I was tagged on Facebook to reveal 25 random facts about myself. As usual, I turned it into quite an essay, and decided to share it here. For those I have yet to hook up with on Facebook:
1. I suspect that if I had a prior life, it could have been as a feline; my two favorite pleasures are sleeping and eating. Right now sleeping is in short supply around here, so I console myself with food.
2. I love to eat a grapefruit every morning for breakfast. Grapefruit reminds me of visiting my grandparents in Arizona when I was a kid. Their neighborhood was built on an old grapefruit orchard, and their lot had 14 grapefruit trees on it. My grandpa McHolm viewed the eating of a grapefruit as a science, and taught me how to eat it just-so. To this day I always eat a grapefruit the exact same way... Did you know that most grapefruit have 12 sections? And that it takes 72 cuts to section a grapefruit? The days I also split one between the kids, I make almost 150 cuts with a paring knife before I can eat the glorious food. But it is sooo worth it!
3. I also adore an English muffin toasted just-so, with butter and blackberry jam. And usually coffee, although I'm taking a break right now. With a newborn in the house, one never knows when one will get to catch a nap, and I would hate to not be able to sleep because of a caffeine buzz! The withdrawal headache was not fun last week, but it's all for a good cause.
4. I could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. My favorite pizza is Papa John's, although I am a bit of a junkie and will eat any pizza that comes my way.
5. I could also eat cookies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. My favorite cookies are... well, cookies.
6. I love avocados, artichokes, shrimp, and sushi. I learned to like all of those things the first year I lived in California. There were so many new foods there, I decided I would just make myself a rule that I would never order chicken. Turns out there are a lot of other good things to eat besides chicken! To this day I seldom cook with chicken, mostly for the adventure of what else I may discover.
7. There are very few foods I will not eat. One food I have a hard time eating is crab. When my brother and I were kids, our parents took us to New Jersey for an ocean vacation. One afternoon we went walking on the boardwalk. We came upon someone in a tent selling live crabs. Much to my surprise, my parents decided to buy a bag. I had no idea where we were going to keep them; but being a lover of animals, I thought to myself that I would enjoy having them as pets. When we got back to our campsite, my mom pulled out a metal pot to put them in, and covered them with water. And then to my horror, she put the pot on the camper's stove, put a lid on the pot, and lit the fire beneath it. I will never forget the sound those claws made on the lid as the crabs struggled to escape being cooked. Once the scraping sounds stopped, the crabs were removed from the water and served to us as our dinner. I cried as I was taught how to pull off the shell and dig out the meat. Unfortunately, every time I smell crab, I have a flashback of this moment. I even get uncomfortable whenever I smell the ocean, but I have worked hard to let that go so I can enjoy the beach. But crabs... well I have learned to like many things but that one is still a challenge for me. It's okay, Mom. You tried.
8. One of the biggest surprises of my life was discovering I could cook. Not only that, I have a reputation for being pretty good at it. A large part of my confidence in the kitchen came when my brand new husband bragged to others about what good food I made. Friends, never underestimate the power your positive words can have on others.
9. Lately, I have been too busy to cook as much. I discovered my hubby can cook, too! It's amazing what you can miss when you try too hard to be in control of all the details of your life. Learning to let go and let those around me participate has been an awesome life lesson for me.
10. Since the age of 17, I have always had polish on my toenails, with the exception of an occasional day here and there. Last year I discovered spa pedicures, now I have someone else paint my toenails for me. My last pedicure was January 17. Current color is baby pink, in honor of my new baby girl.
11. Since the age of 19, I have color treated my hair. Justin has been my stylist for 12 of those years.
12. Although I do not have any tattoos, I have always secretly thought that in the right company and under the right provocation, I would be fine with getting one. Maybe a rosebud.
13. My current perfume is Pink by Victoria's Secret. I also like Bath and Body Works products in Pink Grapefruit, Coconut Lime Verbena, Freshwater Cucumber, and Sweet Pea.
14. I am blessed to be surrounded by good friends, old and new, that love me for who I am. I am also blessed to be related to many of those friends. Facebook has been wonderful for helping me reconnect with my cousins and to realize how much we all have in common. Kay, Angie, Anne, Ami, Christie, Katy and Val, it has been a pleasure to discover we really are friends too.
15. The worst thing I ever did as a child was to punch a neighbor girl in the mouth just to see what it felt like. I have carried guilt about this for more than 25 years. Then a few months ago the neighbor girl found me on Facebook. I humbly apologized, only to learn that she has no memory of the incident, and that she forgives me anyway. Thanks, Kristen. You are officially my Facebook friend from the earliest time in my life, except my mom and other relatives, of course.
16. One of the coolest things I ever did was climb a live volcano in Guatemala. At the summit, we were probably less than 200 feet from a vent that was spitting out red and black chunks of lava. Dr Alvin Anderson, who happens to be Marva's dad, Kristi's grandpa, is the spryest old man I've ever met, and he led the way. And I'll just tease you while I'm at it, Kristi's brother is a Rock Star, in a band you've probably heard of!
17. My other grand outdoor adventure was a few years ago when a couple of my friends, Christina and Jeanette, dragged me on a day-long hike through the canyons of Escalante National Park in southern Utah. I even got photos of that trip, which you can see on Facebook in my album called Canyoneering.
18. My first date with Justin was in 1996, at an ice cream shoppe called Ivanhoes. I knew I was in love with him by the end of that first two hour conversation. You can ask Heidi and Laura; they lived through that time with me.
19. My favorite ice cream shoppes anywhere are Ivanhoes of Upland, IN; and Milk and Honey of Canton, OH. My favorite brand of ice cream is Blue Bell, out of Brenham, TX. (Oops! Another food one! Did I mention I love food?)
20. I love Justin more for the way he loves me in my unlovable moments, than for the way he looked at me the first time he said he loved me, on March 16, 1996. And that was an awesome moment.
21. I am a princess in my little world. On January 13, 1997, Justin took me to New York City to see Sunset Boulevard on Broadway and treat me to dinner in a revolving restaurant at the top of the Marriott. We also walked through Times Square, FAO Schwartz, Tiffany's, and past Rockefeller Center. But first, he proposed to me during a carriage ride through Central Park. Jim and Dawn, Justin's parents, shared that day with us, except for the carriage ride part! We were pulled by an enormous shaggy black horse named Rocky. I was dressed for the show in a coral colored formal dress with a crinoline slip, and it was a coooold day. I remember nothing of Central Park itself after the moment he asked the question. But he reassures me we did complete the ride, and I loved it.
22. Another of the great surprises of my life was falling in love with my children; and realizing that each new addition does not divide my available love, but adds to my capacity to love. It's an amazing miracle.
23. I love making art through quilting, card making, photography, and cooking. I also love to create pictures with words. Strangely, I hate scrapbooking. My favorite art is consumable, as in... I make it and give it away, therefore it does not accumulate in my house. Maybe someday when the kids are in school and the writing is manageable, I will get my act together to turn my brainchild, Firefly Design, into a profitable business.
24. My ideal place in this world is in a spot where I can be crafty; share parenting and cooking information that helps other people; and use my passion for writing to encourage others in their spiritual journey. In this moment in time, I have found a sweet spot just for me as a member of my local MOPS chapter, on the leadership team. Seldom in my life have I been so confident in belonging someplace. I am blessed to share leadership with Leigh and Marian, among others.
25. I believe it's not just important what you say, it's how you say it. Except for those times when you just have to get it out because if you wait to say it right, it will never be said.