1. Happiest memory: This one was pretty easy. Hands down it was marriage - the wedding, the honeymoon, all of it. Having my kids ranks a very, very close second, though.
2. Most difficult life experience that you are now on the other side of: unexpectedly losing my dad when I was a senior in college. I really never had allowed myself to grieve properly since life needed to move on and I felt I needed to be strong for my mom. That all broke itself open when Li'l G came along. That provides a little insight as to why having her was not my answer to #1.
3. Why did you start blogging: all the cool kids were doing it? Ok, seriously, though, I have tried my hand at several blogs. I feel called to write, but haven't until now really figured out what I should be writing about. I've tried deeply spiritual and prayerful blogs, I've tried a photo diary, I've tried a day in the life. None seemed to stick. Then - an epiphany. Why stick with one? After all, I'm the one who can't pick favorites, so why not create a mashup blog that allows me to keep a photo diary, share some prayerful thoughts and inspiration, keep track of life and ... well, that's the new format that will be coming soon, so you're going to have to wait for it while it is in the "works" (yes, that word is part of the new direction).
4. What is your favorite blog: Mary's, of course. :) Seriously, I do enjoy reading her blog, as well as other moms I know (and don't know). Their stories make me feel normal, and almost always reveal God's voice and lesson to me in my own life and motherhood. One of those is Finding Joy, by Rachel Martin, and another is The Diaper Diaries, by Jill Anderson, who I had the pleasure of knowing in high school.
5. Who is a person that you KNOW (in real life) that you currently admire most: Jesus. What? I KNOW Him! ;-) Ok, ok, there are a few and the trait that I think I admire most in a person right now is unshakable joy. That wasn't the question, though, was it? The person I would say I admire most right now is my boss - and I'm not sucking up. If I had to choose someone who is the kind of wife, mother and disciple I would like to be, it is her. She is kind, thoughtful, patient, builds people up, always looks for the good, is hardcore committed to advocating for the dignity of ALL people, and has managed to live this out with her family as well. On top of it all, she is quite real, if you get what I mean - there is no fake piety or false pretense in her do-gooding. She loves purely, and that is inspiring. The fact that she is my boss makes it a little awkward to mention often, of course. Jill Anderson ranks a super close second for many of the very same reasons - though I would add I admire her courage in admitting her weakness while not wallowing in it for the world to see (something I need to work on) - but I don't know her as well in person these days - it's been a while since high school, shall we say?
6. What is your favorite EASY dish to make: Black beans, chicken and rice with tomato, cilantro and cumin.
7. Favorite song (you have to choose just one): You can't make me pick just one! Too hard! I'll come back to this later.
8. Best place you have ever visited: Rome, by all means, Rome. :)
9. 1 of your life goals: to instill a real and lasting love of Jesus in the hearts of my children so they fight for the oppressed, love the unlovable and in general know they are loved every millisecond of their lives beyond any measure they can possibly comprehend. Does that count? If not, then to write and publish a book.
10. What is your favorite thing to do with children: Sing, dance and in general act silly. That and snuggle nap.
11. When have you felt closest to God? How did that come about? Childbirth. Easily childbirth. Perhaps it was not the most peaceful time with God, but the most united I have ever felt with Him. I had to have a c-section, and for those of you who have had one, you know that you are splayed across the operating table quite conscious, much like Jesus on the cross. For some reason, I feel as though with Li'l G my hands were also strapped down, but I can't quite recall. Anyway, through that whole process - labor, delivery and recovery - I felt intimately that I was in fact a co-creator with God. He brought life out of my very being. I gave my blood to bring another life into the world. That little life was dependent on me to live (well, that or Similac). My body was no longer my own. It was a rather profound experience, minus the pain. In hindsight, though, God is true to his promise - in the moments of delivery and recovery, there was most definitely pain, but that isn't at all what I remember from those moments with either child. I won't go so far as to say I have forgotten it, but it isn't the prevailing memory.
Well, there you have it! The deep, dark secrets of my inmost being... :) Now, my turn to pass it on! (And...I said I'd come back to #7, didn't I? Still working on it...)
Here are the 11 questions for my 9 "nominees" - Amanda, Pam, Victoria, Theresa, Tara, Shauna, Kathryn, Danielle, Charlie. I have to say I'm not sure if any of you have over 200 followers, and if you do, hooray and I'm sorry! Also, Erin, I saw you were already nominated, so I didn't include you in the nine. If you want to play along and answer my questions too, please do! :)
1) What is your greatest gift?
2) What makes you joyful?
3) What is one blog you faithfully read?
4) What is your favorite book and why?
5) If you had to play a fictional character in a movie, who would it be and why?
6) If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
7) If you could hire help for one thing in your life, what would it be?
8) How are you Christ's hands and feet in the world today?
9) What is your biggest pet peeve?
10) What is your greatest fear?
11) When you are having a bad day, what is one thing that is sure to turn it around?
Ok, my favorite song - I haven't forgotten...Nichole Nordeman, "I Am"
Close second (because you know I can't leave it at the one) - Matt Maher, "Every Little Prison (Deliver Me)"