This morning has been a morning of ups and downs. I hadn’t slept well last night anyway, but it looks like it may be a running theme for the up-and-coming future.

At our normally scheduled baby appointment at the birth center today, we found out that Heather happens to have elevated blood pressure. Something like 130/88. It’s been slowly climbing throughout the pregnancy, but within the last week, it had jumped, and now is 2-points away from being “risked out” and being forced to a hospital setting.

Hearing that news was somewhat scary.

Birth Center Checkup

We have always wanted a natural birth-center’esque birth surrounded by loved ones. We’re not big fans of the medical model, though we understand its place and importance. Further, it is especially disconcerting because Heather’s mom isn’t planning on being in town for another 8 days.

Kaye calmly informed us that if the pressure measures 90+ for two consecutive days, we then are routed through the hospital who will in turn induce the labor.

So you’re telling me that either we get the blood pressure under control, or we’ll be forced to have the baby? Uhm, okay. Give me other options.

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Surprise, Surprise

This weekend, we had a Baby Shower. It was great to have friends around to support our adventure, and I had no idea how hard it is to guesstimate the circumference of my wife’s belly.

To me, it’s still somewhat surreal that a small human will be arriving in a month or two. I’m still trying to grapple with the idea that I will have a baby that I will need to feed, change and otherwise care for. But more on that some other time.

What made the shower even more special though, was a surprise that Heather never saw coming…

That is Heather’s Mom & Sister stepping out from behind the counter. They made the trip up for the event! They’ll be here till Thursday, and it’s been wonderful to hear the girls all enjoy one another’s company.

Till next time,

PS – I made a “baby” page too, but I’m still trying to figure out what you’re supposed to post there, so you’ll have to enjoy photos & such for the moment.

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Catchup (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1…)

Okay, so I left off somewhere around May in my last posting. This is round two, and I can only hope that I can encapsulate the whirlwind since then.

In June we started with a bang. A quick trip to Haines volunteering for the UAS Alumni Office for their annual Alumni Golf Tournament. Our role was just to deliver some lunches and to clean up a bit, but for some reason, I have a tendency to make the simple more complex. I decided to photograph throughout the morning and tournament and then for the afternoon ride home, we’d have a slideshow. Complexity successfully increased 3-4 fold. It went awesomely, and I might pursue it next year, despite the heavy scope of work.

Within the first couple of weeks, I was surprised with an invitation from a friend to go on a two-week rafting trip in mid-July. Just the consideration of it was a pretty daunting process. Within three weeks I would be on a raft, floating down the Tatshenshini River, in one of the largest remote wilderness settings available. Unpredictable weather, and thousands of dollars of photo gear? I had to plan what I wanted to take (and how to keep it safe) and identify my borrow/shopping lists. Fortunately, getting the time off of both jobs was fairly painless.

Following later that month, I spent a few days in Seattle with work, we started a team around the Body Key program via Nutrilite. Our team of 5 met weekly for the course of the following three months. It was great to have something consistent amidst the craziness.

And then, to put a cherry on top, Heather & I found out on June 29 that we were again expecting!  Yay! And woah! It’s hard to describe the complexity of emotions stemming from our pregnancy mixed with our earlier miscarriage and my impending travel.

July of course was a blur.

The 4th of July festivities were usurped by my list making and reworking, and our house turned into a smattering of expensive camera gear that we were to watch our step around while I figured out what would fit in which bag and what would be left behind. Naturally, work was intensified in both preparing for my departure as well as catching up from my return.

The start of this pregnancy was materially different too. The first time around, things hadn’t developed very far. This time, as we made it into the first few weeks, Heather found the new changes to have a substantial impact on her energy levels, and to a certain degree, how well she felt. I don’t think we could claim “morning sickness”, per se, but as she was dealing with sleeping 12-18 hours a day, during her waking times, we remained busy with finding suitable foods in hopes of helping her with the troubles she was having with nausea & her digestive system. I think my favorite request was for a rotisserie chicken at 9pm (pro tip: start earlier in the evening).

Sometime just after I returned from the rafting trip (which really deserves it’s own post someday), Heather’s family came for a visit too. Over the course of ~9 days, both Marilyn & Nick came to stay for a few days each, overlapping in the middle of their travel. It was great to have them here, and as family the pressure of “hosting” was muted, but we still filled the calendar (and our freezers… *ahem* Halibut!) We somehow even found times for Heather to nap!

August began with a quick trip to Spokane for a business convention. Just a weekend away complete with comfy hotel room, and some amazing input. Usually it’s no big deal, but when your wife is working through the process of growing a human, things aren’t usual. As the dutiful husband, I was constantly on the lookout for how to make things easier on Heather. Need food? How about a drink of water? Should we rest here? Can I carry that? Being a Dad to be certainly pales in comparison to Mom bearing a child, but I continue to set expectations high for myself and serving Heather.

Adding that intensity of focus was no easy task considering the atmosphere at work. When I originally started my half-time gig, it was understood that I would take two weeks away from Byte Networking in order to focus at the Helpdesk in order to get the Fall Semester up and running. Working in just one office simplifies things, but somehow life arranged for it to remain more intense than normal. My co-workers wife developed a health concern that took him (and her, of course) out of state to resolve. Everything went as smoothly as one could hope, but even with full staffing it’s a busy time of the year.

That, and the UAS IT Services department was in a state of upheaval with the Computer Lab being closed and our outward facing desk being removed/changed to a Classroom Technologies Support Desk. It meant that whoever was at the only walk up support desk was really only supposed to be fielding needs within and related to the classroom wing. Weird distinction to make after having a public Helpdesk for more than the last decade.

September rolled in like thunder and slammed the staff with hundreds of time-sensitve requests. Our office hours were thrown into the air and settled in jumbled piles with folks picking up what pieces they could. I began a firearms class with Heather on Monday nights, and still somehow found an extra 20-30 hours of overtime to fit in with my home duties of caring for Heather.

As soon as that storm cleared, I was back at Byte, back to catching up with what had been put on hold in my absence. My 6-month half-time window was drawing to a close and with it, the pressure of identifying if there was a number that would get me to leave the comfort, security & longevity of my position at UAS. Trying to quantify some of the more intangible benefits of copious annual leave proved more challenging than I expected. I had notes and spreadsheets articulating what was currently mine, and what the future might hold. It was like trying to stare into a soupy fog bank in hopes of making out details to either set aims towards or maneuver away from.

I genuinely thought that I had to pick the numbers for what would take me way rather than consider an offer presented. Later in the month, I found out all of my fraught was misplaced. David, the owner at Byte eventually came forward with an offer hoping that I would stay. With hours of mulling over and discussing the issues with Heather & mentors, we decided that I would go to Byte and walk away from the campus.

So now I’m in late December and I haven’t even touched on last month. I guess these posts turn out to be more than I bargain for. I’m hoping that there is some kind of cathartic benefit or at least some intrinsic value in reflection on such a wild ride. I’ll have to deliver part three some other time.

Stay tuned…



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Catchup (Part 1)

The past several months have been a wild ride. In April, I thought I would dig in and get better about posting updates, but here I am in October with my next post. It’s not from laziness though.

March and April brought on a few new developments that took our attention. Firstly, I had begun arrangements to work halftime with Byte Networking, a local private IT company to get a bit more experience and variety. I had no clue what I was really in for.

More life-changing than a new job though, was the realization on March 20th, that we would be new parents!  It was mindbending to realize that we only had 9 short months to orchestrate anything and everything needed to become prepared to keep a mini-human alive. We’d have to learn how to help them navigate the world. I had noticed that I started paying close attention to how other parents handled their children and then made mental notes of what I plan to do or not.

And then, on April 4th, we were rocked with the news that Heather had a miscarriage.

There’s not really words to describe the experience. It requires grieving, but it’s somewhat of an abstract idea – in the few short weeks, while our supply of baby related items had ballooned, there was no tangible evidence of a new child. I’m positive it was harder for Heather to experience the miscarriage first hand, but even my worldview was affected.

For instance, in our brand new pregnancy, we had fashioned a list of important people that we wanted to share with. Calls and visits were made, and the list was checked off. It was early, so we didn’t want to spread the news far and wide because we do enjoy our privacy. So, after hours of crying and coming to terms with the miscarriage, we then had to walk back through the list and let folks know… And experience the emotional loss all over again. Weird to have those feelings re-run over and over.

We were able to move on, and I got into the throes of working two jobs. UAS remained the known entity, but Byte turned into a much bigger fish. Somehow I happened to land myself in a world of turmoil. The ownership of the company was changing hands. They had been short-staffed for several months. Clients were unhappy with service levels and communication. And I’m no slackard when it comes to helping. It seemed to be a magic soup of insanity.

So April happened: starting a new job, traveling to functions, processing the loss in the family. May was a blur too. Much of the same, but add in my re-engaging of photography. In the month of May, I was out with my camera 16 different times. Likely as a way to help me process the experience of the miscarriage, but also with 9 of those being images for other people… Needless to say, it hasn’t been a relaxing schedule.

It’s hard to recap everything and keep it concise. There’s so much more throughout the summer. I guess you’ll have to stick around for part two, coming sometime in the future. Let’s hope it’s not 6 months out, right?


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Spokane Bound

IMG_1431It’s late in some (fairly swank) Seattle hotel, and after a ridiculously busy day, it’s nice to crawl into bed. I was up at 5:30 to swap roof racks, pack the tires and drop the car at our mechanic, followed by a calm bike ride back to the house. A bit of prep for the day, and I was off to Byte for today’s adventure.

Today was basically a heroic step forward in connecting with some clients who were long overdue for some basic courtesy. It was fairly awesome, but much longer than I expected, and subsequently the rest of my day (literally) was spent rushing to the next spot with just enough time to fit it in. Home to whisk Heather to work, back home for some car clean-out, back to work for the afternoon with lots (changes & to do’s) there, then out to pick up the aforementioned car, home for a quick meeting with a team member and then packing for a flight in less than an hour away.

Cutting it close you say? I wouldn’t want to ruin the whole “adventure” part of this blog, right?

Anyhow, the most relaxed part of my day was sitting for two hours on a plane reading about our nation’s economy & educating myself about how to be intelligent when it comes to the media & government’s report of “monetary policy” or whatever they might tag it with.

But then, to top it all off, there’s more to be had in Boston.

I’m not really sure how to take it. Part of me wants to separate and focus on the positive. Part of me wants to have answers. I try to draw possible correlations explanations, but there may not be some for a while. The news is currently reporting a second swing of something significant (which may or may not be), but regardless it’s being reported as breaking news.

IMG_1433I’m thankful for a life that is fairly protected from shenanigans. I woke up in a warm bed, was able to walk, talk, play, travel in a giant metal tube (aka airplane), and found myself in a posh hotel that has complementary Hagen Daas ice cream in the lodge foyer.

All in all, life is awesome.

Not sure what got me so contemplative… I’m thinking it might have been my reading about how loose fiscal policy and Civil Law systems (vs Natural Law) can drive an economy and a country into the poorhouse and turn a population against it’s own currency & subsequently into a woeful state. Maybe it’s the sour news being broadcast. Thank goodness Heather & I are linked arm in arm with Independent Business Owners across the nation in utilizing the free enterprise system to secure our own so that we can better assist others as the need arises.

Well, I’m getting a bit rambly, so I should close this off… I’ll blame it on the late hour and call it a night. As you’re fading off tonight wherever you might be, please remember to be thankful and take the time to recognize all of the blessings that surround you. It’ll make the days more vivid & encouraging…

Till next time,



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