New Year, New Plans

New Year, New Plans. And for us Californians, El Nino season!

Black Swan events, slight imbalance in plans and actions for the year of 2015 has pushed some of list items into 2016. I am moving in to 2016 knowing two goals for the year, and an outcome. 3 of my ARE tests, California Supplemental Exam- and the definitive outcome of these two being a legal change of name from IRA Consultants, LLC to IRA Architects, LLC. IRA just turned five, and the fifth year was nothing short of adventure. 2015 taught resilience, patience and accepting failures with the same grace as triumphs.

Time to plan 2016!

00000.0 Priority Numero Uno: ARE and CSE.

00000.1 ARE Exams: BS/ SS/ BDCS. Finish the mandatory break on Jan 15th and resume studying.Start using the new Hay Yellow Moleskine Planner to make a schedule and stick to it.

00000.2: Pass the exams, or repeat 0000.1.

00000.3: Form a CSE Study Group at local AIA

00000.4: Take Funkaar class + Gather study material

00000.5: Register for CSE and take the test

00000.6: Pass the test.

00000.7 Patiently wait for license.

00000.8: Legally change name of the company to reflect licensure

If done with the top priority item, then add other items to the list, or rinse-repeat until done. Meanwhile continue with work-life and other necessary deviance to stay on task, and stay focused.


This month the #ArchiTalks blogging community is joining together on this month’s post to help a friend. It’s a simple life- work and family, but sometimes simplest things come with the most complex of demands. Having brought a child home from NICU, I know the pain first hand. Here are more details about Rusty and his wonderful baby boy Matthew.

Matthew Long was born May 29th, 2013, happy, and seemingly healthy. Less than two days later his mother and I found ourselves in an neonatal intensive care unit waiting room, listening to a rushed intensive care doctor explain how our son needed immediate dialysis to save his life. The disease, he briefly explained, was one of a group of disorders called Urea Cycle Disorders, which impact the way the body breaks down protein. We later discovered that Matthew’s particular variant is called OTC Deficiency, a particularly severe form of it in fact, which results in a rapid rise of ammonia in the blood, called hyperammonemia, resulting in devastating neurological damage. This form of OTC is so severe, Matthew has virtually no peers who have survived it. Once the immediate crisis was arrested, we came to find out more about the disease and the impact of this initial event.

The disease is inherited, and the damage is permanent. Treatment consists of a combination of medications, low protein medical diet, and ultimately a liver transplant. Matthew was fortunate to experience no additional hyperammonemic events in the following fifteen months of life, and had a liver transplant on August 24th, 2014. The cure for the disease, a transplant, isn’t so much a cure as trading one condition for another. While we will never risk the chance of another ammonia spike, Matthew is on a half a dozen or more medications at any given time to avoid rejection. Despite these challenges, intensive daily therapy for cerebral palsy (a result of the initial damage), limited motor function, and various other challenges along the way, our son is remarkably happy and has changed all our lives for the better. He’s taught us to be stronger than we ever thought possible, to have faith beyond human understanding, and the immeasurable value of life.”

The #ArchiTalks community is hoping to raise $5,500 to help Architect Rusty Long and his family reach their financial goal on If each reader of this post contributes a small amount, our impact will be massive and we can make a difference for Matthew’s family.

Click here now and donate $2.00.

What are my other Architalks friends planning this year? Read their blogs and get inspired!

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
New Year, New Community on Business of Architecture

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
New Year, New CAD

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
New Year, New Adventures

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
new race new year new start

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
New Year. New Budget.

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
New Year, New Goals

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
New Year. New Gear.

Cindy Black – Rick & Cindy Black Architects (*)
New Year, New Casita

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
New Year, New Underwear

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
New Year, New Era

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“new year, new _____”

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
New Year, New Plan

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
New Year, New Adventures

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
New Year, New Life!

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
New Year, New Home

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
New Year, New Adult Architect

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
A Little Premature

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
New Year, New Business

Brinn Miracle – Architangent (@simplybrinn)
New Year, New Perspective

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
The New New

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
New Year New Reality

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@anth_rich)
New Year New Desk

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
New Year, New Goals

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
New Year New Office

Aaron Bowman – Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
New Year, More Change

Kyu Young Kim – Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
New Year, New Office Space

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
New Year, New Reflection

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
New Year, New Direction



















  1. I think it is great that you are focusing on one big goal with a firm understanding of the ‘little’ goals it will take to get there. Good luck on the exams. Here’s to passing them on the first go round.

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