Thanks again for all the great questions! I'm working my way through, and hopefully being a little less boring.
Heather asked for my top five songs of all time. This is a tough one, but I've narrowed it down to these five: Hallelujah, especially Jeff Buckley's version. Nashville by Liz Phair. Time by Tom Waits. In The Aeroplane Over the Sea by The Neutral Milk Hotel. Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens.
Ryley had some more questions, starting with if I could only eat one food for a year, what would it be? I'm going to assume that calories don't count, so my one food would be pizza because I could switch up the toppings.
She next asked what my perfect last meal would be... I would definitely start with an antipasto salad, followed by lobster with LOTS of melted butter, homemade french fries, and a big slice of chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. I'd want wine and beer with the meal, too!
What foods do I love and hate? I love my mom's homemade tacos. She only makes them in late summer when the garden tomatoes are ripe, but they are worth the wait. She slow cooks the beans all day, then fries the shells right before we eat. SO GOOD. As for foods I hate, I'm not really a picky eater, but I do hate mushrooms and turkey.
She next asked how many kids I would have and what Tommy's name would have been if he'd been a girl. With regard to the number of kids, if money were not an object, I would probably just keep having kids until I decided I was done. I'd probably end up with at least six! And if Tommy were a girl, his name would be Ella. We really like the name and will hopefully use it in the future. Finally, she asked what is one thing I'd like to do before I die... I'd definitely like to travel more. I went to Europe when I was 16 and haven't been back since. I'd like to travel more of Europe, and I'd really like to go to Egypt. We'd also like to go back to Belize, where we honeymooned.
Jade asked why I started blogging and what I love/hate about it. I started blogging simply as an outlet and a way to keep up with family. I love to write, but I am most often found grading writing instead of writing myself. What I love the most about it is the wonderful friends I've made. I went into blogging not really planning on reaching out to anyone, but I did, and I've made a wonderful group of friends as a result. What I don't like about it is the lack of privacy. There are times when I really do wish I could say more about work issues, but I know that in the interest of my job, that's not really smart.
Lisa asked what makeup I would recommend for her. She specified nice but not too expensive and sexy eyes. For sexy eyes for someone who is darker, I would recommend smoky greys and greens, with a light shimmer as a browbone highlight. Specifically, this palette! I would also recommend a dark grey or blackgel liner. Bobbi Brown and MAC both make great gel eyeliners.
She also asked where I'd like to vacation. Right now, I'd like to go anywhere where my family and I could just hang out on a beach all day, eat good food at night, and drink good drinks. Somewhere relaxing!
She asked for my top three fiction books... it's hard for me to pick, but if I had to narrow it down, it'd be: To A God Unknown by John Steinbeck, The Time Traveler's Wife, and The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving.
Finally, she asked how I'm able to have so much time off for maternity leave. There are definitely ups and downs to teaching. An up is that we have a VERY strong union, and it is actually in our contract that we can take two years off for maternity leave, and they have to hold our job. Therefore, taking an entire semester off is nothing. Shane and I really did discuss my taking an entire year off; however, in the interest of adding toward my retirement, I thought the best (though not easiest) choice would be to work half the year.
Whew! Everyone asked some great questions, but I have two boys who need to get dressed and head to the park... so check back later for more answers!