I’m going a little crazy. It’s not from my family but more a lack of everything else. I miss my friends, my casual acquaintances, drop-off at my kids schools, the restaurants, the movies, the casual interactions, the hiking, the driving, the traveling. All of it. It was fun. I can’t wait wait for this madness to be over.
Just wrote a scathing Yelp review of my living room
I’ve seen so many posts looking back at the decade, I thought I’d take a look at the changes I’ve gone through over the past 10 years:
Lots of geography changes. In 2009, I was living in Los Angeles and moved to Denver at the end of 2009. Since LA till now I’ve moved 5 times: to Denver (Cheeseman), within Denver (to Uptown), to Boulder (Quince Ave.), to Strawberry CA, and then to my current home in Mill Valley, CA. That’s a lot of packing and unpacking.
Lots of personal relationships. Diane and I had been dating for one year and had just gotten engaged at the end of 2009. Since then we’ve gotten married, had two awesome kids who are now in 1st grade and the last year of pre-school.
Lots of professional changes. In 2009, I had just left BuzzMedia and started up a company, Kapost, with Tony and Nader. At the time it wasn’t even called Kapost, it was called Collective Ink Systems and then Grogger. Since then, Kapost grew to be an industry leader in B2B Marketing Operations software and was acquired. I also went to work at Airbnb and started their Airbnb for Work initiative as well as their Airbnb Luxe product. In 2019, I left Airbnb to start Onward with Nader. It’s now almost a year old.
My health has changed quite a bit. From 2010 to 2017, I weighed between 180 and 195 lbs. and worked out at least 3x a week. Since 2017, I’ve reduced my workouts but have dramatically changed by eating and diet. I now weigh between 165 and 175.
I just spent a week at our family cabin in the Poconos and thought i’d write a little recap as it was a great trip all around. Some highlights:
Mckenzie and Tracey
Over the past 10-20 years it’s been tough to see Mckenzie during the summer as he spends a good chunk of it in Europe leading archaeological digs. This year he was able to join us after the dig but before the fall school session begins. It was really great to see him. As we get older it’s good to get a good number of days with someone to get a feel for their daily habits and lifestyle.
The big event that occurred was the proposal between the two. One beautiful Thursday night Mckenzie and Tracey went for a walk after dinner. While the dishes were being washed in the Glass House (thanks mom) Mckenzie presented Tracey with a ring he picked up in Florence and asked her to marry him!
We continue to get to know Tracey and she is really awesome. A highlight for me was arguing with her about the differences between Canada and the US and discussing the problems we have here in the US and what some approaches might be to fix them (not a quick convo, as you could imagine). I liked it because the conversation got heated in a way it can between people who like to argue and are family.
Of course Georgia was in tow and it was really awesome to see Sasha and her (and sometimes Hunter) play together. Sasha and G are the same age (both 4) so they seemed quite comfortable with each other and their playing was incredibly cute.
Hunter did seem a bit left out sometimes but that’s to be expected when there’s only 3 (ahem, we need Reagan next time). But, the three of them did get some good play time in:
Kids and School
Now that our kids are getting older, we’re experiencing Summer break and the chafe that it is for two working parents. Hunter is between kindergarten and 1st grade and is off for the summer and we have to find things for him to do. We cobbled together a series of camps but this means that getting together as a family in the summer is much more logical than in years past
I haven’t been to my family’s cabin in the Poconos for almost a decade. It is so beautiful. The lake, the river and nature surrounding it are just awesome.
It’s also nice having my parents there and able to see and catch up with other semi-related folks. The cabins could be nicer (especially our Middle Camp) but it is great to have a place to go and have lots of family around.
Diane especially was a fan of the rustic nature of the cabins. Her childhood was spent traveling to Mexico every weekend and staying in half-built homes while they hung out with family and friends while enjoying the natural beauty of the ocean. She got the same feeling this past week, making the whole experience better for her.
We loved and plan on heading back again next year…
He’s really grown a lot of this year. He’s thoughtful and curious. He has a deep love of animals. His favorite animals this year, in order, were his 2016 favorites of the colossal squid, and then spent the bulk of the year idolizing bats (specifically the Somoan Flying Fox bat which has a wingspan of over 7 feet) and recently he’s super into dinosaurs. He continues to be more cerebral than physical. He’s much more content to sit on the couch drawing than kicking a ball or playing on the playground. We did get him riding a bike later this year. This is hard because it’s so hilly where we live that we can’t go out out front door and ride but rather have to drive to a school or area to do it. We had some issues potty-training him this year but he’s now past that and, in almost all ways, a big kid now.
Wow, what a year for her. She’s now talking and convening her thoughts and emotions so well. From a personality standpoint, she’s a force. She’s very strong. She wants what she wants and like what she likes. She’s not afraid to speak up and lead. She often loves to step up and start telling Hunter what to do. She’s super active. From the moment she wakes up, she wants to get out the door and go running and play. She likes to try to keep up with Hunter and does so pretty well. She doesn’t like fruit or vegetables at all (sorry about those genes, sasha). She loves the color pink and is very particular of what she wears and picks out her outfit everyday (Hunter, by contrast, does not care at all). She’s still a total daddy’s girl but increasingly is all about mom too.
With Sasha getting to 3, we are emerging out of infant zone. The four of us can now take a drive and all talk in one conversation. We can sit at a table in a restaurant and get through the meal without disaster striking. Heck, we’re even talking about a road trip and feeling excited about it. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it looks glorious. I think 2018 will be a great family year.
She had a huge year. She started a new job at a startup (30 people) called Peerspace. Peerspace is a marketplace similar to Airbnb that offers locations for offsite and events. She’s responsible for host expansion and is loving it. She also crushed being a mom this year. Hunter and Diane have a special bond that is truly great to see and Sasha is typically Daddy’s girl, she currently obsessed with her.
At Airbnb, there’s a new business unit and I’m running the product group for it. The role was quite a change for me as I am being stretched in new ways. It’s exciting but also exhausting. We have a launch coming up in 2018 so stay tuned.
Diet and Exercise
I ended last year strong and running a lot. That ended almost immediately in 2018. I injured my knee again in January/February and decided to take some time off. I also decide to try a new weight loss tactic. Over the past few years i had been steadily gaining weight and found myself at the beginning of the year at over 195 lbs, the heaviest i’d ever been. I have always relied on running and working out as a way to lose weight and with that being removed due to knee problems, i decided to focus on my eating. I knew I could limit my portions as that’s very hard for me to do. But, i knew that i could limit the number of meals I eat. That seemed doable. So, i started skipping breakfast starting in March. Surprisly, it wasn’t hard to do and it was very effective in cutting calories and thus weight. You can see from the graph below that 2017 was by far my most successful year as i dropped 20 lbs this year and ended at 175.
This was the first year i started to feel old. My knee gave out at the beginning of the year and other aches started to manifest as I went on. There’s more grey hair. Heck, there’s more hair everywhere (hello, ear hair). 40 is an interesting number as I now no longer feel i’m on the upward swing of my life. I’m hitting a middle plateau, at least physically. I’ve peaked. I’m sure i could get back to running 7 min miles, but i’m never going to again run 2 miles under 12 minutes again. I also am getting the least amount of sleep ever. With the kids waking up early and the job going late, i’m burning it at both ends. It’s been an exhausting 6-12 months, and i’m finishing the year feeling old.
That said, we had a fantastic outing to Jackson Hole with the extended family. Check out that video:
I thought we were time constrained when Hunter came along. Well, with two little ones this year, aged 1 and 3, time really got sucked away from me. Less sleep, fewer workouts, fewer books read. All the things I like to do just for me basically went out the door this year. But, they were replaced with more time with my family, which was just fantastic.
He really became a full fledged person this year. He’s now funny and clever. He has a bit of trickery and deviousness in him, but he’s shaping up to be a very kind person. His teachers at school regularly remark about how genuine and kind he is. Also, his super power this year is his drawing. He’s very creative and can draw ridiculously well. Continue reading “The Lewhouses in 2016”→
I’m here in Paris for a work event with about 600 other co-workers. Last night we all had the night off and me and 2 colleagues decided to go see the France vs. Germany soccer match. We bought some tickets online and thought we were in for a super fun night.
Little did we know what would happen. In the morning, this would be the headlines from the papers:
The match started and our seats were fantastic. We were right on the left sideline with a great view of Martial. He was incredible and scored a great goal.
About 10 minutes before half, at 9:15pm, everyone in the stadium heard a massive BOOM. It was loud and I immediately said to Jon, “that sounds like a bomb.” Even the players noticed. However, everyone went back to watching the game and the players kept playing. Here’s how it sounded:
About 5 minutes later, right before half, another BOOM. It was loud. Having never been to a soccer match in the French stadium, i thought that maybe it was something that happens regularly. Nobody seemed to be miffed about it, so i thought it was just part of the scene.
At halftime, i was standing in line for the restroom with Jon. We saw all the security guards start to close all the gates to the stadium, locking us in. We thought that was pretty strange. We told our other friend Marc, who has lived in France before, about it. He said that it was typical so they can route everyone out a central exit when the game is over. Seemed like a logical answer. We went on watching the game. You can see from this picture that we weren’t yet aware of what was happening:
I really started to think things weren’t right when i noticed there were about 10x more security standing between the crowd and the field. At this point you would think we would be freaking out, but we weren’t. We asked the people behind us if they knew anything. Nothing. Nobody knew a thing and the game continued. Nobody knew that the two blasts were bombs exploding outside the stadium at a fast food restaurant and a brasserie. Nobody knew that the French President who was at the game was secretly evacuated.
About 15 minutes into halftime, at 9:40, there was another BOOM. Again nobody paid it any attention and continued to watch the game. When the game finished, we were walking out of the stadium when there was a general announcement that there was an incident outside one part of the stadium. There was a collective “hmm, that’s interesting,” and they continued to the exits. It was calm but you could lots of sirens going on outside the stadium.
As we were exiting, you could see hundreds of police and hear lots of sirens. Then, the stadium something happened. I’m not exactly sure what it was but the people at the front of the crowd turned around scared shitless and started running as fast as they could back into the stadium. Everyone else started doing that too. It turned into a stampede. Older people and kids fell to the ground and were getting trampled. We ran too. After getting away (about 400 yards) from the area that people were running from jon and I reconnected with Marc and walked the opposite direction. At this point, kids were bawling and sirens were blasting. It was clear that the world was not right. We were very scared, but still in the dark about what was happening.
We finally got out of the stadium and called an Uber. Miraculously one got to us and we told him to take us home as fast as possible. We got a call from another colleague was at a hotel. He was walking to dinner when he came across a man in the middle of the street waving a gun. He then saw someone who was shot pouring blood. He ran to a restaurant to get cover, but they weren’t letting people in so he kept running. Eventually he got inside and called us. Our Uber arrived about 15 minutes later to grab him and we all continued back to our listing.
My night wasn’t nearly as scary as his or some of my other colleagues but it was still unnerving. Not knowing whats happening and seeing fear on the faces of everyone in the crowd is terrifying.
When we got back to our apartment, we got online and devoured the news for hours. It was then that we learned the facts of the night. The scariest event being the massacre at the Bataclan music club.
At that club, a few gunmen entered with AK rifles and opened fire on the 1500 people. Most people ran to the exits. Many fell to the ground and tried to cover themselves. The gunmen continued to fire for 10-15 minutes on the people who were laying on the ground. They reloaded 4 times. Here’s a quote from one survivor,
Ten minutes … 10 horrific minutes where everybody was on the floor covering their head. We heard so many gunshots and the terrorists were very calm, very determined. They reloaded three or four times their weapons. They didn’t shout anything. They didn’t say anything. They were unmasked and wearing black clothes and they were shooting at people on the floor, executing them.
What we know now, the next day, is that there were killings in 7 different locations and about 160 people are confirmed dead. It’s still unclear how many are injured. We also learned that the stadium bombs were supposed to go off later, when we were exiting the stadium and not during the match.
We found out today that there were 3 terrorist outside the stadium. The first tried to get into the stadium and when security discovered the bomb on his chest, he backed away and detonated. Then the 2nd one went off 5 minutes later. The police then found the 3rd person and as they pursued him, he donated himself. This is why the police at the stadium wanted us to stay in the arena. I’m so thankful that their plan failed.
My company picked Paris in November as the time and location for our big annual conference to send 600 employees. We also choose Friday night as the night to spend out exploring the city. Almost everyone spent the night in and around the areas of the shootings. Talk about bad timing. While many of them were next to the events, luckily nobody was harmed.
I feel extremely lucky and now all my thoughts are around getting home and getting back to my family.
I remember my sophomore year in high school where I decide for a New Year’s Resolution to give up soda (or as I called it then, “pop”) as I thought i was becoming a bit too addicted to caffeine. After a few days of withdrawal, I was fine. I’ve never looked back. Since 1993, I’ve been off the juice. Other than a special Captain and Coke and super-rare RedBull and Vodka, I’m free of caffeine these days.
I really enjoy it. It keeps me balanced. I have noticed that i’m more likely to do a run or cardio activity in the morning to get going as it’s really the only way I know to get my brain cruising.
I’ve also noticed that in the rare occasion when i do have some caffeine, man does it hit me. I go crazy. I’ve also noticed that if i mix lots of liquor and caffeine, i’m sometimes sleepwalk – leading to some really weird stories. That’s another blog post.
While i’m on the topic, a huge pet-peeve of mine is that lack of drinks available that are both diet AND caffeine free. It’s usually either-or. You have Sprite, 7Up and some root beers that are caffeine-free, and then you have Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper and such. You can’t have both for some reason. That really bothers me.
During the 1970s, the average person doubled the amount of soda they drank; by the 1980s it had overtaken tap water. In 1998, Americans were downing 56 gallons of the stuff every year—that’s 1.3 oil barrels’ worth of soda for every person in the country.
Since 2000, soft-drink sales stabilized for a few years; in 2005 they started dropping, and they haven’t stopped. Americans are now drinking about 450 cans of soda a year, roughly the same amount they did in 1986.
For Coke this is a problem. Soda makes up 74% of its business worldwide and about 68% in the U.S. Sales of Coca-Cola’s carbonated sodas fell 2% in the U.S. last year, the ninth straight year of decline. Coca-Cola made $46.8 billion last year, down from $48 billion in 2012.
Diet Coke tumbled especially hard, dropping 7 percent, almost entirely the result of the growing unpopularity of aspartame amid persistent rumors that it’s a health risk.
Today, Coca-Cola has 130,600 employees and makes 500 different beverages that people around the world drink 2 billion servings of every day.
A quarter of all carbonated beverages consumed globally are made by Coke; Pepsi is at 11%.
By 1999, according to the CDC, a fifth of all U.S. adults were obese; today that number is 35%. Obesity rates among children have tripled since the 1970s.
Coca-Cola now knows that 40 percent of the drinks customers buy have an added flavor and that people over 34 drink mostly caffeine-free Coke in the afternoon.
The little guy sleeps! Yes, he seems to be good at his sleeping. He doesn’t like going to sleep but once he’s there he crushes it from 6-8pm to 6am. It’s a beautiful thing.
I spoke WAY too early. Since then the little guy has been regularly waking up at 3am and crying his face off until we feed him. Um, yeah, that’s not so fun. My bad, internet gods, i promise not to do it again.
Ok people, my sister’s post inspired me. Here are my current thoughts about the whole baby situation.
The little guy sleeps! Yes, he seems to be good at his sleeping. He doesn’t like going to sleep but once he’s there he crushes it from 6-8pm to 6am. It’s a beautiful thing.
Ever since i was 18, i’ve become really good at not hanging out at my house. I loved to meet people for drinks, go to concerts, parties, dinners, etc.. I used to never go home. I never cooked. Seriously. When Diane moved into my apartment in LA, i still had the shrinkwrap casing on my oven. I had literally never used it. Why do i mention all this? Well, the little guy goes down every night at 6pm and once that happens we are tethered to our home. Every night. We have to be there. And while it’s really great that the little guy sleeps, it’s really weird to have to be inside our home all night every night. I have not developed my hang-out-at-home skills. Any suggestions?
My commute sucks. It’s never really bothered me before but that’s because i was leaving at 7 or 8pm and could cruise sans traffic. Now that the little guy goes down early, i’m trying to get home early and have a new appreciation for why rush hour exists. There went 1-2 hours of my life every day.
I have a new respect for Pixar movies. We just watched Finding Nemo last night and now i’ve seen the Madagascar film a few more times. Those are legit films.
My baby is just getting cuter. He’s non-stop smiles. It’s pretty awesome.
I hang out with some pretty cool people at work. And, i’ve got some great people to go home to too. I capture a lot of moments on Instagram (which i love) and have lately been trying out Snapjoy (Boulder company) and Picturelife as possible places to replace my Flickr as my online photo storage.
Recently though, I’ve come to the realization that it’s not enough. I want to capture more photos and more of my life. Lots of cool stuff is happening every day, both at work and at home that are just passing by. I want to capture those too. So, you can imagine my happiness when i discovered a little gadget called Memoto. What is it? It’s a little square that’ll snap a photo of wherever you are and whatever you’re doing every 30 seconds. This is a 5 MP camera in a tiny little device. That’s 4 GB of photos i’ll be capturing every day. Now we’re talking.
Here’s a little video of the device:
I backed the project on Kickstarter so i don’t actually have the device yet.
One other things i’ve been using lately: Strava. This used to be an app that tracks the crap out of your bike rides. But, they’ve now added running tracking in there. Before i stumbled upon Strava, I tested out RunKepper and MapMyRun and liked Runkeeper the best of those two, but after using Strava just a few times, i can tell that it’s better than both of them.