Thursday, January 5, 2017

A few good 2017 things already

The year is starting out pretty well for the Bakers. Cam secured the UR job full-time (he just needs to sign a contract which could take up to two weeks - we will all breath much easier when it's official), so we're all really happy that this job odyssey has worked out for him. Truthfully, he's been pretty lucky in this whole process ~ things have really gone in positive way for him. I expect once the job is locked in he'll finalize his plans to move in with his friends.

On Tuesday, Annalisse and I took a quick trip down to NYC to visit New York Presbyterian Hospital for a dietetic program open house. She met seven or eight of her friends there and they attended the two-hour program, after which she was pretty overwhelmed. The day was very, very nasty with cold, blowing, icy rain that hit your face like pin needles. We got back to Albany around 8:30pm and each snuggled into our beds, tired from the busy day.

Yesterday, before heading back to Rochester she met with the dietetic internship coordinator at The Sage Colleges, and had a great meeting there. The young lady she met with was super friendly and warm, and Annalisse felt very comfortable with her. Sage has risen to the top of her list now.

All in all, a good week, and start to the year, so far. Let's keep it up!!!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Out with 2016, in with 2017

Well, 2016, your time has come. Time to move on from a year with some great high points and what seemed like a lot of worrying with a couple of low points thrown in.

We certainly did a lot this year: our first trip abroad, Cam graduated from college, moved to Maryland, then moved back. Annalisse took a trip to Italy and had a productive summer, as well as finishing her next to last term at SU. 

But, I feel a general sense of malaise and apprehension going into 2017 with Trump at the helm. I think his election has affected a segment of Americans in a way we have never experienced before. Some are jubilant, others are filled with dread for the future. The contentious election and its result has pulled people apart more than ever before. We will have to wait and see how things go. 

I usually make a list of goals for the new year, and they never seem to change. They usually revolve around losing weight, getting our finances in order, and staying connected to those we love. For 2017, though, I may make some progress toward goals like find a new position/career change (once Annalisse is done with school), get to those much needed renovations in the house, and maybe try to simplify a little - get rid of some stuff. Somehow, a simple cabin in the woods with room for Jasper to run and a trout stream nearby seems appealing right now. 

2017 does hold some promise: Cam has an interview for his job at UR next week (to change from contract to permanent), I will be going to Salt Lake City for the NAGAP conference in April (and am hoping we can manage to have Mark come along), Annalisse will graduate from Syracuse in May, and will hopefully secure a dietetic internship for fall (which will cause us all a lot of worry and anxiety - warning you now), and Cam has a nice girlfriend (hallelujah!). Mom Shiao will celebrate her 75th in March, and Jasper is in good health for being almost 10. That's the great thing about a new year: all the promise it holds!!

All he best to you and yours for the new year. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

We wish you the merriest!

Merry day-after-Christmas from the Bakers! It's been a great holiday, filled with friends, family and a great gift or two (like a new iPad Air and tickets to the SU/Duke basketball game in February!).

I am especially thankful to have family around this year. It might have been a different scenario, where Cam was coming home from Maryland to spend a few precious days, and I continue to be happy and relieved that he is back in Rochester.  We are still waiting for the UR job to be wrapped up, and the position was supposed to be posted before the end of last week, but...bureaucracy.

Annalisse finished a very stressful term at SU. Her grades were disappointing to her (she ended with a 2.8 for the term and a 3.2 overall), with a C and a C+ in key courses, but what can you do? I know she really tries, studying for weeks before a test, and it all ends up falling apart with the test. Even so, she will spend the break getting her internship applications in order, and we can only hope for the best with her the match in April.

Speaking of which, we will be taking a trip down to NYC after the new year to go to an open house at NY Presbyterian, an intership program which apparently loves SU students.

Mark and I keep plugging along, looking forward to a week off (with some projects on the list). The approach of 2016 brings with it a cloud of unsettling uncertainty, with Trump just weeks from taking office and talks of retracting the ACA and tough talk on nukes. So aggravating.

I want to use my break to catch up on some reading, but am having a hard time tearing myself away from my "West Wing" binge-a-thon. The books are stacking up...

Holiday wishes to you and yours! We hope you have a great final week of 2016!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving thanks in '16

Happy Thanksgiving to all!! I am sitting in the living room pup at my feet, both kids are hanging out watching a "Parks and Rec" marathon, and thinking how overdue I am for a blog entry. I'm trying to think about why I am not so engaged with the blog these days. While a lot of great things have happened this year, some of the year has been a struggle. Moving Cam down to Maryland, and the uncertainty (and huge expense associated) that followed definitely put a little bit of damper on my mood at times. 

I have also been a little cranky about some work stuff, and a desire to maybe be doing something different professionally (although, I do count my blessings daily for having such a great job, but I think I'm ready for some new challenges). I think the prospect of a low likelihood of selling my mother's house weighs heavily as well, as it costs each of us approx. $100 to keep all the bills paid and just feels like it's hanging over all our heads.

But there are some great things happening, and, make no mistake, I am really, really thankful fro all of my blessings, like...
  • There is a good chance Cam will be hired on by UR. It looks like his job will posted in December, and he will apply for it. Fingers crossed that it is just a formality and he will get it.
  • Cam has a nice girlfriend. It's fairly new so we're trying not to make a big deal of it. Danielle is biomedical engineering Ph.D. student at UR (she's from Omaha, NB), and they met through the crew/Rochester Boat Club.
  • Annalisse is wrapping up a very challenging semester at school (she has about three weeks left) and Biochem and her Medical Technology class is really kicking her butt. She is super excited about becoming TA for a food demo class in the spring, and feels really ready to start applying for internships (due February 1, I think)
So, the turkey is in the oven for what will probably be a mediocre Thanksgiving meal (I'm not a great cook), and on Saturday we will head up to Watertown for our Greco harvest dinner.

Thanksgiving wishes from the Bakers to you and yours!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October Round Up

Well, hello there! This little B@ker Blog hiatus is definitely the longest I've taken. I just haven't felt much like dropping a note during this incredibly busy month of travel for work during the week, and crazy, overcommitted weekends.

So, what's been going on? Lots, and not a lot!

Of course, October started with Nic's birthday on October 4 and our little kid turning 21, and all the fanfare you can image would go along with that. On the 5th, her birthday, she held a little happy hour celebration at a Mexican restaurant in Syracuse. Cam, Alex and a bunch of her camp and nutrition friends went, so she was super happy to celebrate with them. She could not overdo it, though, because the next day she had her first food education program for the semester, as well as her first improv show that night.

That same night, Sue flew in from VA for
our girl's weekend in Vermont. What a great weekend that was! As always, it's so much fun to be with "my girls," and Vermont captures my heart every time. We had a nice day celebrating my birthday on Saturday, the 8th - the girls made it special. On Sunday, when Sue and I returned to Rochester, we went to the David Sedaris reading - he's one of our absolute favorite humorists, and he did not disappoint.

The following weekend Annalisse headed to Boston for her nutrition conference, which she totally enjoyed as she learned new things and made contact with internship coordinators. She's super excited (and nervous) about the internship process, made worse by the fact that she has two very difficult courses this term, and is struggling a bit in both. She just keeps plugging away.

This past weekend we went on Annalisse's 21st birthday (limo) wine tour. Despite the heinous (cold, driving rain) weather it was a really fun day, capped off by a big dinner at our house and a hearty breakfast in the morning before the girls went back to Syracuse. Mary also came, and Alex's mom, Brenda, joined us which made for a fun time.

Cam is plugging away at his UR job, which he likes. There is an indication he may be hired on permanently based on a conversation with his boss last week, so we're just keeping our fingers crossed, and crossed, and crossed... He's enjoying his time back with his friends and his work with the Rochester Boat Club, and I know he'd like to get back out on his own, which he can do once we knows if he'll be hired on.

All through these activities have been 15 day and evening trips to college fairs, which finally concludes tomorrow. To say that October has been a grind would be an understatement, and I'm looking forward to a slower-paced November. The days are so cold and dark now - I'm already longing to be back in our wonderful (hot, sunny) summer.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hitting the Reset Button

Our 23 year old has moved back home. Alas, we did not make him move into the basement (you know that old adage about adult children moving back in their parent's basements?). No really, it's okay! He's home and ready to push the "reset" button on his young career. We went down to Gaithersburg on Saturday, loaded up ~ again ~ and headed back home this morning. I'm mostly relieved he's back home (including the mouse incident in his apartment on Saturday night) -  I'm not a big city person and it's always a little stressful being near DC with the crazy traffic and a gazillion people around. He's super excited to see his friends again, begin coaching at Rochester Boat Club (and just participating in crew in general), and hopefully settling into the new job at UR.  We managed to absorb all his stuff back into the house, but are keeping must of it together as we expect he will be out again within a couple of months or so, once he finds out how the UR job is going.

He's home just in time for a very busy October. This weekend Annalisse wanted to come home because otherwise she would not have been home until the weekend of October 21 when are celebrating her birthday with a wine tour (Shhhhhh! Don't tell her! It's a surprise [and no, she doesn't read the blog]). So we will have a nice dinner out Saturday night to celebrate Nic's birthday (October 4) and Annalisse's birthday (October 5). Also coming up: Fairport's Oktoberfest this weekend, Girl's weekend next weekend, Annalisse goes to Boston the weekend of October 15 for the FNCE conference, and the weekend after that is her birthday wine tour. Sprinkled in there is also my birthday and Mark's birthday. Those Bakers love October!

I'm really really in denial that fall is here. It continues to be pretty warm most of the time, and I just can't bring myself to decorate the porch (and change the garden flag) with the fall wreath or buy fall-y mums. I just can't! Because you know what comes after fall - and it's just been a banner year for weather, although some might think it's been wayyyyy too hot... ;)

So, life marches on. What a year this has been. Highs and lows, and everything in between!

Friday, September 9, 2016

ROC Bound

Here is an update in the continuing saga of "Cam's Career and Quality of Life" journey:

He found out on Tuesday that he got the Bioinformatician job at UR. In his understated way, he was very excited. I think we can chalk the last couple of month up to a life lesson, one of which he learned plenty about himself, what he wants to do, where he wants to live, and the importance of having a network, especially of friends. The shaky part of the scenario is that the position is a temp one through the middle of December, with a potential for permanent hiring based on funding. We're just going to take it one day at a time. If nothing else, it buys him a little time to look for a job that better suits him. He is also liking the course he is taking, and plans to continue to gain skills in that area. 

When he got back to his apartment on Tuesday, he spoke with the office to made arrangements to break his lease, which will require two months rent payment. While a lot of cash outlay, it's so much better than subletting until next August 1. He'll basically come back having broken even (or a little more than even) financially from this adventure. Also, immediately upon making plans to return he got in touch with the coach for the Rochester Boat Club letting her know about his return, and she invited him to coach crew. So, he's very excited about that as well. Other earning potential includes teaching science and lab courses at the area community colleges, since he has lab experience from teaching two classes at RIT.

He will move back home in the short term, but he knows it's not an indefinite proposition. Once he gets on his feet with a solid job, off he will go, probably living somewhere fun with a couple of his buddies.

We are relieved, and looking forward to his return, and to him being happier. I thought all the worrying would end when he was launched into a career - another good reminder for me: it never ends!