10 Mother Runner Questions

I am a BIG fan of the Run Like a Mother community – the blog, the books, the badass mother runner authors Sarah and Dimity … all of it completely rocks.  Earlier this week I was so excited to be tagged in one of their posts to answer 10 running-related personal questions.  Below are my answers!

10 Running Related Personal Questions:

1. Best run ever: I can’t possibly pick one run as the best EVER.  Some of the most awesome recent runs I’ve had though: My 22 miler last weekend – I felt so strong from start to finish, ran a lot of goal race pace miles and averaged under an 8:00/mile pace.  All three of my runs during the Hood to Coast Relay with Nuun a couple of weeks ago were totally MAGICAL and amazing.  I was so keenly aware of how blessed I was to be there, and my runs were more than I ever could have dreamed.  I will never ever forget how awesome that experience was.

2. Three words that describe my running: Dedicated.  Determined.  Grateful.

3. My go-to running outfit is:  In the summer, lululemon speed shorts or shorty shorts with a tank or even just a bra.  In the winter, I love my lululemon crops with a tank, arm sleeves and a hat.  If it’s chilly I adore the lulu swiftly long sleeve shirt layered on top.

4. Quirky habit while running:  I have so many quirky habits – in running in and in life!  One thing I do for every run is try to tune into my cadence and the sound of my feet.  I will sometimes count over and over in my head as my feet hit the ground (1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4…) or repeat a word or phrase over and over again in my head along with my footsteps (some favorite words/mantras are: Breathe and Believe, Be Here. Be Now, I think I can. I know I can., This is Who I Am …) 

5. Morning, midday, evening: Morning!  Sunrise runs are my very favorite.  I love how beautiful the world is at that time of day, and I feel such a heightened sense of awareness – so blessed and grateful to be alive and to be running.

6. I won’t run outside when it’s:  Icy.  I will deal with any other weather condition except for ice.  Last winter we had one icy morning and I had to get 20 miles done, so I did it on the treadmill (if that doesn’t tell you how much I hate ice, I don’t know what will!).

20 miles on the treadmill on an icy day.

7. Worst injury—and how I got over it:  When I was training for my first marathon in 2000, I developed IT Band Syndrome.  I had to take a full 2 weeks off from running and spent that time doing yoga and riding a spin bike.  I have been really lucky in the injury department!  Being dedicated to pilates and strength training, taking rest days, listening to my body and building my mileage conservatively has all really helped me with this.

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: I was marathon training last winter.  My buddies and I would show up at the track in the dark and the freezing cold temperatures.  We ran in the snow and in the rain and against some of the strongest winds I have ever felt.  And we ran HARD.  I knew that if I could do that – I could accomplish my goal.  It was awesome.

it’s cold. it’s wet. it’s dark.  but i’m running!

9. Next race is:  Marine Corps Marathon on October 28th.  It will be my 10th marathon!!

10. Potential running goal for 2013:  My first Boston (fingers crossed I get in – I can sign up today at 10am!)  Staying injury free.  Keeping the passion alive – running is like a relationship and I want to remain in love with and dedicated to the sport!  I want to run my first 50k in 2013, and have my sights set on the Seashore Nature Trail 50k in Virginia Beach.  I’d like to run another relay too!

How would you answer these questions??  If you have a blog, write a post and leave a link to it here or on the RLAM blog.  If you’re not a blogger, just leave a comment with some of your answers!  

captured on camera

Being an ambassador for lululemon is an honor and a privilege.  I am so grateful to represent this company for many reasons.  The apparel and accessories are made with excellent care using the highest quality fabrics and materials.   Beyond that though, I am inspired by their message and I try to embody it in the way that I live my daily life.  I am so thankful and proud to be a part of the lululemon community and it has been tons of fun to work with them over the last few months.

answer : YES!

Whether it’s leading run club, visiting the store to check out the latest new products, spreading the word about this wonderful company and all that it offers, meeting and being inspired by other local ambassadors or training and racing in my favorite gear — I am loving every minute of it.

And it doesn’t stop there.  A couple of months ago I had a photo shoot with the amazingly talented photographer Jonathan Thorpe.  The purpose of this shoot was to take pictures of me doing what I love (running on a trail) in the clothing that I love, just like I do all the time.  The picture would then be blown up to larger-than-life size and hung on the walls of the Tysons Corner store.   Because the walls of lululemon stores are not covered in touched-up pictures of fashion models.  They are instead decorated with un-edited pictures of real people in your community.  Pictures of real people doing what they love.  Real people who are truly passionate about their sport.  I happen to think this is truly awesome.

Will somebody pinch me, please!?

I seriously even still cannot believe this.  The photo shoot was tons of fun.  We went to one of my favorite spots – the beautiful Burke Lake Park in Fairfax, VA.  It was a frigid day – sooo cold – so I wore my black running tights with reflective sparkles, the Swiftly Tech long sleeve shirt in Paris Pink and layered my favorite Cool Racerback tank underneath that.  This is basically my running “uniform” this winter – I wear a version of this for nearly every single winter run.

It was tricky to be photographed running – I ran up and down a small hill over 100 times, no joke.  I am not used to this kind of thing and am sure I was not the easiest athlete to work with.  But Jonathan is insanely talented, extremely nice, patient on a saintly level, as professional as they come and totally fun.  He helped me relax about it and did his thing.  Aside from some shots where I was appalled at my heel striking and a little weirded out by my facial expressions, I am really really happy with the way the pictures turned out.

The other day I was in the store and as soon as I walked in I saw it – the giant picture of me running – hanging on the walls.  I swear to you I will never get tired of seeing it.  I will giggle every time I see it.  It makes me happy.

there I am!

It makes me happy because I hope that when people see it as they are shopping, they will see a woman (a 35 year old marathoning mom of three!) who lives in their community who is running and striving and dreaming and believing.  I hope they will look at it and that it will spark something inside of them.  That they will know that they are capable of whatever they set their minds to.  That it is worth it to take chances and follow their dreams.

happy

I hope it will remind people of how good it feels to do what you love.  And that it is worth it to make the time for activities that build your strength, nurture your spirit, test your limits and help you grow.

elevens

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 ~~

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!!

ABCs of Me

Over the past few days I’ve enjoyed reading some of your “ABCs of Me” posts and I thought I would play along.  Here we go…


(A) Age: I’m 34 but am getting ready to turn the big 3-5 on April 10th!  I love birthdays.  This year I’m celebrating my birthday with my first race postpartum – the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler.  I’m running it with two of my sisters and a few good friends.  I can’t wait.
(B) Bed Size: King…and it is divine. I love my bed!
(C) Chore You Hate: I despise cleaning bathrooms – toilets especially but also tubs, showers, floors, sinks…anything in the bathroom.  I pay to have my house cleaned every other week.  I feel like I am constantly cleaning anyway but I do not ever clean the bathrooms other than occasionally wiping toothpaste out of the sink and cleaning up after my 4 year old son’s misses on the potty.  It is worth the money just to avoid scrubbing the bathrooms!
(D) Dogs? I love dogs but am kind of grossed out by them these days.  We have a small dog named Riley who I love very much.  She is my first baby…but now that I have three humans to care for Riley has been demoted to DOG.  She is still not used to the idea and at 10 years old I’m not sure she ever will be.  I do not let her on the beds or furniture anymore…it grosses me out to think I would rest my head on a pillow she laid on.  
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: I don’t drink much of it, but I **need** my morning coffee.  Also I am noticeably much happier and balanced once I make the beds in the morning.
(F) Favorite Color: I love so many colors, it would be hard for me to pick just one.  My top faves would be white, blue, orange, green, pink, purple…yellow…ok maybe pretty much all of them.
(G) Gold or Silver?  Do I have to pick?  Sterling silver is my least favorite I would say (mostly because I don’t like when it tarnishes and I have to polish it!).  I love platinum and white gold.  I also love yellow gold.  I worked for Tiffany & Co. for several years and I learned a lot and came to appreciate a lot about precious metals and stones…. I love jewelry.  ALL kinds. I should note that just because I learned to love it all at Tiffany, that doesn’t mean I am dripping in jewels! I just developed an appreciation for it all while working there :o)
(H) Height: somewhere between 5’8″ and 5’9″ …. I actually have no idea exactly how tall I am.
(I) Instruments You Play: I sadly cannot play any instruments.  I think I piqued in 4th grade with “Hot Cross Buns” on the recorder…but I do love music and hope my kids will learn to play.  My husband plays the guitar and it is fun to see my kids so interested in learning from him.  They are already more musically talented than I ever was!
(J) Job Title: Mamma, mommy.  Also recently I have been called “Coach” (yay!) and also “designer mom” by one of our retailers since starting Sugar Cone (http://www.sugarconecompany.blogspot.com)
(K) Kids: I have three amazing, beautiful children.  Abby is 5 1/2 (going on 13!), Will is 4 and Gus is almost 4 weeks old.
(L) Live: Reston, VA.  I love living here.
(M) Mom’s Name: Carole.
(N) Nicknames: Jess, J Bird, J…my dad (and only my dad!) sometimes calls me “Jessie” and when I was a kid he would call me “Tiger”
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? When I was in the second grade I spent 2 weeks in the hospital for my asthma.  Other than that the only times I have stayed overnight in the hospital have been when my babies were born.
(P) Pet Peeve: One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are late but don’t admit to it or let you know when they are running late.  Drives me bonkers.
(Q) Quote from a Movie: oh jeesh, this is a hard one for me.  One of my favorite movies is “The Shawshank Redemption” and there is a beautiful quote about missing someone you love: I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend. 
(R) Right or Left Handed? Right.
(S) Siblings: I have three sisters – 2 older and 1 younger.  A few years ago my mom remarried and her husband has 2 daughters so now I have two more sisters!  I don’t know what I would do without my sisters.
(T) Time You Wake Up? My house is full of early birds.  We have a rule though that the day is not going to officially start before 6:00AM so my kids have to wait for us until then.
(U) Underwear: I like all kinds.
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: I cannot stand green peppers.  I love red, orange and yellow but will not go near a green one.  Yuck.
(W) What Makes You Run Late: when it happens it is because of my little people…but it doesn’t happen much.
(X) X-Rays You’ve Had Done: my jaw was x-rayed when it got banged up during a soccer match in high school (I was ok although ever since then I have awful TMJ)…knock on wood I have not ever broken a bone in my life!
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: my husband would say my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies…but I am partial to my chocolate cupcakes.  I am a master of vegan baking and love it so much.  I love baking and I love eating what I bake.  I have a serious sweet tooth.
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Zoos make me feel sad.  Especially the gorillas and the elephants…they just look so sad there.  I do love seeing how excited my kids are when we go to the zoo though.


So, that is the ABCs of me.
Happy Tuesday!