After Advent: Catching Up

Posted by on January 14, 2008 at 1:25 pm.

eoy-tiana-tree2.jpgAdvent has passed, and my last semester of MA coursework is behind me. At the end of last year, Tiana won “Employee of the Year” at the San Diego diocese of Catholic Charities and I have been published in a collected volume in the Veritas series. Tiana and I celebrated our first marriage anniversary in May and we just spent our second Christmas together as a married couple!

Tiana and I spent some quality time in our respective homes in Concord and Merced, California during out holiday break. In Concord, we mostly stayed at Tiana’s mom’s house, where we were very welcome. It was extremely awesome to really just chill and hang out after a stressful semester. We caught a few movies at home and in the theatre (P.S. I Love you, The Nativity Story, Letters from Iwo Jima, Ratatouille, About Schmidt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Inland Empire), we did some shopping, and I even worked on some crafty stuff. Tiana did some clothes shopping in her sister’s closet and I found some great book buys at Half-Priced Books in Concord: I scored steals on a hardback edition of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, and Kierkegaard’s For Self-Examination/Judge For Yourselves.

Highlights, of course, were seeing family and friends. Our niece Katie continues to get ridiculously cute. While our trip was broken up a bit, we did get to see and hangout with everybody, enjoying wonderful Ethiopian and Indian food (both of which have excellent veggie options). We attempted to not stuff ourselves too much but I don’t think we did very well with that goal.

In Merced, things slowed down a bit, but the times of rest and cuteness did not stop as we got to delight in the non-stop smiles of our 6-month-old niece Phaedra. So it was very cool that our nieces got to finally meet each other! Shalina (with mom and daughter in tow) drove down to Merced and graciously took some family pictures for us Lee’s. My dad had spinal surgery last month, so we generally took it easy with him and kicked back on my parents’ comfy sofa’s. It was nice to relax, watch some TV and movies and be with family in my hometown. We even managed to get in a game of 4-player Settlers! LaRae, probably unsurprisingly, won that time.

We visited my Grandma (87 and still goin’!) who is in a nursing home in Merced, and she seems to be doing pretty good. Her wits are about her, but she says there are a lot of crazy people who yell a lot in that place. She’s been recovering from a fall some months ago, and in the meantime, my parents have been remodeling parts of her house so that it is ready for her to move back into it. My Aunt Carol (my grandma’s firstborn) is moving in with her to keep her company. It’s a cool house with a huge backyard that I grew up playing in. We’re looking forward to her moving back in her home.

In the time since we returned to San Diego, Tiana and I finished watching the 3rd season of LOST on DVD (awesome!!!) and have generally been taking it easy before this last semester of MA work for me begins (which began last Monday on the 7th). Meanwhile, we’ve also seen Juno and Once, two highly recommended movies. We’ve been trying to cook more in our little apartment to save money, be creative, and stay healthy. I even found a cajun soup recipe–that I will probably post later on this very blog–that seems to have been a big hit both in our house and amongst friends who have tried it.

Since last Monday, I have been cranking on reading for my MA Thesis. I definitely have my work cut out for me, but it should be fun. (If anybody is interested, I’ve compiled a list of a bunch of the texts I’ll be reading or resourcing.) I’ll be all done by May! More news on that to come.