Tuesday, June 1, 2010

So what have you been up to in the last 8 months?

I said last year that I’d be better about keeping my blog updated. But unfortunately, it’s been a good 8 months or so since my last update. Here, I thought I’d give a general overview of what’s going on with our family since last October. I know I’m leaving out some stuff that I can’t think about off the cuff, but this should at least hit the major highlights.

Alex is turning 3 in just a few days, so this week is kind of crazy getting ready for his party. He basically thinks he’s 5, and even tells people that when they ask him how old he is. We have to speak up and say, “no, he’s really just 2 but he thinks he’s 5 because that’s how old big brother is.” We tell him he’s only 3, but he refuses to believe it. He will be eligible to play soccer this fall and he’s looking forward to that. He’s also doing really well swimming so will likely take lessons in the winter. I suspect he will be swimming on his own by the end of next summer. He just moved up into the ‘big kid’ class at daycare/school, so he’s been pretty excited about that. He also loves going on hikes looking for birds, especially cardinals. Amazingly, he can actually identify a small number of birds correctly!

Wow. What to say about this kid. He’s just crazy busy. He played soccer in the spring and moved into the 5-6 year old league, although many of the kids were 7! Not sure how that works, but anyway, it was a learning experience for him. They incorporate positions (offense and defense) and it’s starting to look more like soccer instead of group running. By the end of the season, he was playing really well. I’ll tell you this much…no one on that field runs harder than he does! Love the effort. He’s playing baseball this summer and has moved up into coach’s pitch. We do some fun ‘practice’ in the backyard and he’s really improved from his previous 2 years playing. He’s had hits from the pitch the last couple of games, which was great. (If they don’t hit on 3 pitches, they get 2 tries from the tee.) He’s also doing pretty well swimming and really wants to do another triathlon. He wants to play football in the fall, so we haven’t decided if we are going to drop soccer or try to do both. He’s really good at soccer, but is very anxious to try football. Oh, and to top it off, he learned that one of his teachers at school coaches 5-8 year olds for Track and Field. Once he learned that Track and Field = running, he was all about that! We got him on a track team over the summer and he’s been loving it! It’s expensive, and very time consuming—practice is on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights—but it’s worth it if he really likes it. Growing up, track was by far my favorite sport and Brady seems to feel that way too. I’m being very aware to make sure and not push him in that direction though. If he wants to do it, it’s going to be up to him. But it sure makes me proud to see him out there when they are running repeats. :)

Melanie finished all her coursework to be able to sit for the CPA exam last year (the requirements had changed since she graduated). So she’s been studying for the CPA exam for the last several months. She just took the first section and she hasn’t heard back yet if she passed or has to retake (retaking is common), so we’ve got our fingers crossed. In her free time, which doesn’t exist, she’s been trying to get in a swim here, a run there, or a spin class at lunch. She’s still wanting to do triathlons, but time is just so limited due to her CPA exam schedule.

I’ve been working a lot, but have really done a good job of reducing weekly hours from 60 to 40-50 to have more time for the boys. I’m much happier, and still productive. I was stressed because my job funding runs out at the end of this year, so I’ve been applying for faculty positions. I got one interview at a school that I liked, and probably would have accepted if they offered, but they didn’t see me as what they were looking for. That’s the way the ball bounces in this business. I struck out with all my other applications. But luckily, both of the people I work under seem to be happy with my productivity and work so they have found a way to extend my position to a third year (it was originally funded only as a 2 year position). That’s been a huge relief for us, especially since we like it here so much. I’m very happy with my job and so is Melanie with hers. We’re excited to be in Fort Worth for another year! I’ll be applying for jobs again this fall for when my 3rd year expires. Other than work, everything’s been geared around the boys. We’ve been having a lot of fun. I’m not training for any triathlons, but have been at least staying in decent shape. Really my only fitness related goal is to just not go long periods of time of doing nothing. Running is what I do most often though.

This year has been great for us as a family. Now that Alex is getting older, we’re doing a lot more things together. In March, we went down to Dinosaur Valley State Park to do some hiking, learn about dinosaurs, and see some birds. The boys loved it, so we also took them to Fort Worth Nature Center to do some hiking. In April, we went on our first family camping trip to South Llano River State Park in Texas hill country. It was beautiful and was a great time. I hope to post a blog update on that sometime in the next 2 weeks. And yesterday, we just got back from Big Bend National Park. It was amazing and we all had a lot of fun. I think all of us were sad to start today not waking up to the scenery. I’ll post a blog update on that tomorrow.

I’ll probably be making some catch-up posts in the next month, so expect a flurry of activity on the blog. Also, you can follow our pictures on flickr.com. In order to see our pictures, you do have to sign up for a free Yahoo mail account. Once you have that, you can search for me under the same name as my sbcglobal e-mail account (karstenkb@...). Add me as a contact and when you do, I’ll be able to add you as a Friend/Family. From there, you can access all the pictures. If you have any problems, let me know and I’ll try get it figured out. I got a new camera this spring, so I’ve been taking lots and lots of pictures. They are there for you to view if you want. :)

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