's Bat Mitzvah, which took place on the 30th. We then flew back on the 31st to avoid the Labor Day weekend traffic on the 1st. A quick trip, but lots of fun. Mom stayed two additional weeks so she could attend her 50th high school reunion!

Katelyn started first grade at Green Hills Elementary on September 2. She could go to Spring Valley, where she'd gone last year, because we're transfers from another district and Spring Valley was full. But the curriculum is the same at Green Hills, and her best friend goes there. The hardest thing, though, is that the new house is in the Spring Valley district, so she'll have to move again.

Once we returned from NY we spent every spare minute looking at houses. We looked at dozens. We made offers on 3 before the one we actually bought. In one case we needed a month's contingency while we did a structual evaluation for adding a third story, and they didn't want to wait. In other, another offer came in but didn't have a contingency (we had a contingency on the sale of my house completing) and they'd already had one deal fall through, so they took the other offer. In the third, we offered $26,000 over the asking price and our offer was the lowest of the three. Sigh.

On September 6, Val and I took her stepsister Jenny and her family out to dinner near their home in SF to celebrate Jenny's birthday. Then the following week we went out with her dad and stepmom (Gavin and Nelee) to the other location of the same restaurant, Three Seasons. Great food!

On September 12 Val and I went to see Lily Tomlin in a fundraise for the Nuclear Policy Research Institute. A great night of comedy, and for a good cause.

This is our bitthday month. On the 20th we went to Glynis's birthday party, then Baley's birthday was on the 25th. She got to celebrate for 3 days at preschool, with the family, getting presents from afar, and then a big party at Kathie's on the 27th. Also on the 27th, Janny, Al, & Cara visited to celebrate both Haley's and my birthdays. So I'm getting to celebrate for 3 days also!