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Posted on Tuesday January 13, 2015 at 7:29pm in

2014 has come and gone now, which means it’s time for another Year In Review! 2014 was a milestone year for me, and a year of transformation. I moved to Texas, started a new job at a great company, met a great girl, met a ton of awesome friends, experienced a ton of new things, and got in the best shape of my life. I have to say, out of all the years I’ve seen, 2014 is definitely at the top of the list so far. This year was packed full of events. Each month was so full that I had a hard time organizing it all. I did my best:


January was a month of a lot of big decisions. I left my job at JB Systems and did a lot of interviews for new jobs. I left my home in Wisconsin and made the big leap down south to Dallas, Texas (drove there in my 2000 Jetta). I nailed my dream job at rewardStyle.

2014: Year In ReviewThe drive from Eau Claire to Dallas


I started working for rewardStyle officially on February 3rd. I moved into my new home at Bella Casita apartments in Las Colinas, Irving, Texas. About two weeks after starting at my new job, my old Jetta, somehow sensing that its work was complete decided to break down. Instead of sinking another $600 into fixing the car, I went out and got my first new car ever. I got what I love: a 2014 candy white VW Jetta.

2014: Year In ReviewMy new car


My sister, Mackenzie visited Dallas for her birthday! I also started filling up my apartment slowly with more furniture. Looking at the picture below, I was thinking my apartment was really starting to shape up at the time – but it looks so bare compared to now! There wasn’t even a table or a TV stand. Just a couch and a TV on the floor to call the living room. My best friend since middle school, Bryan also visited Dallas. We rented bikes and went on bike rides, checked out bars, went on a reddit pub crawl, and went to a bunch of Texas restaurants. I also started going to the gym on a daily basis and got serious about getting into shape.

2014: Year In ReviewMackenzie visits Dallas


April was a huge month for me. I met an amazing girl at the beginning of the month, who I later started dating: Jenny Park. We met on Tinder, and after our first date we were hooked. I went back to Wisconsin for the first time since the big move for Easter, just for the weekend. When I came back we had our huge annual conference hosted by my office: rsTheCon. It was a two day event, and a lot of fun. I brought Jenny with for the after party on Saturday evening.

2014: Year In ReviewrSTheCon 2014


I went on my first Texas road trip! I believe this was the weekend directly following the conference. It was sort of a spontaneous trip because work gave us Friday off as a reward for hard work at the conference. Wow, looking back, I really packed a lot of things into one week. The Austin road trip was amazing — I had so much fun and I really wanna go back. There’s still a long list of to-do items that we didn’t get to.

Jenny helped renovate the apartment. We got a table, new lighting, mirrors, a rug, plants, a TV wall mount, and a few other things. My place was finally starting to come together.

I bought a pair of running shoes and started running three miles a day, five days a week. This is when I really started taking fitness seriously and started to get in much better shape.

Dog-sat Nala for Taylor. We had our own little doggie for about a month and a half.

Oh, and I turned 25! That’s a big milestone in itself. I had a great day at work, came home after a half day (summer hour Fridays at the office), and saw that Jenny had decorated the entire apartment with streamers and had a cake in the fridge. She was trying to keep the cake a surprise, but she didn’t really do a good job. She said we were going to go see the new X-Men movie, but instead surprised me with a surprise dinner party at Tilman’s Roadhouse and invited a bunch of my coworkers. Definitely the best 25th birthday I’ve ever had.

2014: Year In ReviewGreetings from Austin. We biked all over the city


June was essentially a month of partying. We didn’t really get much accomplished and had a ton of fun doing it. We went to a pool party at Club Sisu. We stayed out all night and slept all day (sometimes not at all). Taylor moved in, kinda. He crashed on our couch for a while, and more and more of his things started showing up around the apartment haha. He did find a place, though! We also dog-sat for Kody and Kelsey, so we had both Scout and Nala at the same time at one point this month.

Jenny also started working at Origin Kitchen and I discovered the magic of brunch. Texas does brunch seriously. Seriously well. #doses and #mimosas

2014: Year In ReviewClub Sisu


Finally got my Texas driver’s license (after five visits to the DMV), which made me officially a Texan. I got a huge raise at work and we went to Winstar to celebrate. We went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and saw the Japanese zen garden and a ton of koi fish. Jenny got her hair dyed to all the colors of the rainbow. We went and saw The Neighbourhood in concert at South Side Ballroom and pulled an all nighter at Eden the same night. Definitely my favorite concert so far. My office had a boat party to celebrate its 3 year anniversary.

2014: Year In ReviewBeautiful koi fish at the botanical gardens in Fort Worth

2014: Year In ReviewThe Neighbourhood ❤︎


Mom and Dad visited Dallas! I took off half a week of work and we definitely filled up the days with a lot of Texan things, but there’s still a big list left for the next time they visit. They came at a beautiful time of the year, it was super warm and sunny the entire time.

2014: Year In ReviewMom and I outside my apartment complex


My fitness efforts finally started showing visible results. It was nice to see that my work was paying off, but I also started something new this month: the keto diet. I’ve been doing this ever since September (still today) and with amazing results. The keto diet is essentially a low carb diet, and it worked wonders for me.

Jenny got a bit creative when she was cutting my hair and decided to make the sides short. Thus, my long curly hairstyle died forever. New hair, new Drew!

We went to Mad Decent Block Party, a huge outdoor summer music festival for electronic music lovers.

We went to the Oddball Comedy Tour and saw Louis CK, my favorite comedian!

We went to our first ever Texas State Fair! I got to go for free because it was part of a work event: rS takes over the state fair.

2014: Year In ReviewTexas State Fair 2014


Dad visited Dallas again, this time driving all the way down in one go. He brought a bunch of my stuff down from Wisconsin and I had to figure out what to do with it all. We went to the State Fair together, this time at night.

Jenny and I went with Jose and Eddie to see Adventure Club at South Side. This was also an awesome show, definitely on par with The Neighbourhood.

Jenny carved pumpkins for the first time! She carved Pusheen the cat and I carved Finn the human.

We started frequenting Taylor’s new bar, Round-Up on Saturday afternoons after Jenny got off work.

2014: Year In ReviewMy 2014 Halloween costume: Raver Kanye FBII Agent West

2014: Year In ReviewChillin’ @ Round-Up


Grandma visited Dallas! Unfortunately, she picked the worst weekend to visit because it was uncharacteristically cold the entire time she was here. We did get to go see the Dallas Arboretum and the tallest standing indoor Christmas tree in the US, though.

Jenny, Bryan, and I went to Los Angeles to visit Larry Chan! He moved to LA a few years ago to work at Space X. We spent most of our time on the beach, but we also got a nice tour of Space X.

Gas fell under $2 a gallon in Dallas. Lowest I’ve seen so far is $1.79 – never thought I’d see that again. Crazy!

We had a Friendsgiving Extravaganza at our place where Jenny cooked a feast fit for 12, but for actually 4.

2014: Year In ReviewGrandma and I at the Galleria

2014: Year In ReviewThe three amigos at Santa Monica Pier


And finally we come to the end of an amazing year. Jenny started a new job at Eureka Burger Bar, I hit my goal weight, I bought a pull-up bar for even more at-home fitness, and we had my office hipster themed holiday party. I went back to Wisconsin for a week and got to see family and catch up with a ton of old friends (still didn’t get to see everyone I tried to, though!) Wisconsin’s spaced out land and hilly landscape was a stark contrast to Dallas’ flat land and urban architecture. It definitely felt strange to be back after not even a full year away.

2014: Year In ReviewA Very Hipster Holiday

2014: Year In ReviewSuch desolation: Wisconsin

I created a special album that showcases my 2014. Click the link below to view it.

2014 Gallery

Here’s to a great 2015!

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Posted on Wednesday January 01, 2014 at 9:02pm in

2014 is here now so I thought I would reflect a bit on 2013. 2012 and 2013 seem to kind of blend together. It seems weird to think I graduated over a year ago now. I figure I’ll make this yearly review an annual post.


2013 started with a fun New Year’s Eve Party at Bryan’s new house (as did this year). Shortly after I went to Los Angeles for the first time.

2013: Year In ReviewVenice Beach Sunset

Larry had his annual Maximum Ridiculousity Party at Shanghai Bistro and we all dressed up and brought a fancy dish to pass. It went until the morning and was a lot of fun. I received my official college degree in the mail and I started working as a full-time salaried worker at JB Systems! The year had begun.


In February I released my first major Android application, Bookeep!
2013: Year In ReviewBookeep
Spel Mobile Software also put out their second app, Spel Memory.


March was the 3rd Annual International Culture Night, and my first time not participating as a student. Actually, JCS didn’t participate at all that time, so I wouldn’t have had much to do anyway. I was just an event photographer, so I got to enjoy the show and take pictures.

2013: Year In ReviewInternational Culture Night Cast

Hiroko also came to Eau Claire to get the rest of her things. I helped her move and we got to spend some time together. Unfortunately, I got really sick so I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I wanted to!


I can’t remember much of anything big that happened in April 2013. I was still hard at work, and I started trying to bike again now that the snow was clearing away.


Actually, it turns out the snow wasn’t gone. We had a huge snowstorm in the beginning of May and I went back to driving again. I did a graduation photo shoot for a bunch of friends that were graduating. I went to Fort Worth to celebrate my birthday with Hiroko.

2013: Year In ReviewA little Fish at the aquarium

I had a really fun birthday. We went to the aquarium, the casino, the beach, the movies, etc. It rained a lot, but overall the weather was nice. I even extended my stay by 1 day instead of going back for Labor Day.


Anki Aniki is released! I had been working on this app for 3 months and was really excited to finally put it up for sale. Since it’s release in June 2013, it’s been downloaded over 5,000 times! It’s been gaining a lot of popularity. This is the app I am the most proud of so far. I have been busy updating it ever since.

2013: Year In ReviewAnki Aniki

I can’t wait to see what app I’ll come up with next!

This is also the month we had to say goodbye to our dog, Sierra. She has been gone for half a year now, and it still feels strange to come home and not have her come to greet me.


Fort Worth Part III. I went to see Hiroko to spend 4th of July together.

2013: Year In ReviewFort Worth lawn flag

We had another really great time. We went mini-golfing, go-karting, went to the pool, had a cookout, went to see the fireworks (but failed to actually see them), tried to buy fireworks (but failed to buy actual fireworks), went to a nice Japanese restaurant, went to lots of restaurants, went on a bike ride to the beach, went to a Ranger’s game, and more!


I was fully biking to work each day now. I really like being able to bike to work. Mike was in town for the summer and we went to the Pizza Farm together.

2013: Year In ReviewOne of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten

The pizza was really great at the pizza farm. However, the Chicago style pizza I had in December might have topped it. It’s hard to compare tastes months apart.

August is also the month that went live, taking over from the previous domain,


Katie and Tom got married!

2013: Year In ReviewKatie’s bouquet

Breaking Bad, the greatest show on TV ended (actually just ordered my Breaking Bad collection today). I debuted


Bryan and I made the trip down to La Crosse to celebrate OctoberFest.

2013: Year In ReviewThere are three states in this panorama

I also released the responsive version of this website. Oh, and I was Kanye Banana West for Halloween.


The Boston Career Forum!

2013: Year In ReviewMy CFN name badge

I had a successful time in Boston and met lots of cool companies. It was definitely a good learning experience and worth the trip. I didn’t get to explore much of Boston, and Boston was really expensive, but I had a good time and I’m glad I went. This month, my car also broke down and I had to have it fixed for a grand total of over $1,400. Whew!


The last month of the year. I started off by going to Chicago with Michael to take the JLPT N2. That was a really fun trip. We got to eat Chicago style pizza, see the bean, see John Hancock Observatory and sample some great Chicago style hot dogs.

2013: Year In ReviewMillennium Park

I hope the test went well, but I still won’t know the results until February! Towards the end of December I also got to go to Irving Park for the first time. Christmas came and went as usual, with the usual festivities. The year ended with a New Years Eve Party (Funeral For 2013) at Bryan’s house. We watched Looper, counted down to the new year, and then I fell asleep on the couch. Not the most exciting, but I was just getting over a cold.

I created a special album that showcases my 2013. Click the link below to view it.

2013 Gallery

Here’s to a great 2014!

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