Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meet Contributor Naomi Rawlings

If you've come for the Thoughts of Spring Blog Party, welcome! If you're a mother trying to balance kids and work and everything else, we hope you stick around and follow our journeys. Please come back this week and meet some of the other authors of this blog.

Hi! I'm Naomi Rawlings, wife, mother and aspiring writer. I have a four-year-old son and a one-year-old-son. I spend my days trying to sneak time to write, picking up, cleaning, playing, and mainly just enjoying my family. My husband pastors a small church in Michigan's rustic Upper Peninsula, so my family shares it's ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer, bald eagles, and even an occasional moose. We live three miles from the southern shore of Lake Superior. The scenery is beautiful, but we average 200 inches of snow per year, and even in July, Lake Superior is too cold to swim, though my boys like to try.

How would people describe your personality? (If they could only use ONE word.) Are they right?

Nice, at least that's how I'm most commonly described--but most people don't see me yelling at my four year old to pick up his toys or complaining about the endless laundry.

Who is your favorite blogger? Why?

Probably Gina Holmes and what she did with Novel Journey. It took her twelve years to get published. Wow! I don't know of anyone who deserved a book contract more than she did. And the interviews she posts are so helpful to new writers.

What is your comfort food/drink?

Living where I do, it depends on the season. Today, at 12 degrees outside, it's hot chocolate. In July, it would be ice cream.

Do you have a strong desire to do something you’ve never done? What is it?

Yeah, leave my kids with Grandma for a week and go to Jamaica (or some other island with white beaches and palm trees) with my husband.

Movies: Action, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Documentary, Comedy? What are your favorite genres?

Anything with romance.

Books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Biographies, True Stories, Self-Help, Devotional/Study? What are your favorite types of reading material?

Well, since I'm an aspiring novelist, I'd bet you'd never guess. Fiction, particularly inspirational romance.

If you inherited a million dollars, what is the first thing you would do with your money?

Remember that trip to Jamaica? After my vacation, however, I'd do something smart with it like pay off our house, invest, etc. But Jamaica is first. Definitely.

Name one weakness of yours (confession is good for the soul).

Sugar, even if I'm trying to loose weight, I can't completely take it out of my diet. I have to sneak little snacks here and there.

If you could live anywhere at all (and take all your loved ones with you), where would you go?

Actually, I love where I live. I suppose I would trade our hills in for mountains and give us warmer summers, but I wouldn't move.

Strange Talent? Can you juggle basketballs, put your legs behind your head or perform some other strange feat?

I play the harp. I'm not sure it that's strange or just makes me a nerd.

What’s something you consider yourself to be good at? (Don’t worry, it’s not bragging, it’s acknowledging a God given gift).

Writing. I hope. Otherwise I'm wasting a lot of time.

What is one of your favorite things to catch a whiff of?

Flavored Coffee--the gourmet kind, not the cheap stuff in our cupboard.

When you leave a social gathering, do you wish: You would have talked more or You would have talked less?

Both. If I say a lot, I usually regret it, and if I keep my mouth shut, I usually thing of a gazillion brilliant, witty things to say after I leave.

What is your greatest fear or strange phobia?

My husband suddenly dying.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I look at my family, and hope it will be raising my children to love God and honor Him with their lives. Whether I achieve that or not, only time will tell.

What are your favorite animals?

Our Irish Setter, Callie

Are you a hopeless romantic?

Oh yeah. For my first Mother's Day, my husband bought me a twenty dollar charcoal grill. I cried and told him to take it back. I said I'd rather have nothing than a grill. A grill! Did I mention it was my first Mother's Day ever?

What movie or book character can you most relate to?

Elizabeth Bennett from Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. I'm a little too witty for my own good and place a little too much importance on first impressions.


  1. I love the grill!! I think I would have thrown it. LOL. I once received a crock pot, which I call a 'gift for the kitchen.' I have a strict rule about gifts for the home, being mistaken for gifts for ME!

  2. A Harp! That makes you uber-cool! But then, this is coming from a billy goat, so maybe I'm not sure what is cool. :)

    I love strings, at my wedding I wanted strings but hadn't enough money for the harpist, so I stretched out my money and got just the violin player. But, until I saw the wedding video, I realized my ears had shut off at the wedding, I was too worried about the candles that didn't get lit (Never be bride and wedding planner--the lesson I learned, but one I'll never have to do again, so the lesson is for others) ANYWHO, glad I didn't pay for the harpist because I didn't even enjoy (hear) the violin. Such a shame.

    I would have taken the grill. :) Actually I need a new grill, too bad you couldn't have thrown it all the way to Kansas. I like kitchen gifts for me! I think I asked for a crockpot for Christmas when I was 16. Then put it in the closet. I had quite the stash of furniture and equipment to move out of the house with by collecting at birthdays and Christmases.

    Of course, my grandma is like you and Cherilyn, she REFUSED to buy me practical gifts like that, she said it wasn't a gift for me, no fun, etc. So instead I got things like a hot pink mohair sweater that embarrassed the heck out of me by shedding all over school. I wore it twice and felt like a Muppet each time. Would have rather had the grill to stuff in my closet. :)

  3. Melissa, I'm starting to think you are the most unique person I've ever met. But I did have my harp teacher play at our wedding reception, and I walked down the aisle to Cannon in D with a cello/piano duet--it was beautiful. And my bridesmaids got a classical guitar/piano duet. Um, I actually remember the music, though. But yes, harpists are super expensive. I never got good enough to make any money off playing.

  4. Great answers! I'll be back to check out your blog more another time. I'm trying to check out a few more on the list at Lynette's blog!

  5. Naomi,

    That's too funny about the grill! I can relate. And wow, you do live in a beautiful area of the country--you're so blessed!

    And Melissa you're hilarious! Mrs. practical...can I use you as a character in one of my stories;)

  6. Jamaica! You'll be seeing plenty of dreads down there when you get to go! ;)
    I love harp music and am always in awe of people who have the gift and dedication to play.
    I'd take the grill now, but for my very first mother's day?? not on your life! I'm right there with you sister!

  7. Naomi~ It seems we have a lot in common. I have a four year old (girl) though no baby. And my husband pastors a small church. 40 is a lot for us on Sunday. I'm with you completely on the sugar thing. I pray I never become diabetic because I can't stand artificial sweeteners. I too love flavored coffee, particularly anything vanilla...or hazelnut...or cinnamon.

    Canon in D must be one of my favorite pieces of music ever. My bridesmaids walked to it.

    Speaking of bridesmaids, Melissa was my maid of honor. You're right about her. She's unique and one of the best friends a girl could ask for. We were college roommates our freshman year. I could tell you just how unique she is...but I won't. ; ) I chose to live with another friend sophomore year, and I'm still kicking myself over it.

    I saw that you became a follower of my blog. Thanks so much!

  8. Yes, Andrea knows that under the billy goat lies a velociraptor.

  9. Love that you play the harp, crit partner! But sunny, palm-tree covered, white sanded Jamaica for a get-away? Can't imagine why. ☺

  10. people would probably describe me the same way as you, except my husband who sees the good the abd and the ugly!

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Andrea and Amy. Melissa, do you mind elaborating on the velicoraptor comment. I'm starting to think billy goat might be a mild description for you.

    Andrea, we normally run about twenty-five on a Sunday morning. Thirty is really good for us. But we're growing. We've added six new people over the past two years, which is good growth for a town as small as ours.

  12. I can elaborate...

    Melissa went crazy one day(something she does only in private and with people she trusts implicitly) and started jumping on things...mostly her bed in the dorm room. She wasn't on the bed jumping up and down. She was jumping from the floor to the bed! I was stunned.

    I can't remember exactly what was said, but the phrase "jump like a velociraptor" is forever burned into my brain, as well as the picture of her doing so. While I confess I've never actually seen a velociraptor jump, that's what I would imagine it looking like.

    Now that I've told that story, I wondering if she should rethink that "trust implicitly" thing. ;)

    Kidding, she gave me permission to tell that story. I wasn't actually going to tell it, but since she brought it up...

    I'd love to know how she remembers it.

    Most of the time she's a mild, unassuming billy goat (I mean this in a much more flattering way than it sounds), but she has her moments.

    Naomi~ My husband says it like this, we have about 40 people "in the life of the church." That means that if everyone came at the same time, we'd have 40. But they don't, so we average probably 25 also.

    We've been there 5 years, and when we started, they had just gone through a pretty nasty split. Average attendance was about 15, so we've grown quite a bit in that time.

    From your description of bears and moose, it sounds like you're pretty remote. How big is your town? Ours is over 3000 people. That's very small compared to some towns I've lived in, and 3 or 4 times bigger than others.

    I could go on and on about church attendance and where our people went before they came to us, but that's probably not interesting to everyone. So I won't.

  13. I think it's awesome that you play the harp! I'm a pianist. :D I live in the lower peninsula of Michigan and have been to Tacquamenon Falls--it's GORGEOUS up there.

    Plus I can't ever totally eliminate sweets from my diet. Yum!!

    I have a food blog that proves it :D

    and I blog here:

  14. No one's probably "listening" anymore, but I'm procrastinating.

    All I remember is I was jumping on the dorm bed and found that one of my jumps was awful similar to that of a velociraptor. Andrea, you have to have watched Jurassic Park so I know you know how a velociraptor jumps.

    So I just sat there and jumped until I perfected it. I'm sure I can still do it, let's see, what unsuspecting furniture shall I jump on tonight.....