Monday, January 12, 2015

Snippets of Me

I have been walking (or crawling, rolling, and scooting) this earth for 32 years.  Sometimes, it doesn't feel that long... other times, I think, "How am I not 50 yet?!"

I am not saying that 50 is old... but it is older than I am, and sometimes I feel older than my relatively short time on this planet.

To commemorate my recent birthday... 32 things that define me (in no particular order):

1. I am the eldest of 4 children. My sister and I came first, and then my parents took a few years break and then my two brothers arrived. Basically, my parents hit the jackpot: have two girls that can then become little moms and help with two little boys. 

2. I am a Christ-follower. 

3. I am an over-achiever. There have been numerous occasions when a teacher or professor asked for our notes at the end of a semester and I had them typed up, laminated, and bound before turning them in. I couldn't help it. Now, I'm trying my best to help it. 

4. I am competitive. I was an athlete growing up, and while I don't compete in sports anymore, I find other ways... the Hubs said over Christmas that he doesn't "like" playing board games with my family... I guess we are ALL competitive. 

5. I have Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS). I try not to be burdened by my health condition, but its a pretty bad case and therefore, I find it dictating a lot of what I can and can't do and what I can and can't eat. I also find my condition humbling. It is very humble to wake up after passing out while walking through a restaurant. It is humbling to have to lay down on the floor in random places because if I don't I will pass out and fall to the floor instead. It is humbling to have to tell people that I can't fulfill commitments because I can't drive that day. 

6. I love Friends. <--- the Friends that is FINALLY on Netflix. The Friends that I watched nightly for many years. The Friends that got me through labor and delivery of my first child. While I do love my actual friends that talk to me... I also love my Friends that are on TV. 

7. I am a nerd. I love researching things. I love learning new things. I love reading. I love my smartphone not because of the apps and games but because I have endless researching capabilities at my fingertips and if a random question pops into my head, I can search for the answer and read up on any subject. As a friend puts it, I am a "gatherer of random information."

8. I am a Californian. I do not live there currently and do not foresee myself moving back permanently, but at the heart, I am a Californian. I spent 28 years there. Twenty-eight years in a state that has every type of geography and has so much to do. I used to not understand how people lived in other states. When I have lived 29 years in a different (but same) state, I may or may not change this qualification. I have quite a while to figure this out, though.

9. I am a stay-at-home mom. This is something that I never would have guessed for myself. I grew up wanting to attend Stanford. I wanted to be a teacher or a marine biologist for most of my childhood. But here I am, staying home and taking care of my family. This is my career at the moment. 

10. I am the mom to a strong-willed, very intelligent girl. Missy is 5 years old going on 17. She is beautiful and athletic and nurturing. She has the gift of encouragement. According to my parents, she is a carbon copy of myself. She thinks like me, she talks like me, she looks like me... its like I've found a way to clone myself and then give birth to that clone. She loves school and learning and reading. She is very creative. She loves to talk. She is super social and finds it hard not to be with other people. 

11. I am the mom to a stubborn, very energetic, and complicated boy. Bub is 4 years old. He has Celiac Disease and is very proud of this diagnosis. He was also recently diagnosed with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Neither of these things define him. Neither of these things change the person he is. And the Celiac diagnosis caused the bigger change in our lifestyle. He is very intelligent and is coping with both of these things extremely well and has a team of people surrounding him and helping him. Unlike his sister, he prefers to not be with a lot people. He likes to talk but only talks to those he trusts most. 

12. I have married a man whom I love and respect. He provides very well for his family. He has integrity. He loves and follows God. He is loyal (almost to a fault, but I'm not complaining). He loves kids and is an awesome father. I love that I get to go through life and do this parenting and family thing with him.

13. I am neurotic and a stress-ball. Does this need an explanation?  Ask my third grade teacher. 

14. I have a passion for organizing. Sometimes, I want to get a degree in organizing so that I can then get paid to organize for other people. 

15. On the topic of organizing, I love my label maker. And my post-its. And my sharpies. (Did you know there is a thing as a "sharpie pen"?? It doesn't bleed through paper. You're welcome.)

16. I love to cook. Growing up, I am pretty sure I drove my mom crazy in the kitchen. I wasn't satisfied with "throw x amount of flour in" or "first do this and then do that"... I wanted to know WHY.... why not more flour than that? What is the purpose of this ingredient when it doesn't taste good by itself? Now that I have my own kitchen and the means to research all my questions about the science behind the cooking, I am a happy camper. 

17. I've never been a fan of baking. Until Bub was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Now, it's beast I want to conquer! 

18. It is something that didn't define me until a few years ago, but I lost my best friend and sister (as well as her husband and kids) in a horrible traffic accident. Living life without the one person I don't remember life without has been the hardest thing ever. 

19. We are in the process of adopting our third child. All 4 of us are so excited to welcome this newest addition - whenever he or she comes. 

20. I am an extrovert. I am not necessarily the life of the party, but I need people around me to energize me. 

21. I have been blessed with friends that I have had for 20+ years and still communicate with almost daily, even though we are 3000 miles apart. These women have helped to shape me into the person that I am today. They have prayed with me. Gone through the death of my sister with me. Have encourage me and counseled me. We have grown together and I feel so lucky to have met them so young in life. On the flip side, I have been blessed with a few awesome friends since moving to Georgia and I hope to still call them friends 20+ years from now!

22. (10 more!!) I find blogging therapeutic. I love writing and engaging people on this platform. 

23. Much to the dismay of my husband, I collect books. I have paired down over the years (some are now in ebook format), but he probably would have preferred me to come into the marriage with a rock collection. It weighs less.

24. We have moved seven times since we got married 7.5 years ago. 

25. I am a cat person. I prefer them to dogs. Except Donner. She has been with me for 6 of those 7 moves and I love her. 

26. I. LOVE. COFFEE. I am a former barista that married a former coffee roaster. Coffee is a big part of our lives. 

27. I am regretting that I chose to write 32 things that define me as a 32 year old. (Does that count? I'm deciding that it does.)

28. I have recently learned to sew with a sewing machine. I find great satisfaction in completed projects but often feel like throwing my machine across the room. It is a weird mix of stress-relieving and stress-inducing. This is better than when I took up knitting or crocheting though; I will leave that crafting hobby to my mom and sister. It's for the sake of my family that I don't knit or crochet. 

29. I love my church. I have been active in many churches over the years doing everything from admin work, to nursery, to singing worship (and even a little guitar and bass playing), and church planting. The church we are at here, has tugged at my heart strings in a new way. I will be truly sad to have to leave it eventually. (To all of you that attend with me: I am not planning on leaving willingly, it is just the nature of the Hubs' career.)

30. I tend to root for the under-dog. I was a Sacramento Kings fan through the 90s if you need an example.

31. I come from a family that had regular family dinners and regular family game nights even after my sister and I were married. We are THAT family. Close knit. We have a group text thread currently. 

32. I like to think that I am dependable and loyal. I hate when and if I have to cancel on someone. 

There you have it! 32 things that define me.  That was a lot harder than I thought it would be! Special thanks to the handful of friends I texted for help for the last few items!! ;)

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