Friday, November 14, 2014

Family pictures make me a horrible parent.

     I  have these beautiful children that some how turn into the whiniest most tired, most hungry, most bored children on the planet right when I'm trying to capture how perfectly happy and flawlessly beautiful we all are. 
    And we turn into the worst parents ever. I mean like if Parent Magazine came along on our photo shoot they would revoke our subscription. We're throwing out all kinds of bribes and threats and then more bribes and then threatening to take away the bribes we just promised. 

    I realized after looking through all of our pictures that Cohen is really the only one in our family that knows how a photo shoot is supposed to work. He pretty much looks like a model in every picture.

The rest of us struggle.

    Oh this one was fun. After lots of conversation about the proper way to throw leaves in the air. Ainslee belly flopped on Evie. I believe this shot captures the moment just before the landing.
   Evie was ticked the whole time because she just wanted to snack on either someones hair or my neckless. Poor Emmy.

    And then there is this one. He basically lives in a superhero movie ALL DAY LONG. But only the really intense scenes. 

   Fortunately I have this amazing friend, Alaina, who, despite the reenactment of a miniature 300, is still good enough to capture enough shots that we can print off to prove to our children one day that we really were the perfect family. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Here I go, Here I go, here we go AGAIN!

   Sometimes in our lives we go through things that push us and stretch us and make us hurt. Wether it's emotionally, physically or mentally. Sometimes it hurts in a good way and sometimes it hurts in a really awful way. But it's usually easier to look back on the event(s) and feel some kind of deep attachment to it. It's like in the middle of it you can't wait to get out but afterwards you can't stop thinking about it. And as hard as you try to avoid it that event has become a part of you and defined another dimension of you.

   Our time in California was HARD but amazing. There was a lot of stress and craziness and even though Undrip went the way of most silicon valley start-ups the things we learned and experiences we had during our time in San Francisco cannot be measured.

   Sometimes when we tell people how we sold pretty much everything we could, drained our savings and sold a car so that we could go out and work for a start-up without pay until we got funding and then the company just didn't work out; people feel bad for us. I understand that's probably a normal reaction, but it's also the wrong one in this case. From Undrip, Cahlan learned how to become a CEO from the examples of amazing people he met and worked with. He gained confidence in his abilities. I also saw a change in him as a father and a husband. In the moments that he was at home and not working he really tried hard to make the most of the time he had. It was exhausting for all of us.

   I learned how to be a more supportive wife through our struggles. I also learned how to be more loving and how to try harder at everything from some of the most amazing women I have ever met. I learned to appreciate and be grateful for the things that we do have.  I also learned how to be a better more devoted friend. I think the thing we learned the most from our whole experience was to trust the Lord in all things.

    And now here we are somewhere in the beginning to middle part of our next adventure  DevMountain.  Are we crazy? Yeah, we are definitely nuts. We actually moved out here with an amazing company called Scan (you may have seen them on Shark Tank) because it offered us stability and great benefits. But of course, when you have the heart of an entrepreneur, comfortable and easy don't feel really relaxing. Scan did give us the opportunity to get back on our feet, literally just in time to go full-time with DevMountain. Although that was not originally our intention.

   A few months back, a friend of mine from Berkeley was in town visiting. We met up for lunch and while we were talking she asked me how I was handling everything we had gone through in the past year. I said "What do you mean?" She then said you guys have basically been through a lot of major life events in 1 year. One job change, the death of a best friend, moving out of state, buying a house, starting a company and having a fourth child. I think up until that point I hadn't really thought about it linearly. Weird. Ironically, we just hired this friend's husband and right now they're the ones going through all of the craziness of moving.
   So basically we are gluttons for chaos. And actually if things were ever easy or quiet I think we might get bored.  The amazing thing is after trial and error and error and error something is finally working out. DevMountain is our little start-up baby that's actually beginning to walk. There's still a huge learning curve especially as more classes are added each semester but it's working! Life is crazy it's hard and then it's awesome and then it's sad and maybe scary. And then there are little pockets of fresh air that keep you going. I love it! I really truly believe that we have to experience the difficult, hard, sad, lonely and scary times to truly appreciate the beauty of and peace that comes with the good times.

"Come what may and love it!" -Joseph B. Wirthlin