One Year Ago

Wow.  I can't believe this, but it has been a full year since my son Hudson was born.  A lot has changed since then.  I've changed jobs twice, we've moved to a new house, and my wife is now staying home to take care of Hudson. From a tech standpoint, I've given up quite a bit of my non-work time to spend time with my family.  That means less frequent blog posts and less work on my open source projects, but I think it's worth it.  He's only going to be this age once.

The other day I was looking back at his early pictures and I can't believe how much he's grown.  It's just an incredible thing.  Those of you with kids know the feeling I'm experiencing right now. For the rest of you, saying that I'm awestruck would be an understatement. The time has flown by so fast, and I'm enjoying my opportunity to be a father.

Hudson is a Crawler

This past Friday I stayed home to take Hudson to the doctor and he rewarded me with this show:

I don't think it's possible to overstate just how proud I am of him. Every single day I can see him growing and developing and it's an amazing sight. We're 7 months into this and I still have no clue what the heck I am doing. The only thing I do know is that we're moving forward.

Farewell 2009

2009 was a trying year for the Bush family. To us, this will be known as the year in which we brought a child into this world. A year ago I had no idea what that really meant. Honestly, tonight I still don't fully understand it. What I do know is that my wife and child are asleep in the rooms next door and that I'm sitting here worried about what 2010 will bring for them; for us.

For me, this year I found out what it feels like to be truly worried. So far, I've worried whether or not I would be a good father. I've worried about my wife's safety while delivering our son. Most of all though, I've worried about Hudson himself. The burden of responsibility for a child is huge. I wasn't prepared for the intense amount of worry that I would have for Hudson's well-being.

He's 4 months old now and I'm not sure I've slept a full 8 hours since that incredible day. It's not because I haven't been given the opportunity. I just find myself waking up at odd times in the night with an incredible urge to go check on him. I get up, sneak into his room, lean over his crib, and touch his head while making sure he's still breathing. Seriously, just typing that makes me want to stand up and repeat that sequence of actions. A father's calling to protect his family is that strong.

I have no idea what 2010 holds for us. I felt like I lost control of my environment in 2009. Really I was just hanging on for dear life. I didn't accomplish nearly what I had planned. That's okay though; everyone is alive and we're moving forward. Here's to 2010! I wish you all a blessed year.

Where Did 2009 Go?

It seems like just last month I wrote about what I wanted to accomplish in 2009.  Sadly, it looks like I accomplished very little of what I set out to do.  2009 can best be described as a big old load of FAIL with a side of despair and some crazy pudding for dessert. For the sake of review, I:

  • Still haven't met my 2007 resolution of getting down to 250 lbs.
  • Didn't run a 10K this year.
  • Didn't do much to grow this blog. Currently I have 148 subscribers and had 211,000 visits for the year.
  • Didn't do anything with  Which likely explains why I didn't meet goal #1.

That about sums up the measurable goals.  Now, for the unmeasurable, I think I did a little better. Let me explain.

I wanted to live a little more simply.  My wife and I have de-cluttered the house quite a bit.  With our new addition to the house, we've managed to make the most out of our small house.  I'm very proud of how well we've been able to shed some "stuff"

I wanted to get rid of unnecessary obligations.  This was a tough one to do.

Throughout the year I've been doing my best to re-focus myself at work.  I've been at the same place for 5 years and it's amazing just how much responsibility you can accumulate!  Once I sat down and thought about it, I realized that I was involved in every little thing on every little project.  I've made it a point to step back and let my immediate manager run interference for me so that I can actually get things done.  This puts me out of the loop a little, but my productivity gains have been huge as a result. I'm still involved in way more stuff than just writing software, but I feel good about my willingness to step back and let other people be responsible for things from time to time.

More recently I made a really tough decision to let go of a small source of revenue.  On the side I was running a small web hosting business.  I had about 10 clients paying me to make sure that their website worked and they could send/receive emails.  It wasn't much money, but it did allow me to host my sites for free and to have a little extra cash for toys.  Lately my web host has been a little less than reliable and it's caused me a huge amount of grief. I just decided that it wasn't worth the trouble.  I would rather spend my free time with my son, with my wife, writing a blog post or learning something new.  I still feel awful about it because in my eyes, I feel like I just gave up.  In the end though, my sanity won out.

I wanted to make better use of my idle time.  If you don't have children, let me be the first to tell you that having a child is the easiest way to consume all of your idle time.  In the time that it took to write this, I've taken a break to feed Hudson and another to comfort him when he woke up from his nap. There is no more idle time. 🙂

And there, my friends, is the answer to where MY 2009 went.  It was consumed entirely with the process of delivering and taking care of this:

Vado HD

The birth of my son Hudson has forced me to start taking more pictures and even get into video a bit.  I don't want to look back several years later and realize that I wished I had more media of my son.  After careful consideration, and a big thumbs up from Scott Hanselman, I decided on the Vado HD.  I've been very satisfied with this little device so far, so I thought I would share.

I knew the device was small, but I wasn't really prepared for how small it really is.  It's about the size of my iPhone but a little thicker.  It fits in my pocket quite nicely and takes video in 720p.  It has a built in usb connector and produces standard avi files that Windows 7 can view with the stock codecs.  It seems to perform well in low light.  Really, it's everything I wanted.

Here is a video I shot last night of Hudson at dusk in the kitchen with only overhead lights on. (via Facebook)

Here is a video I shot while rubbernecking a car fire after I had sat on the interstate for 30 minutes. (via YouTube)

(Apologies for the not-so-great cameraman skills.  I'm trying to get better.)

There is a newer model coming out which is about $75 more than the older model.  My link above is to the older model which is a steal at about $125 while it lasts.

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