In our last couple days in New Mexico, JooYeon and I said goodbye to the lovely cacti... they reminded us of our hikes in Arizona with Heather when JooYeon first came to the United States 5 years ago.
We also bid our farewells to the Sleeping Lady of Alamogordo who rests just outside of Heather and Bob's back porch.
Ellie was getting the hang of travelling and even started expanding her social circles.
Heather, despite being ready to deliver at any point, showered Ellie with lots of love, as did Ellie's grandma.
Ellie, enjoying her morning spa and massage treatment...
On our final day in New Mexico, we had the treat of seeing something I had never seen before: snow on a cactus.
It was a refreshing break, the calm before "the storm" of my final semester of doctoral coursework. I've been particularly anxious about this one. Not so much because of the coursework - on the contrary, most of this semester (both as a student and the classes I teach) will be related to applied statistics, which I'm quite excited about. It's more the anxiety in the wake of committing to a dissertation topic. I guess I deserve it though - for some reason, I never doubted, second-guessed, or had cold feet about getting married to JooYeon, so I'd be missing out on a major life experience if I didn't have cold feet about my dissertation. Thankfully, I have a topic that I'm starting to feel pretty decent about and a chair who takes the time to truly listen, discuss, and offer feedback on all of my ideas (a dissertation chair, that is. I have to clarify these things because JooYeon has this persistent fear that all "math people" go crazy).