I don't blog much about personal stuff. In part, it's because I don't do much I feel I should put on the internet outside of my work with MyCollection but I'll give the few friends I have an update:
The kids are fine. All three are doing well and I enjoy interacting with my older two quite a bit. They are unique individuals and it still floors me sometimes just how unique they are. I remember when they were 4 and 3 and my opinion was their opinion and their mom's opinion was their opinion. That little bit of growing up is long past and they each have their own plentiful set of opinions...
My youngest is a great joy as well. I'm a bit older then I was the last time I had one so young and I feel that I'm taking the time to appreciate it more now. It feels a little smoother this time around and I attribute that to my wife and the lessons learned the first time around. Another thing I can say is that having children at 18 is a LOT different then having children at 27 (how old I was when my third was born).
It still floors me how amazing my wife is and how close we are. I see marriage portrayed in so many negative connotations in television and other popular media. Marriage gets portrayed as the end of a man's freedom and the beginning of domestic slavery for the wife. Husbands and wives argue all the time and when they do make up, they set some of the most ridiculous terms for their "surrender." Physical intimacy gets used as a weapon and a means to control the husband in television. Every time a couple has an argument, the woman takes no responsibility for her part in the argument and the man has to crawl back on his hands and knees. It's so sad... I have never felt trapped in my current marriage and my wife and I do a reasonable job taking responsibility for our part in our disputes (the rare times they happen).
I have a friend at work getting married soon and I pray he will be as happily married as I am. Although it's funny to watch him make some of the same mistakes I did early on in my marriage, it's not my place to give advice and every relationship is different so I usually laugh to myself - well mostly to myself - and say a prayer for him and his bride.
Work is going well. My work load picked up and I am anjoying my new role. I switched managers as well and I'm still learning how to work with the new one. Not a bad manager by any means, there is just all those "Here is how I communicate" and "How much do you want me to keep you in the loop". For the most part, my company really tries to work with managers to set good objectives for their employees and I don't have any unrealistic or undefined expectations to work from. Feedback is consistent (although it's all good and that always makes me nervous) and I really can't ask for me.
My house is still a work in progress. There are so many things I want to do with it (one of them being to move out) but I'm trying to balance cost versus benefits. I really want to pave my driveway but I also have some fencing to replace and my carpet probably doesn't qualify as carpet. We had a new roof put on last year as well as new siding. I replaced the water-heater with a really nice unit after the POS Whirlpool unit broke 3 times in one month (came with the house). I had air-conditioning put in three years ago and new front and back doors (steel doors) along with nice fancy storm doors. I've wired the house with CAT5e and new RG6 COAX with a 2Ghz bi-directional powered ampliphier so Time-Warner or ATT Uverse work well here (I've had both). I also have a wi-fi bridge setup to the garage and I have my little geek cave out there.
I got a new geek toy for the car. I have a pioneer in-dash GPS unit with iPod integration and BlueTooth support. It's entirely hands free now and I do feel safer driving. My wife wants one now and the stereo in her van went bonk this year (it's only a 2004...) so that is a good as any.
All-in-all I feel very blessed. I have a great family, a good career, and a roof over my head.
I am also really enjoying learning COCOA and developing for the iPhone. It's fun to get back into C programming. I have always seen C programming as the epicenter of great programmers (leaving assembly programming and machine code programming for the true massicists). Being able to pick it back up so easily is a nice boost to my already inflated ego.