21 pieces

A little less than 2 years ago I attended a two day class to become a Certified Running Coach through the RRCA.  The class was in Newport News, VA so we traveled to my in-laws’ house in VA Beach for the weekend.  It worked out great – while Robert and the kids had a fun weekend at the beach with family, I immersed myself in something I loved — guilt-free and not worried at all about how my husband and children were faring in my absence.

I remember feeling so at home in that classroom.  Everyone in there, teachers and students alike, was just as interested in and obsessed with the sport of running as I was.  It made me excited knowing that I could ask questions or share my experiences and everyone in the room would know where I was coming from.  It was run-geek heaven.

Where am I going with this and what does it have to do with the title of this post, you ask?  Well, one of the other students in my class was Tonia who writes the insightful, entertaining, inspiring and informative blog Racing with Babes and Tonia recently tagged me to share 21 random facts about myself.  So, here goes …

1.) I love being by the ocean. My idea of a perfect beach day is one where it is cloudy and slightly cool – not too sunny or hot.  Being at the beach is one of my very favorite places to be and I believe with all of my heart that Robert and I will figure out a way to live by the ocean some day.  Not sure when or which beach even, but it will happen.

2.) I have a tattoo on the inside of my right ankle.  It is of the “Man in the Maze,” which is one of the symbols of the Tohono O’odham (also known as Papago) Native American tribe in southwest Arizona.   I got this tattoo when I was 19 years old and it was a very carefully thought-out decision for me, though pretty uncharacteristic for me at the time.  The tattoo is a labyrinth symbolizing the journey of life and I really do love it.  I’ve gone through times in my life (like when I was just beginning my career) when I almost regretted the decision to permanently ink myself.  Now though, as a mom of three and a 35 year old woman, I own it and am proud of it.

3.)  I began my college education studying Architecture, but after one year decided it wasn’t for me.  I was (and still am) in love with the artistic elements and am in awe of the engineering of it all but knew it wasn’t the right career for me.  I wanted something with more creative freedom.  So what did I do next?  I studied English Literature.  Why?  Because I had no idea what I wanted to “be” or “do” when I grew up, and I figured a degree in English Lit would at least not be limiting.

4.) I wound up in business-to-business sales.  I worked for Tiffany & Co. for several years.  It was a dream job.  I worked from home.  I loved the company, the people I worked with and for and the flexibility.  It was a hard job to leave, but when my second child was about 5 months old I made the decision to stay home with my kids.  I never thought this would be a difficult choice for me, but it was.  It was also absolutely without a doubt the right choice for me and for my family.  Now I am building a new career for myself, one that is rooted in my passions and creativity.

5.) I believe that all the BEST things in life are hard-earned.  There truly are tons of simple pleasures and wonderful gifts in life, but  in my personal experience I’ve found that the most wonderful things are attained through hard work, maybe even pain and suffering, patience and endurance.

6.) I like to organize things.  A lot.  Maybe even too much.  Having three kids under the age of 6 has taught me to relax a little about this tendency because it is complete chaos in my house with toys all over the place.  I do my best to strike a balance between letting things go and having it all “just so.”

7.) I love crossword puzzles and used to do them each and every morning.  Now with three young children I don’t always find the time to do them every morning and I miss it.  I want to make time for them again.  I love using my brain in that way.

8.) My mom was 17 years old when she met my dad and fell in love with him.  They were married just a few years later, right after my mother graduated from college.  Over the weekend of their 35th wedding anniversary, my three sisters and I found out that they would be getting a divorce.  It was one month before my own wedding day, almost 10 years ago.  It broke my heart and though I know that both of my parents have moved on and made new lives for themselves, it still makes me sad that things happened the way that they did. 

9.)  I love children’s books and reading with my kids is absolutely one of my very favorite things about being a parent.  Some authors I adore are Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, Arnold Lobel, Cynthia Rylant … really there are too many to list!

10.)  I love Broadway musicals.  I remember seeing “Cats” for the first time when I was a young girl.  I was captivated and spent many years dreaming of being a Broadway star when I grew up.  I remember listening to the soundtrack from “A Chorus Line” on my Walkman while riding the bus to and from school.  This wasn’t exactly what everyone else was listening to, I don’t think.

11.)  I believe in having no regrets in life, but there are two things I wish I had done when I was younger that I didn’t do.  I wish I had studied abroad for a semester in college and I wish I had lived in New York City for a couple of years after graduating.

12.) When I was a kid, I loved roller coasters and theme park rides.  I could handle the loop-de-loops and the high drops with no problem.  Ever since having children though, I can’t handle even swinging on the swing at the playground.  My stomach does flips, my eyesight gets dizzy, I feel nauseous.  I’m not sure if it has anything to do with having kids or if it’s just part of getting older, but this mama cannot hold it together on the playground.  I can’t even think about a theme park – this makes me sad.

13.)  I love to needlepoint.  I’m not much of a sewer and don’t know how to knit (yet) but I can spend hours and hours and hours stitching needlepoint.  I’ve made a few belts, several Christmas ornaments and a Christmas stocking.  It is time consuming but I love it.

14.)  Naps are not overrated.  I would nap every single day if given the chance.

15.)  My mom bakes the best apple pies and also makes killer margaritas and pina coladas.

16.)  I had severe asthma as a child. I remember going to the emergency room frequently and also one 2 week stay at the hospital when I was in the 2nd grade. By the time I was about 12 years old I outgrew my asthma – thank goodness!  Now my two older children both have bad asthma and take medication for it 10 months out of the year.  I pray they will outgrow it like I did.  We go to a really great pediatric pulmonologist for their asthma and the medicine has changed our lives, but I am curious about alternative therapies like acupuncture.  I’m starting to research it now because I am really weirded out by all the inhaled steroids that are going into their little, growing bodies.  I also believe acupuncture and other alternative remedies are really incredible, I just wish my insurance would pay for them!!!

17.)  My 5 year old son Will has several life-threatening food allergies. He is very allergic to dairy, egg, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, mustard, sesame and garlic. It was really hard to get used to and we have had a few scares over the years, but we have it all under control now and he is really amazing!  I am so proud of my little boy.

18.)  I really think 21 things is a lot to come up with.  Agggh!

19.)  A few things that would be on my “bucket list” if I ever take the time to make one: Travel to as many places in the world as possible including but not limited to Australia, Italy, Africa and islands off of the African coast, the Patagonia, Nepal, India, Bali, British Columbia.  I want to bring my children to other parts of the world and see it through their eyes too.  I want to run the Hood to Coast relay.  I want to run an ultra marathon.  I want to do a triathlon.  I want to run a marathon in another country.  I want to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and build someone a house.  I want to take improv comedy classes as an adult.  I want to go to a live taping of Saturday Night Live in NYC (I think a weekend in NYC away with my husband to do this would be *the best*).  I want to learn to speak another language.  I want to go whitewater rafting.  I want to hike and camp in the Grand Canyon.  I want to live at the beach.  I want to ride in a hot air balloon.

20.)  I grew up in the DC area and when I was 15 we moved to Nashville, TN.  I was NOT happy when my parents told me we were moving.  I imagined the worst.  It turns out, this move was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  I am so very grateful for the 7 years of my life that were spent in Tennessee.  I will always hold the people, places and memories made during those years very close to my heart.  I can’t wait to get back there again some day.

21.)  For as long as I can remember, I have had the need to indulge in my creative side.  Just like with running, I am a much happier and balanced person when I am engaging in creative pursuits.  I love to draw, paint, play with paper crafts, glue and glitter … any supplies will do.  I started a card company with two of my close friends, Marguerite and Stephanie, about 10 years ago.  We became an LLC and our company was called “I Wish I May.”  I did all the drawings and graphics for the cards.  It was exciting and fun for the three of us.  We were in a couple of retail stores and had big dreams.  But then, tragically, my friend Stephanie discovered she had breast cancer.  She was also pregnant at the time.  She wanted to continue on with the company and we did, but eventually it just got to be too much.  When we stopped the cards, Steph and Marguerite both encouraged me to continue it on my own, but I was working full time and hoping to start a family and just didn’t want to do it without them.  A few years later, Steph passed away.  Her death affected me in a lot of ways, one of which was that it reminded me of how fragile life is, how quickly it can go by.  Steph lived her life in a way that I admired whole-heartedly.  She reminded me that I needed to follow my heart and pursue my dreams, even if I wasn’t totally confident in myself.  Not long after that I found myself making the ice cream cone growth chart I had always dreamed of making for my kids and before I knew it, a new creative business was born.  You can read more about it here: http://www.sugarconecompany.blogspot.com/.

Ok — that’s all for now!  I really can’t think of anything else about me.

What are some random things about you?  Please share — either with a comment here or by posting your own list of 21 things!!

7 thoughts on “21 pieces

  1. OMG. I loved this post! I am so glad you did this – I learned SO much about you!!
    Couple of comments:
    #19 – I want to run HTC as well! Maybe one year we can form a team; You can TOTALLY do an ultra – why not make it a goal for 2012? =) And, please come to NYC – I'd love to meet you!!
    #21 – had no idea that you make these beautiful creations! We are in the process of buying our first home right now, but after we are settled, I promise I'm going to come back to the site and buy my son one! LOVE it!

  2. You and I have a ton in common. You went to UVA, right? I was an English major, too. AND– I was listening to A Chorus Line on my Walkman. 🙂 I loved learning about your journey aside from running stuff!

  3. That definitely made me tear up a bit! My parents also got divorced after 32 years of marriage. I honestly think its harder on us kids when we are adults to see our parents split, but now I know it's for the best. I'm so sorry about your friends Stephanie and I'm going to check out that site!

  4. I love your cone growth charts–I knew you had another site but this is the first time I visited.

    Enjoyed learning more about you! My husband and I often do a crossword puzzle together on weekends. I find it interesting that we do WAYYY better at these together than when either of us tries it alone. And I think I already told you at some point that we have the tragic-late-in-life-parent-divorce thing in common too.

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