Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yesterday Thomas mailed in his official letter accepting the fellowship from the University of Tennessee, so we will be moving to Knoxville in August! While I'm not so thrilled about the actual moving part (I hate packing and I can only imagine it will be 10 times worse with a baby to take care of at the same time), we are definitely looking forward to getting out of Kirksville and starting the next phase of our lives! We will be going there to find an apartment during our finals week (our classes mostly have final papers due the last week of class, so finals week is totally open!). Since I haven't been to Knoxville yet, I did a little research (and by that I mean I read the wikipedia page), and I learned some interesting things.
For starters:
  • Knoxville has a population of about 180,000 people.
  • It is, obviously, home to the University of Tennessee, as well as the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • At times, Knoxville has been known as both the "Marble City" and the "Underwear Capital of the World."
  • It was Tennesee's first state capital.
  • The 1982 World's Fair was held there.
  • It is located in part of the Appalachian mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains are about 20 miles away, and it is within an hour's drive of Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Some other claims to fame:

  • Knoxville has been rated the most affordable US city for new college graduates.
  • Forbes Magazines named it one of the Top 10 Metropolitan Hotspots in the US.
  • It has also been rated as having the 17th best music scene in the US.
  • It has the largest Labor Day fireworks display in the US.
  • Many famous people have roots in Knoxville, including Cormac McCarthy, Quentin Tarantino, Kenny Chesney, Johnny Knoxville, and Dave Thomas.

Reasons why I am particularly exciting to be moving there:

  • The climate! Knoxville still has 4 seasons, but their winters are on average much warmer than in Kirksville! There are only small amounts of snow and the average low in January (the coldest month) is 30. Temperatures in the single digits are very rare.
  • We'll be living in a city with an airport! It is not a huge airport and doesn't connect to all that many places, but it does connect to Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Denver (among others), so it would be easy to get a connecting flight to anywhere. No more 3 hour drives to and from the airport!
  • There is a zoo! It will be so fun to take our little boy there when he gets a little bit older.
  • Knoxville has over 41 miles of paved greenways for use by pedestrians and bikers. They usually run close to cool natural features of the city and connect parks and historic sites.
  • There are a number of sweet festivals held every year, including a 17-day arts festival in April.
  • Apparently there's a pretty good music scene.
  • Knoxville is also home to an opera company and a museum of art.
  • There are going to be so many more options for shopping and eating out. We won't have to drive an hour and a half to the nearest mall or the nearest Olive Garden.
  • It's supposed to be quite pretty, with the nearby mountains and two rivers meeting in the city.

That may be more than anyone but us would be interested in, but there you have it! I'll have a lot more to talk about once I've actually been there, but it seems like it will be a pretty cool place to live.

Friday, March 19, 2010

crazy weather

I just went to, and this is what I found:

I'm not sure if it's big enough to read easily, but as you can see, it is 59 degrees right now (about the warmest it's gotten this year), but flashing above that is a winter weather advisory. I don't think I can handle more snow after 60 degree weather...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

28 weeks

Here is my 28 week belly picture:
I am officially in my third trimester...only 12 weeks to go!

Though nothing has been decided for sure yet, right now Thomas is leaning pretty heavily towards Tennessee, so we may be making our home in Knoxville as of August!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

grad school funding

Since I last posted, Thomas has been offered funding from BOTH the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee! Since these are his top two choices for his PhD, this is fantastically good news. It is going to be a difficult choice between the two, but I am glad to know we will have definitely somewhere to go next year. I'll be even happier when we know whether we're moving to Lexington or Knoxville. Thomas is actually in Knoxville right now; they paid for him to fly out for their visit day, and he has had a great time (which will actually make the decision harder, since Kentucky was previously his first choice, but they now seem to be neck-and-neck). I am so proud of him!