It’s been almost months since I’ve written an update here – and for good reason: we’ve been busy! The latter half of the semester is usually heavier course-work than the beginning, and this semester is no exception. I was fairly well prepared for that, but a few other details have served to make things particularly interesting hereabouts, not least our good friends PJ and Katie’s baby boy Seth arriving on March 24. (He is adorable, for the record.) What with helping take care of their children then, and doing so a few times since as doctor trips and one ER visit have come up, we’ve had just a little more on our plate than usual. As a result, I got a bit behind on tackling papers for classes, and therefore spent the last week and a half scrambling to get caught back up so that none of the three papers due in a 72-hour span this weekend1 would slip through the cracks.
Ellie is just over ten and a half months old, and we continue to enjoy watching her discover new things. In the last month, she’s discovered how to pull herself up on various pieces of furniture and the stairs (and taken a few little tumbles along the way). She now sits up and plays with her toys happily for a while before deciding she wants to go do something else and alternately crawling and army-crawling across our floor. Her people-watching tendencies and love of other little kids have only grown more prominent; she has been known to throw little fits when we take her inside or put her in the car when she has been outside around other kids in the neighborhood.
Oh, yes, our sweet, adorable little girl has thrown fits. Her sin nature has gone on full display in the last two weeks. She is still a sweet-tempered little girl, but we have had to deal with willful disobedience (we say “No!” firmly when she’s doing something dangerous; she grins at us and does it again…) and little fits, not to mention taking other children’s toys simply because the other child has them. The same week she started a number of these behaviors, I was studying a heretic from the first few centuries of Christianity, who thought it possible for a human to live an entire life without sin. Clearly, I reflected, the man had never had children – as indeed he did not.2
We are in the middle of becoming members of FBC Durham, a wonderful and delightfully healthy – not perfect, but healthy – church about 35 minutes away. While there are a lot of churches in the area, and indeed a lot of good churches in the area, FBC covers a lot of bases that are important to us. It’s been worth the drive every week, and we’re glad we’ve chosen to plant ourselves in this body of believers for at least the next several years; it will be a great place for us to grow and be challenged, as well as to serve and help others.
We’ve been filling our time on the drives by listening to a Star Wars audiobook,3 and Jaimie’s reactions are half the fun – she gets incredibly enthusiastic about the story and the descriptions. On a similar note, Jaimie and I were excited that Doctor Who is back on with regular episodes as of just a few weekends ago. Since last fall, we have steadily (some might say: absurdly quickly) worked our way through every episode released since the show relaunched in 2005. Now we have to wait a week for each new episode like everyone else, and it is terrible (though truth be told it’s probably good for my productivity).
Work continues to go well for me; I’ve been designing and building an entirely new user interface for some of the commercial software sold by Quest Consultants, as well as doing some work on their website to make it more friendly to search engines like Google.4 I also did a whole website design project over spring break (that site should go live in the next few weeks once the person I designed it for gets all the content in place). Last but not least, I’ve been sneaking in time to work on my book whenever I can, and I’ve finished drafting about eleven thousand of the projected twenty thousand words. I’m hoping to get back at it in the coming weeks, since I have a self-imposed deadline of May 4 for finishing those remaining words, so that I can have a few months to work on revisions before turning it over to the publisher when it is due on July 1. That should be easier as I’ll have wrapped up most of my major papers for this semester by the end of the day tomorrow.
Last but not least, I’ve been running a great deal, as is my wont. This has been an interesting change of pace, as it were, since there is more elevation change in the mile between our apartment and the seminary than there was on my 16–17-mile run routes back in Norman. It’s taken my legs a few weeks to readjust. Gladly, however, my legs are getting used to it. I’m looking forward to running another half marathon on June 1, and have already found another one to run in early November. I have definitely become that guy: the one who shouts encouragement at other runners when I see them, who gets excited about a new pair (or two) of ASICS, who keeps running right through a torrential downpour (because, well, why not? And besides, I’m not going to stop during a race…). That’s okay; I kind of like being that guy.
And now, off to church!
The joys of web tools in academia: it is now possible for a professor to make assignments due at midnight on a Saturday. Me, I prefer to just hand them in when I arrive at class – I guess I’m old fashioned.↩
Pelagius, for the curious. The theologically nerdy crowd will appreciate my follow-up thought: Clearly, this is an argument against the celibate priesthood. Pelagius would never have gone off track if he had just had some kids.↩
Heir to the Empire – I figured we might as well start with a classic if I was going to introduce Jaimie to the broader “Expanded Universe.”↩
I’d love to re-do the whole site at some point, but the priority right now is on redeveloping this whole piece of software. Once that’s done, it will make more sense to push the website hard.↩