Mark told me the other night that I really should tell you a little bit more about myself so that you can really understand where I am coming from. It's funny; as much as I like to talk (and write) I don't typically like talking (or writing) about myself. But, to satisfy him, avoid any more nagging (now I know how annoying it is) and hopefully connect with you a little bit more I have decided to share more about... me.
Full name: Karen "Ashley" Gangloff (formerly Karen "Ashley" Rubenstein)
Issues with my name: My parents always intended to call me Ashley, but were also set on the name Karen, so I grew up a middle-namer. Is this a major issue? Kind of. I travel a ton and, though I realize it is my own fault for not being consistent, I blame my parents every time the name on my plane ticket doesn't match the name on my credit card which doesn't match the name on my ID. I could just be more conscious of the issue as I am arranging for travel, but it is much more satisfying to add things to the list of complaints that I plan on discussing in future therapy.
Favorite food: Sweedish Fish. If you have never had this wonderful candy I suggest you drop what you are doing, go to the nearest gas station, convenience store or Wal-Mart and pick up a bag. Now, don't be fooled... there are two sizes of fish (small and large). Though they may look the same, the big fish are way better. I do eat the small fish in the most dire situations.
Current Occupation: PhD student at Auburn University
What this really means: I sit in a small concrete office, when I am not attending class, reading, writing, reading, writing and reading some more...day in and day out until it feels as though my eyeballs are going to disconnect, bounce off of my desk and onto the floor. I also study statistics a million gagillion (yes this is technical statistical jargon) hours a day. Teaching is a part of my job as well. Now that you know my occupation, you can probably understand, even more, why I tend to be a penny pincher.
Athletic background: I was a springboard and platform diver throughout my childhood, though college (at Auburn University-Mark and I were on the swimming and diving team together-go ahead, you can say it.... "ahhhhhh, how cute") and beyond.
I wasn't too bad: I was a pretty good diver at that. My biggest accomplishment? Winning the 2006 U.S. Diving National Championships (one meter springboard). This is my biggest accomplishment for many reasons, one of which being the fact that at this point Mark had never won a national championship. This means that I was the first national champion in the family. I may not have an Olympic gold medal, but I can hang this over Mark's head forever-and I plan to.
Pets: Daisy. She is a yorkie-poo that sleeps in the bed with us, likes to eat off of a fork and knows how to work the "puppy dog eyes" better than anyone.
Yep, I have a baby, too: Annabelle is our sweet baby girl. She is 6 months old and her arrival totally rocked our world (but we would have it no other way). I have yet to master traveling around the country and attending swim meets with baby, camera, tote bag, cell phone and all other spectator paraphernalia in hand... but I am working on it. If you ever see me at a meet and I look like I am struggling (I probably am), help a sister out.
Passions: Learning, inspiring and my family.
How I juggle it all: Sometimes I don't and it takes all of my being to just survive the day, but sometimes I am "Super Swim Wife" (maybe I'll make myself a cape) and I feel as though I am just rocking and rolling through this unique life-until, that is, the baby poops on me in public, I drop the camera and lock my keys in my car (all of which are totally possible and totally in my character).
What I cannot handle: I cannot handle laundry-I HATE it and leave it for Mark to do. Other things that I cannot handle are people who dislike what they do. This is where and why I find the energy and strength to be a nervous swim wife. Mark and I do what we love and what we want-this is what keeps me going when this life seems difficult.
I also cannot handle grits (I know that I live in the South, but grits is a dish that I am just plain unwilling to try).