Today’s 7 Quick Takes post features one of our more prolific ink slingers, Misty. We hope you enjoy getting to know Misty through these 7 intriguing questions.
What is your favorite animal and why?
My favorite animal is my jet black Bombay cat, Raven. She’s essentially a dog in a cat’s body–you can walk her on a leash, she fetches, etc.–and we have an “unnatural” attachment to one another, according to my husband. Bombays are super-affectionate and Raven is the balm to my soul at the end of a long day, when she comes purring up to me and puts her little face up for a “kiss” from her CatMama! It also helps that I’m allergic to cats and she’s essentially hypoallergenic. She sleeps each night with her head on my pillow, sometimes with her paws around my neck.
How do you come up with such awesome post titles?
During the early years of my marriage, I was a writer for Civil Engineering magazine. We had staff meetings where we’d brainstorm for short, pithy titles to dry engineering articles. After the mental torture of devising catchy titles for that year’s fifth article on a municipal sewer system upgrade, writing headlines for consumer articles is a breeze!
When writing a headline, I try to write something that will get the article in front of audiences that wouldn’t normally read Catholic Sistas. I keep in mind that the headline is often the only thing people will see and it has to be compelling enough to get a person to click on the link for more. If possible, I make it titillating and a clever play on a pop culture trend, such as “Fifty Shades of Porn.”
If you homeschool, what is your favorite part of homeschooling and what is your greatest challenge?
My favorite part of homeschooling is being with my children. I truly love children as persons and I revel in the joy of getting to know my own kids’ unique personalities. When their behavior is rotten, I don’t want to send them away from me–I just want them to behave better.
The hardest part is trying to accommodate their different learning styles. With four kids, I just want what worked for Kid #1 to work for all of them. But that’s rarely the case. I spend more time trying to find a curricula that will actually work with an individual child than I do teaching them the subjects.
What is a random fact about you most people don’t know?
I have a very strong sense of whimsy, much to the chagrin of my husband and to the delight of my children. I’ll dress up as a clown one day a year (not Halloween) and run my regular errands that way. There is nothing like seeing a clown picking out hamburger at the grocery store. It’s important that people know clowns live regular lives, too.
I’ve been known to wear one of my daughters’ dress-up tiaras to the doctor or post office. When we moved from Virginia to Alaska two years ago, I finally got to indulge one of my longstanding desires at our going-away party: to fight friends in giant, Sumo wrestling suits. My latest dream is to dress up with my kids as PacMan characters, complete with sound effects, and run around a mall simulating the game.
Oddly enough, I despise personal praise. But I get a major kick out of doing quirky things that make others laugh. I think it’s the GenXer in me. My husband just shakes his head and insists I’m on my own if I get arrested.
What do you find most attractive about your husband?
A lot of things, but two stand out: 1) his sense of honor, and 2) his intelligence.
Nothing gets my husband angrier than hearing about a man who has shirked his duties as a husband and father. He goes out of his way to help domestic violence victims break the cycle of abuse when he encounters them. It’s heartwarming to hear him rant about the men who hurt women or children, or recount the lectures he gives women in crisis about how they deserve better.
He’s also one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. I can rarely tell him something he doesn’t already know and he’s responsible for turning me around on nearly a dozen social and political issues purely by the force of his respectful, logical, evidence-based arguments.
Where were you born and do you still live there (or nearby)?
I was born in southwestern Virginia and grew up in a small town near the West Virginia border called Covington. The town sports a papermill that spews rancid pollution into the air that will probably result in a raging case of lung cancer in my sunset years.
As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get out of Covington and “see the world.” I recently went to visit my sister and realized something important, though: no matter how you dress me up or how much you edu-ma-cate me, I will always be a hillbilly at heart. Nothing makes me happier than flat footing to Proud Mary while swilling down RC Cola and gossipping about the neighbors. Few people know I went into adulthood with a thick southern accent, purged during college because of Yankees who teased me mercilessly about it.
Other than a brief time in Pennsylvania, I lived in Virginia most of my life. Two years ago, our family decided to move to our dream state, Alaska. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been an amazing adventure to live here.
What do you wish everyone knew about the Church?
That it’s not about rules, but about relationships. Primarily, about a relationship with a purely loving, compassionate God who would do anything to have us with Him for all eternity.
And that what you “give up” to become a faithful Catholic is entirely eclipsed by the ocean of blessings God showers on you when you embrace a friendship with Him. You give up your Pill or your condom and the false sense of security that brings, but you get a husband who respects your fertility and doesn’t feel entitled to sex. And whose self-control gives you confidence he could be trusted in a room full of naked Victoria’s Secret models. You give up lying, but you gain peace of mind because you no longer have to keep track of your lies. You give up investing your identity in things that change, such as your looks, your career, your financial status. And you gain a rock-solid sense of your own value, knowing that no matter how you look or how much money you have or even whether other people like you, you are loved deeply by the most powerful, intelligent, amazing person who exists: God himself.
So many people I know who were raised Catholic but don’t practice their faith have the mistaken idea that being Catholic is about giving up all that makes life fun, not realizing the deep, abiding joy that comes from being close to Jesus, the holy angels, and all the saints. This is a peace that never leaves me, no matter how tumultuous my life gets or how many hits my self-esteem takes from the world. Being Catholic is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.
For more Quick Takes head on over to Conversion Diary and tell Jen we sent you.
Kerri Baunach is a Catholic wife and mother of three boys (plus three in heaven). She and her family live in beautiful central Kentucky where she is active in her church, a member of Cursillo, and a Benedictine Oblate. Kerri often writes on her Catholic faith, pregnancy loss, her kids, and pro-life issues. Kerri is a former music librarian (16 years) now stay-at-home mom, was a musician for over 20 years, loves taking her kids to the library (and loves that they love it), is passionately pro-life, can’t cook, and has lived in six states. In additional to writing at Catholic Sistas you can also find Kerri on her own blog at Journal of a Nobody.