Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Year In Review


2012 has been a great year for this Shock family!

In January, Jenn received her Bachelors of Art degree, and graduated magna cum laude. She is officially licensed to teach art to the masses. However, she will not start teaching until Wyatt is a little older.

Speaking of Wyatt, we welcomed our newest family member on May 14th. Wyatt Rhys (pronounced Reece) arrived right on time and has brought joy into this home from day one. Wyatt is an over achiever. His first two teeth arrived at five months and now this baby is trying to crawl! He is having fun trying all kinds of new foods too. No wonder he never sleeps!

Fletch started preschool in September. He has been attending Good Shepherd Pre School and he loves it. We love to hear about all the fun things he does and what he learned that day. He has many best friends in his class. Fletch also enjoyed playing soccer in his soccer tots class. Running around is one of his specialties.

Atom has continued to work for Tetra Tech, but has been brushing up on his tech-savviness. He has taken some weekend classes to brush up on his Java programming skills. This will hopefully help him land a new job when we move to Austin.

That’s right...we are headed to Texas! Our condo has been sold and on the 21st, a giant moving truck is coming to take all of our stuff to Austin. We have been planning to move to Austin for years and it is hard to believe it is finally happening. We cannot wait to be closer to family and enjoy all the live music and culture Austin has to offer. It will be fun to explore Austin as a family. We hope to help keep Austin weird.

Just like the song, we’ll be home for Christmas. We look forward to a big family gathering for the holidays. Wherever you end up this holiday season, we hope you are surrounded by the people you love most. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Shocks - Atom, Jenn, Fletch & Wyatt

P.S. We hope to have lots of people visit us in Austin.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On the Move

We announced our move to Austin early last month. With that came a job search for me and house hunting for the family. I'm happy to announce that we've found both - a new job and a new house. I started my job search at the beginning of December. After three weeks I had four job interviews and received two offers. I actually cancelled one of the interviews as my schedule wouldn't allow for it and I had already received the offers. I'll be working for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as a web developer. It's the same job I've been doing for the past 13 years, just with a new employer in a different part of the country.

We are renting a four bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, two car garage, 2400+ sq ft single family home on a corner lot on a cul-de-sac in the Round Rock suburb of North Austin. It's an awesome house. It's over a thousand square feet bigger than our condo in Virginia. We need the room as the family had outgrown the condo. The house has a fenced in backyard so the boys have a safe place to run around. There's also an outdoor fireplace and built in grill, so the adults can enjoy the backyard and we can entertain outside all year long. The garage is detached, which totally fascinates me but I don't know why. It'll be nice not having neighbors who share "common area". I'm planning on commuting by bike because public transportation in Austin isn't as robust as it is in DC, I need the exercise, and I want to maintain our single car family status.

In other good news, The Mortgage Debt Relief Act was extended through 2013 as part of the Fiscal Cliff legislation. That means we won't be taxed on the forgiven debt of our short sale. We were hoping to close by the end of 2012 so as to avoid the taxation, since we didn't know if the MDRA was going to get extended. We haven't closed yet due to circumstances out of our control, but with the extension, the pressure is off.

I was hoping to ride all this good fortune into a fantasy football championship, but that didn't happen. I have the highest winning percentage in my league over the last 5 seasons, I've been in the playoffs six straight years but have a 1-11 post season record. In the 12 years I've been playing in the league that I'm commissioner of, my best finish has been third place. :(