Interview With...(drumroll)...Me!

Last week, Lauren at Baseballs and Bows completed a fun online interview posed by Jennifer at Snapshot, then offered to interview anyone who wanted to play along. I really like the questions she gave me, and I feel almost celebrity, being interviewed...

Here's what Lauren asked me - I had a lot to say, I guess.

But it's my blog and I'll write too much if I want to!

1. What is your favorite holiday? Why?

There is so much I love about Christmas...Thanksgiving probably holds the most memories for me as far as family togetherness...and the spiritual aspects of Easter have become more and more relevant and beautiful as I’ve reached adulthood... but I would have to say that my favorite holiday of all is the 4th of July.

Why? For one thing, all a person has to do to enjoy Independence Day is show up. There’s no all-day cooking or baking. No pressure to find, buy, wrap, or ship the perfect gifts on time, and none of the attendant financial worry. No internal conflict of commercialism vs. spirituality. No fantasy character to promote for magical effect, and very little fear of unfulfilled expectations. You buy a bucket of chicken, meet up with some friends, and enjoy the show.

But all those are my more adult-view reasons. I’ve always loved the 4th of July – maybe because of the small town where I grew up and because I now live just outside Washington, DC.

Maybe because my granddad’s birthday is the 3rd of July and we always had a birthday party for him and a birthday party for America.

Maybe because I’ve spent a lot of my life studying and reveling in American history and I’ve also lived in a country struggling to overcome communism and devoid of the fundamental freedoms and security that I grew up taking for granted.

Maybe because I love America and all that goes with it, and Independence Day is a celebration of all that makes being American good and blessed. Maybe because hearing, “The Star Spangled Banner” or “America the Beautiful” moves me. Every. Single. Time.

Mostly, I think it’s to do with the fireworks. They seriously give me a rush. I love the color and the light and the booming, the excitement in the air. The warm summer evening and everyone oohing and aahing in unison. Holding hands with my husband and holding a boy or two on my lap while we all watch the night sky together. Love it.

2. What room in your home is your favorite? Why?

I don’t think I have a favorite room. I spend the most time in the kitchen, but in our current house that’s the most pathetic room in the place! I do love coming home, though. The feeling of familiarity and peace is wonderful – and I like it that I feel that way even if I’ve only been gone running errands for a little while. I like having a true home sweet home, and finding that it has very little to do with luxurious accoutrements.

3. You have two little ones and one on the way. What are you most excited and/or apprehensive about?

When I was expecting my first baby, I honestly had no apprehensions – I am the oldest of seven children and have been taking care of children since I could breathe, practically. I watched my mom bring home babies from the hospital and take care of them while working at least part-time my whole growing up - I just thought it was this natural thing, just what a mom does. No worries. So I didn’t prepare much or stress much about birth, postpartum, or the logistics of having a little one. Man, was I a fool!

When I was expecting our second, I knew a little better. I was most worried about the isolation I felt with a newborn, the difficulties and frustration I had had with breastfeeding, and now having a very busy toddler as well as an infant. So I planned for more help after the birth, I took it easy on myself about breastfeeding (which went a lot more smoothly the second time, but still was a big challenge emotionally and physically), and I didn’t try to be superhuman. Mostly because I knew I couldn’t. That was liberating.

With Number Three, my biggest anxiety is about the delivery. I have been induced both times when I was one week overdue. The second time, I had some painful and disheartening side effects to the pitocin-induced labor and resulting epidural – including intensely LOOOONG contractions that were unproductive and exhausting, shaking and vomiting during and right after labor, an extreme epidural headache and pain and numbness at the site of the epidural for two months after, and minor heart irregularities that I attribute to the medicine they had to add to the epi when my heart rate plummeted.

So this time around, I am very intent to have my labor start when my body is ready for it, and I am anxious about communicating to health professionals who tend to push medical intervention more than trust me when I tell them what I know about my own body.

Other than that, I’ve planned again for some extra hands right afterward, and I am really happy to be having another boy. Lots of people have actually expressed disappointment for me when I’ve said it’s a boy – a lady in Costco the other day quipped, “So the third time wasn’t a charm, huh?” – but I actually think there is something special and charming about it.

While my boys definitely give me a run for my money (and sanity), I feel an importance in raising good men, and have started to really think that there is a message to me and a specific work for me in having three in a row. And I think I might be better able to handle twelve-year-old boys than I am a twelve-year-old girl – the thought of that emotional roller coaster really makes me shudder!

4. How does the life you are living now compare to what you imagined your grown-up life would be?

Funny – I think I always wanted to make a world-renowned contribution to literature or art or history or something, to have someone see or read something I created and think it was fabulous, but really the fundamentals of my aspirations always included seeing and appreciating the larger world, sharing my life with people who “get” me, and realizing the potential my Heavenly Father has given me.

I’ve never had extraordinarily glamorous ambitions – I’m not a spotlight seeker and I don’t ever want more money or possessions than I can manage or share appropriately. All in all, my life now is very much what I wanted, with many things that are much better than I could have come up with.

I think the only real difference between my dreams and the reality is that it takes a lot more work and sheer grit than the young me comprehended. You know, if the streets are to be paved with gold, someone has to do the paving – there’s no fairy godmother. It's not that I'm disillusioned, though - it's just taking me a while to dig in and get to it!

5. If someone did a movie about your life, which actress would best play the part of you?

If Juliette Binoche did Bridget Jones, that would be me.


If you'd like to be interviewed, let me know in a comment and I'll give you five questions of your very own!


Anonymous said...

Great answers! I had never thought about the 4th that way (all the fun, none of the work), but you are so right! It is a very enjoyable, no-stress holiday! Also, I agree with you about the 12 year old girl fear! I have a girl. She is only two, but I am bracing myself already! :) Thanks for playing along. I really enjoyed reading your answers!

Kristine said...

As someone once told me, girls plant flowers in your heart.
(I think sometimes they become experts at weeding that garden of flowers too...a little too ferociously!)

I am amazed at the amount of work having a family takes.
I'm always looking for a way to help the whole process be a little easier.

Interesting interview!

MotherT said...

Very interesting interview! I think your answers were very well-thought!

The Amazing Trips said...

I love the 4th of July, too - absolutely one of my favorite holidays! I'm all about the patriotism >> having been born and lived many years of my life in Concord, MA ("The British are coming, the British are coming!!") I was surrounded by US History as a child. Which is why it's really exciting for me that I'm due on 7/4!

Paul Revere is in our list of names for consideration....

Great interview!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Easter is my favorite holiday, but I do love just showing up for the 4th of July festivities!

I am the 4th of 9 so I have grown up with kids. My first wasn't too bad of an adjustment, but having the second was more so for me.

Fabulous interview. I might have to just play along some time ... maybe when April is over!

Unknown said...

Really great questions AND answers. Good job both of you!

I think that you are a great boy mommy, and I think boys are really great (Of course I love my girl, too).

Your answer to question 4 is absolutely beautiful.

Annie said...

I worried about the same things with my third, but it was my easiest of all four.
Loved your answer to no. 6 too!
Annie ♥

KatieBug said...

I felt the same way when I had my first. No worries. I had been doing daycare all my life. What is one tiny new born gonna bring that I can't handle? HA!

Loved your interview. It looks like so much fun. I would answer any questions you may have. :)

Angela said...

LOVE #5. :)

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Great questions, and I loved reading the answers too! Being a mom-of-boys, I can relate to what you said in #3.

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

Juliette Binoche...I think when she's done playing the role of you, she could play the role of me, what a beautiful and talented actress!