I realize this is going to be probably the longest entry I'll ever make, but I didn't want to change the challenge! So here you go :)
When I was nine years old, my family moved from the United States to Munich, Germany. I didn't speak a word of German when we arrived, so I had to learn it just by going to German school. I was thankful for a few wonderful classmates who helped me learn along the way! I lived in Germany for ten years before moving back to the United States to go to college when I was nineteen. I've always had trouble fitting into both cultures and will never quite know which country is truly my home. I also don't really have a language preference...English is definitely easier on my brain, but German is a very fun and expressive language to speak! I am what you'd call a ""Third Culture Kid". I'm not quite German, not quite American!
I primarily drink water. I've never liked fizzy drinks and I rarely ever drink juice...I guess I've always been that way. I LOVE coffee and I enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage, but other than that - just water! No lemon, no ice. Boring, huh? And I drink a lot of it too. You'll rarely ever see me without a bottle of it with me! Since I've become pregnant, water is the only thing I drink. Although, I have been making myself drink a glass of orange juice every day since recently. We will see how long that lasts! ;D
My hobbies are nearly all art-related. I paint custom canvas shoes (I'll talk more about this in a later post), scrapbook, take photos and do various projects in Photoshop. I really enjoy expressing myself artistically, especially when I do it while listening to music. It's my personal therapy - when I sit at my desk and work on a project, I slip off into another world. It's really strange coming out of that world and stepping back into reality...I feel like I don't even know how to speak correctly anymore because I was so concentrated on what I was doing! I feel comfortable in that world.
Photography on the other hand, forces me to get out and take a good look at the world around me and truly appreciate it. I really think we take it's beauty for granted. I really like capturing the little things too. Simple things. And there is something about a black and white photo that I find truly fascinating. There are no colors to be distracted by, so you're fully focused on the contrast, the composition and the emotion of the photograph. I truly appreciate now what I learned in my college classes!
I ADORE Christmas. I really always have. Even after my folks split up and old traditions were lost, I still found so much joy in the holiday season. No matter how crappy a Christmas could end up one year, I forget about everything and look forward to it all over again the year after! I love the decorations, listening to Christmas music, drinking hot cocoa, fireplaces...aaahhh :) What I love the most, is coming together with family and friends and just spending time with one another. I truly look forward to getting to start some Christmas traditions with my own family once our baby boy arrives!
Fact 5I LOVE dyeing my hair crazy colors. My hair has been purple, pink, red, blue, teal...even mixtures of both. I first got pink streaks in my hair when I was 16. My grandmother wanted to take me to get my hair done as a treat when I came to the US to visit that summer. I took her "anything you want!" statement seriously! :D Hearing her laugh and take pictures while I was sitting in that chair will be one of my most cherished memories of her.
I started dyeing my hair again when I moved to the US in 2010. Shortly after I met Mike, we ended up dyeing our hair crazy colors together, which earned us the couple nickname "Mr. and Mrs. Skittles" in college. I ended up having to dye my hair a "normal color" when I started working, but I can definitely picture myself dropping my son off at school with green hair at some point. ;D
When I was in 8th grade, we had a reptile show at our school and I held a tarantula. Now to me, this is a VERY big deal, because all my life, I've been deathly afraid of spiders. Big spiders, little spiders, jumping spiders...even crabs! If it has 8 legs, keep it the frick away from me. The tarantula I held was so calm and friendly - for a moment I really thought I had overcome my fear! I guess not. To this day, if I turn the corner and there is a spider on the wall, I'm going to scream and the creature is going to meet the bottom of my sneaker.
At around age 8 I'd say, I took an interest in playing violin. I found it to be such a beautiful instrument and I begged my parents for lessons. So when I was about 10, a friend from our church started offering lessons and I began! Since I was learning with the Suzuki method, we focused primarily on posture in every lesson. I wasn't learning to read notes, so after a billion versions of twinkle, twinkle Little Star, I became discouraged and ended up quitting. Today, I really regret that I did!
Growing up, I never wanted to be a princess. I wanted to be a mommy. I LOVED playing with dolls. I had a whole collection of those Playskool "my very soft baby" dolls and they were all my "children". They had names and stories and I would never hesitate to tell people about them. I had a little chalkboard/easel and would spend time teaching and mothering my dolls. When I was 9, I got my first American Girl doll for Christmas and I adored her. I even set up her own little bedroom with a bed and desk in the corner of my room. Although I feel a bit embarrassed to admit it, I played with my dolls until I was about 12. I think they are part of the reason I decided to become a stay at home mom. Nothing excites me more than thinking about raising children, teaching them and helping them grow. It's a 24/7 job and I know I will be dealing with screaming babies, temper tantrums, the word "NO!" and not going to be able to go to the bathroom alone, but it is beyond worth it to me! I really am looking forward to it.
You will rarely see me wearing anything other than canvas sneakers. Vans, Converse and Toms are what make up my small shoe collection. I have never really been a sandal or dress shoe person. I am actually surprised that I can say I own a pair of high heels, and I admit that I am not terribly skilled at walking in them. Ever since I was little, I've always worn some sort of sneaker with socks. I'm not sure why. I painted the shoes on the right last year. And as you can probably tell, I'm a fan of Cookie Monster. ;D
Even though it may not seem that way when you first come across my blog, I am I guess what you'd call a "rock chick". When I was about 14, I started taking interest in rock music and playing guitar. At around that time, I remember strumming along to my favorite bands on my mom's old acoustic guitar. With my dad being an opera singer and my parents being quite conservative at the time, my particular taste in music was "noise" and not so much approved. But my parents always came to my band performances and supported me the best they could, which I always truly appreciated. :) When I was 17, I went to my first metal festival, which was a full three days of bands, beer and awesome people. It was one of the most fun experiences ever and I am thankful to this day that my dad let me go!
I am obsessed with Starbucks. When I got my first smart phone in January, I downloaded their app, so that I could pay for my coffee with my phone. By June, I had reached the gold card level. I had quit smoking a few months back, so drinking Starbucks was my new "treat" to myself. I've never been one to drink 5 cups a day or anything or HAVE to have my morning cup of coffee, but nearly every day after I got off work, I craved a Starbucks coffee. I haven't had one since before I got pregnant, but I am looking forward to whipping that lonely card back out of my wallet once Vince is here!
I have always been a pretty social person and I've never had a terribly hard time making friends or clicking with people. I liked being in social environments and spending time with friends. But believe it or not, I have agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is a social anxiety disorder. I started having panic attacks around the time I moved to the US and they became very serious last year in the spring. I've found good ways to cope with it and still enjoy spending time with people, but I struggle with day to day things often, such as going to the grocery store or the bank. Thankfully, I have a wonderful support system made up of people who are very understanding and helpful if I'm having a hard time.
When I was in 5th grade, I attended an all-girls school...in a castle. We didn't learn magic or wear uniforms (I wished!! Haha), but it was definitely not like your average school! What I remember the best were all the steps...my gosh it was exhausting to climb up all those steps with a heavy book bag. Everything was really old - almost ancient looking, but I have to say, it was pretty cool. In Germany, it's not very uncommon to attend school in a castle. Unfortunately, it just was not the right school for me. I've never been able to really click with most girls and all of the drama was just too much to deal with. I ended up switching to a different school after 6th grade.
When I was just a little squirt, one of my favorite books to have my parents read to me was Little Bear's Friend. In fact, they read it to me so many times, that eventually, I had the book memorized. So when I was about two or three, my parents went out for the evening and left me with a babysitter. Apparently, I sat there with the book and started reciting it along with the pictures. The babysitter freaked out, thinking I was actually reading the book!
I tend to be very organized. I hate not having things in order - it makes me absolutely crazy. I am the type of person to have a ridiculously thick planner that I carry around everywhere. I sort the clothes in my closet by color, type and length. My shirts hang on white hangers and Mike's hang on black hangers, so that I can separate the two of them. I really like having a system and a place for everything - clutter tends to put me in a really crappy mood. I try not to be too big of a control freak, because I understand that I'm not going to have everything under control all the time. It's just not realistic, especially now that we are having kids. But I try to make lists and keep as organized as I can to prevent from having gigantic meltdowns that poor Mike has to witness and put up with! ;D
I watched my first set of horror movies with one of my buddies when I was in 7th grade. We watched House of Wax first, which I got a kick out of, so I didn't think twice about watching another one. The second one however, was Hostel. Needless to say, I couldn't sleep for two weeks straight. Although I could probably watch it today and not be as bothered by it, I still can't get some of those images out of my head!
In the spring of 2011, I got acrylic nails put on for the first time, as a graduation present to myself. I got the nail art, the jewels - the whole shebang. I didn't want to pay so much to keep having them done though, so that summer, I took on learning how to do my own nails. It was actually really fun and I even had one of Mike's mom's friends come over so that I could do her nails for her son's wedding. I still like to go and get pampered occasionally, but in the end, I really prefer to do my nails myself now! I admit though, I'm still not quite as good at painting with my left as I am with my right hand! ;D
I have the hardest time ever just saying "no". I have taken on so many projects and done so many things when I really didn't have the time or energy to do them. I never want to disappoint anyone and I really want to make people happy. Sometimes it's difficult to be happy myself this way though, as I tend to take on so much that it stresses me out. So one thing I've been trying my absolute best to work on is just simply saying "no" once in a while!
When I met Mike, he was in a ska band called "Stuart and the Juice Tigers". (Don't ask lol) Since the neighbors were making a scene about the band being "too loud", we were forced to pack everything up and rent a little space to practice. We split the rent of a double room in this old office building with one of Mike's friends for 100 bucks a month. Totally do-able with four guys, which later turned into a nine man band, full with horn section and keyboard. Since the room was a truly ugly mint green with "Merry Maids" painted across the entirety of the wall across from the door, Mike decided to take on a project I'll never forget. He and I spent two weeks painting that room tiger-striped. Even though the band broke up and the "tiger space" no longer exists, it will remain one of my fondest summer memories with Mike.
In Germany, it costs about 2000 euros to get your drivers license, so I didn't get my license (or really learn how to drive) until I was 20. I had practiced and driven for fun with several family members before, but I didn't really start learning until I started to practice with Mike and his mom. I learned how to drive his mom's automatic in traffic when I got my permit, then learned how to drive Mike's manual Mazda before getting my license. The funny thing is, that the Mazda is a turbo with a stage two racing clutch. The car even has racing seat belts. So it was a bit intimidating to drive! Since the next available driving test was months away, Mike's mom and I jumped in the car and I drove us two hours to Gallup on a Friday afternoon to take my driving test. I passed it and got my license the next day!