I started this blog nearly a decade ago, as a way to update family and friends after John and I got engaged (today is actually our 8 year wedding anniversary!). I thought it would serve primarily for that purpose, but as time passed and we got married, had our baby boys, found careers, and traveled, I loved having this place to document it all and satisfy my love of writing.
I have written my whole life. I starting writing at very young age. I was able to see my mom’s love for writing. I kept a detailed journal, joined literary club and media in high school, eventually leading to a passion for journalism. After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with a degree in magazine design, I still wrote, but focused more on design serving as an art director for a local magazine. That position led to my current role in communications for a Fortune 500 company. While my young high school and even college self could never imagine how those small interests led to a life-long career. But looking back at it all now, I see how it seems to all fit together.
Every single experience, whether it seemed futile at the time, has led me to what I am supposed to be doing and what fits my god-given talents. I might suck at anything numbers related (don’t trust me with figuring out how to split the bill at happy hour!), but I was meant to tell stories whether through words or pictures. Writing has always given me a sense of purpose, even something as small as one of the hundreds of love letters I wrote John.
You are probably wondering where this is all coming from. Well, about a year ago a colleague of mine (shout out to my friend Keith Kohler at CPG, also a dedicated Hamratime follower) told me about how he interviewed his father.
He sat him down and asked him questions with the purpose of documenting them, so he would always have his father’s life story. This gripped at my heart immediately. What an important and sentimental idea! How often do you hear someone say after a parent has passed, “If only I could ask them one more thing.” I had Keith send me the questions because
I had to interview my parents too.
I am sad to admit, I have yet to interview my parents. Since I am putting this in my blog, it will hold me accountable!
Mom and dad, let’s book a time now!
It also really got me thinking….
I have interviewed hundreds of people in my journalism/writing career. Have I ever really interviewed myself? If my two boys sat me down 15, maybe 20 years from now, what would my answers be? I keep a journal, but it mostly accounts the days’ activities; it doesn’t delve into hard hitting/personality-revealing questions that may leave behind my true character, accomplishments, or those things I endear and are most proud of.
So, over the past few weeks I have started to interview myself with those same question, keeping in mind my boys may hold on to this one day. It gave me the opportunity to really reflect on my life and how much I am thankful for.
I recommend trying it; you might learn some new things about yourself. Who knows, I might even interview my husband. At the bottom of my interview are the original questions if you are interested in interviewing yourself too, it is surprisingly eye opening and then you can pass it on to your loved ones. And here it is, honest and raw. I hope you enjoy reading it. It may be more than you want to know or maybe you will learn something you didn’t know about me.
Interview with me
What comes to mind when you think about growing up in [hometown]?I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, but moved to Springfield when I was just shy of 12. What comes to mind for St. Louis is family, so many get-togethers with my cousins, aunts and uncles. Lots of great memories at my grandparent’s house. For Springfield, the friendships and of course meeting John. If my dad’s job hadn’t transferred him to Springfield, I would have never met John.
What did you love to do as a kid, before high school?I loved playing sports, mostly volleyball. I started at very young age and played into middle school. Then my 8thgrade year I tried out for high school volleyball and made the JV team as a freshman with two other girls, I was so proud!
What did you love to do in high school?Definitely volleyball, but I really enjoyed hanging out with my friends. We were all really active and liked to go bowling, skating, go to the gym and play basketball, but also lots of slumber parties and hanging out at the mall.
What do remember most about your teenage years?John! Yes it is totally sappy, but he consumed most of my teenage years. We met first day of freshman year and became best friends, started dating our junior year and the rest is history. There isn’t a time in my teenage memories that he wasn’t a part of.
What do you remember most about your mom?Her smile and cooking. She has a way with food and everything she makes is delicious (well except that time she forgot to cook the pie crust when making my dad’s banana cream birthday pie, ha!) So many great memories of mine revolve around her cooking and dinners together. And her smile is contagious, she is such a sweet and kind person.
What was most important to her? Family, 100 percent. I am so thankful that her and my father valued family time so much. It has had such an impact on my life as a parent. Now it is definitely her grandchildren, she is the best grandma ever!
What do you remember most about your dad?He’s hilarious (in a dad way) and the nicest person I’ve known. He always has the best jokes and stories and will do anything for anyone. He doesn’t know a stranger and makes new friends everywhere we go.
What was most important to him? My mom, his girls, and fishing! Now his grandkids, for sure!
If grandma and grandpa had a message to you and their grandchildren, what do you think it is? Spend time together, and as much as you can! Those memories are irreplaceable and something you will value your whole life!
How did you meet your husband and know he was the one?As I mentioned earlier, we met in high school. I knew he was the one because we just clicked; it was so natural to talk and be around him. He never judged me and always made me feel so comfortable in my own skin. It really was like we had known each other our whole lives at first meeting. The week we met, he called me that weekend and we talked on the phone for like five hours with never skipping a beat.
How did you choose your career and what was your favorite part about it?I call it divine intervention; I was actually let go from a major company during layoffs while I had made a career move hoping for advancement. At the time it was devastating, but I now understand it was all about timing. The position I ended up accepting at my current company opened up the same week I was let go. Talk about an act of God! My favorite part about my career is it doesn’t feel like a job, I love coming to work (scout’s honor) and enjoy everything I get the opportunity to do. Plus, I work with the best people. One of them is my mom!
What made you successful at work?Dedicating 100% of myself to my work, I give every project I take on my all and if I can’t, I ask for help. I have learned to say “Yes” to every opportunity because it opens doors you didn’t know were in front of you. I also own/accept and learn from any mistake or misstep I make.
What did you believe about yourself that helped you become successful and deal with hard times? This too shall pass!When I am afraid to do something, I tell myself it is more of a reason to do it. Everything I have accomplished in my career scared the S#*t out of me, but only at the beginning. I truly believe fear is a barrier people get stuck behind, but if you can push through there are amazing things on the other side!
What times in your life truly “tested your mettle,” and what did you learn about yourself by dealing (or not dealing) with them?Once again, my relationship with John.There were times it would have been easy to just move on then grow up in our relationship together and deal with those really tough relationship issues. I thank God every day for opening my heart and allowing me to not only forgive and forget, but look at my own reflection and hold myself accountable for any issues we were experiencing.
What three events most shaped your life?Graduating from college with my Journalism degree, marrying my high school sweetheart, and becoming a mother.
What do you remember about when each of us was born?
Sawyer – pure joy, seeing you for the first time was something I can’t even describe. It was like my heart was finally whole. Every day since has felt like a miracle to me, how did I get so blessed to be your mother?
Scout –you were the perfect little peanut with a smile (and dimple) that proved that my heart could double in size. You’re sweet but spunky like your father and can talk me into anything. I know that you were planned for me since the day I stepped foot on this earth.
Were you ever scared to be a parent? Oh yes, I still am. Every day as a mom is a mix of fear and joy. I just don’t want to screw it up and want them to lead healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives but contribute to society. It is a tough job!
What three words would you say represented your approach to parenting and why?Unprepared and cautiously optimist. I am more of a softy than I thought and a terrible disciplinarian. I really try, but John would probably tell you I am the worst at it.
When you think about your sisters how would you describe them?
Amie – My feisty, independent, and smart big sister. I have always looked up to her for her quick wit, incredible ability to understand anything, and focus. Her mind is an amazing thing, she truly is a genius in my opinion!
Rachel – my sweet baby sister, seeing her be born and fight as a preemie was one of my fondest childhood memories. She is so resilient and developed into one of the kindest humans I know. Now that she is a mother, those qualities are even more apparent and she is such an incredible mom!
What message do you have for sisters that you want them to always keep in mind? While we are so different, our personalities are perfect together. When we spend time together, it is like we were never apart. You both are hilarious, beautiful, and smart! I’m the lucky one to be your sister!
When you think about your spouse, how would you describe her/him?Carefree, handsome, confident, supportive.I truly have the most supportive husband, he allows me to live out my dreams and is my biggest cheerleader. He also pushes me to do things I would have normally said no too. While I am cautious, he is adventurous. I love his confidence and it has helped me learn to love myself. He is a fantastic son and an even better father!
What message do you have for your spouse that you want her/him to always keep in mind?You have given me so much joy through not only loving me unconditionally, but always having my back, pushing me past my comfort level, and supporting and encouraging our boys as a positive male role model.
What three words would you say best describe who you tried to be in life and how you want to be remembered?Altruistic, Honest, and Jovial
When they think about their careers, what do you want your children to focus on?Finding something that makes them happy, challenged, and fulfilled. To follow their heart and not their wallets. Find a career that allows them to still have balance with family/friends.
What have you learned about other people in life? People’s differences are so valuable, they teach you, well round you, and open your mind and grow you as a person. I believe people are good and never to assume something about someone before you have sat down and had a conversation with them, not just learning about them from someone else.
What do you think the world needs more of right now?Acceptance! I feel recently it seems our country is taking steps back as far as our treatment of humankind. Everyone should feel accepted no matter where they come from, not persecuted because of it.
What do you believe people want the most in life?
Companionship and connection. Social media has become that virtual connection for people but it is surface level. People need connections and I have a feeling times are changing and soon we will go back to the traditional one-on-one social interactions because people are starting to miss that!
What were the three best decisions you’ve ever made?
Selecting University of Missouri for college even when my friends weren’t going there (but John was!), accepting my first job at GO Magazine as art director and returning to Springfield, MO, even when I had offers out of state. Marrying my high school sweet heart, I love him more and more every day.
What are you most proud of in life? My two boys, they are my greatest accomplishment and I am so proud of the human beings they are becoming each and every day.
What were five of the most positive moments of your life? The day John asked me to be his wife (April 17, 2010), the evening I took the pregnancy test to learn I was going to be a mom (summer of 2011), and deciding to start a small business (SelectSitter) with our friends Adam and Sarah Howey; something that scared and excited me all at the same time.
What message would you like to share with your family?Love yourself, it has taken me a while to actually do that and looking back I am not sure why I couldn’t see my own worth when my family and friends were telling me. I spent way too long trying to “fit in” and when I finally learned to be myself, I have been the happiest and most confident person I could have imagined.
What are you most thankful for? My family. I am blessed to have two parents who love each other, in-laws who I love so much, sisters (and sister in-law) who make me laugh and a whole bunch of other great family members, and friend who are like family, who have made me who I am and support me no matter what!