Fall fun at the farm

DSC_9746 DSC_9742 DSC_9741 DSC_9732 DSC_9731 DSC_9719 DSC_9714 DSC_9689 DSC_9683 DSC_9679 DSC_9670 DSC_9665 DSC_9656 DSC_9650 DSC_9619 DSC_9586 DSC_9579 DSC_9576 DSC_9569 DSC_9568 DSC_9556 DSC_9554 DSC_9552 DSC_9551 DSC_9542 DSC_9532 DSC_9526 DSC_9523 DSC_9521 DSC_9520 DSC_9513 DSC_9505 DSC_9504 DSC_9501 DSC_9499 DSC_9498 DSC_9497 DSC_9495 DSC_9486 DSC_9481 DSC_9480 DSC_9479 DSC_9477 DSC_9475 DSC_9472 DSC_9471 DSC_9470 DSC_9468 DSC_9466 DSC_9464 DSC_9463 DSC_9462 DSC_9459 DSC_9458 DSC_9457 DSC_9456 DSC_9455 DSC_9453 DSC_9451 DSC_9448 DSC_9445 DSC_9444 DSC_9441 DSC_9440 DSC_9439 DSC_9438 DSC_9436 DSC_9429 DSC_9416 DSC_9412 DSC_9404 DSC_9398 DSC_9385 DSC_9374 DSC_9364We got to spend an amazing fall afternoon at our traditional pumpkin patch and corn maze spot, Cagle’s Dairy Farm.  It’s a lot bigger (and a lot more crowded!) than when we first started going there 8 or 10 years ago, but no less fun.  The main attraction for the kids, and sometimes the adults, are the jumpy pillows.  They are like huge, permanent trampolines, and they are free.  A complete blast!  They also have a corn maze, a hayride down to the lake with multiple bonfires for s’mores, and a haunted barn (which we skip because several of the Olssons who shall remain nameless are complete weenies about stuff like that.  Ahem.).  This year, Grammie and the Roswell Andersons got to with us and we had such a fun time.  Enjoy the photos.

 

I Can Haz Job!

image of the 1Password lock icon

All right, so: people have been asking (because a certain someone *cough*Beth*cough* leaked the information), and the answer is yes: I has new job. That’s right, after a dozen years out of the paying workforce, I’m BACK, baby!

And I couldn’t have asked for a better fit for my situation of still needing to be the primary caregiver (which, these days, involves fewer bodily fluids but more gasoline). I will be working from right here in front of my own computer – which is where I spend most of my time anyway, if you ask my family.

More importantly than anything else, though, is this is a fantastic group of people with a product you may already have heard me waxing rhapsodic about in the past, well before any sort of paid employment was on the table. I will be doing email support for Agilebits, the makers of 1Password.

If you don’t know what 1Password is, you and I probably haven’t spoken computer-talk in years. I advocate it to everyone in this day and age of simultaneous increasing hacking vulnerabilities and more and more of our sensitive information being stored online. Some way to manage all of your various passwords has become essential, and nobody does it better than Agilebits. What makes them such a good company is they’re a group of people who truly love and believe in what they do — so naturally, they do it well. And it’s an infectious spirit to be around and be a part of. I really can’t imagine a better fit for me, in many ways.

So that’s all the news that’s fit to print for now. Today was my first day, and my head is still swimming a bit. Gotta go catch some shut-eye.

 

2014 National Speed Climbing Championships!

That’s right! Jack made it through the Divisionals in Houston last month and thus earned a berth in the National Championships which (thankfully) were held here in Atlanta this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 10-12. Here’s the video (this was uploaded in HD, so crank up the resolution and watch it full-screen!):

Thursday, the day this video was shot, was preliminaries. There were an absolute TON of contestants from all over the country, and only the top finishers moved on to the finals on Friday. Unfortunately, Jack was literally the first person after the cut-off, meaning if he had done better than ONE other person, he would have made it to the finals on Friday.

Needless to say, we were crushed to learn just how tantalizingly close Jack had come to advancing to the finals, but both sets of grandparents who attended and of course also we, his family, were SO proud of his finishing time of 12.13 seconds. This was Jack’s first year of competitive climbing, and for him to have made Nationals is a tremendous achievement. We’ll get ‘em next year! Go Jack! :)

Welcoming Meredith to an Atlanta tradition

Every July 4th, the AJC hosts the Peachtree Road Race.  From it’s humble beginnings in 1970 when 110 runners did the course on sidewalks, it has grown into the largest 10K in the world with 60,000 people braving the heat and humidity to run, jog and walk the scenic route from Buckhead to Midtown.  There are elite runners from all over the world who start the race in seeded positions with a goal of the prize purse ($100,000 this year), but the vast majority of participants are running for The Shirt.

The official race t-shirt is perhaps the most popular aspect of the Peachtree Road Race, perhaps due to the limited numbers of t-shirts available in the early race years. Each year a different design is chosen through a contest sponsored by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper and a limited number of shirts are made. T-shirts are only available to runners who finish the race, and thus have become a status-symbol among Atlanta culture.

No one know which design has won until the first runners collect their shirts.  The winning choice is very hotly debated, but regardless of your opinion of the shirt, you wear it with pride for the rest of your Independence Day celebrations.  In fact, I have mine on right now and it looks like this.

For this first time this year, Meredith and I got do the race together, along with Todd, Heather and Todd’s BFF Jeff.  It was something I’ve done a few times before and I was just thrilled to get to share it with her.  We were lucky enough for an outstanding day, weather wise.  Just before we got to the starting line it was 69 degrees with relatively low humidity.  Absolutely perfect.

The start is set up in waves of several thousand runners in order to handle crowd control.  Our group was assigned wave Y.  We tried to sneak in with group R and got totally busted by the PRR security and were escorted outside a fence to wait for our wave.

I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures, with captions that I hope will give you a glimpse into what a fun tradition this race is….one I can’t wait to do again next year!

 

Summertime, Summertime

Welp, it’s summertime across the USA, and as yesterday was the Inverness 4th of July pool party extravaganza and we have ourselves (courtesy of Wells Fargo) a shiny new GoPro Hero 3+ to play with, we figured, why not take the sucker for a spin? Note: this thing’s got pretty amazing resolution, so crank the settings up to full and hit full screen. Summer, y’all!:

Meredith loves riding

I got a new snazzy lens for my camera today, so I stuck around for Meredith’s riding lesson and took some shots. I haven’t actually watched her ride in a while and I was impressed with her progress. She’s really getting good. Enjoy!

 

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Scout Camp!

Jack was very nervous about his first week of sleep away camp, but I was really happy to see his anxiety tempered with a lot of excitement this morning! I hope he has a fantastic time!

Ready for camp 1

Ready for camp 1

Read for camp 2

Read for camp 2

Packing the trunks

Packing the trunks

Jack, James and Sean

Jack, James and Sean

Herding cats

Herding cats

HERE!

HERE!

Buds 1

Buds 1

Buds 2

Buds 2

The gang

The gang

The gang 2

The gang 2

Looking forward to fun

Looking forward to fun

Laguna Beach

photo of Lars and Beth sailing

Not actually Americas Cup…but still!

Yes, Lars and Beth went to Laguna Beach, CA this past week. Not the entire week, just Sunday through Wednesday (5/11-14). It was what Beth called a “recognition event” from her employer. They called it “Celebrating the Stars,” which amounts to the same thing. In essence, throughout the nation – and at all levels of the company (or nearly all) – managers and co-workers were asked to nominate people whose work had been truly exceptional over the past year, and the recipients of this honor were invited to bring one guest and attend this event.

Though it was employer-based (and paid for!), it was only nominally a “work event.” In fact, there was only one short meeting of all the employees, for about 90 minutes, and that wasn’t even truly work, it was more a welcome and a short presentation on what criteria people were chosen on, and how to continue high caliber work in the future. The rest of the time we were explicitly told to have fun, NO work. Laptops not allowed, etc. So we did. Join us after the fold to see what we mean – let’s just say it was an incredible trip :)

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Jack at the 2014 Regionals Climbing Competition!

In the rock climbing world, there are fifteen regions in the USA, which in turn make up five larger divisions (click the map (or here) for interactive map at USAClimbing site):

image of USA climbing regions

U S A • C L I M B I N G • R E G I O N S

Annual competitions go from local “comps” to (for those who score high enough to qualify) Regional competitions, to (again, for climbers who make the cut) Divisionals, and finally to Nationals. Saturday, May 10th was the Regionals competitions for climbing regions all over the United States. And Jack, having placed high enough in local comps, was invited to compete at the Deep South Regional in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here’s the video I took of his three attempts. This year, each climber in Male C (Jack’s age group) was given only ONE attempt at three different problems. I missed the very beginning of route #1, but got all of #2 and #3. Enjoy! (and apologies for the shaky/grainy camera work: I had to climb the stairs across the warehouse to get a decent vantage point):

 

Oh…and if you were wondering? Jack placed 7th out of 15, ensuring him a spot to go on to Divisionals in Houston in June! Yay, Jack!

The Big Easy, Olsson Style

The last vacation we all took together was 2 years ago, spring break of 2012 when we went to visit DC and meet my then-newest niece, Ella.  So this year, we decided to head south to the coast to spend a few days in NOLA (New Orleans, LA).  It was an all around fantastic trip. Here are my thoughts, day by day, with some pictures to round out the post.

photo from New Orleans

Click to embiggen!

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