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December 23, 2013
Wholly crappers! December is about to end and I've got nothing! I'm not even sure what happened to October and November! Ha ha. Life has been a bit crazy. It is definitely ending the way it started: absolutely no work-life balance. It actually hasn't gotten as bad as it did in the beginning of the year. I mean, if The Daughter hasn't yanked off my headset from my head and say, "I thought you said no more phone calls!" then I'm good right? Right! Or maybe I'm just getting better at saying "work will be there in the morning" and leaving it at that. Either way, something is working: The family is happy and work is happy. Win-win for all!

Recently, I've been juggling both Documentum and Remedy. Documentum as a technical analyst and Remedy as a scrum master. The work load increased, but pay stayed the same. Surprise, surprise. Ha ha. Being the scrum master has been challenging thus far. Prior to this, I was part of the rotating scrum master for our monthly sprints, but boy this one is different. It focuses solely on Remedy and so it really puts the team members on the spot. And everyone gets upset when they are put on the spot for one reason or another and then they take it out on me, the Scrum Master. Damn, I'm just doing my job. Good thing I have tough skin!

I've had one member of the team accuse me of cracking the whip too hard. Well, guess what? If I'm measured on the number of successful sprints, meaning all user stories committed by the team in a given sprint are completed, then yes, I'm going to crack the whip. HARD! Plus, I even get my hands dirty to make sure we make our commitments! How many times have I had to pick up slack by helping the development team crank out some .NET code, or by writing SSRS reports, or research a Spike? I think I've earned the right to crack the whip, hard! Fun times, fun times. That reminds me: I need to invest in an actual whip and take it in to work. I know the guys will get a kick out of it! LOL.

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Alright, enough about work! Christmas is 2 days away and I have 1 present left to wrap once it's done charging. The kids are going to be ecstatic. I'm not even going to put this gift under the Christmas tree. I'm going to leave it in the fireplace with Santa's hat and see how long until the kids notice it. I know what you're thinking: an accident waiting to happen! Ha ha. So what if it takes a week?!! I also bought something for myself. The Husband doesn't even know about it! Better yet, I wrapped it right in front of him and he had absolutely no clue! I REALLY cannot wait. I'm not sure who is more excited for Christmas: me or the kids! Ha ha. And actually, I had to take a break from this to wrap 5 more gifts because The Husband was late giving me stuff to wrap. What a husband. What a wife! I know I'm awesome.

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More stuff about work: I get to take The Daughter to work with me tomorrow! Yippee! She is definitely looking forward to going to work with me. Excited! :)

Dec 02, 2013
Maisee Xiong: Christmas Tree Decorating 2013 How could I not share this picture?!! I know it is out of focus but I absolutely love it. They had just gotten done with their bath and were running around waiting for the lotion on their bodies to dry when they found their dad putting up the Christmas tree. We've made it a tradition to let them put on the ornaments once the lights are on the tree and that's exactly what they were doing when I captured this picture. Unlike past years, the ornaments are evenly distributed on the tree. All of the previous years, the tree was bottom-heavy with ornaments! I'm sure that's what happens when short people decorate the tree! :)

I really think this would have made one hell of an awesome Christmas card!

Merry Christmas to all! :)
Maisee Xiong