Thursday, August 7, 2008

About Me: The Unabridged Version

{Also known as the post where you learn more randomness than you ever wanted to know about me.}

I'm Marian {aka "Scooper"}. I love words, beauty, and funny people. I have been a wife for 17 years and a mom for 12. Once a history professor, I'm now a stay-at-home mom, having traded in a college classroom six years ago for five years of homeschooling my own kids around the kitchen table. 

In December of 2011, we made the big decision to put our kids in public school. It's been a welcome change for all of us and we vow to simply take things one year at a time.

You can find me reading, writing, taking pictures, sipping Starbucks, over-thinking everything, rearranging furniture, and not doing laundry. I write for many reasons but mostly because it's cheaper than therapy. I joke about that but it's the truth. Through blogging, this glass-half-empty girl spills thoughts one letter at a time until lemonade is squeezed from the lemons. It's a serendipitous thing really, not at all the reason I started but the sweetest reward. Through my posts, I often find perspective.


I think I blog partly because it's the only thing in my life (of keeping home and teaching children) that stays finished. I don't have to wash, sweep, or fold my blog countless times a day. Once I click "publish post," I actually have something to show for my time. I like that.

I have many loves and an equal number of disclaimers. Here it goes...

I love fancy food and drink, though I've been known to feast on PB&J remnants from my kids' plates. 

I find great fulfillment in writing, though I remain ignorant of countless grammar rules. I also like to make up words.

I was a history professor until 6 years ago but I rarely know the correct answer to the esoteric history questions asked on Jeopardy or in Trivial Pursuit. I am not a history buff. I have never been to a re-enactment. While I enjoyed 14 years of university life as a student and a professor, I now consider myself a recovering academic.

I adore books but I'm usually reading about 17 at a time resulting in an embarrasingly low completion rate.

I'm a fan of all things "girly": make-up, fashion, hair, etc...but confess that on most days I am sporting yoga pants (though I don't do yoga), unchanged running clothes, a pony-tail, and a face that's lucky to get Chap-stick & mascara.

I describe myself as an introvert disguised in an outgoing personality. {Classic INFJ.} I love people yet crave solitude, in part because I can't take a shower or go to the restroom without being interrupted by tiny humans or a dog who always need something as soon as I close the bathroom door. 

I'm the only person I know who is equally inspired by make-up and History. I actually own a book entitled, The Cultural History of Lipstick. For real.

I will admit to loving smart people, thoughtful books, and great journalism. But I can also devour three People magazines in one sitting while on vacation. And I get school-girl giddy for televised red carpet events. I may or may not covertly watch Entertainment Tonight when my kids aren't in the room.

Laughing is a drug for me and I'm crazy for people who are funny. Ironically, I have a tendency to take myself and life in general much too seriously.

Ever the bargain junkie, I actually don't mind living a frugal-ish life. But, I have been known to blow money on crazy thrift store kitsch and forget to mail in valuable rebate coupons. My husband jokes that I could write a book called How To Go Broke $1 At A Time.

A clean, organized and orderly home makes me happier than it should. Currently, however, a 7-year-old's half-written story, jewelry beads, pre-school workbooks, an iPod, hair clips, fruit puffs, a dismembered Polly Pocket, the newspaper, a dish towel and a bowl of half-eaten pasta graces the kitchen table where I'm writing. Such disarray is an accurate reflection of the general state of affairs here.

I have never gotten a tattoo, ripped my jeans {on purpose,} or sported funky hair. But at 36, I pierced my nose, something I'd inexplicably wanted to do for 10 years. My nose, however, {quite set in its ways after 36 years of minding its own business} didn't like it and I kept snagging the tiny jewel on towels and tissues. Goodbye, nose ring. Hello conformity {and common sense.} I'm still kind of sad about it.

As I mentioned earlier, I home-schooled for nearly 5 years and then abruptly did the unthinkable: sent my kids to public school. They love school. I love the quiet. Sometimes the "real" collides with the ideal and sometimes that's for the best. I've learned to never say never and to hold all plans loosely.

I always wanted a career, a husband, and a family {in that order.} But I fell in love with a charming boy I met my freshman year of college and we started dating two years later. Three months after we graduated, I married him. I'm convinced he's the only man on the planet who could put up with me. Marriage has been hard {we are, after all, strong-willed first-borns} but God has been faithful. The charming boy is still my best friend and he is still irresistably charming. Marrying him is one of the smartest things I ever did.

Growing up as a pastor's kid, I was in church every time the doors were opened. You might think that skeptical notions about faith and God and truth would have not an ounce of non-conformist air to breathe in a churchy upbringing like that. My heart, however, has a fierce will of its own and has forever been the heart of a skeptic. Faith does not come naturally and my "story" from belief to unbelief and back to belief is simply a testimony to God's irresistible grace. 

On any given day I still look to people and circumstances for happiness and personal peace. I often trade pleasure for joy and reason for faith. I'm immensely grateful for a God who delights to pursue, longs to forgive, loves without limits, and never gives up, even on a crazy skeptic like me.


  1. Nice to "meet" you. I'm smiling reading your unabridged version. We have lots in common!

  2. I just clicked in from the Nester's blog to see your nursery, which is so sweet. I loved reading your introduction, especially the last paragraph. :)

  3. What a wonderful introduction to yourself and I love your last paragraph as well. For me I am learning how to let the Abba Father fill me with joy and his peace. It's a work in progress. Oh, and I share the nose piercing obsession myself! I've always wondered what a teeny, tiny diamond would look like. Jill

  4. I love you..I also follow Bring the Rain..sometimes. When I feel like laughing and crying. I feel like you are part of my brain writing for me:) Thanks for writing!!

  5. You are an amazing woman and you inspire me to do more with my life. My family has reached out to God and I have you to thank for that. Continue to blog, for so many women can relate to what you are saying and it helps to know that we're not the only one dealing with life's challenges.

  6. I've been poking around your blog, and I just love it, including this intro to you. :) I'm currently working my way through academia (two-ish years to go on my PhD) and I often wonder whether I have the fortitude to stay here when I'm done...

    I'm looking forward to reading more! :)

  7. Love you even more, now! We have a lot in common... except for the nose-piercing obsession. Blessings!

  8. Nice to meet you! I'll be back to visit, we have a lot in common ;). Totally get that nosed pierced. I have two (30 year old) friends that have just done it in the past year - and they LOVE it! One is a mother of two young boys...

  9. We NEED to be friends. Is that weird?

  10. Wow. I stumbled on your blog through Minivan Life. I can't believe how
    well you put into words describing so many thing I feel about myself, but have never found the courage to put to paper in a public forum. I can't wait to read more. Thank you. :)

  11. jennifer walton-hanleyApril 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Sigh. I have always envied your flair for words. As a graduate student, I struggled to make the words on the paper sound sophisticated, insightful, and smart. As a person, I struggle to make them sound natural, sincere, and honest. As an academic, I spout the trite and true writing is a craft that takes practice and revision. Best, Jen Walton-Hanley

  12. Hello. Renee McNamara (now Royal) sent me the link to your blog. She is my husband's sister. Anyhow, I can completely relate to the satisfaction of writing and clicking 'post.' I also homeschool. And I just got my nose pierced and definitely have days where I question that decision (mostly I am glad I did it).

    Anyhow, I look forward to reading more.
    Have a blessed Christmas!

  13. Hi there! I just found you via a post by Bonita.

    Love your blog. I have two little girls and am in the middle of my first year of homeschooling them.

  14. Your writing is lovely; so similar in style to Ann Voscamp. I wish I had that gift. I just read your post about finding simplicity by sending your kids back to school. It was a featured post of the BlogHer homepage. I'm new here.

    In your writing I have found a twin - we're living parallel lives. With a a couple of exceptions... 1) I gave up a law practice to stay at home and home school. 2)I had a major personal crisis/breakdown WHILE my kids were spending a year at a private Christian school. That was to be my "year off" from home schooling to regain my equilibrium as a human being. 3)I cannot get enough of reading historical biographies and often have several books going at once. I cannot travel or be "waiting" anywhere for longer than an hour without a book. (I need a Kindle.)

    Other than that, I love the things you love, including Jesus, a husband I met as a senior in high school, belly laughing, smart people and People magazine when I can find them in a waiting room.

    Enough said. Something about you touches me, so I'll keep your blog in mind.

  15. I didn't intend to use that "sign off" profile. I'm trying to find the one with my picture on it....

  16. Hi there - I'm a new reader, and this little intro made me smile. Looking forward to joining you!


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