In retrospect, 2014 was a good year. I spent almost every day of it with my amazing wife, Miranda, and I admire her more and more as I watch her strive to be the best educator she can be. More than that she's an amazing person down to the core of her innermost being and I love her so very much. While I've had a love-hate relationship with Texas in general, and San Antonio specifically, I think this year has been far more positive than our previous ones here. I've even entertained the possibility that I could make a home of this place if the right stars were to align. This has a lot to do with being unable to envision a scenario that allows us to return to northern California anytime in the foreseeable future.
A huge part of the upswing in my attitude toward this city has been joining La Trinidad United Methodist Church. Its a wonderful community full of beautiful people. Like any Church it has its drama, but for the first time in years I'm part of a community where I've felt at home.
I've continued forward with my doctoral studies. In July I passed my "upgrade viva" at Trinity College Bristol making me officially a "Ph.D. Candidate" with the University of Bristol. Dissertation work is coming along, slowly, as expected, but coming along. The graduate conference that was held during my visit to Bristol was one of the highlights of the year. Overall I think this year was a success academically. I'm working on a few book reviews. I have a couple of articles/chapters under review, so we'll see if those get published. I gave five conference presentations. I suspect that in 2015 I will cut back on much of this aiming for no more than two presentations with most of my attention being dedicated to my dissertation and maybe submitting another article.
There were other travels as well. I visited Cambridge and my wife joined me to see Oxford, London, Paris, and Versailles. We ate and drank at the pub where the Inklings met (The Eagle and the Child); visited the Ashmolean and British Museums and the Louvre twice; did all the touristy things in London-Westminster and Paris. It was fun.
Our family will be expanding in 2015 as my brother and sister-in-law (who live in Napa, CA) are expecting a son in April. His name will be Liam. We're excited to welcome him. My mother was able to visit Texas for the first time when she came for Thanksgiving, so we got to host her and enjoyed being tour guides to all that San Antonio has to offer. Technically, in January we more of my family because we went to California for Christmas last year, but that feels like a 2013 event.
On a sad note, I missed the weddings of two of my best friends: Stan Brown and Dan Zivney. Both of these events collided with traveling for academic purposes. I'll be forever sad to have missed those celebrations. I hope to find a way to make up for that in the future.
I'm sure there is more of which I could speak, but whose reading this far anyways? If you have, thank you, and I hope you have a wonderfully Happy New Year and an amazing 2015!