Ten Things You May Not Know About Me

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me

As we head into another week, I thought I'd do something different for this post! Whether you have been following me for a few days or a few years, I thought I'd write about ten things you may not know about me. So, here goes!
My first plane ride was when I was just two weeks old!

I was born in Pittsburgh but just two weeks later we moved to Charleston, West Virginia where we lived for the first (almost) 13 years of my life. My dad worked for Columbia Gas and I have great childhood memories of elementary school in Charleston.
I married the guy I sat next to in ninth grade English class!

Yep! But I was not smart enough to start dating Mr. Home Matters until eight years later in 1995. He was the new kid who seemed really goofy but nice as can be! Here we are in our younger days. I can barely remember what life was like before he became a part of it. And I can't imagine my life without him.

I have a heart "condition" (not sure it merits that exact word) called a PFO (Pulmonary Foramen Ovale).

After birth, we are born with a small hole in the heart between the two sides and that is supposed to close fairly quickly after birth. Unless it doesn't. It wasn't until I was in the nursing stages of my youngest child that I started noticing weird sensations. For instance, it felt like every few breaths my pulse would boom. Or, I'd have the urge to cough. After seeing a doctor and being referred to a cardiologist, wearing a heart monitor for three days followed by a sonogram and EKG, this was my diagnosis. One in four people also have this condition but do not even know it because they have no symptoms.
From what I learned, my symptoms showed up in concurrence with my hormones being off back then. Those symptoms have been coming back lately and A LOT. Poor sleep habits, poor eating habits and just not taking as good care of myself as I used to are the likely culprits. At least that's my gut feeling. Reassurance came in the sense that it's nothing to really be concerned about - the potential of a blood clot is the most prevalent concern if it should occur in my heart. So, long story short, I think just need to take good care of myself! But before you message me - yes, I will contact the cardiologist just to review what's going on.
My favorite food is a warm buttered bagel!

Oh, the carbs! Those carbs mean I can't remember the last time I actually ate a warm buttered bagel but it's definitely my favorite comfort food! My weakness can be easily classified as the word C-A-R-B-S. Just like Oprah, I like bread!
I have high anxiety around pools in which a lot of children swimming...for good reason.

On two separate occasions, I, along with my fellow classmates, witnessed the rescuing of two children who were drowning. The first was at a fourth grade birthday party and our classmate was rescued by the birthday girl herself who happened to be a strong swimmer. She was hospitalized but ultimately okay... thank the Lord!
Unfortunately, once again, this time on a sixth grade class trip, a student from another school also had to be rescued as our class looked on. A boy swimming in the same pool at our hotel, was resuscitated and taken away in an ambulance. It was my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Greene, who jumped in the pool with all of her clothes on and pulled the boy out of the pool. Needless to say, to this day, I'm very very uncomfortable at large pool gatherings, particularly birthday parties of young kids. It can all happen so fast.
I saw the Pope in Rome!

In fact, ten feet away from him is about all I was as he drove through the crowd! I studied abroad for six months and lived in France with a host family. On weekends, several of my American friends and I would travel to all different countries. When we made it to Rome, we were fortunate enough to get tickets to see the Pope! I started taking so many pictures (with my old camera and standing on the chair) that you could have printed those photos out and flipped through them like a movie!

I leaned about drawing blueprints from my dad back when he was designing our Pennsylvania home.

While I had always wanted to be a teacher from the time I was little, I did have a year or so when I wanted to be an architect. When we lived in Charleston, he worked on the designs for what would be our new home in Valencia, PA. I watched him and he taught me a lot. I still love drawing floorplans of homes. In fact, my kids seem to love it as well and just drew up some pretty dreamy spaces of their own on Saturday night!
My teacher heart prevailed over the architect "phase." Designing a house I could live in would be enough for me. While we never actually built a house from scratch, I did design the plans for our home renovation/addition back in 2008. And part of that renovation included a basement so I'd say it was partly from scratch!
I guess I have some quirks when talking..

I'm told that when I get to talking really fast and I have so much to say, that I stop my sentences in the middle of a word and proceed on to the next sentence. I can't say that I'm surprised by this! And if you know me, maybe you've noticed this as well. Sometimes I get so excited about things that I move right on to the next topic without finishing the first!
I could be a school PRINCIPAL!

I have a Master's Degree in Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University with a concentration in Educational Leadership (that's where the principal's certificate comes in to play). However, I have never had the actual desire to become a school principal. But, that course work led to a position teaching a non-credit class at CMU that started shortly after graduating and continued for thirteen years.
Now, it's all about family and home matters which is how My Home Matters came to be in the first place. I just wanted to be able to be home with my kids as long as physically possible. I'm so thankful it has allowed me to do so! I think my husband is the most proud of me for having a degree from Carnegie Mellon. He always supported me in this venture. I had to miss my first final exam due to our honeymoon and I think he told everyone on the plane to Jamaica that I was a grad student at CMU.

I look for tornadoes every time the wind picks up.

A tornado went through our area when my dad was building our house here in the Pittsburgh area (just before my family moved back from Charleston, WV). It was 1985 and you can read about it here. Ever since hearing all about this, I've been scared to death of tornadoes! We live up on a hill and it gets very windy up here. But I have been known to wake my husband up in the middle of the night and yell "Should we wake the kids and go to the basement?" When I'm driving and it's windy, I'm constantly checking the sky all around for a tornado and thinking about whether we would survive if I had to pull over and lay face down in a ditch.
There you have it! I know it was SOOOO interesting and all of your DIY problems have now been solved. Well, maybe next week! Have a great week everyone!
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I love 10 things lists! People are so interesting! I also experienced the tornado…I grew up in Saxonburg. xo


This was fun to read! Thanks for sharing!

Liz Feder

This is wonderful. I just learned a few things that I never knew about you! You are an amazing person and of course I’m not prejudiced.


This is great! I always loved the house you grew up in, it was beautiful and so modern for its time and even more special that your dad designed it. A warm buttered bagel is also my favorite!!

Shannon schwab

Thanks for sharing! Love the pictures.

Pam Swauger

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