Dancing Queen

It’s time to get real people.  It’s time to get really real.  It is my gut feeling that you could not possibly make sense of all this junk I keep posting on this here blog if you don’t know more about, well, me.  So here goes.

1.  I love a party.

I am not ashamed.  You need to know these things about me, so there.  I shared it.  The Photo of the Year.  But I am NOT going to share some crazy made-up story about being the first one on the dance floor at The Hubs’ company Holiday Party.  And I am NOT going to add that we were the only two people on said floor for five minutes that felt like an eternity.  Nor will I embellish the story by saying that HE LEFT ME OUT THERE ALONE to go grab some folks from his team.  But judging by this photo, I know that you know that it’s probably all true.   So!  Now you know me much better.

2. I am the youngest of seven children.

Just look at those glorious bell bottoms!  Not to mention the plaid pants, and the hair!  It should be pretty obvious that I was born into a family of teenagers, with the exception of my brother Tim.  He’s the cutie with the hair parted in the center, powder blue sweater and nice collar.  Tim was the youngest of this crew for eleven years.  That’s right.  Booga Baby for eleven years until Mary-Mary Sunshine came along.  It’s difficult for me to explain exactly what it’s like to be born into a big family, but to be raised for many years like an only child.  It does explain, however, why I have a little trouble when this sort of stuff starts to happen with my own children:

Or perhaps this:

Suffice it to say, becoming the mother of four in five and a half years was a bit of a shock for someone from a family with seven children, yet an only child.  Yes, I became an aunt when I was ten, and by the time I had my first child I had something like 19 nieces and nephews.  I guess I expected that because of this fact, I would all of a sudden have all the know-how I needed to embark on this journey.  Yeah.  The constant noise and chaos of family life has been a major adjustment, but one that has changed me for the better.

3.  This Christmas The Hubs gave me a heating pad.  Have you ever seen The Father of the Bride?  Do you remember when Annie went home crying to her dad when Bryan gave her a blender?  “What is this 1958?  Give the little wife a blender?”  That response is along the lines of what I was thinking on Christmas morning 2011 when I opened a flipping heating pad.  But I am an excellent liar actress, and so until The Hubs reads this post, he has been under the impression that I, at that moment, was so very grateful for my Christmas gift.  In my bitterness, I did not try out the blessed gift for a couple of weeks.

It just so happens that I now believe that that heating pad is quite possibly the best.gift.ever.  Why?  Why have I not known about the wonder and awesomeness that is falling asleep on a heating pad?!  People.  Go.  Go now to your local drug store and purchase one.  You will thank me.  Nay, you will thank The Hubs, because it was his brilliant, and I mean brilliant idea.

This is just one of a thousand examples I could share with you as to why my dear husband knows me better than I know myself.  He knows what I need, and no matter what it takes, he sees to it that those needs are met.  Sometimes that means being brutally honest with me so that I can meet my own needs, but when he can, he does it himself, and for that, I am forever grateful.

4. I danced for thirteen years — ballet, tap, and jazz.  And in high school I was in plays and musicals as a sophomore, junior, and senior.  I’m pretty sure the only reason they ever cast me in anything was because I could dance.  I loved dance.  Now I guess all that’s left is to become a dance mom.

5.  I bought and wore Electric Youth in Junior High, and I listened to the cassette tape every day, all day for an entire year.  Don’t judge.  If you did too, please, the Comment Box is open!

While my husband and I were dating, he, who apparently had a serious crush on Debbie Gibson in the 1980s, had the opportunity to meet her.  Can you say, “Jealous!”  Just look at the grin on his face in this photo.  She introduced herself to him as “Deborah.”  Whatever Debbie!  Whatever.

6.  I was a first grade teacher for one year, and a fifth grade teacher for four years.  I was much, much better at teaching fifth grade than first.  I just loved that age!  Ten and eleven year old’s are so interesting to me.  I come from a family of teachers:  my mom, grandmother, and aunt were teachers, and my sister Sarah has been teaching for almost twenty-five years.  When The Hubs and I met, I was “Miss Jones,” so at our wedding we danced to a song called “Have You Met Miss Jones?” Neither of us have seen the video to this day.  I just cannot bring myself to watch it.  See #5.

7.  I have had five Caesarian Sections.  Over the ten or so years that I’ve been a mom, there’s something very important I have learned and that is this:  birth stories are not to be compared, unless it’s with a very close friend, and even then, it can be tricky.  Birth stories are just so very personal and intimate.  But, having had five C-Sections in 8 1/2 years, I can say that I know so much more now about trust and surrender than I ever thought possible.  So, praise God for that!

8.  I attended Catholic Schools from First Grade all the way through college.  I had a wonderful experience attending Catholic Schools and wouldn’t trade those sixteen years for anything.  The last four, in particular, were some of the best times of my life.  I attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, majoring in English, and minoring in Writing and Theology.  Some of my dearest friends are from college.  In a way, many of them became the “sisters close in age to me” I never had.

I had the opportunity of a lifetime my junior year of college.  My alma mater has a campus located in a small town in Austria called Gaming.  The four months I spent there were life-changing.  We took classes four days a week and traveled each weekend, with two ten-day breaks:  one to Rome and Assisi, the other to wherever our hearts desired and our wallets would allow.  No cell phones.  No GPS.  Just a back-pack, a Eurorail pass, and some bread and Nutella to keep our bellies full.  This is a photo I took of the campus in October, 1997:

9.  I am a Roman Catholic.  I go to Mass every Sunday, and confession regularly.  I try really hard to be a good Christian woman.  I study the Bible, I pray, and I love the Blessed Mother and the Saints.  I am pro-Life and I love the Church.

So that about sums it up.  I hope this post has in some way given you a little insight into who I am and what’s important to me.  It was fun to share these random thoughts with you.

Categories: Reflecting

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22 Responses to Dancing Queen

  1. Thanks for your openness, wittiness, and beautiful wittness! Love the pictures of household….i enjoy your blog and hope we meet some day!

  2. FYI – Electric Youth was my favorite perfume EVER. I can still remember the smell. And I still have two songs from that album on my iPod. And the four c-section club is select membership – I keep hoping for a fifth just so they can finally add in the tummy tuck…..

  3. Dancing Queen! Love that photo…it is my ‘rainy day go-to!”

    That photo of your family is wonderful in every single way. No wonder you grew up with confidence and knowing you were loved. You were their living dolly, I think.

    And the photo of the Kartause. Ahhhh. Good thing we were not there together or we might still be in some dungeoness cell!

    I love your story, Mary!

  4. OK. I need to comment on the whole Debbie Gibson thing. Mary, not only did I own Electric Youth, I owned it in every size and shape container in came in. I sang in a couple of talent shows, donning a black hat, floral vest and yes, even a smiley face shining through the whole in the knee of my jeans. I knew (and still know…crazy, but true) all of the lyrics to all of Debbie Gibsons songs. And, though it is almost too embarrassing to mention in a public forum, I had a poster of her up on my wall. So, there it is! Enjoy that little bit of info! “;0)

  5. best …post…..EVER!!!!!
    i too grew up as and remain a dancing queen (and i guess will now reveal my secret as an electric youth “perfume” wearer, too!). oh, mary, we are kindred spirits, my friend! why don’t we still live close?!?!

    • Jessy! That is so funny. I think I will go read it again too. It hasn’t exactly been feasting and partying around here today. Two sickies to take care of coupled with exhaustion from a long night last night equals PJ’s and cup after cup of coffee, just waiting for The Hubs to get home.

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