25 Random Things About Me

1. I grew up on a 220-acre farm in Southeastern Ohio –– 2 1/2 miles from the nearest paved road and 45 minutes from the nearest mall.

2. I wrote my first poem when I seven years old; Cats Magazine published one of my poems when I was 17.

3. I love Trader Joe’s. And not platonic love, but passionate love-love. {Sorry, hon. You’re not the only one.}

4. I live in the “City of Champions,” but I can rarely sit through an entire Steelers game.

5. I regularly ferment weird things on my countertop {i.e., creme fraiche, kefir, buttermilk}.

6. I used to show horses as a pre-teen {hunter-jumper}. My horse was a chestnut mare named Dixie.

7. My first job post-college was for a technical writing firm that was housed in the owner’s basement.

8. I got married in an old mansion that used to be a Catholic girls’ school — the same one my mother-in-law attended as a teen. (And it was my idea.)

9. I really rocked the short-permed-hair-half-inch-thick-rose-tinted-glasses look in the mid ’80s. {Um, seriously, HUGE nerd alert.}

10. I love yoga and go to classes regularly, though I can barely touch my toes.

11. I adore reading, particularly well-written historical fiction. A few favorites are Clara and Mr. Tiffany, The Last RomanovThe Paris Wife, and Loving Frank.

12. If  I order chocolate mousse at a fancy restaurant and my husband swears he’s stuffed and wants only one bite, THERE WILL BE BLOODSHED IF HE GOES FOR BITE TWO. Guaranteed.

13. I didn’t really, truly let God work in my life until I became a mom of two and started to unravel.

14. I graduated from a rural high school in a class of only fifty-something.

15. My favorite fashion accessory is my Athleta morning run cap.

16. As a kid, I’d regularly take off into our woods for an hour or more at a time, telling my mom I was simply “exploring.” I never got lost.

17. I ran on a 4×200-meter relay in high school that placed sixth in our State Track & Field finals — by a photo finish.

18. I spent an entire month after I graduated from high school in the Yucatan Peninsula city, Merida, living and sightseeing with my sister and the Mexican family she’d met during her study abroad semesters. It was culture-shock-traumatic and life-changing, all at the same time.

19. I have what I like to call a “checkered” religious past. I spent my childhood years in and out of several fundamentalist churches; then my parents hosted a weekly Bible study out of our home; then we attended a one-room Methodist church in our rural community. Now, my family and I attend the same Lutheran church my husband was confirmed in.

20. I love to cook, except when I hate it. I hate it when I have to cook at 4 p.m. on a weeknight of school activities, while simultaneously helping two elementary students with their homework and keeping their preschool brother calm. I love it on a Friday night with a glass of red wine in hand, and time on my side.

21. For several years when I was in grade school, we had no TV on the farm. My mom read the entire “Little House” series to us out loud… leading me to…

22. My husband insists I grew up on the “Little House on the Prairie.” {The photo of my sister and I working in the garden in calico dresses and bonnets my mom had sewed was the clincher.}

23. I haven’t eaten a slice of bread or pizza since May. {I’ll let you know how this one turns out!}

24. I’ve run three half-marathons in the past four years. This year, I’m proud to say I achieved my goal of running slower (but having more fun).

25. I have more hobbies than I have time: I like to sew, scrapbook (paper and digital), play with my Silhouette Cameo electronic diecutter, make jewelry, make my own lotions and body products, and needle-felt.