Grilling with Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life
Today for #AskAwayFriday I’m swapping questions with Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life. We are doing the questions a little bit differently today…we are swapping 5 questions. Lighter, yes, in numbers only. Don’t feel like you are missing out…Michelle and I intentionally did that because we know each other very well, and have been friends for a long time. We tried to ask each other “tougher” questions (hence “grilling”) so our readers would have an opportunity to know us as we know each other. And we may include a grill recipe or two as well, I know Michelle has posted a few and next week is doing one for ribs (on the grill). And crock pot bar-b-que sauce. Come back.
In case you don’t know #AskAwayFriday was created by Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a way to connect with other bloggers: choose a partner, swap 10 questions and post your answers. It’s a great opportunity to get to know other bloggers while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world!
Now to welcome our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts…
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
This week we welcome back our co-host Stephanie from “So, I’ve been thinking…”
So…grab our button, follow our beautiful/funny/talented hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!
If you don’t know Michelle, she is the creator and mastermind behind A Dish of Daily Life, a lifestyle blog with recipes (like this panini on the grill), recipe collections and how-to ideas for everything from social media to cyber-security to basic (and not-so-basic) household tasks – photo organization, anyone? It’s definitely worth checking out her site – she’s a great writer and you won’t be disappointed.
Before I dive into the questions Michelle asked me I’ll tell you my recollection of how we met. I ask Michelle what she remembers and you can compare our versions when you visit her…after you’ve read my answers here, of course.
A friendship is born…
Ten years ago, my oldest son was starting pre-school. My husband and I had been in town for almost three years at that point. We had a few friends; my closest local friend and I had researched the various pre-schools, yet I still felt “new” and unsure about the whole experience. I wasn’t familiar with the town and definitely didn’t know many people at all – my world was very, very small. I had been overwhelmed by the school selection process and while I knew it was necessary for three year-old Scar to go to preschool, I was pretty nervous.
That first day he was confident, held my hand and bravely went into the classroom to meet the other kids. The other parents and I lingered for a bit – but eventually I had to kiss him goodbye and leave. The leaving.
For me, at least.
I guess it was for him, too. When I kneeled down to say goodbye I could see his confidence was less, “You’re leaving?” his little kid eyes growing wide as a bit of confusion set in. I had to go fast before either of us started crying. He didn’t want me to go and I didn’t want to. What if something happens? What if he needs me? What if kids are mean to him? The fears and anxieties would scramble around in my head nearly preventing me from walking out the door.
But I did.
Nauseous and worried, I said goodbye and walked out the classroom door, up the stairs to leave the building and stood there stunned – not knowing what to do next. I didn’t want to leave. It was only two hours, I could wait right there – just in case. But I couldn’t, not just because that would be crazy but also because I had two not-quite-two-year-olds at home waiting for me with my husband who was also waiting to go to work.
Then I saw the moms in the front of the building, near the windows, peeking in. There was actually one mom in particular, in the ideal spot, watching everything going on in the classroom without being seen by any of the kids. I didn’t know her but I needed to know what was happening.
“Can you see my son?”
“Which one is he?”
“Dark blue shirt, dark hair.”
“No. Nope, I don’t see him. Where was he?”
“By the door when I left.”
“Dark blue, dark hair.”
“I don’t, um, wait, I think I see him. By the door? He’s over in the corner. Crying.”
I immediately knew I’d made a mistake. I couldn’t look myself but I couldn’t stand the thought of him being there and being sad. “Oh no.” And the look on my face must have spoken all the thoughts in my head.
“Don’t worry. He will be fine. This is my third time and each kid has been different and they’ve all been fine.”
“You’ve done this three times?”
“Yeah, and they all are just fine. I’ll introduce him to my son so he will know someone. He will be okay.”
I had to take her word for it.
And I did. Then I took more words…over the next few days and weeks, that have somehow become years by now…about her family, kids, hopes, dreams and disappointments.
Life building and friendship building words.
I could stop here and be happy and know you all understand our friendship. But there’s more. So here you go…ready or not…
Michelle’s questions for me:
We’ve known each other a long time…ten years.
Our kids met in preschool, but they play different sports and went to different elementary schools. I don’t think they ever had any classes together in intermediate school. I think they have lunch together this year. And yet for all these years, they have remained friends in spite of really not seeing each other all that much.
And the same parallel could be drawn about us…you’re really the only person I am really still connected to from preschool. Not that I’m not friendly with people, but you’re the only one from those years that I call or do anything with. Since our kids were off in so many different directions, we’ve gone periods of time without seeing each other or talking, and yet we still remain friends. I could reflect on why that is, but I’m curious on your thoughts on it too.
I think we’ve stayed friends because it’s easy between us. You are very straightforward and I love people who are like that. No guessing games, no being mad at me for not calling if we haven’t talked in a while. Life is busy, we both know that. I’m not worried if you hang out with other people, even people we have in common, it doesn’t bear any reflection on our friendship. I like you and your family, I know you like me and mine. If we get together once per year or just see each other at a blog conference or even see each other 3 days in one week – I’m okay with any of it. I enjoy talking to you and I know it’s reciprocal.
Back when I first started blogging, you made the comment to me that I was living your dream. At that point, I was unemployed and trying to start a new business. I feel like I am re-inventing a new career for myself, and I got the feeling you were wanting to do that too. Now that you have started blogging as well, what do you think is the next step in your blog career? Do you see it branching off into something else related?
Honestly, I see many possibilities.
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my blog. There are link-ups I love and people I love to read, I have a million ideas to write about and yet…there is something. Something that holds me back from just letting go and letting it all out. The next step for me is to simply set up a schedule and stick to it – if I wrote as often as I think about writing I could fill posts five days every week. Yet, I don’t. I sit back and think and overanalyze and talk myself out of many, many things.
This past year – writing and learning and absorbing – I am using it all and see, as I mentioned, many possibilities. I feel like I’m at a point to start implementing and start doing. I’m not 100% putting it in words here today but this summer is going to be interesting in terms of the next evolution of where I see my career and expertise taking me.
We’re both sports moms and I think we are similar in our expectations of sports…what is your BIGGEST pet peeve on the sports field or the sidelines?
I’m going to rant a little bit: This has been a horrible year. And an amazing year. You (Michelle) have heard me cry over comments and meanness directed towards my children and husband (as a volunteer coach) about every issue from playing time to Greg’s attire on the sidelines (because a polo shirt and khaki shorts apparently aren’t okay to coach in. Really. Someone criticized him for that. On the same day he coached two games back to back because both “head” coaches had to work and couldn’t be there. When a “geez, thanks for stepping up” would have been way more appropriate.)
Horrible because one son who was double rostered was slammed for “taking playing time” from other kids on the team. (side note: “Are You Freaking Kidding Me???”) The same son who gave 100% to both teams at every practice and every game. He accepted his placement humbly and still scored and assisted and worked his a$$ off no matter which team he played for, which was many times both teams in the same day. Sports parents can be the absolute worst; some of the most arrogant and selfish and fake people I’ve ever encountered. Because really, if you are saying that on the sidelines but being nice to my face…why would you bother? Do you not think I’m going to hear about the things you say? Do you think I’m going to like you anyway? I’m not. Don’t bother.
So anyway, this year was frustrating to say the least, and a bit lonely because I can’t look those people in the eyes and be nice when I know what they’ve said behind my family’s back, so I don’t engage. And I have about 8,000 photos to prove it because I take photos instead of engaging.
I also have the validation of that same son being selected to go to the CONNY All-Star Tournament, there is only one player selected from each team, where he played well and worked hard and showed why he deserved to be there.
All of that being said – my biggest pet peeve is a parent or former coach standing on the sidelines coaching. I don’t feel there is any place for it – even if your intentions are good – no one but the coaches on the field should be offering any direction to any child on the field during a game. Coaching is the coaches job, if a parent notices such a huge misappropriation of talent or attention or a gap in skills…contact the coach himself. If the idea of presenting your ideas to an adult is intimidating or overwhelming or causes you to second guess your words…then maybe you shouldn’t be speaking them in the first place. DO NOT COACH FROM THE SIDELINES.
And don’t criticize volunteer coaches.
Another thing we have in common is a love of photography. What do you wish was in your brand new Epiphanie camera bag?
My brand new, beautiful Epiphanie bag is pretty full. I have everything I need and my only desire is a new lens: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. Of course maybe a lens baby or some other fun lenses would be great but I really, really love taking sports photos – they don’t even have to be of only my kids – and the lens I want would help me perfect my photos. That said…if I win one of the many Canon EOS 5D Mark III contests I’m not going to complain. I’m also not complaining about my current camera the Canon 7D, I’ve still got lots of room to learn and grow with it. So I guess I got the bag to hold all of the great items I already have!!
As I get older, I am starting to feel a lot more reflective on life…I think that comes with age. Do you feel like that too? What lessons do you feel like life is teaching you right now?
I am definitely more reflective. I can be a little abrupt and outspoken (in case you couldn’t tell from answer #3), I react sometimes when it would be better for me to be quiet. I feel like I am learning that – and yet I feel like I’ve always been learning that. It’s not easy to take a step back and allow myself to consider where someone else may be coming from and understand it may not have anything to do with me. I am working on that for myself and hopefully teaching the same to my children.
Professionally I also feel like I’m at a crossroads. It is time for me to stop thinking (as I mentioned) and start moving. Everyday I see someone chasing their dreams and – whether succeeding or failing – they are living. They aren’t waiting for approval or permission. It’s amazing and incredible to watch. And it’s time.
Thank you, Michelle, for the great questions and now I’ll be calling you all of the time because I probably just made a few people angry with my rant. I guess it was time to get it all out there. Now I’d like to know…what are your pet peeves? Do you have a hobby you love? What lessons would you say you are learning right now? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!
Be sure to check out our Facebook page “AskAwayFriday” for a great place to meet up and send out a #BuddyRequest if you need a partner to swap with!
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