Well, it’s been a little while (a year!) since we’ve updated the blog. Time, as we’ve learned, flies by in the hustle and bustle of daily life no matter which side of the world you’re on! To bring you up to speed, here’s an overview (from about 30,000 feet) of some of the big events of the year.
Last year we had the ‘mildest winter in New Zealand since record-keeping began,’ or so we heard on the news. Still, we did have one or two snow falls early on, which were beautiful.
We got out and about, exploring a bit around the south island, and saw:
the famous Moeraki boulders
the southernmost Starbucks in the world
this lighthouse (at the albatross colony on the Otago Peninsula)
these (yellow-eyed penguins)
all those (sea lions and seals)
and whatever this is (it was someone’s pet).
We took an unexpected trip home for Steph’s work, which allowed us to briefly visit some friends and family in CO & NE (and eat lots of Chipotle!):
We arrived back to NZ in late October, just in time to experience the ‘coldest summer in recent memory,’ but enjoyed the many long days of sunlight until 10:30pm.
We celebrated our first summer time Christmas (which, by the way, was nothing like it is represented on the postcards we’ve seen, in which everyone is celebrating Christmas on the beach in the sun wearing shorts; in reality it was raining sideways and maybe 50) with our great friends Dave and Lynne.
Beyond that, we had our first overnight visitors from the States
Steph got a short story published in an anthology on the topic of hope (here’s a pic from the book release)
We took another weekend trip to Cromwell/Queenstown (it’s as beautiful as we remembered)
Steph had a friend from the States visit for a week
I, for my part, have worked, worked, worked on the thesis, but have also broken up the “brain work” time with frequent trips out to the work shop and my daily activities of chopping wood and starting the fire.
We’re only two weeks away from the official halfway point of our time in NZ and this is beyond hard to believe. Many of our friends have finished their studies already or are wrapping them up in the next few weeks and months to come, so change is in the air; but some exciting developments are underway for the rest of our time here.
On a positive note, we recently heard back that I’ve gotten a paper accepted to read at a conference in California in November. (Chipotle here we come.)
Bigger than all that, however, a more exciting development has also been taking place (here are a few pics over the months):
To be honest the pregnancy has been a bit of a roller coaster ride at times, but by God’s grace we’re at 38 weeks and doing well. We’ve felt very well taken care of and cared for both medically and by our great network of friends here in NZ. Still, all prayers for the continued health and safe arrival of Little Girl (due July 31) are more than welcome.