Friday, January 13, 2012

The Friend Series: Minna

    • First, an introduction:
      How do you know Rae?
      If you want to get technical, I have known Rae since 2001 when she babysat for my daughter Madilynn back in Hinesville, GA. In reality, I have only seen Rae that one time, and in all honesty, I cannot remember much of that night. My husband and Phill were in in the same Army unit and Phill had mentioned that he was dating a girl named Rachel and that if we ever needed a sitter, we should ask her. I remember him describing Rae as a “good Mormon girl”, so being the responsible parents that we were (and still are!), we jumped on the chance to spend a night alone.
Once Facebook came along and I had entered in the names of everyone I had ever known in order to raise my friend count, Rae friended me after I had requested Phill. I was thrilled to have another friend and I thought it was cool that she had requested me seeing as how we had only met each other that one time. (did you remember me??) [I sure did!]
I had just begun training for a marathon when Rae began commenting on my statuses and pictures because she was about to begin training for the St. George Marathon. I feel that we kind of bonded over running and sharing inspirations and motivations.

What do you do for a living?
I am a social worker/family therapist. I feel that there are many forgotten people out there that need someone to listen to them. Everyone deserves a chance.

What do you want to be when you grow up? (Translation: What is your dream?)
I would love to develop some sort of non-profit agency that combines those struggling with mental illness/poverty/prejudice, etc., with running. Pounding the pavement heals the soul. [Minna, I'm going to quote you today.]

Tell us about your family/the people you love.
I have an amazing husband of 13 years and two children, Madilynn, 11 and Simon, 8. Rex is deployed right now, on his third year-long tour and I miss him so much sometimes that I can’t hardly breathe. We have done deployments before, but this time is very different and I realize this time around that I really cannot live without him and I don’t want to. He is the bravest, most humble man I know that knows the importance of admitting his mistakes. He amazes me. [Minna, I love you. Your courage inspires me.]
My daughter is an awesome 6th grader who I really, really like. I love her of course, but I really like her for who she is and what she stands for. She is not boy-crazy, or body-crazy. She would rather help out my neighbors that have little kids at home by playing with them or pulling them around in wagons all day, then watch TV or text her friends. Don’t get me wrong, she does love her phone, but she is so down to earth and knows the value of connecting with others. She is funny and sarcastic and just fun to be around. My favorite part of Madilynn is when she makes a really good joke and laughs at herself because she is so proud she “made a funny”. L O V E I T!! [I'd like to add that when I babysat her, she didn't make a single peep from her crib. Slept solid.]
Simon is a real character. When he was just 2 years old he told Rex and I that he wanted to go to West Point and fly Chinooks and he has never wavered from that statement. As I watch him get older and I watch him with his friends and classmates, I can see that he will be a great leader. At age 8, he already knows how to delegate, teach and mentor. Just the other day, he had all the neighborhood boys in our front yard doing PT for about 45 minutes; he had them doing push- ups, and jumping jacks, running sprints and doing lunges. All the boys loved it and Simon was in his element encouraging them all and pushing them all to finish. It was a great sight to see. [I need to meet him.]

What interests you?
People. I love meeting people and hearing their stories, everyone has one.

What five things make life sweet for you? What really makes you happy?
1. Laying in my husband’s arms at night watching shows like Bones or CSI. 2. Cooking with the kids in the kitchen with Pandora playing on the computer. 3. Running. About an hour in, you reach a groove and you just flow. 4. Baths. I take one every night. 5. Being outside. I can get really claustrophobic being inside for too long. [I think we're kindred spirits.]

Do you have a phobia? (Expound)
I have bag-lady syndrome. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a fear of being homeless. Being a social worker, I have looked into where that fear has come from, and I recognize it and I try to not let it freak me out too much but with all this economic crisis stuff on TV lately, it gets a little difficult for me. [This is the most interesting phobia I've ever heard of!]

Do you have a favorite book? (Expound)
Right now it’s the Twilight Saga books. When I read, I want to be whisked away to another world and forget all my surroundings. Twilight does that for me right now and with my hubby deployed, I sometimes want to get as far away as possible.
    • Next: The questions to make you think....
      What is one technological advance you wish hadn't taken place?
      Smart Phones. I am an iPhone user but I spend so much time on that dang thing. I have to consciously not grab my phone every 20 minutes to check Face Book or email, etc.

      Hypothetical question: You've been imprisoned in a 10x10 cement cell, a political prison for dissenters of the dystopian, futuristic culture where this hypothetical situation takes place. You are allowed exactly three things. What three things have you chosen to bring with you? Feel free to elaborate, or to just leave your answers as-is.
      1. Chapstick. I’m obsessed with moist lips. 2. My bible. 3. Paper and pens. (is that technically four things?) [It's okay; it doesn't have to be four, that was the max.]

      If you ever imagine a utopian society, what is that society like? What kind of government (if any)? What sorts of houses, countries, etc?
      I’ve never really thought about a utopian society, is this the kind of thing you think of often Rae? I think my utopian society is where everyone realizes the worth of each other. I enjoy technology and science along with new discovery and free enterprise, however I feel that these things can blind us from what is really important and that is the connection between all of us. Everyone is worth something and everyone deserves a chance and even a second chance. [I LOVE this! And yes, I do think about this a lot....hahahha]

      What do you think is the most important thing a human being can contribute to this life?
      You can change the world by loving your family. Just imagine if everyone had the opportunity to grow up in a home where mom and dad love each other and stayed together. Where there was enough food to go around and dinner was eaten together each night. Imagine if we all had a warm bed to go to sleep in with a goodnight story and warm hug and kiss. To sleep through the night knowing we were safe and to wake up knowing that others were happy to see us. That kind of warmth and security raises amazing human beings that are capable of great change. Love your family and change the world. [Good heavens, Minna. You are so eloquent. I love this. I love you!]

      Third: Memory Lane

      What is your favorite memory with Rae?
      When you and I were training for separate marathons at the same time. It was nice to connect with you in that way. [I agree. I fed off of that.]

      What is your weirdest memory with Rae? (Man, I am really taking a leap here....)
      Don’t have one!! Hopefully we will see each other face to face some time soon. [I'm sure we'll make some weird memories....]
    • Why did you agree to do this interview? (Really, why? My questions are not terribly genius. They read a lot like a drivel-filled forwarded they?) Because I love you and I feel that you and I are meant to be close even if only by Face Book and email. I love who you are and because I’ve only really known you through the internet, I feel that I’ve seen the best pieces of you on a daily basis. I know that many of us only put our best faces forward on the internet, but you consistently do that which leads me to believe that you are just simply amazing on a daily basis. [Minna, I definitely agree that we are meant to be close! Let's arrange that visit....sooner rather than later.]
Minna lives, loves, and runs in Washington.


Kelly said...

I love this post! I have a hard time with long distance relationships, but this post gives me hope. I NEVER want to lose you, Rae!

Rae said...

You won't, Kelly!!

Shayanne Snodgress said...

This was so fun to read. I like Minna and this is all I know of her :)