"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The While We Were Away Daybook

Outside my [car] windows... there was a lot to look at from Bismarck to the Twin Cities to Milwaukee and back again, but my favorite view was of Lake Michigan from Alterra at the Lake, my favorite coffee shop, where I sat knitting while my DH read the paper last Friday afternoon after he had successfully defended his dissertation! Thus, life after graduate school began. How sweet it is!

I listened to... the relative quiet of the kids in the car -- they are actually very good car travelers, probably because we've been dragging them hither and yon since day one of their lives. We also entertained ourselves listening to some fun Italian artists recommended by Father B.

I am thinking... I can't believe we are really done with this. The journey started in the fall of 2004 when we moved to Milwaukee for the beginning of doctoral studies. The dissertation writing began in 2007. We moved back to Saint Paul in 2008 for a two-year stint in the Catholic Studies department at the University of Saint Thomas, our alma mater, before heading to Bismarck last July to start a similar program here. All that's left is the actual graduation ceremony on May 22.

I am thankful for... my DH's dissertation director and committee members.

I am also so grateful... for all the people who have believed in my husband and supported us during this time -- with prayers, with a helping hand, financially. We couldn't have done it without you! We are so blessed.

I am hoping and praying... for our dear friend, Daniel. We were able to see him on our way through the Twin Cities and visit with him about his recent scary diagnosis. More on this later, but if you can spare a prayer in the meantime, I would be grateful.

From the kitchen... after a week of mostly eating out, we are happy to be eating home-cooked meals again. But while we were gone, I really enjoyed my tenderloin and crab cakes at Swig and two Buca celebrations -- one in Milwaukee to celebrate with some of my DH's committee members and our friends, and one in the Twin Cities on the way home to celebrate my sister's 30th birthday. In Milwaukee, I finally got to sit at the Pope's table!

(see Benedict in the background?)

From the schoolroom... Needless to say, we took most of last week off. In fact, the girls were scheduled to take a Latin exam Wednesday morning, but we decided at the last minute to leave early, so they even got out of that!

I created... another dishcloth -- car trips are great for knitting!

I read... nothing while we were away. Though I had several things in my bag, it was nice to just sit and knit or do nothing but visit (twelve hours in the car with just my DH!).

Noticing that... we are not spending nearly as much money at Starbuck's as we have been the last three years or so when my husband needed a place other than home or work to write.

Around the house... it was very quiet because we weren't home! We stayed at my in-laws last Wednesday night. They graciously watched the kids while DH and I continued on to Milwaukee. Thursday we stayed at a bed and breakfast we had stayed at once before when we lived in Milwaukee. Friday we stayed with our dearest Milwaukee friends (and stayed up way too late!). And Saturday we returned to our in-laws to spend some time with them and pick up the kids before heading back to Bismarck. Thank you all for your generous hospitality!

One of my favorite things... spending time with dear, dear friends.

Pondering these words... It is finished. (And asking: Now what?)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Continue adjusting to our new life. And plan for Holy Week.

Some picture-thoughts I am sharing: grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins at Buca.

For more daybooks, visit here.


  1. You got some great photos and looks like you had a great time!!

    I love the photo of your baby with Grandpa!! Awwwww!

  2. Beautiful thoughts and beautiful pictures!


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