Hi, friends! Today is a super special day for me! IT’S MY 28TH BIRTHDAY! I am not really sure how in the world a whole year has passed. Do you guys feel that way when your birthday approaches? Usually I’m excited for a solid month leading up to my special day because I love to celebrate, but this year, it feels like it’s kind of snuck up on me. Funny how that happens…
I’ve been wracking my brain for how I should celebrate this year with you guys, and I feel like I’m coming up so empty-handed. Let’s just say a lot of really big life things are happening right now (specifically some new not-so-happy-for-me updates with our foster daughter) that have really shocked/surprised/hurt me a lot this week. Because I could oh-so-easily become super sappy and emotional here, I’m going to attempt to come up with a list of things you might not know about me. Let’s get started, shall we?
- My birthday is the same day as my maternal grandparent’s anniversary! This year they’ll be celebrating FIFTY (yes, 5-0) years of marriage!
I have two siblings, both younger. My brother, Justin, is 24 and my sister, Ashley, is 22. The older we get, the closer we become. I once broke my foot trying to separate my brother and sister from a sibling fight as I tried to CARRY my sister down a few stairs. Bad idea, friends.
- Speaking of my family, they’ve somehow roped me into doing a fantasy football league with them this year. Have I mentioned how little I actually follow sports? This is a guaranteed disaster! (Who knows football? Who can I tweet for help?)
- Since I’ve been married (9 years + counting), Dustyn and I have lived in five different places.
- One of those places was in an apartment in San Diego, CA after I graduated from college. I had big dreams of leaving Texas and exploring the world a little more, but even though we left, my heart remained in Austin.
I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned that my actual college degree is in Interior Architecture. I kind of got into it by accident. I applied for one program (architectural engineering) at Texas A&M and they accepted me into it; at my college orientation, I found out that program had been discontinued in 1979. How I got accepted into it still baffles me. By default, they put me in the architecture program. I was scared out of my mind because I didn’t know anything about drawing, much less designing.
- After I got married, the summer after my freshman year of college, I transferred to the University of Texas (Hook ’em!). It’s there that I officially transferred into the Interior Architecture program and felt a lot more at home. Designing interiors felt more comfortable than having to worry about the entire building.
- My last semester of college, I had a design professor from hell. That was one of the roughest semesters for me because my husband’s grandfather was passing away and we made multiple trips to the hospital to see him because we would get calls saying, “Today could be the day.” My professor absolutely didn’t understand, didn’t care, and basically had no heart. Did I put as much effort into my work as I had semesters before? NO. But did my final project turn out well? Yes. I received awesome feedback from the review panel and my professor didn’t like that. He stood up in front of everyone in the room and said that I didn’t deserve their praise because “if I had worked harder, my project could have been even better.” Basically he publicly humiliated me and I cried my eyes out in front of an entire room. I still wish I had written to the dean and reported him after this incident because this was terrible… I thought he was going to fail me after saying everything he did.
- My mom is one of my absolute closest friends. I can call her when I’m upset and she just gets it. She had me when she was 19 and because it was just the two of us for a while, I think it forged a bond between us that’s impossible to break.
- I have known my sister-in-law since I was in first grade and she was in kindergarten. We grew up in the tiny town of Dime Box, TX and married brothers. Best feeling in the world to have someone who knows me so well and always gets what I’m thinking.
- I’m pretty sure you guys know me as someone who has very desperately wanted to be a mom, but in all honesty, I wasn’t exactly sure when I’d want to be a mom. I married my husband at 18 and wasn’t sure if I wanted kids for a long while. (Yes, I’m sure part of that is because I was so young.) Something inside me clicked one day and all my maternal-ness came rushing in.
- I really, really hate to cook and clean house. I mean, HATE. I do it because it needs to be done and my husband is quite a helper, but ugh. If I had a magic wand, I would make sure I never had to do either of those things again.
- My 13th birthday involved a trip to Dallas for my very first concert ever, ‘N SYNC! Oh my gosh. I will always, always remember that trip and also my first visit to the Rainforest Cafe to celebrate the day after.
My favorite places I’ve ever traveled to is Greece. Dustyn and I went there two years ago and it’s the most picturesque place I’ve ever been. I find myself longing for those days of exploring with him and dragging our broken suitcase around the islands.
- Part of the reason we were in Greece is because Dustyn was sent there for a conference. While he worked, I lounged on a chair by the ocean and devoured all five of the Jessica Darling books. Greece and Jessica Darling will forever be linked together for me.
- I would love to call myself an eclectic reader, but I think I’m pickier than I’m willing to admit.
- As a wedding photographer, the number of personal photos hanging in our house is pretty sad. I am pretty stinking terrible at printing and framing my own photographs.
- I feel like I could easily be one of those people who lived in tons of places so I could experience different types of lifestyles, BUT if you refer to #5, you’ll see that this is impractical in theory because I love Texas too much. Also, money.
- In college, I was a Mary Kay saleswoman for a while. I wasn’t very successful, but my friends and I had fun going to the meetings and doing our make-up.
I absolutely LOVE surprises, but I always accidentally ruin them. My husband has tried so many times to surprise me on my birthday or our anniversary and I’ve unintentionally ruined things.
- My first “boyfriend” was when I was in 8th grade. I was a total cougar and dated a younger guy. (A 7th grader.) I freaked out when he kissed me on the cheek on the bus ride home from a hockey game.
- My favorite color is grey. It kind of always has been, but my mom used to REFUSE to let me buy plain grey t-shirts. I thought they looked perfectly comfy when paired with jeans, but she thought it was too casual. Guess who thinks grey t-shirts are cool now?
- TV shows I watch or have loved: Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Hart of Dixie, Parenthood, Dance Academy. (Any recommendations for awesome ones would be greatly appreciated!)
- My love for reading returned when I lived in San Diego. A co-worker and I would read books together (a mini book club!) and discuss at each other’s desks. Some of those books were the whole Twilight series, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and a few books by Henning Mankell.
- My bookshelves (in the living room) are organized by book color, unless they belong to a series.
- I read hardback books without the book covers. They’re slippery and they make reading that much more difficult. Usually the covers become my bookmarks.
I grew up living less than a mile from my grandparent’s house. I don’t get to see them as much now that I live farther away, but it still makes my day when I get to spend time with them.
- Favorite Sweet: Sour Patch Straws, strawberry, please!
Favorite Cereal: Cheerios with Sliced Bananas
Favorite Soda: Coca-Cola
Favorite Cake: There’s a tie between Italian Cream Cake and Carrot Cake.
To thank you for following Rather Be Reading and for reading all of my nonsense above, I’m celebrating my birthday by giving away a $28 gift certificate that I hope you’ll buy awesome books with! I know 28 is such a random number, but hey! — that’s how old I am today. The giveaway is open to anyone that can use Amazon.com to place an order. The certificate will be delivered to your email address. You must be 13 years or older to enter.
I hope you’re having an amazing Saturday! Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me!