This Page Not Intentionally Left Blank


I’m tired.

Life has taken 100% of my time lately.

I know, right? So unthoughtful.

I have endless things to blog about and no time to actually sit down and write. Or when I do, Life (again!) has dismantled my brain in such a way that words will not come.


So today, It’s your turn to help me out.

It is officially introduce yourself and/or ask me anything day.

Pick one or the other or both.

Tell me random facts about you. Your most bizarre quirks. Or your kid’s quirks. They won’t mind.

And the questions. What have you always wanted to ask me? What do you wish I’d blog about, flesh out, revisit, or re-post?

Or better yet, do you have any fantastic stories that just need to share – either in guest post form or in interview form, like I did with one of my favorite stories last year from my friends Chuck and Lydia? Tell me more.

I’ll answer your questions next week. And hopefully get at least a few of my stories written, too.

You guys are the best.

68 thoughts on “Take a Turn.

  1. wanna hear about the crocodiles my husband has been hunting for nearly a month now, from near our school where two of our school kids were killed by crocodiles in march? he went swimming with them a week and a half ago and crawled into a cave with one last weekend. no one can say my life is boring, that is for sure. :)

    1. I was fascinated by your pictures of this event on Facebook! I made Chris look at them too. The fact that you shot a crocodile with bows and arrows – here I’m sure he’d be protected and you’d be put in jail. Glad y’all caught him! Or at least one of them.

      1. Well, actually my hubby killed the croc- but he didnt shoot him exactly. He baited him with meat on a three prong hook (homemade out of steel rebar), which the croc took and injured himself trying to get away. BC the croc was injured he couldnt swim very well, so decided to hole himself up in a cave type area beside the river, underneath a big slab of rock. My husband crawled in to see if they could smoke the croc out with green leaves lit on fire, but the croc was having none of it. If he had come out that way my husband would have shot him with his bow- but since that didnt work, my husband crawled as far back into the cave as he could, with a long piece of rebar- sharpened to a point on one end… his helper then took a hammer and they hit the rebar and speared the crocodile, once it was speared they dragged it out and my husband was able to kill it with his bow. …. just one of many crazy adventures i have been on with my husband since we married- and more so since we moved to Mozambique! The week before he went into the river to dislodge another bait hook from a fallen tree under the water… in a small pond in the river where just that morning a crocodile had been spotted. He keeps my life interesting… and my heart in good shape. :) Please note, that although my husband does hunt- we hunt for meat and have a deep respect for the animals and God’s creation! In this case, the ONLY reason we were hunting crocodile is because this particular community had lost TWO children to croc attacks in the past month or so and was on edge and very scared. Even though the croc my husband managed to get, was on the small end of things, the locals were still terrified and told us that small children have been taken by crocs that size or even smaller. The crocs do not actually eat the children- they attack and kill them, as a manner of practicing their hunting skills. These two children had been on the way home after attending school at the primary bush school our mission runs- they get an education and a healthy lunch, daily. FOr many of the children they walk upwards of 5 km each way to get to school, and many of them have to cross the river to get there, during dry season and most of the year its not a problem, but for several months each year the river floods and the crocs can travel to areas they dont normally go. We received permission from the local authorities to try and trap/kill some of the crocs as the population is getting to big for the river and croc attacks are becoming more frequent. But, as I said… I didnt kill the croc… my crazy hubby did. :) I just went along and took pictures. Brought our two kids along for the outing too. I know.. we are nuts.

  2. Hmm, well Jake pooped in the potty last week for the first time! However, turns out he wasn’t done and he finished his business on the floor of his bedroom.

    1. Really not sure why it didn’t post my full comment. Blah! I’m not rewriting it either, sorry. Needless to say Jake is the one trying to potty train me lol. Didn’t realize that by talking with him about it for so long that it would sink in and he would start telling me when he is needing to poop. But not pee, he doesn’t know that feeling yet I don’t think because when he’s naked he just kinda pees wherever and whenever and it seems as much of a surprise for himself as it is for me!

      1. I feel your pain. Noah didn’t understand the feeling of pee either. One day I was just able to explain it just right where he got it. I don’t know what magic possessed me that day.

  3. Heading to the train station in Birmingham. Taking the train to New Orleans to Jazz Fest. Cheaper than driving!

      1. We just took our kids on a train excursion. The train pulled out at 9 and we stopped in a town for a couple hours of sightseeing and then we were back to our car by 3:45. The kids enjoyed it, but at times we were glad for the iphone as a distraction from siting for so long. It was rather neat to be able to walk between cars while underway. Something that I don’t believe you are allowed to do on the Heart of Dixie trains. for more information.

  4. When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend named Bosh. He was an old man and he made nails (the kind you hammer with). To this day (I’m 31), random family members ask me about Bosh.

  5. I got my younger daughter (5) to join in a soccer scrimage with her sister’s (7) team. She had fun and I loved seeing her flying across the field. She’s always deferred sports to her sister so it was nice to see her out there too! Made my day :)

  6. Hi Rachel, I’m Tammy. I’m trying to be better about commenting instead of just lurking. I really enjoy your blog and how you are able to take potentially scary situations (your health issues especially) and make them funny. You are a talented writer! Thanks for letting us peek into your life.

  7. Hey Rachel……my farm life is always exciting…. The lambs are the kings and queen of the hill and the chickens are starting to lay. I go out in the afternoons when I get home from work and talk with them. When our chickens are happy they will sing back to you. I have been having a pep talk with the ones that are starting to lay. My son loves eggs…. and I need the chickens to keep up with his consumption…. with 23 hens once they all start laying… we should not have a problem. It is almost time to shear the sheep… and this is always an exciting task to undertake… soon our vegetables and fruits will be coming in…. so my afternoons will be filled perserving our harvest…. Apple Butter, Pear Perserves, Blueberries, dried apples, and lots of other items. It is very rewarding once you complete the task. Just last night, I had hot biscuits and opened a jar of Apple Butter. Smiles and Blessings to you and your family

    1. I don’t want to assume that since you have chickens you must like chicken books, but since you talk to them I’m going to recommend a good chicken book. It is a comedy. Title is Once Upon a Flock, by Lauren Scheuer. Sounds like you lead a busy life but I hope you are able to give it a try.

  8. My daughter has decided she really likes creative writing. The last story she wrote really impressed me. I, unfortunately, have a really hard time fostering that passion of hers. Sooooo…I’m saying….if you ever want to teach our homeschoolers a writing or blogging class, we would be the first to sign up!! B/c you need one more thing to do, right?

  9. Hmm… let’s see. Random facts…

    I was struck by lightning the day before my wedding, and that night I missed a step and nearly broke my ankle. (Most often asked question when I tell people that: “Do you think someone was trying to tell you something???” Hmm… maybe. Nine years later and I think we’re fine.)

    I was present for my husband’s first wedding…. when I was 5.
    (Most often asked question when I tell people that: “Were you the flower girl???” No. No I was not.)

      1. I am almost speechless. dumbfounded even. I must have the full story. Please! My brain hurts just thinking about it. The only weddings I went to when I was young we’re for FAMILY. Please explain so it all makes sense!

  10. I’m making K do double work several days a week in hopes to be done early with school! So far we are two weeks ahead giving us only five weeks left. I’m really hoping to be done by Memorial day. Spring break gave me a taste of summer that was just too good to let go! Oh and I’ve been meaning to ask if you are still doing the jeans thing? Maybe you could bring me a few pairs to try on when we come down there! I really need a new pair of jeans…last night I sewed a hole in my favorite pair where they were ripping right next to the pocket. They are well loved. :)

  11. Our potty training woes progressed to the point where I took my four year old to a special clinic in the big city to figure out what his deal is. They had us do a tummy x-ray and daaaaaaaang. If there was a world record for poop holding my kid would hold it. So now he’s on high doses of laxatives to clear him out so I’m stuck at home and living by the almighty timer that tells me A) when he gets his next dose of Miralax and B) when to make him sit on the potty so I don’t have to do massive cleanup all day. Once he’s cleaned out we start a special potty training method to get him and his bowels getting along again. My life. It’s never dull.

    My second child is about to turn two and we are having a joint birthday party with friends whose little girl is just a few days younger than our son. The party is at the zoo. Pray for me.

    I am unashamedly obsessed with Celtic Woman and see their concert whenever they come to town.

    I talk to my dogs at the vet like I talk to my kids at the pediatrician.

    I make and decorate cookies for holidays and parties as a hobby. I once made 150 cookies for a wedding reception. My cookies are a big part of the reason I want double ovens in my dream home.

    I could eat hummus every single day and never get sick of it.

    When I was pregnant with my first I developed severe food aversion and lived for weeks on boxed mac ‘n cheese and fried potatoes with ketchup.

  12. In September of last year I was forced to become a stay at home mom (I have MS) and I love it WAY more than I ever enjoyed being in the working world. Before I was working and homeschooling my children but now that I am home all the time I have found that my old way of teaching was just blah to them. We changed up the routine and now they are excited about learning and even have moments of “non-school” where I hear them teaching each other.
    I use the extra free time to write and have actually self-published two books. Even if they never become a runaway best seller at least THAT is off my bucket list.
    I adore reading your blog. You take the off-beat, maybe sometimes scary, always busy life of being a mom and share it with those of us who understand all to well.
    Thank you.

  13. It’s been awhile since I commented. I’m still alive and reading your posts!

    Question for you: Can you please keep your kids that little and adorable forever?

    Also, how do I obtain that Southern drawl that Noah has?
    Does Ali have the same accent? I don’t think I’ve heard her talk before.

    Random quirks about me:

    I memorize dates and birthdays and can pretty much tell you anything about my friends or myself. My parents used to call me “The Calendar Child.”

    I also have a problem with Starbucks and Target. They all know my face or my name. D:

  14. At nearly every restaurant I go to, even fast food, I order the same exact thing every time. I can walk into the Subway next to where I work and I don’t have to say a word. They know exactly what to make.

    I have an obsession with peanut butter, I would eat it all the time, but I don’t like peanuts.

    Continuing with my obsession of peanut butter, I love Reese Cups. But I wont buy/eat them unless the “expiration date” on the wrapper is at least 10 months away. Yes, I can tell a difference in the freshness.

    I’m 31 and I might wear makeup once a month.

    If I could afford it, I would be a Duggar.

    My husband was born missing his left leg due to a severe birth defect. I started dating him when I was 18 and married when we were 21. I have never had “relations” with a man with two legs. :-0

      1. LOL, that gets everyone! Too bad you weren’t really giving away something. My friends that read your blog saw that on Facebook and knew it could only be me….lol.

  15. I wish I I was brave enough to quit my part time job ( special ed preschool teacher) and homeschool my girls. I have always been interested in it but sort of lie to my family and say “oh I would never do it, but wouldn’t it be so flexible”. My 6 year old is this social butterfly and 2 years above her grade level. My 3 year old just worries me but I totally could take on my 6 year old. But I am not brave enough and my husband would go ballistic. We sent her to a Quaker kindergarten and I wish we had left her there for next year. It is too late now unless we want to pay without our scholarship, which I do not! I am stressed about our decision. We are searching for a house and I love my too small townhouse. So that has me stressed.

    My husband started playing the guitar less then a year ago and has collected 4 guitars already in our too small townhouse and although I tell him he sounds good, not so much. He wants to buy a 5th and I objected, now I feel awful, but why does one need 5 guitars?

    I gave birth to my first child in the parking lot of our birth center. Her head came out in target maternity shorts. Buy target maternity shorts, they can catch a baby and that needs to be their slogan. Cecelia has lived up to being the parking lot baby everyday of her life. Her sister gave me 45 min at our birth center before she arrived and the midwives commented on how fiesty and loud she was. It should have been a clue. From 2 weeks until 6 months she did not sleep for more then 20 min at a time unless she was laying on top of me, swaddled. I started seeing things I was so sleep deprived. She slept through the night at age 2 1/2… The teenage years scare me with that one.

    I racewalk. Yep. I was a nationally ranked racewalker at one point. I have always been athletic, competitive swimmer for 15 years, ran cross country, gymnastics, etc. I was decent at swimming, sucked at running but loved it, sucked at gymnastics, awesome at racewalking. Why did it have to be the most embarrassing sport out there? I tried to pick up running again and my knee cap popped out place and was told no more. Racewalking it is…

    Okay, that was my random I am so bored right now sharing….

    1. It might be that fifth guitar that turns him into a legend…

      But probably not.

      Target DEFINITELY needs to talk to you about doing a reenactment-based commercial.

      And racewalking?


      You are an extremely good “tell me something quirky about you” answerer.

  16. I just finished giving a talk at a Ladies Retreat & during it I made this microwave fudge (it went along with the talk). This was the first time I’ve ever had the fudge not turn out. Luckily it didn’t matter for my talk. Now I’m eating it out of a bowl with a spoon.

    Btw I’m a long time lurker & adore your blog. I *may* talk to my husband about you like I know you in real life & he gets all confused. :)

  17. Hi Rachel,

    I just got home from managing our deli. Yeah, we have a deli. It’s not as much fun as it sounds like. :) It is really my husband’s baby, not mine. We had an employee quit today, so that was fun.

    Lessee… I hate talking on the phone to people I don’t know, but I love talking on the internet to people I don’t know.

    I like to cook, and I am always proud of myself when I manage to do a decent amount of “freezer cooking.

    I am a chemist, and I love chemistry.

    I was a devout Fundamentalist Christian for many years, but I am now an agnostic.

    We are happily childfree and plan to remain that way for the foreseeable future. I love kids, but what I love most is to be able to give them BACK.

    I would enjoy writing a guest post, but I’m not sure what it would be about.

    1. I don’t talk on the phone to anyone. Last Tuesday my husband texted me to ask me if I wanted to talk on the phone (after we hadn’t had a chance to talk all day) and I said no.

  18. I came across your blog looking for active Alabama bloggers when we used to work up there.

    My wife secretly stalked you for a long time. She truly believed you guys were gonna be buddies and hang out during the 30 mins we’d drive through B’ham every week. She wanted to come home early from our vacation last year to hang out with you guys at Legoland or a restaurant or something.

    I worry about your not-cat more than should be reasonable, particularly since I’m not at all a cat person. If you could keep us abreast of Fred’s status on the reg, that would be swell.

    I’m a native Floridian, 5th generation, who, despite living 45 minutes from the gate, hasn’t been to Disney in 5 years. I think it’s partially my aversion to big crowds, and partly you just take it for granted that it’s right there – I could go any time, so I don’t have to go . . . Harry Potter world is another deal altogether – that is not to be trifled with.

    I change jobs for fun. In the past 2 years, I’ve had 4 jobs – an IT consultant, a professional fisherman, an advocate for wildlife conservation, and now the Vice President of IT for a company that helps adults with disabilities. I say “it’s not work if you love what you do!”

  19. Let’s see, you know I’m 33 and an editor and have a dog and husband.

    My dad is a Mennonite pastor.
    My brother has Fragile X Syndrome and I’m a carrier.
    I tried out for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
    I interned for Interview magazine, met Scarlett Johanssen, and helped organize a birthday party for Elton John.
    I worked at Chuck E Cheese in high school and was in the mouse costume a couple times.
    I also worked in Amish country one summer in college.

    Just a few random factoids.

  20. Rachel! Hope you get some time to rest!! So, apparently, Bennett is taking lessons in potty training from Noah. The child has “regressed” which, according to the doctor, is due to his new baby sister. He holds #2 in for many days, and then only goes #2 in his pants. Or on our front sidewalk. That’s fun.
    But I hear it passes! Thankfully, Cady (age 5) hasn’t regressed and just likes “playing mommy” with Grace (3 months). Baptism is next weekend and I’m just hoping my 3 year old doesn’t have an accident on the floor of the church.
    Interesting stories… hmmm, When I lived in Italy,. I once stowed away on the Orient Express! Oh! And also while I was there, I hitchhiked with nuns to Rome!

  21. Wow, I have nothing on these folks above me, but here’s some randomness:

    I have a birthmark in my eye, as in on my eyeball, in the brown part. It’s a black spot that’s been there my whole life.
    I have degenerative disc disease at 28 yrs. old. I’m praying for strides to be made in non-invasive treatments before I have to resort to the “s” word.
    You know the hubs is a cop… our last name is Bacon, but he had 2 guys graduate from the Academy with him with last names of Pigg and Hamm. Oink oink.
    I have WAY too many hobbies.
    I can roller skate like a beast. I grew up on them (parents owned a rink)
    Despite being a relatively neat person otherwise, my car looks like someone lives inside it, all the time.
    Yours is the only blog I read consistently. I still read, but not daily like I did at my desk job, I play catch-up from time to time. Love your outlook on life and parenting and wish we were neighbors!

  22. I’m Kathleen and I’m a 4th year medical student who cut my lip while shaving my armpit. Needless to say I didn’t go into surgery. Thanks for all the posts Rachel! You got me through med school and now you need to get me through residency. I’d love to hear some marriage advice given I’ll be getting married in less than a month. You and Chris seem like you have an awesome marriage…do you ever fight? Yesterday, I told Kevin, “I’m holding your hand right now but really I just want to smack you”….is this normal while house-hunting?

    1. I’ve been trying to think through some things to write a marriage advice post, but haven’t gotten anywhere yet (I’ve been pretty sick for the last month so my head isn’t cooperating) – but I was going through all my comments and wanted to tell you that YES – that’s totally normal. Also? Marriage is WAY more fun than engagement. Engagement was the most miserable I’ve been in my entire life! So much stress – and the wedding always ends up being more about the guests than yourself anyway.

      All that to say, don’t worry! Survive the wedding, and Marriage will be great! And congratulations – it must be getting close now! :-)

  23. Do you plan to do any more posts about denim? Those posts are how I found your blog in the first place and I really enjoyed them all.

  24. Hey Rachel. I am Ralph, but you already know that. I just want to say thank you for helping me get into blogging. I started Wednesday of last week, and I am having so much fun writing about what is going on in my life. It’s also fun to read other people’s blogs and get to know them through their blogs. Thanks for giving some advice on what I should do because it was really helpful. Hope you get a chance to read my blog one day soon and let me know what you think. Hope everything goes well for you this week and talk with you soon.


  25. Here is what I wanted to share. I haven’t had time to copy and paste it here until today. I emailed this to my Sister last August sometime. If I had a blog, (and I don’t) it would be mostly stories like this.

    My kids got up even before the crack of dawn.

    That small detail alone threw a kink in my whole day.

    But I somehow managed to bathe, brush my teeth, dry my hair, cook Nolan 2 eggs, and listen to Landon’s broken record of, “But all I want is a Pop Tart, But all I can eat today is a Pop Tart, Well if you won’t give it to me, then I’ll just climb up on the cabinet and get it myself”, all before my Mother-in-law got there.

    Then Nolan screamed like a pterodactyl on speed because Landon was still wandering around the house eating his beloved Pop Tart. So I gave Nolan a Nutri-Grain bar as not to feel left out.

    Then everyone was semi settled and I had to use the bathroom. So I hurried in there quietly, because heaven knows I can’t even relieve myself for 5 minutes without some little person interrupting.

    Then Landon yelled, “UHH Mama?!? Nolan’s wiping this red jelly all over everything.”

    Great. “It’s OK. I’ll clean it up.”

    Then Landon yelled, “UHHHHHHH MAMA! My nose is bleeding really bad all over the place.”

    Wow. “Grab a paper towel and come HERE!”

    So he did, screaming and crying at the sight of blood, and saying he was choking and couldn’t breathe (good grief-hypochondriac) with Nolan hot on his heels still screaming like a pterodactyl.

    Enter my Mother-in-law, who of course rushed to the sound of the chaos.

    And Yes. I was still sitting on the toilet.

    1. OH you poor thing!!

      (I’ve been sick for a couple weeks and am just getting caught up on comments.)

      We’ve all had moments like that, haven’t we? And WHY does everything have to go wrong all at once? I so feel your pain.

  26. I haven’t been commenting a lot lately…too much of that whole LIFE thing. But I’m still reading! Really late to this party, but here are some quirks from me:

    – I had a fellow ask me, three days prior to my wedding, to dump my fiance and marry him instead. It was weird. We had never even been on a date.

    – I had Cat Scratch Fever as a child. I had to go to the ER and get a shot of adrenaline.

    – We had a Peeping Tom at one point when I was a kid. He was really bold–he would continue standing in our window, looking in, even when it was obvious that we could see him. It turned out to be one of my mom’s co-workers.

    – I only eat M&Ms in groups of four.

    This was fun! I’ve loved reading all the other comments. :)

  27. I am brewing baby #4. I am working towards having this one at home with a midwife. He will be my 3rd vbac. I want to have it video recorded to as detailed as possible. Almost everyone I ask about that is horrified and grossed out but my neighbor is delighted and said she would record it for me. I really want to see myself give birth. I love birthing videos and I can spend hours watching them on youtube. I have my doubts about posting my own birthing experience but I am considering the possibility.

  28. I know this is kind of late, but I’ll tell you three things about me that no one would believe upon first meeting me:

    1. My mother is full on Hispanic. She was born in Mexico and immigrated when she was 17. I have pale skin, blue eyes and auburn hair and I don’t tan very well at all.

    2. I look at least 8 years younger than my true age. I’m 32, but most people assume I am a recent college grad or something. Since my husband and I waited 8 years to have kids, and our oldest is only 5 most people think we have been married within the last 6 or 7 years.

    3. I recently had a tummy tuck but I only weigh about 115(on a light day). Two pregnancies wreaked havoc on my belly. I weighed 105 before my first pregnancy. My first newborn weighed 8.5lbs at birth and he was two weeks early. My second was 7.9lbs and he was 3 weeks early. Apparently, my husband and I make decent sized babies!

  29. I have to join in too. Totally do this again – it’s fun!

    My random fact for you is that I felt the need to be present for my son’s circumcision. Yes you read that right. I felt that since he’s only like a day old a parent should be with him. I asked my husband … he was “not interested”. So when they asked about when they were going to preform the procedure, I asked if I could watch. The nurse sorta did a double take and said something like “you want to watch?”.

    To spare you all the details, I was there for my son. No it wasn’t that bad. The worst part was when they strapped him down to keep him still. The plastic form looked cold to me.

    Well that’s my random story! I hope you enjoyed it.

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