Monday, September 10, 2012

Indiana Days

I’m going to spend a few blog posts catching up on some big and small things that happened during our surprisingly brief stint in Indiana. I didn’t blog much during that time. There was a lot going on inwardly and outwardly, but I just rarely had it in me to give it all words. I was tired, I was busy, I was not busy, I was watching TV (and remembering why we don’t have one – ha!), I was doing any assortment of things that didn’t involve making blogging a priority. But, the reality is, this blog holds hundreds of precious memories and experiences. We really do go back and read posts, enjoy photos, and give thanks that we made the jump and started a blog. Not always the most exciting topics, but they are significant to our lives currently, and our lives remembered. So, we do not want our time in Indiana to go mostly unnoticed.

A big-ticket item that got our hearts thumping was Ian’s defense of his thesis in March. He spent a month (a whole month!) in Scotland without us, teaching a class, visiting friends and beloved places, and preparing for this defense. He (and most who were with him) will tell you that it was a very, very challenging time. It was very emotional for him to be back there without the kids and I, our house no longer our home, a visitor in a place very rooted in his heart. It was hard for me to be in Indiana as well, knowing he was sharing meals with people whose lives I desperately wanted to still be involved in, walking the path that lead to our home, feasting his eyes again on the Sea. It was a rough month. And when he got home, we swore we’d never do that again (being apart for that long, that is). Little did we know we’d be doing it again in less than two months!

Ian was so nervous about his defense, and rightfully so. It’s a big deal. If things didn’t go well, his degree could have been delayed by a year, or even brought down to a master’s level rather than a PhD. I had so much confidence in him. I had watched him wrestle with that thesis for years, and he knew it front to back. He had presented and taught and discussed the material endlessly, so I felt sure that if there was a gaping hole in his reasoning, it would have been found. There are always what ifs, but I did my best to relieve him of them.

As we all know, he passed, and his dream of being a doctor was realized. Not only did he pass, he passed with only minor revisions, a great relief and source of excitement. We were all so proud of him, and so anxious to get him home!

We had to do something exciting, of course, to celebrate Dr. Daddy! We met him at the airport with signs normally reserved for blind pick-ups that read ‘Dr. Daddy’, ‘Dr. Church’, ‘Ian Church, PhD’, you get the idea. The kids held them with us and Aed ran right for him when he saw him. It was wonderful and sweet.

I had made him a celebratory cheesecake and a sign with balloons and streamers for some extra celebration when we got home.

I felt the accomplishment deserved more (especially given the poor craftsmanship on his congratulations sign!), but Ian felt plenty appreciated with our little ‘party’. He was also taken out to dinner :)

So, it was all set. He would continue to apply for jobs with an updated CV, and we’d make plans to officially head back to St Andrews for graduation in June. In the meantime, we’d enjoy spring in Indiana all together as a family.

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