Bree at Tea and Bree asked me to join her for a button swap in the month of August. The month has come, and almost gone, and I have enjoyed getting to know my partner, Michaela. Putting this together has not been easy going. There has been one technical issue after another, including being locked out of my Google account and HTML with a life of its own. Thanks to Brianna who was up until midnight retyping this interview when all attempts to repair the formatting proved impossible.
You can find this lovely young lady at Rhapsody in Pink. I believe the pairing for this project was quite random so I found it amusing to realize how much Michaela and I have in common.
The first thing I love to know about people, after knowing their name (which I might quickly forget) is how they came to know the Lord. So will you tell me how you met Jesus?
First of all, I must say--I am so excited to be participating in this “button swap” idea of Bree’s. Not only is it a fun event, but I've gotten to know a lovely fellow blogger, and am able to share some personal insight that is, well, frankly, is quite unique. Kat definitely knows how and what to ask. I'm very honored. :)
Now to answer this question, having grown up in a Christian home, it can be a little hard to pin-point an exact Salvation date. However, making Jesus a personal part of one's life is vital--over the year's I've learned ...via my parents (who are such a stronghold!) and then in personal study. My first profession of faith was when I was 5 years old, while listening to an episode of Jungle Jam (please tell me I wasn't the only child on earth obsessed with that show!?) All I knew was that mom and dad, and well, Gruffy Bear wanted me to accept Christ into my heart. And I prayed a little prayer. Not legit, but a step! Again, when I was 8 years old I remember specifically sitting in church and "praying a prayer". I'd been baptized at 7 years old...but it wasn't until then that I actually sealed my commitment. I've since learned that knowing Christ is a relationship--prayers don't Save you.
My journey with Christ has been anything but smooth. As a strong willed gal, He's had to break me more than once. I've fallen again and again, straightened things out, failed, and keep trying. It's a continuous adventure! Now in my early 20's I'm truly discovering a personal, deep, drastically challenging friendship with my Jesus. I've taken His word--not as "well, this is my parent's way" and, well, they're my heroes...and if my mom and dad say it's true, it must be!"--but rather as a Spiritual map to show me His WAY.
I understand you are part Italian. I am half Italian and love everything about the food, family, the culture, the il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing.) What is the best thing about growing up with Italian roots?
You have such a pretty way of stating things, Kat! :)
Yes, I am “part” Italian--75%, actually. My mother was born in Compobosso Italy, a little city in “the shin of the boot”--about three hours from Rome. Because of this, my heritage as an American Italian is very unique. Why? My grandparents speak broken, heavily-accented English. . . I've grown up listening and dancing to funky folk music and songs from the hills (that no modern Italian would dare listen to,) . . .and most of my mothers family still lives in Italy and France.
My Nonno (grandfather) runs a tailoring shop from his basement--a dark, outdated, wonderful little hole. The glued-together tables, the bowl of stale, overly sugary gumdrops--carefully calculated into each customer's bill--the long mirrors poised against the wall. . .are all reflections of this tiny, stubborn, soft-hearted man.
Upstairs is Nonna's domain: the kitchen. I feel Nonna in the air, in the aroma of garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce. Something is always simmering on the stove, pizza placed on the counter for random munching. My nonna is the world’s greatest cook--anyone who's eaten in her home vouch for it.
There is nothing more lovely than biting into a slightly chewy, crispy piece of bread dough, sprinkled with chunks of tomato. This, my friends, is pizza. Pizza in Italy isn't slathered in cheese, and heavy red sauce and meatballs are not only American, but Sicilian in origin. There's a huge difference between Italians and Sicilians, btw. They speak a completely different language, cook differently, practice different customs. In short, "true" Italians aren't loud-mouthed, obnoxious "Godfather" images. ;)
Some of my favorite traditions include Sunday afternoons in Nonno and Nonna’s living room watching soccer. Yeah, a room full of girls watching soccer. . .Wouldn't have anything to do with the stocky, dark-haired, swoon-ishly handsome players, of course. . .nah, we just love the game. Christmas Eve is also prominent. As is European custom, we gather at night for a huge meal of seafood (breaded calamari! So.good.) Bacala, or cod, is traditional, cooked according to regional style. Nonna bakes her's with bread crumbs, white grapes, and walnuts. Amazing.
The evening end with gifts, several desserts, music, and a PBS special or two.
How did you become a blogger? How long have you been blogging? What is your favorite thing to write about? What is you dislike about blogging? What is your favorite part of being a well read blogger? How have your grown in your blogging and because of your blog? Consider your past posts and tell me what your three favorites are.
Ok, I’m going to try with all my might to shorten my replies! Hey, I can’t help that I’ve had an entire blog post typed out for months on my Italian family. ;)
1. I started blogging via Homeschool Blogger, hoping to meet fellow homeschoolers. I don’t remember all the details (I was about 16 or 17?) but a friend may have invited me.
2. It’s been about 4-5 years since I’ve been blogging (somewhat irregularly).
3. My blog is an online journal; the place where I am just me. Thus I can’t--and don’t--worry about offending anyone. If you don’t like what I write, don’t follow! :)
That said, I write at whim--my favorite topics are family/life events and Spiritual/inspirational thoughts.
4. Ooh, I dislike blogging schedules! ;) I’m somewhat of a “lurker” online, (which is odd, because I am totally opposite IRL,) and would rather read, laugh aloud, and blab everything to anyone nearby then leave comments or keep up with posting, events, and whatnot. Ah, but such is the bloggers life. Good discipline for people who put the pro into “PRO”crastinator. haha
5. I love the friendships I’ve developed via blogging. Truly, some of my dearest friends are bloggy buddies. Their friendship, comments, appreciation, honesty, and encouragement totally make “my little corner of the World Wide Web” worthwhile. Love ya ppls!
6. Well, first of all, my writing style has “grown”. I now know exactly what *I* like to blog about, and I’ve found that my readers usually do too. You can really see my different, constantly changing interest over the years. . .actually, I cringe whenever anyone tells me they’ve gone through my archives. It’s like, “oh. . .please.don’t.do.that.” ;) I mean, most of the picture-links are broken. Um, yeah. . .can’t copy and paste pics from emails. haha
It’s easier just being myself and talking about life than fabricating “unique” or “popular” posts. I want to appear as myself--down to earth. A regular, average girl living day by day with Jesus in mind. Like I said above, I don’t worry about offending in my convictions or lifestyle--and because of that, I have found many treasured friendships.
7. Favorite posts. . .ohh, tough one. Ok, I’ve got to say, “A few of moi favorite heroes”, (where I talk about. . .well, yeah, the title is self-explanatory, ;) ) “An awfully big adventure” (a New Year’s post summarizing 2011,) and one of my newest, “Running”, in which I speak of Christian perseverance.
Tell us a little about your family. What do you love about having lots of sisters? How do you like to spend your family time?
So much for keeping my responses short. ;) It’s only worse in person.
My dad (Dave) is a postal carrier in a nearby town--he’s done some management, but in short, he’s a good ‘ol mailman! I love him with my whole heart. He’s a true family leader, fun person, goof-ball, and very serious about his faith. It’s been an honor to give my daddy my “heart”.
Mom (Patrizia, aka, Patty) is a homemaker, coffee lover, strong Christian, and huge role model to her girls. She’s put up with just about everything an emotionally-charged household can conjure! I’ve mostly grown out of personality-clashes and have developed a very special friendship with mom. That’s the fun, adventure-some part of being an adult still living at home!
. . .and then there are the girls. For those of you who don’t know, I am the eldest of 5 sisters--me (21), Anna (19), Julia (15), Maria (13), and Lidia (10). Daily life in an all-girl family is. . .special. Sometimes I regret not having brothers to balance things out, but the Lord has provided several “adopted” brothers who suffice quite nicely. :)
Anywho--we are super-feminine with a rough-and-tumble twist. Thanks to dad. ;) It’s a blast sharing every part of every day with 4 beautiful, talented young ladies. We laugh. We cry. We swoon. We bicker. We shop. We cook. We listen to Adventures in Odyssey. We jump on the trampoline while serenading the neighborhood with The High Kings and Broadway.
Lets put it this way--having all sisters is hilariously fun. . .when everyone stops crying.
I see you are taking up walking and we know you like to write, play piano and dance, what other ways to you enjoy your free time?
Reading has always been a passion of mine--usually dramatic, slighty-dark, incredibly hero-ed, powerful and sometimes sappy-ish Victorian literature, like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Pearl Maiden’, ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’, ‘Les Miserables’, etc, etc. I also enjoying cooking, shopping, (Forever 21!) watching movies, listening to my varied and unconventional playlist (hey, Celtic, Classical Crossover, soundtrack and opera is normal, RIGHT? Right.) dog training (when a dog is available--praying about that one,) road tripping, going to concerts/plays, and most recently, costume production for Independent Christian films. Oooh. . .and Anna, our dad, and I are crazy about rodeos and bull riding. Latest pastime (watching rodeos and bull riding, that is.)
Tell me about some of your favorites? Movie... book... food... season...
1. Definitely, without question or doubt--Fiddler on the Roof. We watch it every New Year’s Eve for my dad’s birthday; it reminds me of my family in a lot of ways. Five daughters. Strict tradition. European background. And gotta adore the music!
2. For some reason I can never think of just ONE favorite book. If bookS count, I’d say ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. Especially ‘The Silver Chair’. For darker stuffs, definitely ‘Pearl Maiden’. Inspirationally, ‘When Dreams Come True’ by Eric and Leslie Ludy.
3. PASTA! Even more than chocolate and coffee. I could seriously eat pasta all day. . .every day. . .for the rest of my life.
4. Hmm. . .at one time I’d say summer, but now probably late spring and early fall (LOVE fall fashion. . .knee length boots, leather gloves, cardigans, trench coats. . .)
For my readers who have never been to your blog, sum up yourself and/or your blog in ten words or less.
Passionate about her Savior, LIFE, growing, learning. . .and chocolate.
Simple ponderings. Simple girl. A small piece of me. (blog motto)
If you knew you were to die tomorrow, what would you do today.
I would spend the day with my family (first and foremost)--making wrongs right (if that’s even remotely possible,) and in quiet time with God. SERIOUSLY praying, seeking, repenting. .It would be priority to write or call, possibly visit, all my closest friends.
If I came to your home, what would we do? Where would we go? What would we eat? What would you most want to show me in your real life world?
There is a certain regime we follow with girly visitors. :) The most important involves a visit to our beautiful historical Square. . .chatting at the coffee shop (think mocha’s and giant-sized homemade cookies,) rambling about the tree-lined sidewalks, stopping for pictures in the gazebo and with Gomer. . .the army-guy-statue. Total MUST. ;) We’d stop by the used book store for priceless, $1 treasures, look for stylish bargains at my favorite consignment shop, and last but not least. . .make the almost impossible choice between frozen yogurt at Lemonberry or lunch at the tearoom. :sigh: Perfectly girly day. . .though I’ve known some guys to enjoy it. ;)
If you were staying the weekend we’d have to make pasta together. . .and I’d HAVE to take you to the creepy-goth costume shop. It’s literally packed floor to ceiling with vintage clothing, hats, gloves. . .
Who has had the greatest impact on your life and why?
My parents. They have been through so much together, with us as a family, and individually in my own life struggles. I couldn't make it day-by-day without their support, example, and wisdom! We are a very openly-vocal family, so it isn’t an issue sharing the deepest feelings of my heart with either mom or dad. . .and yes, that includes “guy stuff”.
Outside of my family, I have been very inspired by the writings of Eric and Leslie Ludy. Just a couple of months ago I saw them speak, and have since read ‘When Dreams Come True’. They are such a beautiful example of purity!
Thank you so much Bree, for suggesting this event! And thank you Kat for interviewing me and allowing me to spatter my life’s story all over your blog. ;) ::hugs::
Michaela blogs about fashion, food, family, faith, entertainment and lots more at Rhapsody in Pink. Check her out!