Well another year has gone by and it was perhaps one of the most memorable yet for Mrs. Widget and I. It has also been one of the fastest years to go by that I can recall. This is mainly due to the amount activities and life events that we had throughout the year.
In chronological order, here are the major events the Widgets took on in 2017.
We purchased our home in 2016 and began some small renovations and improvements right away. Once we found out Mrs. Widget was pregnant, there were a few things we knew needed to get done before the baby arrived.
Home Improvement #1
Our house was originally built in the 40’s and still had the original windows. These proved to not be so effective in our first winter in the house. We knew replacing these was a top priority to help maintain a reasonable temperature in the baby’s room. This could be remedied cheaply in the winter by placing plastic wrap over the windows, but that was not going to help in the heat of the summer.
We ended up choosing a local place to replace thirteen total windows. Replacing windows is not a small expense. You typically have two options when replacing old windows; full replacements or inserts. Inserts are slightly cheaper due to the lower amount of labor involved during installation. In the end we chose to go with inserts to preserve the interior wood frames which were still in great shape.
Home Improvement #2
Around the same time, we also found out that we had insufficient insulation in the attic. It was not going to do much good to replace the windows without adequate insulation. You are only as strong as your weakest link.
We had our pest control company give us a quote since they had a construction side of the business as well. This was a quick install aside from having to wait to remove some friendly mice that had taken up residence for who knows how long. We were glad we went with the pest control company so we did not have to coordinate between two companies when they had to delay due to the mice removal.
Home Improvement #3
The last improvement we knew we needed was air conditioning in our master bedroom. We decided that baby Widget would be staying in our room for the first couple of months so we needed it to remain a reasonable temperature. The baby was due to arrive in July when it starts getting pretty hot here in Virginia.
The master bedroom was added as part of an addition in the early 2000’s. There are central air vents and a return in the room but virtually no air flows out/in. I did some research on what we could add to cool the room and came to the conclusion a ductless AC unit would solve the problem. We had an HVAC company come out and they came to the same conclusion. We could have investigated why the ducts were not working well but that would have added time and money for what might be a lost cause anyway. It also appeared the previous owners had been using window AC units for a while.
All of the home improvements were completed just in time for the baby to arrive. Fortunately the baby did not arrive early. This was something my engineering brain didn’t consider since I am used to schedules moving out, not being pulled in!
Welcomed Baby Widget
Aside from getting married, having a baby is the biggest thing that has happened to us. We welcomed Baby Widget into our lives at the end of July and so far it has been nothing but a great experience. We decided to have the sex of the baby be a surprise and were thrilled to find out it was a girl! There are four nephews in our family so everyone else was excited for the first girl as well!
Among the things I have learned so far: babies are a lot of work, and there are few things that are as rewarding as witnessing your child achieve milestones. Even the smallest of things seems like such a big accomplishment. What you realized you have feet?! Awesome job little one!
Mrs. Widget was fortunate to have a long time off from work and we are starting a nanny share in the new year. That will be a new adjustment as well since there will be new schedules to work out. We (Mrs. Widget) started an LLC for the nanny share to make sure everything was on the up and up. This ended up being one of two businesses we started this year!
Started a Blog/Business
In September, I finally decided to get off my butt and start a blog. I think my motivation to do so was largely due to baby Widget’s arrival and thinking more about our family’s future. Focusing on generating more life options for me and Mrs. Widget with respect to our careers has become a larger priority.
Starting a business right after having a baby is also one of the toughest times to do so. Like really tough. There is more demand on my time than ever and adding a blog to that has proved to be a challenge. Posting once a week has been my goal from the start and I have been able to maintain that low cadence so far. Mad respect for those bloggers that consistently post 2-3 times per week, have full time jobs and/or kids to take care of.
Right from the start, everyone in the PF community has been supportive and great to interact with. I have already met so many great people and look forward to meeting even more next year. Perhaps at FinCon!
This process is a marathon for me and I am happy to slowly build up a presence in the PF community. My main focus is writing relevant and helpful content while avoiding anything that could go viral. This may seem counter intuitive for someone that has created a business but I would like to be prepared to benefit from an event like that and at the moment I am not. Something to work on for 2018 though!
Peace Out 2017
Overall it has been one great (and expensive) year! I can’t imagine 2018 coming close to the new things this year has brought, but am looking forward to the new experiences that will come!
Stay tuned for next week’s post for the Widget household’s goals for 2018! Hope everyone stays safe and has a Happy New Year!
Readers: What were your biggest life projects/events in 2017? Are you looking forward to some big events in 2018?