Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Started on August 26th...

A couple of you who regularly read our blog have been following this particular story in our lives over the past three months, but for most of you, this is brand new information (for real).  It's not a shock to any of you that Dan and I have been wanting to get back north where we can be closer to family, especially since we have had kids.  I regularly receive updates from a job site in higher education alerting me of various jobs in my field that have opened up.  Usually, they are not looking for someone with expertise in sport psychology, so I rarely give them a second look.  However, in mid-August (the 13th, actually, but who's keeping track?) there was one that caught my eye - then REALLY caught my eye when I looked closer.  It was a new position at the University of Missouri where I would be teaching in their positive coaching program and working with the Missouri Institute for Positive Coaching.  In a nutshell, this position embodies 10 years of research that I have been doing throughout my graduate program and early career.  The job advertisement felt like it was written specifically for me - many of my skills and areas of expertise were included in their required and preferred qualifications - and it seemed to be a job that I would really enjoy doing.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy what I am doing at Texas A&M-Kingsville, but the specificity of this job was really attractive to me because teaching coaches to coach is something I am passionate about.  I really believe that we are products of our own socialization...many (not all...many) bad coaches don't intend to be bad.  They just don't know that there are other ways of modifying behavior than yelling and punishing.  So this job was really attractive to me.  Beyond the job, it would be getting us closer to both families (pretty much smack dab in the middle...actually - Columbia is about 6 1/2 hours from Dan's family and about 9 from mine), AND...my sister and brother-in-law live in Columbia!  They have been there for about a year where they are on staff with Athletes in Action at Mizzou (see www.buxmanfamily.com for more information about their ministry).  So...what appeared to be my dream job + closer to both families + living in the same city as one of my sisters + seasons = a job I had to apply for.
So on August 26th, I did...
It's been a longer process than we were expecting.  We were anticipating interviews happening in late September/early October with a job offer happening in late October (according to the search committee chair, that was their timeline).  Needless to say, it hasn't quite gone that quickly.  I thought I was out of the running entirely when I didn't hear anything from them by the end of September.  Then I found out that they were checking my references.  I didn't get called for a phone interview until late October.  They brought me out for an on campus interview on November 7th.  Dan and I decided to bring the whole family out for it so that he and I could look at houses while we were there.  They advertised a January start date, so we knew that if this happened it would be fast and furious.  So we packed up the girls and headed to Columbia, Missouri on November 6th.
Evelyn ready for the airplane ride
Lillian's first airplane trip!
She loves the Boba...mostly because she can easily chew on the side of it.
Killing some time in the Houston airport with some Doc McStuffins
(we had a very tired girl...we had to leave our house at 4:30am and she hadn't slept yet)
Still no sleeping - too much excitement!
In the Kansas City airport waiting our turn for the family bathroom.
On the bus to the rental car lot
About 4.3 seconds after we started driving from Kansas City to Columbia...
Yay - signs of FALL!!!
Pretty leaves...I miss this!!!
My younger sister, her family, and my parents also came into Columbia that weekend - so my older sister had a FULL house (18 of us!).  I scheduled my interview at the beginning of the trip so that it could be finished and I wouldn't be concerned with preparing for it the entire trip.  It was on Thursday, pretty much all day long.
Evelyn wasn't thrilled that Mommy was going to be gone all day.
While I was at the interview, Dan and the girls had plenty of cousin time.  Fortunately they had me so busy going from meeting to meeting that day that I barely had a chance to miss out (however, miss them, yes...!).
Evelyn loved playing outside (with no mosquitoes in November!)
Lots of fun with 9 kiddos!
She got to experience playing with boys toys - bat cave, anyone?
Lillian got lots of snuggles
And loved playing with Uncle Mike and Woody!
They enjoyed lunch at Fudruckers
And peaceful afternoon naps...
I got home from my interview around 5pm that night and was ready to crash!  The weeks of preparation leading up to it, combined with the stress of traveling with two little ones and a full-day interview had crept up on me!  
Grammie making Lillian smile and laugh
On Friday, Dan and I made arrangements with a local real estate agent to look at several houses in the area.  I think we had 16 houses on our list to look at across the day.
Here he is doing some last minute research before we went out on our hunt!
Anyone who has ever gone house hunting before can attest to the odd things that you see in peoples' houses.  This had to be my favorite this time around...an entire room FILLED with ELVIS collectors plates.  Seriously.
Elvis is alive.
We met up with the rest of the crew for lunch (they were helping us by watching Evelyn and Lillian while we were going house to house).  The mall in Columbia has a carousel in the middle of it, so Grammie paid for all of the kids to ride on it.
Love this picture.
To fit 18 of us under one roof takes some planning.  Lisa and Nate were so gracious to let us stay in their room and sleep in their bed.  It was incredibly generous of them, and Dan and I greatly appreciated getting a good night sleep heading into my interview and surrounding it.  We had travel beds for our kiddos, so they stayed in our room with us - but the rest of the cousins (and lucky Grammie and Grandad) stayed on air mattresses on the floor in the basement.
Uncle Mike and Daddy created this fun game for Evelyn...
No children - or air mattresses - were harmed in the making of this video
On Saturday, we took the kids to a paint your own pottery place.  Evelyn loved it - she's our little artist and loves coloring and painting, so she was in heaven here.
Mommy had to set aside her OCD a little and let Evelyn just paint!
Our finished products...Evelyn's handprint and my Mizzou paw...hoping it would commemorate the beginning of the next chapter in our lives!
Lillian's bathtub for the trip...who doesn't love a naked baby in the kitchen sink?
Evelyn watching a movie while Mommy got ready for church 
(she was up early with the roosters)
Now this is a football watching couch...
Go broncos!!
 It was a fast, and slightly stressful, trip...but we found out that the job was everything I thought it was going to be, and more.  And we found a house that we love.  We had some great travelers, too.
Sometimes you get stuck in a chair and your Mom takes pictures instead of helping you...
Killing some time during our 3 hour layover in Houston...after #1 did not take a nap on the first flight - which was during nap time.
"You see this, baby sister?"
Evelyn was getting a little crazy after about 10 minutes in Houston, so I packed her in the Boba and she and I went to find a smoothie for Daddy and coffee for Mommy.
It took all of about 2 minutes for this to happen...
Now to find a comfortable way to sit so that I don't wake her!

No comments:

Post a Comment