Today I am thrilled to share my interview with my friend, Rebekah. Rebekah and I met in the spring of 2004, when I started working at the ITS Helpdesk at our college. Interestingly, her then boyfriend (now husband!) actually interviewed me, and became my boss! Rebekah was a true and loyal friend, and I have a distinct memory of her bringing me a beautiful flower on the day a boy was bratty to me.
Her interview, after the break!
1. What is your name, and who are you?
Rebekah Ahrens, mother of two little boys, wife, dancer, urban farm girl, and application developer at the University of Iowa.
2. How do you know Kate?
Kate and I worked together at the ITS HelpDesk (with Tawnia). I was one of the computer nerds. The guy I was dating became the boss, so I was shuffled to a separate work group. Kate and I stayed friends though. Now I get to work with Kate's awesome mom too!
3. Tell me about a typical day in your life.
A typical day is full of the routine of getting little ones to school, getting myself to work, getting everyone home, fed and off to bed. It usually involves lots of small problems to solve with my 4 year old (what shirt to wear is serious business), lots of small problems to solve at work, and lots of play time all the way around.
4. What’s the most challenging part of your life?
I just went through a huge challenge. My husband traveled to Ghana for 12 days on a mission trip. I stayed home with our 2 boys with no extra help. I had tons of offers of help, but I wanted to know I could do it on my own, which I did. It was exhausting and rewarding. Now Mark is home and we are figuring out how to reconcile his new perspective with normal life.
5. What are you likely to be doing at 8pm on a Saturday night?
Washing dishes and feeding the cats - boring! 8PM happens to be when the boys are getting to bed and Saturday is Mark's night to do that. So I take care of the evening chores and then we get time to relax together.
6. Paint me a picture of your life in five years.
I don't want much to change in five years. My little boys are going to be so much more grown up which will be a huge change on its own.
7. If you could be given any gift, what would it be?
Time at home with our whole family. I really can't get too much time with all 3 of my guys.
8. What part of your morning routine do you consider essential?
Eating breakfast as a family. Every part of our morning routine has to get done, but eating breakfast together is the most important time to help us all connect briefly before we go our separate ways for the day.
9. What one deceased person would you like an hour with?
I would love to have even one hour with Wesley Johansen, my grandfather that died when I was just 3 weeks old. My dad and grandma have told me so many wonderful stories about Grandpa. He and Grandma were a very loving couple that worked hard together - what Mark and I strive to be. While I don't remember him personally, I miss him terribly.
10. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go and why? Have you been there before?
If I were to really travel anywhere, I would go to Bornholm, Denmark, an island in the Baltic Sea. My great grandfather came from there and I plan to explore there some day. While I understand why he came to the United States, Bornholm sounds like an amazing place to visit.
I could also be perfectly happy with a vacation staying home.
11. You have ten minutes to give a speech to college seniors. What do you talk about?
That what they just learned was not just their specific field, but the ability to think independently, tools that will serve them in all facets of their life.
12. What is your all-time favorite song?
I suppose "all-time" is Toccata from Symphony No. 5 by Widor. It is really hard to choose just one favorite song, but this one has stuck with me the most over the years. I even convinced our organist to play it at for the recessional for our wedding. Now, our church has an organ performance PhD candidate for an organist and he plays this piece on a regular basis. I'm so spoiled.
13. If you weren’t in your current occupation, what would you like to do?
While I love my current work, I could be happy doing all sorts of different jobs. What really draws my attention right now is expanding on the "farm" aspect of my urbanfarm. Maybe even move to the country. Have some animals, let the boys learn how to care for animals. Sit outside on a beautiful day, with a glass of iced tea in hand, playing with the animals in the pasture. We get little pieces of this on our family farm, playing with the baby goats, and have really loved every moment of it.
14. Tell me about your family.
I have two little boys, ages 4 and 16 months, and a loving husband, Mark (yes, the same guy that was once Kate's boss). We also have two cats, Purrball and Augie.
15. What do you “know now” that you wish you “knew then”?
That spending time with my girl friends was really important to me. In high school, I was so busy with school, work, ballet classes and a boyfriend that I neglected my girl friends. But really, the boy wasn't worth losing out on all my time with my girl friends.
Thanks so much, Rebekah! If you're willing to participate in my series (only six weeks left!) send your answers to kate at katespecial dot com.