Who doesn’t love Fridays? C’mon!
Only it’s still Thursday …
Since I’m busy on Friday and gone for the weekend, I thought I’d make Let’s BEE Friends go live one day earlier.
Hope you don’t mind!
Today, I get to honour a friend by having them as a guest on my blog. If you’re a regular at Bees With Honey, you know what to do but if you’re new, please read on!
Note: I’ve been leaving the linky open all weekend so more of you have time to link-up a favourite post!
As with all blog hops:
1. I ask that you follow me.
2. Grab the button from the sidebar and include it in your post.
3. Link up your favourite post from the week. (no giveaways please)
4. Visit other bloggers who have linked up. Follow who you like.
5. Spread the honey by leaving them some sweet old ♥ comment love ♥ !
The linky can be found at the bottom of this post!
Today, Sarah from Meet Me At The Fence is visiting me! She came over for some good ol’fashion girl time! I’m serving her my special made vanilla lattes and drilling her with tons of questions. If you already know Sarah, you won’t be surprised to learn that she’s a mommy to four beautiful kids and a wife to a loving husband. If you don’t know her, you better run on over and check out her blog and follow her on Twitter as @MamaRiceCake ! You will thank me later.
Sarah is nuttin but a whole lot of sweetness in a friend. You’ll love her the instance you friend her. I did!
1. How long have you been blogging and why did you start one?
I originally started a blog back in 2007 because my husband was deploying to Iraq and I was getting so many emails from extended family, distant relatives, and friend of friends that I couldn’t answer them all AND take care of my 4 kids who happened to all be 5 years old and under at the time. It was an easy way to share information about our family. I wrote about how he was doing and how we were doing, etc. But, I abandoned that space shortly after he came back home and fewer people were asking how we were doing.
I started The Fence back in February. I’m tired of the typical jerky Christian stereotypes. It’s irritating when people assume certain UNTRUE things about me on the basis of some loud-mouthed jerks who don’t talk or think anything like me. It’s not much different than when the rest of the country thinks that everyone in The South lives in a trailer, dresses like The People of Wal-Mart, are missing teeth, and are uneducated, illiterate hicks. That’s not even close to being true. BUT that’s who ends up on TV and who is interviewed after natural disasters… and so, that’s what the world thinks we’re all like. I started writing The Fence to set at least SOME of the record straight about life as a person following Jesus. I’m far from perfect. I have crazy days as a parent. I second-guess some parenting choices I’ve made. But I love my family and I love my God and I’m trying to live a life that isn’t just “for show”. Hopefully, people who read it catch on to that. Hopefully, some minds will be changed about ALL Christians being bigoted jerks that think they’re perfect.
2. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
I actually tell the story behind the name on my blog. The short version goes something like this:
I wanted to build a space where I wrote and told stories that sound like things I’d say while sitting with friends in my backyard. Our backyard selves aren’t as guarded or pretentious as our front-yard selves. We hang out with our closest friends on patios and decks with cold drinks and just talk about life. We’re REAL in that space. That’s how I wanted my blog space to be… just honest about life and love, struggles and humor, and honesty about some of the tougher lessons I’ve learned in practicing my faith. I talk a lot about my family… Dave and the RiceCakes (that’s what we call our kids) and stuff that is going on in our lives. Hopefully, most people think the stories about my kids are funny instead of eye-rolling! (I’m so NOT Kathy Lee Gifford!)
3. Give us a brief synopsis of your family.
I met my husband Dave when I was 17. He joined the Navy and we had a long distance relationship while he was in Kosovo and I was in college at the University of Arkansas. When his full-time commitment to the Navy was up and he was starting his Reserve duty, we eloped in Las Vegas when I was 20 and moved back to Fayetteville, AR where I was majoring in Poultry Science w/ a minor in French. We had Jack and Abi there before we moved to lower Alabama. We built a house and Jack and Joshua were born. All four RiceCakes were born within a span of 4.5 years… yes, that means I was pregnant for 3 years of the first 5 years of my marriage. It was puke-tastic! The RiceCakes all currently between 5 and 10 so, I’m WAY OUT of the baby stage of mommying. We’re just getting to the really good stuff… the stuff the kids will remember… as a family! We just celebrated our 11th anniversary in July and I wouldn’t change a thing.
4. What do you find most rewarding about blogging?
I really love a good story. I’ve talked about that a lot. I love hearing that something I’ve written made someone laugh… or think something over. The feedback is fun. I really didn’t expect that it would be as fun as it is. I love hearing other people’s stories. I really didn’t expect to make such good friends via the interwebs. I didn’t expect that military spouse community would have as big of an impact on my heart as it has had. I didn’t expect that other parents would be as encouraging… as Non-judgmental… as they really are. I’ve been blogging about stuff that’s important to me… sometimes getting ranty… for 7 months and I haven’t had to deal with anyone bullying or picking fights. The people I’ve come in contact with are so awesome. Such a broad slice of the world makes up my bloggy space and Twitterverse. We’ve had some really interesting conversations and they’ve really renewed my love for people. The connection to other people is hands down the BEST thing about blogging.
5. Think dumb reality show. What is the one thing no amount of money could get you to eat?
In spite of the fact that I live in The South… I don’t share the love for pickled weird things. I have this silly running joke with Jessica (from My Time as a Mom) on Twitter about the weird pickled stuff in some of the grocery stores down here. Things like pickled eggs… or pigs’ feet… or ox tails. Gag me with a spoon! I’ve never seen anyone buy them. Surely someone IS right? Why else would it be in the store? I will NEVER eat anything pickled beyond cucumbers! You couldn’t pay me to try it. I’d absolutely Technicolor Yawn!
6. If Hollywood wanted to make a movie of your life, which celebrity would you want to play YOU?
When I was a kid, I used to get mistaken for Soleil Moon-Frye (aka Punky Brewster) when I was out with my family. Seriously, I had people come up to me at Dodger games to ask me for my autograph. They were bummed when I wasn’t her. Although, I really think that had more to do with my wardrobe choices as a kid than what my face looked like. ha ha!
Sandy Bullock (yeah, we’re buddies… I call her “Sandy”… she just doesn’t know it yet.) does a decent Southern accent without coming across like an outright hick. I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t be a pill to work with… that little kids would like her… and telling her my story (so she’d play me with “the right motivation”) over happy hour on my back deck would be a pretty great way to spend my time. She’s pretty darn good at portraying real people. I like that about her.
7. Part 2 – Which celebrity would you choose to play your husband and why.
Matt Damon would make a pretty good Dave. They both have great smiles, talk slow, and have a love for cargo shorts and beer. I’d like to hang out with him and get him to teach me how to fight people with phone books and Bic pens a la Jason Bourne. Plus, I think kids would like him… and you can’t make a movie about me and Dave without KIDS in it! “How do ya like THEM apples?!”
Side note: why the heck haven’t Sandra Bullock and Matt Damon already made a movie together?! I’d watch it! It’d make a fortune. Dang! I need to copyright that idea!
8. Have you ever been to a blogging conference? If yes, which one? If no, do you plan to in the near future?
I haven’t been to any blogging conferences. I have no definite plans to attend any in the near future. #wineparty on Twitter might be as close to a blogging conference as I ever get! At this point, it would probably just be a Girl’s Weekend kind of trip! ha ha! Financially, that’s not in the cards… unless someone wants to start one in Mobile, AL so I could drive! I don’t know that blogging will ever be more than a hobby but, I’d LOVE to meet my best bloggy buddies IRL! Look out world, that much AWESOMESAUCE in one place might cause a tear in the space-time continuum!
9. What is your favourite time of the day? Least favourite? Explain why for both.
I try to embrace MOST times of the day. I like spending time with my kids. I like hanging out with Dave. I like alone time. I am a night owl. Anyone who’s talked with me on twitter knows that. Dave worked nights for YEARS and I’m used to get lots of stuff done late at night while I’m waiting on him to get home. I like that time when everything’s quiet and everyone else is sleeping. To me, that sounds like contentment… and peace… and feels like all the time in the world.
I HATE early morning wake ups. Seriously. I freakin’ hate ‘em. I would rather stay up all night than get up really early. I’d rather take a red eye late at night than go to bed and try to make the first flight of the morning. Early mornings feel rushed and chaotic and like there’s not enough time to do what needs doing. I hate that feeling.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What would you like to be or not be doing?
I’m one of those weird people who doesn’t really like to think too much ahead. I like to try to enjoy the “right now” instead of looking too far forward. “No one is promised tomorrow” right? That’s not to say that goals aren’t a good thing. In five years, the RiceCakes will be between 10 and 15, and two of them will be starting high school. I hope that we’ll be making lots of fun memories as a family. I hope that they’ll each know how loved they are and that THAT chunk of time, that was SO hard for me, will be easier for them. Dave will have almost 20 years in the military at that point… he’ll be closing in on retirement, and we’ll have at least one more deployment under our belts. Hopefully, I’ll find ways to manage that life gracefully. Hopefully, I’ll still be telling stories about life and love and lessons I’ve learned. Hopefully, I’ll still be friends with most of my tweeps… and hopefully, we’ll have spent some time together IRL.
Bonus: This question is to be made up by you. You get to ask yourself something. It can be anything.
11. (as suggested by Dana from What Were We Thinking) Describe your perfect vacation with kids AND without kids.
I actually really like going places with my kids but, my favorite place to take them is Holiday Island. Every 3 years, my Dad’s side of the family (YES, the Arkansas WINERY side of my family) has a family reunion at Holiday Island… which is just outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It’s so fun. 100 + people show up from all over the country… from 3 different forks in our family tree… for all the fun and loving you could possibly handle. They swim at the pool. They water ski on a lake where the Arkansas and Missouri state line crosses the water. They hold a Memorial golf tourney to pay tribute to my Grampa. And they host a Fun Run because they’re crazy. They usually have a Talent Show which no one wins… but usually results in my Dad laughs so hard that he almost throws up. There’s a massive BBQ/potluck and 4 or 5 generations of people all hang out and catch up. They had out “awards” made out of paper plates for ridiculous things…. my great uncle had both his knee replaced and he got the “Fewest Original Parts Award!” It’s awesome. 5 years ago was the first time I was able to take the kids… it was the coolest thing EVER to see them playing on a playground that I played on myself as a kid. I moved so much growing up that I don’t really feel like I have a “hometown.” The place I graduated high school from doesn’t feel like “home” at all. Holiday Island is the closest thing I’ve got. Letting my kids see a place that was important to me, with people I just love, is the perfect vacation to take them on. Letting them see where their family comes from… meet all kinds of distant cousins… and start relationships with family members they’d never meet otherwise is pretty darn fabulous.
As far as going on vacation without the kids… I’d love to go someplace beachy and do next-to-nothing. There’s a place in Bora Bora where you can stay in huts over the water and watch fish swim threw a glass floor… you have your own private pool… and room service. To me… having quiet time like that, swimming in sunshine and ocean… with Dave… and not having to take care of anyone else would be AWESOME. The price tag would be INSANE… but I know what I’d spend part of my jackpot on if I ever win the lottery! ha ha! For now, I’d love to just go hang out at Gulf Shores sans bebes for a few days and call it good! Down time + water = relaxation.