Your Turn

Your Turn/Jenna Crabtree

Shelly Kraemer
Posted: Apr. 15, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Apr. 16, 2018 8:14 am

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a mom. I played with my dolls all the time. I also wanted to do something with money. I had a play bank set with pretend money, and I loved counting it, writing down numbers on graph paper and pretending to type important things on my mom's electric typewriter.

What would you rather be doing right now? Spending time with my husband and kiddos, playing outside in warm weather!

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I loved band camp in high school ... I'll pause for laughter. But it's true! Being with friends, hot summer days, playing fun music with the occasional water balloon fight. Not to mention my awesome tan. It was hard work, but I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? When my daughter, who was 4 at the time, volunteered to give some of her toys to children who are not as fortunate and when she first said the Lord's Prayer from memory. It makes you feel like I'm doing something right as a parent.

It really stinks when ... people have bad manners, either at the dinner table or related to common courtesies. For instance, when you're walking down a row at the theater, please don't put your rear-end in my face; you walk down the row facing those who are sitting down. We really need a little "Emily Post" in our modern society.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Efficacious. Whether it's unloading the dishwasher or my daily work at my job, I try to find the most efficient and effective way to get the job done.

I always laugh when ... my little guy, Theo, belly laughs. It's such a contagious laugh. Or when my daughter says "wash'em and dryer," "living-loom" or "bungled up." In the mornings I'll tell her it's cold outside, and she always says, "Do I need to get bungled up?"

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? Emily Post, although that would be intimidating sitting down to eat with her. I'm sure I could learn a few tips. My husband. With two little ones and our busy schedules, we could really use a date night. Eve (as in Adam and Eve). I'd really like to discuss with her the whole eating of the forbidden fruit issue.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... come home, sit on the couch with the family and watch "Barbie-Life in the Dream House" for the thousandth time (while I catch up on all the latest Facebook and Instagram posts).

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... a goody-two-shoes. I always did my homework, never skipped school, never drank, never smoked and never stayed out past curfew. The highlights of my high school days included marching band, Beta Club and dance. Our wild Friday or Saturday nights consisted of playing a game of "cat and mouse" where my girlfriends and I would set up a scavenger hunt around town, and our guy friends would read the clues to find us.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... I ran into Lil Wayne. I was at the same hotel as him in St. Louis. I had no idea who he was until I left and saw the huge Lil Wayne bus outside. Another memorable one was Patricia Belcher. I was at a conference in New Orleans, and she was sitting right next to me in the opening session. I got up the courage to ask if she would be willing to take a picture with me as my daughter is a huge fan of "Good Luck Charlie" where she plays the role of Mrs. Dabney. She also plays the role of Caroline Julian in the TV series "Bones."

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... be on a tropical island, enjoying some sunshine and warm weather.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... renounce my faith. I truly believe it is by the grace of God that I am where I am today in life and have overcome many obstacles.

America should be more concerned about ... examining themselves before judging or blaming others. I've always loved the phrase, "Remember, when you point a finger at someone, there are three more pointing back at you."

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... shower curtain rings. This is a long-running joke with my husband and I. It started when we were first married, and we both bought a pack of rings not knowing that the other had already gotten some. When we moved into our first apartment, we noticed the people who lived there before left the rings, so we used the ones already in the shower. After moving again, I bought a new shower curtain that had built-in rings; however, we kept the ones we had both bought and the ones left at the previous apartment. Still to this day, if we are at the store and we pass by shower curtain rings, my husband will hold them up and ask if I need some.

When I'm on the internet, I always go to ... the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences website, of course! I'm on there about 20 times a day, making edits, checking to make sure it's functioning. (It's part of my job. Nonetheless, it's a great website to visit!)

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? It was marriage advice at my bridal shower. "He may be the head of the household, but you are the neck, and you can turn the head whichever way you choose."

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... K-Love 95.3, good music for the heart and soul.

I always get sentimental when ... I drink or even see a Dr. Pepper. My great-grandma Holt always had Dr. Pepper at her house, usually in glass bottles, and all the grandkids would look forward to enjoying a nice cold Dr. Pepper when we would visit her. It brings back such great memories.

The older I get, the more I realize ... While reflecting back on different words of wisdom from parents and grandparents, I realize they may have known what they were talking about, especially when it comes to being a parent. When I was younger, I remember thinking that I would never ground my children or put them in time out. How cruel could they be? I get it now. Being a parent is hard work. I now have so much more respect for my parents and more understanding of what they went through.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... spend less time worrying about what my future had in store and more time being present in the moment.

My favorite item of clothing is ... my yoga pants. Nothing special about them. I put them on the minute I get home, and they are oh-so comfy. And no, they have never been to yoga.

If I've learned anything at all ... Be kind to everyone. You never know if the people you come across in your day-to-day activities will somehow help you, be your boss or even save your life in the future. You also don't know what others are going through personally. As my favorite saying goes, "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind."


Jenna Crabtree, 32, is wife to Josh; mother of two, Evalynn, 5, and Theodore, 16 months; and dean of enrollment management and business manager at Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Born and raised in Quincy, she left for a short time while attending college at Concordia University Chicago, then returned to be near family while raising her own family.