Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Lisa

I am really excited for you to meet “Lisaway.”  She is one of my first and favorite blog friends.  We haven’t met yet, because Hello! she lives in Poland, but I already know we get along.  Really.  To be honest, I think that her blog may be the very first place I ever left a blog comment.  She and her family did a video of their testimony, and I loved it because she was doing with her blog what I hoped to accomplish in my blogging infancy. (Hey, I found it.  Ooh, she’s going to kill me for that.) Looking back, she may have even given me more courage to do it.  Only click over to Lisa’s blog if you’re sure you have time for another friend because to know her is to love her.  You’ve been warned.  Meet Lisa:

Stephanie said I could only answer the following questions if I first said how much I love her. [She’s a liar.] I love her a lot.  As a matter of fact, I think that once I learn a lot more stuff and get to be a better person we will be almost exactly the same, Steph and I.  Assuming she stops learning things and getting better for a decade or two.

My name is Lisa.  I live in the medium-sized town of Mielec, Poland with my husband of 13 years, Greg (well, Grzegorz really, but he introduced himself as Greg 14 years ago and that’s all he’s ever been to me) and our 4 kids Ewelina (11), David (9), Aaron (almost 4) and Spencer (1).

Greg was baptized in Poland and served a Polish-speaking mission in Chicago, from whence he headed to BYU.

I graduated from Ricks College with a specialized associate (no GE!) in early childhood education (specifically Professional Preschool Education).  That was the end of my formal education, and I have to tell everyone when we give our “how we met each other” story that “we met at BYU, he was attending, and I was just there working”.  Can’t have anyone thinking I made it into BYU!  (seriously.  I didn’t.  And seriously.  I am that excruciatingly honest that I can’t leave it at “we met at BYU”)

We’ve lived in Poland for 10 years, the last three kids were born here (no anesthesia!)  We don’t have a branch of the church where we live but the two nearest ones are 2 hours away and each have 4-10 regularly attending members (not counting us and missionaries).  We travel to branches that are farther away regularly for Greg’s calling.

I love living in Poland.  It is beautiful, full of forests and villages and old churches.  It is a country with a rich, tragic and noble past and an amazing future.  I miss America and my family, but most everything else I love is right here where I want it.

I’m sarcastic and kind of boring.  Are you excited to get to know me?  Read on for more thrills!

1.     What’s your favorite part of motherhood?

Babies.  Baby cheeks.  Baby necks.  Baby hands.  The slap, slap, slap of chunky, bare baby feet on the floor.  Nursing.  First words.  “Words” that only I can understand.  Kids figuring stuff out.  Kids talking about Jesus and Heavenly Father.  Kids with soft, peach fuzzy faces.  Kids sacrificing for siblings.  Kids doing things that are hard and knowing they are better for having done them.  Kids.  Knowing that the kids will become adolescents and then adults and that they will still be mine.  Forever.

2.     What part of motherhood would you subcontract out if you could?

Hmmm.  The only thing I hate hate hate is changing sheets.  I hate hate hate it.  Over here there are only duvet covers and flat sheets.  I hate sticking blankets in the huge cases and trying to get flat sheets all tucked in around mattresses.  I should really stagger sheet changing, but after I’ve changed 5 beds in one evening I sort of feel like I’ve completed some Olympic feat.  I love putting freshly scrubbed, sweet-smelling children in freshly changed, sweet-smelling beds.  Pure gold.  (so maybe I wouldn’t subcontract it?  What’s my point here?  Even the things I hate hate hate I love?  Whatever.)

3.     Name 2 or 3 items on your “bucket list.” (Some things you’d like to do before you die.)

I don’t believe in bucket lists.  I’m highly superstitious and am sure that if I list the things I want to do before I die they will NEVER HAPPEN.  Just kidding.  I’m the least superstitious person on Earth (which makes living in extremely superstitious Poland interesting), but I don’t have a bucket list.  However, I wouldn’t mind serving a mission with Greg, going on an Alaskan cruise and… something else before I die, I’m sure.

4.     Brag for a minute.  Do it.  What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?

I’m just regular amazing.  In all ways.

When I asked David (then 6) this question for a mommy tag he said I was good at checking email (I was just getting into blogging and he didn’t really know what I was doing on the computer).  I think he’s right.  I’m rather talented in that department.  Responding to email, not so much, unfortunately.

I love to bake and cook.  I like teaching my kids.  I enjoy singing.  I am not exceptional at any of the above.

5.     What are you loving lately?

Currently I am loving traveling.  Last weekend we were in Warsaw and went to an awesome science museum (while Greg attended meetings).  This weekend we’ll be visiting my favorite castle, Pieskowa Skała, for a church graduation-type ceremony.

We have 4 great travelers, which I know for a fact (?) is because Someone loves us and really wants us to travel for the church.  I would not be overjoyed to do that if we had kids with motion sickness or travel-whininess.  None of our kids suffer from either ailment.  This cannot be a coincidence.

6.     Do you have a favorite scripture or quote?

I’ve always (since seminary) loved Ezekiel 37.  I love the whole thing because it’s exciting and kind of what it’s all about.  I love in verse 24 where it says: “And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.” I especially love it after reading all the stuff that comes before it.  I love being one of the fold and knowing my shepherd, trying to listen to and trust his voice.  I love that one day the shepherd will be recognized as King by all.

7.     What do you gravitate toward during your unscheduled time?

Checking email.

8.     Tell us some of your best mom-tricks  (things you’ve figured out that work well for you).

Mom tricks…mom tricks.  Offering choices, maybe, and being firm.  For example, they can totally to choose which pajamas they will wear, but they may not run around and play games when I am ready to put them on.  They can totally choose what paper/coloring book they want to color in any time, but they can never color on the floor/walls/furniture.  They can play and have fun all day long but when it’s time for bed they stay in their beds.  Stuff like that.  (does this make me strict?  Normal?  Delusional?  I do have one more baby to raise and he’s already taken a pencil to a door before, which none of my other kids ever did…)

9.     What’s something you don’t usually want people to know about you, but that they need to know if they’re going to be your friend?

Hmmm.  I’m very Molly.  I’m extremely far from perfect (except, again, when it comes to email checking) but I believe in trying to keep ALL the commandments.  At least all the basic ones and then do your best with the others (I guess that’s a bit subjective…).  I don’t much care for people to talk about how boring church is (which it is sometimes, of course, but it’s not something I roll my eyes about) or talk about things that I feel are inappropriate.  If you do I will just change the subject.  Or skip to another blog.

10. If you were in charge of a girls’ night out, what kind of activity would you love to plan?

Oh dear.  I am a homebody.  I think everyone would bring their favorite treat and we’d eat and chat and chat and chat.  I like chatting.  Boring, maybe.  And also not really “out” as a GNO probably should be… (I don’t think I’ve answered a single question properly.  Sorry about that.)

11. Friends are great for venting.  What’s been frustrating you lately?

I never get frustrated about anything. [Ha!  She’s lying again.  Look, I found proof.]

12. What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?

Can I say the whole thing?  I believe the gospel (and it’s partner the Church) is not just a good idea.  I think it’s real.  It doesn’t all make perfect sense, but one day it will, when we’re all 100% smart.  I know that for sure.  The plan of salvation is awesome and obviously designed by a perfect Father and made possible through his perfect Son.  I just think it’s fabulous and it makes me want to do all those little things that are sometimes so hard but always so worth it.

Tell us a little about your blog:

My blog is called Away From It All because I am.  Poland is a different world than the one I come from in many ways and I sometimes write about that.  Sometimes I write about something that happened to me a thousand years ago or something cute my baby did yesterday.  I often write about something I’ve been thinking about that nobody should really care about.  I consider my blog my journal that is open to the public.  I don’t think a lot about that public as I write (though I sometimes address it to YOU GUYS) but I absolutely love interacting with people on their blogs and mine.


Thank you, Lisa.  So much.  Now go add her to your blog list.  You’ll be glad you did.