I set out with a goal of writing at least twice per month for a full year (and hopefully to continue that pace beyond that year, but at least for one year!).

I started out going good in the first half of the year. But then I sort of fell apart!

I'm redoubling my efforts starting now, and hope to resume my pace of earlier in the year. I want my blog to primarily be technical, and I will probably continue to write just for my own sake. To the last point, I wanted to write a bit about my year. This will be a personal post, and not have any code in it, so if you're bothered by that, stop reading now. =)

Think of this as the Spear Family Christmas Card.

It Begins

This is easily the most exciting year of my life. My wife, Rachelle and I started off the year finding out we were pregnant! It took us 2 years, but we were finally going to have a child. Actually, that's not entirely true. At the 2nd ultrasound, we found out we were going to have children. That's right! We were going to have twins.

Thus also began probably one of the toughest years of my wife's life! It wasn't enough to be pregnant with twins, but we had a number of other major life-altering things happen to us during this time.

Dog Days

Not the least of which, was getting a second dog! Our friends were breeding their Great Dane and we expressed interest in one of the puppies. We came to an agreement to take one of the puppies just days before discovering we were having twins. Crazy as we are (I am), we decided to move forward, and a few months later, this gorgeous little gal moved in with us:


Her name is Cinders, and she wasn't this little for long.

Just so Bruno doesn't feel left out, here's the pic of the two of them with her a little more grown up:

Bruno and Cinders

Moving On

Second to the birth of the babies, the biggest thing to happen this year was that we built a house! I mean, we didn't build it ourselves, we had it built. Building is definitely pretty stressful (and again, doubly so if you're pregnant with twins), but it was definitely worth it. We love our house and it definitely feels like home.

The New House

Packing and moving was crazy. Fortunately, we had lots of help from friends, family and church. Rachelle was put on temporary bed rest shortly before the move, and those close to us really came through in making sure we got all packed while Rachelle was out of commission.

Once we moved, and got things settled down, one would think things would be easier. But alas, Rachelle had a pretty rough 3rd trimester and we had a lot of day trips to the hospital.

Just as we're getting settled in the new house...

Double Trouble!!

Our beautiful twins, Madelyn Adelaide and Oliver "Ollie" Wiley were born September 18, 2014.

The Twins Newborn

They had to stay about 10 days in the NICU, which was pretty stressful. Rachelle spent a lot of time in the NICU with the babies. We were very grateful that friends and family could help with rides when Rachelle and I's schedules didn't sync up.

Speaking of rides... before the babies were born, our only modes of transportation were either a way too small Dodge Neon, or a 1994 Ford Explorer that I am always very relieved when it turns on. We felt that it was time for a new car! Not even close to the most exciting thing to happen this year, but it is nice to finally own a car that isn't old enough to drive its own car.

More of the Twins, Already!

Ollie was 4 lb 14 oz and Madelyn was 4 lb 10 oz. They had low blood sugars and had a hard time keeping their temperatures, which is why they took them to the NICU. It was about as "unserious" as it gets for having to go the NICU, but they had high risk for (and indeed got) jaundince, so it was good that they were in a place where they could get the care they needed.

Other than that, they were very healthy and undeniably adorable.

First Day Out of the Hospital

They wanted to moniter their weights, and at their first few doctors visits, they tracked their growth. It was off the charts! These guys were ready to make up for lost weight and were growing at a much faster rate than expected, which made the doctors (and thus us) happy.

3 Months Later

We're tired. But we're happy and we're surviving. It wasn't that long ago that it was just the two of us. Now it's the six of us! Our house is so noisy and bursting with life.

The Twins

It's been a crazy year. Work's been going well for me, and Rachelle's been an amazing mother, taking great care of all of us and the house. What more could a guy ask for? Triplets next year?