Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Update from Texas

The last couple of months have been a little crazy! In April we packed in deciding between job offers, delivering a baby (Chenae primarily handled that one), and finishing the dissertation.

So we turned down offers from Ohio University and University of New Hampshire and took a 1 year post doc here at A&M. It may sound like a strange decision but after lots of prayer and thought this just felt like the right thing to do for the family and a better way to start my career on a path best aligned with my research/teaching interests.

Two weeks ago Chenae delivered a healthy baby girl, Layla Jayne (10 lbs 23 in!). We've got pictures up over on our blog ( Mom and baby are doing well and Jackson's handling the transition pretty good. He's finally started calling Layla by her name rather than referring to her as "dat baby" as in "why dat baby crying?" We're still working on appropriate expressions of affection which in his mind includes various wrestling holds and pressure point pinches.

This morning I successfully defended my dissertation. The committee feedback was pretty favorable and I only have minor revisions so I'm feeling very good about things. My ability to function this morning was in some doubt since Jackson learned how to crawl out of his crib yesterday so I wasn't sure if we'd sleep at all last night but our prayers were answered and stayed in his bed through the night.

So that's a little update on our family. We hope everyone else is doing well and I'll see if I can a little more of a regular contributor though life always finds a way to be hectic regardless of what milestones we reach.


  1. Congratulations!!! On all accounts.

    Turned down Ohio State AND New Hampshire? I know the real reason, it's because you've been BRAINWASHED into THINKING you're a Texan, but you need to remember, you're from the country of the USA, not from the country of Texas!!!

    Committees need to give you some revisions to make themselves feel and seem important. I've NEVER heard of anyone passing a thesis or dissertation without a least a few revisions. I'm not sure why they can't just say "well, everything seems in order" and send you on your way.

    Also, there is a slight chance (very slight) I'll attend UT Austin for my PhD. Then, sadly, we would become enemies.

    Thanks for keeping us updated. With the little word on your job search I feared you were living out of a box or something. I'm glad to see that my worst fears weren't founded.

  2. Mega-dittos to what Tony said. Passing your defense has to be a huge load off your shoulders. How old is Jackson now anyway? 2-ish?

  3. Well done, Mr. Triple Threat.

  4. Congratulations on all fronts. I hope that the post-doc goes well and that Jackson will get used to his baby sister. Or that she'll get used to his forms of affectionate expression. Good luck!

  5. you continue to make us all proud.

  6. Good work, Mat. I dunno about you, but passing my final oral exam wasn't nearly as load-lifting as getting that first job (also a post-doc) was. It was probably reall naive of me, but I couldn't imagine my committee not passing me. So when they did pass me(with minor revision, natch) I wasn't nearly relieved as I was when that first paycheck direct desposited a couple of months later.

    Congratulations on your new daughter, too. Why dat baby cryin', indeed.