Your Turn

Your Turn/Maddie Gronewold

Posted: Nov. 11, 2017 10:10 pm

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a firefighter. I love thrills. What can I say?

What would you rather be doing right now? Something active for sure. I played volleyball in college and coached for a couple of years thereafter. Being a farmer's wife (especially during harvest time), running a retail business (especially during holiday time) and running two rugrats around while I'm six months pregnant doesn't allow much time for squeezing in a swim or a pickup tennis match.

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I have never seen "Fixer Upper." We live in the middle of a cornfield, so we are unable to get internet or cable; therefore, I have actually never watched an episode.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? I wish I could say, when I opened a business, or when I received an award or when I was recognized, but to me that isn't the meaning of life. Those awards are forgotten, and one day (hopefully never) the building could have a tornado go through it. So although I love these moments, and thank the Lord for the blessings I have and the talents He has given me, my proudest moment was something simple. We went for our first ultrasound a couple months ago, and that's when we told our boys they were going to be big brothers. They didn't understand that their "surprise" was at a hospital on a TV screen, so when the doctor was doing his thing and said "there's your baby brother or sister," my oldest started crying and gave me a hug and rested his little head on my chest. That was my proudest moment. That's when the world was still, and there was just love between a family. It was perfect.

It really stinks when ... you are wearing glitter on your face or in your hair from weeks ago because Christmas season is everywhere.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Juggler. I never have life together exactly; my car is never spotless, the store is never perfect, my emails aren't answered promptly enough, dinner is made but an hour late, and I never have a moment where my house is clean and all the laundry is done. I am a very real, very "hey- this-is-real-life" type person. However, even though we all have 100 things going on, I never "completely" lose it. I juggle, adjust and make changes where necessary to make it seem like I am pulling it off almost seamlessly. But let's be real. Anyone who knows me knows that life is here, there and everywhere, but we juggle and make it work.

I always laugh when ... I am with my sister. There's just something about your siblings. They know you best. They have been through the utmost highs and the deepest lows with you. They can make fun of you when no one else should. They hold you more accountable than anyone, and they care like no one else. They make you laugh the hardest because you are the most free and careless with them. We are weird together. We have that understanding at least.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? The Property Brothers; I think they are extremely knowledgeable as far as construction goes, and I always wanted to get into real estate and flipping. And the marketing head at Facebook. I think anyone that sees millions of marketing analytics a day has to know a thing or two about it. I would like to pick their brain.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... take my bra off and wash my face. Let's be real. This is every woman.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... always going to leave. I never thought I would stay in the Chicagoland area. Never did I think I'd end up in a cornfield in Hancock County. But I always knew I would do some exploring somewhere else.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... literally no one.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... fly down to Nashville to see my sister.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... eat something that just shouldn't be eaten. Like on the show "Survivor." That is disgusting, and no one in their right mind volunteers to do that.

America should be more concerned about ... others than selfies. My favorite teacher in high school was from a farming community in Iowa. He talked with a southern drawl and above anything tried to open the eyes of a suburban community to values of a corn community. He instilled a saying that is lost in today's society -- "Are you here to serve, or be served?" Serving others on a personal basis has been lost today. Stop the selfies, and start the service.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... I know this may be weird, but I collect nothing and keep nothing in stock, so I probably wouldn't be OK. My life is full of kids' toys and crayons on demand right now, so that's the stage I'm in. I guess I have hundreds of cracked crayons. There's no reason to throw away crayons if you can still use them,

When I'm on the internet, I always go to ... After checking my bank account, I always check out our real estate company in town. I am nosey, and like to know what is for sale and who's buying what.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? Don't take life too seriously. It's not worth stressing over anything that may fail, and it's not my success that I am proud of. My talents come from God, and He can give and take away. When I focus attention away from the core of what I am here for, I get distracted and lose the meaning of life. Life is fun! Life is an adventure. Life should be enjoyed each and every step -- even when I have applesauce thrown in my face, a child "pottying" their pants and unexpected company at the door. Hey, that's life.

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... "Moana" or "Frozen." If I am by myself, K-Love or an audible book on marketing, positive thinking or my favorite podcast "How I Built This." I didn't do this when I was younger. This is definitely not a norm for me; however, I think it gets your mind open to new ideas, pushes you in different ways and expands your focus.

I always get sentimental when ... my kids ask me to read them a story or snuggle with them. You can't say no to your kids when they want you by their side.

The older I get, the more I realize ... life is a lot simpler than we make it out to be. A perfect night could be cards and pizza with good company. Your bank account doesn't reflect how much love you have, the size of your house or wardrobe doesn't mean you have it all together and your job status is inevitably a title. Live simple, and love all.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... probably not go to college. I would take some years off and figure out exactly where I wanted to go. I would work definitely, job shadow to gather real life training before "classroom training" and maybe even join the military.

My favorite item of clothing is ... those jeans that fit perfectly. I don't think this needs any more explanation. They are the "conquer the world" jeans.

If I've learned anything at all ... Respect others, and they will respect you. Be a good human being. Be kind. Be gentle, and be gracious. Listen to people, and all these things will be given right back to you as well.

Maddie Gronewold, 28, is originally from the Chicagoland area, and when she met her husband, there was no convincing him to leave his land and cows, so it was definitely an adjustment living in this area. Now, 10 years later, she is in love with rural living, the community that it gathers together and the revitalization of shopping local and downtown squares. Growing up in a metropolitan area, keeping "the town" alive was never a reason for concern because people were moving in and out on a daily basis. However, now that she and her husband have two boys and a third on the way (that she selfishly wants to live and stay here, too), it's that much more of a priority to start new businesses, educate the youth on keeping dollars within our community and support your neighbor.

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