Wow I can’t believe it. This is my 100th blog post! I thought it’d be a nice way to celebrate it by making it rain hundred dollar bills (y’all)…but then I couldn’t find any. I wanted to do something special to honor this somewhat monumentous occasion though and then it donned on me – what better way than to go on and on about myself? Haha. Well it is a blog after all. And I do so love making lists. So here’s one hundred random things that I may not have covered yet.
* I am a stay at home mommy now but have worked since I was 12 years old. My first job was one day a week at my 6th Grade teacher’s beauty salon in the summer and I made my money from all the beautician’s tips for mixing their color solutions, washing towels and robes and sweeping up hair. They were some generous ladies – I made damn good money for one day a week!
* My last job was managing a legal consulting firm where I actually only started out working in the mailroom. I’m a pretty dedicated and hard worker though so my husband says it was only a matter of time before I was running the place. I spent a few months at my first job but 11 years at my last and ironically enough, I earned as much money by the hour at my first job as I did at my last.
* I am a music junkie. I have almost 10,000 songs in my iTunes library which basically means that I could listen to music nonstop for almost a month without hearing a single song repeat.
* This is also why I have pretty much stopped listening to the radio. It’s troubling to think I may have more in my music vault than they do but I must considering I hear the same song about 10 times a day whenever I listen to the radio.
* There are big chunks in my music library that are made up of a few singers like Fleetwood Mac, Pearl Jam, Dashboard Confessionals, Aerosmith, Dolly Parton, Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Otis Redding, Over the Rhine, P!nk, Reba, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, and The Twilight Soundtracks.
* There are smaller chunks of other artists but songs that just never get old and it makes up a very eclectic collection. It’s quite a mix of different genres. My favorite playlist has songs by all of the above and then some by bands like K’s Choice, Kings of Leon, Minnie Driver, Seven Mary Three, Sublime, Mo Thugs, Snow Patrol, Coldplay, White Zombie, Billy Idol, Buckcherry, Bush, Everclear, Fiona Apple, Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, Mumford & Sons, Muse, Neon Trees, The Nixons, PM Dawn, Paramore, The Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend, Enigma, Weezer, One Republic, The Features, and Paperboy. There are like 600 different artists so if I go on I may as well just list them all.
* I am a total Twihard. Team Edward. I love Robert Pattinson.
* I am all about making lists and organizing plans.
* I currently have a list of weekly to-do’s, a grocery list, a list of music to be purchased, a list of books to read, a list of the babies nursing times and diaper changes, this list, and not to mention all my “lists” on Pinterest. I have several notebooks floating around and regardless of which you may stumble upon, there’s sure to be a list in there – whether of Christmas gifts or party invitees and plans.
* When I was younger I wanted to have lots of kids and always figured I’d be married by 21 and have my first child by 25.
* I actually got married at 24 and had my first child at 30.
* My path veered when I started a management position at work and my job became my main focus. After feeling the joy of being a mother though I can’t believe I waited this long…but I do know it was well worth the wait.
* My daughter is the greatest thing I have ever created, my masterpiece, my biggest love and the sweetest thing. I can’t believe she is already going to be six months old in just a couple weeks!
* My plans of a natural birth were almost ruined by my water breaking early and after 24 hours no contractions starting. After putting it off as long as possible, I received Pitocin and had my baby a few hours later – naturally.
* We chose the Bradley Method of natural child birthing. My husband was a great birthing coach – my rock during the delivery…and always.
* We had a whole group of family in the delivery room during the birth of our daughter which was pretty crazy but great too. There was my husband, his mother, two of his sisters, my grandmother, and my uncle. At least the birthing suite was big enough to comfortably accommodate everyone. Plus it made for a great birthing video and lots of pictures courtesy of my sister in laws.
* When it came to what we were going to name our daughter I, of course, had a huge list of possibilities. I combed over meanings and origins of everything we considered. We had a few frontrunners and one I was going back to a lot.
* After seeing a medium the week before my water broke (two weeks early), she told me that my grandfather was there and was honored to have us name the baby after him, so we knew that was it.
* We named our daughter Adriana Vonne (after her late great-grandfather “Opa” Adrianus and her great-grandmother “Oma” Yvonne).
* My grandparents are both Dutch immigrants.
* Growing up in their house was different but almost magical. It taught me that there was a whole big world out there and I was exposed to a lot of culture from it.
* There was always music blaring from Oma‘s room while she cleaned the house and you never knew what language it would be in – sometimes Dutch, sometimes Italian or French. Opa would always tap his feet and hum along while doing his wordsearch games at the table.
* Opa preferred old country music. He especially liked Johnny Cash.
* Both of my grandparents came from coal mining, farming families and a much simpler time so it sort of gave me country roots in a city park.
* I grew up in an urban environment but love nature and the outdoors. I was fortunate enough to find a husband who does too and who grew up in a farming family.
* In 2005 we bought a house in my old neighborhood (right across the road from my grandparents). It was a blessing because I was able to see my grandfather in the years before he passed away four years ago this 4th of July.
* The other benefit to our home was that it was cheaper than most of the other places we were looking at and is close to everything.
* We, like a lot of people who bought right before the recession, took a big hit in property value compared to the existing loan. You just can’t ever predict some things.
* Now we are trying to get back to the more rural side of town and hope to do so before our daughter starts school. I think that what it will offer our child as she grows up is tremendous.
* My husband was born on July 4th. So really it doesn’t matter what we do for his birthday – no matter where we are there’s a party and fireworks.
* Yes, that’s also the day I mentioned above that my grandfather passed away which I believe he did on purpose so that I wouldn’t be able to be sad every year on that day. He was always looking out for me somehow.
* My grandfather loved my husband. Loved him like a son. Like it was totally natural – like there was never anything else but him and I, which is funny because that’s how it felt to me from the moment I met my husband.
* I have been with my husband for 11 years – married for 7 this fall. Over the past 11 years we’ve only spent very few days apart.
* He’s the type of husband that is supportive but also doesn’t allow you to get lazy. He keeps me on my toes and constantly challenges me but doesn’t give up either. He’s just the right mix – even if sometimes it’s unnerving. I can’t picture life without him.
* My grandfather was a great man who taught me much of what I know. He always pushed practice makes perfect and, though he spoiled me, was never the type to give false praise about how good something was if it wasn’t. He was honest but always loving.
* I inherited sisters by marriage that I love like my own sisters and two brother in laws that feel like they were the brothers I never had so God gave them to me through marriage.
* I love gourmet cooking. When I cook for people I love I want to cook from scratch and cook good wholesome food. I get frustrated now that I’m not working and we’re on a tighter budget because I want to cook these big elaborate homemade meals with exotic ingredients now that I have the time. It seems it’s always either one or the other – you have the time and no money or the money and no time. I’m learning how to buy good healthy food on a budget. Plus it helps that my husband is not very picky when it comes to food though and we still do just fine.
* My mother and biological father were divorced by my first birthday. When I was like 10 I asked my mom to find him because I was convinced that I needed to know him and have him in my life. I knew I had all I needed from my family and my grandfather but I always still felt that something was missing. Well she did her part and found him and one Saturday she handed me the phone and it was him. He cried and I cried and he said he thought of me a lot and missed me and would meet with me if I wanted to. I got overwhelmed with fear and decided I wasn’t ready to meet face-to-face yet. Years later my grandmother gave me an obituary from the paper of my father’s mother. My grandmother who I never really knew. I was grown now and I knew I was ready. But now I had no way of finding him. All I did have was this obituary telling me when and where the funeral was. I was so scared to go in person and cause some type of uproar at the service (who knew if his new wife even knew about me or my half siblings that I never knew. Plus I didn’t want to take from their moment saying goodbye to this woman). So instead I called the funeral director and he agreed to give my father a letter for me at the service. I poured my heart into that letter and shed a lot of tears. Then I waited. Waited for nothing. Days turned into weeks and then into months. It’s been more than a decade since I wrote that letter.
* I think I saw my biological father once years ago at a doctor’s office. It looked just like the picture I had of him but a little aged. He was on crutches with a wrapped leg and had a woman with him. I stared at him the whole time we were in the lobby together waiting to be called back. Then he looked at me. I hoped that he would recognize me too but he just looked away and then was called back by a nurse. I felt stupid for not saying something but then, what do you say, “Hey I think you’re my dad”. Can you say awkward!
* My grandfather was a father figure in my life growing up. He was more than that though. He was my everything. He was the “Shave & Haircut” song on the car horn when he left. My Mr. Fixit. My fishing buddy and the reason I know how to filet a fish. He was a worn thin white tee shirt that he wore every day – sometimes alone or sometimes under a dress shirt but usually draped on the porch stair rail in the summer so he could get a tan. He was a host to many great parties and a guest at every school event – like the spelling bee. My biggest fan out in the crowd waiting with a bouquet of flowers even if I didn’t win. He was the man that walked me down the aisle to the man that he dreamed I would marry one day. When he died he took a big piece of me with him.
* Sometimes I still expect to see him sitting on the front porch like he always did whenever I go outside. It took a long time for me to stop getting ready to wave back to him when I drove by on my way to work in the morning and I cried many a trips to the office after realizing he won’t be waving back to me anymore.
* My grandfather died from lung cancer. We never had any biopsies or other tests done to find out all the details or if it was anywhere else. He had been in the hospital three times in two years for collapsed lungs and on the third visit the X-ray showed a mass that they said with a lot of certainty was cancer. They said a biopsy would risk deflating his lung again.
* He was on a heavy dose of oxygen that he couldn’t get legally at home but couldn’t breathe without. They told him that he couldn’t go home until his strength got better enough to decrease the oxygen to a level they could delivery to him at home and the fluid from his lung collapse quit draining. The morning they transferred him from ICU to a normal room he was hopeful that he’d be able to go home that day. The nurse even said everything looked good. I brought him breakfast and we had coffee and croissants and talked and laughed and watched the news about how Michael Jackson had just died. He was in such a good mood about being able to go home soon.
* After I left the hospital, my grandmother had a meeting and it was decided that he would go into Hospice care because of the oxygen levels he needed. He was transferred into Hospice care and was gone within a week.
* I thought for a while that they killed him and that he died thinking I was in on it. That it wasn’t his time. That if they hadn’t sedated him he would have come through and been able to go home like he wanted to. I knew that hearing the word “Hospice” sent him into a panic attack that led to his having to be sedated. I felt bad about it because I had just left him that morning and we were so happy. I felt dirty and guilty like I had somehow pulled the wool over his eyes from what was coming. Hospice to him meant certain death and he was a fighter. He had fought it for years I know and that day he fought it so hard that they had to sedate him.
* I’ve come to peace with understanding that he was much worse off than any of us really knew because he would never let it show and that even if I wasn’t ready to say goodbye (I never would be) that being sedated helped him to come to peace with it too and to let go of the fight.
* Death used to be my biggest fear because I had never really seen it. My grandfather was the first death in my family I had actually experienced – and the one that dreaded from the time I was a child.
* I got the call about my grandfather passing while at a cookout with my husband and in-laws for my husband’s birthday. My grandmother and uncle had encouraged me to go and my uncle promised they’d keep me posted. When I got the message that he passed I can’t even begin to explain what came over me because I think I honestly lost my mind. I just remember running and falling and screaming and crying and, though I’m sure everyone was staring at me like I was a fool, I only remember my husband, my father-in-law and his uncle (three of the biggest men I’ve ever met) holding me up and trying to calm me down. My sister-in-law drove us to the Hospice facility over an hour from where we were and my uncle promised he wouldn’t let them take my grandfather away until I got there.
* After seeing death take my grandfather, facing it, and saying goodbye to him, it became less scary to me. But, now that I have a daughter I’m even more focused on staying healthy because I want to live forever to see her grow.
* I love to sing – just not usually in front of people – even The Hub. My car is my stage so if you are in Ohio and you see a woman putting on a concert behind the wheel and looking a complete fool, that may be me.
* I’ve only done karaoke in public after a few drinks and sometimes in Jim Morrison style with my back facing the crowd.
* If I made an album of cover songs, it would probably include: Jesse James, Fancy, Silver Spring, Gypsy, Leather and Lace, Joey, Dog Days are Over, With or Without You, One, Something to Talk About, Arms, Syrup & Honey, Bleeding Love, Mine All Mine, and Grandpa. At least those were the first that came to mind.
* I have horrible nerves and social anxiety. I also have abandonment issues.
* I used to have panic attacks on the first day of school thinking my family would move away while I was gone. It was so bad my mother usually spent a good while in the bathroom with me patting my face with a wet towel until I calmed down and could go to class all puffy red faced. I still freak out when we have to go somewhere with a large crowd that I’ll get separated from the herd and lost forever.
* I still have moments of paranoia in the store if my husband wanders off to look at something.
* I was a great student and had terrific grades but left school my sophomore year and got my GED so I could get a job and get on with life. I had gone from one school to another and rather than changing back again when I was moving home to my mom’s house and having to start over and then spend all that time in class when my mother, who had just divorced my stepfather, was trying to take care of a baby and go back to school herself it made more sense to just quit and start contributing. I got a job at a daycare and my baby sister went there so it all worked out.
* I am the oldest of my siblings. My mother had me really young. She also had all girls. Three total. It made living together pretty crazy. It had its great times don’t get me wrong but girls are girls. We would fight like hell sometimes.
* My mother and I fought a lot too – especially when she got serious with one guy in particular. He and I didn’t get along too well and when he came to stay with her he made it quite clear he didn’t want me around. I hated him for coming in to our family and trying to take over. The fact that he was a total dickhead just added to it. Before long I found myself getting booted and living with my boyfriend and some friends.
* I had gone to stay with my grandparents during the summer a few times but my first “on my own” experience was what gave me a good swift kick back into reality. We lived a house that my boyfriend’s father owned and no one really had to work so it was just a free for all. We would be lazy and work on our tans during the day and live it up at night. It was a nice treat to be able to relax and do whatever you wanted but it got old quick. When things with my boyfriend and I started to fall apart I left town and headed back to my grandparents.
* I lived with my grandparents for a year or so but being 18 and having a10:00 curfew sucked. I hated it but I understood. Opa had already had one daughter come home pregnant as a teenager so I think he was hell bent on trying to keep the reigns on me as long as possible.
* After a while I moved in with my uncle down the street. He was always more like a brother since he was so young when I was born. He got me a job with a friend of his and that helped me save up for a car. Until then Opa would drive me to work and pick me up and I would give Oma at least half of my paycheck every week which she would stash away in her sock drawer for me.
* I didn’t get my license until I was 18 because my mother and I weren’t speaking and I needed her to sign for me since my grandparents weren’t my legal guardians. A few months before turning 18 I wiithdrew all the cash from the “Oma Savings Bank” to use as a down payment for my first car – A 1997 purple Chevy Cavalier RS with a sun roof. I loved it. And I was fortunate enough to get a good salesmen. Since I still wasn’t 18 yet I couldn’t sign for the loan. Luckily my boyfriend was. That car sitting in the driveway for a few weeks pissed me off. But it sure got cleaned often and looked pretty by the time I was able to drive it. As soon as I turned 18 I went to the bank and transferred the loan over solely into my name.
* The boyfriend I had at 16 I thought I loved. 16 year old love isn’t the same as real love though. Hell 18 year old love isn’t even the same. At 16 I was running around with a boy whose father was loaded and mother had passed away when he was little. He was spoiled and fun and wounded and I thought, like so many young girls do, that I could fix him. He adored my baby sister and talked about having a family one day. He was actually mostly full of shit, too damaged, and a bit of a playboy. No matter how focused he seemed he would drift off every now and then and I’d lose him. At 16 you love the bad boys and think you can change them so I always forgave him. That eventually got old. And I hear he eventually graduated to heavy drugs and went to jail for a while. There’s just some wounds you can’t heal for people but I’m glad I got out when I did.
* By 18 I was living in an apartment with a boyfriend who spoiled me rotten. He was the type that wrote poems daily about how much he loved me. He would bring home chocolate ice cream when I was having my period. He would even send my mother flowers on my birthday to thank her for having me. He was intense and deep and emotional and obviously too much. That kind of love may be what a lot of people think they want but for me, it just became overwhelming which should have been a sign that we weren’t meant to be. You shouldn’t need that much pampering in order to love someone. Plus I’m a Taurus so it would be easy for me to quickly settle into that sort of lifestyle and the last thing I need is to be fat and lazy and all overly entitled. When you get used to it, if it lacks the right reaction or if you just stop appreciating it that’s when you know it’s not meant to be and it’s time to walk away. So that’s what I did. I still remember packing things up and my uncle helping me while the ex told him he just didn’t know what happened to us. I’m sure he ended up with a woman that he makes very happy and I’m glad that I left before I ultimately changed him or ruined that quality in him for the one he was supposed to end up with.
* I love a good love story and I like to be romanced occasionally too. My husband has drawn me a bubble bath with rose petals. He has surprised me with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne. He’s sent me flowers a few times. He knows he doesn’t have to do those things to get me to love him though. Those are treats and that’s why they’re so special when they happen. He’s also pissed me off to the highest level of pisstivity but after I’m done steaming at the ears and wanting to tie him up by his toes and whip him like a piñata, I still want to hug him. The point is that he’s the perfect balance. When there’s no champagne and roses, our every day life is just as harmonious in my eyes – even it’s just takeout and a movie night at home. At the end of the day and after almost 11 years, even if we’re doing nothing I’d rather be doing nothing with him than anyone else. Even if we’re arguing our differences, there’s no one else I’d rather argue with. That’s how I know it’s love. That’s how I know I married my soul mate. I’ve seen every side of him and we know each other’s faults, weaknesses, vices, and still love one another. We love each other and we challenge each other and we even drive each other mad sometimes but it keeps things from getting stale. He is not only what I wanted in a husband but exactly what I need. Like Jerry McGuire, he completes me.
* I was pretty rambunctious as a kid. I spent a few months at a live-in counseling center when I was younger. I was a little hard to control I guess you could say. I fought with my stepdad and mom a lot. After they divorced and it was just us girls it was only a matter of time before we got at each other too. I did what I wanted and ran around with my friends.
* I spent my Sweet 16 grounded. I can’t remember what I did but I know at that time we were all going to the 24-Hour fitness center at night and and driving through the neighborhood exchanging people’s lion statues with other houses’. Stupid stuff. It was always little stupid stuff just to get a laugh. My best friend worked at a bakery and made me my favorite buttercream frosted cake (She made cupcake versions when my daughter was born. They’re amazeballs I swear to you) and a balloon. My mom had forbid me to see any of my friends but her, yet I remember later that night joining up with the whole gang for a typical night of goofing off.
* I got into trouble a lot but at least not with the law…well unless you count the weekends my mom called her cop buddy to keep a watch over the house while she was out of town to make sure I wasn’t roaming the streets or having wild parties. That surveillance method only worked a couple weekends but then it got dull and it turns out a pillow propped up on the couch casts a good looking head shadow in the TV light from the outside looking in. He didn’t have a clue and when he made his trip around the block we booked it down the road to the waiting cars of some friends and hightailed it outta there.
* I shopped at the thrift store before it was cool. My mom cried one drive home saying that she was so thankful that I was the type of kid that didn’t mind getting her clothes from the thrift store sometimes. I knew times were tough for her and maybe she thought I was just going along with it because I knew her situation but I truly did love finding treasures at the thrift store. Vintage jackets and bags and patched bell bottom jeans. I would bring home some cheap treasures and totally revamp them into a whole new piece of clothing sometimes too. It was about finding the potential of the item for me and I am all about repurposing things instead of throwing them away. Take that Macklemore!
* When I lived with my grandparents we used to have slumber parties and then sneak out of the basement. We never did anything bad, just roamed through the neighborhood or the creek down the road and picked flowers. We used to feel like such rebels freaking out anytime a car came down the street like it was a cop and we would hide in bushes like escaped convicts. It was all innocent fun. This neighborhood has changed a lot since then.
* My mom tried to keep me under control. She really did. But she swears that I was an Indigo Child and had my mind set on what I was doing and there was no other way. My mom always gave me the facts about things and didn’t hold back any scary details. To this day that honesty was what kept me from ever taking things too far I think. She had lost a lot of her life by having me. She worked in a doctor’s office and saw lots of nasty situations. All that information pounded in to my brain at a very young age and the fact that she basically armed me with it but then let me go to make my own decisions in the world made a big difference. I was scared of lots of things and that was good because those moments of fearlessness will get you into trouble quick. I watched a number of friends go too far down the wrong path into drugs, violence, jail even. Thank God I never drifted too far from reality. My mom was the type of mother that you could tell anything to and she may have been upset or made comments about her disappointment but she never judged you by it because she knew that she had made mistakes in life too. I knew deep down that I was one of them but she loved me anyway and never made me feel like one.
* I’m kind of a lyrical genius and there’s not a lot of songs I haven’t heard. My mom used to bring me to work with her at the doctor’s office when I would be off of school and the nurses couldn’t believe how many oldies songs I knew the words to.
* I started smoking at like 14 or 15. Once Opa found out it was no big deal. In Europe I guess that’s a normal thing for kids my age to smoke and even drink. For them, by that age you were pretty much an adult. Sometimes I feel like I grew up in the Sixties before everyone got so fragile. Hell even most pregnant women smoked back then.
* I remember having a yard sale at my mom’s house one weekend and had a friend over for the weekend. There was a cigarette vending machine down the road that sold Marlboro’s for $1.50 a pack but I needed quarters. I remember when I approached my mom about it she just said “You can do what you want, it’s your body, but I won’t contribute to your habit”. That’s the way my mom always was with everything. You’d think that approach would just enable a kid to destroy themselves but turns out, making me responsible for my own decisions early on was exactly what taught me that if I screw up my life it’s no one’s fault but my own. I could choose the paths I took in life and whatever happened, it was on me. She would always be there but she made me aware that she couldn’t clean up my messes for me.
* I quit smoking the moment I found out I was pregnant and haven’t taken it back up since having the baby. I think alot of people thought I would never be able to quit but after this long I think it’s safe to say that I’ve kicked the habit. And I feel so much better now too.
* The fact that I was a little unruly as a child does scare me even more now that I have a daughter of my own. The positive side is that she probably won’t be able to get away with much that I won’t be on to. The down side is that the world is nowhere near as simple as it was back then and I worry that harmless fun will be a lot more serious 16 years from now and I don’t want anything bad to happen to her. It was nothing for us to jump on a public bus and go to the mall at 14 or walk miles on busy roads to a friend’s house or sneaking out and picking flowers. Things just aren’t as easy now and this world is crazy. I’ll be a mess when this one becomes a teenager.
* One of the best things that ever happened to me was finding God. My stepfather had us baptized and I got really involved in church. I joined the youth choir and took a ministry trip to Tybee Island to sing at a bunch of gospel churches. I took notes every sermon. I never was a “bad” apple. I always had a conscious as a kid and knew right from wrong. But learning about God and getting more familiar with the bible really strengthened my relationship with Him.
* Church, unfortunately, also taught me that people are judgmental hypocrites. I remember one particular weekly visit from our pastor I was so excited to show him a bible that a friend of my mother’s had given me that had beautiful pictures in it too. She was a Jehovah’s Witness. I didn’t know that mattered. I’ll never forget him telling me that this was the worst religion there was and that I should get rid of that book right away. I cried putting it in the garbage but ripped a couple of the pictures out to keep anyway.
* To this day I still wonder if there is a right or wrong religion and not wanting to make a wrong decision, i just opted to avoid organized religion all together. I believe and I worship and I pray and surely that is all that matters to God.
* I fell down the stairs at my grandparents’ house when I was nine months old and as the result I knocked out my teeth and bruised my teeth that were still under the gums. So when my adult teeth came in they had to be painted with fake enamel to cover the darkness. It felt like I was missing my two top front teeth for my whole childhood and when they finally came in I had a gap.
* I’ve tried to look into getting veneers on my teeth but my husband insists that he likes the gap in my teeth. That it gives me character. I still don’t know if he’s being honest when he says he likes them or if he’s just worried that getting perfect teeth might make me too much perfectness to handle. Haha! (That was total sarcasm for those of you who don’t know me well).
* I totaled my first car within year of owning it on a patch of ice. After bouncing against the guard rails I smashed into a tree in someone’s front yard but I was lucky because their house was only a few feet away. Turns out totaling my little sporty car was a blessing because my mother loaned me her wagon to use while I was waiting to get a new car and driving home from Dayton one night a car came over the median at over 100 mph with no headlights and hit me dead on. The driver of the other car was launched through the windshield thirty feet and died. The passenger and I were transported by helicopter to the hospital. He lived only until we got to the hospital. I managed to only get some bruising, a concussion and a broken ankle but had I been in my Cavalier I’m pretty sure I would have died too.
* The accident was probably my biggest wake up call. Of all the stupid stuff I had done in life and other accidents I had been in, this was the closest I actually came to death. The impact of the vehicles had caused me to star the windshield with my forehead and go unconscious for a minute. When I woke up I was surrounded by smoke and rubble. The back seats had been pushed up into the front and my door was smashed in. There was smoke bellowing in from the vents and the radio had cut off. When it came back in a few seconds later it was playing Elvis’ Suspicious Minds at the precise moment where he’s singing “I’m caught in a trap. I can’t walk out”. To say I freaked out would be an understatement. I couldn’t get out because the door was smashed in and stuck. I threw the seats back to the back and climbed through the shattered glass on the passenger side window. When I hit the highway I tried to get up but quickly fell. I was convinced my car was going to explode at any moment and I had a bum foot so I army crawled across the glass on the road into the tall grass on the side of the highway. I don’t know what happened in those next moments but I just remember someone finding me and I was huddled with my knees to my chest rocking back and forth and spitting glass (I had been chewing gum and all the shattered glass must have gotten in my mouth when I was screaming because my gum was just completely mixed with glass). They had to shut down the highway and a short while later the helicopter arrived. The passenger was screaming what I guess was Russian the whole flight to the hospital that night. After they had cut my clothes off and run all their tests they gave me all sorts of drugs to numb me and make me sleep but I still kept waking up every hour because I could hear him screaming in Russian while we were both strapped down to the back boards and I could see the car again as it entered my headlight stream.
* The guys in that car were illegal Russian immigrants. None of their ID’s really matched but the cops said that they had probably come from a strip club or bar right near there. They were well over the legal alcohol limit and had no valid driver’s license or insurance. This meant I had to sue my own mom’s insurance to cover my $30,000+ in medical bills (nearly half of that alone was just for the helicopter ride – which technically should have been less since I shared it with the passenger but I got stuck with it all since he wasn’t’ insured). After getting released from the hospital my mom took me to the car to see the damage and to get my stuff out of it before they totaled it. She said she stopped at the scene of the accident too to look for any of my stuff in the wreckage. They found the passenger’s tongue on the side of the road. They also then strung up heavy duty steel cable in the median of the highway after my accident to try to keep anymore from happening. Apparently I wasn’t the first to get surprised by a car coming out of the median.
* I only have a few really close friends that I would trust with everything. Plus I’ve found that when you surround yourself with too many people it just leads to drama. My best friend knows everything about me and will be able to remind me of my life if I forget years from now. She is the type of friend that you can go for days, weeks, or months without talking to but whenever you get together it’s like you were never apart. True friendship knows no distance or lapse in time.
* We have two dogs, one cat and a half dozen fish. We lost a cat last year due to a seizure. She was a funny little creature who thought she was a dog instead. She ran with the dogs and slept with them and cleaned them at night. She even meowed like a bark. Our other cat is a little skiddish and usually just hides in her lair in the basement. Our oldest dog is a Border collie / German Sheperd mutt who is a mama’s boy and a little unpredictable. I was worried about how he’d do with a baby in the house but so far, he’s done far better than I ever dreamed. Our younger dog is a chocolate cocker spaniel. I have mentioned her and her shenanigans in prior posts. Our fish we’ve had for years now. We inherited a huge aquarium that the previous home owners had drywalled in to the wall in the basement when they finished it. We had started with all sorts of different fish but when those died we settled on just buying six fancy goldfish and a picasimus. To be honest I didn’t thin they’d live very long. We’ve only lost one over the years and they are all huge now. I love our pets like they are family. After all they were our children before we had a real baby.
* My name is Stephanie Nichole which is the same as one of my favorite artists – Stevie Nicks. I went through a phase in 7th grade where I asked my teachers to refer to me as Stevie instead of Stephanie. As luck would have it, my sister-in-laws were big fans too. We’ve been to several Fleetwood Mac concerts over the years and in 2004 when we were in Scottsdale, Arizona with my sister-in-laws and their boyfriends we went up Camelback Mountain to search for Stevie Nick’s house. We didn’t find it.
* I am sucker for charities. I’ll always buy for a good cause – sometimes too much and I make sure to write checks to several charities each year. I participate in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life every year. My husband’s family started a team after his grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it but on his mother’s side of the family he lost an aunt to breast cancer. Since I lost my grandpa to cancer too it’s definitely a cause I want to help.
* I live in Cincinnati and I love our Cincinnati teams. Go Reds! And WhoDey! My first concert was here at Riverbend and was the Glam Slam Jam Tour featuring Poison, Quiet Riot, and Warrant. I was surrounded by both men and women with bleached hair ripped tee shirts and cut off jeans. It was quite an experience.
* Sometimes I think I need to be more prepared for the zombie apocalypse. We are gun owners and have a food pantry but when I stumble upon shows like “Doomsday Preppers” I realize I am nowhere near prepared and part of me wants to start collecting rainwater and storing drums of it in the basement along with shelves of food supplies and first aid kits. The other side of me figures that if I stocked up on that much food in the house I’d probably just avoid grocery shopping as often and eventually it would be gone.
* I am constantly amazed on the awesomeness of this planet. How every day the sky is different and no two sunsets or sunrises are the same. I am baffled by the variety of animals and flowers and bugs even. I enjoy taking pictures of nature probably more than people. Well, up until I had my daughter. Now she is the focal point of my lens.
* I am 6′ tall which is great if you’re wanting to be noticed a lot. I don’t. It’s also ironic when you’re mother remarries a man and gives you the last name Shortt. But you at least get quick on the comeback when people start to comment on it. I figure things like that keep you humble too. You can’t be too cocky with that type of irony going on. Plus “Shortty” was a good nickname even if it was like calling the fat guy “Tiny”. And it was in lots of songs.
* I inherited hoarding from my grandparents who could both pull out photos and memorabilia from decades past. My grandmother had two dressers in her room when I was little. One housed her clothes and the other was completely full of “stuff”. It was priceless stuff though. She’d always go through her jewelry and old funeral cards, letters, and knickknacks when I was there and would always be sure to give me something “really expensive”. Of course, it wasn’t really expensive. It was usually some little trinket but it started an addiction in me too and I soon realized the type of “expensive” she was referring to. It was the memories tied to that object. Worth more money than you could ever make. I keep all of my birthday cards, Christmas cards, ticket stubs, etc. Now I have a room in my house filled with my “expensive” things that someday I can rifle through with my daughter and dig out treasures that I can tell her stories about. It goes further than that though too. I have been known to keep text messages for years and even voicemails. I was so upset when my old phone broke because it had texts in it like when my sister-in-law found out her first child was going to be a boy. I have voice mails of him a couple years later calling to say “Hi Bubba”.
* My mother had my baby sister when I was 12 years old. I had a much older friend in my grandparent’s neighborhood that I loved like the big sister I never had. Her niece called her “Bubba” and it was so cute because she was the biggest brat ever and loved her aunt so she would always throw a fit and scream “I want my Bubba!”. When I got a baby sister I decided I wanted her to call me the same thing. From there it sort of stuck. When my uncle had his son a few years later he called me Bubba. When my sister in laws had their kids I was Aunt Bubba to them too and now with my sister’s son as well. My husband was worried that our daughter might call me Bubba one day too. I think she’ll figure it out though.
* I am a firm believer in karma so I keep it in mind whenever I do anything. If it is not from goodness then I avoid it and make another choice. Nothing good comes easy and if it comes too easy than it’s probably not good. It may be easier to lie or cheat to get what you want in the life but I know the honest way is the lasting way. What you get dishonestly will go just as quickly. I also am pretty resolute in my decisions. Once I make my mind up about something or someone, it’s pretty hard to change it – maybe impossible. I am a good judge of character and I stick to my instincts about people. I’m not critical of people though. I am probably one of the most neutral people you’ll ever meet. I usually take the mediator approach to any disagreement than to pick sides. I try to see both sides to every situation. I probably should have pursued being a mediator for a living but dealing with disagreements that often might wear you down a bit.
* I probably should have been a psych major because I am fascinated by the human mind. When most people are content at just saying someone is crazy or a liar or evil I want to dig deeper and find out why and what caused it and get to the root of things. People are so different from one another and deal with things differently and have been through different experiences. I love understanding personalities.
* I wish sometimes that we could go back to the simpler way things used to be. Even before cars maybe. I wouldn’t mind riding a horse to where I needed to go. I just hate how busy and congested everything is now. I feel like we are ruining this planet. We have so many vacant houses and yet we’re still building new developments everywhere instead of using what we have. I hate the thought of being so wasteful. Even our dumps are full of perfectly good recyclable stuff but people just don’t care to recycle it. (Well I for one think that we should have to PAY to recycle. It should be be free and the government should encourage preserving and cutting down on waste. Dumps should get grants or tax breaks to create jobs that make sure that the garbage is sorted and recyclables removed and recycled). I live not far from a dump so it’s a touchy subject for me whenever I have to drive by and see how much waste we create and knowing that it could be so much less if we’d recycle. I also hate driving down the road and seeing nothing but wires and poles and signs. It totally ruins my view.
* There are so many things I love to do that I don’t think I could narrow down what my “dream job” would be. I love animals but I hate to see them hurt or sick so I don’t think I could work with them on a regular basis. I can hardly bring my dog in to the vet without getting emotional. I love children too but I worked in daycare before and although I was great at it, dealing with that many children can be unnerving so teaching could even get too crazy. I love to make things and repurpose things but my husband hates when I hoard “junk” so until we get more space I probably can’t really pursue that the way I want to. Right now I guess I am pursuing my dream job – I am raising a human being. That’s the most important job there is.
* I am proud of who I am and what I’ve learned in life. I am thankful every day that I turned out alright and that everything I have done and been through in life was a stepping stone and a lesson in the path of being a smart, experienced, good person and not a platform for my destruction. I appreciate every person that has entered my life to teach me something or to learn something from me. I have been through a lot that I haven’t even delved in to yet here but in the end I know that I am a good person, honest, God fearing and always looking ahead and trying to be better than I was the day before. I value life and the blessing of free will. I hope that when my time here is done that I can smile knowing I made a positive difference in the world…even if just for one person.