As 2020 comes to a close, we are looking forward to 2021 with some hope. We have effective vaccines on the horizon, new leadership at the top, and reason to believe that Covid will soon be behind us. Still this year has been tough on all of us, some more than others. Looking on the bright side, we and our friends and family have largely avoided the brunt of the pandemic both from a health perspective and a financial perspective. But like many we’ve had the cloud of the pandemic linger over our heads for many months now.
We do have some good news to share — we’re expecting a second baby in July 2021! We’ve only told immediate family and our closest friends, so you all are among the first to know! We’re very excited. Somehow they’re going to tell us the gender in a few weeks (via a blood draw). This is a lot earlier than when we learned the gender of our first child (via ultrasound).
On a sadder note, our first-and-only nanny decided to move to another state. Her fiancé wasn’t working and she was only making ~$25-30k or so from us and another family. They wanted to buy a house and have kids and financially it just wasn’t feasible for them in SoCal. Our baby will miss her and he will not understand why she is longer coming to see him. We still have video calls now and then, but it’s not the same for him. We don’t want to hire another nanny just yet because of the pandemic. My wife is also not currently working so it’s hard to justify, although she appreciates some free time if I’m tied up. We’ll probably send him to preschool in a year or so and that’ll about offset the cost of a part-time nanny.
Work-wise it’s actually been a busy year. Despite trying to fly under the radar, I still billed around 1,700 hours this year. I’ve been trying to aim for 1,000 hours. But I think it’s OK. It’s not like I was going to go play golf or anything. Hopefully next year will be a little more chill, but from the looks of it, we’ll be just as busy. My head wasn’t (and isn’t) in the game right now.
Financially, we’ve done well this year. Seems a little uncouth to even say anonymously though. We all went through the big drop and rebound. The net rebound was almost double the amount of the drop. This is why I don’t try to predict markets because 8 out of 10 times I will be wrong. My brother got crushed when he decided to short TSLA. He works in finance so it’s hard for him to just go with the market. He’s always trying to find opportunities and sometimes it just doesn’t go his way.
Housing has also gone up a ton. We refinanced our house twice this year from a 4.5% 30 year mortgage to a 3.25% 15 year mortgage and finally to a 2.5% 15 year mortgage. The fences on both sides of our property blew over when the Santa Ana winds hit us with gusts over 50 mph a few weeks ago. One side of the fence went up the following week. We’re still dealing with our neighbor on the other side who has been much more difficult.
One fun thing I’ve taken up is aquascaping. I mentioned it a little bit in my last post. I’ve added all the plants and some Amano shrimp to our tank. I’m expecting to add fish (harlequin rasbora and celestial pearl danios) soon. It’s been a nice diversion from the pandemic and our kiddo also enjoys spotting the shrimp.
I hope everyone is doing well and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and reinvigorated 2021!