Saturday, February 27, 2016

Day 58: 124 days to L.A.

We are in the home stretch as far as the home renovations go.  The granite and new sinks were installed today in the kitchen and bathrooms. Last night in anticipation of today's granite installation Lori painted the rest (save behind the refrigerator) of the kitchen.

Tomorrow the plumbing is supposed to be all reconnected. After that, smaller stuff like installing the microwave and dishwasher and a few other odds and ends.  Then, it's down to:

(a) yardwork (I did some this afternoon)

(b) staging (this will be a continuous process)

(c) paring, sorting, trashing, donating, packing - figuring out what we really want to take with us and what it's time to say farewell to.

I'm happy that we're almost to this stage.  Being without sinks the past few days has been a bit frustrating and living in a constant state of clutter has been a nightmare.  When I say clutter I mean boxes, mail, stuff from cabinets stacked on tables, my bags packed (or now unpacked) from the trip, delivered stuff still in boxes waiting to be put away (when there's a place to put them away), low priority mail, and on and on.

We've done our budget and can confirm that we actually can afford to live in California.  We need to do our pre-approval paperwork and our disclosure paperwork for this house,

But yeah, looking forward to being able to get things put back into cupboards and off of tables.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Day 53: 129 Days to L.A.

...which is a funny thing to write from Santa Monica, which is where I am at the moment.

Let's get the part where I repeat myself out of the way. Busy. Crazy. Blink. Breathe.

Ok... so... where were we?  Last update, Sunday the 14th.  Since then, the painters came in and primed and painted the walls in the dining room, living room, foyer, upper and lower halls and all three bathrooms... I finished both hutches and moved them into position... Lori started re-arranging things in the kitchen and loading that hutch. More stuff thrown out in the garage, more stuff packed, more stuff readied for Goodwill.  On Friday, the new refrigerator and stove were installed and the new dishwasher and microwave stashed in the dining room. The ice maker was the wrong one but the delivery guy refused our refusal - he was supposed to take it back but wouldn't. So now we have to go through Home Depot to get it replaced and hopefully someone out to install the new one so I don't have to do it.

On Saturday morning I re-hung the curtains in the living room and installed a new curtain rod in the living room minutes before my parents and brother's family arrived for a Jeff/Jim/James birthday party.  (On Saturday I got all the laundry caught up and on Sunday I filled the other hutch with clean laundry... only temporarily, mind you.)

On Sunday afternoon, I headed to SeaTac and flew down to L.A. and this week, I'm in Santa Monica for three days while Lori holds down the fort. I'm riding about 3 miles each way to work today and tomorrow (on Wednesday I'll make the hotel drive me the 2 miles to work and catch Lyft from there to the airport at the end of the day).  On Thursday morning the contractor and his crew will drop by and remove all the counters in the kitchen and all three bathrooms and install the microwave and dishwasher.  He says he'll try to make sure we have a working sink in the kitchen. Lori says we'll be eating a lot of Subway those few days - anything where there's no cleanup or even paper plates to toss.  On Saturday they'll return with some slabs of granite for the kitchen and bathroom and by Sunday, all that will be left in the house are (a) touch-ups; (b) uncluttering/packing; (c) more curtains to hang; (d) the yard.  I'm sure I'm oversimplifying.  Oh, and then selling the house, buying a new house, negotiating rent back, planning, packing, moving, and starting the new chapter.

But for now, I'm tired.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Day 45: 137 days to L.A.

It's been a busy couple of days (what's new?) but glad to actually have made some progress.

On Friday, I moved some of the new furniture closer to where it needs to ultimately end up.
I completed the paperwork that the Relocation Consultant needed from me and introduced her to our two (three?) realtors. That also starts the process that gets us an extra chunk of cash.

On Saturday I did some more priming of the giant wall in the living room and then Lori and I had a talk about where we were with the finances. We realized that with one of the two big medical things resolved and with the extra money that comes as part of the relocation package, we could get the painting done afterall. We contacted the painter and described our adjusted needs and he wrote back and told us when he could be here.

Today I took a bunch of boxes to Goodwill, and filled another box with coats for the next run.  I also strengthened the front-steps by adding an extra 2x4 the length of each step underneath the step. If there's time I'll do a little bit more on the edges of the step, but already they feel sturdier.  I also did some cleaning in the garage and added some more to the trash can for this week.

I'm about ready to sit down in our room and take a hard look at the stuff in the drawers.  Do I want this in California? Does this mean something? Does it have value? Or is it clutter? How long has it sat in this drawer? If someone else threw it away, would I even notice? Is there a way to honor it without keeping the physical item? Does it need to get moved to the garage to join others like it? (like all the nails and screws that have, over time, ended up in a bin in my dresser)  I really want to live leaner.

Tossed out a couple of license plates tonight, too.  Two from Califorina, two from Washington.  (Don't worry, I cut them all in half and threw half of each one in the trash and the other half in recycling.)   I hope next time around we get better plates - no more donkeys or grumbling.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Day 41: 141 Days to L.A.

Hope to be brief tonight - really seriously intend to be in bed by midnight tonight. Was up way too long last night writing that really long post.

Nothing much move-related happened today.  At least that I'm aware of. Lori and I didn't have good sleep last night, so she spent some of the day catching up on that. I worked all day, with only a brief stop for lunch and then worked some more this evening.  I made sure to get everything I wanted to get done, save this blog post (now) and reading (not happening) much earlier in the evening so I didn't end up at 10:30 with a long list of things.  Did get a few more things for staging, some new cabinet knobs and valances.

Rachel's sick and will be staying home tomorrow, looks like.  Still trying to get my new work computer set-up.  I got better access today, but still can't access the corporate network.  I find it hard to believe it's nearly Thursday already. This week is just flying by.  I guess that's good...?

I need to find the motivation to get more done, but I think that starts with feeling more rested. And doing a better job of consulting my to do list and then actually using it and checking stuff off and postponing stuff that I shouldn't be worrying about.  Ok, six minutes to midnight.  Time to sign off.

Day 40ish: 142 Days to L.A.

So I'm feeling a little anxious tonight about the move.  Specifically, finding a house, the right a house, a house we can afford, a house that will work for a us, a house that won't be a really awful commute. Instead of focusing on that, I'm going to talk about three other things.

First, Lori continues to recover. Most of her incisions are looking pretty good (as much as incisions can) and she's been feeling better, but still lacking in energy. She's, as she put it, champing at the bit to get back to work, but is being wise and not trying to tackle much right now. The house is looking better now that I'm not trying to keep the dishes caught up but she wants to get back to painting and decluttering.

Second, I had a chance to get some stuff done today.  I broke down some boxes and reorganized some stuff in the garage and crawl space.  I feel like it made a dent in those two areas. Donation boxes are better packed and ready to go and if the weather takes a turn for the better I'll be able to start leaving items out on the curb again. I've already been able to find new homes for a few items.

Third, let's talk August 2014 to present because if you really look at it, it's a little insane. Impossible. Humbling. Astonishing. Supernatural? Divine?

  • July - I realize I miss doing email marketing. I post in a group on LinkedIn wondering if anyone needs any help. Someone responds right away and I find some extra work getting to do email again.
  • August - got the outside of the house painted because the HOA said we needed to do it (or they'd hire someone to do it and send us the bill).  
  • September - Job got eliminated. It was no secret that my new boss and I weren't getting along, it was no secret that there was no longer a good fit for me within the organization, nowhere else to move within the organization and things were pretty miserable. I had been looking for work unsuccessfully.  They probably could have just laid me off, it was an at-will employer. But they give me two weeks' severance for every year of service, plus an extra month, plus there was a vested retirement account.  Day after job got eliminated, went to my grandmother's for her 95th birthday. My parents, my brother and his family and my whole family in town celebrating her birthday, including a party for her at her church. Wonderful weekend, took my mind off of everything.
  • October - looking for work without a lot of success. Change all my online resumes to indicate that I'm looking for work.  Some guy calls me, says I've actually been on his radar for some time, could he send me a few job listings because he thinks he has several that will be a good match.  A few phone calls, a trip to Seattle, a 30 minute phone call and a quick conversation with a few people and I'm here by a consulting form and immediately subcontracted to another company, ExactTarget.  I had experience with them previous, having had a large participatory role in the RFP that selected them as a vendor to replace our old email vendor... but by then I was leading the team, so I didn't have very much hands-on production experience. They give me keys to their office and I participate in long-distance training, some from home and some from an office at the consulting firm in Seattle.  (I get to work in Seattle!!!!!! In an office!!!! With the Space Needle behind me and reflected off my computer monitor as I work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • November - I show up at the ExactTarget in Bellevue. ExactTarget has just been purchased by Salesforce, and things have been shaken up.  Between the time ExactTarget charged Teleion with finding a contractor and the time I arrive, Salesforce has installed a new leader in the office who hired a full-time employee for the same role I was to fill. He honors the contract and says he'll do what he can to find work for me for the next six months.  I'm being paid by my former employer, the consulting firm and the side gig, so we replace the 26 year old heater and have a heat pump installed, and a gas line and replace the ancient hot water heater with a new one. I begin shadowing a team on a few clients, including Activision. The engagement is a struggle, everyone will admit that.  I drive 60-90 minutes each way every single day in the what was probably the tamest fall and winter in all the years we've lived here. I realize that I don't want to drive that long-term and that if I want another high paying job in this or a related field, that commute is a requirement, or we need to try to find a new place to live in the crazy Seattle real estate market.
  • December - I begin to have a minor but visible role with Activision, helping to pick up the slack with Campaign Management because in January the Campaign Manager is going on a three-week trip that had been planned months earlier.  I ask a lot of questions because I'm curious and context is important to me. I learn a lot from the current team.
  • January - They pull me aside and tell me that they're going to temporarily have me continue to be the Campaign Manager even after the real CM returns. I have a crazy week where I'm doing the CM work for her three clients and also helping to onboard a new client, working with their agency and doing hands on production work in the system.  That was 10-11 hour days with a 90 minute drive on each end. They shift all the other positions to San Francisco but don't have any extra CMs. With so many new people on the team (at Salesforce, Activision and the creative agency), it's decided that a face-to-face is a good idea and I'm invited to come along. As soon as I land in L.A., I have a voicemail from Lori. I call her back and learn my grandmother has passed away. It's somewhat expected and now means I think of grandma every time I'm there.  I meet the rest of the team at a Salesforce office in Santa Monica (on Third Street!) for an afternoon planning session. The next day we go to the Activision offices for a day of planning, discussion and learning more about the plans and objectives for the next year.  A few days later we have an absolutely wonderful memorial service for my grandmother. I knew she was awesome, but I did not know the depth of care she had for others.  She worked until she was 94 at an insurance agency (a day or two a week) because she had fun hanging out with the people there and she volunteered in her church answering phones and greeting people in the office (a day or two a week) and I got to hear some neat stories from people who came up to just tell me personally how Marjorie had been there for them at a time when they reached out to the church in a moment of darkness. And you should have seen all the photos over the decades that she had. Mom and dad made this amazing display covering multiple tables. I heard one person gasp in astonishment, a picture of them and family members from many years earlier, a photo they hadn't realized had even been taken.  Grandma rocked. 
  • March, April - they extend my contract a week or two at a time, never really telling me when it's going to end and not telling Activision either. I begin to work on documenting everything and training a replacement CM. She's a no-nonsense by the book type of person and I know she's going to be a bad fit. Fortunately, she also has moral objections to the violence of the Call of Duty video game and gets herself partially transferred off.  So I begin the training a second time with another CM.  I break the news to Activision (that my time is limited) because no one else is and I don't think that's fair to them considering the relationship we've established.
  • May - Activision calls and says they don't want to lose me. To be more specific about what they said would make me sound like I'm full of myself and full of something else. But they were very encouraging. I begin interviewing with Expedia for a possible role with Teleion at Salesforce at Expedia to help them with their ExactTarget implementation. I meet with a number of Expedia individuals. I'm back in the Seattle office at that point, so I'm ducking into the cell phone room for calls with Activision, calls with Salesforce continuing to train my replacements, and running back to Bellevue for interviews with Expedia.  One time I found myself crossing I90 while carefully eating a Mod Pizza because I literally had no time between meetings. Finally Salesforce says they want me for the Expedia role and that Expedia likes me and then springs it on me that it's still not permanent - they still want me to be a contractor, they're still not willing to make the investment. I announce that I'm taking the role with Activision. They call back and try to get me to take the Expedia role, try offering me a full-time role, etc., but at this point, Activision's done nothing but make me feel valued and wanted while Salesforce has gone out of their way to try to avoid any sort of ownership.  So Teleion says that they have no more work for me so would I please turn in the laptop and key to their office?   Two weeks of unpaid vacation end out May.
  • June-November - hit the ground running with Activision, from a plastic chair under a canopy in our backyard for a summer that was absolutely gorgeous on a new MacBook Pro (the laptop I had purchased in September wasn't powerful enough for Photoshop).  Also take ownership of an Xbox One because, well, working for a video game company, I ought to own a modern console, right?  I'm still not directly working for Activision, it's a six-month gig where I'm hired by a company in Arizona, but I'm having a blast, the work is fun, we're working through some of the previous issues and we're seeing a lot of success, unraveling a lot of mysteries, fixing issues and getting things into a really great shape.  Some great new additions at the creative agency get me some terrific new partners who don't have any memory of the former world. A trip or two to L.A. in there.
  • October - the BETA for the new game goes well, including the stuff we did for email
  • November - negotiations, job offer, realization of relocation, negotiations, waiting, counters, acceptance, signing, down to L.A. for orientation.  And the new game launched.
  • December - a much smoother December 2015 compared to December 2014.  I recommend Alicia Lawver for a job with the firm whose newsletter I started working on back at the start of this odyssey.  I haven't seen Alicia in many years (despite her living just a few miles away) but now working with her over email each month. That's fun.
  • January - a busier January 2016 compared to January 2015.  Lori's surgery.
  • February - here we are.  What a blast!  If you've been reading my blog at all, you know what's next - Lori continues to recover, we operate in this weird energy-saving space, people bring us meals, not a lot happens outside of the basics... House lists in April, house-hunting trip in April, hopefully an offer here, an offer there. Packing, decluttering, purging, waiting. And then, it's back to the golden state.  And Expedia announces they're replacing ExactTarget.
What a truly amazing nineteen months. I could not have pulled this off myself.  Without even realizing it, I found myself time and time again in opportunities where I could work hard and where I knew enough to be useful, helpful and in demand.  I had a chance to shine, but I wasn't the one controlling the spotlight.  I'm kind of awed and humbled by that.  Truly feel like it's one of those things where I can say "I was really lucky to be in the right place at the right time, and fortunately, I knew (or learned really quickly) what to do to be successful."

It was weird to work on my taxes this past weekend, W2s from the employer who laid me off (because the severance took me into 2015), the consulting firm in Seattle, the firm in Arizona, Activision and the 1099 from the company whose email I've been working on.  Packed a lot in to the year. Maybe once we get to California I'll have a chance to put my feet up and relax. Sure, I have my feet up right now, but I also have less than 5 hours until it's time to get up.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Day 39: 143 Days to L.A.

Another late night for me.  Besides this blog post, I still need to prepare the children's medicine for the next two days -- (Four cups, four lids, two straws... measured pre-mixed medicine+water with scale, make more of the pre-mix, two powders with two measuring cups, three liquids - dropper and two syringes, juice, mix well, clean up all the measuring cups, syringes, table) -- and clean catboxes (no, Apple, not hatboxes), and then set schedule my coffee for the morning.

Lori's making great progress - she's really reduced her pain medication and she's finding that she can do about 90 minutes of activity at a time before needing a rest or a nap.  She got up this morning and did a lot of getting the kids out of the door and ready for school.  It was kinda cool, all of us being up together at the same time, first Lori, Rachel and I, and then after she left, Lori, Ben and I.

Today was a good step forward - I had my first phone call with the Relocation Specialist who's helping with the move.  She said the call typically takes up to an hour, but we pounded it out in half an hour. I think that we didn't need her help in finding a realtor here or in L.A. saved a bunch of time. We talked about the house-hunting trip, the move, the pack & load, shipping the car, flights, hotels, rental cars, temporary housing, any costs we might be on the hook for, all the things we can expense, the timing of things, the impacts to the children, requirements (like max 500 miles a day for any driving we want to be reimbursed for during the move - which turns Lori's two-day trip into a three-day trip) and how they can help us ship Lori's mom car at the same low rates they get and on and on. I think during the negotiation phase, they undersold (or I underappreciated) just what an amazing relocation package this is. I know it was a long-shot, but I had wondered if they could just park my car at LAX in long-term. Sadly, that's a no-go - an adult has to sign for it.  (Any friends out there want to sign for it and drive it to LAX and leave it in long-term?)

The biggest takeaway is that it costs about $1/pound to ship things from Seattle to L.A.  The company pays for a set amount, but anything over that is on us and she said from her experience a house our size (she had already looked up sq footage and # of rooms before the call..weird.) was almost twice what they pay for.   Our move up here was almost 1/3 of what she thinks we'll take back down.

Threw away the rug that used to be in the dining room.  I'm a little sad to see it go, but I think it was time.  It's gotten old, faded, worn and it was just rolled up in the garage.  So now all that stuff just looks like dollar signs and it becomes much easier to part with it.  That will be the test now... "How must does it weigh?"  Is it worth that many dollars to ship?  Do we use it?  Would it be better to replace with a new one later? Would we miss it? (Can it fit in the trunk of my car and get a free ride down?) Considering our new house will undoubtedly be several hundred square feet smaller, will there be room for it?  (Not counting the several hundred square feet of storage that's not counted in this house's official square footage.)

Time to get ruthless.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Day 38: 144 Days to L.A.

It feels like we're getting closer to "normal" around here.  Not like yesterday, but like normal for us. We all went to church together this morning. In Ben's classroom, they have these large (2.5'x4'?) metal trays bolted to the wall and then lots of flat magnets that can go on them.  (The really weak kind that are less likely to be swallowed and not be injurious if they are.)  Anyhow, I've never know Ben to really play with them in class.  There was a similar setup in the waiting area of a place he went to years ago for therapy and I do remember him messing with them a little bit there.  Apparently, though, while playing today, he announced "This is fun."  Ben doesn't talk much, but sometimes a full sentence pops out and it's mind-blowing.  I wish I had been there for that.  Two weeks go he apparently gave another caregiver a spontaneous hug.

We had left-over pork and veggies for lunch from the wonderful meal Lori's mom brought over last night.  In the afternoon Gilda brought over pizza which we enjoyed at dinner time and Lori and Gilda got to spend some nice time chatting (I was hanging with Ben).  Rachel got all her responsibilities done, we watched an episode of Dr. Who, and then Ben and I went for a walk.  We worked on walking without holding hands (and not running off) and stopping and looking and holding hands when crossing the street.  It went really well.

I also got some contracting work done and I picked the top 7 mugs I want to keep in the kitchen. The herd was thinned out not too long ago, so we'll keep most of the ones I didn't put back in the cabinet but maybe 1 or 2 will get donated.  There, that was my contribution to the impending move.

Oh, also did my taxes. It was super-easy and super-quick with H&R Block.  There's still a few things to go back and double-check, but even with 4 W2s and a 1099, still took nearly no time at all. A few surprises, but at least one of them was pleasant.

Did not get into bed by 11 like I'd wanted to, but as soon as I'm done here, will do a little reading before turning the light off.  Also tried to count my calories but there were too many of them and I lost track.  I'm over tonight but not by nearly as much.  Starting to slowly get back to normalcy.  I'm 25-30 pounds less than when we move here, but over 20 pounds above my lowest, which was within 3 pounds of my goal.  Weight loss is hard.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Day 37: 145 Days to L.A.

I'm not sure I did much to get us closer to L.A., but today was a good day.  So I've been sleeping on the couch in the living room.  I wanted to make things as easy and quiet for Lori as possible during her recovery - none of my tossing and turning or anything to disrupt her when she does sleep, since she's been having troubles sleeping.  I've recently discovered that the coffee maker is the best way to wake up, better than an alarm, so I've gone to the trouble the past few days of setting it up the night before so that there's fresh coffee each morning when I wake up.  Morning me thinks night-before-me is really awesome like that.

So I got up at 8, had my oatmeal and coffee, and then went downstairs and fired up the Xbox.  I was expecting Rachel at 9 to play Skylanders, but thought I'd get some Black Ops III in while I waited. She never showed. Turns out that she got distracted, never got her shower done and lost track of time. Eventually I went upstairs, got almost all of the finances caught up and paid off another credit card.

Lori came down and put on Bolt. It was nice to have her back, she's mostly just stayed on the bed in our room, coloring and binging The West Wing.  But today she felt like she had some strength back and less pain.  (Yay!)

Then Ben wanted to go outside. I really didn't want to go, but he can't go outside by himself and when he doesn't go outside on the weekends, he gets really stir-crazy and can become quite the handful. So, outside we went. I raked up a lot of stuff, including a big pile of dead ferns I had cut down before our realtor visited.  I also made a pile of junk from the backyard that needs to go in the trash.

Then I sat in a chair and played with my phone for a long time. It was quite peaceful and quiet and I actually appreciated it. He mostly just sat quietly in the treehouse. But then eventually he slid down the slide and was ready to go inside.

Toy Story and part of The Incredibles was also screened today.

So we came in. Before too long Lori's mom stopped by with dinner - pork and cooked potatoes and asparagus. Yum. Then we got the children ready for bed, I cleaned the kitchen, Lori and I did a little research on appliances for the kitchen, talked about some recent listings that had come up, talked about our finances and then I went down and did some clean-up in the garage. Threw away some more stuff that won't be making the move, broke down some cardboard and stacked all the boxes of giveaway in preparation of another trip.

I also got a bit of work done for my contracting gig.

It was a full day, but not a stressful day.  It felt like "normal" day, but unlike any day we've really had before.  So maybe an idealized normal that I hope we have more of.

So, I guess I got some L.A.-related stuff done after all. Just no priming or painting. Soon, I'm sure.

Day 36: 146 days to L.A.

Wow.. if you name it, I'm behind in it.  Lori's surgery has really slowed all of us down. I'm trying to pick up the slack and let her have time to rest, but there's just some stuff I'm not as good at, as fast at or as patient at, plus none of my stuff has gone away.  Fortunately, we've had a host of awesome people providing meals.  And not just "here's a burger" but like "Here's a massive a third-of-a-refrigerator-shelf tin of homemade lasagna" - or a (literally) "three trips from my car to bring in all the food" meals. We've had chicken, pork, lasagna, pizza, not to mention birthday cake.  Our friends have really taken good care of us. We're blessed to have to work hard to fit all the leftovers in our fridge.  (Meaning plenty of lunches have been taken care of as well.)

Lori is on the mend.  She's not to lift anything over 5 pounds or drive. So she can't lift Ben or the cats (who weigh as much as Ben) and her mom had to take her grocery shopping today.  She's had trouble sleeping, ending up staying awake really late at night and then trying to sleep in despite all the noise we've made starting the day.

My work has been busy, busier than I expected.  I've been focusing on the stuff with deadlines, but then other stuff pops back up and demands my attention and I have to admit that I haven't been able to push it forward.  Different priorities are important to different people, but it's a bit of a challenge. But I love it - working with some really awesome people and trusted with some big things. Being in the office is going to be amazing. FedEx showed up today and handed me a new laptop. It's fast and big and light and I'm going to have to see if it fits in the duffel bag I use for travel, though I ultimately want a different bag that's better for cycling.

All of the surgery and household stuff has slowed progress on the house.  The four large pieces of furniture are assembled (though the two hutches are not yet attached to the two buffets and the glass doors are set aside for now) - those final touches won't be done until the painting is all done.  After we decided that we didn't have it in our budget to have painting done I did a lot of priming (single coat) on the big walls in the living room and dining room.  But that's been over a week.  I need to get back to it.  Ben and the cats are stealing all the tape that was holding the plastic in place at the foot of the walls to catch paint drips.

Our contractor's been selected, the contract signed and the initial payment made to cover all the materials.

We've been sorting through the houses that have come up so far - our realtor has a portal for us where we can put houses into save or reject piles and add notes why.  We're asking for a lot at a price point just below what most are listing for.  We're seeing houses go right away and we're seeing others stay on the market for a long time.  It's hard to know what to expect.

Crazy times.  (and I guess 8 minutes ago we switched over into day 37. Perhaps I should get some sleep... Rachel will be up by 8 and want to be playing Skylanders by 9.  No Black Ops III for me tonight, but there's still catboxes to be cleaned and the coffee maker to be scheduled. And then, hopefully some sleep. And probably some contracting work for my side business will come in and need to get done tomorrow.

I have been nowhere near my diet with all this great food and desserts.

I've been trying to read from the bible with Ben each night, but sometimes he's not in the mood, or he's been mean or I wait too long and he's too sleepy. Sometimes he's grumpy with me so I just play a chapter from the app instead of reading it myself. Today I opened up the app to re-read what I had let play last night (I may not have paid as close attention when the app reads it) but this was probably something I needed to read:

In view of all this (God's gift of redemption), make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting they have been cleansed from their sins. (Peter's Second Letter to Christians in Northern Galatia, ~68 A.D.)