140 Things About Me

#1-10: 10 Things About My Background

1. I turned 30 years old in August, 2004. I didn’t handle it well.

2. I am a Christian.

3. I was raised, and remain, a Southern Baptist.

4. I haven’t felt close to God since I lost a baby to miscarriage 3 1/2 years ago.

5. I’ve lived in Texas most of my life; I grew up in Lubbock and lived there until my mom, my sister, and I moved to Plainview when my mom married my stepdad, just months after she and my dad divorced. I was plunged into a new high school for the last nine weeks of my freshman year. We lived in Plainview for two more years, then moved to Small Town (where I met Deputy Dad, and where we live now) the summer before my senior year. I thought transferring to Plainview High was tough, but being both smart AND an outsider made it impossible to fit in at Small Town High.

6. I thought I hated living in a small town, and thought I wanted to live in the big city, until Deputy Dad and I moved to a large Texas city right before we found out we were pregnant with The Drama Queen. I couldn’t believe how much I missed living in a small town, especially after The Drama Queen was born. We moved back to Small Town a year and a half after we left, and we’ve never looked back. I’m now happy to call Small Town my home.

7. I am adopted.

8. I have been communicating with my birth mother via emails, instant messaging, and phone calls, for almost three-and-a-half years.

9. I grew up with one (younger) sister. I also have a step-brother from my mom’s second marriage; a step-brother and step-sister from my dad’s second marriage; a biological brother, whom I have been in contact with for several years; and several biological half-brothers and half-sisters, none of whom I have ever met.

10. I am completely aware of just how confusing and dysfunctional my family background is.

#11-20: 10 Things About My Physical Appearance

11. I wear very little makeup. I never wear foundation or powder; I hate the way they feel. My daily makeup application consists of a little eyeliner, a sweep of blush, mascara (generally applied to my upper lashes only, since I read somewhere that putting mascara only on the upper lashes can help give tired-looking eyes a lift, and my eyes are ALWAYS tired), and neutral-colored lipstick. I put on my makeup in the morning, and forget about it. I don’t carry a makeup bag for touch-ups. I don’t touch up. I don’t even re-apply lipstick, except on very rare occasions

12. I have dark brown eyes. They were even darker when I was a kid, and would turn almost black when I was angry.

13. When I was a child, I wished I had green eyes, because I knew they were uncommon (I didn’t know anyone who had them.), and because brown eyes were SO common. Now I think my eyes are my best feature.

14. People – both strangers and friends of my parents – used to ask me, “WHERE did you get those beautiful brown eyes?” No one else in my family had brown eyes (See #7), so I finally started answering, “from my dog.”

15. I have dark brown hair, which is becoming increasingly speckled with grey. I always thought I would age gracefully, that I would let my hair grey naturally and not color it in an attempt to hold on to my youth. But I had no idea I’d start going grey before I turned 30. I’ve been shocked at how much grey I’ve noticed in the last year. Now I’m rethinking that whole “aging gracefully” plan.

16. I consider myself average height. I’m about 5 feet, 3 1/2 inches tall. Some folks may consider that below average. Whatever. I like my height, because my head rests perfectly under Deputy Dad’s chin when he holds me.

17. I am overweight. Not so much that Richard Simmons will need to hire a crane to lift me off my couch, but I am heavier now than at any point in my life. I’d like to lose 60-75 pounds.

18. My chances of losing that weight are slim (pun intended), since I currently have (a) no willpower and (b) no time to work out.

19. I have big feet. Peggy Hill feet. I wore a size 8 – 8 1/2 before I got pregnant with The Drama Queen. Three kids later, I’m a 9 1/2 – 10. I’d read that pregnancy can make a woman’s feet wider, but mine grew two sizes in LENGTH!

20. I haven’t felt pretty in a very long time, even when I’m dressed in my Sunday best.

#21-30: 10 Things About My Personality

21. I am borderline obsessive-compulsive when it comes to hand-washing. Not just MY hands, but everyone else’s, too. Do not even ATTEMPT to touch my baby without washing your hands.

22. I’m smart.

23. I have a hard time pretending I like someone when I really don’t, so I usually just try to avoid them instead.

24. I am, by nature, very empathetic and highly emotional, which basically means I cry a lot.

25. I constantly feel I haven’t lived up to my potential. (See #22)

26. I don’t like to admit it, but I’m pretty high-strung. I wish I could just relax and quit worrying over everylittlething.

27. I am fiercely loyal – to both friends and family – unless I get hurt badly. Then I’m done. I don’t go back for second helpings of heartache.

28. I appear much more self-confident than I really am. Inside, I’m constantly questioning myself.

29. I used to be extremely outgoing, but I’ve become more and more introverted over the last few years.

30. I think my sense of humor is one of my best traits. I love to laugh. There’s nothing like a good joke or a really witty pun to brighten my day.

#31-40: 10 Things About My Love Life

31. Deputy Dad and I met the summer after my senior year of high school, when he was dating my (former) best friend, whom I’ll call Booger.

32. No, I didn’t break them up. In fact, they set me up with Deputy Dad’s best friend, and the four of us hung out together, until Deputy Dad and Booger broke up. Luckily, he and I had already become good friends, and I quit seeing his best friend shortly thereafter

33. The first time Deputy Dad kissed me, I was (a) totally caught off guard and (b) completely swept off my feet

34. That same night he told me – for the first time – that he loved me, and I immediately responded with “I love you, too.” Then we looked at each other in shock that we’d said it. It had come so naturally that neither of us really realized we were saying it until afterward.

35. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Deputy Dad is the man God intended for me.

36. We married two days before I turned 19; Deputy Dad was 20. We’ll celebrate our 12th anniversary in August.

37. When Deputy Dad gives me that look, my heart beats faster and my knees buckle.

38. Deputy Dad and I have an extremely healthy umm…physical relationship. (All equipment must be inspected and tested as often as possible.)

39. Having three kids and crazy schedules has – at times – put a strain on our marriage, simply because we get so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. But we take every opportunity possible to reconnect.

40. I cannot imagine my life without Deputy Dad. I can’t begin to express how much I love that man.

#41-50: 10 Things About Motherhood

41. I have been pregnant four times. I have three children. (See #4)

42. I am proud mother to The Drama Queen, 9; Miss Attitude, 8; and Super Boy, 2.

43. I have spent more than 5 1/2 years of my life pregnant, breastfeeding, or both.

44. Breastfeeding my children is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I highly recommend at least trying it. When The Drama Queen was born, I committed myself to six weeks of trying, after which I would allow myself to give up gracefully. It took five weeks to stop hurting and start bonding.

45. I pride myself on the fact that I’ve never bought a can of baby formula. (I’ve saved – literally – thousands of dollars just by breastfeeding each of my three children through their first year of life.)

46. I am fiercely protective of my babies. I have surprised myself a few times when my Mama Bear instincts kick in.

47. I’m pretty sure the reason The Drama Queen and I butt heads so often is because she is JUST LIKE ME.

48. I don’t post pictures of my children here because the idea of anyone looking at them and thinking unpure thoughts makes me physically ill.

49. I hate watching the news, because hearing about a child – any child – who’s been abused – physically, emotionally, or sexually – nearly brings me to tears.

50. I constantly worry about the safety of my kids, especially my daughters. (See #46 #48)

#51-60: 10 Things About My Work Life

51. I’ve only had six jobs in my life, including my current one. I think that means I’m pretty stable.

52. My first-ever job was a temporary gig at a local veterinarian’s office, answering the phone, checking folks in and out, and…umm…cleaning up after the patients, as needed. It was exactly as glamorous as it sounds.

53. My second job was as a cashier at Wal-Mart. I still miss that employee discount, but not enough to want to work there again. EVER.

54. I currently work part-time for an oil and gas company.

55. I am blessed that my hours are very flexible. As long as I’m getting my work done, they don’t really care if I work 10 hours or 30 hours. They also don’t mind that I take off for all of the kids’ school activities, doctor appointments, illnesses, etc. Again, very blessed.

56. I like my job, but I don’t love it.

57. If Deputy Dad wasn’t so underpaid, I’d be a full-time, stay-at-home mom.

58. I spend most of every work day in front of the computer.

59. My productivity level at work has gone down considerably since I discovered the blogosphere.

60. I feel guilty about #59, but not enough to stop blogging, or stop reading blogs. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted. (Is there a 12-step program for blog addicts? Nevermind. I don’t WANT to be cured.)

#61-70: 10 Things About My Online Life

61. Unlike many people I know in my offline life, I’ve always found computers relatively easy to use – not because I’m particularly techno-savvy, but because – again, unlike many people I know – I pay attention and read directions.

62. The first time I was ever on the internet was at my in-laws’ house several years ago, helping them search for some song lyrics. They’d had internet access for a while; I’d never been online, yet they were asking me for help. (See #61)

63. We finally got internet access at home about four years ago, when we bought our computer.

64. I met most of my blogging buddies through the dooce comments section.

65. I’ve never met any of my online friends in person.

66. I chose my online name – LadyBug – because that’s what my maternal grandmother called me as a child.

67. I have over 50 blogs bookmarked. I check most of them daily.

68. I don’t always comment on all the blogs I read, because the people who pay me to blog and read blogs, sometimes expect me to do something called work.

69. When I’m at work and have nothing to do, and I’m caught up on all my blog-reading-and-commenting, I’ll sometimes go blog-surfing. I’ll go to one of my bookmarked blogs and follow a link to a blog I’ve never read before, then follow a link from there to another blog, and so on, until my eyes cross or someone piles more work on my desk. I’ve found some very interesting blogs that way; unfortunately, I usually forget to bookmark them; and, since I have no idea how I got there, I have no idea how to get back there.

70. I think my online persona is a pretty accurate reflection of the offline me: sometimes clever, sometimes confused, sometimes rational, sometimes emotional, sometimes restrained and reserved, sometimes frisky and feisty.

#71-80: 10 Random Things About Me

71. I was a baton twirler in junior high.

72. I played clarinet in sixth grade through my junior year of high school. I played well. But I quit when we moved to Small Town, because they wouldn’t transfer my damn P.E. credits, so I had to take a year and a half of P.E. during my senior year of high school

73. I’m pretty nitpicky when it comes to spelling and grammar.

74. I love numbers. I’m a total math geek.

75. I’m a damn fine dishwasher stacker. I can completely fill a dishwasher, then make room for a few more. I’ve got dishwasher-stacking skillz.

76. I didn’t get my driver’s license until after Deputy Dad and I married. (He taught me to drive.) I was 19.

77. I have a two-year degree from a junior college, but I found out I was pregnant with The Drama Queen immediately after we moved to a larger Texas city where I was transferring to a university. I’ve never regretted postponing my education to be more available for my family, but I do hope to go back to school one day. (See #25)

78. I’m hoping I figure out what I want to be when I grow up, before I do finally go back to school.

79. I find cooking and baking enjoyable when I have plenty of time for them. I haven’t enjoyed cooking or baking in a long while.

80. I love to sing, and I’ve been told I sing well. My ultimate when-I-grow-up-I-wanna-be fantasy would be to sing in Broadway musicals – and make good money doing it. But I’m not keen on that whole starving artist, paying-your-dues thing. I’m too much of a realist to try to persue a singing career.

#81-90: 10 Quirky Things About Me

81. My life is a musical. (See #80) Just about everything I see or hear reminds me of a song. I’ve tamed my tendency to burst into song in the middle of a conversation; I’m not as likely to do so in public, anyway. But, rest assured, there’s a song playing in my head at any given moment; and there’s always a possibility I’ll share it.

82. I have a highly sensitive nose. I am acutely aware of any strong smell, including perfumes, air fresheners, and (especially) smoke. Pungent smells burn my nose. (Seriously. It hurts.)

83. I’m pretty anal when it comes to list-making. Case in point: I won’t post these 100 Things lists until I have all 10 of them done. As I type this, I have six lists saved as drafts – some complete and some semi-complete, including a master list of all of my 100 Things lists. (Yeah, I know. I already admitted it was anal. Let’s move on.)

84. I like the flavor, but not the texture, of baked fruit. Which means I like pie and cobbler crusts, but I pick around the filling.

85. I am, apparently, not very quirky, because it’s taking me longer to complete this list than any other.

86. I am so math- and logic-oriented, that I insist on a logical order to almost everything. Example: the red and blue plastic cereal bowls must be stacked red-blue-red-blue-etc. I also alphabetize the Kool-Aid packets. This maybe, kinda drives Deputy Dad a little insane. Possibly.

87. I’m terrible – just terrible – about getting film developed or getting prints made of digital photos. I currently have about 20 rolls of film that need to be developed and several hundred digital photos I need to sift through, edit, and have prints made of.

88. Yes, I realize #87 probably doesn’t qualify as quirky, but I’m looking for filler here. (See #85.)

89. I am constantly going back and re-reading what I write, checking for spelling and grammar errors (See #73), and editing it accordingly.

90. I have an…unusual peculiarity. This one’s hard to explain. How ’bout an example? If you were to walk up beside me and tap me on the shoulder…if you paid really close attention, you would notice, within a few seconds, my hand discreetly reaching up to tap my other shoulder. If you touch my arm, I’ll reach over and touch my other arm, in the same spot. If one knee itches, I’ll scratch the other one, too. It sounds bizarre, I know, but…everything has to be even. There’s probably some sort of medical or psychological term for this odd condition, since I know I’m not the only person in the world with this strange need for physical even-ness. (I actually do know one other person with the same condition.) It’s a little inconvenient and eccentric, I know, but I’ve learned to live with it. And after almost twelve years of marriage, Deputy Dad knows by now that if he smacks me on the rear end, I’ll – quite literally – turn the other cheek.

#91-100: 10 Things About My Hopes and Dreams

91. I hope to lose some weight sometime soon. (See #17)

92. I dream of being a size 6. (I’ve never been a size 6. Ever.)

93. I hope that all of my children will grow up healthy, happy, and well-adjusted, so that they don’t drag me onto Oprah one day to tell the world what a terrible mother I was, while I sit there like an idiot ’cause I thought I was there to get a damn makeover.

94. I dream of hearing my children thank me for my contribution to their success, during an acceptance speech. (Academy Award, Nobel Peace Prize, Country Music Award, doesn’t matter.)

95. I hope to see all my kids graduate from college one day.

96. I dream of seeing my great-grandkids graduate from college, too.

97. I hope my singing voice does’t deteriorate as I get older. (See #80)

98. I dream of a singing career, complete with fame and fortune.

99. I hope to grow very, very old with Deputy Dad.

100. I dream of being very, very old with Deputy Dad, and still having a fantastic sex life.

#101-110: 10 Things I’ve Never Done

101. I’ve never been arrested.

102. I’ve never gotten a traffic ticket; I’ve never even gotten a written warning.

103. I’ve never done any sort of illegal drug.

104. I’ve never ridden on a train.

105. I’ve never been in a Taxi cab.

106. I’ve never owned a brand-spanking-new car.

107. I’ve never met a celebrity in ‘real life.’

108. I’ve never been to the ocean, which means…

109. I’ve never walked on a beach at the ocean*.

110. I’ve never travelled outside the United States; in fact, I’ve lived in Texas all my life and have never been further than Colorado.

*Edited to add at the ocean for those folks who keep mentioning LAKES. Yes, I HAVE been to several Texas lakes in my lifetime. However, I’m convinced that ripping up the bottoms of my feet on a rocky lakeshore could not possibly be the same experience as walking through the sands of the ocean shore, on a deserted beach, at sunset, with the surf gently lapping my bare feet. (That’s how I picture it, anyway. Shutup. Don’t destroy my dream.)

#111-120: 10 Things I Value Most About My Husband

111. He is an unfailing source of love and support – always, always there when I need him.

112. He can make me laugh like no one else can.

113. He told me early in our marriage that the housework was not my job; it was our job. “We BOTH make the mess. We should both clean it up.” (I KNOW. He’s awesome. And he cooks, too!)

114. Sometimes when he says “I love you,” and I say “I love you, too,” he holds my face and says, “No, I mean I really love you,” because he just wants to make sure I know how much he means it.

115. He has a strong work ethic and is damn good at what he does.

116. He’s the only person in the world who has ever made me feel beautiful.

117. He’s very charismatic. People like him and trust him instantly.

118. In his arms is the safest place I know.

119. He is a fantastic father who adores his children and has never hesitated to dive right in to any task, from diapering to dressing to disciplining.

120. He showed me what unconditional love feels like.

#121-130: 10 Ways I am Not Mainstream

121. My cell phone only makes and receives calls.

122. I actually have a land line at home.

123. I blog from a desktop computer, both at work and at home. (i.e. I don’t have a laptop.)

124. I use Windows and (gasp!) Internet Explorer.

125. I don’t pay my bills online

126. I (::whispering::) write checks on a regular basis (like, everywhere, everyday). (kalki, can we still be friends?)

127. I don’t have a debit card.

128. I’ve never been to Starbucks.

129. I almost never listen to the radio, which means…

130. I don’t know what a “hollaback girl” is. (I see references to this everywhere. Seriously, WTF is that?)

#131-140: 10 Things I Don’t Like

131. Straight men in pink shirts.

132. Grown women who speak only in high-pitched, lispy, baby voices.

133. Guys who think the volume of their pickup muffler is somehow indicative of the size of their penis.

134. Small-town politics.

135. Politics, in general.

136. Feeling ‘left out.’

137. Losing my own identity in the whirlwind of being a wife and mother.

138. Trying to have a phone conversation with someone who insists on EATING in my ear.

139. Parents who don’t properly care for and/or discipline their children.

140. Brussels sprouts.

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