Hi Folks! I’ve been a lousy blogger/family chronicler lately. As a partial and entirely inadequate penance for my laxity, here’s a high-level overview of some of what’s been up lately:

  • The end of school has come and gone, and we’re a third of the way through summer. The kids have been enjoying their break from school, taking good advantage of the opportunity to spend more time relaxing, swimming in the river, spending time with friends, building forts in the living room, playing games, etc. My sister Meara has generously planned a day out with each of the members of the junior set, hauling them off to SeaWorld, to see Wicked (the musical), Schlitterbahn, and more. What a treat!
  • Kathy and I celebrated our 14th anniversary. Much to her surprise, I had booked her a reservation to go skydiving as part of our day together. (I am not crazy in the special way required to jump out of a plane, so provided ground support.) She had a great time, even when I joked that I had paid extra to pack the parachute myself and that she should be careful when she pulled the rip cord because an anvil would pop out, Wile E. Coyote-style. After the skydiving (photos here), we enjoyed a terrific lunch at the Gruene Onion Grill and an evening together wandering around the Riverwalk. Delightful!
  • I have also been doing days out with each of the kids this summer — an annual tradition for our family. Emily and I spent a pleasant afternoon together watching the new Transformers movie, eating lunch, and shopping for her. Maggie and I are off to Schlitterbahn next week for a day of sun-drenched fun. Further plans are still sketchy, though Liam and I are considering an overnight campout at the beach.
  • We’ve bid a fond farewell to Will Atkinson, a student friend of ours who had lived in our garage room for the last year or so. We’ll miss having him around, as he has been a good friend, a sitter for our kids when Kathy and I have gone out on dates, and an adjunct family member. The departure, however, is for a good cause, as he’s getting married later this month. Congratulations, Will & April!
  • Kathy has been working about 3 days a week at AlzCare, an Alzheimer’s care facility in town. She has found the work extremely rewarding, and seems to really find a sense of mission in taking care of these elders who are no longer able to fully care for themselves. Unfortunately, she’d been unable to work for a bit when a slippery rock at the river resulted in a neck injury that had her out of service for about a week and a half, but that is now well on its way to being healed — a fact for which we’re all grateful.
  • I traveled to Marfa, Texas for the latest annual-ish Stupid Guy Trip. We had a crew of 8 this time around, including Marc Hadler, Chris McMains, Daniel Priest, Ben Mengden, Ross Richie, Mike Brack, Jason Young, and me. We enjoyed our weekend in this little west Texas art town quite a lot, taking things easier than we have on past trips, and dedicating large swaths of time to simply sitting and talking or ambling about the town together. We did make it to the McDonald Observatory, which was terrific for the nerds among us (8 out of 8), but never did quite manage to get out to see the famous Marfa lights. Photos from the trip are here.
  • I’m slated to speak, along with my friend and coworker Jeff, at a conference in Switzerland in September. (Topics: a case study on our experiences with content management software at Texas State University, and a presentation on how to use a CMS to publish data from other systems.) I’m excited about the trip for several reasons, not least of all because we plan to stretch it out to a week, allowing some sightseeing time, and to bring Kathy along. Unfortunately, getting the whole family over would be financially prohibitive, but thanks to my brother and mother’s extremely generous offers to come stay with the kids for several days each, Kathy and I will be able to enjoy our first week-long vacation together since our first anniversary.

So that’s pretty much what’s been up with us. I hope summer is treating each of you (at least those in the Northern hemisphere) well, and that we’ll have a chance to cross paths soon.

Maggie the Entrepeneur