Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ask Away Friday with Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life

This week I am trading questions with Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life. I think I first got to know MIchelle through SITS and Sharefest.  She is Twitter expert and I have sought her out to answer questions for me many times since I first got started with Twitter.  Then I was excited to see that she is one of the Mother of all Meltdown collaborators and I've gotten to know her a bit better through that.  She's an awesome mom who loves to take amazing pictures or her very sporty-minded kids.  It was a huge blast getting to swap Q&As with her. She's asked me ten questions that I've answered below, and I've asked her ten questions that she answered on her own blog.

1. It was fun getting to know you through SITS and our book project, The Mother of All Meltdowns. Were you nervous about writing about a meltdown moment and did you have more than one story to pick from?
I had two stories that I thought about writing.  They were both fairly recent occurrences at the time and in the end I picked the one that was more about me and had a beginning and end I could tell. The other story is one that has the potential to be embarrasing for one of my kids and for another family member. I also don't have good closure on that one, so I haven't written it down yet.  Maybe it will make it into my memoirs when I'm 80!  

This question kind of goes along with the first one...what is your first reaction in a crisis? 
That's a good question.  I am usually fairly calm.  I'm not sure that's always a good thing: some crises need a good freak out.  My first, honest reaction is to think "this isn't really happening" or "this is not what it seems." I think my brain goes into slow motion when there is a crisis situation.

What is one of your personality traits that you see in your children?
Good ones or bad ones?  LOL!!  Unfortunately, it seems that my kids got my organizational sense from me.  However, they seem to have also gotten my sense of humor and my sense of charity.  Actually, they are better at the sense of charity than I am sometimes.  (see the next question)

All moms have proud "mama moments"...tell us about one of yours!
Last week I asked them to each get a can out of the cabinet to take to church for the food pantry.  I overheard Frances telling her brothers to "pick something they liked for the hungry people."  They honestly came out of the kitchen holding some of their favorite foods.  Part of me almost said, "Are you sure you want to give those away?" but they had already picked them out and they looked quite proud of themselves adding them to the shopping cart at church.

I think I saw you mention once that you'd love to have a personal organizer come and help you get your house organized...if you could get help with one area of your house or life, where would you want advice? 
Are you offering?? Please!?  I really do believe in having a place for everything and everything in its place.  My problem is finding the places.  My dining room currently serves as the place where we eat most meals, my office/craft corner, and toy storage.  I'd love to see a better way to make that work. I'd honestly just like someone to hold my hand while i make the decision to get rid of stuff I don't need. That's always traumatic for me. (I cry when people buy stuff at my yard sales.)

What is the oldest item you own? Do you still use it? Does it have sentimental value?
The oldest item I own?  Hmmm...Frances just recently outgrew my favorite nightgown from when I was a kid.  I can't bear to get rid of it.  I have a hard time getting rid of things in general, and I don't believe in replacing things just for the sake of replacing them.  For example: I still own and use two aprons that used to belong to my grandmother.  They still fit and are in good condition, so I see no reason to get rid of them.  The nightgowns and the aprons obviously have sentimental value. That's honestly the reason I keep so much: because of the memories attached to things.

I know you love to give gifts! What was your favorite gift that you gave to someone this Christmas?
Yeah!! I can finally answer this question!!  We don't ever have much money to spend on Christmas gifts, so I have tried really hard the past few years to make and give home made/hand made gifts.  This year I found an awesome website ( and used it to make specially shaped word cloud pictures for my kids and some other family members. My father in law got a deer with the words to his favorite hymn in it. My niece  got the outline of her favorite princess (Aurora) with her special nicknames. My mom got a rooster with our family Psalm in it.  I made them for my kids too! (Henry's is the shape of a puppy dog with words that remind me of him.)

If you could have the whole day to yourself and had the funds to do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Can I have unlimited energy and patience too?  I'd like to spend the day helping at my kids' school and after-school program.  I'd also like to be able to sit on the couch at the end of the day and read a book without falling asleep!

What is something you wish you were good at?
This is an easy one!  I wish I were good at organization!  Some people just know how to group like things together and sort out what to keep and what to purge.  I'm just not good at that, and when I do get into an organizing mood, I get halfway through a huge project and then get distracted!

Do you have any goals for your blog this year? 
I'd like to keep up my trend of blogging daily.  I think I have a good pattern of memes and original content that makes that possible for me.  I'd like to be more organized with my posts so I can write more in bigger chunks and be more purposeful about self- and other-promotion.  I'd like to bring in sponsors more regularly and make a little bit more money.

Don't forget to head over to Michelle's blog A Dish of Daily Life and see how she answered my questions.  While you're there, check out her organization tips and photography!


  1. So great getting to know you through Ask Away Friday this week!!

  2. I love these AAF posts!! Those word cloud pictures wound awesome! I am in awe of bloggers who post everyday - especially when they work, too. I don't know how you do it! Looking froward to our new Tuesday Ten Venture next week!! Yay!!

  3. Happy to meet you thought Ask Away Friday!! I wish I could be more organized too! One day everything is all put away and the next day this place looks like a hurricane came through here, LOL! Loved reading your mom moment, very sweet!

  4. This was fun to read! My husband is like you - he hates to get rid of stuff. Years ago I was in a group (MOPS) and we did a garage sale as a fund raiser. We used our garage and at one point (I was busy helping someone), I turn around and Chris is in the garage and buying stuff. I looked to see what he bought - some of the stuff that I put in!!!! OY!
    I love the story about your kids picking out some of their favorite cans of food - great job teaching them!!

  5. I was having computer problems when I commented before...I actually commented right after your post came out. And I see it has disappeared. :( So I will try this again. I wish I was better at organization too. I am terrible. But I am going to be working on it this year. I can get you organized with your photos and that is about it. LOL. I absolutely love your proud mama moment - your kids are wonderful to be so considerate! Thanks for partnering with me this week and happy New Year Rabia!

  6. I'm a fan of Michelle and happy to see that you guys swapped questions! Those tagxedo gifts turned out to be so cute! Hmmm...I'm thinking that would be a great gift idea for next year! Also, in crisis situations I'm kind of like you. My husband is a paramedic so I let him take control in crisis situations - his brain is wired for that kind of stuff!

  7. Oh, I hate how I use my dining room table as a dumping ground! I have trouble finding places for things and wish I was more organized, too! And I am very sentimental, too. I think you and I are very much alike!


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