Life, the Universe, and Everything: An Awesome Update

Well, hello there. My, it's been a long, long time.

That sort of sums it all up for me. I can't tell you how much it has pained me not to have written in almost two months. Literally, there were days when I sat at the computer and wracked my brain for something worth opining on. There were other times when I had a topic so desperate for comment that I lamented aloud my lack of time to compose a post worthy of it. But in the end, all I can offer as an apology or rationalization is that between an up-tick in my responsibilities at work and the complications, responsibilities and joys of raising a child, I haven't found time to talk to you. Sorry about that. Also, there's the little matter of my supreme laziness and self-absorption to consider, but let's not throw stones, shall we?

Things at work are going well. The response from volunteers around the country remains strong (even in busy times like graduation season) and the work in and around New Orleans continues. We've recently hired a couple of new people in my office which has allowed for myself and my coworker to regain some semblance of a normal work schedule (as opposed to the eight day a week Beatles pace we were on). Our new housing location is coming along nicely and soon, we'll be able to house more than 550 volunteers at a time (without breaking out the cots or air mattresses).

Ella and I are finding time to enjoy ourselves a bit, occasionally at the expense of the laundry getting done, but that's what parenthood is about, right? Ella is experimenting with printing and some other art forms that she's always been interested in but has never made the time for. I am engrossed in the ongoing NBA playoffs, as LeBron James continues to be my favorite player and my new hometown's Hornets continue to overcome expectations.

Judah has gone from being this amazingly adorable little baby, to the coolest member of our household in record time. He's cooing, popping, giggling, and drooling all the time. It seems like every day he's a little more adventurous and physically able than the day before. Any day now, I'm just sure I'll come home to see him running laps around the living room while Ella chases him and the cats run for cover. He likes being read to a lot. He's always enjoyed it as a cool down pre-nap activity, but now he likes seeing the pictures and listening to our voices even when he's wide awake. He's also fiercely independent. His main irritant in life is that he is currently unable to transport himself around. When he's laying on his palette or in his crib, you can see his mind working to figure out how to get his limbs to cooperate and get his butt on the move. I sort of thought our baby might be linguistically gifted, but it appears he may be physically advanced if anything.

As if this website and blog hadn't given Judah enough things to be ashamed of during his teen years, Team Awesome appeared on the local news this week, looking more than a little like goobers. The focus of the story was the financial burden of child-rearing and while Ella and I made impassioned arguments for frugality and our own belief that babies are as expensive as you make them, we were edited down to seem like an unprepared couple (we were) who without the assistance of kindly strangers and family members might even now be on the streets begging for our survival (we are not). We're doing really well for ourselves, and we told the reporter as much, but that didn't fit the narrative so we were cut up to sound a little burdened. In the end, Judah still looked cute, and that's all that matters. If anyone's interested in seeing the footage it can be found at Preparing for Parenthood -- WWL TV

As for the website, even in my absence of bloggery, we've managed to post new photos of Judah weekly, and (let's be honest) that's what you really come here for anyway. On that front we do have a few photos from our trip to Bossier a couple weeks back that we'll post as soon as we get them EMAILED TO US FROM THE GRANDPARENTS (hint, hint). Also, in the next week or so, you can look forward to a new section on the website as I finally compile and complete the journals from our European vacation.

It's still hard for me to believe, but a year ago we were flitting around the continent (that's the older, European one) without a care in the world and no idea about the impending arrival of our little bundle of joy. Richard, Allie, Ella and I were taking in the sights, sounds and (pleasant and not so pleasant) smells of the Old World, while our world was about to change forever. I've posted the first half of these journals before, but here they will be in a more coherent order (and completed) with photos throughout to help make you all a little more jealous of our awesome lives.

It's hard to believe that life was so completely different just 365 days ago. There are times when we miss some of the aspects of that former life. Going to Sundown, living five minutes away from basically everyone we know, deciding at ten-thirty pm that you want to have a party tonight and being able to pull it off. There's no doubt that there are things we miss, but there's also no doubt that there are things we would be missing out on. The biggest one weighs a little over 14 pounds and is currently jonesing for his bottle.