2015 11 Family Letter – Stitches and Coding

November was a big month for us! Lots of exciting news.

Firstly, I have been saved! Believe it or not, biking to work became WAY TOO COLD early on in the month and by the time I left the office at the end of the day it was pitch black outside. Dangerously so on these busy Tesla ridden roads. Oliver and I had been debating whether or not to buy a car for a couple months by this point (actually, debating is the wrong word, we were both trying to convince ourselves that we didn’t need it!) but after biking WITH me to work one morning, Oliver took note of his frozen white knuckles…. and we both called it. The next day we went shopping all over the bay area and came home with our very first car 🙂 (Thanks Blake Lytle for your great tips at the reunion!) The purchase was no small blessing. We bought it from a private seller who took great care of the car and priced it thousands of dollars less than what she could have sold it for, wanting to be done with it quickly. It is clean and in great condition. Because of this very very nice lady, we ended up getting a newer and lower mileage car than we would have been able to otherwise. For poor grad students…that means a lot! And, yes, there is more than enough room in the big trunk and back seats for bikes and dogs and even a few babies 😉 SO…we have been enjoying running errands without paying by the hour, grocery shopping whenever we feel like it, and making extra trips to the dog park. Plus I am just LOVING arriving at the office warm everyday 🙂

In other news, I got a calling. Teaching Sunday school for the adults! Again! Not sure why I give off the “I can/like to teach” air to the bishopric in all of these wards, but that’s ok. Teaching is more fun than sitting.

Because Oliver is going to be tanning in Brazil for half of December (under the guise of a required school trip. Yeah yeah yeah…we all know what’s going on!) We decided to decorate for Christmas early and have been enjoying our little tree and lights. Unfortunately, only the top half of the tree has ornaments on it. We kept having to move them up and up after Moz decided that they were his favorite new toys. Those sharp little tops are a choking hazard!! We spent Thanksgiving together, snuggling in our little apartment, eating key lime pie (thanks mom!) and fried chicken and watching movies. It was perfect. Life is good here, and we are thankful everyday that things are working out.

More exciting news! Oliver interviewed for and won one of only two spots at StartX – a Stanford affiliated accelerator—for the year.  He is working in a venture capital role, sourcing new companies and founders, creating programs for them, mingling with the most influential start up mentors in the valley, yada yada. Basically my dream job. Right now he is working on a potential partnership between StartX and DIUX (the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental – the DODs new VC firm in Palo Alto). Big deal! I am excited for him. Plus, the office is pet friendly, so Moz and I will be spending time there. Like…all the time.

I continue to work on AP and have developed some crafty coding skills…as a result of necessity. (They call it an MVP for a reason, right? As an excuse for being sub-par, haha…) When you can’t pay someone to build a website…you figure out how to do it yourself! I recently changed the direction of the biz to an invitation-only paid subscription model as opposed to affiliate marketing channel.  What? A members only e-department store, chalked full of nothing but hundreds and hundreds of AMAZING, sleek, “modest” clothes? Options!!! Finally! (What I hope you are thinking.) I plan on brining on 3-5 team members in January to help with maintenance and sourcing. Work-work is going well. I’ve been putting together venture reports for lots of our clients (they pretty much all became angel/private investors after they made their millions…or billions..) which has been really interesting. You wouldn’t even believe the returns on these things. If I told you, you might start crying, become a liberal, and re-launch the 1% protest from your backyard. It’s awesome. There is really only one way to generate that kind of wealth. Ownership. You know, serve the masses, dine with the classes. Ya?

Anyway, the one painful/funny item of the month came from M. He had to get a couple stitches from a little surgery, and ended up wearing a cone around for almost two weeks! It was terrible and hilarious at the same time, watching him bump into things and get stuck under furniture. But, his cone is off now, his coat has been freshly conditioned and cut, and he is a happy little guy prancing around the apartment in his Christmas turtlenecks.

Life is good:)

Love

O+ R

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