Thursday, September 21, 2017

The A to Z of Me: A Birthday Post

I thought it would be a lot of fun this month, my birthday month, to go through from A-Z of my favorite things. It's easier than coming up with 32 interesting things about me (Finding 30 for my 30th birthday was hard enough!).


Amazon is crazy addicting. I love the power to sell your products, Prime, how easy it is to compare pricing. I even enjoy their original programming. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was one of the funniest pilots I've seen in a long time. When is the entire show going to be available, please?


Okay, so September IS my birthday month. Even as I get older, I absolutely ADORE my birthday. It's almost always a good day, and my family and friends always make me feel special and loved, even when they're not nearby. 


I love my kitties. They're all so interesting and weird. They show affection on their terms, and their personalities make me laugh so hard. Tris is the Queen, Henry's a cocky knight, and Jane is my meek princess. I love them all, and can't imagine life without them.


Daddy's girl in the house. I've always been close to my dad, but we've become very good friends as I've become an adult. I enjoy his company, and he'll watch old movies with me. He's the best dad in the world. 


I don't know why, but I've always loved Elephants. I think they're beautiful, gentle giants. We recently got a new African plains at the Henry Doorly Zoo, and it's absolutely amazing. These elephants have so much room to roam now.


When you're a kid, you think the number of friends you have is more important than the quality of friends. I've been burned so many times by people I thought were friends, but it has helped me take a step back and realize how lucky I am for the friends I have now. I'd rather have a small close set of additional family members that I've adopted, than tons of people who only know me on a superficial level. 

G-Game of Thrones

Yeah, okay. Game Of Thrones is very polarizing. And with Season 7 having just completed, I'm pretty tired of all of the articles on why you shouldn't watch it. I'm rewatching the entire series because I watched it all months apart thanks to sporadic availability at the library. I'm able to see just how intricate the plot is, and I'm even realizing just how enmeshed everything really is. It's such an interesting show to see people's motives and actions. It was intense watching it without spoilers with the rest of the world this year. 

But of course, viewer discretion is advised.

H-Halo Top

How did I ever live without HaloTop? HaloTop is low-cal, high protein ice cream. It is so tasty that it's incredible. My mom and I found an epic sale on it at HyVee a few months back, so we're pretty well stocked. I even have some Birthday Cake ice cream I'm saving for my actual birthday. It's only about 200 calories for an entire pint (varies based on flavor). You DO have to let it thaw for about 10-15 minutes, but trust me. It's worth the wait.


Instagram is just a lot of fun. I don't use it for anything much, except taking pictures of Chuck, Frisket, Jane, Henry, and Tris, but it's still a blast. I follow a lot of people, and I'm amazed at the caliber of photographs people take. I'm always trying to up my own photography game, and I recently started using Tailwind to schedule my posts, and even to get help using hashtags for further outreach.


I've been using Jamberry since 2014. I've been a consultant since 2015, but more of a hobbyist in the last year or so. but I absolutely love Jamberry nail wraps. I love how many designs I can mix and match to create a unique look. They're heat-activated vinyl, so they don't chip, I don't bite my nails when I wear them, and they even have Disney, Marvel, Peanuts, Wonder Woman, and Star Wars wraps. What's not to love?


Time to get gushy, but I absolutely ADORE my sister. She knows it, but it always bears repeating. She and I used to hate each other (well, there was that sibling rivalry thing), but since we got to college, graduated, and became adults, she is probably one of my closest friends. We tell each other almost everything and actually enjoy spending time together. We hear these stories about siblings that practically kill each other, and we just don't get it. We honestly can't think of anything that would make us stop talking. We don't even have the same taste in men, so we don't have to worry about petty romantic squabbles. 


Oh, my college best friend, Lauren. My little sister, my short twin, my fellow misfit toy. Where would I be without her? Lauren and I met in college and bonded over the fact that our screenwriting classmates hated our scripts. We both have an affinity for quirky movies and romantic comedies, plus she shares my addiction to Jane Austen (though she's not as obsessed as I am). She's the Leslie to my Ann, the Amy to my Tina. Love her so much. 


My mom is made of sunshine, rainbows, happiness, and starshine. We've been really close since I was a baby (obviously). Over the years our friendship has gotten stronger and stronger. I mentioned last week that most of my friends growing up didn't like their parents, but I've always enjoyed spending time with mine. I never understood how someone couldn't love their mother. Mine is awesome, from her puns, to her absolutely ridiculous behavior when faced with her heroes (Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Bugs Bunny), to her positive support of my dreams as a writer. She and my dad made sure to read to Kiri and me as children, and we're book lovers to this day. She's absolutely everything. I'm glad she's mine. 


So, don't think I'm trivializing nut allergies because it's very serious business, but I've always said that if I ever discovered that I had a nut allergy, I'd probably die a happy person because I would never stop eating them. I love peanuts and peanut butter, and walnuts in my brownies, cashews in everything, and Ferrero Rocher candies (my favorite candy in the world). People say that they don't like the chocolate sets with nuts, but those are the ones I prefer. Anyone else?


Everyone loves otters these days, but I've almost always loved them. Ever since I saw the movie The Beverly Hillbillies, and Ellie Mae had a pet otter that was swimming with her in the cement pond, I've wanted one, too. When I turned 23, Lauren, our friend, Jess, and I went to the St. Louis Zoo and each got otters at their Build-a-Bear. We love our Otters, and they're just the cutest animals. I mean, they're basically water cats. 


I flipping love puppies. How could you not? With their big eyes, and their paws that somehow grow faster than the rest of their bodies? I forgot what it was like to have a puppy until I got Chuck. It's just so funny to watch him grow and face plant when he runs all over the dog park. Puppies are stinking cute and no one can convince me otherwise. Plus, watching him and Frisket run outside together is one of the cutest things in the world. Frisket didn't like Chuck at first, but I think he loves his little buddy now.


My mother is quite artistic. She's been sewing since before I was born and made about 75% of my clothes as a child. I didn't appreciate them as much then as I do now because sewing is hard work. Quilting is on another level, and my mom excels at it. I've got four quilts that my mom has made me, and they're all very special and beautiful. I took a page out of her book and made a strip quilt for Lauren, which she adores. If you ever get a chance to go to the Quilt museum in Lincoln, I recommend it.

R-Renaissance Faire

This is more my sister's thing than mine, but I do enjoy a good Renaissance Faire. I love shopping at all of the little stores, because the majority of them are artisans as small business owners, and their products are so nice. It's amazing what people can do and sell as a product or service, and aside from all of the history involved, Renaissance Faires are filled with people wanting to make a living at their hobby, which is the story of my life. Plus there's jousting. 

S-Stephens College

It was expensive, and I know my parents regret my decision to go to Stephens, but I absolutely adore the school. It was my home for five years, I met my best friend there, I learned so many lessons there, and even got the greatest compliment ever (my voice teacher, Harry, said when I was at my peak, that my voice sounded like a young Julie Andrews). Yes, I had some hard lessons that I learned, about who to trust, and which direction life should go, but I don't regret it. Except for the cost.

The day I graduated, with my two favorite littles, who aren't so little anymore (2009)


Tacos are one of the greatest foods ever invented. Spiced meet and yummy veggies and cheese in a corn wrap? Yes, please! there's a restaurant that we order tacos through at work, called D'Leon's that makes the best tacos with grilled onions and fresh radishes. They're just the best. And you get a lot for what you pay for. 


I'm going to admit something here that I know isn't a popular opinion, but I've always gone against the grain: I didn't hate the How I Met Your Mother finale. In fact, I saw it coming all the way back in season 1. What I loved most about the last season, though, was that we got to meet Tracey, the mother, who was a musician, and played a ukelele. Ukeleles are really fun, and quirky, and they just make a lovely, casual sound that still manages to sound special. Love it. 


I know. Everyone loves vacation time. But it's still something that I love doing because I get to explore the world. My next one is to the Mexican Riviera with my family, the first cruise that's just us four since 2009, and I can't wait. 


No-brainer, right? Well, it's true. I absolutely adore writing. It's been something I've done every day (almost) for over twenty years. I tried to stop for a bit to see if I really was meant to write, but no. I got antsy and had to get back to it. I love writing, and can't wait to publish my book.


I honestly couldn't think of an X. I thought about going with a 10, because X is the Roman Numeral for 10, but...I got nothing. Maybe next year.


If you're not familiar, YouVersion is an app that has a ton of different Bible studies on it. I always get behind on my Bible reading, but they have a lot of studies that only last a few days to a week, which helps. And anything that will get me into my Bible more consistently is a good thing in my book.


No surprise here. I love animals, and I love zoos. Omaha has the best zoo, and I'm not even being biased. I've been to the Kansas City Zoo, Denver Zoo, and St. Louis Zoo in the last ten years, and while they're all pretty nice, they don't hold a candle to Omaha. Omaha has been named #1 zoo in the country for a reason. They're always building something new to further animal comfort and patron education.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to Me! I hope you all have an amazing Thursday.

Your turn!

  • Pick an A to Z and tell me what your favorite thing is!
  • Birthday cake: What is your favorite flavor? I'm a chocolate girl all the way. MAYBE Marble if I'm feeling fun.

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