Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For Posterity's Sake

All of you who read this blog pretty much know how Jamie and I met, but I thought it would be fun to record it for my own memory. And who doesn't enjoy reading a good love story, right?

Seeing as how there are only a few hundred students at Toccoa and Jamie and I were both playing soccer, it would have been impossible for our paths not have crossed. But initially, (like for the first 3 years we knew each other) there was no romantic interest.

That being said, our first impressions of each other were pretty good. Now I have no idea why, but despite the fact that I usually have a rather unimpressive memory, my first memory of Jamie is very clear - down to what I was wearing the first time I noticed him. Somehow my little heart must've sensed that this moment would be important sometime in the future.

He was, not surprisingly, on the soccer field. I had been asked to run the sidelines that day for the boys' preseason scrimmage and wasn't yet privy to the knowledge that there were paid athletic employees who should've been doing that job (my application to work for the athletic department was later turned down, the injustice). So I was on the sidelines, in my UMBC blue mesh shorts that I borrowed from Lauren Conova the previous year for gym and never returned. At some point early on in the game I overheard someone say that Jamie Hotalen is really good. And mentally I agreed with them and also assumed that he must be a returning player. It was like 8 seconds into the game. How could they possibly have known how good he was if he wasn't a returning player? At that point I was unaware of the Hotalen dynasty at Toccoa and the fact that Jamie had been visiting TFC since birth and had played many, many pick-up games with the guys on the TFC team. I didn't figure out Jamie was in the same class as me until our junior year.

For the next two years, my thoughts of Jamie never went beyond "He's a really good soccer player." In fact, my mother-in-law remembers meeting me at a game in Clearwater, Florida. I said something along the lines of, "You're Jamie's mom? He's my soccer idol." I thought he was a really good soccer player. And a snob. And that he thought he was too cool for Toccoa. I hated that attitude - why would you come to a Christian school if you think you're too cool to obey the rules you knew existed when you choose to come here? Why come to a Christian school and then complain about having to abide by a dress code and attend chapel? It's obnoxious. Never mind that Jamie never actually felt that way. I thought he did, so I wasn't interested at all in him. Oh and at that point, Jamie and I both had significant others and were not exactly on the market.

Jamie also remembers the first time he saw me. And again, not surprisingly, it involved soccer. The girls' team was doing one of our early morning runs as was the guys' team. At some point we passed each other (at the intersection of the main road into campus and the road that goes down to the soccer field right by the Flood Plain, in case you were wondering). He saw me and thought, "She's pretty." I've never asked him for more details. For all I know he was checking out all the girls as they ran by him and mentally ranking us. But whatever he thought I was pretty :) That's enough for me.

So for the first two years at Toccoa, I disliked Jamie and he didn't waste any time thinking about me at all. Ah, the romance. Can you even stand it?

And then Jamie's shattered Tibia changed all that.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jonah's EB Auction

For several months now I've been following the blog of this family. Patrice and Matt are a sweet young couple from North Carolina who have two sons, Gabe and Jonah. Though we've never met, I've been touched by their story. Both of their boys have the genetic disease Epidermolysis Bullosa. EB causes the skin to blister at the slightest friction and then slough off leaving painful open wounds. EB babies are at a high risk for infection and other complications due to external and internal blistering and wounds. Because of EB, their first son, Gabe, was stillborn at 37 weeks. Jonah is nearly a year old and has battled EB his whole life. Every day his parents wrap him in a protective layer of gauze to protect his skin. EB is a very difficult disease and as of right now, there is no cure for it.

The organization DebRA raises money for research and provides assistance to families with EB children. At the end of this month, a friend of the Williams is hosting an online auction to celebrate Jonah's 1st birthday. All you have to do to enter to win an item is visit Jonah's EB Auction Website and leave your bid in a comment anytime between 12:01am EST on February 23 until 11:59pm on February 27. Because all the aution items were donated, every dollar raised will go straight to DebRA. The auction items range from jewelry to gift cards from some great stores and restaurants. So go on over sometime between February 23rd and 27th and see if there's anything you'd like to bid on.

Also, for passing this information along, you're entered into a drawing for a Target gift card. If you'd like to write your own post about Jonah's EB Auction, visit the auction website and follow the instructions to link your post and be entered to win.