Well, what a crazy time this past year has been. Here at the Cleary home, we had a son who graduated High School, became grandparents, sent my son off on his Mission, and decided to renovate some house renovations.

My son’s graduation was not the usual, but quieter, with restrictions, followed by a car procession with everyone avoiding each other. He only got to attend his senior year for half the year; I think he was kind of happy about that, though πŸ™‚ At the end of the year, we sent him off to serve his 2-year Mission, speaking Spanish, and he is currently in Tacoma, Washington area. 

My daughter and her husband had their first, a daughter called Evelyn. My wife Lisa and I are now grandparents!! Who would have thought it? It is such a weird feeling to have one of your kids now have their kids. However, just as with my kids, there is that immediate love when born; it was the same with our granddaughter. She is terrific, and I got to wear the baby carrier a few weeks go, while she slept and do all my video Teams meetings πŸ™‚

We also decided to renovate our home a little. We replaced the entire kitchen with a few enhancements. Bought new appliances, re-sanded and re-stained the wood floor on the main level (the whole level), re-painted, new lights, smart switches everywhere, so I can be lazy and ask Alexa to turn the lights on and off. We also re-did the laundry room and replaced the doors to the deck. We are still in the flows of the renovations, but there is light at the end of the tunnel now. It has been interesting to live and work at the house while renovations continue. For example, we couldn’t walk on the wood floor for a week, except for nighttime, and we had to stay in the basement πŸ™‚ I am excited to see what it all looks like when done, and I am happy with the outcome so far.

Work is going well; in fact, I have been busy, and I am genuinely grateful for that, especially with others who have lost jobs, etc. I count my blessings every day that I can continue to work and support my family. I have been creating courses, teaching classes, consulting, and playing catchup on tasks. I am also presenting at a few conferences, both virtual and in-person. If you want to catch up and see me, you’ll find me here:

Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon

  • Exam-Cram: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services
  • Exam-Cram: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security

Cloud Lunch and Learn Marathon 2021

  • Introduction to Automating Azure with Azure CLI
  • Implement the Top 10 Security Features for Microsoft 365

Techorama 2021 Spring Edition

  • Security and Compliance within Microsoft 365

SPFest Chicago 2021

  • Exam-Cram: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services
  • Introduction to Automating Azure with Azure CLI
  • Top 10 Security Features to enable in Microsoft 365

SPFest TeamFest DC 2021

  • Using Azure Sentinal with Microsoft Teams

I am also doing webinars; you can see me here (links to come):

  • Hacker Explains: Top 5 Ways Attackers Can Break into SQL Databases
  • Hacker Explains: Practical Steps to Secure Your SQL Database
  • Hacker Explains: How Your MS Teams Can Be Compromised

It is still crazy but with the kids back at school 4-days a week now, it is a little less stressful while working. What is nice is the time we spend together as a family, whether indoors or outside. The pandemic has bought my immediate and extended family closer together than before. I hope that for you and your family, it is a similar experience. It is also a time of reflection, to remember those that left this frail existence, treasure the memories and then move forward even more determined to be better, and do better. If there is one thing we all learned this past year, is that life as we know it can change in an instant.