Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wings of Desire and new movie blog

So faithful readers, I have not posted much since the baby was born. Many apologies. It has been easier to post to Kira's blog since that is maily just pictures, but those take time to upload...ah well.

So, one of my Christmas gifts was a DVD of one of my favorite movies, "Wings of Desire." This a german film that came out in 1988 and directed by Wim Wenders. It is a slow, but beautiful movie about that tells the story of angels and the city of Berlin. It isn't a film for everyone - mostly due to its pace, but I still highly recommend it.

This present inspired me to go ahead and start my movie column. I don't know how often I will get to post, but I reposted an essay there that I wrote a few years ago for a film class on New German Cinema taught by the late beloved Dr. Jurgen Schlunk at WVU.

So anyway, if you are interested in checking in at my new blog on movies, visit: http://sarahmoviecolumn.blogspot.com


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Amy's having a (at least one) baby!

I'm so happy. Amy found out she was pregnant right before they moved to Michigan at the end of October. I think it is so awesome that they will have a little one that is the same age as Kira. She's saying she won't find out what they're having - which shows (IMHO) a remarkable about of restraint. I had none of that with Kira and just had to know. I like to be surprised about a lot of things, but I just couldn't wait to find out what our baby would be.

How exciting! (I type as my own baby farts in her sleep sitting next to me.) Ahh...yes...babies. (Kira farts again) (Stinky.)

ok. She's crying now. I think she's hungry. So....CONGRATS AMY! You have a lot to look forward to!

I miss you!

More later.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My new job

November 30, 2005 will be my last day at the WVU Center on Aging where I've worked for the past 2 years. I will start at the WVU Office of Information Technology as a Web Developer on Dec. 1.

I've really enjoyed working with Maria, Sherry and Jessica and the others at the Center on Aging. I've worked on so many projects and have been extremely pleased with our efforts on the WVSeniors Project especially. I'll be sad not to see them every day, but I am looking forward to the challenges and experience my new position will bring.

I'm looking forward to working primarily with web design and development again. I've found that those skills get more difficult if you don't use them regularly. I've also been so busy with other projects and aspects of my position at the CoA that I've not had time to continue to learn and keep up with Web design practices. Since that is what I consider the primary focus of my career, I felt this was the best move for me.

I have to say, though, that I would not trade the past two years for anything, though. In working with Maria, I have learned so much more and really had a wonderful opportunity to hone my skills in public relations, project management, community outreach and media communications, grant writing, etc.

But - time to move on. I think Kira & Steve will also appreciate the fact that the new job's location shaves 20-30 minutes (if not more) to my commute. The parking situation is also a lot better. (I won't complain to much, but let's just say the parking at HSC and access to the Center on Aging building leaves a lot to be desired. Readers can fee free to comment, however.)

I will miss having my own office, though. That is one nice thing about working in a trailor. We all have our own rooms. I assume it will be back to cubicle land - we'll see.

That's all for now. Harry Potter comes out this weekend and next week is Thanksgiving, so there will be much more to do and post about later - most likely on Kira's Blog.

=)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Goodbye Corolla, Hello Matrix



I wanted to wait & post this until I had the photos, but we got a new car! We decided that with the baby, we needed something that was just a little bit bigger than the Corolla. Mom has a Matrix - essentially the mini station wagon version of the Corolla - so we got one too. It also has some handy features we really appreciate, like the front passenger seat folds down and makes a handy table to change baby diapers. It also has an AC outlet so we can plug in a laptop or anything else that we need to charge.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Zzzzt and a whiff of ozone

The power came back on Sunday around 5:00 p.m. Good thing - it was really wearing thin and we'd pretty much written off everything in the refrigerator. The freezer - we think - was ok thanks to Todd Moser's dad letting us borrow his generator for a night.

Speaking of Todd and Amy. We said goodbye to them Monday night (Oct. 31) as they are moving to Michigan to start a new chapter in their lives. Amy got a great job and they've been wanting to go back there anyway.

Steve and I are happy for them, but it is really really hard to be ok with friends we've become so close to moving away. We've know them for almost as long as we've been together and they've been such great friends. (TAMY - I know you guys are reading this! We miss you already, dammit.)

I could continue to lament...but I just need to keep in mind that the only difference is that we can't hang out at the spur of the moment (which honestly has been hard since we've all been so busy) and we can't just drop by when in Morgantown. (What's Steve going to do??)

Selfishness aside...I am excited for you both. We look forward to getting Reports from the U.P.

Keep in mind though, that people often can't resist the call of the hills and eventually just have to come back...home. =)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lights are out, but we're home.

Tuesday morning we woke up to the sound of heavy crashes all around the house. The electricity was also blinking off and back on. Then finally - it just went out.

It turns out we had a freak snowstorm that dropped at least 6 inches of snow! Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but with leaves on the trees still, branches started falling left and right from the added weight. Steve went outside and said it sounded like guns being fired in the woods all around us. The silver maple right next to the house dropped several BIG branches on the house and where we park...luckily we were able to move the cars before they fell on the cars. The truck's side mirror and antenna were bent, though.

Apparently there are several thousand people still without power in north central WV. Here is a Charleston Gazette story on the situation: http://wvgazette.com/section/News/Other%20News/2005102633

We still don't have power as of this afternoon. I'm in Morgantown for the moment - I came in to teach my class. We've heard we might not have power until Saturday. =(

I drove from Grafton this afternoon on my way in and I can see why it is taking so long. There are branches and TREES laying on lines all over the place - and that is just on one road. I've never seen so much damage to trees around here - even with heavy winds. This just caught everything and everybody off guard.

More later...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tearin' it up with Terramite

We have a culvert over a creek in the driveway that has caused a lot of trouble over the past few years. The fellas who put it in didn't sink it far enough down and there has been this big hump we've had to drive over. With both Steve and I in the Corolla, it scrapes the bottom of the car. I thought we could fix it by building up either side of the culvert a bit to make the hump less of a problem for the car, but Steve had a better solution: rent a Terramite, pull out the culvert, dig the hole out and put the culvert back in.

I went down with him yesterday to work on it. Mostly, I just watched (which was actually kind of entertaining. I usually hate to just watch people work on stuff.) But I did get to move some of the dirt. It is pretty easy to use, but you have to get used to the controls. It reminded me of playing in dirt when I was a kid.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sam Beckett and Thomas Magnum

There are two drawbacks to being on maternity leave: the amount of time breastfeeding takes out of your day and daytime television. We have DirecTV and there are a LOT of channels to choose from. Unfortunately, there usually isn't anything I really want to watch...Except reruns of Magnum P.I. I discovered that there are 2 episodes on WGN the Chicago superstation at noon and 2:00 p.m. Over the past week, I have greatly enjoyed watching these shows I haven't seen in 20 years. We watched Magnum for a few years until the Cosby Show came on and we had to fight with mom to watch it instead. Magnum has aged far better than the Cosby show, I think.

Another favorite show is on now on SciFi all day - Quantum Leap. As cheesy as it was from time to time, I thoroughly enjoyed the show from the first episode. Interestingly, Magnum, P.I. was written by both Donald P. Bellisario (the creator of Quantum Leap) and Glen A. Larson. And they both worked on Battlestar Galactica in the 70's. Larson is actually working on the new BG, too.

Since I'm thinking about it, here are my top 10 things I like about Magnum, p.i.
10. Those 80's short shorts!
9. TC and Rick...you couldn't find better pals anywhere!
8. The giggle.
7. The Ferrari. Still a damn sexy car.
6. Magnum.
5. The lads.
4. That theme song!
3. The voice over.
2. Magnum's complete disregard for rules.
1. The barbed exchanges between Higgins and Magnum...well actually Higgins and everyone. What a great character.

Monday, October 10, 2005

New photos of Kira


If you haven't checked Kira's Blog for a couple of weeks, we've posted new pictures.

Click here to visit Kira's Blog.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The WVU Hospitals staff and facilities were wonderful

Let me just take a minute here to post about how great the staff and facilities were/are at WVU Hospitals OB/GYN clinic and the labor & delivery floor at Ruby Memorial.

Kira was delivered by Lena Cerbone a midwife at the OB/GYN clinic and we were really happy with the care and attention she was able to provide us. We'd been told from day 1 that the OB/GYN doctors and midwives are somewhat short-staffed and that we might not have our baby delivered by someone we knew; however, she made herself available and stayed with us until the wee hours of the morning to bring Kira into the world. I also felt that her expertise made it possible for the delivery to go so smoothly with minimal tearing (I only had a very small tear, no episiotomy necessary) and discomfort to me. She also asked us if it was ok for a student to assist in the delivery, and I think his help also helped it go very smoothly. The student was a pediatrician from Russia who is at WVU retraining to become an OB. This was the first birth he assisted with, I guess, and Lena showed him exactly what to do. This photo is of Lena (right), Mindy and Ilayak(sp?) the student (Left).



The nurses were also WONDERFUL. During the labor during the day, Alicia helped us out a lot. She was there when I started having the intense contractions. She helped reassure me when they were doing the epidural (the first one did not take and they had to do it again.) That was scary - especially for someone who is in a lot of pain because at one point during that procedure you have to remain completely still. When you have severe back spasms occuring every few minutes, you're not totally sure you can stay still. Anyway...Alicia saw us through that before her shift was over. I am really glad she was there.
Alicia and Kira:


The epidural:


Mindy was the other nurse we had through the labor & delivery. She was there when we checked in and made sure we knew what was going on and we were ok through the night. The next night for the delivery, she helped me so much by counting during the pushes...this sounds like a small thing, but without that is would have been very difficult for me to know how long to push. She was very helpful and thoughtful and we really appreciated having her there.

With all their help, Steve and I felt like Kira and I were in very very good hands.
The room:




Monday, September 19, 2005

Kira's Blog

We are creating a blog for baby Kira, so we can post more just about her. =)

Her blog here: http://kirajane.blogspot.com.

Our new Baby!


Our baby girl arrived at 12:20 am on Sept. 16. Her name is Kira Jane Barnes-Marra and she was 7 lbs. 4 oz., 19 1/2 inches long.




"Kira" means light; sun in Latin, Persian and Japanese and "Jane" is just a nice, classic name - (according to the meaning I found it means: gracious, merciful, God is gracious in Hebrew).



She is a lot tinier than we were expecting, because Steve and I were both over 8 lbs., but then I was 2 weeks late. We had to stop and get an infant car seat because she was too small for the one I had researched and purchased that was "supposed" to be ok for kids 5 lbs. - 65 lbs. Oh well!

ANYWAY. We came home yesterday and I am (of course) exhausted, but were all doing fine. Steve finally got some sleep, so at least one of us can be sane this week. =)

We'll post more pictures here that Steve took. He has some really great shots, but he has to sort them first.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Last Weekend

Today is the last Friday I'll have before becoming a mom. This weekend is the last weekend Steve and I will have before our lives change forever. What a bizarre feeling.

If the baby does not decide to make her way into the world before Wednesday, Sept. 14, I'll be checking in at Ruby at 9:00 p.m. that day, they'll induce labor and I will probably deliver sometime Sept. 15. That is my due date anyway, so, hopefully, all will go as planned.

I am definitely looking forward to it, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that will probably miss things as they are. It is time to move on to a new chapter in our lives though, and I'm excited about that.

However, more than anything, I am looking forward to seeing Steve as a daddy. I will be so proud to see him holding our little girl.

So - how do you spend the weekend before a life-changing event? Do you just take it easy? Do you do chores? Do you go out and have fun? I don't know. I'll probably want to do chores/get stuff ready and then just hang around.

But - if we do anything of note, I'll post about it later.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Jamiroquai, Napoleon Dynamite and Water

I forgot to mention that the water IS back on at home. Turns out we needed a new pump. It was pricy ($539.00 for the pump and labor), but the old pump was 15 years old and this one will last at least as long.

On another note I bought the new Jamiroquai album (Dynamite) from iTunes. I love it. I think it is better than the last one they had out in 2001 (A Funk Odyssey). It isn't as good as 1999's Synkronized.

There is just something about their music that makes me happy. I wanted to be sure to get the new album before the baby gets here, so I'd have some more Jamiroquai to listen to.

I was elated when I watched Napoleon Dynamite and "Canned Heat" came on for Naploeon's campaign-saving boogie for Pedro. That is one of my favorite songs anyway and it always makes me feel good. That scene is what made me like the movie - until that I was kind of ho-hum about it - it is a funny movie, but I spent most of it cringing and feeling sorry for the guy. But that scene changed it all because it was such a gesture of self-sacrifice for a friend.
I was really moved by it.

So anyway...yeah - the new Jamiroquai album is really good. Take a listen or buy it. (Note: this is apparently not releasing in the US until Sept. 20 on CD, but you can order it anyway.)










Hurricane Katrina evacuees and West Virginia

The National Guard has evacuated 500 people from New Orleans to West Virginia. They've been taken to Camp Dawson outside of Kingwood in Preston County. That's only 20 miles or so from my house.

I know it is small comfort to those who have had their communities destroyed and their lives overturned, but we welcome you here in West Virginia.

Camp Dawson is actually right next to a community (Albright) that was nearly obliterated in a disastrous 1985 flood. The town of Rowlesburg is also nearby and was even harder hit in that same flood. Both are on the Cheat River - a young, fast-moving, dangerous river that came in and tore the communities apart. In Albright and Rowlesburg, they will find that people here can identify with them and perhaps help them through their grief.

I hope that even though they are far away from home they can recover and take some solace in the calm and mountainous beauty of Preston County. These last days of summer are perhaps some of the best around here. The nights and days are cooler than just a few weeks prior, but the trees are still lush and green. By the end of September, the trees will start to change to brilliant golds, reds, oranges and browns. The Buckwheat Festival will also take place at the end of September - it usually rains for it, but it is a nice small town festival.

Nothing can make up for what they have lost, but maybe their time here will help give them hope.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I love Steve(n) E. Marra


Today is our 5th wedding anniversary. To show you all how much I love this man, I'm going to share an e-mail that Steve sent me on August 5, 2005.

I cry each time I read it because it just illustrates how wonderful he is. I'd be lost without him. Thank you Whitney, for bringing him into my life.

Steve(n) Marra wrote on 08/05/2005:
Subject: Couscous.
Forgot to get it =(

What the hell else did we forget?

Pineapple....

Umm.....

Anything else?

[thinks]

Hey.

Wanna know a secret?

[waits for reaction]

C'mon, really!

It's a good one!

[pauses]

O.k., I guess it's not a secret at all. I just wanted to get your attention.

[smiles affectionately]

I love you, my dear sweet Sarah =)

Sometimes, I'm so happily in love with you as a person (*and* as my
best friend in the whole-wide-world) I grin. Then I feel this soft,
warm pressure from the corners of my mouth to the center of my brain.
It's not easy to describe =P

But it's a feeling I attribute solely to you =)

I've never felt so loved in my life, as when I'm with you.

-Steve

No hurricane, but without water anyway

We've been without water at home since Monday morning (4 days). No - we weren't hit by hurricane Katrina - we just have something blocking the line from the cistern to the house - or the pump has crapped out. Since we live out in the country and there aren't very many people around who work on this kind of thing any more in the area, we've just had to make due until someone can come out. Today, hopefully, the guys who can fix it can actually figure out what it wrong. Steve's at home to help.

There is an inherent problem with the set up...we have no way to blow blockages out of the line, no way to drain the cistern, now ay to replace the pump without calling someone to come out to our place and fix it. I don't like that. We need to come up with a more self-sufficient way of dealing with these problems. What's the point of living somewhere like this if you can't easily fix things yourself? Well..there is more to it than that, but I think it is clear we need to improve our ability to deal with these kinds of problems on our own. We also need to make sure this stuff will work if the electricity is out. We need solar-powered pumps and we don't at the moment.

So it is kind of weird to not be able to take a shower at home. I've been able to stop by Todd & Amy's or my dad's place before I go home to grab a quick shower. It is actually kind of nice because it gives me a reason to stop by and chat for a little while. I don't do that enough.

This hurricane has really fucked things up. I am really surprised how out of control things are in New Orleans. This is unlike any post-hurricane period I've ever seen. I mean if it had simply blown in and the flooding hadn't occurred it might be different, but I have been really shocked to read how people are stranded with dead bodies nearby. I am also surprised that cholera and typhoid have not broken out yet because of that.

This web article was interesting to read about a Web firm in downtown New Orleans that is still hunkered down trying to keep their servers running.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9164073/

The manager's blog is even more interesting, though because they have tons of photos of what is going on. Incidentally, they have photos of the only white people I've seen in footage of New Orleans in days. http://mgno.com/

I wonder if the media are just not showing white people and just being typical. I wonder if there are white people looting too if they just aren't showing it.

They have a somewhat different take on who the government types are dealing with the situation there, too which is apparently pretty awful. Sounds really bad.

I hope they can get this under control. I wish they'd just have sent the military in from the beginning to keep everything under control. Or do you think the fact that there weren't a high number of white people stranded in the city that they considered it important? Am I being too critical?

Anyway - I will say that I think if we didn't have the majority of out military - ESPECIALLY the National Guard (who is supposed to be at home to handle disasters like this) - in Iraq we'd have been able to keep it under control. But that is just my opinion.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Waxing philosophical on turning 30

Today I'm thirty years-old.

It is weird feeling to hit these milestone birthdays and you are really forced to assess the last ten years of your life or more. I feel far more unsettled this birthday than any other. I'm sure everyone feels this way when they turn 30, so I will not presume to assume that my thoughts are relevant in any broader sense than coming to terms with my own - apparently - deep unease with this date.

My twenties were really good to me. I did a lot of what I wanted to do with my life in those years and I'm pretty proud of that. I've really tried to make my life one that I look back on and say to myself that I am happy with how it's been. Making the minutes count.

When I turned 20, I was living at 50 Anderson Place in Morgantown - the bottom floor of an old house behind a church and a parking lot off of Spruce St. My friends and I had a "Pimp & Ho" party that night and a bunch of people came over to hang out. It was a lot of fun. I had a terribly ugly pink (2 shades of pink) polyester dress that I wore and some of the other people dressed up too. Who was there...? Dawson, Azweem, Jason, Crissy, Bryan, Tyson, Holly H.,...I think Chris Haase and Natalie were there (on a visit from Wisconsin) too! I miss all you guys. Whitney were you there? I can't remember...Later parties, yes, but not sure about that one.

In January of my 20th year, I went to Germany and traveled around Europe. This set a lot of things in place for me, event though I do absolutely nothing with German now. I gained a whole new perspective on my life and resolving to make sure to experience things while I can.

I have to mention here that I wish british Bryan Thyer a very happy birthday as well as today is also his 30th birthday. Bryan was a friend on mine I met in Germany and by some strange coincidence had the same birthday and year as myself.

Speaking of friends with the same birthday...My dear friend Amy ALSO has a birthday today! It is great to share the day with such a wonderful friend. We actually met on our birthday 7 years ago. The Violent Femmes were playing in Morgantown for FallFest that night. (Whitney I know you were there then!)

Three years ago on our birthday, Amy and I were sitting on the porch of the house in South Park where Steve and I were living, drinking a bottle of wine and my neighbor across the street came home. He greeted us and we told him we were celebrating our birthday and he exclaimed "It's my birthday too!" and brought us a special bottle of wine that his friends who own the Forks of Cheat winery make. The label featured a painting that my neighbor had in his house.

OF course, you also know that today is Sean Connery's birthday...I think August 25, must be pretty dang special. =)

But yeah... my 20s...

After I came home from Germany, started doing web design (age 21), started consulting on my own (age 22), met Steve, graduated, got a real job, visited Europe alone for 4 weeks (age 23), got married and took a trip to Iceland, Germany and the Netherlands with Steve (age 25), started grad school while working full time (age 26), helped move Steve's parents cross-country then moved Steve and myself home with mom (age 27), changed jobs AND started teaching (age 28)...got pregnant/having a baby (age 29-30).

Not a bad run.

What do the next 10 years have in store?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Baby shower Friday

It turns out that my post on Friday was a bit premature. My co-workers threw a surprise baby shower for Steve and I Friday afternoon! I had no idea they had planned this. I have pictures that I'll post, too. It was really great. I haven't had a surprise party since my ninth birthday - so this was awesome. Maria and Sherry put together the event, but I think everyone was involved somehow. I must be pretty easy to fool because they couldn't believe that I had no idea what was up.

We played some fun games...far more fun than you'd think. I think if you throw a baby shower, the games are definitely important. You just have to make sure they can be played by everyone. These games were hilarious. The first game involved an ice cube with a miniature baby frozen inside (sounds creepy, I know) but the ice cube is placed in a cup of water and the first person whose baby comes out of the ice cube says "My water broke!" and he or she gets a prize.

Another one was a Scattergories type game where everyone (but Steve and I) made names out of each of the letters of our first and last names (ex: for Sarah = Sally, Alison, Rachel, Abby, Hannah).

Then we played a game where they'd put things that smelled in diapers and we had to guess the small for each diaper - which was a little difficult since diapers have a small too. It was pretty funny to watch everyone sniff diapers and pass them around. Then they passed around unlabeled baby food and we had to guess what kind of baby food it was. I wasn't very good at either of these games.

We were also given some really wonderful gifts. I've got a kind of classic Winnie the Pooh theme going with a lot of the baby's things and most of the gifts reflected that. Very nice. I feel a little more prepared than I did before. I was just so blown away that they threw this party for me.

THANK YOU...

Monday, August 22, 2005

On the way home - James Ray's field

Samantha in a sweater


Samantha in a sweater

This is just a test to see if posting pictures on blogger works. Isn't she cute?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday before the WVU Semester begins

Every year Morgantown enjoys a brief respite that reminds people what it is like to live in a normal town without a huge university. Sadly, each year that respite comes to an abrupt end on a Friday in late August. Today is that day.

A town as small as this one should not be so difficult to drive in. In June you can get from one side of town to the other in 5 minutes. Around August 20th that becomes 20 minutes and parking vanishes.

Oh well. There are a lot of things that make this town nice and a lot of that revolves around the university, so generally overlooking the inconveniences of traffic and parking during the school year just has to be done. You'd think they'd try a bit harder to make these issues less of a problem though. I mean the university has been here since 1867 or so.

Anyway.

Weekly Dr. appt. for the baby this morning. I'm 36 weeks and measuring 38 cm (which is about 2 cm over for the week I am at. I guess if it is over 3 they get concerned, but as is it's ok.

I had a new Dr. today - which was kind of weird. I expected it to be a little, but it was odd that they kept asking me things that I've gone over with the other 2 Drs. I normally see. He (and another Dr. I had not met before were asking questions like whether or not I had gone to counseling for the gestational diabetes and if I was following the recommended diet. Well...it should say that I went to counseling in my file and I am pretty sure they can note what I am eating since I write it down every day. I was just kind of annoyed by that. If they had questions about what I was eating, why didn't they just tell me what they didn't understand or what wasn't clear from my log? My blood sugar numbers have been quite good overall and the baby is going to be a larger kid, but not outrageously big. Steve and I have expected the kid to be large anyway...we both were and our siblings were as well.

Then I had a NST (Non-stress test). They hooked me up to a machine to test the baby's heart rate and movement. This makes sure the placenta is still doing its job - a concern with GD 'cause sometimes it can just stop before the baby is ready to come out. The interesting thing about this test is that the baby has to be moving at some point during the test, but sometimes the kid is sleeping and not moving at all. Well, this was the case this morning and the lady giving the test said we could use this buzzer/vibrator thing to wake her up. Seemed innocent enough. She put it on my hand first, so I could feel it. Not a big deal. When she put it on my stomach....BAM! The baby jumped more that I have ever felt her jump. She must have really been startled! It was kind of funny. I told Steve I need to get one for him so I can make sure he gets up some mornings.

So next week I have another appt. and with a different doc. It is good to meet them all, but it is kind of weird to meet new docs this late in the game.

That's it for now. Hopefully I will be able to post more soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dueling blogs

Well, today my brother Andy finally started his blog, so I decided to go ahead and start mine too. Andy's will, of course, be a lot more interesting because he is actually visiting/living somewhere cool and new this year (Germany), but I'm just gong about my daily routine. =)

So anyway...ummm...yeah...this is my blog.

So maybe I can provide a better account of what is going on here for him to check out. Or maybe this will be a total bore. Remains to be seen.

Since this is a first blog posting, I'll provide a little background.

My Name is Sarah R. Barnes. I've been designing websites since 1996 - and actually my first website was a kind of personal account of , ironically, some of the highlights from when I was living in Germany. I had just returned from Germany in 1996 when I started working for a small local Internet Service Provider (they had just gotten started). Soon after I started I started playing with designing webpages. Hmmm..maybe I can find that old page and post it here? That might be fun.

I work full time for the West Virginia University Center on Aging as a "Program Manager." That title means they didn't really have a title for someone who works on web stuff as well as public relations stuff. I am also working on a Master's degree in Journalism and teach a class for the WVU School of Journalism. I also maintain a modest consulting/design business with my husband, Steve.

Steve is the love of my life and an awesome husband. He respects me and cares for me and isn't afraid to tell me how he feels or what is on his mind. He is a fantastic guy and I am really lucky he found me.

We're expecting a baby girl in a few weeks. Right now I am 35 weeks and 7 days. 4 more weeks to go!

I'm not ready, but I've been told (and I have to assume this is true) that no one is ever ready.

That is probably enough for now. I hope I have time and remember to keep posting.