6.03.2014

Moving Stats


1000 miles
26 feet of moving truck
18 feet of car carrier
15 Dramamine
12 tanks of gas
6 stops
1 overnight stay

We arrived safe and sound.

12 days of relentless unpacking
10+ trips to Target
6 trips to Home Depot
4 hours of picture-hanging
2 happy pooches (not pictured)
1 beautiful willow tree


We're happy to be here, Greta didn't puke AT ALL, and we're recovering from a late spring case of cold/bronchitis. Delightful.

I'm easing my way into my new job and we're settling in to our new Texas life (mostly by trying every flavor of Bluebell ice cream that exists). We made a trip to visit my brother and his wife and their four beautiful kids.

I think we're gonna like it here.

4.20.2014

Because of Him

This video has made its way around the internet and I finally took a moment to watch it this morning. It is beautiful. I believe that He can ease our burdens, no matter what they are.

3.21.2014

It's Ruff Being a Dog

Greta desperately needed a haircut a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes when your dog has long hair, it becomes necessary to remove dingleberries with a pair of scissors that you then promptly sterilize. Greta was also panting basically non-stop, a sure sign that she needed a haircut. Despite the lowered thermal output, she still looks like a depressed ham in the second picture. You'll be pleased to know that she has since recovered and is back to her adorable self.


When we adopted Maya from my parents 18 months ago, I had some pretty serious concerns about how well she would adapt to living in our house with Greta the Weirdo. I was worried about food guarding. I was worried Maya would feel abandoned or that Greta would be jealous. Since they both came from shelters, there's always the unknown 'what happened to you before we got you' issue. We knew that Greta and Maya could at least get along, having spent a summer together when they were both puppies.

My fears were mostly unrealized. Greta gained a little weight since there are now TWO bowls of food available, so we're watching that. Maya developed a deep and abiding love for the snow, much to the surprise of EVERYONE who knows her. This is the dog that always peed on the patio at my parents' house because she didn't want the snow to touch her at all. They both follow me everywhere and I have a love-hate relationship with that.

Maya still cowers in fear if Mr. H-B and I raise our voices or if we handle bubble wrap. She also makes these terribly sad whimpering and sucking noises if she's having a particularly intense dream. (Seriously, dog, what happened to you before we got you?) Greta still runs in terror if I even touch the vacuum cleaner, Swiffer, or broom. Maya, on the other hand, lets us vacuum the hair off of her.

The moment captured below, though, seems to be a clear assurance that Maya is happy here. Dogs don't typically show their bellies unless they trust you (or they're submitting to you - but let me tell you, Maya is not submissive...). Add to this the fact that she was asleep in this position, and I think we can just call this whole thing a success!



3.15.2014

Metamorphosis



In the last year or so, I've undergone some profound changes in my perspective about life, work, and family. As my imaginary readers know, kids are just not in the cards for us in the immediate future. For months I was completely devastated by this. I found myself sinking into depression and wallowing in self-pity. And then I read Lean In. Look, I'm in academia, so I know I'm not exactly Sheryl Sandberg's core audience. In fact, I even found parts of the book irritating and pedantic. However, I found many other parts to be incredibly useful in shaping the way I'm moving forward (for now).

One of the things that I really loved about Lean In was the discussion about priorities. I've found myself wasting a lot less time than I used to. That's not to say that I didn't watch the new Veronica Mars movie for a second time in 12 hours this morning. I'm just finding that I prioritize other things over television or Candy Crush (shhhh...I'm embarrassed by that addiction, too). Our TiVo conked out a few weeks ago, taking all of our subscriptions with it, and I can't even remember the names of all of the shows that I felt obligated to watch before.

I was called as a Gospel Doctrine teacher back in December. It is one of the most challenging assignments I've ever had at church - more so even than teaching myself to play the organ (at least I could assign myself simple hymns when I didn't have time to practice). The 2014 course of study is the Old Testament. I've never really studied that particular book of scripture, though I read it once through as a missionary (crossing things off a list, of course). I felt completely overwhelmed by the prospect of actually having to, you know, study before teaching. It doesn't help that the current manual is woefully out of date and, frankly, dull. Though there have been lessons that I dread, I have mostly relished the opportunity to teach on topics that are controversial and difficult, and am grateful that I have been forced to prioritize gospel study and research over other less spiritual pursuits.

I also appreciated Sheryl Sandberg's comments about throwing yourself into a career - not taking the easy path, just in case kids and family come along. (Well, at least, that's the message I got from it.) I actually found this particular concept to be in line with what I've been taught or understood all along - be open to possibility (marriage, kids, winning the lottery), but don't live like it's a sure thing.

With this in mind, and trying to move forward from painful losses associated with infertility, I have been motivated to throw myself into my career. I have taken on new projects, dedicated myself to learning how to write more and better, and taken a job that I previously would have thought was too challenging. I thought I didn't want to do more research; I thought I didn't want to have graduate students; I thought I wanted to teach a lot of first and second year classes. Though my new position is not at a traditional research institution (e.g., Big 10, Ivy League,etc.), I will be required to publish a lot more than I had envisioned when I thought about the future. When the offer came though, and even while visiting campus, I knew without a doubt that this is the right choice for me and that Texas is the right choice for us. I need to be challenged - just enough - to keep moving forward and to keep leaning in.

I'm excited to see where these new changes take me. I feel like the proverbial butterfly, just starting to emerge from a chrysalis, seeing the sun and feeling the breeze. So cheesy, I know, but the growth and change from the last year have been tremendous. I can't wait to see what's next!

3.12.2014

Movin' On Up



  • Boxes purchased 
  • Moving truck rented
  • Books shipped to my new office (!)
To do:

  • Find a house to rent
  • Pack up our current house
  • Figure out how to transport the Vominatrix from here to Texas
  • Decide whether Maya can ride in the moving truck or if it would be better for her to keep Greta calm
  • Decide where we will stay between here and Texas
  • Finish the semester*
*This is currently driving me crazy. I can't seem to focus on school, research, etc... No surprises for anyone that knows me at all.

2.27.2014

Deep in the heart of Texas

After a grueling job search, I'm so happy to say that we're moving to Texas. I have accepted a tenure track position at a wonderful university and am ecstatic to get moving on the next phase of our lives. 


(If you know the name of the university, please don't mention it in the comments.)

1.05.2014

Scenes from a Snow Day

Today, I love the snow. I'd suggest not talking to me tomorrow when it's -40.


One of these things is not like the other:

Snow flutters and feathers down from a slate grey sky

Mr. H-B sprawls on the couch and gleefully absorbs entertainment

Greta and Maya drape themselves across the carpet after tearing through knee-high snow

I putter anxiously, desperate to keep busy and stay out of my nervy mind

12.03.2013

Laundry Basket List

It may or may not have taken me 45 minutes to sort through the LAUNDRY basket of junk I cleared off of our kitchen table and my desk over the last few weeks (*coughmonthscough*).

In it I found three flash drives, pinking shears, alcohol wipes, a leather thimble, nail clippers, a vaccination certificate for Greta, and four campus mail envelopes. I feel like this is an unfortunately incisive insight into what my life really consists of.

11.28.2013

Feliz Thanksgivukkah

via
Hope you're enjoying pie and totally ignoring blogs! I'm procrastinating, so here you go.

11.20.2013

Briefly in Pictures

Normally I hate Instagram dumps on blogs, but I feel like I need to make up for being absent for so long. This blog is something of a journal, after all. So here goes.

We had two critter visitors this summer. Maya hated both of them. 

Corn keeps squirrels around

Apparently possums like it too


Maya got groomed and wouldn't look at me until I removed the bows from her ears. I guess she does have some pride, after all.

Please kill me

She and Greta are still just wonderful, comforting creatures. They always know just when one of needs a good snuggle. Ok, sometimes Maya is a little cloying, but we love her anyway.

How can you resist this face?

Why yes, I am on your pillow
Greta learned a new trick, proving the "old dog, new trick" adage wrong. Of course, her trick is completely unimpressive.

Look! I get stuck on my back!
Maya is despondent about the travails of life on a regular basis. It is apparently very hard to be a Rottweiler/Shar-pei mix, living a life of luxury.
No birds to bark at today
I reprised my Dr. Nanny role briefly on a Friday evening. Ms. A now sits up, squawks when she doesn't get what she wants, and conks out when I hold her. I still have the magic touch.
These must be shaken thoroughly! Like this!
All in all, life is really good. Sure, there are disappointing things and applying for jobs is always kind of a drag. But there are people to love and dogs to cuddle. I'll take it.