someone i'd like you to meet

I have a super-special guest joining us today! So excited!

A quick update first. Thank you, friends, for your positive feedback on the bratty wife series. Some of you asked how I could write all that from the road. I didn’t. I wrote it before we left. Right now, I’m typing from a hotel in Hurricane, Utah. It’s late Tuesday night. I’ll post a catch-up blog Saturday with details from our trip so far, but today and tomorrow are NOT ABOUT ME. Praise the Lord and Hallelujah!

And now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you a beautiful young gal named Amanda Jones. Many of you know her as the blogger at Baby Bangs. She was so, so gracious to do a little interview with me. And since I’m really into the cliffhanging lately, you get Part 1 today and Part 2 tomorrow. Hey, at least I don’t do weekly series.

(My questions are in bold italics. Amanda’s answers follow.)

A lot of my readers already know and love you, but how about giving us a little overview of you and your sweet family.

Well, I’m 29 years old. I’ve been married to my husband, Curtis, for seven years. We have a three-year-old son named Jackson and a five-month-old daughter named Annabeth. I graduated in 2002 from Texas A&M University and then started working for Living Proof Ministries, where I’ve done everything from writing and editing to moderating online forums and starting a blog.  Curtis and I spent the first six years of our marriage working in various student ministry roles in churches.  Last year Curtis came on staff at Living Proof to develop discipleship materials for men and women.  We live in the great, hot city of Houston with our kiddos and our golden retriever, Beckham.

When did you start your blog, and what has blogging added to your life (in either a positive or negative way–or both!)?

I started my personal blog a month after Jackson was born.  I wanted to share pictures of my baby and updates with our family and friends, but I didn’t want to flood their inboxes with emails. I thought if I just put it all on a blog, they could visit if and when they wanted to. At that time we were living away from both of our families and having a blog helped keep everyone updated.

My favorite thing about blogging is having a way to record what’s going on in our lives. It’s so much fun to go back and read the old posts. I’m about to start Annabeth on cereal, so I’ll go back to the July 2006 posts and read about how it went with Jackson.

I’ve found that blogging is a great way to ask for advice. Sometimes I get more than I know what to do with. If you need some wisdom for potty training, just go ahead and open up that can of worms on your blog.

I love your honesty on your blog. You’re not afraid to be transparent–even if it happens to be less-than-pretty. What are some of your biggest struggles right now–either as a wife, mom or woman of God?

One of my biggest struggles right now is my lack of patience with my three-year-old. I hate that I get so frustrated over the constant messes he makes when I should just be enjoying him.

Here’s another big struggle.  The Lord told me to stop reading celebrity news/gossip back in November and I stopped. But I’ve totally fallen off the wagon in the last month! So much happened in the celebrity world that it was everywhere I turned.  So here’s my public commitment that I’m getting back on track. People.com, you are dead to me.

You’re a work-at-home mom like many of us. Can you describe a “typical” day in your life as you try to balance it all?

Oh man, I rarely – if ever – balance it all. It seems like there’s always something off.  Even if I feel like I’ve accomplished something great for work and taken Jackson on a super cool outing on the same day, there are probably two loads of laundry that won’t get folded.  Or maybe I’m totally wiped out and I decide to skip aerobics….again.  It’s never all under control.

On a typical work day, I get up and make breakfast for Jackson and me.  We sit at the table and eat together before Annabeth wakes up. Then I have my quiet time while he watches Imagination Movers or something like it.  By the time I’m done, I can usually hear Annabeth stirring.  I nurse her while I open up my computer and get started reading emails or moderating comments for our LPM blog.  I get a lot done first thing in the morning.  My next work window is when they go down for naps after lunch. If I have work I still need to do after that, I can take care of it after they go to bed.  Jackson goes to mother’s day out at a nearby church twice a week and that gives me some concentrated work time. I only work part-time now, so my job is pretty flexible.

I’m always intrigued by what people wanted to be when they grow up. When you were a little girl, what did you dream of being/doing someday? And would you say you’re living your dream?

When I was a kid I wanted to be a broadcast journalist like Barbara Walters, play Olympic volleyball, and write novels.  I also dreamed of being a cetologist, which is a person who studies whales and dolphins. I’m obviously not on TV, I wasn’t in the Beijing Olympics, I don’t have any novels on the bookstore shelves, and I live most of my life on dry land.  But God gave me dreams later in my life that were His dreams for me and I’d say I’m definitely living those.  There are other dreams in my heart that I’ve entrusted to Him. We’ll see what He does with them.

Without wishing your little ones’ childhoods away, what do you look forward to 10 years down the road?

Ten years from now I’ll have a teenager! That’s crazy! What I’m looking forward to down the road is spending more time alongside my husband in ministry. We’ve always loved serving together.  It’s a lot harder with two little ones.

Thank you heaps, Amanda. You are such a treasure!

(I’m dropping the italics now, but this is still me.) Y’all don’t want to miss tomorrow, because Amanda’s going to answer questions like–What’s it like to be Beth Moore’s daughter? And–Tell us about your relationship with your daddy. And your sister.

And as if that’s not enough, she’ll be weighing in on hot topics like–What makes Texas so stinkin’ great? What’s your favorite zoo animal? And have you ever fed a giraffe?

If you’ve been impacted through Amanda’s blog or her ministry at Living Proof–or even just this interview, be sure to let her know! (either here or on her blog) And once I get a few more zoos out of the way, I hope to be interviewing a lot more gals who love Jesus and want to serve Him with their lives.

See you tomorrow for Part 2!

11 thoughts on “someone i'd like you to meet

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano | Christian author and speaker » Blog Archive » be my guest

  2. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia

    Thank you for this interview, Marla, and for answering all of the fun questions, Amanda…it was a treat! I found it really encouraging, especially the reminder to entrust my dreams to the Lord. The verse that Amanda mentioned in Part II spoke volumes to me today after being so discouraged with my new role/purpose as a ‘mom’, feeling like that just wasn’t good enough and wanting more. Hello!? I know, what a bunch of bologna! So that Scripture is what I am going to start mediating on and memorizing myself. Thank you for such encouraging words!

  3. Colleen

    I LOVED your interview. I’ve been reading Baby Bangs for awhile…I feel like Amanda is my friend and she doesn’t even know me! Loved your questions…loved her answers! Can’t wait to tune in tomorrow!!!

  4. Lindsey

    I have been a faithful Amanda reader for quite some time. I’m so glad you interviewed her. I’m not married…don’t have any children…but I feel like I can learn a lot from her. I’m literally making notes in a journal to come back to later.

    Can’t wait for part 2!

  5. Lisa

    I just love Amanda. And not because she’s Beth Moore’s daughter, but because she’s so real. I, too, work from home and have two little ones with a third on the way, and I NEVER feel balanced. It’s so encouraging to know I’m not the only one! Oh, and I love her hair and fashion sense. And I’ve been trying to dump People.com for months! I think it’s finally working! Thank you, Marla and Amanda!

  6. Emily Kay

    What’s so stinkin’ great about Texas?? Sheesh, even I could answer that for you! 🙂 Lots of space, good ol’ conservative values, unintrusive state government, real Mexican food….I could go on and on but I won’t…because really only Texans get why Texas is so great. 😉 Although I will say Ohio is my second-favorite state. Followed by Kentucky, Colorado (just cuz it’s so darn pretty!), and Wyoming (again with the pretty factor). 🙂

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