What questions would your best friend ask?

4 02 2009

My very good friend Abby passed along an interview meme.

If you’d like to play along, just follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure
you link back to the original post.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone
else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five

Ok, here goes 🙂

1. Looking back on your 25 years, what is one of the most difficult decisions you have ever had to make?

Wow, that’s a tough one right off the bat.  The one that comes to mind first was deciding to go to Goshen College.  I was in a serious relationship in Oregon and I didn’t know anyone who was going to Goshen.  I had some family in the Goshen area, but none that I was especially close to.  Luckily I definitely think I made the right choice.

2. Would you rather be limited to only comedic or dramatic roles for the rest of your life?

I think I’d have to go with comedic.  I’m better suited to them.  And I’m oddly drawn to dark comedies.

3. Would your rather be a marine biologist living in Florida or a midwife living in northern California?

I’m going to answer this question under the assumption that I’d be good at both jobs.  I think I’d have to go with being a midwife in NC.  Working with people is very important to me and I think I’d love being a midwife.  Also I don’t know anyone anywhere near Florida!  and if NC at least I’d be close to Oregon.  I also strangely have no desire to live in warmer climate USA.  I really have no idea why, because I love being warm.  I think it has to do with my love of the seasons.

4. How do you think your birth order impacts your personality?

I’m the baby of the family.  But at the same time, after the age of 8 I was the only kid at home.  I also started having nieces and nephews around the same time.  My sister, brother-in-law and their kids lived with us for a while when I was in middle school.  In some ways, and to varying degrees, I’ve experienced everything except middle child.  I have the confidence, and talkativness of a youngest child.  I think I also have a sense of entitlement that comes with being the youngest.  I think I also have the need to please that comes with being a youngest.  I have the independence that comes from being an only child.  I also have that wistful feeling that only children have when they hear people talk about being close to their siblings.  I don’t think I have very many “oldest” attributes, but I do feel protective toward my neices and nephews.
5. What inspires you to blog/not blog?

When I started blogging, I love the idea of sharing my story.  It became a habit.  Then I got busy with the wedding and multipule jobs and being married and I just didn’t feel the motivation as much.  I also found myself more and more intimidated by other blogs that I felt were well written.  Now, I think my friend’s blogs inspire me to want to blog.  But I still struggle to feel like I have something to stay.

Thanks Abby, love you too!


to be alone

10 01 2009

Mike has been gone all week.  He’s enjoying himself at ACTF which is fabulous, and I’ve had a good (intense for various reasons) week.  One thing I realized though is that I’m out of practice with enjoying spending time on my own.  I don’t think it’ll be something that ever comes naturally to me.  I used to think that if I worked on it enough I’d develop the skill and retain in.  Near the end of college and in Evanston, I was getting pretty good at it.  But it’s a skill that I can loss.  And I have lost it.

Ten Random Things about Me

17 08 2007

Bindi tagged me.

1. I have a dark brown birthmark about the size of a quarter on my left leg halfway between my knee and my foot.  My oldest sister has a light brown birthmark on her shoulder, and my other sister has both.  I’ve never heard of birthmarks being hereditary though.

2. I learned to jump horses when I was 11.  But I haven’t been on a horse in years.

3. I love mayonnaise.  I especially like it on fries.  My parents lived in Belgium for a while where they eat fries with mayo and she late passed on the habit to me.  My love of mayo is somewhat of a running joke in my life.  My best friend from childhood love to tell how I used to eat it plain.

4. I’m crazy about balance in decor.  I love things that come in threes.  I don’t care as much about symmetry as I do about a space feeling balanced.  I’ve never studied fung shui or any of the other methods of balancing a room, but I’m sure I’d find it fascinating.  I tend to just follow my instincts.

5. I have a much smaller personal space than most Americans.  a) I’m a physically friendly person, b) I spent formative years in Africa where their personal boundraries are smaller.

6. Forget walking it, I can still cartwheel a line when I’m tipsy.  Comes from all that practicing on a beam.  And with the lowered inhibitions I’ll likely show you if you ask.

7. I’ve never dated a man with brown eyes. 3 blue and 3 green, but no browns.

8. I have a bad habit of snorting really loudly when I laugh too hard.  Then I get all embarrassed.

9. I have tiny feet.  I in High school I thought I was a size 7, turns out I’m more of a size six.  I even have a pair of 5.5, which I bought by accident, but hey, they fit!

10. I usually don’t notice when people call me Steph v. Stephanie, except once when a guy started calling me Steph within minutes of meeting me.  That caught me by surprise.

10 things to be grateful for.

15 08 2007

Stephanie sits down at her computer lounges on the couch with her laptop overheating in her lap. She checks her e-mail checks to see if she has a new e-mail from Mike even though she know she doesn’t. She gets an IM from a guyfriend from college which leads her to reminiscing about a blog her college friends started 4 years ago, and reading those early entries. She tries to find songs to suggest to her friend who’s getting married in a month for background music during the reception. Than, because she promised herself she’d jump back on the horse she checks her WP account which she hasn’t touched in months.


Last night my beautiful roommate Abby, in an attempt to encourage me out of my current worry/stress induced slump, told me 10 things that I should be thankful for. And as she said, they are not in order because that would take too much brain power. (It was midnight and I hadn’t been able to sleep) So here goes.

1) Mike. I have a wonderful young man who is in love with me and who’ll be home in LESS THAN A WEEK. In Abby’s words, less is a beautiful word to be able to put in front of week.

2) My job. I have a great job that I enjoy with bosses that value me and that pays me more than adequately.

3) A roof over my head, and the knowledge that I’d never have to do without one.

4) A family that although is somewhat non-traditional is always there for one another.

5) I have my physical health.

6) 3 fabulous roommates who love and support me.

7) I have intelligence and reason. Or at least Abby says I do ;).

8 ) I have scars, both physical and emotional that show that I’m a survivor and that is a cause for hope.

9) I have a cat and cats are cute.

10) I can dance. I have something in my life that can bring me great joy.

So what are your ten? Seriously, if you read this, no matter how you happened this way, I encourage you to comment with then things you are grateful for in your life. What fun!

Confession time

19 05 2007

every once in a while (more frequently in the last few days) I check my ex-fiance’s facebook account or add his IM screen name to my list and read his away messages.  I know this is a bad idea and distructive and I always feel shittier afterward.  It’s such a compulsive thing.  I don’t know exactly why I do it.  I don’t know why I care what’s going on in his life.  I had a dream about him last night, so that may have prompted it today, or maybe doing it recently prompted the dream, who knows.  Am I looking for signs that he and Suzi aren’t doing well?  I don’t really want them to be having problems, but if I’m being truly honest, there would be a part of me that was glad.  I don’t think it has anything to do with me wishing them ill will.  I think it’s because I still have trouble with the fact that he moved on so fast and that my absence from his life didn’t seem to make him unhappy.  It makes me feel replaceable and unimportant.  I’m fully aware that this is not true, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel it.

But this is a self-intervention.  You are all now my unwitting accountability partners.  I will post every time I look him up, and the embarrassment of having to admit it publicly will be a deterrent (I hope).

Feeling Caotic

18 05 2007

I want Mike to come home.  I want to be able to talk to him about something important to me.  I want stop feeling so anxious.  I want to stop feeling antsy.  I’m scared for how it’s going to be this summer.  It’s not a matter of not knowing if I’ll be able to manage the distance.  I know I can.  No, the question isn’t if, it’s how.  What ways am I going to cope?  How will I learn to be ok that I’m not always ok?  How will I stop the fears from taking over when the reminder of why this is all worth the risk is not present.  Mike’s great, but we don’t connect as well over e-mails, and several days with no contact takes its toll on my psyche.   hum.

And as a sidenote, I’ve been thinking about the fact that I write about my relationships alot on my blog and why that makes me uncomfortable.  Am I scared of what that says about me as a person?  What does that say about me as a person?  More over, does anyone really care.  I was reading the new blog of a college classmate and in his first entry he mentions “blahgs” and I wondered… would he see mine that way?

Interview IV

9 05 2007

First of all I want to say it’s really hard to be satisfied with these answers because the questions were so amazing and thought provoking!  Thankyou so much for the challenge Mel.

1. In answer to Flutter’s question about the most important thing about you, you replied, “when I was 9 my parents and I moved to Zambia.” Wow! What are some of your best or most vivid memories of that time and place?
There are so many!  Like the time that my dad killed a spitting cobra that almost attacked my mom by throwing a hammer at it and hitting it in the head.  Or the way the world looks at night when there’s no artificial light for kilometers and kilometers in all directions.  Or going swimming on horseback and learning to jump at the tiny British expatriate school that I attended for a few months.  Or the first time I saw the mist and heard the roar of Victoria Falls.  Or being charged by a rino when my dad drove too close.  Or when a couple of my friends were almost run over by a runaway ox and cart at the little play set by my house.  Or my mom crying because we were told by the mission board back home that we had to leave the country in two weeks (this was later retracted, but we had originally planed to stay for 3 years and only stayed for 2)  Some time I should do a series of stories from those two years.  That would be good blogging fodder.

2. In your post to the person who found you through the broken engagement search, you said this: “I had to relearn to value myself as an individual,” and you also said this: “I made strong commitments to myself about maintaining my self worth and independence.” How do you feel you are doing with these self-affirming actions these days? Has a new relationship posed any challenges for you in still making sure to meet those goals for yourself?

It’s a daily struggle.  I think these are areas that will take continued growth and attention for the rest of my life.  But I’ve made huge strides.  Granted I had a long way to travel to even reach a healthy place, but it feels good to be able to look back and see how far I’ve come.  It’s not really something you can quantify, but I value and like myself much more than I used to.

Dating Mike has been a struggle in a lot of ways.  I have to fight the urge to rely on him for my self worth.  I have to fight the urge to plan my life around him.  Luckily, he doesn’t allow me to depend on him too much, and he has a way of being supportive while encouraging me to be the strongest person I can.  It’s hard road though because it’s a fight against my natural inclinations.
3. As a nanny, what’s the most important goal (besides “keep the child alive”)that you keep in mind, both at the start of each day and at the start of each new job?

That’s such a hard question for me because I’m a novice nanny.  I feel like I’ve been through a trial by fire the past 10 months.  I’ve had two different jobs with very different situations.  Nothing in my past or education has given me the insight or preparation for this career.  So until now I haven’t really had the luxury of having clear goals at the start of a job.  I’m still a little wet behind the ears, but now I would say the goal with each child is to guide them in becoming independent, joyful, articulate, socially and emotionally mature people.  To provide them with the challenges that will help them to grow at a leave where they are able to succeed.  This of course is easier said than done.  Just because a child has the capabilities necessary to tie their shoes doesn’t mean that they have the focus to complete the task or that it’s going to be easy for you to have the patience to wait for them to complete it.  It’s also my goal to find ways to make the family’s life easier.  Oh, and to give the kids as much love as possible.  That’s the easy part.

Day to day I try and keep them on a schedule of sorts.  It’s hard with babies, but everyone’s happier if there’s structure to the day.  I try to take them out every day, weather permitting.  I try and think of new things the girls can learn, whether that’s how to put the blocks in the bucket or how to not chew on books.

4. Just in the posts I’ve browsed, you mention singing, dancing, salsa lessons, “wheel throwing lessons,” whatever those are, fiddle lessons… do you think you will be a perennial student? In other words, do you agree with the notion that a person should continue to learn something new throughout their lives? Do you plan on doing so?

I definitely think I’ll be a student most of my life.  There are so many things I want to learn and be able to do.  I love the creative outlet of art, music and dance classes.  If I had more money and more energy I’d be involved in a lot more classes.  I am hoping to do some “wheel throwing lessons” this summer.  Wheel throwing is a part of ceramics and is how most hand made pottery is formed.

5. You said last summer, “I just want to feel like something I do really touches someone.” This isn’t a question, it’s a statement: I have really enjoyed reading your blog; it has touched me. While our lifepaths are not extremely similar, I can hear echoes of my own heart from before I settled into the life I have now in your words. I do hope you keep going; your honesty and freshness are very neat to read.

Interview III

5 05 2007

This is from Angella who has really really cute kids.

1.  What is your favourite – a salty or sweet treat?
Definitely sweet.  I love creamy dishes.  I just finished a cup of custard.
2.  If you could live anywhere in the world (other than where you are), where would it be?
There are so many good choices!  Oregon is on my list.  So is Jamaica.  But I think right now I’d have to go with Australia.

3.  What do you do when nobody’s looking listening?
Sing.  I love to sing.  Especially broadway stuff.  When I’m really angry I go somewhere where no one’s going to hear me and sing at the top of my lungs.  When I’m really emotional I sing heart wrenching stuff.  Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m singing to myself until I see someone and become very embarrassed.

4.  If you could go be a celebrity, who would you be?
Nicole Kidman.  She’s poised, gracious, genuine, and I think she’s a really good actress.  But she has poor taste in men.  Really I don’t want to be a celebrity, but I suppose being Nicole Kidman wouldn’t be too bad.

5.  Coke or Pepsi, diet or all sugar?
Regular coke.  But from a glass bottle in Zambia.


26 04 2007

I was recently inspired to retrace the steps of my interview meme to see how widespread it was.  And boy howdy!  what a big blogging world there is out there!  I decided to stop once I had traced back 10 blogs.  I found some really neat ones that will most likely see me again on a regular basis.  And since I’ve been having a bit of blogger’s block lately I decided to ask each of them to interview me.  If each of them respond that will be 50 questions, which should keep me busy for a while.  Here was my first response.

Christine asked…

1) In a recent post you talked about BYU’s alternative commencement ceremony as a protest to Dick Cheney being the commencement speaker. Imagine instead that the speaker was Hillary Clinton, how would your post have read if students were reacting in the same manner?

You know, I thought about that as I was writing the post.  To be realistic, I probably wouldn’t have been paying as much attention to the news in the first place if it had been Hillary, but let’s say that it was… Howard Dean.  I probably wouldn’t read the blog of someone who felt that way about Howard Dean.  Not because I want to be close-minded, but how often do we relate to someone with vastly different views?  And I’ll be the first to admit that I have to fight the urge to be closed off to views I don’t agree with.

But, I hope that I would respect the ideology behind the protest, and the manner in which it is being carried out.  I feel that honest, peaceful dissent is the best way to bring about change, and is necessary to keep the government in check.  I believe I would feel this way even if things were run exactly how I’d want them to be run (or at least I really hope).  We need open dialog to keep up with the changing world and to create a more respectful society.

2) If you could describe your ideal day in one sentence, what would it be?

My ideal day would be warm, barefoot, earthy, creative, and end relaxing in the arms of someone I love.

3) You need someone to know the most important thing about you, immediately. What is it?

That’s so hard!  There are a lot of things I could say, but I think the most important thing is sort of two things that are closely related.  I was born in Zaire (we left when I was an infant), and then when I was 9 my parents and I moved to Zambia after my closest sister graduated from H.S.  Part of my schooling in Zambia took place at a British boarding school.

Ok, I’m sort of cheating, because it’s really two things, but whatever.  So the Africa part is important because there’s a part of me that will always want to be in Africa.  My happiest, most vivid childhood memories are from our two years there, and it’s my birthplace.  The boarding school bit is important because that was when I started to separate my identity from my family.  I also attended boarding school for H.S. and that had a larger impact, but I trace the roots of my independent nature to that experience.

4) What did you want your name to be, when you were a little girl? Why was it your favorite name?

There wasn’t any particular name, although I liked the name Gabrielle, I just wanted my name to be more unique.  My brother’s and sisters all got cool uncommon names.  Karis, Andre’ and Lenora.  Then there’s me, Stephanie.  There were 4 Stephanies in my elementary class alone.  Remember that British boarding school I was talking about?  There were 16 kids, and another Stephanie.  In H.S. I lived in the room next to another Stephanie Ann.  My dad likes to tell people that Stephanie was the most popular name in Nebraska (where he’s from) the year I was born.

5) What would you change about yourself, if anything?

I would live more in the moment.  This would change me in two major ways.  First off I wouldn’t procrastinate so much because why not do something right now instead of putting it off till later?  And more importantly, I wouldn’t worry about my life turning out the way I want it to so much.  I can really stress myself out with that one.

Fun Monday, on Tuesday

17 04 2007

I’ve enjoyed reading about Mary’s childcare experiences over at It’s Not All Mary Poppins, and I’m taking this meme from her.

1. What is your favorite word?

I think my favorite words come from my Mennonite/Anabaptist heritage.  I love the words Agape and Jubilee.  I think my favorite Spanish word might be biblioteca, it just has such a nice ring, but I’m sure that’s just because I haven’t studied or spoken Spanish in a long, long time.  One of my favorite signs is “turtle”, another is “EARLY”.

2. What is your least favorite word?

Possibly wench, but that’s just what comes to mind.

3. What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

A really good singer, dancing (especially ballroom, uuummmm… balero and argentine tango, like sex on hardwood ;), a sunlit deciduous woods

4. What turns you off?

snobiness and people who are sarcastic in a demeaning way.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

bloody hell, I never use it though, I probably like it because it’s British.
6. What sound or noise do you love?

Cello music, a cat’s purr, and baby babble/giggles

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

noodles being slurped, my alarm clock, anything that makes noise when my babies are sleeping.

8. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

Marriage councilor (someday when, you know, I’ve been married for a while), school councilor, musical theater actress, interior designer, mid-wife, linguist, teacher, ceramicist.  Some of those are more realistic than others.

9. What profession would you not like to attempt?

Doctor, especially an anesthesiologist, or surgeon (first off, there are 3 doctors in my immediate family, we don’t need anyone else in the medical profession. second, I’m terrified of needles, and would not be able to deal with having people’s lives in my hands like that), anything where you had no interaction with people, any corporate job.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

I always loved you even at your worst.