Thursday, February 6, 2014

#AskAwayFriday with Penny Chevalley

It's time for #AskAwayFriday again!!  This week I'm pairing up with Penny from the Real Housewife of Caroline County. If you've never played along, #AskAwayFriday is a great way to connect with other bloggers and learn more about them.  Each week you find a partner and swap ten questions to answer  on your blog.  Then you can head over to the hosts' and link up your post. You can check out my answer's to Penny's questions below and then you can head over and check out the other posts.
The Real Housewife of Caroline County

1.  Were you named after anyone? If so, who (aunt, grandmother, etc)? Do you like your name and given the chance would you change it?
I was named after a nursing student that my mom taught while she was in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan.  You can read the whole story (including pronunciation) here.  I love my name. It is special and unique.  While I do get a pretty high number of mis-pronunciations and misspellings, I wouldn't change my name for the world!
2.  Are you a morning or night person? Has it changed over the years?  If so, why the change?
I think I am more of a morning person.  I can't stay up past 10 most nights, even if I try.  I was a blast in college, I tell ya!! I don't necessarily like getting up at the crack of dawn, but I feel much more energized and alert in the mornings than at night.  I think I've always been that way. It's a bit of an asset as a mother.
3.  Pick your top 3 bad habits, what are they?  Have you ever tried to break them?
Such a long list!!! If I had to pick my three worst habits, I would say being lazy, procrastinating, and humming.  I think the laziness and procrastination go together and pretty well explain why my laundry is so piled up and the sink is full!  I am working hard to change those habits and also hopefully teach my kids not to fall into those habits in the first place.   I have hummed along to the music in my head for as long as I can remember. My parents always got after me for humming at the dinner table, and my dad regularly turned up the music in the car so he couldn't hear me.  I think I've gotten better about it, but people still notice and tease me about it.
4.  You are about to walk the "Green Mile" what is your last meal and why?
I didn't do it!! I promise!  I guess if I had to pick a last meal it would be my dad's spaghetti, my mom's pepper steak, Ken's grilled salmon and a side of his fried musrooms.  For dessert, I'd have my dad's toffee and my Grandma's pecan cookies. The calories don't matter, do they?
5.  What's your best piece of advice (it can be for life, parenting, marriage, anything)?
My best piece of advice for most of life is usually to trust your instincts.  Sure, some people may have bad instincts. But, for the most part, I find that overthinking things tends to get people all muddled up.  I did some research, and read books, and talked to people when Frances was born, but I also tried really hard to ferret out what felt right, and that was usually what I did.
6.  As women we get torn down a lot by the media, name one thing you LOVE about yourself?
This is a great question! I wish that people in general could be more positive.  I think one of my best qualities is that I am kind.  I like to make people happy. I enjoy helping others.  I volunteer with several organizations that benefit kids. I love teaching Sunday School at my church.  I try to bake goodies for my students for holidays or their birthdays.  I like inviting people over for dinner. Making other people smile makes me smile too.
7.  When you struggle in life what keeps you going? What gives you strength to push hard through it?
When I goes through struggles, the thing that keeps me going is my faith.  I have a few Bible verses that keep me going: one is Psalm 118:24 "This is the day The Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."  I also aim to remember Matthew 6:25-34.  God always takes care of me and provides what we need.  Sometimes I forget that, but somehow God steps in to remind me.

8.  One goal you'd like to achieve in 2014?
My biggest goal is to get my house organized and cleaned.  I've made some good progress, but as you know, housekeeping is an ongoing project. My real goal is to create better habits for myself and my kids.
9.  Any suggestions to make road trips easier and more fun?
My kids are pretty good car travellers, but the longest trips we usually make are less than three hours.  Frances and Henry are old enough to read books, which they enjoy.  Benjamin seems happy to look out the windows and tell me about everything he sees.  We drove to the beach once when Frances was about 2. We left in the evening, thinking she would sleep for the trip, but she ended up staying awake the whole six hours asking questions about the beach (she had never been before).  We were all exhausted the next day!  I haven't really needed many other tricks for road trips, although we have let the kids play with maps and a few toys or coloring books that were new for that trip.
10. What's your fondest memory?
That's a tough question.  One that comes to mind is from when Frances was about five and Henry was not quite two.  We had been out past bedtime and I had put Henry in his crib and got Frances in the tub. I had a conference call and didn't have time to get in to bed first, so I told her she could play on my computer until I gave her a signal and then she had to go straight to bed.  When I sent her to bed, I noticed that she hadn't shut the door all the way and I got up to fuss at her because I didn't want Henry to wake up.  What I saw, though, was Frances with her head bowed next to Henry's crib.  She crossed herself in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. When I asked her what she'd beeen doing, she said she had been praying that Henry would have a good night and sleep well.

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