Friday, December 7, 2012

7 Quick Takes: 'Pull the Curtain Back' Edition

I was reading a newly discovered blog gem earlier this week and I experienced a pang of annoyance that I could not ascertain an 'about me' section about the author anywhere on the page. Feeling momentarily frustrated, I decided to search for post tags with a similar title, but was thwarted anew. 'What's this?' I asked myself, indignantly (for I am 9 times out of 10 indignant in my internal monologues) 'Don't I deserve more information about this author/her background/her academic pedigree/her favorite time of day to go to Target?'

Um, no. No I don't. But the entire experience caused me to look in my blogging mirror, see my coal-black kettle reflection staring at me accusingly, and decide to offer you fine people some kind of autobiographical nonsense about myself.

Since I am only moderately technologically literate, I have yet to discover how to make separate 'pages' on my blog, so you won't find those handy little tabs up top. Grace could probably tutor me, but then again, she is possibly busy training for a marathon while cooking a 3rd trimester turkey and peeling one toddler off another well-dressed mini model, so I won't impose.

Without further mind-numbing explanation or detail, I present to you:

7 fun facts about Jenny @ Mama Needs Coffee
1. I do, in fact, need coffee. Every morning, regardless of season, gestational state, or geographic location. When Dave and I got married, we blew most of our wedding budget on a 12 day honeymoon on the Big Island of Hawaii (highly recommend. My mom has almost forgotten about the plastic cutlery at our tables, but our luau memories are firmly intact).
Although I was more relaxed and happy than I have ever been in my life, I still needed at least 12 ounces of the black magic to get my day started. And please, within one hour of waking. Lest the migraine sets in. One year I gave it up for lent, and it was .... okay, it will never happen again. The end.

2. I am a Catholic 're-vert' ... sort of. The oldest of 7 kids, I was born and raised in a good Catholic family, but I did attend public school. This + an insatiable desire to date football players led me to flout my parent's wishes and attend CU Boulder as an undergrad. I followed a shoulderpad-clad linebacker up to the People's Republic and stayed for 4 sad years, the large part of which were spent smoking, binge drinking, eating Chipotle, and skipping classes. Oh, and skipping Masses.
Thanks to the tireless prayers of my faithful mother, the loving pursuit of a FOCUS missionary, and the timely wager of my holier-than-me little sister, I came to myself sometime in the spring of my Senior year and made the life-altering decision to transfer to Franciscan University of Steubenville, where I did one victory lap of undergraduate studies and then a couple years of MA work in theology and, appropriately enough, counseling. I thank God every day (or at least on the days I remember to) for the second chance, and for the beautiful family He has given me.

3.  Pope John Paul II was - and continues to be - instrumental in my conversion and my ongoing pursuit of God's will for my life. On the day he died, I spent the morning glued to my tv, missing all my morning classes and almost missing work. At a certain point, I couldn't take the talking heads any longer, and I wandered a few blocks to the nearest Catholic parish where I found an image of him displayed in the front of the church, accompanied by flowers and candles.
I sat dazedly in the pew, tears streaming inexplicably down my face, for I don't know how long. It was me and a little old lady alone in the church for at least an hour, but at some point a journalist from the Denver Post happened upon me, snapped a photo of me kneeling before the late pontiff's image, and asked if he could conduct a brief interview for their special coverage section. Long story short: I have a picture and accompanying quote of myself in the paper on the day my conversion began in earnest.

4.  I still love to drink. Like, love me a glass of wine or a beer (or two). I take the illustrious GK Chesterton as my model of authentic Christian living, recalling his admonition to 'let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair' and taking to heart his declaration that 'in Catholicism, the pipe, the pint, and the Cross can all fit together.' Amen.

 5. I have an unshakable love for cats. I know, I know...I missed my true calling to be a chubby spinster in a velour jogging suit surrounded by four-legged friends eating from glass dishes of fancy feast...but it's true: I've never met a cat I didn't at least sort of like.
 Case in point: approximately once a year, I petition my husband in earnest to relent his 'no pets' standard and allow a feline into our house. He then informs me that 'my fertility is probably returning' (we've been pregnant or nursing for our entire marriage thus far), and I pout, decide he is right, and go back to tempting neighborhood strays into our yard with dishes of 1% milk. They never stay. Needless to say, I am tres excited for our Roman relocation for, among other things, the opportunity to befriend literally thousands of stray cats that populate the city.

6. I love to run. I try to log 5-10 miles a week these days, because I'm mostly running indoors and treadmills are boooooooring. But the childcare at my gym is stellar, so what can I do? I have run 5 half marathons in my former life, and I hope to run another...someday. As of now, I'm still 20 lbs overweight with baby fluff and mah feet hurt after an hour of Zumba, so suffice it to say, I'm not in 13.1 shape. But someday...

7. Despite being raised in an awesomely large family, and being the oldest of said brood, I've never wanted a large family of my own. What I mean is, I've never dreamed  of having my own baseball team or fantasized about a 15-passenger van full of people who look like me. Now, we practice NFP, so every month or so we have the 'is this a good time to be open to another member of this family' conversation. And so far, we've said 'yep' twice.
Being a faithful, NFP-practicing Catholic does not, contrary to popular misconception, mean having as many kids as physically possible. It does mean being open to God's will for your family - for your entire married life. So the reality is, we might end up with a large family in the end, if we determine that to be God's will for our marriage. The cool thing is, it's an ongoing conversation. So while today doesn't feel like the day where I can confidently say 'Yeah, 6 kids would be great!' I might feel differently 7 years or 7 weeks from now. And that's cool.

 So there you have it, folks. 7 things about me you didn't know you didn't need to know...

Happy Friday! To Jen's you go.


  1. You just go to "Design" and then "Pages" and then "New Page" to make a page, because this list needs to be a permanent fixture on your blog :)

  2. thank you Colleen - years of fruitless searching blogger couldn't do what you did in 5 minutes!

  3. I sorta love that you followed around football players. Sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. But It is wonderful that you found your way back to the Church. And congrats on not being a cat lady.

  4. I love that you did this, Jenny! I also love the part about Blessed John Paul the Great AND drinking coffee. Yes and yes. Hope you are well!

  5. First time commenter here, but figure this is as good a post as any to finally say that I really, really enjoy your blog. And I envy your coffee experiences to come in Italy.

  6. I love this Jenny! I learned so much about you and want to see your snippet in the Denver Post before you're in Rome! I love this so much I may copy you and do it myself. I am realizing that I don't know as much about my closest friends as I thought- though I know all about how they breastfed, potty trained, and how they manage tantrums during Mass!

  7. Darling, I just love this! I'm so glad I married you three years ago and that we're moving to Italy next month. What a joy to share life with you!

  8. I am so glad you did this post because I definitely had that indignant inner monologue myself when I first started following you.

    ...and I just realized how creepy that sounded. Please trust me that I mean "follow" in a digital way and not a scary stalker way.

  9. I'm in the same boat as quickeyedlove up there--first time commenter but I've been reading for awhile now because my friends reference your blog all the time and talk about how witty it is. And I'm glad they do because I find myself laughing while reading each new post! It's so great getting to know more about the person writing them so thanks for the info :) I'm fairly certain my mom is destined to become a stereotypical old cat lady--we've got 11 cats living outside our house, and she's named them all and feeds them at least once a day. In the winter she even gives them warm water to stave off the cold. We'll see if the trait is genetic or not. Haha.

  10. Love this! Love the JPII story!


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