Big news here at Building Cathedrals! We are adding not one, but two new Builders! Today, I will introduce the first of those newbies — J! J is a new wife, a new mom, an excellent cook, a ballet dancer, a world traveler, and also one of the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful and calming people I know. She will begin posting next week. We can’t wait!
Did you go to Princeton with the builders?
I did! We have a few different graduation classes covered, but I was blessed enough to call them all friends — and in BMama and Red’s cases, roommates. All told, and whether they know it or not, each of the Builders were important to my spiritual formation in some way during that time, and that is a good foundation for some of the dearest friends a gal could hope for.
Any dirt you have on B-Mama?
Oh, tons. For one, GG was one of my closest friends starting freshman year, so I go to see BMama and GG’s courtship from an interesting angle! Lets just say that she was clearly smitten from the get go (some would call it stalking, but who’s judging)…and so was he. We lived together senior year and the year after graduation…so I have stories, funny quotes, and pictures galore. I will protect the innocent for now, however.
What have you been doing since your days at Princeton?
You know, it’s funny. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that much time, but its been over twelve years! Yikes! I taught in a Catholic High School for one year after graduation, then moved to DC to start my masters in Foreign Policy. From there I started working as a defense analyst at the Pentagon, and ran a young adults group at my parish on the side. I met my sweet husband in 2010, and we were married in 2011. It was a busy decade!
We heard you are a new mom. Can we hear some details about that?
Details, details. Good thing you are asking me now, because my first few weeks as a new mom were downright terrifying. People don’t warn you!:) All joking aside, I was and am so excited about being a mom. My baby girl is 4 and half months old, and is growing so fast I’m pretty convinced she’ll be going to college tomorrow. I’m not sure if it was one of the Builders or another friend that told me the following during one of my early sleep deprived days (I really can’t remember who told me what!): the days are oh-so-long, but the months and years are short. I have found that to be very true already, so I’m trying to relish her little life in all of its stages.
Any hobbies, interests, or things you do in all your spare time?
I love, love, love ballet. I have been doing it since I was little, and was able to train again and even perform a bit when I was still a singleton in DC, but now it’s taking a back seat for obvious reasons. I still try to get a class in once in awhile though…it is very theraputic, as only a true hobby can be! Beyond that I really enjoy cooking, but (let’s be honest) less ballet/exercise and a love of food really don’t mix well so I’m working on trying to cook with healthier recipes!
Apparently, you are quite the international traveler? What is your favorite place in the world?
I do really enjoy traveling! I grew up in a tiny town, but always wanted to see the world. In my twenties I would save up any spending money I had to travel on a shoestring, and have some wonderful memories of those trips. Picking my absolute favorite place would be hard, but I’m perpetually smitten with the English countryside (too many Jane Austin novels), and really loved Greece, Prague, and Istanbul.
Ok, to make this a little more Catholic, what is your favorite Saint and Feast Day?
I have two! I have always cherished the Feast of the Holy Family. The Feast of Saint Therese is special now too because it was my wedding day — and also because this little saint has done much to help me remember that ordinary or small actions can still be offerings to God.
Lastly, let’s get personal — Biggest Virtue? Biggest Vice?
Ugh. My biggest vice is pride…the root of them all, right? I see it cropping up in so many different ways in my life and marriage, so rooting it out is a constant battle but very necessary! Virtue…hmmm…I think I can be pretty patient in the grand scheme of things, but I guess I should ask the Builders (or better, my husband!) if that is actually true!
Yes, J is actually one of the most patient people I know, and I love her for it. (And in real life, she doesn’t go by J-Dawg.) Let’s all give her a warm welcome!