This is not my beautiful house!

This weekend, Nicole, Eli and I flew to Seattle for a little house hunting. We’d all scoped out the area before, and of course, Nicole had been researching online well before we boarded the plane. Our real estate agent, a recommendation from a friend and co-worker, had a tour all prepared for us — she knew exactly what we were looking for. We allowed ourselves a price range we wouldn’t have been comfortable with at home in Canada, because there you get what you pay for as far as school districts go.
We had 7 houses on our hit list. I think the 3rd one we saw was the one we settled on — and we knew it almost as soon as we got there. Its 2300 square feet, has a view of the Cascades mountain range from the cavernous master bedroom, has two parks within a block of our front door, and a Starbucks, grocery store, library and physiotherapist all within 2 blocks. Above all else, the areas award-winning school is in walking distance.
It will be a commute for me — 40ish minutes every day, unless I find a carpool — but it will be comfortable for the family, and we managed to pull it off at a price that makes good financial sense.
Our house here closes on July 25. The house there closes on August 2nd. The mover will pick our stuff up in Canada on July 22, and by the time it gets there, our house will be ready.
Until then, I’ll be living in corporate housing in Seattle. Sunday I begin my drive cross-country, giving myself 7 days to do it. I suspect it will be less. My expenses and mileage will be paid by the relocation firm.
Nic and the three kids will be alone in Ontario — but fortunately, most of the big rocks are moved. Life should carry on pretty normally for them for the next few weeks. Before the movers come, I’ll fly home to join them and over-see the packing, then we’ll all fly out together and camp out in the apartment until the house is ready. Our American kids should have Passports by then, thanks to Nicole’s well-orchastrated trip to the U.S. Embassy in Toronto, and we’ll be ready to send them to school on day one… once we figure out what grades they’ll let them into!
On the whole, this relocation has gone incredibly smoothly. The timing has flowed perfectly, and we feel blessed in our new adventure… and blessed by those we’re saying good-bye too. We’ll miss a lot of people and a lot of places, but we are excited about having something new to conquer…

Hey I heard you were a wild one

Now that the last of the details is straightened away — the small matter of obtaining permission to work in the U.S. via a TN (Temporary NAFTA) Visa — I can talk about exactly what’s going on with work.
They say the key to telling a joke is timing. In my experience, the key to growing a career is timing too. It turns out God’s timing is the best!
For the past almost 3 years, I’ve been employed by the world’s largest software company as a Developer Evangelist. My job has been to encourage, then enable, strategic software company partners to develop their software on our platforms. This is by far the best job I’ve ever had. My team is awesome, the mandate is fun and important, and the resources available to pursue my committments in a way that is custom-shaped for my skillset have made this a dream job.
But that sense of timing started kicking in around January, suggesting that it was time to find a next step. Rumors of changes, likely for the good, but nerve-wracking given my physical proximity to my team, gave me the extra push toward openness to other options. And regardless of path, the timing was right for a relocation.
When a certain company known for selling books, book reading devices, and lesser known (but immensely powerful) Cloud services, asked for an interview, I felt it was prudent to explore it. And when they offered the opportunity to be on — and to help shape — a new team doing developer evangelism for a certain book reading device that I happen to be quite impressed with, Nicole and I felt it was prudent to accept.
As for duration — well, if you look at my resume, the timing of most of my roles is about 3 years. I do not know where this new role will go, or how God will lead from here, but as of now, our plan is to rock this job until its natural conclusion, continue to expand my network, and when the metronome swings the other way, return back to this part of Canada for the next step.
However, I need to be clear that we do not believe the steps in my career to be random chance, or strictly the result of good networking and shrewd timing. We believe that God is equipping us for something — some work in which we can more directly glorify Him with the talents He’s growing in us. In my mind, there’s no other explanation: I don’t believe in luck, and I do believe I have been blessed beyond what I deserve. We will continue to follow the path of equipping that God provides for us — and take each step He provides with as much faith as we can muster…
Its incredible to believe that in the past two weeks God has provided a buyer for our home in Canada, authorization to buy a house in the US, paperwork to allow us to work there, and put together the details of a move we couldn’t hope to have planned by ourselves. By this weekend we may even have our new home in Seattle secured!
A few details remain aside from the new house: Ben and Abi are U.S. citizens but currently do not have U.S. passports, which they’ll need to make the final move with us, the offer on our current home has some conditions that need to be firmed up by Friday, and of course there’s the actual physical move, and the trips back-and-forth between here and there. But God is faithful, and we’re confident the rest will fall into place according to His good timing…