It’s now early February, and time to look back over January to assess how the month went.
Life & Love:
We managed to see friends a time or two, which of course is always fun.
Janene is still enjoying ballet, although it’s getting tougher for her to keep up since she’s only in class once a week, compared to some of the other gals that are in two or more times a week.
We had an absolutetly AMAZING time up at Camp Casey, on Whidbey Island during a spontaneous Sunday outing. In addition to perfect soup and bread at Knead and Feed, a beautiful drive, stunning weather (both rain and shine), a car nap by the ocean, and a spectacular sunset, we had the opportunity to watch and photograph an entire herd of deer. Out on Camp Casey’s parade grounds were 13 deer, including a 2-point buck and a second buck just sprouting (they gave us the added pleasure of play fighting – we could hear their antlers connect – it was awesome!). That was the first time either of us had seen that many deer all together, and it was really neat.It was a perfect day together, and one that I will cherish for some time to come.
We also got to spend a weekend at my parent’s place, playing games and watching movies and eating far too much. It was a wonderful, relaxing time – and I even managed to cram some work in during movies and get the new Seattle Pacific University Computer Science website developed and up for testing. Keep your eyes on http://www.spucsc.com/ in the next several weeks for the official release.
Janene and I spent several enjoyable evenings & date nights relaxing at Starbucks or cruising around Snohomish / Monroe.
Overall, life has really improved this last January.
We’ve managed to clean and organize a bunch, so life is more structured which really helps me, and I know it helps Janene even more. We even got her “Art Studio” organized and cleaned, and she’s been spending a few hours a week there creating art. I’m hoping that she can really start to turn out some creative pieces that she can sell – she’s so amazingly talented and passionate about her art that I think she could do quite well as a full time artist.
Work has continued to be all consuming, but this time with a purpose.
I am working with Jon Haarstad, a friend in Portland whom I have worked on A Higher Standard with (the Christian Technology stuff, such as NWChurches.com), on a joint web design project. Essentially, we are combining forces to offer superior design, technology, and service, in an attempt to share the load and accept more clients and bigger clients. In order to launch our strategy, I must finish several significant technology pieces on the database and administrative side of things. It’s quite strange to me, a former designer who loathed coding, to be in the position of providing all the application logic and management, and have my partner provide all the design work and UI stuff. But I am extremely excited about both the possibilities that abound as well as the prospect of getting my hands dirty with Jon again. You can check out Jon’s Design House site at http://www.jhaasdesign.com/ – although he IS in the process of a total revamp of the site and I’m not certain of the timeline.
We had an investor presentation scheduled for February 22nd to present AHS to a group of investors. We’re looking for up to $8 million in startup capital, so we were extremely excited about giving this presentation. It has sense fallen through, which was a mixed blessing, as I got summoned for Jury duty and they refused to excuse me because apparantly giving a presentation that was a year in the making and could make or break your intended livelihood isn’t a valid excuse for missing jury duty. I tell ya – I don’t care who the sucker is or what they did, I’m voting for the freakin’ chair.
Seasonal Essentials had it’s first online order, and from a complete stranger, no less! It was very exciting, especially since I didn’t think that the technology would allow someone to actually complete the order process. Our goal within the next few months is to really get the web sales going, to the point that we’re bringing in an average of 5 sales a day. Additionally, we’re starting a couple of new programs up. One is our Business Advertising Program, which allows businesses to purchase our product with a custom label and turn around and mail them off as advertising for their company. The second is a “party” favor program, targeted specifically at weddings and wedding showers, but also at baby showers, anniversary parties, corporate functions, etc. We’ll be offering several of our products as potential favors, complete with custom labels. Keep your eyes on http://www.seasonalessentials.com/ for more information and an official release date for that program. If you’re interested in more details now, email me at chris @ seasonal essentials.com – [broken up to prevent harvesting…]
Speaking of seasonalessentials.com, we’ve got a new look at the moment (and it will be changing again for early spring in the next few weeks – which is funny because as I sit here and write this everything is covered with a thick snow…). I’m working “feverishly” to finish up several significant bug fixes, streamline the ordering process, and release some new technology. We’re looking for people who are interested to start writing some content for our resources database. If this intrigues you, you can email me at that same address for more information. We’re also looking for people to test our site by using it and noting all the problem areas, as well as what you like – if you’re interested….
Other “work” things that have happened this last month include the start of a new freshrainstudios.com site, with an updated look and current information and pricing, as well as full demos of all our packages.
Janene’s site was “released” this last month as well, although she’s still writing content and all that so there’s very little there. If you want to check it out anyway, the url is: http://www.janenerenee.com
So if you haven’t heard, both Ryan-Bob and Grahame McMaster and Andy and Holly Moe have given in and are pregnant. Grahame is due first, and Holly second. And no, we’re not giving in to the pressure, yet. I assure you, dear readers, you won’t be the first to know. But you will be up there, as I’m sure I won’t be able to contain my excitement… 🙂
We attempted to start playing Friday Night Basketball again this past friday night. Good thing that only two of us showed, though – the gym we were intending to use is closed for open gym until early April due to little league basketball. I tell ya – it’s embarassing when those little dudes play better than you do.
Moving right along.
Given how many things I DIDN’T work on even a little this last month (sleeping regularly, eating better, no fast food, exercising, etc) I think perhaps I’ll only mention those things I DID work on, as the list is going to be MUCH shorter…
- Take a Sabbath every week. It hasn’t always been Sunday, and it hasn’t always been an entire day, but thus far I have most definitely relaxed much more this year than I did the last two years combined. That’s a good thing.
- Pay bills on time. Ok, I can’t take much credit for this, since Janene takes care of remembering the bills (she actually enjoys that stuff!), but I think we’re doing really well on this note.
- Focus on one business… Well, it’s actually two, but eventually one will be a secondary income and one will be full time; at least I’m not focusing on 20 different ideas and things. What a freakin’ relief.
- Develop a “Life Plan” – Janene and I talked some about this and what it entails, and go the ball rolling on figuring some stuff out. A good start, I must say.
- Improve Communication Skills: It sure SEEMS like things have been better; I know I have much to learn and develop, but I do think that at least some level of progress was made here.
- Set boundaries: I’m definitely doing this more. I’m saying no to things that I just can’t afford to do, whether it be work or favors or whatever. There’s a fine line that I’m learning to see between being secluded from life and friends, and being your own person within life and friends. Good lessons.
- Keep apt. Clean and Organized. Ok, so you couldn’t tell it if you walked in our front door right now, but overall this actually has mostly happened. We’ve still got several things to finish cleaning and organizing, such as the bedroom and office, but for the most part things have REALLY improved, and it’s definitely less stressful. Feng Shui? I donno, but I’ve certainly been more productive.
- Manage my time better. I’m improving, I’ll say that. I’m also learning what I need to do to be more effective with my time, to make better use of it. Like writing this blog instead of working on what I need to be working on. A perfect example.
Other things that have at least been addressed this last month:Watching our money, helping Jon and Alia with wedding stuff, keep calendar and schedule up to date, write Tindall Update (we wrote it, we just never go around to sending it.. I guess that’s the next step for February…)…
Ok. I don’t feel like going through this whole list right now. Maybe I’ll update this later.
I think I’m going to work now. Keep your eyes on things! 🙂