Lauren and Patrick moved to Atlanta shortly after their wedding, driving across country as an extended honeymoon coda. P had an actuarial internship there over the summer and the move was intended to be temporary but he was offered a really great permanent position that they've decided to accept. They're in Utah this week picking up all of the gear and wedding gifts they left behind in April and are slowly furnishing their new apartment that replaces their temporary (and cockroach infested) one. Life is good in newlywedville. We're looking forward to seeing them at Christmas. And, of course, since we're moving to Virginia at the end of the year, we're excited to be in the same time zone and a day's drive away.
Maddy wrapped up a great first year at university and worked at two (paid, yay!) internships this summer: one as an economic development coordinator for a small municipality (think Parks & Rec) and one at a political consultancy/communications firm (think--what? Scandal? I don't know, I'll have to ask). She spent the summer shuttling between those two jobs, which were a couple of hours apart, and bunking with generous family members. She's excited to be able to stop living out of her car and move into her first genuine, non-dorm apartment this fall. She's got a lively, close group of friends and has been dating and attending missionary farewells and weddings all summer long. She's here in Australia this week for a quick visit and farewell tour before starting school in a couple of weeks. If we let her leave, that is.
Sam is smashing through all the milestones and rites of passage lately. He turned 18 this month, had his Eagle Scout Ceremony, was sustained to receive the Melchizedek priesthood last week at stake conference, has taken the ACT/SATs, is preparing and deciding on college applications, and completing the string of IB assessments and papers that this particular term in Year 12 demands. He's vice-captain of the school and has had a lot of growing opportunities--speaking at assemblies, helping with school-wide leadership and decisions as they transition to an all-boys school to a co-ed one. At some point he'll move up to full fledged driver from learning permit but he'll have to find three spare minutes to bundle together first.
Greg has done some fun winter hikes and camps with Sam and the scouts, including a four-day snowshoeing + backpacking trip in Kosciuszko National Park. He is heroically straddling two jobs with one foot in his new role and one in his current job. This will continue until we move in late November, with him rotating time in DC and here. They're both technically with the same company but very different roles and he's handling it like a champ. I marvel at the way he can be completely swamped & pressured at work but you'd never know it in his interactions with us at home, other than he's sometimes awake in the middle of the night with all the thoughts. There's never tension spillover--he can separate those things from his general outlook on life. With me you can always tell what's brewing: sometimes a stress stew, sometimes a bliss souffle, usually some kind of combo platter. But, oh, there's spillover.
As for me? I've gotten fairly hermit-y here in Australia winter lately but I'm still here! I'm prepping for the courses I'll be teaching in January, working on a social science research project here in Canberra, doing some long-distance house hunting and tackling the move to-do list in between. (The moving company comes next week to catalog our belongings and then will pack us up for the slow boat shipment next month!) I got glasses. Two pairs that are hello-aging multifocals and a bunch of reading glasses (favorite blues pictured above) that are scattered on the flat surfaces and in drawers all over the house. I've become enamoured with bullet journaling (hat tip Sarah). I miss writing--I think I've had enough of a mental/creative hibernation season and am keen to create again. Times and seasons, they keep rolling by.
Ann Dee Ellis's memoir group with daily writing prompts