My Christmas Letter 2016

Well, despite telling myself last year that I wasn’t going to move again in the winter, Annie and I moved again, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

In January, I started a new job as Director of Technology at Fortrus Financial. The goal was to help modernize a quasi-financial business in terms of technology and Marketing. During my time there, I recorded, produced and edited over 50 YouTube videos, grew the social media followers by over 1000%. Traffic grew slowly, and I moved the business site from Joomla to WordPress. Unfortunately, for various reasons, I had to move on from that position.

I started working for Sandbox Software as Project Director where I helped remind the executive team of the hard changes they need to make in their organization to perform better and be more efficient while leading some really interesting projects. I really enjoyed myself until needing to leave that position on December 8th to start my next adventure.

Annie and I also started our second collaboratively written novel: Goodbye Sol. I am sad to say that the first draft is still only 95% complete, though we hope to have it done by early in the new year so we can start a second draft and editing. We have several other ideas for novels we want to write collaboratively, so it is just that we have to find the time, focus, and energy to work on them.

I spent much of the year struggling to keep my depression and anxiety under control, but I am doing much better now. I hope to be writing a detailed post about my recent experiences early in 2017.

At the end of the first quarter of 2016, my grandmother, Sandra, passed away. She had been struggling for some time with COPD, but it still took me by surprise. I’ll never forget her being upset that she wouldn’t be able to visit us in Guelph because her oxygen tank would only last four hours and that’s how long it would take to drive from Kingston to Guelph. I helped put together some materials for her celebration of life, which helped me cope with her passing and come to terms with the loss.

In April, it was my two year wedding anniversary with Annie. Time flies so quickly, but I am happy to say our relationship is stronger than ever.

In the first half of 2016, I spent a great deal of time building out a family tree on MyHeritage. It was a fun project and between my family and Annie’s, it grew to over 3,000 people. I was able to trace back some connections between myself and other people that Annie’s siblings have married, which is a neat coincidence to me. I even had Annie get her genetics tested by 23andme, something I had done a year or two earlier. It was really interesting to compare our results. She was a bit nervous to get it done as her father passed away from Alzheimer’s when she was a teen, but thankfully, she doesn’t have the genes that predispose her to it.

In May, we announced that we were pregnant with our second miracle. We called the baby, Baby B or Bee, or Bea depending on how we felt in the moment. It was a really exciting time for us until Anika was born too early in September and passed away only moments after being put in Annie’s arms.

In June I launched a fun little project called that I had come up with thanks to inspiration from a YouTuber that Annie and I like to watch, Draw with Jazza. The project was for me to work with JavaScript again to see how I’d do as it has long been my development kryptonite, but it was fun to develop. It doesn’t get much attention or traffic but occasionally someone will use it.

My brother-in-law asked for my help in August to help him with his late father’s business which is focused on Acadian genealogy. I relaunched the website in WordPress setting up WooCommerce to take orders so that they didn’t have to manually be processed anymore and even added a download option to make things easier and faster for them to run. Other than small changes, marketing advice, and some customer support, the site is running fairly well.

At the end of the year, Annie and I decided to change our lives and do some traveling, so I’m writing this post from a Starbucks as I wait for our car to be serviced and snow tires to be put on. We are currently couch surfing between different family and friends as we gear up for some traveling in 2017. We start our adventure in January for a few weeks before house sitting for my aunt and her now fiance before hopefully traveling a great deal more!

As hard as 2016 was, I am hopeful about an amazing 2017, and I want to thank everyone in my life that continues to lend an ear, shoulder, advice, or help as we continue to move forward in our lives. I hope everyone has safe and happy holidays!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: