Monday, November 25, 2013

They Grow Up So Fast!

By babies are growing up so quickly!  I mean, I love it - they just get more and more interesting and more and more fun - but it does make a mommy a little wistful!

Sam's big deal - retainers!  Sam says they're "livable but annoying, cause every time there's a box of chips, I take it out, eat a couple, lick off my teeth, put it in."  The orthodontist wants to wait until a few more of his permanent teeth come in before going to full braces, and we're happy to ease into the expenses of braces.

Ben's big deal - camping out for an Xbox One!  Although launch day was freezing, he and Daddy didn't want to miss out on the excitement of camping out at the Target for the next-gen system and they braved the cold and wind to be second in line.

He was very proud.
Sasha's big deal - writing!  She's doing so so well at writing and has lately taken to copying whole books, as you can see here.

I wonder - how young is too young for your first fountain pen?

And WanYing's big deal - writing her own name!  She has taken to writing her name on sticky notes and leaving them on her things all over the house.  It's flipping adorable.

I'm so proud of each of my littles, even if they are growing up too quickly.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ski Season Arrives!

Having a 5th grader rocks in so many ways - he's big enough to play strategy games, tell jokes that are actually funny, cover real miles on his bike, be helpful around the house (at his own whim, of course), and deeply care for others.

But the best part of having a 5th grader?  The Ski Utah 5th Grade Passport!  4 free days at every Utah ski resort for $30.  Yeah, amazing.  Of course, everybody else still has to pay... but let's not diminish the joy of the savings by considering what it actually would cost for even 1 adult to accompany Ben 4 times to each Utah ski resort.

We finally have enough snow on the mountains to begin the Morningstar ski season and Ben is off to a fine start!  We spent a full day on the fluff, didn't get too many early-season base scratches, stayed warm, and had a simply fantastic kick-off to the 13-14 season. 

And I even tried out my new-to-me alpine skis for part of the day.  The transition wasn't too difficult, but it does lack some of the elegance (and leg-burning) of telemark.  It was fun to switch up styles for a few hours and I do have to admit that it felt great to go fast on the groom.

I'm pretty sure most of the credit for Ben's awesome style goes to his new coat - isn't that just the coolest coat you've ever seen?!?

We just may take on the challenge of visiting every Utah ski resort this year.  I think we're up for it :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ski Season Cometh

Ski season is a-coming and we are getting ready!  As soon as the resorts open more than the minimal 3 or 4 green circles they currently have open, we are hitting the slopes.

Skis are tuned, helmets and boots are sized - this family is ready for some snow. 

I walked around our garage, sheds, and basements this weekend to take a quick ski inventory and the results were, admittedly, terrifyingly awesome.  Here's what we have:
  • 6 sets of cross country poles poles
  • 8 pairs of cross country boots
  • 8 pairs of nordic skis
  • 6 pairs of snowshoes
  • One snowboard, binding, and boot set
  • 8 sets of alpine poles
  • 11 pair of downhill boots (3 of which are telemark)
  • And a whopping 14 sets of mounted downhill skis - 4 telemark and the rest alpine
Yeah, I think we're just about ready for the year.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My name is Jamie and I work for Mozy

This post recently ran on the Mozy blog and I thought you might like to witness my 15 minutes of fame. 

Hello again! Glad you could make it back for another session of our “My name is … and I work for Mozy” blog series. We’ve attempted to expand across all our functional areas to show you that Mozy has successfully managed to find the best-of-the-best in talent. And speaking of talent … we’d like to introduce you to Jamie Morningstar, Mozy Principal Product Manager. Jamie works closely with the Mozy development teams to help guide them in creating the right thing at the right time, in the right way. In her words “Basically, I listen to a lot of people about what they need, work with the engineers to get it done, and then tell people about it!” Simple enough, right? Yes, if you’re Jamie.
My name is Jamie and I work for Mozy
I define my workspace as …
Gypsy chic. That makes the clutter sound a lot quainter than, “really messy because tidying up never seems to make it to the top of my to-do list.”

A device I can’t live without …
My teapot. Wireless headphones are a close second.

When I arrive at work, I typically start off by …
Completing the top thing on my list. I try to use those precious morning hours for in-depth thinking and save email for later in the day.

My work routine is …
Collaborative. Most of my job revolves around working with the development teams to plan and create features, so I spend a lot of time describing and prioritizing customer needs and then explaining it all to the engineering teams, my fellow Product Owners, and stakeholders like Sales, Support, and Executives.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …
I do listen to music when I can carve out 30 or 40 minutes of thinking and writing time. Music helps me focus on my work rather than listening to the hubbub around me. But most of the time I don’t listen to music because I need to be available to the people around me.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …
Figure out what makes you special in your field of study. My undergraduate degree is in Computer Science and early on I realized that I had a distinct ability to bridge between different parts of the organization. So I transformed it into a career in Product Management and I love the challenges and rewards of translating between different parts of the company and helping developers create the most important thing as efficiently as possible. It’s certainly not what I expected to do when I walked into my CS101 class, but I’m glad that I recognized my unique strengths in my field and pursued them.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …
The welfare of the world’s 210 million orphans. Getting more young women interested in careers in technology. Agile software development. And skiing, hiking, and camping in the amazing Utah great outdoors. I’m a passionate person.
Author’s note: I once read that what a person does for others without expecting anything in return is what really shows you their character. I know that Jamie is very involved in the community and with women’s groups. Good for you, Jamie!

My eating habits are …
Convenient. Like most people, I try to eat healthy, but left to my own devices I’d probably eat Lucky Charms for two or maybe three meals a day. They really are magically delicious.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …
Myself on vacation. Is that lame? I really like being me… I’d just like to be me on the ski slopes rather than in my office. Or if I need to come up with an answer that’s more inspirational I’d be Roald Dahl because I wonder what it was like in his head, writing such heartwarming yet seriously twisted stories. Neil Gaiman would work, too.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …
Birkenstocks. You can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear.


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