I'm taking a few minutes to reflect on 2013. I'm sure 2014 will be even more epic, but 2013 was definitely a huge year for our family. Here are the highlights:
February and March - Family Travel
In February I attended the Biophysical Society's annual meeting in Philadelphia. It was a great conference and I enjoyed my research being featured at one of the early sessions. In March I attended the Drive Conference hosted by North Point Community Church near Atlanta. It was a great chance to connect more with the staff at Northridge and to meet Andy Stanley!
Heather and A enjoyed a few weeks in Kentucky visiting her parents at their new home. I joined them for a few days at the end of their trip. We visited some beautiful landmarks nearby and got a chance to eat some real fried chicken and fried pickles!
May 31 - 5-year Anniversary
When is it no longer the "honeymoon" period?
Every time Heather and I have expressed joy and happiness with our marital relationship, the most common response has been "Well, you guys are still newlyweds. It will get harder." We've been hearing this rationale for the last 5 years. We're not newlyweds anymore.
Conflict is a natural part of every relationship and marriage is the rule, not the exception. When you spend this much time with one person, you are bound to come into conflict. However, marriage does not need to be defined mostly by difficulty and conflict. We have enjoyed our first five years so much and look forward to many more!
We celebrated our 5-year mark with a trip to Washington, D.C., while A stayed with grandparents. We had a great trip and a chance to make some new memories.
August 14 - Ph.D.
I defended my dissertation and earned my Ph.D. in Biophysics. It was a long and difficult 5 years, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the training that I received. It has given me a unique background in chemistry, physics, biology and computer science as well as fundamental skills in logic, discussion, and intellectual critique.
September 1 - Joined Northridge Church staff
I joined the staff at Northridge Church as the Director of Connections. I've loved the role, as I get to regularly see the impact of Northridge on those who are new to faith and I've had a front-row seat to the power of vision-carrying volunteers in the life of a church. I'm looking forward to my evolving role in the future and how God has equipped and is equipping me for some fun and exciting things in the future!
September 25 - A turned 2
Our little boy turned two this fall and every moment of his life has been an incredible joy for us. He is incredibly talkative and his personality is wonderful. With his toddler years comes some more difficult moments as he strives for independence in daily activities, but seeing this development is so rewarding!
December 17 - Foster Care Certification
For October, November and December, Heather and I went through training and home studies to become foster parents. I've written plenty on this recently, so I won't belabor it. In December we completed the training, had our final home study, and were certified for foster care! Now we are waiting for our first foster child!