Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A sad day...

I always knew this day would come, but I hoped it wouldn't. As a teacher, you find yourself getting close to so many children and so many wonderful people. However, the more people you open yourself up to, the more likely it is that you will find yourself touched by tragedy and loss. Today is the day I find myself touched by both.

I worked at a small private school last year as a substitute teacher. The staff was so supportive and friendly, so welcoming. The most welcoming of the entire staff was M. She was the kind and loving preschool teacher who had two adorable sons, A and B. M was always quick to help me out, let me know where to go or what to do, and give me a quick break if I needed one.

I nearly always had either A or B in class because of the way the school was structured -- starting in third grade, A's grade, either the students or the teachers rotated with teach subject. The two boys were some of my favorite students -- A had a confidence and an athletic stride that lead me to imagine him as the quarterback at his high school one day. He was extremely bright and lively. He was the innocently mischievous type -- always up to something, but never anything malicious. B, on the other hand, was more of a sweet little boy. He was smaller than his brother and more soft spoken. Both boys were incredibly endearing.

The last day that I subbed at Orchard Hills, M stopped by the second grade class - B's class - where I was subbing. She asked Brett if he had shared his big news. He said no, and then announced he would be a big brother in the fall! I didn't see the family again until November. I was shopping at Target when I recognized a pair of big brown eyes peeking over a counter at the photography student. A waved to me, and I stopped to chat for a minute or two -- M was there with B, A, and three week old baby girl D for their Christmas photos. The boys told me they were at a public school this year, where my friend Deb teaches. I said I'd be subbing in the public schools and I hoped I'd see them around.

As it turns out, that is the last time I will ever see A. Last Monday, M, A and D were in a horrible car accident. They were hit by another vehicle and thrown into the ditch near the boys' new school. They, along with the other driver, were taken to hospitals, but A didn't survive. He was ten years old.

I just can't even put into words how unfair it feels. He was supposed to be a quarterback! He was supposed to be homecoming king! He was supposed to do incredible things because he was that athletic, that bright, that amazing. I'm struggling with the incredible injustice of it. My heart hurts for the whole family. My heart just hurts.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowpocalypse 2011

Whenever it snows in Georgia, it's a minor crisis. However, the storm that hit last night and continues today with freezing rain is becoming a major crisis. As you can see from the photo above, my car is encased in ice. My apartment, the sidewalks, and everything else around the apartment complex has a similar coating on it. We really only got about an inch or two of snow in Newnan, but it's already been rained on and crusted over. Our friends in the northern suburbs got quite a bit more snow -- Sarah and Adam in Bethlehem got enough snow to come up their border collie's little doggie armpits, and Mike and Brittany in Alpharetta posted photos on Facebook of the snowman they were able to build. I'm honestly a little jealous. If I can't go anywhere, I'd like it to be caused by a pile of snow, not a sheet of ice!

Stay warm and be careful, Georgia. :)
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hawaii 2010

Did I mention we flew to Hawaii for 10 days in October? It was amazing. We kayaked in Kealakekua Bay, drove to the summit of Mauna Kea, saw Volcano National Park, rode the boat to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, toured the USS Missouri and the USS Bowfin, drove around Oahu, sunk into the sand on the North Shore and discovered a black sand beach no one seemed to know existed. We picked up beautiful seashells and minute pieces of sea glass, and enjoyed our time with our friends Dave and Erin, and Erin's parents, Doug and Mary Jo.

The craziest part of our trip? Sharing the 8 hour flight from Detroit to Honolulu with Justin Bieber! No, I didn't get his autograph or a photo with him -- or even a decent photo of him. Trust me, I tried to be sneaky and get a photo with my cellphone. It didn't work. His body guard is the size of VW Beetle so I really didn't want to get too close.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Little Word 2011

I wrote in December that I was still mulling my One Little Word for 2011. It seemed to take more consideration than it has in the two previous years that I've chosen words. Ali Edwards has written about how, sometimes, you just have to let the word choose you. It seems to have happened to me this year.

My word is move.

I've been resisting move for weeks. It's ugly. I don't like the way it looks in writing. I don't like the way it sounds -- it sounds like the noise a cow makes. I don't like the meaning of the word.

And yet, that's exactly why it's the word for me in 2011. My word is supposed to be about growth and self-improvement. Move actually applies to a number of goals I'd like to accomplish this year. I'd like to move clutter out of our home. I'd like to move more by exercising. I'd like to move towards eliminating my student loan debt. I'd like to more on the move by traveling more and doing more with friends.

But the biggest goal, the one I've been keeping a secret for awhile, is this: I want to move into my first house this year!

I've been dreaming about home ownership almost since our wedding. It didn't seem like an achievable goal until this fall, when I stumbled on a house on Realtor.com that was cute and very, very inexpensive -- $75,000! Though it was cute, it was also a foreclosure, and we soon realized it wasn't the neighborhood for us. However, it made us both really interested in looking further into this business of buying a house. What we found after reading Homebuying for Dummies and reviewing some listings on Realtor.com was that we are actually in a good place to buy a home.

So, there's no New Year's resolution in our home this year, no lofty goals of losing 20 pounds or quitting sodas, but simply a goal: Move into our first house.