Rocking out to Morning Edition, travels through Spain, and having an Army Ranger as a mentor

Today I’m exchanging questions with Jen of Laugh Often, Live Much for the Ask Away Friday link-up.  Jen is a first grade teacher and she blogs about her family, teaching, and a little bit of everything else in her life.  She wrote some great questions for me!

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1. Since 2014 is just getting off the ground, what is one of your hopes for the year that lies ahead?

I hope that 2014 brings happiness and peace to my family.  Bringing a new baby into the house, even an easy-going one like Sam, can shake things up a bit.  And I’m hopeful that 2014 may be the year when my husband finishes seminary (or gets really close?) and can finally *just* be a husband, father, and pastor.  For me personally, I am always hopeful that I can become a more patient, loving person.

2. What is the best book you read in 2013 and why did it earn a spot on your “Best of…” list?

That’s a tough one!  I read a lot of good books in 2013.  This really was the Year of the Mystery for me, so I think I’m going to have to give the honor to Maisie Dobbs, since it reignited my love of reading mystery novels, it’s the first book in a nice long series that I’ve really enjoyed, and I find myself recommending it a lot!

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3. If you could go on an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the US, where and why?

I would go to Phoenix to visit my friend Kelli and escape our horribly cold winter weather!  I hear Arizona is lovely this time of year.  And I want to see some cacti, of course!  (They are nothing short of magical and otherworldly to this midwestern girl!)

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4. How about anywhere in the world and why?

I would like to take my husband on a tour of my favorite places in Spain.  I spent a year studying in Pamplona, Spain when I was a junior in college, and I would love to revisit some of the favorite places I visited, especially if I could manage to take in some of the festivals that I missed.  We’d fly into Barcelona and spend a few days enjoying the Mediterreanean weather, walking on Las Ramblas, and taking in the Gaudi architecture.  Then we’d head south to Valencia to eat some of the most amazing oranges in the world and the Las Fallas festival (which conveniently takes place the night before my birthday!)  Of course I’d have to eat some paella while I was there.  Then I’d head south again to Sevilla for the Feria de Abril and watch lots of flamenco dancing.

Photo Credit: marcp_dmoz via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: marcp_dmoz via Compfight cc

5. Tell us about one of your mentors.

Hmm… this question is making me think perhaps I need to seek out more mentors in my life.  Someone who I learned a lot from was my former boss from when I worked at the Airport.  He was unlike anyone I’d ever met — in the course of his life, he had worked as a cowboy, a bartender, an Army Ranger in Vietnam, and then worked his way up through the ranks from an airport firefighter to an airport director.  He was about 6-foot-5 and around 60 years old when I worked for him.  On the surface, he was a pretty gruff dude.  He easily could have thrown his weight around and gotten his way through intimidation, but he was actually a really thoughtful person who took time to consider all the different facets of an issue and tried to do the right thing that would benefit everyone, whenever possible.  I always really admired that about him, and tried to follow that philosophy in my work (and life!) as well.

6. What is your hobby of choice, why, and how did you get into it?

I’ve dabbled in a lot of crafty hobbies, but my true love is knitting.  I took it up along with half the female population of America in the early 2000s (anyone remember Stitch-n-Bitch?), but I stuck with it long enough to get pretty good at it, then I just kept trying to knit new things and try new techniques.  I love knitting because it can be really relaxing or really challenging, and it produces something that is really practical (especially in polar vortex years!)  I’m so very happy that I was crazy about knitting wool socks a few years ago… my sock drawer is very well stocked.  Here are some things that I’ve made… these were all gifts for a single Christmas if you can believe it!  (Clearly — before I had children.  My knitting time is much more limited these days.)

7. How do you feel about hot dogs?

Normally I never eat them (blech blech blech), EXCEPT when they’re cooked outside over a campfire.  Somehow that makes them okay.  With lots of mustard.  Never ketchup.

8. So far, what as been your favorite age, and why?

I’m feeling pretty good about the age I’m at right now, but I really loved my late 20s.  I was  an awkward teenager but I feel like I finally came into my own around 25 or so.  I got back into running, my husband and I had moved to a town we really enjoyed, we had enough disposable income to have fun and travel a little bit, and no kids yet, so we could do stuff like go to happy hours after work, concerts, etc. without having to deal with all the babysitter logistics.

9. What music station/style is usually playing in your car, and how loud is it?

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Oh man, you’re really making me reveal my true nerdiness here… most of the time my car radio is set to the NPR station so I can listen to Morning Edition or All Things Considered during my drive to work and back.  When I get too depressed by the news, I flip over to the Top 40 station for a dose of cheesy pop/dance music.  Crank it up!

10 What are five staples on your grocery list every week (or month)?

Milk, fruit, eggs, bell peppers, and cheese.  (When in doubt, I can always make an omelette for dinner, I guess?)

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Thanks to Jen for these great questions — I hope you enjoyed learning all these random facts about me.  Head over to her place if you want to read her answers to my questions!  And now I have a question for you — which would you rather attend, a festival of flamenco dancing, or a festival where they light huge paper-mache statues on fire?  (Yes, this is a real thing.  Check it out!)

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Linking up with Real Housewife of Caroline County and Bold Fab Mom.

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32 thoughts on “Rocking out to Morning Edition, travels through Spain, and having an Army Ranger as a mentor

    • Ha! I bet you’re a great dancer. But I think it’s more of a spectator situation, anyway. Brian would LOVE taking photos of that crazy festival with the fire, he should go sometime!

    • I would love to visit Australia and New Zealand someday, too! I got to visit Italy briefly while I lived in Spain and it was great. Ahhhh…. The food! I would gain 100 pounds if I lived there. Have you read Under the Tuscan Sun? (Oldie but goodie)

    • If you like Downton Abbey, I think you’ll really love Maisie Dobbs — it deals with a lot of the same upstairs/downstairs themes and is set right after WW1.

  1. I had to laugh – you would escape to AZ, and that is where I was when we exchanged emails on Friday! I must say, it was wonderful. And, when I got off the plane again on Monday night, in flip flops and a sweater, in 7 degrees, it was a bit of a rude awakening! 🙂 Love the hot dog answer – I couldn’t eat them, no matter how they were made! So fun to share this day with you in the blogosphere!!!

    • You were in Arizona? You lucky dog! Yes, I bet that was a shock to your system to come back to such cold weather! Yes, this was very fun — so glad you spoke up when I asked if anyone wanted to do it with me! =)

    • Eww, I couldn’t handle the scorpions and stuff either — I forgot about that! Bell peppers are one of the few vegetables my son will almost always eat, which leaves me in the unenviable position of shelling out $2/pepper (since of course he wants the red ones!) in the winter.

  2. I have a copy of Stitch n Bitch that is signed by Deb Stoller herself. It’s been years, but I remember being SO excited to meet her. (Unfortunately I never really got off the ground with knitting.) My 8 year-old pulls that book off the shelf every now and then and tells me she can’t believe I keep a book with a “bad word” in the title.

    NPR is always on in my car. It’s the only way I know what’s going on in the world since I don’t read news sites online, or watch news on television.

    Unfortunately, I LOVE hot dogs.
    Shana Norris recently posted…Coffee Date Friday.My Profile

  3. These are some great questions – I would LOVE to visit Spain one day, it’s on my “to-visit” list for sure. I agree, the news can be very depressing. No potatoes on that list? That’s the first thing I go for. Happy Friday ladies! 🙂 -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted…Why I’m ‘Crazy’My Profile

  4. Awesome answers! I so love getting to know fellow mid westerners! Oh wow, hot dogs over a campfire is the only way to go! Have you ever had glazed donuts over a fire? They are wonderful! I can’t wait for spring, just for the glazed donuts! LOL! Milk is always on my list of staples! Hope you have a great weekend!
    Stacey Gannett (This Momma’s Ramblings) recently posted…#AskAwayFriday 25 With Sonya from Saving Everyday With Sonya K!My Profile

  5. I’m 28 right now and totally loving this age! I got a great husband, kids, house and I feel like things are doing great. So I totally agree with you!! I’d love to go to Arizona too, never have been and I’m so tired of this winter, aww!

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