Thursday morning I was talking with Dan about my book and how many copies I wanted to order myself. 100? 500? He looked a bit squirmish and said, “Maybe we should wait and see what happens today. Microsoft just announced that they’re laying off 18,000 people.”

That is a number larger than five.

He went to work and called around 11am to say he was pretty sure the ax was going to fall in his general direction. He had an ominous meeting request at 1:00. We both knew what was coming. I went next door to my neighbor’s house to hug and cry and then I cleaned my house for two and half hours and forgot to eat.

And then the ax fell and we talked and I cried and we both commenced an involuntary job-loss-induced cleanse, netting me a 4 pound weight loss in a single day. Drop of Awesome!

I immediately texted our family and after they’d responded, I promptly put a note on Facebook, announcing the great news:

“Friends and family. Good news. Dan Thompson, possibly the world’s greatest code-writing ninja, is available to come and write code for your company, preferably a software shop based in the Seattle area. He was a casualty of the massive layoffs at Microsoft today and a free agent for the first time in eleven years.”

The outpouring of love, support, and most importantly job leads was insane. It was like Dan got to attend his own funeral and listen to the eulogies and the eulogies were so awesome that several people offered to bring him back to life and to a better life than he had previously been living.

One friend texted from his vacation in Hawaii, setting up a phone interview with his company. Others from around the country offered any options they could think of and everyone who’s worked with Dan let him know just how sad and shocked they were that he was affected by the layoffs and how great it had been to work with him.

And they are right. Dan is awesome. I have no doubt that he will be employed again very quickly.

But there’s still a mourning period. He was recruited by Microsoft at a career fair at BYU and he’s never even switched groups over the last eleven years, although the people and products around him have changed many times. This is the only big-kid career he’s ever known and to have the ax fall is pretty traumatic. And we still like Microsoft. Overall, the company has been very good to us and we believe in many of their products. For example, you’ll have to pry my Windows Phone from my cold dead hands before I’d switch back to an android device (Sorry Google peeps who may be interviewing Dan next week. I’m sure you’re simply lovely.)

It’s like being dumped by your high school sweetheart, who you still kind of have the hots for even after all these years. It eats rocks.

And then there’s the momentary financial insecurity. We have decent severance and savings accounts. But I don’t want to dip into our savings accounts and I don’t want to have a paycheck end date.

I spent much of the afternoon Friday canceling non-essentials. Yard care, pest control, milk delivery, etc. Each person I’d call would ask if I was displeased with the service and each time I’d muffle a sob and say, “No. You’re great. My husband lost his job today.” While I was on the porch making these calls away from my children’s ears, a UPS truck showed up with an Amazon package of something we didn’t need. I declined the order. It felt kind of powerful to say, “I can do without.” (Sorry Amazon execs who may be interviewing Dan next week. I’ll reorder it after you offer him a job.)

Taking my neighbor’s advice, we decided to tell the kids enough to keep them informed but spin it in a positive way.

“This is a good time to see how blessed we are that we prepared for things like this so we won’t have to worry about money while dad looks for a job.”

“Will you help us think of creative ways that we can save money so we won’t even have to use the emergency savings?”

I told them that the reason I was crying was not because we were worried about finding a new job because logically we’re not. I told them I was crying because something good was ending and something good IS ending.

In a crazy scheduling coincidence, we ended up watching our friends’ two kids overnight the night Dan was laid off and all day today.

So, today, on Dan’s last day with a badge, we hit the Microsoft Campus with gusto and a couple of friends in tow for a self-proclaimed layoff party.


We drank free soda and chocolate milk and ate at our favorite campus restaurant.


We played in the fountains and with the electronics in the company museum.


We took pictures and helped dad pack up his cereal, and awards and rubber ducks.


We made echos in the parking garage.


And we danced.


People were nice as we left, but sort of awkward with their faces awash in survivor’s guilt. Smile sheepishly and look away as Dan parades by with his earthly possessions packed into boxes carried by our, three, wait, five, pathetic, smiling children. It was all very dramatic and Tiny-Tim-ish. On the elevator, a coworker murmured condolences and Wanda beamed up at him and said in chipper excitement, “My dad isn’t going to work here anymore!”

Awkward silence.


When we were alone, Dan coughed into his hand and said, *cough* *cough* “Buy me last pape?”

We laughed so hard tonight thinking about it. Bringing the extra kids in for our grand exit was so money.


It’s been a great eleven years, but he was about due for a change. Good things are coming our way, we can feel it. So long Microsoft! May your nerdery ever be fruitful and your chocolate milk flow free.


Past Posts About Microsoft

Posted in around town, blick, he's so fine he blows my mind, Honesty of Children, scaring the neighbors, What Thompsons Do, work, world domination | 21 Comments

Good News

The good news is that there’s more good news than bad news, more kind people than mean. With a tiny shift in focus, you’ll make this your reality. [read more at]

Posted in around town, aspirations | 1 Comment

Bust a Prayer Printable

I’ve been blogging for almost nine years now. I know, kids. I am the oldest Daring Young Mom ever. That was before Instagram was a thing. It was back when you’d say, “I blog,” and people would cock their heads to the side, squint their eyes and say, “You, what, now?”

After nine years, I decided to create my first printable. I figured it had better be something amazing, something life changing, something written by Stanley Kirk Burrell, doing business as MC Hammer. You’re welcome!

busta printable

Posted in faith, printables, rap battles | 4 Comments

Hot Heat

hot heat2

It is stinkin’ hot here!


“forseattle,” she coughs into her hand.

In the Seattle area, we tend to worship the sun until we actually feel the sun and then we shrink and hide from it and ask each other “Why, why, WHY?!” while crying and dumping slurpees on our faces. When temperatures rise above 75, heat-induced whining takes over. Above 75 in Seattle is like below 65 in southern California. DISASTER!

It’s been in the high 80s the past several days and we don’t have AC and it just makes you want to start a nudist colony in a field of naturally-occurring free range ice cubes.

Unless you are my kids.

If you are my kids, you get home from church on Sunday and change into your fleece Christmas jammies before heading to choir.

hot heat

When I asked Magoo WHY HE WOULD DO SUCH A THING, while I mopped my melting flesh up off the sidewalk, he said, “I wore these so I wouldn’t have to use a blanket.”


In other news, we are having fun jumping on the trampoline with all the ice from the freezer. We also get to spend lots of time in our air conditioned car because hot dry season also means it’s time to slap down all new roads. Everywhere. At the same time.

Today we were driving to swimming lessons and Wanda shrieked, “MOM! MOM! It’s an INSTRUCTION PINECONE!”

You know? Those bright orange pinecones, used by instruction workers when they’re doing the yearly road changing.

I did not correct her.

Posted in around town, blick, disasters, family fun, fashion, scaring the neighbors, weather | 1 Comment

Drops of Awesome LDS Resources

Wondering how Drops of Awesome is informed by my faith? You’ve come to the right place!

I recognize that most of my readers are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many do not share my belief in God. This is why I created the Drops of Awesome Journal with a broad focus to reach a wider audience. The book really zones in on what each of us can do personally to shift our focus and recognize the good we are doing in the world.

However, I also find great joy in my belief that I am not doing this alone, that there is someone far greater than myself contributing to my Bucket of Awesome.

So, after several requests for LDS resources to accompany lessons and activities about Drops of Awesome, I’ve been slowly gathering scriptures and conference talks that will work as a supplement to the book, coming out in September from Familius. I will continue to update this page as I find material. Feel free to leave me a comment with a talk or scripture reference that helps you remember to keep trying and that our small efforts matter. Continue reading

Posted in aspirations, faith | 7 Comments

I Could Have Danced All Night

It’s jazz night at the Senior Center. Dan’s playing saxophone in the band and the kids and I are eating delicious gentle-on-the-dentures delicacies, reading middle grade fantasy novels, and periodically dancing like spasmodic maniacs.


My feet move in a pattern somewhere between awkward tween shuffle and the jive. My arms twirl and throw Laylee around until she’s dizzy, grinning and confused. We’ve got moves. They just might not be sanctioned by any of the currently ruling international dance organizations.


Out on the floor is a couple who knows all the moves. They’re probably in their eighties or nineties. She’s beautiful and he’s a little hunched over but incredibly strong and confident. They glide through turns and lifts like they’re still in their twenties and people applaud them whenever they take the floor.

Near the end of the night, the man taps me on the shoulder and asks me to dance.

“I don’t really know how,” I laugh.

His smile is warm as he gestures to the floor. “It sure looks like you do.”

“You are kind, but last time I danced with someone at one of these things, he was very disappointed.”

“I can’t believe he would tell you that. I have never in my life made a lady feel bad about her dancing.” He looks incensed.

“I’ll try if you promise to help me and be patient.”

His look says, Don’t be ridiculous.

It’s an understatement to say he’s good. He is A-FLIPPIN-MAZING! Hands down the best dancer I’ve ever danced with, of any age. I shuffle along at first but gradually start to pick up on his lead and find myself doing moves I’ve never attempted. My face is locked in a perma-grin.


Between songs, I thank him for dancing with me. “My husband is in the band so I rarely get to dance.”

“And let me guess,” he says with a twinkle in his eye, “If you’re husband’s in the band, he’s probably not much of a dancer anyway.” He winks. This ninety-year-old man is flirting with me.


I don’t let him lift me off the ground, although I can tell he wants to, and when the song ends my dip is not as low as he intends. At 35, I’m not as graceful or petite as his bride. But I feel amazing.

As he leads me off the floor, everyone applauds, and I realize that I didn’t once notice anyone around us while we were dancing. I’ve rarely been so absorbed in an activity. My cheeks ache from smiling and I’m drenched in sweat.

That dance was a gift.

I take a minute to imagine myself as a young girl in the 1940s, having a night out at a dance hall. Instead of Chacos and a t-shirt, I’m wearing pumps, hose, and my best dress, my hair curled in victory rolls. I wonder what my dance partner looked like back then.

Then, I laugh to think what senior centers will look like when I’m in my nineties. Will we be crowded around an aging DJ, cranking out Milli Vanilli and Dub Step remixes, while we imitate MC Hammer and pop and lock? Maybe one of my friends will teach krumping on Tuesday afternoons.

But no. We will never grow old so I don’t even need to think about it. I could better use my energy preparing for the hip hop class I’m taking with my friends later this summer…

Posted in around town, aspirations, family fun, save me from myself | 2 Comments