Look! It’s my annual personal year-end wrap-up post! A reminder: I don’t expect anyone to read this, but the practice of looking back and reflecting is really good for me. I think about the future all the time and the past just about never. But man, I have a great life and an INCREASING amount of that is in the past. So I’d better get better at paying attention to it.

So. What happened in 2018?

Work Stuff

Work was a trip this year! I got to travel a bit, we hired TWO more full-time people that I love, and tackled some big stuff. I’m launching a year-end review over at brandnewbox.com later this week.

Side Projects

Erika kept chugging on Might Oak, her oak-mite-relief magic potion.

I kept making Dumb Cuneiform, my clay-tablet-as-a-service.

My book publishing project made major headway: two more of the Charles Williams Library books came out, and I have two more at press right now, and the remaining two are all set up and ready to send to the printer as soon as funding comes in. It’s happening.

This year’s NEW side project is Baijiu Review, a site to host reviews and ratings for baijiu, the world’s most popular liquor that you’ve never heard of. This has been really fun, and we’ve gotten participation from several big brands so far. We’re just getting started.

Let’s see. What else?

I also continued on our church’s Trustee team, which oversees operations & finance.

Erika continued her work with the Social Service League and on the board. She also managed the big annual Dress Giveaway.

My Chinese study really stalled out, in part because I got busy and in part because I got just bummed out. But I’m recommitting to it in 2019, eternal optimist as I am.

I taught in the spring semester at KU, a design class that covered the basics of Interaction Design. This was a senior-level version of last semester’s class, secretly titled: ‘Everything Matt Wants You to Know Before You Apply at Brand New Box’. It was fun, but this semester it was a night class which is less fun. This year KU hired an actual interaction design professor, so they didn’t need me.

I started cooking a lot more! This fall I took over more of our food prep work, and I have weirdly enjoyed it. Ask me about my recipe manager app sometime.

House Stuff

Again, I really wanted to minimize time spent on our house, but we did get a bunch of new windows and front door, and a new deck built out front. We love it, and refer to it as our new living room.


A huge project, mostly for Erika: her mom bought the house next door to us, and Erika is working to remodel it. Erika ripped that house apart down to its studs, and she’s got most of it all put back together now. It’s going to be really nice for her mom, and it will be nice for us to have her so close. This has been a huge effort for Erika. She’s so impressive.

Los Niños

My children are still astonishingly wonderful.

We also had lots of other babies in our lives this year. Abuk stayed with us for a few weeks after she had a new baby, and it was lovely to have a new baby in the house. Especially one that isn’t ours.


We kind of traveled a lot this year? It somehow doesn’t feel like it, but that feeling can’t be right.

The Sea Hates a Coward