Welcome! If you’re wondering what all the 31 hubbub is about. Read this.
Alyssa Danielle Moser is a wife to Grant, a soon-to-be mom, a first grade teacher and a volleyball coach. She grew up in the small town of Berne, IN and still lives there with her husband (she tried to convince him to move to NYC, but she says he won that debate). I only know her as my son’s teacher but what little that I do know about her has really amazed me. She is the type of person that radiates calmness. I’m sure you can think of someone like that in your own life. Alyssa has this quiet inner strength and a no drama type of attitude.
She is my son’s first grade teacher and so is most often referred to as Mrs. Moser in our house. He thinks very highly of her and often says what I refer to as a ‘Mrs. Moser line.’
–Emily is crying because she can’t get her zipper up. Ben says to her, “You need to push your tough button.”
–Ben shows me his purple paper that says he was an excellent role model that day. He is very excited about the paper because he tells me that the ladies get purple papers more often than the gentlemen.
–I ask him if Mrs. Moser calls him a gentleman and he says, “Sometimes. Sometimes she just calls me Mr. Ben.”
My children have been so blessed with wonderful teachers and Mrs. Moser is no exception. She challenges her students and she teaches them respect by modeling respect. I truly believe that words have power and if our young children are being called gentlemen and ladies each day, they will believe it and act like it. Mrs. Moser is a young teacher but in many ways she is old school and I am so impressed with her.
Oh, she also has set the kids up with their own blog and they tweet. Ben loves all things techie–so he is in heaven. And he thinks it’s cool that he can blog just like mom.
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Volleyball season is over and it was the end of a busy school week. I go to the school at the end of the day and sit down to interview her with Ben listening by my side. She tells Ben that she’s never been interviewed before. As I begin to ask her my questions, I start to realize how honest and open of a person she is and I am so glad she is my son’s teacher.
Where did you go to school? “South Adams. I graduated in 2006.” (Ben says, “That’s when I was born!”) “Oh goodness, that makes me feel old.” And I say–it makes You feel old?! For crying out loud. 🙂 …What about college? “Ball State”
Have you ever taken a personality test? “I’m sure I did in school but I don’t remember.” Do you have siblings? “I have a younger sister and she is about 6″ taller than me. I played all kinds of sports and she got the height and played nothing.” Isn’t that how it goes? How long have you coached? “This is my third year at Bluffton coaching volleyball. Before that, I coached volleyball and basketball at South Adams. I coached 4th grade girls last year, but I’m not this year because it is right when baby is due.”
Tell me something interesting about the last movie you watched? “I can’t think of the last movie. Who has the time?” (Ben says, “We watch movies on the smart board.”) She laughs….“That’s true….well the last non-kid movie I watched was probably in the summertime. I am pumped to see the new Hunger Games movie, though.” Oh, me too. It should be really good.
When you were little, what did you want to be? “a Teacher. I wanted to be a teacher since Kindergarten.” Do you like first grade? “love it. I student taught second grade and thought I wanted to do that, but I love first grade and would never switch.”
What were you doing 10 years ago? “I was 15, a sophomore and at this time of year I would have been playing volleyball and basketball.” I am officially ancient of days.
What has been your favorite vacation? “My husband and I took a three-week backpacking trip across Europe. We went to 11 cities in 24 days.” fun-fun-fun-fun-fun!! What was your favorite place? “Santorini–a little island in Greece. We stayed there six days and went cliff jumping from 25 feet.” oh my. “The water was clear and so you could see the rocks even though they were deep. So I had my husband jump first.” smart move. “He dove, but I just jumped feet first.”
What vacation has exceeded your expectations? “That one.” Was there a place that you thought, well this isn’t as amazing as I thought it would be? “I wasn’t too thrilled with Paris.” Why not? “Well my husband loved it, but I just thought the people were rude and it was expensive. Not my favorite.”
What’s your current hobby? “Preparing for baby to come–if that’s a hobby. She is probably going to come earlier than expected and we have nothing done. My mom came this week and painted the baby room. I used to scrapbook and I help with campus life.” Plus she just finished coaching…she’s a busy lady!
What book are you currently reading? “I just finished Love Does by Bob Goff. And I’m reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I love to read but I’m the type of person that if I’m reading, I finish the book in two days and Nothing else gets done.” Trust me, I completely understand. “I’m also rereading The Hunger Games.”
What is your favorite song right now? “It is kind of embarrassing but I love anything by Taylor Swift….oh and there’s another song, but I can’t think of it. Can I have two?” Sure–there are no strict rules 🙂 “Ok, I’ll email it to you.” Here are the two songs she emailed. I’ve watched the Taylor Swift video about 7 times because the little girl reminds me of Emily.
Tell me something about yourself that people would find surprising. “I don’t know if it is surprising or just weird, but I have an eye phobia. If the kids have something wrong with their eyes, I’d have to send them to another teacher for help. And I had an eye doctor’s appointment when I was 22 and I sat in the chair and cried. Which is unusual, because I’m not like that at all.” Yes, you seem to be a very chill person. So do you know why eyes bother you so much? “I had a cousin make me look for her eyeball when I was little. I think it might be because of that.” Did she have a fake eye?? This is a crazy story…I love stories like this. “No, she was just joking with me, but I think that may be where my phobia came from.”
What has been your most life changing moment? “Well, I’m going to try not to cry, but that would be this past Monday when I found out my baby has down syndrome.” Do you want to talk about it? “Yes, it’s ok.” So I was originally going to interview you Monday after school and that is when you found out? “Yes, I got the call that afternoon at 1:30 and then I spent a lot of time in the office. I’m pretty close to a few of the other first grade teachers and so I was talking with them and some others.”
How did you first find out? “I was going in for a regular ultrasound and I happened to have my mom along because she wanted to see the baby. Everything had been totally normal and then the doctor told me that the baby had some bowel complications. This type of problem with the bowels was one-third of the time because of down syndrome and two-thirds of the time because of not developing properly. So I was sent to a specialist.” And your husband wasn’t even with you when you found out? “No, he drove up there when I called him. I’m sure he drove too fast. And I had an amniocentesis done and we had to wait 10 days. That was a long 10 days. Then, thankfully my husband told the doctor to call him with the news first. Then he called this past Monday and told me.”
She then gets that news, finishes her school day and goes to volleyball practice that evening. The next day she has parent teacher conferences and she mentions that her baby girl will probably be born early. The next day after school, Ben walks through the room and tells me randomly that Mrs. Moser told them that her baby has down syndrome. I was, of course, shocked but also amazed that she was so open with her students. Now as I’m talking to her, I realize that this was only two days after she herself had found out.
“So because of the bowel complication, I am retaining too much fluid. The doctor has to drain me and we were told that the baby might not make it to November and so we needed to prepare her to be born early. Now, the doctor is saying that I could make it to December. So that is some good news.” That is wonderful! The longer she has to develop, the better. “Yes, I like to have things a certain way so I’m hoping that she’ll be born December 12th. That way she’ll be out of the NICU for Christmas.” I love it. So if anyone wants to pray—December 12th is the day she is shooting for 🙂
I am amazed at how calm you are about all of this. “Well, my husband has been my rock. His attitude hasn’t changed. He is still excited and can’t wait and so that has helped me a lot.” He is going to melt when he sees his baby girl.
And do you have any names? “My husband really wants to decide but I kind of want to wait until I see her. I gave him two names the other day and he said those are both good.” (Ben says, “Maybe when you look at her then you will know her name.”) “That’s exactly what I think, Ben. You need to tell Mr. Moser that.”
Ok, a few more questions. You seem fearless, but if you weren’t afraid, what would you do? “Pick up and move to Africa and do missions work.”
Finish this sentence. Before I die, I want to “do a summer long mission trip in Africa.” I bet that you will get to do that….and maybe you’ll even end up staying.
Thank you so much, Alyssa, for allowing me to interview you. When I think of you, an old song that I love comes to mind. The title is I Shall Not Be Moved. One part says “In His love abiding, I shall not be moved. And in Him I’m confiding, I shall not be moved. Just like a tree that’s planted by the water, I shall not be moved.” You remind me of the tree that’s planted by the water. Your roots run deep. You are unmovable and unshakeable.
Going into these interviews, I wanted to honor the people who I was writing about. What has surprised me is how much each person’s story has affected me. Each person has been unique and said something or told me a story that has made me laugh or think or even cry.
Four more days!