I was about to start this post by saying what a year of change and transition it has been, but then I realized that I say that pretty much every year. To live is to experience change. For us, 2021 kept pace in that regard, even as society has struggled to move on from the year before.
Most notably, this year brought a job change for me, the purchase of a house, and Blaise starting preschool. The spring was a whirlwind with all of the employment and housing activity, though things slowed down for another sweltering summer in the South. The fall brought our annual “Tiger Family Trip”, and we have loved celebrating the holidays in our new home.
- Early in January, my previous employer Kindful was acquired by a larger company. It was big news since I had been with the company for nearly seven years. Though I took a “wait and see” approach, major changes eventually led me to find a new job within a couple of months.
- February brought a massive snowstorm to Nashville, and it was so much fun to get out and play in the snow with Blaise after work that week.
- By March, our house search was in full swing, including numerous showings and lots of research.
- Around this time we placed membership at Donelson Church of Christ. We had been looking for a new church home for a while, and it has been great to get plugged in, especially for Blaise.
- In April I turned 35 – another less-than-amusing milestone.
- Three days later I began my new job as a backend software engineer for Scott’s Cheap Flights. It has been an interesting challenge learning a new industry, company, and business model.
- Eight days after starting my new job, we closed on our house in Mt. Juliet. We didn’t move in for another few weeks, but it has been such a blessing to have a comfortable home with a nice yard in a wonderful community.
- May was mostly a blur with house repairs and and preparing to move.
- In June, Dolly and I celebrated five years of marriage with a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park and a couple other spots in Colorado. It was so nice to get away, especially since Blaise stayed with his grandparents for several days in a row!
- July included a quick trip to Ohio for Independence Day, and after that mostly wishing it would stop being so hot.
- In early September, my new employer took the whole company to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a company retreat. It was quite an experience, especially since a hurricane hit our last day there.
- That same week, Blaise started preschool. It’s run by our new church, so it has been a great extension of that world. Plus, he is learning and growing a lot.
- October brought our “Tiger Family Trip” (family vacation named after an episode of Daniel Tiger). We first swung through Asheville, North Carolina. After that we spent time exploring Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. We finished up by stopping for a day in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was a good bit of driving, but still easier than navigating air travel restrictions with a toddler.
- The rest of October was filled with the usual fun fall activities including trunk-or-treat and Blaise’s first real trick-or-treat in the new neighborhood.
- We hosted Thanksgiving for my in-laws – once again thanks to the current difficulties of air travel.
- While they were visiting, Blaise turned three! It’s hard to believe he’s been a part of our family for that long, yet the actual memory of his birth feels like it was forever ago.
- The holiday season was that much more fun with Blaise this year since he really seemed to grasp all the concepts, and he didn’t even cry in his Santa photos.
- I read the following noteworthy books:
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos and Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
- The Short Novels of John Steinbeck
- Take More Vacations by Scott Keyes
- Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung – an inquiry which ultimately helped me see through the financially independent / retire early movement
- A Philosophy of Software Design by John K. Ousterhout
- And re-reading Animal Farm by George Orwell was a timely exercise
- My favorite albums of the year. They are almost all metal:
- Marching out of Babylon by Pantokrator
- The Fire Itself by Phinehas – album of the year for me. I love the instrumental edition, too.
- Hellbent EP by Impending Doom
- The Body EP by Earth Groans
- Into the Winter by Jessy Ribordy – mellow piano for the holidays
- Honorable mention to Leveler: 10th Anniversary Edition by August Burns Red
Overall, it was a year full of blessings for us. Now that we own a house again, and one where we plan to stay for a while, it feels like we have a foundation to build upon. At the same time, the cultural climate seems more precarious than ever. Things have certainly shifted since the pandemic, and it hasn’t been for the better.
That is one big reason we chose to settle our family in a community that uplifts traditional values and liberty. We want to strive toward that which is ultimately, biblically good, even if society at large is headed in a different direction. We pray that God will fill our lives (and his world) with more of that goodness in 2022.