Year in Review: 2014Friday, January 2, 2015
When looking back on the past year I’ve realized what a fun, crazy, busy and privileged life I lead in 2014. I consider myself very lucky to have the experiences and opportunities I’ve had: I started working for GitHub, Rachel and I enjoyed some great trips together, and we temporarily moved across the country from Denver to Portland, Maine…
This graph shows my contributions on GitHub.com (Pull Requests, issues opened, and commits) which is where I spent most of my working hours this year. It’s fun to see the gaps in activity as the absence of activity tells as much a story as the activities themselves.
Looking at each month of 2014…
In January I started my second chapter of my career by joining GitHub as a Technical Account Manager. I actually spent every week of January flying back and forth between San Francisco and Denver (I had to ski on the weekends!).
January also included my visiting the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival in Vail which was one of my favorite conferences, not just because it was all about beer, I’ve ever attended.
In February a group of friends and I all worked together to raise money for Hope on the Slopes, which has raised more than $4 million dollars for the American Cancer Society since 2003.
I didn’t get to ski as much as I would hope in February but I definitely tried to make those two days count for something.
In March, Rachel and I decided to buy a new car. We picked up a used 2011 Toyota Prius that had only previously been used as a fleet car. We’ve been really happy having a “new” car with excellent gas mileage for Rachel’s daily commutes.
Later in the month Rachel and I visited our friends in Boston and Maine. We decided to throw together a mini-trip on our way out to Iceland.
Visiting Iceland was one of the major highlights of my year. We saw amazing sights, enjoyed road tripping around the island — seeing glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, oh my — and learned a lot about the country. Oh, and enjoyed in-water massages!
Back in San Francisco, some GitHubbers and I learned all about grafitti and made some of our own.
Rachel and I celebrated her birthday at a spa in Denver. We spent hour and hours there getting everything and anything done. I even had a pedicure.
We then visited Rachel’s family in Salt Lake City and I got to see the Mormon Temple (and dozens of weddings).
I also had the distinct pleasure of traveling to Japan to meet with GitHub customers and host a few meetup events. I had a great time and hope to visit again soon.
Rachel and I spent a week in June road tripping and camping through Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Neither of us had spent much time in these states and we had some destinations in mind: Devil’s Tower, The Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Badlands, De Smet (Little Town on the Prairie), Sioux Falls, Omaha, and Fort Collins. We had a great time seeing sights and listening to lots of podcasts.
We returned from our road trip and proceeded to go camping with friends up at Green Mountain Reservoir. We also hiked Lake Surprise nearby and had a great time in “our own backyard” in Colorado.
We made a trip back out to Salt Lake City to see Rachel’s family and also made a road trip up to Idaho to see where her parents grew up.
Nearly three years after being married at The Denver Botanic Gardens, we returned and saw the Chihuly glass exhibit.
Mid-month, 230 of my colleagues and I visited Whistler for the 2014 GitHub Summit. I had never been up to Whistler before and really enjoyed the sights.
At this point, we started making some changes to our (sales) team at work and I made a horizontal move into a different role.
Rachel left her job to work on her MBA degree full-time. So, she joined me on a week trip out to Houston for some training. It was a nice resort so I think Rachel had a great first week “off of work”.
We returned home and spent a weekend camping down near Pagosa Springs. The next morning we woke up and hiked with llamas. This was one of the best “experiences” Rachel could buy with her remaining “corporate points” from work. It was the perfect use of those points.
I then had the distinct privilege of visiting Sonoma (which included quick stops in to Lagunitas and Russian River breweries) for a “Sales Team Hack House”.
Two weeks later, both Rachel and my parents visited San Francisco while I was out visiting for work. We all got to see a Giants game from the company suite.
Thanks to the magic of end-of-season deals, a group of friends and I took a trip to Lake Powell and rented a house boat for a couple days. I had a great time and was able to get some quality “off the grid” time.
Rachel and a friend and I then took a trip up to Palisade for some regional wine tasting. Having done tastings in California, we confirmed Colorado was a bit more quaint and quiet. We rented a cheap Airbnb and rode around town on bikes. It was a nice getaway weekend.
Rachel and I then traveled back to San Francisco to run in Ragnar Relay through wine country. We had 12 team members run 30 hours over nearly 200 miles that weekend.
After a day of rest we flew back home, packed up our worldly possessions and a day later started our drive across the country towards Portland, Maine.
We spent a day in Chicago, then visited the Niagara Falls, and then arrived in upstate Maine to spend the weekend camping with friends.
After camping, we settled into our new (temporary) home in Portland and jumped right in to the Monktoberfest conference.
After the conference, we attended a private house concert hosted by Alex.
We wasted no time in Maine and spent a weekend visiting a family friend’s cabin up north in Lubec.
Two weekends later, we drove up north again to Oxbow’s annual Goods from the Woods brewery event.
November came and it was back to traveling. I visited Las Vegas for the AWS re:invent conference. I got to “work the booth” for the first time as a GitHub employee. I also got to stay on the very top floor of the Wynn hotel.
Later in the month, Rachel’s family and I all visited Cancun for Thanksgiving (Graciasgiving?). Time on the beach away from work made for a nice relaxing week.
We returned from sunny Mexico and headed out into the woods to chop down a Christmas tree together.
We visited Boston for a weekend to see the Nutcracker and then fly back home for the holidays.
We visited Boston Common as families took advantage of the ice skating rink.
Back in Denver we saw family and friends. We then spent most of the week sick with the flu (poor Rachel).
After regaining our health, we flew back to Maine on December 31st and rang in 2014 with our friends back in Freeport.
It was a big year and I think 2015 will be even bigger. Here’s to more adventures in the coming months!