1. I spent the first 18 years of my life in a rural Midwestern setting – a town of 1700 people.
2. I have almost every Sandra Boynton book memorized. And most Dr. Seuss. And many other children’s books as well.
3. I have slept overnight in the Negev Desert, near a camel. The ground was rocky, so it wasn’t all that comfortable.
4. I once inscribed the word “HI” in bathtub soap scum rather than ask my roommate to clean the tub (which was his assigned chore in our small Christian community).
5. I had an amateur boxing license and trained for two years at a real boxing gym (prior to that I was in a college boxing club). After I won my first amateur fight, I lost interest.
6. I was on a swim team for 10 years (butterfly was my stroke!). At age 19 I coached the team. Since then my only competitive swimming has been in a few triathlons (including two in Alaska, one of which was a half-ironman), which I enjoy, but they're just too expensive.
7. My husband’s pick-up line on the night of our first conversation was, “Who is your favorite theologian?” Although it attracted me to him, it turns out this is his first question to anyone who’s into theology.
8. My answer was Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. And I searched for his email address online so I could contact him and add Newman to my list (and, um, remind him of my existence; can’t you see I’m such a flirt!).
9. I spent a year of service putting on dances at schools as part of an alcohol and drug prevention program. It was then that I picked up my C-walking skills.
10. I am horrible at all games that involve striking implements, e.g. golf, tennis, badminton, croquet, etc.
11. I’m becoming obsessed with penance, unfortunately more on an intellectual level. But here's hoping it trickles down into the practical level as well!
12. I’ve had two natural labor and deliveries, and my (midwife) sister caught both of my girls (babies 1 and 151 respectively).
13. During times of great stress, I turn to Jane Austen (or Charlotte Bronte) and sometimes J.K. Rowling.
14. I’m still facing the fact that I am now an adult and responsible for the health and well-being of two children. I sometimes wish I still had my mom to organize my life (schedule AND pay for dentist appointments, for example).
15. I spent two months living in a Holy Cross seminary in Nairobi, Kenya. I’m still in touch with some of my “African brothers,” including the one who gave me my mpako "Ateenyi."
16. I was proficient at clarinet and tenor saxophone, but I was always terrible at piano because I refused to practice (maybe just to spite my parents?).
17. The thing I miss most as a busy mom is not being able to go to daily Mass on a regular basis.
18. The food that I miss the most from the Coachella Valley in California is Kio’s Raspados, especially their raspado enchilada, which is a snowcone with chili and tamarindo candy.
19. I was the winner of the Southwest Iowa Math Contest. And I was a MASTER of my TI-85 calculator in high school.
20. During my first two years of Ph.D. work I consistently had dreams where I was reading with my eyes closed but I could understand the material perfectly (unlike in real life, where I had my eyes open and couldn’t understand the material at all!).
21. If I don’t exercise every day I get very, very grumpy and take it out on anyone around me.
22. I’m not a vegetarian, but, in general, cooking meat makes me nauseated. Because of that and because I’m scared of meat quality, I probably only eat it about once a week.
23. When I moved from California to Ohio, everything I owned fit into the trunk (and half of the back seat) of my 2003 Toyota Corolla.
24. I really prefer my surroundings to be neat, clean, and organized, but the last three years have not provided much opportunity for that.
25. My daughters are the greatest joys of my life.