March 6, 2010

It's been since December since I wrote, but at least I'm keeping it going...

We started the year off with preparation for Katelyn's Bat Mitzvah celebration. It was awesome, with everyone in the family participating. You can see pictures in our gallery here. Preparations were hectic, including meetings with the videographer, photographer, and caterer, and a 3-hour rehearsal with the Cantor. Kathie stepped in and did Haley's 4th grade family education day the Sunday before just so I could take a breath. We got a thorough house cleaning on Thursday, the day family started arriving from out of town. On Thursday we had dinner out (Lai Lai's in Millbrae), and on Friday we went to services. Luckily it was the Family Shabbat so there was a dinner also, so we all went. Then after the service on Saturday there was a party, after which the family came back to the house and hung out. And on Sunday we had a big bagel brunch here at the house. Needless to say, we were all exhausted! But the best part was Katelyn getting up on Sunday morning and saying "I want to do it all again!" She did an awesome job, and we're incredibly proud.

But even before then Val and I spent New Year's Day visiting Vick and Laura and then Liza and Jody, where we saw lots of other friends and started the year off with festivities and friendship. Then we spent a day setting direction for the year with Vanguard on the 2nd. The kids were away with Glynis and Susan, visiting with Susan's family in Kernville.

(I forgot to mention a late birthday present to Katelyn, a day with just the two of us at the Academy of Sciences on December 28th.)

Haley did a great job with the candle blessing when the 4th graders led the Shabbat service on 2/5.

We celebrated Val's birthday with a dinner out on 2/11. It was originally planned for Rosie's Cantina, which is usually deserted on a Thursday night, but apparently there was a Realtor's convention in town and it was packed. So we descended on Lai Lai's across the street and it all worked out.

We celebrated Valentine's Day with a quiet dinner and adult fun at home.

The following day we had a special celebration with a few friends for Val's birthday. You'll have to ask her for details about it - not for publication on the family web site.

On the 26th I had a minor medical procedure. I had a lypoma (benign cyst) removed from my right hip. It was something that I noticed about 5 years ago and it had been growing since. I had it biopsied back in 2007 so I knew it was benign, but it had grown enough that it was starting to bother me. It was done in the doctor’s office under a local. It all went well, although it was much bigger than the doctor expected, about 3” in diameter, so it took longer than expected, was harder to remove, and left a big enough gap that she had to put in a drain that was in until the following Wednesday. Stitches will be taken out on the 12th. Oh, and while I was there I had two “questionable” areas on my face (nose and right temple) treated (frozen), so I had some discomfort there also.

I attended the temple's Purim celebration with the religious school on 2/28.

We've been able to visit with friends regularly this year:

Additionally, Val and I got to go to some fun parties, including Transmission on 1/29 and the Exiles Volunteer Appreciation Party on 1/31.

Work-wise, I've had a budy year. I taught 20 training classes on the new release of the Commercial Portal at Genentech. I've been doing double duty as Site Admin as well as a Business Analyst (my real job), but now my friend Freda has been hired to take over the Site Admin duties, so that's tapering off. It's great to get back to my real job, and fun to work with Freda. On 3/4, at my team meeting, I got a special thank you from one of the teams I've been helping. Flowers and a cake were delivered. I was really touched!

I wasn't sure about my contract being extended since I've been at Genentech almost 2 years. So I was looking around a bit. I had a job interview for a project manager position at Google on 2/12. I was ambivalent about it due to the hours I thought I'd have to work, and the commute to Mountain View. This must have come out in the interview because a week later they said thanks, but no thanks. Just as well, because my contact got renewed through December 1! I'm excited to not have to job hunt for most of this year. They said that's ABSOLUTELY it, that I'd have to go away for 6 months to come back, so we'll see what happens.

Val continues to enjoy her new boss Andrew. She was selected to do maintenance and upgrades at Triton's Brazil office in January. Tough job, eh?

Katelyn is trying very hard to get her grades up so she can spend some of her Bat Mitzvah money on the cage needed for a new lizard. We're still finalizing how high we're setting the bar before that can happen.

Haley is getting ready to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade with her Irish dance class. She's also doing well in school, although recess continues to be her favorite subject. It can't be all bad, though, because when I ask her what was fun in school each day she either says "Everything!" or "Lots of things!" or she can name at least one specific thing.

Looking forward to a fun day tomorrow, with 7th grade family ed, lunch with Tiffany, coffee with Jay & Timnah, and our Exiles business meeting. Mom's birthday is tomorrow but she's out of town, so we'll celebrate next week.