Hello! I'm Kari. I come from the great state of North Carolina, home of barbecue (always a noun, never a verb) and college basketball. I need for you to know how much I love where I live, so I am going to tell you a bit of a story. In Will Blythe’s sublime book about the UNC/Duke basketball rivalry, To Hate Like This is to Be Happy Forever, he talks about how his father wooed his mother by showing her the beauty of our fair state. And then he says, “He presented my mother with his love for North Carolina as if he were giving her a diamond necklace that would always remind her of him, which, in fact, it would, it did.” I like to think that I have shared that same love of my state with my husband, a transplant from Long Island by way of South Carolina. I am not one to have the travel bug, but I do like to visit and see new places. North Carolina, though, is my home that I feel in my bones. Also, the correct answer to the basketball question is always UNC.
When I went to college, I wanted to work in the Christian music industry. People who know me now would find that shocking, since it’s been years since I listened to CCM. I studied marketing and worked in a Christian bookstore and got very jaded about the system. In my last year of college, I commenced freaking out because I realized that I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. As I thought about the things that I value the most, books and information kept coming to the top of the list. And so I became a librarian. Yes, there were some things that happened in between, notably a master’s degree, but I haven’t looked back. I spent some time working in the public library, but these days I work as a librarian in a middle school. It is as wonderful and terrifying as you might guess. One of my favorite things about working in a middle school is that I can say it and big burly mechanically-minded men look intimidated by me. For the record, I am 5’2”.
I grew up in churches that tended to be more Charismatic, but now I attend an American Baptist church and take refuge in the space and time and grounding that the liturgy offers me. I believe in a God who knows and sees more than we do, and who is so good at taking our bad things and turning them into good ones that we don’t even realize he’s doing it most of the time. I no longer believe in the sort of God who is trying to Teach Me A Lesson. I try to believe in one who walks with me through the difficult things. And I do believe that, but I struggle with it, too. I believe it more for you than I do for me. I’m a work in progress, is what I am saying. I believe in the power of the stories we live and tell and share to change our lives.
I have been married since 2000 and have a large rabbit named Big Bunny. Some of my favorite things include excellent café au lait, Jane Austen, strawberry shortcake, that moment when a book just hooks you, swingsets, “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, my husband’s crème brulee, lazy summer afternoons lounging by the pool, and any and all Mexican food. Also, I have the greatest recipe you’ll ever need for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I will be glad to share it with you.