Archive for ‘life’ category

Last Stop on the Summer Tour

My month of ridiculous traveling is about to come to a close this week, where I’ll be heading over to Portland, Oregon for Webvisions. There I’ll be giving a presentation as well as sharing a panel on design with Mike, Keith and Bryan.

This past month has been both stressful and fun (but mostly stressful). London and back. San Francisco and back. Knoxville, Tennessee and back. Now Portland and back. I’m ready to never travel again, and wonder how people do this on a regular basis. I’m also ready to get back to doing, rather than just talking. But we’ll have to wait until after Oregon (which I’m looking forward to: a great lineup in a city I’ve never been to).

Reasons I Enjoy Flying

# The roominess of it all.
# The food.
# The idle time while standing upright.
# Duty-free shopping (clue me in here, does anyone actually take advantage of this?)
# Pre-completed Sudoku puzzles.
# “The elbow room”:http://www.simplebits.com/notebook/2005/04/18/elbow.html
# Month-old episodes of 60 Minutes.
# The comforting feeling of being in complete control.
# Free airport wi-fi.
# Adjustable air nozzles.
# Watching someone attempt to close the overhead bin at least 15 times before giving up and letting the attendant deal with it.
# Ear-popping fun.
# Cab rides.
# Quality reflection time.
# Fumes.

Torn

Tomorrow night I’ll board a plane for London, where I’ll be presenting Bulletproof Web Design on the second day of @media 2006. I’m pretty excited about the trip, depite being terrified of leaving Jack and Kerry. They’ll be fine, of course. But it feels weird to be leaving, even though I haven’t left yet.

Anyhow, it’ll be great to see some friends I haven’t seen in a long while, and I’m really looking forward to meeting new ones. I don’t get out much these days. If you’re heading to the conference, be sure to say “hi”.

Coincidentally, my talk is the first of the morning after the England vs. Trinadad & Tobago World Cup match. Will anyone show up if they win? If they lose? Will I get swept up into all of this? Probably. And then my session should be even more interesting.

Also, for the past eight years I’ve been carrying around a British £5 note in my wallet from our first trip to England. I have fond memories of the trip, where Kerry and I (not yet married at the time) visited my parents who were staying in Oxford for the summer. My grandfather (on my Dad’s side) made the trip out with us, and I can remember we tired him out with walking tours of Oxford, London and the Cotswolds. I’d been saving this 5 pounds for the day I returned to the UK, to plunk it down in a pub, and tip my glass to my late grandfather, and the great memories of our first trip to Europe.

Last week, while cleaning out my wallet of old receipts, I accidentally ripped the £5 note into four pieces along with the unwanted receipts. Argh. I’ve taped it back together, and just hope it’ll be accepted somewhere. For eight years, it’s happily lived in my wallet (several wallets, actually), and then I had to go and do this, just a week before returning. Ah well.

Mending Jack

Pardon the interruption, but this is by far the easiest way to pass along news and avoid forgetting to email everyone that we intended to.

We found out shortly after Jack was born that he had two heart defects. Thankfully they haven’t affected him negatively over the last few months, but we knew they’d need to be corrected nontheless. This past Tuesday he had surgery that fixed the problems, and after a few roller-coaster days in intensive care, as of today he’s doing really well, eating again and has just moved into a “normal” recovery room.

I’m once again in awe of the doctors and nurses that are taking care of our little guy. We’re fortunate to be in Boston (this time at Children’s Hospital) where some of the best surgeons in the world work. For instance, Jack’s surgeon is apparently the Jeffrey Zeldman of cardiac surgery, so we felt pretty reassured.

Work has of course been put on hold and emails are going unanswered while we’re living at the hospital this week. We’re hoping we can all be home sometime early next week.

Update: Finally home. Mentally and physically exhausted — but home and doing well. Whew.

Degrees

I’ve always assumed that everyone suffers a little from the “grass is always greener” syndrome. Here in these Northeastern United States, I know we do.

I grew up dreaming of tropical lands — especially when in the middle of a frozen arctic winter. Recently, we’ve picked up hobbies that embrace the snow (e.g. cross-country skiing) but it’s inevitable that you’ll go a little stir-crazy come March. Add a baby that’s supposed to have limited travels to the mix, and you’ve guaranteed yourself some cabin fever.

Then there’s a day like today. It’s approximately 67°F. That’s pretty much a rarity in early March around here. But it’s always amazing when it happens. People seem friendlier. And it’s when a day like today comes along where I wonder if I wouldn’t appreciate it if it happened more often.

We talk about the weather a lot in New England[1]. I’m constantly watching forecasts. So, I wonder what it’s like to not think about the weather? To wake up and know it’ll be roughly the same as yesterday. Is it boring?

I both love and hate the swing of the seasons.

[1] For instance, I’ve devoted this entire entry to the weather.

Four Things

I’ve been meme-tagged by Ethan, and now I must comply by revealing four things for every cleverly-devised question. A warning: the answers are incredibly interesting.

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Home. Finally.

Writing about anything else just doesn’t seem right (not to mention the lack of time), so bear with me here. We finally brought Jack home on New Year’s Eve day after 2 weeks in a special care nursery. He’s doing great, eating like a champ and packing on the pounds ounces. Our lives now get very interesting.

A huge “thank you” to all that have left congratulatory comments, emails, etc. It’s amazing to get such positive thoughts and similar stories from all over the globe. Jack loved it.

The biggest parenting lesson we’ve learned thus far is: don’t assume anything. All those pre-birth plans we’d made were completely thrown out the window when he arrived so early. Any choices that we were so adamant about were forgotten in favor of just getting the little guy to make it through his hospital stay so he could come home. What seemed important before he arrived quickly didn’t matter any more. He just needed to thrive.

We found out shortly after the birth that Jack has a heart defect that may need surgery in the coming months. We’re assured he’ll be perfectly fine, and that (amazingly) the correction, if necessary, is even considered routine at Children’s Hospital Boston. Again, all the dumb stuff we were worried about months ago just seems so ridiculous now.

Thank you once again for all the well wishes — I’ve always been horrible about returning emails, and even more so now. I’ll be back to the world of web design soon.

Jack Murphy Cederholm

JackFor whatever reason, our little guy wanted out 6 weeks earlier than expected. Jack Murphy Cederholm was born Sunday afternoon at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s a tiny and beautiful 4lbs 8oz. Both Kerry and baby are doing great. The unexpected surprise means spending a few weeks in the hospital before we can go home. But it also means we need to quickly buy Jack a Christmas gift (not to mention all the other last minute preparations we’d planned for after the holidays).

Such a wide range of emotions over the past two days. Fear, joy, anxiety, and those other emotions that you can’t even apply a word to. Right now, we’re just hoping he continues to grow and that we can get home as soon as possible.

Here’s to life’s surprises.

The Penny

Earlier today, I purchased a one-gallon jug of spring water from a local convenience store. The total came to $1.29. I handed over $1.30, then silently waited for my single penny to be returned. It never came. Apparently the clerk was unaware of the optional “courtesy thank you” that a customer can say that means “keep the change”. I didn’t give the “courtesy thank you” on this particular visit, and it took me a minute to realize that I wasn’t getting my penny back. And that was OK. I turned and walked out with my jug of water that I had just paid $1.30 for.

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