Monday, September 24, 2012

7 Quick Takes; family weekend at Rice and other Murphy people updates!

--- 1 ---
It's been five weeks since we dropped our son Alex off for his freshman year at Rice University in Houston.  We were able to get away from Austin for about 24 hours this past weekend to visit Alex for family weekend.

The campus is beautiful, his new friends are fun, Houston is charming but the best part was being together.  We missed our youngest Natalie; she was at a weekend retreat and couldn't come with us.  

The Academic Quad anchored by a statue of university founder William Marsh Rice 

--- 2 ---
Alex gave us a campus tour.  Sadly it's still pretty hot here in Texas; at one point one of our entourage could be heard grumbling, "This is fun, but do you have to lead us like your arse is on fire?"

family weekend at Rice; trying to keep up with our tour guide

--- 3 ---
The campus is lovely.  Idyllic might be the better description.  Occasionally I feel like I'm walking through a movie set.  For example, this building contains the professor's office Alex will be working for this semester (research).  

Brian and Alex in front Herzstein Hall on Rice campus

--- 4 ---
In a stroke of good fortune family weekend coincided with Frodo and Bilbo Baggins' birthday; lunch at Houston's Hobbit Cafe was in order!  (Since we were hobbits for lunch I was not embarrassed that I ordered a Fatty Lumpkin sandwich and did not even order the slim version because, frankly, ordering a Slim Fatty Lumpkin seemed silly.)

The Hobbit Cafe, Houston

--- 5 ---
Andrew invited us to the housewarming party that he and his roommates are throwing next weekend.  I totally love the party theme:  each guest bring an item to decorate the house and the guys will hang it/place it/use it while we are all together.  No matter what it is.  

Currently I'm considering a 16 x 20 poster of myself staring at them with a stern motherly expression.  Something they could hang in a prominent place in their house where all who enter will be aware of my ferocious motherly instincts.  Maybe I'll ask Andrew's grandmothers to each send a photo, too, and we can form a decorative triptych.

Want to share some other ideas?

--- 6 ---
Kendra is getting settled into her junior year.  Junior year is tough, right?  You're not close enough to college to spend too much time thinking about it, but high school's getting a little bit stale.  This is especially true with two older brothers and a few good friends in college.  We're trying to walk the balance carefully -- dreaming ahead while being present to the present.  Still, this weekend we started searching online.  Dreaming a tiny bit about what part of the country, what sort of residential system, areas of study she might want to pursue.  

She dreams; Brian and I pray down God's provision.  

--- 7 ---
Natalie, on the other hand, seems to have hit high school with a vengeance (in Brian's words).  Her days have filled up with the sort of classic high school activities I kind of always dreamed for her.  For example, this past week friends walked home with her from school just to do homework together.  Another day she stayed after school to watch her friend's volleyball game.

We're so grateful to live within walking distance from school and grateful for the new job I have that is helping us afford to live in this neighborhood.

Another fun fact about Natalie is that she joined the school newspaper.  She's become a regular roving reporter on campus and, as is her fearless way, volunteered to take the article no one else would -- a feature on the school's new Varsity football coach.  This means Natalie has had to stalk search for interviews with the Varsity football quarterback also.  

She's not timid.  And she's not dumb.

Enjoy a beauty-filled week!


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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