Mid-Year Update 2012

Well it is a little after the mid-year, but I thought I should make a post – if only for historical purposes. Since the last post (way back in April) a lot has been happening.

Wedding Planning: This is continuing along and we have most of our wedding details sorted out (location, officiant, flights, hotel, etc.). Where we have stalled a little – mainly due to a lot of other things happening – is in planning the celebration parties in Australia and Texas. We are both getting some normality back in our lives, so this planning will resume in the new few weeks as we make the final arrangements to celebrate with our friends and family.

New Job: In May, I received a promotion at work to lead the new mentor2.0 program at BBBS. This has involved travel to New York for some training, and then aligning this program (as it exists in another part of the country) with the standards of BBBS. I have been almost non-stop since then, and have loved the experience of starting a new program like this that will impact so many youth in our community. I have an amazing team that I am working with, and while it was sad to leave my old team, the transition has been extremely rewarding. Along with this change, has been the renewal of my work visa (which is still pending at the time of this post), which always causes an additional element of stress in our life. While I have an amazing attorney helping me, once every couple of years, life is just that little bit more uncertain than other times in our life.

Home Improvements: Yes, I know we have only been in the house for a little over a year, but these are the good kind (and planned) improvements. Chris and I have been looking at pool companies of the last couple of months, getting ideas from friends and neighbors on what to factor in with our pool. We are at that point where we are ready to sign the dotted line and get this pool started, but this needs to wait until my visa has been finalized. Along with the pool, we are moving forward with painting some rooms (yes, we finally agreed on colors), and continue to search for that right piece of furniture for various spots in our home.

Travel: We have not done a lot of travel this year together, but Chris continues to explore the world at times. We recently took a trip to Austin and stayed at the Driskill Hotel (one of America’s most haunted hotels), and got to spend some time with our friends Layton and Sarah and their son, Eli! We are planning a trip to Las Vegas in October in conjunction with a conference that Chris is attending. Chris has never been to Las Vegas (well the airport on a transfer once, but that doesn’t really count), so I wanted to go and spend some time with him in a place he as always wanted to go.

Family: Over the past few months, we have been helping Chris’s mom sell her home in East Texas, and then relocate to Dallas. She spent the month of July with us, and finally moved into her new home at the beginning of August. The stress levels have been reduced tremendously with this transition, as she is much closer, and – to be honest – she seems much happier being in her new home. On the Australian family side, my mother and sister continue to make plans to trek back to the USA for another visit later this year, and I’m excited to see it that happens. We will be travelling to Australia next year so I am hopeful that I will have the opportunity to catch up with all of my immediate family while we are there.

Our Little Brother: Trey started high school this year. It has been pretty stressful leading up to his transition from his old school to his new school. He and his mother moved to a new part of town, and he seems to be pretty happy with the arrangement. Trey and I have been playing a lot of Xbox: Mass Effect 3 over the past month or so, and it’s been fun to work together to destroy the invading forces. He is insanely talented at these types of games, and I can just only sit back and watch him work his magic through the controller. Chris and I thought that maybe now that he is in high school that it may be less cool to have Big Brothers, but I think we might be in a good spot.

Overall, it has been a very busy few months since my last post. There have been other changes in our lives that have posed some challenges, however in addressing these, we have been fortunate to find other opportunities that have guided us to continue to move forward in life. As Heraclitus once philosophized: the only thing that is constant, is change. The last part of 2012 will continue to offer challenges and change, but I am confident that we will  meet these head on and learn and grow from each.

Maybe that should have been my resolution for the year.

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