Lately

I have more feelings than words these days but I want to document some of our doings while we've got the fab five together. We had a great roadtrip a couple of weeks ago on a Monday holiday:

 Picnic before the hike

Picnic before the hike

 Fizroy Falls

Fizroy Falls

 The fam. (We need to work on our group posing configuration, clearly. Also, our hat game is strong. We need to convert Lauren, though.)

The fam. (We need to work on our group posing configuration, clearly. Also, our hat game is strong. We need to convert Lauren, though.)

 Hampden Bridge in Kangaroo Valley. Oldest wooden suspension bridge in Australia.

Hampden Bridge in Kangaroo Valley. Oldest wooden suspension bridge in Australia.

 We found a cool river/swimming hole beneath the bridge (the view downstream). 

We found a cool river/swimming hole beneath the bridge (the view downstream). 

 Stone skipping contest (the view upstream, from the same spot as above)

Stone skipping contest (the view upstream, from the same spot as above)

G and I tried lawn bowls, which was great fun--more like that winter sport curling than bowling. It was such a great group game--we will be back with our kids for sure.

Sam and I attended academic conferences (aka parent-student-teacher conference) at his school, Aussie style. Which is not unlike speed dating. In case you're wondering (spoiler alert), it turns out his teachers are big Sam fans. 

[Which reminds me, I think amidst my parents' visit and M's graduation I neglected to document here for posterity that Sam was named Dux at the end of the school year. It was a great surprise and we were really happy for him and with him. Here's the photo of the big auditorium screen:]

Yesterday I got up early and drove to attend the Merimbula Branch Conference, which meant I got to watch the rising sun bathe the countryside. It was breathtaking. (But, sadly, no photo does it justice, especially not a blurry one from the car. Also, I forgot to take a picture of seaside Merimbula, where the branch building looks out over the ocean! Next time.) Also, I love my calling. 

Hey, I have a dissertation defense date! (Well a range of dates, awaiting confirmation from one of the committee members. Somewhere between 18-22 June.) Things are getting real up in here. I hired undergrad coders here to do some work for me and they're almost done, which means the next phase of analysis and writing is about to commence. (Big, restorative, calming breaths and Stuart Smalley affirmations.)

Typical scenes around here lately: 

  • Sam doing homework with headphones on,
  • our five NCAA brackets spread around the kitchen counter, 
  • Lauren Skypeing/FBing with friends & catching up on movies/shows,
  • Maddy in and out: data entry job, debate coaching, running/bike riding,
  • laundry piled up on the foosball table waiting to be folded, 
  • a happy mix of scriptures, magazines, Easter decorations, calligraphy supplies, notebooks, research articles, and textbooks on the kitchen table
  • outside, the edges of the leaves are hinting at reds and oranges and the cockatoos are back en masse, holding conventions of hundreds on the field across from our house.