Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pet Peeves

There a number of things that bother me like any other human being. For a while I've been contemplating whether or not to post some of them because many of them come from people I know.  I've wondered how people will react (not that I have that many followers or anything), but in the end it doesn't matter to me.  (If people want to unfriend me on Facebook, let them.  I don't get upset by that and think that people who do get upset over that have other issues.  I will keep in touch with the people I truly care about.  Ok, enough sub-blogging...back to the main topic.)  So here are some of my pet peeves and associated sarcastic or not so sarcastic comments.  I also understand that I may very well be guilty of these as well.  I certainly try not to be, but I am human.
  • Double standards - This is one of my top ones.  It is extremely irritating when people think the rules don't apply to them or they are an exception to the rules or they find a way to "work around the system".   One example that I'm sure will rile people up is the whole gay marriage thing.  Those who don't agree with gay marriage are often referred to as bigots, while those who calling them that name are just as bigoted as they claim others are because they are not willing to consider the other side's point of view either.
  • Hypocrites - People who practice what I described above.  In my opinion, these first two typically go hand in hand.
  • Holding grudges - I will admit this is easily the one I am most guilty of.  While I often find myself telling others (to myself) to get over it and move on, I almost always immediately thing of something I hold onto and still feel at least somewhat bitter about.  (I could easily rattle off about half a dozed things dating as far back as 20+ years ago.)  I do try to work on changing this part of me, but it is very hard.
  • Arguments based on false assumptions - I have no problem following an argument that is logical.  However, if you base that argument (or opinion or whatever) on false assumptions (things you assume to be true that are in fact false), you lose credibility with me.
  • Extremists - I'm not talking about religious (i.e. Islam) extremists.  I'm talking about people who when they tell you something, make it seem as though it is the best thing ever or the worst thing ever.  I understand things don't always go our way, but that doesn't mean it's the end of the world.  When things dd go your way, it's not the lottery or a life-changing event every time.  It gets old really quick and makes me realize that they probably are also guilty of the following pet peeve.
  • Attention seekers - This does not just apply to the extremists.  There are also those people who while having a 1 on 1 type conversation will speak louder so that others (whoever is around) will hear them.  The worst is when they make the statement while looking at you when you're not in the conversation or look at you right after like they expect you to make a comment.
  • (Facebook specific) Kid pictures...tens, hundred, thousands per day - Those of us with kids love our kids.  I think that's pretty standard, at least among the people I know and hang out with.  However, if you spend all day posting pictures of your kids and/or telling everyone how special they are, it gets annoying...quickly.  We all post pictures of our kids (or nieces/nephews) and I think that is to be expected, but at some point it passes the point of obsessive.  Hopefully I'm not guilty of this one, although I would understand if people claim that I obsessively post about the Dodgers.  (I won't argue with that one this year.)
That's probably enough for now.  I'll let you start chewing me out for my bigoted, hypocritical, extreme opinions...judge me as you will.  Have at it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Dodgers Truly Historical Run

Obviously, I'm a bit more excited this baseball season than most.  The reason, in case you have been living under a rock, is because the Dodgers have been so hot for nearly two months now that they are being compared to records and stats that have happened in over half a century.  So, with all the stats being stated, I thought I would try to compile some of them here to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.  I'm pulling these stats from a number of places.  (Plus, being a math geek and number nerd, this stuff is awesome!)  Here we go.
  • The Dodgers record on June 22 (when this hot streak all started) was 30-42.  After today's win, it is 71-50.
  • On June 22, they were in last place in the National League West, 9.5 game behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks.  After today's win, they are in first place, 8.5 games ahead of the second place Diamondbacks. (They took over first place on July 22.)
  • Over the past 49 games, they are 41-8.
  • Over the past 49 games, they have made up 18 games in the standings.  Before tonight, they had made up 17 games in a 48 game stretch.  The last team to do that was the 1995 Braves who made up 17 games in a 37 game stretch.
  • During the streak, the Dodgers set an all time Dodgers record by winning 15 straight road games.  (Keep in mind the Dodgers have been around since 1890!)
  • Before tonight's game, their 40-8 streak was the best since the 1942 Cardinals went 41-7.
  • At the All Star break in mid-July, the Dodgers were at .500, 47-47.  Since then, they have gone 24-3.
  • In July, they were 19-6.
  • So far in August, they are 14-1.
  • They have now won 9 straight games.  The last time they won 9 in a row was May 2010.
  • Side note, and kind of interesting: during their streak, they have beat pitchers by the names of Lee, Harvey and Oswalt.
  • The Dodgers collected their 15th shutout of the season tonight, which is tied for most in the majors with the Indians.
  • The Dodgers now have a better record than all three division leaders in the American League.
  • The Dodgers have the best road record in the National League: 34-25.
  • Their 8.5 game division lead is the second largest in baseball behind the Braves 15.5 game lead in the National League East.
  • If the playoffs started today, they would face the Pirates (who have not been to the playoffs since 1992), whom they are 4-3 against this season.
  • With 41 games left to play this season, the Dodgers magic number (combination of Dodger wins and Diamondback losses) is 34.  One way to look at this is if the Dodgers were to go 34-7 the remainder of the season, they are guaranteed to with their division and therefore make the playoffs.  If the Dodgers only go 21-20 the rest of the season, the Diamondbacks would have to go  30-12 in order for the Dodgers to not make the playoffs.
 I'm sure there are more, but maybe I can add to this as the streak continues.  Many people now seem to be saying that the Dodgers are World Series bound.  That would be awesome considering the last time they were there was 1988, 25 years ago, when they won it against the A's.  However, there is a long way to go to get there.

I went to my first Dodger game in 1984, 29 years ago.  I have never seen them play as good as they are right now, which is why I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can.  Seasons like this are very rare.  Also, it's kind of nice that the Angels are doing so poorly, which makes any comments from my Angel-fan in-laws empty.  The Angels current record, entering tonight's game is 54-66. They are currently losing in the 9th inning (to a team that already has 81 losses) and if they lose tonight, they will be 54-77.  Another way to look at this is that if the Angels and Dodgers were in the same division, the Angels would be 17 games behind the Dodgers.  Yes, it is a good year indeed.

However, the Dodgers' second season, the playoffs, begin on October 1.  You think I'm crazy into the Dodgers now, wait until the playoffs...especially if they do well.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Feeling Better and Looking Forward

I have been feeling much better the last few days.  It seems like I get into a bit of a funk every once in a while, and sometimes it's when I've missed my meds for a few days.  Other times, it just things wearing on me.  With that being said, the last few days have felt pretty normal and the family has noticed as well.  Thank you to those who have expressed some concern. 

That's been helped a bit with work lately. Our department manager retired a couple of weeks ago and we weren't told until her last day.  However, it appears that it was either retire or be fired.  Regardless, the new boss, who has been temporarily promoted and will probably get the job officially soon, is much more approachable.  So I've been asking questions and having good discussions with her.  It has encouraged me and gives me hope for my future there.

Plus April is going to be a great month.  Even if my birthday wasn't next month, the fact that we will be spending one weekend in San Diego and another in Arizona, is going to make it an eventful month.  I love traveling, but unfortunately, we aren't able to take a lot of trips due to finances.  Thus, April will be awesome! Oh yeah, and two Dodger games over a 3-day period!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Daily Challenge

Can you tell blogging has not been a priority of mine lately?  9 months since the last post.  Oh well.  A lot has gone on since then, but there's no need to rehash it since you probably already know what about the move and transition back to Whittier, which has been great.

Anyway, I just felt the need to spill my heart right now, which usually doesn't mean good things, and that would seem to be the case here again.  Sorry to seem so negative, but this seems to be a good outlet for me to let things out which is much better than holding it in and letting everyone at home suffer with me.

As you probably know, I went through major depression almost 4 years ago now, and since then I have being on medications and seeing a psychiatrist regularly.  Since going through depression, I think I have changed in the sense that I am more irritable and don't care as much about who may be upset with what I say, with the exception of my wife and kids.  All this to say that is why I don't feel the need to be as concerned about what people think about what I say. This is who I am; take it or leave it.

Ok, so now the topic that I really wanted to write about when I first signed on.  Recently (a few weeks ago) I was contacted by a recruiter for a position that would have been amazing and probably would have changed how we live for the better.  Fortunately, the process didn't last very long and I didn't even get an interview even thought the recruiter seemed pretty interested in me.  I have a great job that I really enjoy right now with Hyundai.  The only way I plan on leaving this job anytime soon is if somebody makes me an offer that I would be stupid to say no to because I like where I work and feel like I am a good fit with the team.  Plus with our department manager having retired a week ago (without warning), it seems like a good opportunity to further establish myself there.

However, the whole situation with the recruiter made me start reflecting (more than usual) on where I am at in life in two sense: personally and professionally.  Personally, I'm pretty happy.  I love my family and am so glad to have them in my lives. (And just to clarify, by family, I mean wife and kids.)  I wouldn't change anything.

Professionally I have issues that really get me down.  Like I said I do enjoy where I work now, but looking at the bigger picture of my career, it is nowhere near where I think I should be at this point in life.  I'm headed into my late 30's and seem to have made pretty much no vertical movement in the nearly 12 years I have been out of teaching. I am very glad I left teaching, especially with all the crap that profession is going through right now in California.

Based on the goals and direction I planned in taking my career once I knew I was where I wanted to be, I have been a failure, and I do not deal with failure well, which is a big reason as to why I went through and still battle depression.  I expect a lot from myself and expect myself to to succeed at whatever I try to do. Needless to say the setbacks I have had in my career are probably why I am where I am professionally now.  The big three that have caused setbacks: being fired from my job in '07, depression in '09 and being laid off (and unemployed for a year) in '10. 

If I had been able to get this job the recruiter had contacted me for, it would gotten my career back on track to about where I think I should be at this point.  That's where this emotional speed bump originated. 

The reason it seems to persist is because of another major fault of mine...the need to compare myself to others in order to determined where I stand in life.  It's something I wish I could change easily, but it also feels like me changing that fault is about as likely to happen as terrorists are to completely disappear.

So who do I compare myself to, you may ask? Pretty much anybody...friends, family, whoever.  I spend a fair amount of time on Facebook, probably too much time, and it seems like so many people have perfect lives.  They are taking trips, having family outings to these places that cost a lot of money, and just generally looking like they don't have a care in the world. I realize that's not always the case but I do generally respect those that post the occasional life struggle on Facebook.  It's a good reminder that I'm not the only one struggling in life. Regardless, everyday (lately) I see how short I have fallen of where I should be.  My job should be at a higher level; I should have been at my employer for at least 7 years, not 7 months; retirement is seeming less and less likely as we had to use a chunk of my 401k for expenses and although I am contributing to it again, it's not much because we have other things that need to be taken care of now.

Then there are the health issues I have to deal with: depression, as I already mentioned, and Atrial Fibrillation, which could technically kill me any time I have an episode.  I'm 36 (almost 37) and I have to take 11 pills daily as a result.  That's ridiculous!! My high cholesterol has been determined to primarily be genetic, atrial fibrillation is something I'll just have to live with unless they determine there is a need to do surgery, and the depression feels like something I'll always battle for the reason mentioned above. 

I know there are people who are concerned about my health, specifically being overweight and not having the best eating habits, so I care a little because they care, but at the same time, I don't care that much.  I hear it almost daily whether it be from family or friends at work and I've gotten to the point where I feel like rolling my eyes anytime it is brought up.  I'm just tired of it.

It's certainly not the life I pictured I would have at this point, but it is the life I have.  I trust that this is all part of God's purpose for me, but I'm tired of trying to figure it out; what happens, happens.  So everyday, I will continue going through this life enjoying it as much as I can, knowing the whole time that I am a disappointment (at least to myself).  Hopefully someday this will turnaround, but I don't see that anytime in the near future.  However, I do appreciate that God gives us the opportunity and hope of a new day.  That keeps my hopes up that things will turnaround eventually.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Ok, so here is one of those rare postings from me where I express my opinion on a controversial topic.  I know not everyone will agree with me and that's fine.  This is the USA and that's your right, but it's also my right to express my view.  Don't like it?  Then don't read it!

So what's the fuss lately about Chick-Fil-A?  After reading this article, I now know what everyone is talking about since it is apparently the article that is creating such a firestorm.  As you may or may not know, Chick-Fil-A is owned by a Christian family and they incorporate their Christian values in their operation of the company.  That's what people are upset about; a marriage being defined as being between a man and a woman and the fact that the owners of the company believe and endorse that.

If people are upset about it, so be it.  If they want to boycott Chick-Fil-A because of that, so be it.  That's their right.  If us Christians want to have a night to support Chick-Fil-A because we agree with their values, so be it.  The two sides may not agree, but they both have a right to express it.

One of the big companies coming out, so to speak, in opposition to Chick-Fil-A's stance, is the Jim Henson Company, better known as the company the Muppets come from. A lot of people seem to be supporting them and posting Muppets pictures and statements against Chick-Fil-A.  Let me tell you something.  I like the Muppets and I like Chick-Fil-A, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  My values just happen to be more in line with CFA than JHC.

Below is a paragraph copied from the article linked above, that I very strongly believe:
Cathy believes strongly that Christians are missionaries in the workplace. "Jesus had a lot of things to say about people who work and live in the business community," he said. His goal in the workplace is "to take biblical truth and put skin on it. ... We're talking about how our performance in the workplace should be the focus of how we build respect, rapport and relationships with others that opens the gateway to interest people in knowing God.
What Cathy says is one of my core beliefs and why I try to live a life that makes God proud and lead by example.  Even though I have been through some tough times in my life, God has blessed me in more ways than I deserve and I want people to know that.  I believe it can open a door to leading others to Christ, just like Cathy says.

That's who I am and just part what I believe.  If you hate me for who I am and what I believe, then so be it, but just realize that makes you as much of a bigot as you claim I am.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

Wow, 3 months since the last post. I guess that's a sign that nothing much has gone on lately. So a quick rundown, in bullet format since I feel like it.
  • Took the girls to the Epicenter in Rancho Cucamonga to see a Quakes game and fireworks...oh and Matt Kemp was playing on a rehab assignment.  The girls are now big Matt Kemp fans.
  • Hard to believe that I have been at my job for 9 months as of next week.  I'm still enjoying it, embracing it, and looking for ways to challenge myself and step up in preparation for advancing my career elsewhere eventually.
  • Living the bachelor life until Friday when I drive down and meet the family, which is camping with the in-laws.
  • Disappointed in the Dodgers' play lately.  I had high hopes when Ethier and Kemp returned after the All Star Break, but it  hasn't been pretty...except for Matt Kemp's walk off HR today!  Those are always sweet!
  • Super excited that after racking up way too much credit card debt over the last number of years, they will be paid off this month!  We should actually have a little breathing room now.
  • The Summer has been pretty mild up here in the desert.  Mostly in the 90's except for a couple of days a week or two ago when we hit 110 and 109 on back to back days.  Just got the A/C bill today...ouch, but better than melting!
  • Must go help defeat those pesky pigs.  Those poor birds never get a break...no wonder they are so angry.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Life Goes On

As we near the end of our fourth month living in Victorville, it seems like we continue to feel more at home. Don't get me wrong, Whittier still feels like home, but as we get more involved up here, it feels more like home.  The girls have adjusted to their school pretty well.  My work continues to go well and be extremely busy.  Traci has been attending MOPS and going to the gym regularly.  I've been to the hospital for my first stay since I was 3, and this week we visited a vet for the first time when Princess was obviously not acting like herself.  Turns out she may have Pancreatitis.  So here's a little more detail of what's been going on.

We signed the girls up for soccer since they were both very excited when we asked them if they wanted to play.  They have played a few games already and have about a month left in the season.  They seem to be having fun and getting good exercise.  It's amazing to see the difference in skills and competition from the indoor soccer league at our church that they both played in last year.  But that's good for them.  Tomorrow should be fun since I will be coaching Skyler's team for the game since the coach and his family are out of town.

The soccer field has been brutal so far, though.  Everytime we are there, it is very windy and cold.  Last week was the worst.  According to my phone, during the first game, we were watching soccer with a wind chill of 35!  By the time the second game was over a couple of hours later, the wind chill made it up to 40.  Very cold to say the least.  Tomorrow will be much different however.  We have been in the 90's the last couple of days so it should be pretty warm.  At least the first game is at 8:45 so it shouldn't be too warm.

This week, we took Princess (our dog) to the vet for the first time.  Actually, that was just yesterday.  She was very lethargic and didn't want to move, eat or drink.  Today she got lots of tests and x-rays done to see if they could figure out what was wrong.  From the sounds of it, she might have Pancreatitis.  She has one medication and a bland diet for the next few days.  Tonight, she was already acting a lot better than last night.  She's still not herself, but definitely on the road back.

Traci has been attending the one MOPS group there is up here in the High Desert and seems to be enjoying it.  She has also been hitting the gym regularly and getting results.  She makes me so proud.  She has an amazing work ethic and motivation.

My work has been really busy, but I have been cranking out contracts lately which feels good.  However, since one of our purchasing colleagues is refusing to move out here for the project, they are removing her from the project.  All of her work is coming to me, which my boss confirmed with me today.  That's fine since my load has been getting a little lighter lately after completing so many contracts.

I was able to make my first trip to the site where the solar field is being built (in Hinkley).  It was pretty cool to see that there is really nothing but land there now, knowing that it will be completely different 2 years from now. The car ride out and back had to be the most fun car ride I have ever been on.  There were 7 of us packed into a car (SUV), blaring rap music and laughing the whole time with everyone acting crazy.  I can't describe how fun it was, but trust me, it was a blast!

Another thing about work that has been fun to see is how the company has grown since I was hired about 6 months ago.  When I hired on, there were maybe 15 people in the office.  Most of us were in one small suite.  now we have filled that small suite, a huge suite across the hall and have knocked down the wall for a new suite that now connects to what was the small suite.  All of the engineers for the project are moving out here next month, so that's another 30-40 people from what I hear.  That means we should be about 100 strong in the Victorville office.  And that doesn't count the people that are working out at the site itself.  There aren't too many right now, but even that groups is growing as they prepare for activity to ramp up quickly pretty soon.

How can I forget to talk about my Dodgers?!  They are off to an 11-3 start, which is crazy, but if they can keep this up, it will be a very fin season.  Matt Kemp is off to an amazing start, leading the National League in average, home runs and RBIs.  He may even lead all of the Majors in those three categories.  I'm excited that that the team's ownership will be changing  hands in just over a week too.  The only bummer is that Frank McCourt is not completely gone as he has formed a joint ownership for the Dodger Stadium parking lot.  If they can figure out a way to get him out of that deal, the Dodgers will be better off.  Regardless, despite my distance from the stadium now, I am still as big a fan as ever and am enjoying this hot start while I can.  Who knows what the rest of the season will hold.  That's what makes the long season so fascinating and fun to watch!

It's getting late so I should head off to bed with the busy day we have tomorrow.  Besides, knowing what is coming up this next week, I want it to get here quicker!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Settling In

We have now been in Victorville for two and a half months and it feels as though we are settling in as well as we can.  The girls are doing well at their school.  It feels like we have found a home church.  We have a dog.  We've gotten to know the area a bit better and the girls are signed up for soccer.  It's definitely not Whittier, but it will do for a while.

There are a couple of things we are still getting used to, mainly weather-related, besides the area in general.  We have had snow twice now.  We actually have a decent chance of snow this weekend, which will be a nice change since the last two times it snowed, I was at work for one and it was at the girls' bedtime for another.  It barely stuck the first time and accumulated maybe a half-inch the second time, although it did last overnight that time.  We'll see what happens this weekend.  Also, the winds are crazy.  It seems like we are always under a high wind watch or warning.   There have been at least 1 a week since we've lived here

My job is keeping me plenty busy to say the least.  I haven't worked this much with any job in the past, except maybe for teaching.  While I typically have tried to leave around 5:00 each day, it is becoming increasingly hard to do so.  The main reason for that is that I have been in so many meetings with suppliers lately that I haven't had much time to do much work.  I'm working on 7 difference contracts right now, with the largest one being worth about $20,000,000.  The bright side is that I'm learning a lot about what can and can't be negotiated withing the contract.  From that standpoint, this job is a great experience.  It is a little frustrating because everything is "urgent".  I don't know if it's a Spain thing, but I know Chevron wasn't like this.  We knew what was coming up and it was our responsibility to make sure it happened on time.  At my current job, it's different.  We know what we are responsible for, but the expectations for the timeline to complete it as well as the actual scheduling of the project seem to be out of line with what I've experienced so far.  Maybe it's just part of the learning process, but I am adjusting as well as I can.  Don't get me wrong, it's a great job and I enjoy working there.  Some aspects of it are just frustrating, which I think is the case with any job.

Although today (and this week) ended in a very frustrating way, it was a good week and today was nice overall.  Since our two assistants were helping me with stuff I needed to get done while I was in a meeting, I treated them to lunch, which they seemed to appreciate.  It was also fun since Traci and the girls met us at Red Robin, where we ate.  My co-workers are definitely one of the reasons I really enjoy my job.  They are very fun to work with; probably the best group I've ever worked with.  We are always helping each other and having a lot of fun in the process.

On a good note, since my little stint in the hospital a month ago, my heart has been fine and I haven't had any issues.  I am very thankful that we have had insurance since January.  Without that, we would be screwed financially.  I've seen the charges from the hospital.  All of the doctors have been between $300 and $700 each, and I dealt with about 3 or 4 doctors while I was there.  Then there is the actual hospital charges which are just over $11,600.  Fortunately, our plan has a $2,500 deductible, $1,500 of which I can get reimbursed for.  So really, we have to come up with a $1,000, which, all things considered, isn't bad.  There are still plenty of follow up appointments to go to, including some blood tests and a nuclear stress test. 

One thing that is frustrating is how many pills I have to take every day.  Each night, I take out and open 7 bottles for a total of about a dozen pills.  The breakdown: 3 antidepressants (5.5), a multi-vitamin (1), and for my heart...low-dose aspirin (1), vitamin/supplement (Magnesium, 2), and one other medication to prevent the A-Fib (2). That's a total of eleven and half pills a day!  Anyway, life goes on.  Hopefully eventually those will all be gone, with the exception of the multi-vitamin.

It's almost midnight and I've got a couple days of weather watching coming up, so I suppose it's time to head to bed.  Plus we have some fun stuff planned for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What a Week!

This last week was quite the eventful week.

Sunday, we had our first party at our new house for Traci's birthday.  We actually had pretty good turnout.  I wasn't expecting so many people to make the drive up here, but they did and we were glad, especially Traci. Little did I know that the next day would be much different.

Yesterday (Saturday), we went down the hill for another party.  This one was for Courtney's birthday.  She had some of her friends from her old school there and the girls' teachers even showed up, which the girls were very excited about.  It was another fun party and she loves all the gifts she received.  She has been using or playing with as many as she can today.

While the parties were plenty of fun, Monday and Tuesday were a bit on the scary side, personally, as I was admitted to the hospital for the first time since just before my 4th birthday, 32 years ago.  I have had this same thing happen before, but it was not as bad as this one and has never lasted this long (7 hours).

I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, or A-Fib.  I would explain it, but it's much easier to include a link.  It felt exactly the same as it did back near the end of high school and early college.  All of a sudden without warning, my heart starts beating very hard and very fast.  I can feel it within my chest with some discomfort, feeling like someone is pushing lightly on my chest.  Also, I got very light-headed feeling like I was going to fall while in the shower.  Fortunately, Traci was nearby, so I went and laid down on the bed to rest and see if that would help my heart come down.  It didn't.  The feelings were all the same except that I was laying down and didn't feel light-headed.  I told Traci I thought we may need to call 911.

About 15-20 minutes later, the chest discomfort went away, but the fast-beating of the heart continued.  At that point, I didn't think 911 was needed, but since I still didn't feel right and knew my heart was still beating like crazy, we decided I needed to be checked out.  We went to Urgent Care to see if they thought this was something they could handle, but they told us to go to the ER, and so we did.

Upon arrival, Traci checked me in while they told me to go straight back once she told them what my problem was.  So back I went.  Once I had my hospital robe (pus jeans) on, they did an EKG, which immediately showed them something was wrong.  My heart was beating very fast and was irregular.  The heartbeat would generally range from about 120 to 170 beat per minute!  The highest it got was 181.  (That's 3 beats per second.)

They tried three times with medication to slow my heart, but none of them worked.  Four hours after the last medication, and after about 7 hours of the rapid heartbeat and on and off light-headedness, my heart went back to its normal rhythm on its own.  This is the joy of Atrial Fibrillation.  Since mine only occasionally happens (the last big episode being about 17 years ago), they did not give me any medication for it, but did put me on low-dose aspirin as a blood thinner.  The reason for this is because blood can pool in the atrials of the heart as a result of this condition, it can clot, and if it clots, then leaves the heart and winds up in the brain, a stroke is very possible.  That is pretty scary.  Fortunately the only change I need to make in my diet is to avoid caffeine.  So far, I haven't had caffeine since last Sunday at Traci's party (not counting some chocolate).

After I had an IV inserted into my arm, had three blood draws (two not from the IV) and three shots (two in the stomach which were the most painful out of everything), and I had been diagnosed with A-fib, they released me on Tuesday, which was Valentine's Day.  Fortunately I was only in the hospital for one night although it felt longer.  So now I continue on in life knowing I have a heart condition and wondering if that means I can no longer do roller coasters, which I love.  So after being released Tuesday afternoon, it was very nice to get back home and to be able to salvage Valentine's Day.  We did celebrate that night by going to John's Incredible Pizza. 

Wednesday it was back to work, which was good.  There were a number of contracts I was supposed to get approval on early in the week which did not happen because I wasn't there.  I was glad to get back to work on those as being at work was more relaxing then being it the hospital.  I was able to get most of those contract approvals released in those three days I was at work. 

However, Wednesday turned out to be a very interesting day, in a much better way, for the Steinman family.  We experienced our first snow at our new home.  It was also the first time the girls have ever seen it snow. The snow was sticking just enough for them to make small snowballs and throw them at each other. Needless to say, they were very excited. It started snowing bad enough to where they closed our office and let us go home.  I still did a little bit of work at home, but it was nice to be able to do that from home.

So while it was a very eventful week, I'm hoping this week is much less eventful.  I know it should start off fun as Courtney's birthday is tomorrow and we'll all be home.  Here's to a hopefully normal week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chnages, Changes, Changes

I haven't blogged since back in October, and man has life changed since then.  I'll try to cover it all, but it may be tough.  I'll also be as brief as I can while covering what I want to say.  How about bulleting so you can pick out the main points if you don't feel like reading the whole thing.

  • I returned to work on Monday, October 24 for Teyma USA, which is a firm that is partnering up with another firm or two to design and build a $1.2 billion solar plant in the Mojave Desert.  I am a buyer which means that I am constantly doing RFQ's, performing analysis and negotiating contracts, many of which are multi-million dollar contracts.  Since the office is located in Victorville, this meant a 73-mile, one-way commute to work each day, five days a week.  On the bright side, it meant a regular paycheck and benefits that just kicked in January 1; the first time we have had health benefits since November 2010.
  • Getting a job that far from home meant selling our house and beginning a house hunt of our own for a new home to rent in the high desert are of Victorville-Hesperia-Apple Valley.  We made multiple trips up there to look at houses and meet with our realtor, who I went to high school with, Bryan Bagwell.  He was great to work with and did a great job of helping us look at places.  He just moved up here last summer so he  has gotten fairly familiar with the area and real estate market up here.  Now, house hunting, as we had forgotten, is not all fun.  It was frustrating as a few houses we wanted to rent were rented before we were able to apply.  However, the one we are in now is great and we are thankful for this find.
  • As for the new house, it is much different from our house in Whittier.  It is just over double the size and significantly less expensive, which is good because of the pay cut I took to accept the job I have now.  Also, the back yard is huge, although all dirt (which is very common) and the front yard is nice with some landscaping.  We have a three-car garage with a pull through into the back yard (for one car)  We went from 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom to 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms plus a bonus room.  Needless to say, we like the house very much although we do miss Whittier.  At least we are only a little over an hour away.
  • After having lived in our house for 10 and a half years, it was interesting to move.  It was a little tough on the emotional side because we loved our house and are only moving because my job is too far away to do that commute every day.  We are very fortunate to have friends and family that are so supportive and helped us move.  We probably had around 10-15 people each day of moving activities.  On New Year's Eve, we packed up the moving trucks, which went surprisingly quickly, about 4-5 hours I think.  On New Year's Day, we made the physical move to Victorville with a caravan of 5 or 6 cars.  Moving in took longer and was a little more complicated since a number of items had to go upstairs.  Fortunately things we pretty smoothly and there were no injuries (that I know of).
  • During moving, I was sick, which is always how you want to feel when you're moving.  I was extremely miserable the night of New Year's Eve and was contemplating going to Urgent Care even though benefits kicked in the next day.  However, I fought through and felt better the next morning for moving.  However, by the next day, January 2, I was just as miserable and decided that since we now had benefits, there was no sense in feeling that bad.  So off to Urgent Care I went.  Two hours and four medications later, I was one the road to recovery.  I was fighting a throat infection it turns out, so, as I mentioned, I was prescribed 4 medications.  They were (for): antibiotic, pain, cough and congestion.
  • One fun note about the move: Skyler lost her first tooth on the day we moved in.  She was very excited and so were we: the first big event in our new house!  Good thing we have good connections with the Tooth Fairy as (s)he made the visit to pick up Sky's tooth and leave her a little cash.
  • One of the worst parts of the move, in my opinion, is having the girls change school mid-year.  That is one thing I absolutely did not want to do.  However, they started their new school this week, and let's just say that we miss Orchard Dale.  I'm not saying they are at a bad school.  I'm just saying it is not Orchard Dale.  Skyler has had a substitute all week since her actual teacher is pretty sick apparently.  Courtney seems to be doing fine.  Some differences from Orchard that I am not impressed with: Courtney had one sheet for homework for the week, which is like what she had each day before, Skyler has had no homework (although this may be because of the substitute) and Courtney's teacher did not leave a good impression when we met her Tuesday morning for the girls' first day.
  • One great thing about this move is that I appreciate my family a lot more than I did before.  It was almost like I tool them for granted before, but now I truly appreciate what God has blessed me with.  Since we don't have family nearby, we have each other and therefore spend more time with each other, which I have enjoyed for the most part.  
  • Another huge benefit is that I get an extra 2+ hours more each day with my family thanks to my 5-minute (2.5-mile) commute to work.  You cannot put a price on how precious that time is.  Actually, the girls have to be at school before I have to be at work.  I'm supposed to be there around 8:00 and their school starts at 7:40.
  • Searching for a new home church is another challenge we are facing currently.  I have a feeling we will not find a church we enjoy as much as WACC, but I know we can find a church that will meet our needs.  We've been to one so far and it has left a great impression on us so far.  We do plan to visit a few more to see how some others are, but I don't think we would have any problem returning to that church.  Plus the girls loved it and Skyler wanted to make that our new church as soon as we picker her up from her Sunday School class.  (That's a very good sign!)
So, you can say that we are making the adjustment as well as we can. It will be a long transition process since we lived in Whittier for so long and that's the are where most of our family and friends are.  It also doesn't really help knowing that we will probably be moving again in about 3 years (or less) since the project I am working on is supposed to last for about three years. 

Despite all the worries I have and the guilt I feel for putting my family through this, I am grateful that they have been so supportive and willing to go on this adventure together.  God is changing our lives in a way that is out of our comfort zone, and sometimes, that is when God does His best work.  So we continue on this adventure as a family, learning and growing along the way, waiting to see what God has in store for us.