My 25 Things

Remember the old facebook 25 Things back in 2008 when everyone was just joining facebook and getting reacquainted with one another?  I found mine and thought I’d use them here as an introduction (I know…real creative).  Hi, I’m Carissa, and….

1. My favorite time of the day is about 6 am when you beat everyone else up and the world is still quiet and the day full of promise. My least favorite time of the day is about 5 pm with kids screaming, food being thrown while you wait for your spouse to return home from work. This is a difficult hour for most parents, I believe.

2. Walkability is key any place that I live. I must be able to walk to a grocery store, bank, park or school. 

3. I need space and husband needs affection and attention. Hopefully this will be our only major issue as we grow old and gray together.

4. Running has played an important role in my life since my freshman year of college. I’ve completed a marathon and several 10-milers and other races. I believe running is a fantastic way to explore a new city and has created some of my best memories of places I’ve lived and visited. If only I had the runner’s body to accompany this hobby.

5. I spent a year in Detroit, MI and one in Boston, MA before moving to Washington DC (Arlington). I lived there for 7.5 years and it still feels more like home than any other place. I miss it dearly although I live in Chicago now.

6. I have four children and they have each shaped and molded me into the woman I am in ways unique and specific to each one.

7. I feel very familiar with tragedy having lost my aunt and uncle in a shocking accident at a young age and two close friends in college. It may sound strange, but I feel very well equipped to deal with shock and sadness. And because of this I’m also very good at savoring the good times and know all about perspective.

8. The greatest loss of my life will always be the death of my baby daughter, Annabelle, unexpectedly when I was 39 weeks pregnant. Delivering her was the most challenging thing I ever have and will ever do. She was a beautiful and perfect baby who died for no good medical reason. I can not wait to meet her someday and learn more about what a great kid she would have been.

9. I live with the following mantra and use it to get through any tough day: “anyone who has lost a child has been given a unique gift and that is the knowledge that you’ve already experienced the worst day of your life”.

10. The one and only reason I am living in Chicago is my husband’s job. It was a bit of a blow to move here..silly and petty as it sounds, its true. I know it was the right decision for us as a family and I’ve tried to embrace it and found many good friends and positive aspects about the city.

11. People amaze me and people annoy me. I learned a few years ago to try to surround myself with positivity and only the people who amaze me as much as possible.

12. I believe in forgiving but NOT forgetting. Memory is important for self-protection and to avoid a chronic situation. 

13. I love Diet Coke. I really strive to have just one a day..first thing in the morning. No coffee – just my soda, preferably from McDonald’s fountain, but if not a can is fine.  I’ve been giving it up (unsuccessfully) every New Years Day or Lenten season for the last three years.

14. My family is very important to me – but my friends are extremely important to me. One of the best lessons my parents taught me was one they taught by example..and that is to have a lot of friends who you find interesting and inspiring, neat people. I love not only my friends, but my friend’s spouses and siblings and parents and cousins. I need to see my friend’s houses, their grocery store and town. I thank all of the people and experiences who help shape my friends into the people they are.

15. I’m most comfortable in a fleece, khaki’s and sneaks. I don’t know much about designers and would be happy if I could only shop at Lands End, Ann Taylor Loft and Target.

16. My husband and I have been married 13 years and went to Ireland for our honeymoon. That destination says a lot about us as individuals and a couple: we enjoy exploring new places, laughing, discussing and having a beer together.

17. Speaking of which my favorite place to be is either in an Irish pub on a cozy winter day with music, fish-n-chips and a cider or at the Quarterdeck in Arlington on a sunny spring day with crabs and pitcher beer…both places with Chris.

18. I spent a semester studying in Luxembourg in college and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to so many places and meet so many good friends. 

19. I was one dental appointment away from joining the Peace Corps after college…my assignment was forestry in West Africa. My best friend Sarah and I were looking at margarita glasses in Target when I decided to take a job in Detroit instead. She later introduced me to my husband.

20. If I could live anywhere it would be Seattle. But I hate to fly which poses a problem with that destination.

21. My son was rushed into emergency surgery to repair his intestines when he was 3 days old. Having him baptized and preparing for his surgery over a panicked few hours was the second biggest challenge of my life. However, it was our finest hour as a couple and I often say “we had a baby on Tuesday, but we became parents on Friday”.

22. Nursing my children in the middle of the night is the sweetest time. I don’t say this to endorse breastfeeding for anyone other than myself. Whatever anyone does with their own kids is their own business. But for me, it has been a true gift.

23. I feel grateful to work from home part-time which allows me to be with my kids while keeping my mind professionally challenged. It isn’t easy, but I know I’m lucky for the opportunity and I work very hard at making it work for all parties involved.

24. I used accupuncture to help get pregnant with my third child and loved it. I wish I had the funds to do it regularly.

25. If there was one quality I hope to pass on to my children it is a sense of responsibility to give back to community and make your world a better place (in small or big ways). I feel passionately about supporting what you believe in and standing up to make a difference.

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