Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Merry Christmas from the Austin Family 2017!

Merry Christmas!

It has been yet another busy year for us!

Chris has been a working fool this year. Okay, he works every year, but this year was exceptionally chaotic. He left Nelnet to take a contract position at ProKarma in May. Having worked as a contracter for 3 years myself, I kinda pushed him into it. Chris liked the contract position, but decided to take a position at InEight, a close partner of Kiewet, in Omaha. I was happy he found a place in Omaha he could be happy with. He is a lead UX designer for him working closely with a fair sized team, many of which are located in India. He told me at first that he may have to travel to India, but has been able to do his work with them remotely luckily. Chris continues to set his alarm for 4 something AM almost daily to hit crossfit Papio. He loves it! He also completed his SECOND 1/2 marathon this fall with a killer time!

Alivia is now a big old teenager at 13 and in the 8th grade at Papillion Middle School. Alivia is active in many things. She loves to run and ran track last spring and cross country again this fall. She did pretty well in cross country and really loves the sport. She keeps up her running with me on weekends and is in running club at school. Alivia ran her first half marathon this fall in Omaha. Chris, Alivia and I all finished together. It was a fun moment for her. When she is not running, she is still out for soccer on the Papillion Soccer Club. She has become a little more aggressive this year, which has been fun to watch. She now likes to score goals! Alivia remains quite particular with her homework, often working ahead when she can. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her close friends, playing soccer in the backyard with Asher, or taking long bike rides.

Addison is now 11 years old and in the 6th Grade at Bell. Addison is quite busy now adays teaching herself musical instruments. She is currently working on playing the ukulele. She gets on YouTube and teaches herself! She plays the guitar that way too. She does, however, take piano lessons and is quite a good piano player. It amazing us how quickly she can pick it up! Addison is very thoughtful, often making clay works or paintings for family for gifts. Thanks to Addison, we did have to recarpet the upstairs, though. No more paint in her room now. :) Addison's friend, Sidney, moved away this year, which has been hard on Addi as she transitions to the mean girl stage of middle school. Gees, girls are brutal. We are hoping it gets easier for her soon. Addi loves dogs, too, and we will get to that later.

Asher is now 10 years old and in the 4th grade at Bell. Asher plays a lot of soccer, now at the Papillion soccer club, too. We hope this is his last soccer club. I tell you, these soccer clubs around here are crazy! Asher is always on the go, rarely sitting still. He likes to jump on the trampoline, play basketball, or play soccer in the backyard with his friends. He always loves Netflix!

I had a little career change of my own in 2017, but mine did not turn out as well as Chris' did. I left Noll in May after 3 years to take a float position with CHI. I did this because I only wanted to float in one place, at Lasting Hope Recovery Center.  I loved working in one building, figuring out where everything was, and getting to know my co workers. Well, that was short lived. In November, they started floating me all over the CHI Hospitals again, just as I had done with Noll. So, I switched jobs just to be doing the same thing. The job does offer me the flexibility to select my own schedule. So, that may be hard to beat. We shall see what 2018 brings. When not working, I am just sitting on my arse at home (LOL!!). I work 2 to 3 12.5 hour night shifts a week and find little free time between running the kids to 2 schools, laundry, grocery shopping and house cleaning. But when I am not doing all that fun stuff, I still run and do BBG for strength training.

For Christmas this year, Addison only asked for a dog. We kept telling her, we already have a dog, Pippa, our Papillon. Addison said she wanted a lab, a dog she could play fetch with. After much encouragement, I caved. We adopted Coco on 12-9. Coco is a Lab, Doberman mix. She is playful like a lab but a guard dog like a doberman. We have A LOT of training ahead of us. Addi is usually the one who knows what she wants. I just hope she knows that she is going to be helping out with Coco.:)

We continued the Austin Adventures in 2017. I took a quick trip to visit my parents in Florida last January. I love Florida, especially in the winter. So this year, I am visiting my parents again, but I am bringing Addison with me. We are both looking forward to that! Over spring break last year, we took a trip to see the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Vegas. The trip was pretty but the kids were sick the entire time. I am pretty sure they will never visit the Grand Canyon again. We also took our annual trip to the Lake of the Ozarks. Chris brought friends for each kid this year over the 4th of July. That was crazy. I am not sure we will do that again, either. :). And Chris has been trying to get me to do things out of the box, like see scary movies and go camping kinda stuff. So for our anniversary, we slept in a tent and tried to hike a 14er in Colorado. I did not make it. I got elevation sickness and had to turn back. But, I am looking forward to going back and trying again. We loved visiting Aspen, too. We are already planning some fun trips in 2018.

From our family to yours, we wish you health and happiness in 2018!

Chris, Krista, Alivia, Addison, Asher, Pippa and Coco

Introducing Coco!


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