Earlier this week I was tagged in the fun “11 Things” game by two really wonderful bloggers – Tonia at Racing With Babes and Terzah at BQ by 40.  Since I was tagged by two people I am going to do my best to answer both of their questions, but only post 11 random facts about me and only ask 11 new questions of 11 new people. 

Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people. 

11 Random Things About Me:

(1) I had severe asthma as a child.  It developed when I was around 5 years old and lasted through puberty.  I wasn’t really able to play sports as a young child.  I took steroids regularly and was in the hospital once for 2 weeks straight when I was in the second grade.  I hated it.  Now two out of my three kids are asthmatic.  They are both on inhaled steroids 9 months out of the year.  I am really hoping they outgrow it like I did.  As an adult I have zero asthma symptoms.  Thank goodness.

(2) I am a passionate person.  I have a “fire in my belly” as my dad used to say.  Maybe it is the Italian blood in me.  I am passionate/obsessive about the people and things that I love.  That is just the way that I roll.

(3) I rode on a camel in the Sahara desert when we were in Morocco in 2001.  The desert was beautiful, especially sunrise.  The camel was grumpy and dirty.  I would really like to go back to Morocco some day.  I would not like to ride on a camel again though.  Once was enough.

(4) I love to travel and dream of seeing as much of the world as I can.  I want to do this with my husband, with my children, with my sisters and with my dear friends.  I also want to do some of it alone.

(5)  I love yoga as much as I love running.  Before I found out I was pregnant with Baby Gus, I was signed up for a vinyasa yoga teacher training program.  I found out I was pregnant in May and the course ran from September-June.  I decided not postpone my teacher training until Gus is older.  It was a hard decision but I believe without a doubt that it was the right one.  Some day I look forward to following this part of my path.

(6) For a long time I thought I wanted to be an architect.  I majored in architecture for my first of college and changed my mind about it as a career.  My love for buildings and art is what drew me to the discipline, but I found that so much of it also focused around engineering (duh) and this turned me off from it.

(7) I love to draw, paint, glue, glitter, cut, stitch … give me some art supplies and I will have fun with them!  Crafting with my kids is serious fun.  One of my favorite things to do is to sit around the table with them, each of us working on some fun creation encouraging and inspiring one another.  I hope my kids always nurture this side of their spirits.

(8) My nails are painted purple right now.  I love nail polish and don’t care if I am 35 and wear the same nail polish as my 14 year old niece.  The other day I wore neon orange on my nails.  It made me happy.

(9) I met Mother Theresa when I was in grade school.  She was tiny, but her spirit was encapsulating.  I remember her warm smile and sparkling eyes.  I don’t remember much else about the experience other than what it felt like to look down at her and have her smile shine up at me.

(10) I believe in angels.  I always have.  When I was in college my very dear friend Seth passed away suddenly and tragically.  It was without a doubt the most pain I have ever experienced.  He was my first love and my best friend.  I feel his presence in my life almost every day since though, and I am greatly comforted by that.

(11) I want to take an improv comedy class.  It would totally be outside of my comfort zone, but I think it would be fun and good for me.  I am going to do it. One of these days.

Answers to Tonia’s questions:
1. Birthdays. Love them or hate them. Why?  LOVE.  With a passion.  Birthdays are the best.  I love celebrating mine, but I REALLY love celebrating my kids’ birthdays.  I go crazy.  My littlest buddy Gus turns 1 next week and I seriously cannot wait. 

2. Get your purse/gym bag: What are the first five things you pull out?  So, my “purse” these days is a diaper bag/gym bag also.  First five things: tube of nuun, diaper, pacifier, ponytail holder and lip balm.  Exciting! 

3. What is the one meal you can make better than anyone else? I am not a good cook.  It’s true.  I think my best meal would be brown coconut rice with steamed broccoli.  Woooo!  My husband is the creative chef in the family.  I am however, the baker.  According to my husband I make the best vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on the planet.  I may have to agree.  They are yummy.

4. You get one wish. No restrictions. What is it? Plain and simple – peace and happiness the world over.  No more wars or fights or hurting others.  It makes me sick.
5. Cake or Pie? CAKE, all the way.  Though I do really love my mom’s apple pie.
6. What’s your secret talent? Not sure I have one – I don’t keep secrets well!  BUT one weird thing I can do is blow bubbles with my saliva.  Gross.
7. Early bird or night owl?  Lately, BOTH.  I prefer to just be a morning person, but these days I am having a hard time going to bed early.

8. Biggest pet peeve? I have a lot of pet peeves!  I hate the sound of people biting their nails, especially while they are talking to you.  Eeew.  Also, I can’t stand when people are late for stuff without letting you know they are running late.
9. What’s your favorite weird food combination? (i.e. ice cream and pickles)  Hmmm….I don’t know if I like “weird” food combos.  I am a pretty picky and simple eater, so those kinds of things usually gross me out.
10. Which would you choose? No social media for a year or no working out for a month? Why?  This is easy – no social media for a year.  I would for sure survive that and would maybe even benefit from it.  A month without any exercise though — THAT would be torture.
11. What are you sending me for my birthday?  Hmmm … I’m thinking something that will involve cupcakes.  Or organizing.

Answers to Terzah’s questions:

1. Which U.S. state do you most want to visit and what would you do there? I want to get myself to Oregon!  I have never been and I love the Pacific Northwest.  Everything about Eugene and Portland sounds dreamy to me.  I would go running, hiking, biking, festival-ing, listen to good music, farmers market-ing, look at local art, go to the mountains and the beaches and the cities.  I would want to go and pretend I lived there.

2. If you are a parent, what’s the most important piece of advice you have for those of us who are also parents (and I want to know this even if your kids are still young)? If you don’t have kids, what’s the best thing your parents ever did for you, even if it was unpleasant at the time?
You know your children better than anyone – listen to your gut and follow your heart.  Trust yourself.

3. Name your favorite sport (running, tris, cycling etc.). If you couldn’t do it, what would be your next choice and why?
RUNNING!!  If I couldn’t do it, I would probably try biking.  And do more more more yoga.  I would choose those because I can push myself, sweat, do it alone or with others.

4. If you could pick a totem animal, what would it be and why? 
Fun question!  I would pick a butterfly.  Butterflies remind me of the precious and fragile beauty of life, the need to embrace change and trust in the transformations God has in store for us.

5. What’s the scariest thing you ever did?  I try to face a little bit of my fear almost every day.  I don’t really have a huge giant scary thing that stands out above the rest – maybe when I moved to a new city by myself?  Or when I quit job I hated without having another job line up yet?  Or when I chopped 10 inches of my hair a few years ago?  All those things scared me, but wound up being such wonderful decisions.

6. If you still live in your hometown, are you glad you stayed? If you don’t still live in your hometown, would you like to go back and live there? 
I left my hometown for a long time – we moved from Reston when I was 9 years old – and I am glad that I’m back now.  There are lots of places in this world I think I would like to live but bottom line is that I love to be close to family.

7. Are you a fan of motivational posters?
Not really.  I love them on Pinterest and Facebook, but not to hang around my house.

8. Do you do well on standardized tests?
  NO.  I had to take the SATs three times before I got a score that was indicative of my intelligence. I excelled in school but scored low on the tests the first couple times.  I just got nervous I guess.

9. Which countries/regions did your ancestors come from? Do you strongly identify with any of those places?  Italy, Poland, Canada and Czechoslovakia.  I feel an attachment/identify with all of them in some way.

10. Which do you like best: baseball or football? 
Football.  But I would put basketball above both of these.

11. Name your favorite movie of all time. For real?  This is almost impossible to answer!  I love movies and books.  One of my favorite movies is Shawshank Redemption.

And now, for my 11 questions:
1. Do you collect anything?  If so, what and why?
2. A friend is visiting your town for the first time. Where would you take him/her and why?
3. Lucky number?  Is there a reason behind it?
4. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
5. Were you a tomboy as a kid?
6. What is your best childhood memory?
7. What is the best advice your parents ever gave to you?
8. What is your dream job and why?
9. What is your go-to joke?
10. I love trivia – what is your favorite random fact?
11. Where is the farthest place you have ever traveled to?  Would you go back?
And now, for the people I am tagging ~~

10 thoughts on “elevens

  1. Also a passionate Italian lover of traveling who believes in angels 🙂

    I love these memes and learning more about the bloggers I follow! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us 🙂

  2. This was such a fun post, I loved it! I think it is so fun getting to learn new, interesting facts 🙂 Haha good thing I read the very bottom, I got tagged! Thank you Jess, can't wait to tackle this one.

  3. Love these!! I was going to tag you to do the 11 Random things but you've already done it twice so I'm going to say that is good enough!! I'm very passionate as well, All or Nothing!!

  4. Some random comments on your comments!

    1. My husband had childhood asthma, too, and now our son has a touch of it….but Dan's is milder than when he was a kid, and Will's only manifests itself (so far) when he has a cold. Fingers crossed!

    2. My husband is the cook in our house too. He's really good at it and loves it. I do it because I have to. Every now and then I get a bug and enjoy it, and there are one or two things I've gotten good at (risotto!), but mostly it's just another chore for me.

    3. I love Shawshank too! You're the second person I tagged to name that film. :^)

    I can't specifically remember any best advice my parents gave me, but the best THING they did for me and for my siblings was leave us alone to do our own work and evolve into our own people. They were the opposite of helicopter parents. I chose my own extra-curricular activities. I chose which colleges to apply to. I had no curfew–they trusted me. I did my own homework–if I was lucky they *might* proofread a paper for me, but that was it. (I remember my dad saying, “I already went to high school. Do it yourself. It's your turn.”) And I did!

    Great answers, Jess!

  5. So fun to get to know you better! Awesome that you're a passionate person, and I would love to visit Oregon to do all the same things, too! We're not near our family right now, but hope to settle closer to them… especially with kids in the picture! Any chance you can share your oat-choc chip recipe? 🙂

  6. Those were great!! Alot of similarites we have…my husbands is totally the creative cook in our house, love football, love cake…and pie too actually…totally beleive in angels…and love Bikram yoga as much as running!

    Thanks for sharing

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