Category: Christmas Letters

Christmas Letter 2018

2018 started out a lot like 2017. There was immense stress from being sued by my father, and fear of the unknown that came along with all of that. There was still plenty of business stress left, as the company distributor was still burning through excess inventory from their huge forecast error in 2016.

To add to all of that, at work we had to update our entire quality system to a new revision, 13485:2016. It was a pretty major overhaul, and required revision to almost every one of 800 quality system documents. Between preparing for trial and overhauling the quality system, I was working a ton of hours, and going home and working more after the kids (and wife) went to bed.

In January, Nicole left her job of nearly 10 years at the transplant institute and took a position as an ICU nurse. She knew she wanted to get critical care experience, and the idea she could have 2-3 days a week off with the girls was too tempting to pass up. Not to mention the savings in daycare.

At the end of January, we were ready for the audit. The auditor came in and was more than a little impressed with the work we’d done, and we passed for the first time ever with ZERO findings of any kind. Those of you who are familiar with quality audits know that’s unheard of.

February was spent preparing for depositions for the trial. Mine was scheduled for mid March, and I had an absolute metric ton of information to digest, understand, and memorize ahead of that. Nicole will be the first to tell you that I was a machine when it came to getting ready for that. I put the finishing touches on the financial analysis just a few days prior to my deposition. That financial analysis involved going through 16,000 documents one page at a time, highlighting relevant transactions, and creating a fact-based history of what had happened financially in the company over 7 years. I boiled down 16,000 pages to a single binder with about 400 pages.

In March, I gave my deposition. The opposing attorney did his level best to get me confused, and then threw a curveball at me right before lunch, essentially accusing me of writing a check after I had resigned (which would of course not be cool). I spent the entire lunchtime fretting about what he could possibly be talking about, because I certainly didn’t have a recollection of doing anything like that, and I hadn’t come across a record during my analysis. After the fact, I went back and looked, and the check he was talking about was written 5 weeks BEFORE I resigned. The question was simply designed to rattle me. Which it did, so nice job, opposing attorney!

A week later, my dad gave his deposition. I won’t get into the specifics except to say that he called me “lazy, with no follow-thru, and with a terrible memory.” So that was endearing! Feelin’ the love!! To be fair though, he had told me the day he filed the lawsuit that if I ended up out of a job, I was “collateral damage.” Equally endearing.

In April, I began taking my certification tests I’d been studying for (kinda), and I obtained my ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Quality Auditor, and Certified Biomedical Auditor certifications. These are industry-recognized certs that help those of us who work in an ISO / FDA business setting.

In May, I turned 40, and my friends and family from all over the country showed up for a surprise party at my house. Not only was it a great party, Nicole planned the entire thing without me getting even an inkling of it, and that’s impressive because she’s terrible and surprises! Nothing really changed with turning 40 except that I finally felt like the grey in my beard was justified.

In June I met with the CPA to go over my financial analysis and make sure he was on board with its accuracy. He was able to look at all of our company records, and he was satisfied. He also looked at my personal bank statements to confirm none of the money in question went to me. I appreciated that he was so thorough, and would have been able to testify (if needed) that I hadn’t taken any money for myself.

June was also Olivia’s dance nationals in Ohio!

In July, I decided to pursue a lifelong dream of working directly in healthcare. As an 18 year old, that was paramedic aspirations, but at 40, I felt I had the sauce to do a BSN/RN. I met with the people at Research College of Nursing and went over my prior degree information. I then applied for their accelerated BSN/RN program. I had to start taking prerequisites right away to be ready for a January 2020 program start, so I had to enroll for them before I even knew if I was accepted. Risky!

August 6th was supposed to be the start of the trial. So naturally, at the last minute, we got bumped. That was some serious emotional letdown, because we were ready to rock and roll. Once the dust settled, our date was set for December 3rd. I didn’t want to spend 4 months stressing, so I told our attorney I wasn’t going to spend one second on trial prep until after Thanksgiving. He agreed.

In August we also took the girls to the Missouri State Fair. As is tradition, it was eleventy million degrees. They still had fun though.

In September, we got a wild hair and took a weekend trip to Branson. The kids had a great time and we got to check the box for “family vacation” even though it was only 2 days.

Also in September, Nicole got a job offer to work mother/baby at Liberty Hospital, which is literally 5 minutes from our house. Mother/baby was her inspiration for becoming a nurse in the first place, and she was excited to make the switch.

And we did family portraits!

September is also when I started taking prerequisites for the nursing program. I enrolled in O-Chem and Nutrition. They were the hardest class and the easiest class I’ve ever taken, respectively. I studied my butt off for chemistry, and I never cracked the book for Nutrition. I got A’s in both classes.

Literally nothing happened in October except for pumpkin patch and Halloween!

November brought Thanksgiving, which was also the trigger for me to start ramping back up for the trial. In a business case based around financial stuff, there’s just a ton to commit to memory. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I got my acceptance letter to the 2020 accelerated BSN!

December 3rd finally rolled around. It was time for trial. I woke up that morning at about 4 AM and was wired. Nicole went with me every day but Wednesday of that week. Day one was the “Jim” show. He pontificated and patted himself on the back and talked about how great he was for the entire day. He insisted everyone call him “Doctor” which was hilarious (since he’s not). He even set up a little… I’m not making this up… he SET UP A BOOK DISPLAY OF HIS BUSINESS BOOKS ON THE LEDGE BEHIND THE PLAINTIFF’S TABLE – COMPLETE WITH LITTLE DISPLAY STANDS!!!!!! There is a time for shameless self-promotion. I’m not sure a jury trial is it.

Day two, Jim continued his testimony which proceeded to be as entertaining and hilarious as it was infuriating. Ironically, during the entire time he testified, he never presented any of his own financial records to try and prove his case. He relied entirely on our historical financial records, which we had already proven conclusively were hot garbage through our examination of 16,000 pages of bank records. And don’t be confused – we gave them the records in discovery – they could have looked at everything for themselves.

On Wednesday, it was finally time for my testimony. Our attorney guided me through a bunch of facts and documents, then it was their turn to cross examine me. That’s when it got fun.

So in his deposition, Jim accused me of deleting a set of invoices. At the time of Jim’s deposition, I had already provided all of those invoices, WITH BATES STAMPS, in discovery. I couldn’t tell him so at his deposition, because I wasn’t allowed to talk. So, I sat there amused, a little bit angry at the false accusation, and mostly astonished he hadn’t looked at the records we had provided.

Fast forward back to the trial. Jim’s attorney, on cross, accused me of deleting those invoices. So I got to say “They aren’t deleted, I provided them on discovery.” The attorney looked dismayed – he had taken Jim’s word for it, and TWO YEARS AFTER THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED, they still hadn’t looked at our discovery records. I checked my notes, and said “You will find them at Bates Numbers 3977-4026.” Preparation paying off is always a beautiful thing. I was certain they’d bring that up again, and I was ready for it.

And that was that… the cross examination wrapped up in a hurry after that. Once I was done, we had a number of witnesses, attorneys, ex-employees, that had fact knowledge and had interacted with Jim. We put on a hell of a case – we had a hell of a legal team. But then it was to the jury.

So we all went into the break room and paced. For my grandma, it was wondering if she’d have a retirement left. For me, it was wondering if I’d have a job. Four hours of deliberations later, the jury came back.

We won. He was told to pay us six figures net and “punitive damages” to be determined by the judge. Now, I know my dad. He will never accept that it was a just verdict. He will blame us, blame others, blame the jury, claim he’s the victim. He’s incapable of admitting when he’s wrong. I’ve never heard him admit a mistake in 40 years, and I can assure you he isn’t Jesus.

I have to admit, the week after the trial, the emotional letdown had me cranky and on edge. It was 21 months of extreme stress (which was his goal in filing the lawsuit), and my family’s well being was at stake. We had hundreds of people praying for us, helping us out with the kids, bringing food, even doing the worship planning for the church (which is normally my job). As we get further away and the victory sets in, we can finally stop talking about the trial, about my dad, etc. Having our family all together and happy has been amazing, as once again demonstrated at Christmas.

My siblings had been reluctant to hang out the past few years, because the dynamic was so toxic. Not so anymore.

So as I enter into 2019, I have more prerequisites to take (Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, and Pathophisiology) prior to the January 2020 start date. I have four amazing daughters and a beautiful wife. I have a mom and siblings who are finally free, happy, and flourishing!

Olivia is going to start high school in the fall. She’s also in competitive dance again, and was one of the few girls at the studio to be selected to do a competitive solo! Elaina will be starting real school in the fall of 2019, so she is growing up fast. Mia is almost 3 and is the toughest kid I’ve ever met. Molly is 2 and is entering into an obstinate phase, but she’s still one of the sweetest kids I’ve ever met. Nicole is finally in a job she loves, with several days a week to spend with the kids.

Oh, I almost forgot, I more or less finished up my tattoos for the time being.

2017 Christmas Letter

Hello beautiful people who still check this site even though I barely update and when I do it’s unreadable hot garbage!

2017 started with a bang heard round the world. My mom filed for divorce. Of course, my siblings and I have been telling her to do that since 1994, but better late than never! Granted, my father won’t go away without a fight. But while you might think all of that drama would be stressful, I can honestly say that for her, myself, and my siblings, this has been a year of incredible freedom and peace. I can’t remember a time when it was this calm, happy, and loving. For plethora reasons, that’s all I’ll say about that for now.

That brings me to work, I suppose. In 2016, our distributor, who is not known for creating accurate forecasts, ordered double what they normally do. I pushed back and told them this was really weird and were they sure, and they said they were positive. Well, turns out they were not correct, and they had actually ordered twice as much as they needed.

My previous boss had this notion that we could force them to keep buying stuff they didn’t need, even though the contract didn’t dictate any such thing. I found out part way into the year that the distributor was looking for a way out of working with us because they were so sick of him emailing threats to “call the CEO” and other such nonsense.

In reality, the distributor had screwed up, but I don’t believe in throwing tantrums to get my way, especially when “getting my way” has no contractual basis or logic to it. Instead, we calmly worked with the distributor and came up with some very reasonable, workable short-term solutions, understanding that excess inventory would eventually be depleted.

What that meant was 2017 was a slow year – but ironically more profitable than previous years… imagine that. We have a solid core team that works hard. We have a ridiculously integrated quality system that we continually upgrade and spent significant effort on this year. We digitized 100% of our records and all current and future record-keeping is in the cloud. We cut costs, consolidated our space, updated our workflow, and overhauled our entire inventory system.

On the personal side, 2017 was a lot of work, but it was so much fun. Having two one year olds is a challenge as any parent of twins could attest.

Molly is the perfect baby of the family. It makes us not want to have any more. She was destined to be the youngest. She’s extremely mellow and sweet. She’s almost never mad. When she cries it’s for a minute or two then she’s over it.









Mia is very spunky and she lives life at 110% at all times. That means when she’s happy she’s HAPPY, when she’s sad she’s SAD, and when she’s mad, she will slay you and anyone who resembles you. She’s also tough as nails. I tripped going down the stairs with her and about killed myself. She’s more likely to break the stairs than be injured by the stairs.






Elaina is everything I would hope for in a four year old. She’s stubborn, funny, imaginative, emotional, and cannot for the life of her put a shirt on by herself. Her favorite activity is her “pick one” (iPad) where she watches YouTube shows. Her least favorite activity is eating dinner when I tell her to.









Olivia… she’s 13 in every sense of the word. She has become a woman before our very eyes. For a couple of years, we saw a child with occasional flashes of womanhood. Now, we see a woman with flashes of childhood. She dances competitively and has practice 4 or 5 days a week. She plays cello in the school orchestra. She’s got all A’s and B’s in school. She’s 5’10” and about to pass me up within the next year.








Nicole and I celebrated our fifth anniversary this year. I can honestly say it has flown by. Having 3 kids during that time probably had nothing to do with it. With the kids, we struggle to find time together, we run constantly, and we collapse into bed between 10:30 and 12, then start over again the next morning before 6. She’s adores our kids and they adore her. She’s the best wife any guy could ever ask for.

We have aspirations of living in SoCal, so maybe that will be the next big change for us. Or maybe it will be changing our last name to get rid of negative associations. Or maybe we’ll decide we need more kids. Maybe she’ll be having me committed to a mental hospital tomorrow. 🙂





Over the course of 2016-2017 I finished two full sleeve tattoos and started a full back piece (5 months to go on that).

If you have been a reader here or you know us personally, I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018. Keep your stick on the ice.

Christmas Letter 2016

2015 sucked. You may remember it from the last Christmas letter, or if you are lucky, you got to watch us flame through the year like the Bad News Bears.

2016 was different.

After our failed adoption with Brandon, we were quickly rematched with a new birth mom, this time in Florida. We took a couple of trips down to hang out with her during the pregnancy, but we were much less confident this time around. But then, a week into January, I met Nicole for dinner at 54th Street Grill, and there were no kids with her. This was unusual, but it was a nice change. Then she pulled out a box, and in it was a pee-stained stick that said “pregnant.”

Naturally this came as quite the surprise since we’d been told by the experts that we couldn’t conceive naturally. That meant we had to make a huge decision – do we go ahead and adopt anyway? We thought about it for a few seconds and decided yes, we were already committed to the birth mom.

We had numerous false alarms in late January, but eventually the call came that we needed to jump the next flight. We got to the hospital literally as the c-section was in progress. And little Mia Grace was born.

The next two months are a blur of a newborn screaming in pain every 15 minutes 24 hours a day. At the end of month two, the doctor finally relented and let us switch to a lactose-free formula. Almost instantly, Mia became our best sleeper. I really don’t remember anything from February and March except for having Mia with me in the basement all night so Nicole could sleep.

Throughout 2016, we learned that pregnancy while caring for a newborn is really not fun, but we knew it would be worth it.

April was filled with Royals games and dance competitions. Spring is always the best time for both. April is also the month Nicole and I celebrated four years.

In May, I lost my grandma after a long bout of hospitalization and pain. We all traveled up to St. Louis for the services and saw the family.

Then in June, I lost my mind, and I bought Nicole a new puppy for her birthday. The dog is so cute it’s ridiculous. She’s also stubborn, loud, and refuses to poop or pee outdoors. Ah, the gift that keeps on giving. We also took a road trip to St. Louis so that we could watch Nicole barf in plastic bags – as is her tradition while pregnant.

July and August, I was in bed. And in the bathroom. And back and forth. I had a case of Strep that was treated with Augmentin, and the Augmentin gave me C-Diff. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t google it. If you’ve had it, you know what I mean. Imagine if you will, horrible stomach pain 24/7, with a side of diarrhea every 10 minutes 24/7 – for months. My favorite (least favorite) moment was when I was on an important call with our distributor WHILE I drove myself to the ER. What I learned is that next time I need an antibiotic, I’ll just go ahead and die instead.

On the plus side, August also brought the finalization of our adoption of Mia. August 24th is her “Lucas Date”. Which is awesome because her birth mother had given her a legal name as a practical joke – Nicole Miracle.

Then September 9th, the most perfect baby in the history of babies was born – Molly Ryann Lucas. And I immediately saw that she had a cleft chin. Apparently she looks just like her dad – except for that.

For some unknown reason, my sister scheduled her wedding for a week later, so we loaded up our 4 kids and our recently c-sectioned wife and had a road trip to Madison. The drive there was ok, the wedding was a lot of work, and then on the way home, Nicole and I decided to get divorced. Fortunately when we got home we changed our minds.

Olivia and I went to the Royals and sat in the Crown Club for her birthday – and we got to meet Rex Hudler!

In October, my retina detached, as evidenced by a black line running through my visual field. I went to the ophthalmologist, then the retina specialist, and he diagnosed me with retinoschesis. Apparently I’ve had 4 previous detachments that were outside of my visual field. And apparently the treatment for this condition is – well, hopefully you won’t have any more detachments in your visual field.

November was my annual Society for Neuroscience trip, but this year I got to take Nicole (and Molly). It was in San Diego, so there was lots of beach time, and some unplanned house hunting. Yes, we like it there.

Finally in December, I started my quest to become fully inked and got my first three tattoos. More are planned, but it was a good start. My wife says they are sexy, but she also says I can’t get a “Don’t Tread On Me” tattoo no matter how much I want to. I thought this was America.

2015 Christmas Letter

So, we meet again. I’m fully aware that I didn’t even call when I broke up with blogging. I could have at least texted you. But I didn’t, and that’s something you’re just going to have to live with.

After October of 2013, my life was altered in a very permanent, very drastic way. A little tornado named Elaina entered my life and now my blogging time is spent hiding in the bathroom trying to get my Reddit fix.

2015 was a really long, tough year for the Lucas family. But here we are, still standing. In January we finalized our adoption home study, which involves fingerprints, financials, interviews, home visits, and microchip implants. Nicole and I were excited to get the process going, however, so we could adopt a baby before Elaina was ready to go off to college. In January, I also took over the worship leader position at our church, a church that is 50% young families and 50% people over the age of 65. As you can imagine, song selection is like a game of Russian Roulette where every chamber is loaded.

Then, in February, I blacked out for the entire month.

In March we went to visit my mother-in-law’s fiance’ in Scottsdale, AZ. The weather was great, and aside from taking a cranky toddler on an airplane, it went off without a hitch. In what we’re told is supersonic speed, we were matched with a baby-to-be in Americus, Georgia (town motto “We may be hot, humid, and gnat infested, but at least we don’t have any stores, restaurants, or attractions”).

When we returned from Arizona, we opened the door to our house and heard a waterfall. Water was pouring down the walls and through the light fixtures. The 2nd story bathroom supply line had burst and pumped out a week’s worth of water (about 60,000 gallons) into our house. It was a gut. I called ServPro and booked us a room at the hotel, where we would live until August.

The advantage to having your house flood is that you get to have all new floors, sheet rock, paint, and kitchen cabinets. The bad part is that you have to live in a hotel room with a 1 year old and a 10 year old. This also put the nursery decoration on hold for our impending adoption. We knew we were cutting it close – the baby was due in August and the house was due to be completed in August.

Over the summer Olivia competed at dance nationals in Branson, MO (mottto “We’re just like Vegas without the nice hotels”). Her team won “best of show” and all was happy. Ironically, we were living in a hotel while checking into another hotel. Double dipping on the Marriott points…

Then in August, we got the call “baby’s on the way.” We loaded up the kids into the SUV and started the long drive to Americus. We dropped Nicole at the hospital just in time to catch the baby and cut the cord, while I took the girls to the most disgusting, shady, dirty, 90 degree hotel room I’ve ever seen.

The next morning, my mom arrived and took over watching the girls so I could go to the hospital and meet the little guy. We named him Brandon after my friend and fellow worship leader Brandon Hollis. The mother signed the consent and we took him back to our hotel and began the wait for interstate clearance.

Sadly, in Georgia, they have a 10 day revocation period for an adoption consent. On day seven, the mother revoked her consent, and we had to take Brandon back to the social services building and hand him over. Then the long, sad drive home began. The girls were crushed. I was mostly angry. Angry about all the money down the drain. Angry that I’d wasted the only boy name I liked on a kid I wasn’t going to end up raising.

Now we wait and see what’s in store next.

Not the best year, but we certainly learned a lot as a family. Looking forward to turning the page. 2016 is bound to be better!

2013 Christmas Letter

When we last left off, I told you all that I hoped by this letter I’d be talking about a baby. I almost can’t comprehend 2013 as I sit here and try to put it into words. It’s been a wild ride, filled with anxiety, tears, fears, happiness, pain, and immeasurable blessing. So here goes 2013. January. Giving injections to Nicole. That’s how the first several weeks of the year started. Big needles, little needles, boxes and boxes of pills. The whole thing is overwhelming to even think about now that it’s all in the past.

The IVF process started in November 2012 when we began our orientation and started planning. After months of hormones and shots, craziness, and anxiety, on January 18th they finally did Nicole’s egg retrieval for IVF. She was sedated and sent to the operating room where they jabbed a huge needle into her ovaries 43 times. Of those, 22 were mature, 8 fertilized, and 5 made it to day 5. They transferred 2 eggs back on day 5, and 2 of the final 3 made it to freezing on day 6. Then we waited.

So get this. February 14th, Olivia, after a year of nada, tells me she loves me. Just one week later, we find out that we have a baby on the way. Also, a coworker told me I needed to “call Google and get screenshots of our deleted website.” You simply cannot make up this stuff. This is the same coworker that sent me a tersely worded email telling me I needed to “make sure I let her know in advance if she’s going to have a computer virus so she can back up her files.” The same person said the following to me: “I’m a really good artist; my sister is a painter and a sculptor.” Eh? True. Story. I’m an expert at Constitutional law, too – because my sister has a Ph.D.

Oh, did I mention in February we found out we were expecting our little IVF rainbow baby? March was memorable because of the first two sonograms and the visit where we heard the heartbeat for the first time. That pretty much sums it up. If you haven’t experienced that yet, I hope you get to. Oh, and I got to see the Weinermobile with Olivia.

April. Our first anniversary. What a wild ride this has been. Just two years prior I was being verbally abused on a daily basis by a selfish, lazy narcissist while she played all day and expected me to do everything for her. Now, I find myself living with an amazing, loving woman, and doing such activities as rhinestoning dance costumes. I could never have predicted any of this.

May can be summarized with this: On my birthday, I felt the baby kick for the first time. After fighting the urge, we finally gave in and scheduled a gender reveal party. When the pink balloons popped out of the box I’m pretty sure there were a bunch of really happy ladies. In June, what turned out to be the first domino of managers quitting at my company. She gave two weeks of notice then came in for only 6 of the days, in no particular order. This left me with the joy of figuring out her job and transferring my “knowledge” to other people who had no desire to add that to their job description. I am so tired of people leaving and doing it without any consideration. I long for, and will relish the day that our company is ridiculously successful so they can kick themselves for leaving the way they did. I have all your names on a list, and they’re all scratched out.

The only good thing that happened in June was Nicole’s birthday, which we naturally spent at the T-Rex cafe, because everyone knows that’s the best food money can buy. July brought our family vacation – the last before baby Nugget arrived. We decided to do San Diego, mostly because I love San Diego, but also so Olivia could see the “other” SeaWorld. We paid the big bucks so that we could have close encounters with Belugas, penguins, walruses, and other assorted wildlife. Nicole and Olivia even got kisses from the Beluga. I got some beach time and we racked up some Marriott points to boot. I even accidentally tipped a valet $100 and got treated like a celebrity the rest of the week.

In what may be the most shortsighted, stupid act in history, one of my managers quit in July because he got his nose out of joint about this very blog. You know I often say if you’re offended by a post, the shoe probably fits, because I’m not thinking of you… well, clearly the shoe fit and he didn’t like how it felt. In July, I also learned that bouncing back is harder the older you get. After falling while teaching Olivia how to roller skate, the guy came over and asked if I was ok and if I needed help. Naturally, being a guy, I said Heck Yeah I’m OK. Then I tried to get up and realized that I was in fact NOT OK. Sadly he had already skated off so I had to crawl to the edge of the rink under my own power. The 3D ultrasound we got in July was amazing. The first picture was so crystal clear and perfect that Nicole cried. Both of our parents were there along with grandparents and Olivia.

August 5th was a day that will live in infamy. It was the day I sent the final cash payment to my ex from our divorce settlement. I paid it off 3 years early. And now that it’s paid, allow me to tell you something. When a man divorces a woman after finding out she’s running around with other men, getting naked at drunken parties out of state, and generally not being a very good wife, the system is so screwed up he will still end up paying in a divorce. For me it cost $61,000 in cash and a $39,000 Jeep. That’s a ridiculous amount of money when you consider the circumstances. But it’s still a bargain when you consider I don’t have to spend one more second with someone who disrespected me in every way she could think of.

After a horrible SNAFU involving a heart catheter product failing during our clinical trial, I got to spend several days convincing the trial hospital continue the trial and another day or two with our engineer, Alex, cutting apart defective catheters in a clean room and reassembling them. Such is the life of an medical device startup. August was our second attempt at going to a Royal’s game as a family. This time it was above freezing and I insisted we stayed for the whole game. The older I get, the more I appreciate baseball.

September is literally a blur of painting and fixing our rental house that was destroyed for no apparent reason. With a week to go before our baby’s arrival, I decided it was the perfect time to have all of our home’s floors replaced. Nicole was super excited about it.

The beginning of October brought us a couple of false alarms that sent us to the hospital, followed by a scheduled C-section on the 7th. Nugget decided to cause a full week of contractions with absolutely zero dilation. The day of the C-section finally arrived, we went to the hospital early and sent Nicole in for her spinal block. She was a trooper and finally after listening to the assisting physician refer to his resident as “dumbass” four or five times, they invited me into the operating room. They cut her open, started tugging, pushed her back in, tugged some more, climbed on Nicole’s ribs and shoved, and the next thing we knew, a 8lb 2oz baby popped out – COVERED in hair. Nicole and I looked at each other for just a second, wondering if they’d mixed up samples in the lab. But upon closer inspection, it was clear she was 100% ours. Elaina Kay Lucas joined us 10/7/13 at 12:10PM.

The day before Halloween, I packed up a huge suitcase full of literature and product samples (read: disassembled parts), weighing in at 104 pounds. If you fly much, you know this is way overweight and most airlines won’t even take it if you pay extra. I tipped the skycap $100, paid the $75 overweight fee, and included a product brochure on top so TSA wouldn’t shoot me for checking a bag full of circuit boards and wires. I threw a minor fit in my hotel room as I missed Lainey’s first Halloween. Then I got over it and went to sleep, and then it was November.

After starting the company in 2006, we finally launched our first new products in November at the American Dental Association meeting in New Orleans and the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. Naturally they were one week apart and I had to attend both. The neuro was a SMASH hit with all of the nerds at SFN.