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Why, Hello, 2024!

So far, you have been a hoot, and we are only a month in!

Let’s start with the holidays. It’s been a few months since I posted an update.

First, having a son in college who comes home for a month is a whole new stage of parenting I was unprepared for.

It’s like a roller coaster ride with no harness. One day, it’s fantastic. He’s present, helping around the house, cooking up a storm, cleaning up after himself, an absolute joy. I’m thinking, “Wow, this kid will be fine. He’s mature and responsible. He’s got this thing we call life down! I’m so proud of him.

The next day he’s sleeping until two, moody, leaving shit around the house, being a typical teenage jerkface, and all I’m thinking is, “Where did I go wrong? How’s he gonna make it out there?!

Any other parents of teens transitioning to adulthood feel similar?

Regardless, he’s back at college. I simultaneously miss him, yet I don’t want him to come home, at least not yet. I need another week or so.

Overall, I had an amazing end to the year. Lots of family time during the holidays. It’s nice having older kids who are now a part of preparing and celebrating the holidays.

Here we are taking our annual Christmas Eve selfie because even though they are too old, they still let us read The Night Before Christmas. 🙂

New Year’s was low-key, and I hit the ground running in 2024.

Teaching in the Winter Session

For the first time, I decided to teach an accelerated course in the winter session. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I enjoyed interacting with the students while preparing for the Spring Semester. I could test some new activities and approaches to a smaller set of students while redesigning my online courses.

I’ve been writing more on my LinkedIn about my teaching experiences. It’s been hard not letting the current culture and state of education bring me down. So, I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy developing ways to engage students, especially in my online courses.

I’ve also applied for a promotion and am currently in the process. Hopefully, by the end of the semester, I will be an Associate Professor!

2014 Baltimore Open
Weighting Lifting Meet

Around the middle of January, I competed in the Baltimore Open and medaled!!

Here I am with some of my teammates and my coach.

I came in second in my weight class, a boost of confidence I desperately needed as I’m training to compete in the 2024 USA Masters Weightlifting National Championships this April in Baton Rouge!

If you don’t know how weightlifting meets work, it’s all about your “total”–the heaviest you successfully lifted. Well, as it stands now, I am 1kg away from qualifying for the Worlds! (in my age range, of course, I’m not even close to hitting the weights the youngins do, but I’m proud of my progress, and I’m still gaining strength in my late 40s, so I’ll take it!)

My goal is to qualify for the Worlds in Baton Rouge, and then I may try to figure out how to make it to Finland so I can complete internationally!

Insanity! I know!

Dinner Parties FTW!

The last thing I wanted to mention and the inspiration for this post was to announce my latest project, Sommelier Deathmatch!

I’ve posted about Deathmatches before. We came up with this idea for a fun dinner party event a few years back, and I’ve tried to capture the fun of these evenings as much as I could here on the blog, but the posts never really worked as a medium to share the specifics.

Well, we finally took the leap and recorded the whole process!

I cannot begin to tell you how much fun recording and editing that video was!

We had a blast planning, prepping, and cooking for each other and trying to figure out how to capture, edit, and share it. It took us about two months, from planning the menu (clip at the end of the video) to completing the video we posted yesterday.

We have another date to do it again in March, and we are already flushing through the menu, which will be a French-inspired mushroom Battle!

I’m unsure what our goals are now except to have fun and hopefully inspire more people to host dinner parties at home. We absolutely love the entire process of hosting these things for each other.

I made a little Google Site to archive and track our “deathmatches.” You can see it by clicking here.

And on that note, I’m going to wrap this up. It’s Seafood Sunday in these parts (last year’s New Year’s resolution to eat seafood once a week is still going strong!), and it’s time to make dinner. I hope you are well. It felt good to post. I still miss the old blogging days. 🙂

2 replies on “Why, Hello, 2024!”

I’m super impressed with your weight-lifting skills. So cool that you’re close to qualifying for World’s!

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