My Year in Review: 2012

When I first started thinking about what would go into this year’s, only two words came to mind “good” and “riddance.” In many ways this year has been an awful one, full of new stresses and challenges. But as soon as I started drafting this review, I realized I accomplished a lot and that a lot of good things came out of the turmoil. So instead of saying “good riddance” to 2012, I’m saying “thanks for kicking my butt and making me realize what’s really important in life.”

That said, here are the highlights from Christie’s Twenty-Twelve:

Grew Our Household

Dori poses with the Christmas tree
Dori poses with the Christmas tree.

By which I mean that Sherri’s mom came to live with us permanently. Starting in January a series unfortunate events occurred in Mom’s life. As a result her health declined dramatically. She was not thriving in the retirement community where she was living. We were spending a lot of time driving out to East County on the weekends to check on her and then worrying about her during the days in between. We realized we could do a lot more if we saw her every day. We decided to ask her to come live with us, and she said yes. It was quite a journey getting to where we are now (more on that later). But now that we’re here, I know absolutely it was the right decision. Mom’s health has stabilized. She’s looking better, she’s feeling better and is more alert. Living together ultimately means that we are getting more quality time together as a family, for which I am amazingly grateful.

Bought a House (My First)

View from the deck of our new house.
View from the deck of our new house.

When we decided to invite Mom to come live with us, it came with the recognition that our current house was simply not suitable for her in terms of available space or accessibility. Plus Sherri’s daily commute from North Portland to Wilsonville was becoming unsustainable in terms of time and wear and tear on Sherri’s body. As last as July I remained convinced that we didn’t have enough of our ducks in a row to move, let alone buy a house. However, someone very wise told me that I just had to envision myself in a new place and that the ducks would align themselves. Sounds pretty woo-woo, I know, but it worked. I came home that day and told Sherri I was emailing the real estate agent and mortgage broker to whom we’d been referred. The fifth or sixth house we viewed was the one. I’ll never forget turning to Sherri and saying “this is it; we’re making an offer.” It was like falling in love. If I had know how much back and forth we’d go through in the coming weeks, I might have gone running and screaming from the property instead. But, we made it through and closed in mid-September and moved in shortly thereafter. I still think every day how lucky I am that we found this house and that we were able to buy it.

Completed Year One at Mozilla

Firefox Doughnuts
Firefox Doughnuts at this year’s Winter Coder’s Social.

My first year at Mozilla was certainly not without disappointments or difficulties. However, I’m still finding it worthwhile and am excited about my new role on the Technical Evangelism team working primarily on Firefox OS over the next year and beyond.

Won an Award

O'Reilly Open Source Awards
With Sarah and Edd at the O’Reilly Open Source Awards.

To my great delight and honor, O’Reilly presented me with an Open Source Award for demonstrating “exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of Open Source Software.”

Attended, Organized and Spoke at Some Tech Events

Me speaking during our tutorial at OSCON.
Me speaking during our tutorial at OSCON.

I think I participated in handful of events this year, as attendee, organizer and sometimes speaker. Chronologically, they were (and yes, I’m having to reference my calendar to write this):

Organized Code ‘n’ Splode & Women Who Hack

This year I continued organizing Code ‘n’ Splode and also founded a new group called Women Who Hack. Women Who Hack is similar to CnS, but takes a different approach to supporting women and genderqueer folks working in tech. Our meetings are held on weekends, are less structured and impose a more restrictive attendance requirement (men are not welcomed to attend). So far attendance for the group has been good and feedback has been positive.

Had Some Travel Adventures

Jackson Square & St. Louis Cathedral
Jackson Square & St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, LA.

This year I traveled more than I have in year’s past. Mostly this was due to many trips to the Bay Area and other places (Scottsdale, Baltimore) as part of my work with Mozilla. But, Sherri and I also managed to take two big trips together (Orlando and New Orleans) as well as a weekend trip to Bend, Oregon for my birthday.

Read Many Books

2012 Reading Challenge Results (as of 28 December)
2012 Reading Challenge Results (as of 28 December)

I plan to do a whole post about the books I read in 2012, so here I’ll just mention that I blew away my reading goal of 24 books by reading almost double that. You can see all of the books I read on my Goodreads challenge page. (And if you’re a Goodreads user, send me an invite!)

Saved Money, Paid off Debts

Thanks to mine and Sherri’s generous tech salaries, 2012 was a good year financially, despite the ongoing uncertainty in the greater economy. I paid off the last of my student loans, financed a newer (used) car at a good rate, saved 10% of my salary, and bought a house. I am proud of myself for accomplishing these things, but I also recognize that I am extremely fortunate to have the job that I do and to be paid what I am for doing that job.

Those were the highlights of my 2012. Stay tuned for a post about how 2013 is shaping up and what I’m looking forward to most.