Friday, January 30, 2009

Missing Noah in pictures, part 11*

I have been sorting through pictures today as I set up my new laptop.  So many pictures of my little guy that make me smile and cry at the same time.  This is one of my favorites that I came across.  How I miss him.

*Missing Noah in pictures #1 - 10 are on our blog about Noah... 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lauer vs. Saban

Here is a mind-blowing thought:

It would take Josh FOUR YEARS to make the same amount of money coaching that Nick Saban makes in ONE MONTH.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Monet... I am not

There is a great art gallery in downtown Tuscaloosa that hosts an event called "My Monet" on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  You basically grab a friend or two (and maybe a bottle of wine) and pretend to be a gifted painter!  The gallery chooses a different painting for each session and an instructor guides you in the process of recreating the painting on your own canvas.  

It should come as no surprise to those who know me that I tend to be a left-brain kind of gal... which is not conducive to being particularly artistic.  So this was the perfect controlled setting for me to venture into the world of painting.  

I do have to say that I was doubtful about the final product during the process of painting... I am pretty sure I didn't like either of my attempts while I was painting them.  But with a little distance (literally) and time, I feel a little prouder of my efforts and the results.  What do you think?

"Poinsettias" December 2008

"Black-eyed susans" January 2008

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here we go

For those of you not familiar with the world of college volleyball, this is "go" time for recruiting.  Josh (the handsome guy in the picture above) will be traveling an average of three out of four weekends each month until May... this weekend alone he will be in Nashville, Cleveland, and Lancaster (PA).  And, unlike last fall, I will not be accompanying him on most of these trips.  Sigh.

I'm hoping that the recruiting trail will lead to St. Louis and that I will be able to tag along ... maybe watch for us in early February?  

Saturday, January 10, 2009


"Are you working?"

This tends to be one of the first questions I am asked.  

For those of you who know me only through my blog, let me fill in a few gaps for you.  While living in St. Louis, I taught 7th grade science for ten years.  I took a year-long leave of absence after Noah was born so that I could spend his first year at home.  Then life happened... Josh accepted the job at Alabama and Noah was diagnosed with leukodystrophy.  

I played around with the idea of getting a part-time job when we thought Noah would be going to school at Rise.  I pondered the possibility of substitute teaching and perused the job listings on the University of Alabama website, eventually interviewing for the position of "materials worker" with an university-affiliated program called AMSTI.  The job was offered to me while Noah was in the hospital... at which point I turned it down due to the uncertainty we were facing.  

It didn't take long for us to realize after Noah's funeral that I needed to do something during the day to help me remain emotionally stable.  Josh would usually find me curled up in a ball in bed when he would come home from work in those first few weeks.  So I called AMSTI back, expecting that they had already filled the position.  Instead, I discovered that the director and materials manager of the program had been following Noah's story and praying for us... and they had held the position open for me if I wanted it.  Amazing.

So, last September, I began working as a materials worker.  Not a glorious position by any standards, but exactly what I needed.  AMSTI provides curriculum and professional development for math and science teachers in participating K-12 public schools in Alabama... my role is to unpack, inventory, and repack the elementary science kits that are sent out and returned four times a year.  

The hours are incredibly flexible... this allowed me to travel with the Alabama volleyball team throughout the fall and to spend a little extra time with Josh as we both continue to grieve.  I usually work around 20 hours a week and try to take Fridays off for a little personal time.  

My brain has been mush since losing Noah, so it is good that this position does not require a huge amount of mental energy.  I spend a lot of time counting consumables like straws and pipettes as well as trying to creatively pack the plastic crates we use so that all the supplies fit for a given unit.  

For now, this is how I spend a sizable chunk of my days.  I enjoy the people I work with and am blessed by provision of the position.  There is still the lure of teaching... although the state of Alabama is not making it easy for me to transfer my certification from Missouri (don't get me started).  I may try to add a few days of substitute teaching each week to get a sense of the schools in Tuscaloosa ... that way, if I did decided to pursue a classroom position again, I would have a better idea of which schools are most desirable.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's hard to come home

There is so much around our house and around Tuscaloosa that makes me miss Noah.  

So far away from where you are
These miles have torn us worlds apart
And I miss you
Yeah, I miss you

So far away from where you are
Standing underneath the stars
And I wish you were here

I miss the years that were erased
I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face
I miss all the little things
I never thought that they'd mean everything to me
Yeah, I miss you
And I wish you were here

I feel the beating of your heart
I see the shadows of your face
Just know that wherever you are
Yeah, I miss you
And I wish you were here

("From Where You Are" - Lifehouse)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vacation by the numbers

1 flight to Denver
25 degrees = average temperature
3 nephews hugged
1 breath-taking mountain range
2 games of Settlers of Catan
2 walks in the Colorado cold
1 wonderful Christmas with family

1 flight to Tampa
75 degrees = average temperature
0 days of rain
5 islands visited
4.5 hours at the outlet mall
90 minutes of sea kayaking
4 manatees spotted
2 trips to the pool
2 rounds of mini-golf
1 day at the beach
1000s of shells on Sanibel
4 shells collected
2 friends with whom to celebrate the New Year