It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen my family. Kim’s been in Indiana with Eli and I’ve been up in Wisconsin for a few interviews. It’s only been about five days and I’ve really been missing them. It’ll be hard when I finally get a ‘normal’ job and have to be away from them ALL day. It’ll be quite the transition.

I’ve been so blessed these last several years to spend so much time with my family. That’s one of the unexpected side benefits of doing missionary work overseas. Sure, your job description may be a bit confusing at times, as well as the language, culture, and just about everything else. It’s a pressure cooker experience. But going through it with those closest to you, ie. your family, bonds you in unique and special ways. I’ve really enjoyed the bond that’s developed between us. I hope we never lose that.

But I realize this is not the norm. Most people GO to work. Having a 9-5 job will be a fairly large transition for us as a family. We’ve already gone through so many! In the first seven years of our marriage Kim and I have lived in four different states, two different countries, and eight cities. We’ve been to some truly wild places. We’ve adjusted to foreign cultures and customs, lived in rather rugged conditions. Eaten some strange foods. But something tells me the biggest transitions have yet to come, now that we’re finally trying to ‘settle down’. I think being apart from Kim and Eli will be the biggest one yet. How ironic that now when we’re most normal, it feels the most strange.

We face this new challenge as we’ve faced so many in the past- with boldness, a little bit of fear, and trust as we step into the unknown, one more time. We’re trusting the Lord to lead us through, as He has so many times in the past.

A while ago I wrote a post called “The KISS Principle. Why Dumb Devices are the Smart Choice“. In this article I talked a lot about the iPhone and how sometimes a device with so many features and internet connectivity can be very distracting. I contrasted the iPhone with ‘single function’ devices and how overall I seem to enjoy these more.

Last week Apple introduced the world to it’s new Apple Watch and, like the iPhone, I have a few reservations. On the one hand (no pun intended), it’s not surprising that wearable tech is becoming the next big thing. An internet enabled device that you can strap to your wrist seems like the next logical step in a connectivity-obsessed culture. The iPhone has allowed us to do this for years. Now the Watch is taking it one step further. Now you don’t even have to take it out of your pocket. This is similar to what Google is trying to do with Google Glass (internet glasses). But here, instead of a Google head’s up display, you’re getting an Apple head’s down display. You wear them on different parts of your body but it’s the same concept really- making the internet available on a moment’s glance.

But I have issues with this sort of technology. Call me old-fashioned, or a traditionalist, or just simply slow to adopt new things. But I’m of a very different philosophy. The simple fact of the matter is that the one thing that these devices promise to do, namely bring the internet to you fast and NOW, is the one thing I actively try to avoid in my life. Constant internet, accessibility, is not something I want in my life. I like my space. I like room to breathe. And being strapped to the internet, which is what the Apple Watch allows you to do, is not something I want to add to my lifestyle. Whether you realize it or not, in subtle ways it creates a dependence. The connection becomes more than just an enhancement. It becomes a lifeline. I think it’s worthwhile to fight this dependency. One way to do this is to keep the internet in it’s place. To me the internet is and always will be compartmentalized. It fits into a little box in my life. I go to it when I need it, and turn it off and put it away when I’m done. It’s not something I want to keep ON at all times, and heaven forbid strap to my body. Like I said, I like my personal space and freedom.

So my initial reaction to the Apple Watch, like the iPhone itself, is one of caution. I won’t be surprised if in a couple years wearable tech really catches on. But for me I will always choose personal space and freedom over a constant barrage of information and connectivity. That to me is the smart choice.

I’m trying out a new photo gallery on my website. You may have noticed a few subtle changes to the way I display photos on my site. After several years of using Zenphoto, a stand alone product for displaying photos, I’ve decided to just bite the bullet and use WordPress’ photo management instead. This was not a light decision. I’ve put in quite a bit of time tinkering with Zenphoto over the years and getting it to work more or less the way I want. But it’s just become more of a burden now than useful and I’ve decided to use WordPress instead. The nice thing about WordPress is that even though it’s still mostly a blog platform there are actually quite a few themes that help you showcase your photos or artwork. I found a few that get me pretty close to the result I want. I’ll just have to tweak/modify to take it the rest of the way.

In addition to themes, WordPress is just so easy to work with, whether you have a blog or photo gallery or full website. It’s just numbingly easy to update your site, to add extra features (called plugins), and change the appearance. After working with something like Drupal, WordPress is the king for ease of use. And my other photo software just wasnt’ cutting it in this area anymore. It was such a pain to update, the interface was clunky, and it didn’t always work right. And there were only a few themes to choose from. This is surprising given that it’s sole purpose is to display photos. You’d think they’d spend more time perfecting the visual presentation. But alas, all things must come to an end. So for now I say ado to Zenphoto and look forward to seeing what I can do with WordPress.

And in case you’re wondering where all my photos and videos went, just hold on! I’m reworking a few things and will bring stuff back up as they’re ready.