2014 was by far the most exciting year of my life yet. From wedding planning to start-ups, it was an action-packed year that I’ll never forget. Checkout the highlights below:
Competed in my First CrossFit Competition
In February I competed in my first real CrossFit competition – the “Winter Wodfest” held by CrossFit Eminence. It was a local, 2-day competition here in Colorado. Among the exercises was swimming, something I haven’t done competitively in years! Needless to say, after 2 days of grueling work it was a great personal experience. I ended up competing in another competition later in August.
Bought a House
Gabrielle and I purchased our first official home on April 22nd, 2014. The house-buying process was an experience in itself… but we were fortunate to find a house we loved, and could afford, within a few months of looking in a VERY competitive market.
The 3,000 sq ft house is probably more than we need. However, it’s definitely an ideal house to start a family in, which factored into our decision. Built in the 70’s it certainly needs some work… but that’s part of the fun! We’ve already painted most of the main floor, replaced the living room carpet, and installed new hardwood flooring in the dining room (special thanks to my dad). I also built my own bar, wine rack, and coffee table for our “hangout” den. More project and improvements coming soon…
Cabo with my Boys
In May I flew down to Cabo San Lucas with my brother and 10 of my closest friends for my bachelor party. I was truly fortunate to have that many guys leave the country with me before I tied the big knot.
We took advantage of everything Cabo had to offer and partied it up like we were back in college. Among the highlights were:
- Smash Bros
- Pushup contest
- Balcony Beer Pong and Cigars
- Beach Boozing and Volleyball
- Tearing the club up (multiple on-stage performances)
This was my 3rd trip to Mexico within the last 10 years, so it’s safe to say I won’t be heading back for a while… but thank you Cabo for sending me off right!
On June 14th, 2014 I married the love of my life, Gabrielle Cardwell (now Mrs. Gabrielle Jafarian!), after 7 great years of dating. We had our dream mountain wedding out in Breckenridge and couldn’t have asked for a better 5 days of fun and festivities with our closest friends and family.
We were fortunate to have over 150 guests, most of which traveled from out of state. We rented a large cabin that accommodated lodging for the entire wedding party and outside space for the wedding and reception. Some of the notable highlights:
- Morning CrossFit workouts in the backyard
- Cleaning out the local City Market with $900 worth of groceries
- Cole making random burgers right before we eat
- Day-before morning hike (40+ people!)
- Rehearsal dinner BBQ and Cornhole Tournament
- Awesome ceremony and sermon delivered by Pastor Barta
- Amir delivering the best speech of his life (literally)
- Gourmet wedding dinner prepared by my dad and Kabir’s family
- “So You Think You Can DANCE” style wedding reception
Our wedding day was truly one of the best [and most humbling] days of my life. There were multiple times where I couldn’t hold back tears, and I still get teary-eyed thinking about certain moments. Having that many loved ones in one place, just for you, is something that can’t be explained in words. It was amazing and I couldn’t be happier to start this journey with my new wife.
Lost my Grandpa 🙁
On a sad note, we lost my grandfather Knight (mom’s side) on our wedding day. After 90 years of living God decided to take him from us. He was one of the most resilient men I’ve ever known, battling disease for the latter 30 years of his life. Yet he always had a smile on his face. He was a role model in the truest form. He’s the reason for my interest and talent in carpentry, among other things.
His funeral was held in his hometown, Tucson, later in July. While it was certainly an event of sadness, there was also lots of joy and cheer in reminiscing his past. I also enjoyed getting to see my grandma and other family that I normally don’t see very often. We love you and miss you, grandpa 🙂
After the wedding we headed down south to Costa Rica for our honeymoon, which ended up being a much needed vacation. In one week we managed to hike the rain forest, view some wildlife (including baby alligators!), experience great food, and soak up some rays on the Costa Rican beaches. We also got to experience the native excitement of Costa Rica beating Italy in the 2014 World Cup! I’ve never seen so many smiles 🙂
In September my dad and brother packed up the U-Haul and moved in with us! Their apartment lease was up and we have more than enough room for another 2 bodies, so we were happy to have them. Raja and Rudy were especially excited to have some day-time company while Gabrielle and I were off at work. So far it’s been great having them around.
Launched a new Business
In November we filed the LLC paperwork for CM Fusion, a product I’ve been working on with a few buddies for the last 6 months. It’s a promising tech start-up that helps construction teams stay connected. We’ll see how things shape out in 2015.
We wanted to host Thanksgiving the first year in our new home, so we invited Gabrielle’s family up for the holidays. The total head count was 13 people and 5 dogs all under one roof! Our home was just big enough to squeeze the entire crew, although there was technically a slumber party in our living room every night 🙂
Some of the family festivities included skiing, a grand ole’ Georgetown train ride, a family song fest, monopoly, and a fine Thanksgiving feast thanks to the chefs – Big Rez (my dad) and myself. A very special thanks to my uncle-in-law Jason for buying and hanging our first Christmas lights!
Joined a Start-up
In December I made the decision to leave the consulting world for a full-time role with RxREVU. I joined them as employee number 11 to help lead their UI/UX efforts. They’re a great group of people, in the right space (healthcare), with a solid strategy, at the right time. So the next couple years should be exciting… lots to learn and be a part of.
Amir headed back to China
We had to say farewell to my baby bro in December. He decided that the states weren’t yielding enough career opportunity, so after almost 2 years of living in Denver he decided it was time to give China another shot. He’s currently back in Shenzhen grinding it out Asian style.
Well… that’s about it. I’m truly blessed to have had such an exciting year with amazing people. If I squeezed anything else in I probably would have had a heart attack! Seriously.
Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.