Unexpected

1) We were amazed at how many establishments continue to celebrate Easter in Austin. It was such a wonderful surprise.
2) The reason we knew was that Judah needed a fedora for an upcoming play at school. Dress rehearsal on the Monday after Easter naturally meant we were out on Easter afternoon looking for open establishments. The only available we found was Walmart! But since fashion has temporarily brought fedora’s back, they had one. The most unexpected part is that Judah wore it the remaining portion of Sunday. I’ll be interested to see if he wears it at other times after the play on April 11.

Concentration

I was told last night that “your toast is distracting me!”  So, me and my toast left the dining room and returned to the kitchen where I could oversee homework from afar, and still crunch on my thrice toasted bread.  Mmmmmm, toast.

Faith

Christmas 2009

We Christmas’d in Memphis this year.  The kids had a great time together.  (I have no pics b/c I forgot our camera!)  And getting to spend time with Kate and Jon, my mom and dad, was marvelous.  I always feel so connected, so in tune with Jon and my dad.  Our conversations feel meaningful, deep.

However, in retrospect now, picking out Tamara’s Christmas (and to some degree the anticipation of a new job – see next paragraph) was horribly stressful.  Of course, like a normal guy, I hate shopping.  But I did most of it online, so then that should help.  And it did.  But the problem became: I couldn’t buy it before Dec 25th and in fact had to wait until Monday, 2 days beyond our anticipated departure.  So what required such anxiety, and still be “worth it”?  Well… a car.  As the mileage on our ’97 Ford E150 breached the 200K mark, we felt compelled to replace it.  I researched replacements in Austin, but not until talking with our Volvo experts (while in Memphis) that the search narrowed to specifics.  And we found an 05 Volvo XC90 in Memphis.  So, we’re cruisin in style once again… until we’re not again.

Other stuff:
We also sold the van.  First, Tamara saved me by finding the Title!  Also, it sold for double what Car Max said they pay for it.  And then, it went to a nice young couple that really needed it.  3 young children to get back and forth to school.  It felt familiar.

With terms complete and papers all signed, the cusp of a new job on Monday morning illuminates the coming years, if God wills it.  There are 2 major differences this time.  1) I’ll be working with my brother.  In fact, we’ll likely be office-d down the hall for each other.  But for those that don’t know us well, this will bless us both and even could make us happier people.  Todd and I worked throughout our childhood together without noticeable conflict.  And we worked together during an entire summer for our uncle’s foundation repair company: 10 hour days digging holes and hauling stuff around.  We got along better than we ever had that summer.  2) Here at the outset, the work appears to be very interesting. I’m really looking forward to starting.

Ramping up to Christmas

Working backward a bit.

Tamara has established our Christmas card as one of her creative outlets. It’s become tradition, and each year takes a different turn. I think this year’s twist may catch some of you off guard.
Christmas Card 2009 - HI. HOW ARE YOU
Here’s the full set if you’re interested in the whole shoot.  This artwork is on the strip at UT.
Moses also decided a quick shot with this steer was a good idea…at least he did initially.
Mad boy disease
I find a lot of irony in this photo.

That same afternoon, we hiked a portion the Shoal Creek Greenbelt.  It divides UT West Campus from the Brykerwoods area.
Hiking Shoal Creek
We’d driven by so often.  Such a gem of a park. We’ll be back for sure.

Moses turned 7.  Wow!  Can he really be approaching a full decade?
Moses blowing out the candles
Mario cart racing was his theme, and everyone enjoyed themselves.  We decorated bikes, anchored streamers around the edge of our cul-de-sac, and raced until I got tired and they got disinterested.

Someone’s badly in need of exercise and a bike!

Tabitha’s winter choir concert was last week.  Here’s a sample:

Go to the set on Flickr to see all 7 songs.  (Some are truncated on Flickr and I’ll have to upload to YouTube instead.)

Transitions

This is a time of the year when transition often occurs. Football and volleyball ends. Basketball begins. The simple tasks of the early weeks of school complete, and the more demanding projects and lessons begin. The budgets of the previous year push toward prioritizing final expenditures, so that next year’s budgets know how to begin.

Judah and Tabitha are done. The seasons completed as most do…with a sigh. You’re sad to end on a loss, and happy to have known your teammates, your new friends. Charity, Judah, and Moses will soon take up basketball. I’ve already seen some of the schooling transition. We’re ready for it…mostly.

There was one transition I wasn’t ready for. Blue Coat Systems has decided on a new direction and business model, which doesn’t including having an office in Austin, Texas. So, now I’m beginning the processes of finding new employment. It’s been about 5 days, and the shock is wearing off. Of comfort is the six month buffer and decent severance offered. Now it’s discovering where my next transition will be.

You don’t expect the emotion

I’m a soft touch. But I’m still surprised by welling emotion is some situations. I found a lump in my throat watching this, and I felt kinda silly. But maybe I shouldn’t. In any regard, you can’t deny the cheese!

Go Corsairs! Go #70!