Last week we enjoyed a very Y-chrome post from our only Man-Co-Host, Clark – it was fascinating and left lots of people wanting to know more.
Today for our profile we welcome a true gem of the blogging world. She writes ‘funny’ and ‘gut-wrenching’ equally well (but usually stays firmly around the hilarious). She draws her own illustrations. She wrestles rodeo pigs. She has no compunction about sharing photos of her, face-down on her kitchen table (in her fabulous new kitchen, darlings)…may I present (with the distinction of authoring one of only two blogs I’ve read in entirety) a total crowd favourite from A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall
Who are you?
My name is Christine. I refuse to make solid plans in my life, but instead do whatever comes my way. As a result, I’ve taught just about every grade, decorated cakes at a grocery store, owned a photography business, given birth to six children, and bought a 140 year old house that happened to come with a small farm. I am most frequently found either driving our 12-passenger van around town or disposing of the dead animals that frequently litter our property.
Where are you from?
I grew up in the small city of Canton, Ohio, but I have lived in Indianapolis since my husband and I moved here 14 years ago.
Describe your family.
Nineteen years ago, after meeting in high school and dating for seven years my husband and I were married. We had four children in four years, caught our breath, then added two more boys 17 months apart. Having fun, learning new things, and playing soccer are important to us, but not nearly as important as our (Catholic) faith.
Why do you blog?
It is so much fun. I’ve always been a storyteller, and anywhere people are gathered, I will be talking. Part of being a storyteller, though, is listening to other people’s stories. I want the stories I tell to trigger memories and thoughts in the people with whom I am speaking, so I can listen to theirs. As far as I’m concerned, blogging is like being at a non-stop party. Stories are flying all over the place, conversations are being had, laughter and tears are being shared, and friendships are being made. It’s my element, but even better. I have the time to actually think and edit what comes out of my mouth before anyone hears it.
What do you like about the Ten Things of Thankful hop?
On a recent vacation, I was stopped by a complete stranger. He was approximately 95 years old, and he talked like he only had 3 hours to live and had to tell someone all the wisdom he had learned in his 95 years. Yet it wasn’t one-sided. He asked questions. “What is the most powerful emotion? And don’t say love. It’s not love.” I, being wise, knew it wasn’t love, and answered, “Hate.” That stumped him. “Well, yes, that’s pretty powerful, and can ruin you, but the answer I was thinking of is a positive attitude.” While I didn’t agree with his claim that “positive attitude” is an emotion, I completely agree that it is a crucial thing to have. Each day, each minute of the day, I have a choice. Am I going to focus on the bad things and be miserable, or am I going to focus on the good and be happy? It doesn’t mean I’m ignoring the bad, I simply choose to look at the good things while working through the bad. Each weekend, I get to read posts from a slew of people who choose to focus on the good things. It simply brightens my weekend.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in life?
This is a tough question for me. I can’t really say I have “overcome” my biggest challenges. I never will. But each day I have to overcome them again. For example, one of my challenges is an unknown autoimmune disorder. It looks most likely to be Lupus. I will never overcome this disorder. I will always have pain in varying degrees. I will always have to watch what I do to try and keep flares at bay. However, each day, I do choose to live the day the best way I can with this disorder. Sometimes I sit under the umbrella, but others I choose to go to the beach and enjoy the surf and sun with my kids. Sometimes I am very good at dealing with the pain, but other days I just get completely annoyed and mope. While I feel I’m doing a great job of living with this disorder, I have by no means overcome it.
Which people inspire you?
People inspire me in one of two ways: 1. Doing something that annoys the tar out of me, or 2. Doing something well at something with which I struggle. For example, I used to be a very bad listener, until I met a few people. The first is someone who was a horrible listener, always interrupting me with a story of her own or zoning out and doing something else (like texting) while I was talking. (And don’t you dare say it’s because I was telling a boring story. You know I have only good stories.) It annoyed the tar out of me, and I swore to never do that to someone else. The second person is someone who is a very, very good listener. I could talk for over an hour straight, and she made it very clear with her body language, follow-up questions, and ability to remember all that I said, that she listened to every word. I wanted to make others feel the way she made me feel when I talked with her.
What achievement are you working towards?
I am always working towards the same three things; a better relationship with God, a long, lifetime of happiness with my husband, and raising my children the very best way I can to help them become the best they can be. Other than that, I have no achievements to work towards. (See #1)
How would you most like to inspire others?
As other people have inspired me without their knowledge, I hope others can gain some inspiration through my actions. I have no idea what weaknesses others are struggling with at any given time, so I certainly don’t know what about me could be of help. And when those occasions do arise that I have to open my mouth and say something, I pray I have the words to be encouraging.
Tell me something utterly frivolous about you.
While I have always been pretty flexible, I have never even come close to being able to do a split. (I can do one mean cartwheel, though.)
Christine, thank you for answering in so much depth – a wonderful profile and one I really enjoyed sharing. Keep writing, keep going on that awesome achievement (you’re doing well – we know – we can see by the photos chez toi) and keep being awesome.
Don’t forget to come back and join us on Saturday to link up with your list of Ten Things of Thankful