May 31, 2011

The job search is over!! On May 20 I accepted an offer as the User Experience Architect at Guidewire  in San Mateo. They're a privately-held and profitable company producing software for the insurance industry. This company feels like exactly the right fit for me in terms of the job, the culture, and the people. While I'm eager to start, we're leaving on our extended vacation in a few weeks, and they are willing to let me start after we get back. So I'm not actually starting work until Julyu 18th. It'll eat up a bit more of my savings, but what a luxury to get a few extra weeks to let my knee heal and to be able to relax, knowing I have a great job waiting for me. Thanks to everyone all for the support you've given me during this job search.

Getting a little ahead of myself time-wise. Let me go back and start back in March to tell you what's been going on with us.

Haley continued her swimming lessons, this time in the advnaced class, and is doing really well. We hope to get her some private lessons during the summer. Perhaps competitive swimming in her future? Haley also emceed a couple of events, first the Purim Spiel at PTS on 3/6, and then the Spring Valley Variety Show on April 29.

Katelyn continued her karate, although she's been getting very serious about improving in school so has had to skip some practices to concentrate on her homework. It's hard to balance these things. Additionally, she's been diagnosed with ADD (technically "inattentive ADHD) and is on medication, Concerta, which really helps with her concentration. She's improved immensely in her schoolwork, and that has really helped her confidence. She's really looking forward to going to Mills High next year, and is starting to think about her future more. Speaking of Mills, she'll be taking one AP class, although was recommended for 3. We figure with the new environment and band she'll have a lot of stuff doing on, so the extra homework from AP classes might be hard. We attended an orientation and open house at Mills, and completed Katelyn's registration on 3/30.

I had a problem with headaches that had started in February and got worse. First I thought it was a sinus infection so went through a course of antibiotics. Then I went to a neurologist and had a head MRI, but everything was fine. I tried massage. I tried accupuncture. Then I figured I'd try the chiropractor again. (I saw him just after the accident.) While walking through the history of the headaches we realized that I'd probably injured my neck in that car accident I had in late January, and it just had taken a while to manifest itself. I saw him many times over about 6 weeks and the headaches are pretty much gone. I'm still doing exercises and stretching, but that seems to have cured it. Yay!!

Around mid-February I started to have some pain in my left knee. My right knee is the bad one so this was weird. I babied it (goodness knows I know how to take care of knees!), but it didn't improve. I saw my knee doctor, Paul Hazelrig, and he drained it and gave me a cortizone shot. We knew there was some kind of a problem because it started hurting again less than a week later. I had an MRI on 3/24 and found out shortly thereafter that I had torn the medial meniscus (inner cartilage). With many things going on, including my doctor being away for a week, we had to postpone surgery until 5/5. It went well (although I had a harder time clearing my head from the anesthesia this time), and my knee is healing up.

I spent some of March continuing to deal with getting my car fixed after the accident. After the initial repair there was a leak in the windshield, so we had that re-sealed. Turns out it had leaked enough to short-circuit some of the electronics in the dashboard, and the carpet was moldy, so that had to be dealt with. Then they couldn't get the adaptive cruise control to work. Turns out you need a special front grill in order for it to work correclty, and the body shop had put in the wrong grill. It's finally fixed!

We had a lovely Passover Seder on 4/23. Besides our immediate family, the following people attended: Adrien, Susan & Joel, Nathan, Apple, Stefan, Judith, Freda, Glynis & Susan, Jet & Josephine (visiting from Europe; they stayed with us for several days before their return), Jann & Trev, Timnah & Jay, Jennifer (Selena was sick), Liza & Jody, Rio & Ray, Kathie, and Judy. Many people brought things, making it easier for me, and many stayed afterwards to help clean up, also making it easier. I love sharing Passover with my friends and family!

We are aggressively planning our kitchen remodel. We'll be moving the wall to the family room over 18 inches, and taking down the wall to the dining room. We're pushing the ceiling up to the roof, and installing tow skylights. And of course all new cabinets, countertops, and appliances.We're also doing some additional work like installing a built-in and shelves for the computer area, installing a built-in hutch where the old printer was, finishing some areas of the living room and installing doors so we can close it off for a guest area, and installing steps nad flooring in the attic for long-term storage. We've picked out everything except the sink, faucets, and lighting, which we plan on doing this Friday. Work starts two weeks after we're back from vacation. To prepare for the contractors needing to use our garage, we had to clear it out. We got a storage unit. I did a lot of prep, and some work afterwards, but getting everything to storage was completely handled by Val, along with the help of two hired helpers, as this was just after my knee surgery. Our garage looks amazing!

I think our kitchen knows we will be gutting it, as it's been revolting. First the microwave went a few months ago and had to be replaced. Then the dishwasher started leaking. Then the latch on the oven broke. Hopefully it will all hold together until the end of July!

Speaking of vacation, we're doing a lot of planning there too. Here'sa rough outline of the trip:

We've had to book all of the flights, a car in Italy, and lodging in London. Now we're working on shore excursions for the cruise, and I'm stressing about making sure we take everything we need to be away for 3 weeks.

As usual, here's the regular list of fun things we did in the last few months:

I attended a few Webinars, mostly through SWE (Societ of Women Engineers); one on Startups and one on Managing Overwhelm.