Sunday, December 31, 2006

100 Things Christie

I read a 100 list by a Christie from Florida, and it inspired me. So here are 100 things from a Utah Christie:

1. I love Swedish fish -- could probably down a large box from Sam's Club without blinking.

2. I used to weigh over 200 lbs. (I'm now 36+ lbs. lighter.)

3. I enjoy connecting with people.

4. I can REALLY belch. (I can get to the letter "M" in the alphabet all in one huge burp.)

5. I find many things funny and laugh out loud often. Maybe too often.

6. I am a detail person.

7. I love getting praise.

8. I never sleep on my stomach.

9. I love taking walks in the great outdoors and like to live and breathe deeply.

10. I'm returning to skiing after a 13 year hiatus.

11. I like corny camp songs.

12. I love the mountains, I love the golden hills, I love the fountains, I love the daffodils. . . .

13. I'm a RED person. Love to wear it and have a red personality.

14. I can be obnoxious.

15. I want everyone to have what I have.

16. If you ask me a sincere question, I'll tell you the truth every time.

17. If you ask me a goofy question, who knows what I'll say.

18. I was an exchange student to Japan in high school.

19. I took Japanese language classes in college but didn't get far. I can, however, ask for chocolate in Japanese.

20. I know more Spanish than Japanese.

21. I am a deeply religious person.

22. I believe in Christ.

23. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
(a.k.a. Mormon or LDS)

24. I have many friends of other faiths.

25. I want to serve an LDS mission with my husband when we retire. (Does a mom ever get to retire?)

26. I've burned my tongue on a curling iron. I was checking to see if it was hot. It was.

27. I've eaten rattlesnake meat. (My dad heard that old West cowboys ate it, so we tried it too. Tasted like chicken.)

28. I have my bachelor's degree in English and a minor in business information systems.

29. I had my first child in college. I had 10 credits that quarter, 22 credits the next, and finished my last quarter with student teaching. Whew!

30. I graduated magna cum laude with a 3.92 GPA.

31. I had a 4.0 in high school and was valedictorian.

32. I went on to become an at-home mom.

33. I have three children: Bug (13), Loula Belle, or Lou (10), and Beans (8)

34. My husband can't burp on demand, but I still love him.

35. We were married in December of 1992 in the Logan LDS Temple. It snowed the night before, and although it was freezing for our outdoor photos, I never felt cold. Guess it was a newlywed high.

36. Our church teaches abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity afterward. If abstinence before marriage were practicied in today's world, miracles would happen.

37. I have P.C.O.S. -- a condition that often includes infertility.

38. I consider each one of my children to be a miracle child.

39. I've had four knee surgeries -- all on my left knee.

40. Hubby is worried that I'm going to start skiing again. (Only one of my knee surgeries was a result of skiing -- the first surgery.)

41. I've skiied Sun Valley, Idaho.

42. I have a season pass to our local ski resort -- Beaver Mountain.

43. Linda Burt makes me laugh.

44. I love people who make me laugh.

45. My kids are good at making me laugh.

46. I'm a lot like my mother -- that's a good thing.

47. My dad took me horse riding as a child and taught me the names of the trees, birds, plants and wildlife. I got my love of the mountains from him.

48. I had an ideal childhood.

49. We grew up in Hyrum, Utah. The house I remember most was on 10 acres of land. We had horses, a dog and a HUGE garden.

50. I have an older sister and two younger brothers.

51. My dad built all the houses that we lived in (except for when we lived with grandparents while he was building our next house.)

52. I designed the house that my own family lives in.

53. Seeing your ideas take shape in concrete, wood and brick is very rewarding -- I love my house!

54. We live on 1 1/2 acres and have a cat named Oreo.

55. I love animals. We used to have a dog, Zeke. But he started growling and nipping at my son's friends, so we gave him away.

56. I can't wait until we get another dog!

57. When my kids were little and got hot and sweaty playing outside, I thought their heads/hair smelled like warm puppy.

58. Our family always had a dog while I was growing up, and whenever one of our dogs died, I'd cry. I also cried when I had to give Zeke away.

59. Oreo is the first cat I've ever had. He's playful and people-friendly. I love him too.

60. We had nine chickens a couple years ago.

61. When two chicken developed medical issues, I was the one who chopped off their heads.

62. I don't enjoy harvesting chickens. My kids don't enjoy eating home-grown chickens.

63. I have a children's book idea that involves chickens. (No head-chopping, I promise.)

64. If we ever have chickens again, their coop will be called The Chick Inn.

65. I enjoy gardening and yardwork -- mowing the lawn and weeding.

66. Every year we enter produce or canning items in our county fair.

67. So far I've received blue ribbons.

68. Canning is much more fun with a good canning buddy. (Thanks Linda.)

69. I keep a canning/cooking/garden journal.

70. I keep MANY journals: a personal one, an on-line one (this one), a book journal fo all the books I've read, a spiritual experiences journal, a food journal (courtesy of weight watchers), and I've just started a relationship journal where I can record the things I learn that help me in my marriage and with my family and friends.

71. I enjoy making greeting cards from OLD yearbooks that I purchase at second-hand stores.

72. I decorated my kitchen in a bee theme.

73. A bee is a hard worker. That's my goal too.

74. I've created fancy bookmarkers that I call "Book Jewelry." They make great gifts. (I love giving.)

75. I create Hot Plaids from old flannel or plaid cotton shirts and pants. Denim too.

76. I feel alive when I create something I can make, label and share.

77. I don't enjoy watching sports on TV. (My husband and son do.)

78. I do like watching American Idol!

79. I'm not much of a singer, but I do sing in our church choir. I sing alto, but can sing tenor.

80. My musical tastes are eclectic. From classical to rock -- country to opera. Some current favorites: A-ha, Sting, Il Divo, The 5 Browns (classical piano), Queen's Greatest Hits, Bryan Adams.

81. My parents made be take piano lessons until I could sight-read all the songs in the hymnal.

82. I'm making my kids take piano lessons.

83. I also played the flute from 5th grade through 8th grade.

84. I love cocktail shrimp. Yum!

85. Submarine sandwiches are my favorite fast food.

86. It's been hard losing weight, but I'm determined to reach my goal weight and keep off the pounds. (A few pounds may have found me over the holidays.)

87. I have a nice nose. Big feet, but a nice nose.

88. After I lost 35 pounds, my cholesterol went up. Go figure.

89. My body was issues. (I'll save you from an organ recital.)

90. I've always been a good money manager.

91. I married a fiscally conservative man.

92. For the first 13 years of marriage I tried to be like him, but I'm realizing that I need the freedom to buy things with a little spontenaity.

93. We believe it's best to live debt-free -- with the exception of a home payment.

94. I've self-published a small booklet for newlyweds called, "Budget is not a four-letter word: But debt is."

95. From 1997 until 2000 I wrote a weekly column "From the Trenches" which I self-syndicated to newspapers in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, California and Florida. Some of my past columns are now being published in an ultra-orthodox Jewish magazine for women.

96. My columns also appeared in Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrates Mothers. One will also run in Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Souls to be released in 2007.

97. I've submitted a column proposal to my local newspaper and hope to be a columnist once again.

98. I dream of having a collection of past columns published, or a children's book published, or anything publishable published.

99. I can REALLY whistle. (As in "Bridge over the River Quai")

100. This summer I hope to work with my family and sell produce/crafts under our Belly Acre Farm label at our local farmer's market.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reasons to Travel

I'm writing today from St. George, Utah. It's about 400 miles South of where I live. We're staying with my mother-in-law and her husband for New Year's.

As we were driving here (a six hour trip), we listened to the first couple chapters of Patrick McMannus's audio book, A Fine and Pleasant Misery. As McMannus described his reasons for camping (to get home and brag about what a miserable time he'd had), I wondered about my own desire to travel. I have grandiose dreams of visiting Japan, Portugal, England, Denmark, maybe even India, but Hubby reminds me that I'm often grumpy when we travel. And I acknowledge that I get uptight when we're packing and uptight when I have to unpack upon getting home. I also get travel headaches and don't sleep well. So why do I want to travel?

For starters, I love to try to experience life from someone else's perspective. That's why I was an exchange student in high school. And my mother and I arrived on Japan as my destination in part because it was safe (that was her criteria), and also because it was so different from my rural U.S. upbringing.

I also think that until you've been outside of your comfort zone, your own familiar environs, you can't really appreciate what you've got. When I return from even a short trip, I'm grateful for my own bed, my own shower, my own quirky kitchen. Once you've been outside your own world, you realize that there really is no place like home.

I guess that's why I enjoy traveling with my children. They're so quick to point out the differences between our new locale and home. Beans, for instance, loves the rocks here in St. George. She loves the reds and tans -- the desertness of the place. Bug likes the plant life that grows here -- the cacti and palms. Loula Belle seems to soak it all in. Plus, she knows that Grandma always has plenty of treats and sweets!

I enjoy listening to my kids' observations. One said, "If all my friends were here and I could go to my same school, I'd like to live here." Another said, "I like our mountains at home. I'm not sure that I'd like living with all the hills here." They're putting themselves into this environment. I can't help but wonder what they'd think of a totally different country. Would they think differently about their freedoms and conveniences? Would they value their home just a bit more?

Guess we won't know until we venture out.