As we settled back into the Wisconsin lifestyle and stark transition from the Aloha Lifestyle in Hawaii, 2016 was great, but it had plenty of struggles.

Overall, it was a pretty eventful year filled with lots of travels, new experiences, and growth.

Colorado Snowboarding

My brother and I bought brand new snowboarding setups in our preparation for a big season ahead. Our first trip was to Frisco, Colorado where we stayed with one of my college teammates and friends, Greg Preston and his brothers at their condo in Frisco. We boarded three days and went to Steamboat, Vail, and Copper Mountain.

On the last day at Copper, we only had half a day since our flight left early that evening, but we got blessed with a huge powder day of about 18 inches. The best day I’ve ever had snowboarding. Ever.

New Apartment

After not finding the right house for us on the home-buying hunt, we decided to sign a lease for an apartment while we thought more about what we wanted and allowed the market to bring some new houses on it. The apartments we chose are about 20 minutes out of town, but it’s worth it because it’s dog friendly and has it’s own dog park. Keona gets to go everyday!

Epicurrence Montues

Photo Credits: Eric Verboncouer (GoPro Hero 4).

Eric (Brother, Partner at Headway) and I represented Headway at Epicurrence Montues in Lake Tahoe, CA. We brought the girls along with us to enjoy the trip as well as to visit friends in California after the conference.

The conference was epic, by design, and was the 2nd Epicurrence event I’ve been fortunate to attend. It was held at the Ritz-Carlton, the first time any of us in our group had stayed there, what a treat. Everything from the service to the bedding was lush and over the top. Nespresso in our room, fireplace, our room overlooked the outdoor heated pool and hot tubs.

The first night we got there, the mountain got ~30” of fresh, light, fluffy snow.

It was Lauren’s first time skiing since high school and her very first time on anything with more than a 500 foot vertical change. She took on the bunny hill, then the greens, and even a few blues!

California Visit

After Montues, we headed west to visit Kris & Michelle and scope out San Francisco for a few days. It rained most of the trip but we ended up swinging by some startups and saw some friends around the city.

We also spent an afternoon hiking just south of Menlo Park along a windy path and reached the top to see a rainbow in the distance.

Chicago for Lean Startup at Scale Workshop

Being a supporter of Eric Ries’ new book (The Leader’s Guide to Adopting Lean Startup at Scale) on Kickstarter, I was invited to a private workshop held only for supporters and backers of the book.

The workshop was all day and included collaborating with a partner throughout, focusing on creating next steps for an idea or problem you’re facing that you’re looking to solve, and then discussing.

The workshop was a fast track through the book and was focused on some specific learnings of Eric’s over the past 5 years of administering, reviewing, and analyzing the Lean Startup principles at work.

4th of July Up North

Every year we head up North to The Lamal’s cottage with the rest of our brothers and their families. It’s always amazing pending time in the northwoods disconnected from technology. Days consisted of swimming, fishing, bonfires, drinks, and reading in the hammock.

Las Vegas – 30th Birthday

I turned 30 this past summer and my brothers, sisters-in-laws, and Jon all met in Vegas for a 5-day weekend! Most people think that 2 days is enough, but 5 days still felt like it zoomed by. The only game I play is craps because there is the illusion of control over the outcome as well as the dice.

Aside from playing craps, we spent time feasting on the best food Vegas had to offer: Hash House a Go Go, BBQ, and many other gems. We also took the day trip tour to Hoover Dam and experienced the monstrous wonder of the world. The speed and size that it was built is incredibly impressive.

Miss-es

Lauren and I have been working to conceive and start a family of our own beyond our doghter Keona, but both times we were met with bad news. We experience 2 mis-carriages, one in August, and another in November. We’re hopeful and have faith that our little family will start to grow soon!

Circles Conference in Texas

I attended Circles Conference in Texas, learned from some amazing people, and met some great new friends. After the conference, I was able to meet up with Fanfuse co-founder and developer, Chris Benjamin. We spent some time with one of his friends tasting whiskey and tried my first round at Top Golf.

Packer Games

This year, I was fortunate enough to attend 4 Packer games throughout the season. The games in the beginning of the year were awful but as they improved and made their 8-game winning streak happen, I attended 2 and those games were absolutely thrilling.

San Francisco for Eultopia

In November I was the best man in my best friend’s wedding. We stayed in Half Moon Bay, CA and it was absolutely beautiful.

We spent the day of the wedding boogie boarding in the fridged and powerful ocean, being tossed like tiny debris in the foam.

It was the most beautiful setting at a Peruvian restaurant, La Costanera. Just steps from the beach, the whole view and atmosphere took your breath away.

Headway

Shiny New Headway HQ

We moved into our new office space at the end of March and it’s been a great space so far. One of the reasons for having a larger, open space, is so that we can hold community events and socials to bring the De Pere design, development, and startup communities closer. We were able to host almost a dozen events at the office space in 2016 and also was home to Code Convoy on Monday nights during the course.

Started a Podcast

Chris Schmitz (former partner at Headway) and I started a podcast called Seaworthy; a podcast about building successful software.

It’s been a blast so far interviewing and learning from so many different people and experiences.

Spreading Design

I also started Wisconsin UX, a meetup where we dive into new tools, methods, and explore previous experiments and scenarios that have created amazing outcomes for our users.

Added 2 New Crew Members

Our crew grew by two as we added Tim Gremore and Noah Settersten to our development team, bringing us up to a total of 6 crew members at Headway.

Summary

All in all, 2016 was a fun, eventful, and successful year.

Cheers to 2017!