Well, I’ve made it to my 100th post. Somehow, it's kind of fitting that I've hit it the same week my kids hit their 100th day of the school year. So, while they've been getting their 100th day projects done, I've also been working on my post. I have to say, I’m glad my husband encouraged me on this blogging venture, though I still get nervous when hitting the post button, especially on my “weightier” topics, and I probably always will. I have a deep desire that what I write be honoring to God - even the lightweight things - and I’m actually by nature very shy and reserved, so becoming a blogger has been a little scary for me. I was going to post a picture of me with my family on this one, but we can’t seem to take one that doesn’t come out blurry. It must be time to look into a new digital camera. I’ll have to save the picture for a future post, I suppose. In what seems to be a bloggy tradition, I’ve written 100 things about me to share with anyone who may be reading. I’m not promising they are all interesting things, mind you, so if you plan to read this, you might want to grab a tea, coffee, Diet Coke or other caffeinated beverage to aid in staying awake! Here goes:
1. I am a child of the King. By God’s grace, I was 5 years old when He granted me the faith to pray to receive Jesus as my savior. My parents wisely prayed with me and then waited for God to continue to lead in my life.
2. At the age of 7, I grabbed my mother by the hand and dragged her down the aisle, because I was ready to be baptized. I went through a “Precious Lambs” class our church offered to disciple children making a profession of faith, after which I was baptized.
3. God continued to hold me, and at about the age of 12 I began to more fully understand about Jesus’ Lordship and to understand how to study my Bible and learn about Him. I’m not sure how much I understood at 5, but I know that God kept me and allowed me to grow in understanding and grace, and I know that today I am trusting in Christ’s righteousness and His sacrificial death on the cross as the basis of my salvation. Thank God, He is still holding me and I am still learning and growing in faith, by His grace, and He has kept me from ever straying too far, though I have, on occasion, done some dumb things and sinned for sure. By His grace, He will grant me the faith to persevere to the end, for my hope is in His righteousness, not my own.
4. I was born on Memorial Day. My birthday is May 31, so whenever that falls on a Monday, it is Memorial Day.
5. I grew up on the Space Coast of FL – just a short drive from Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach, and only 45 minutes from Disney World.
6. I loved going to Disney World when I was a kid!
7. I have one brother who is three years younger than me.
8. My parents still live in the same house they’ve lived in since I was one year old.
9. When rockets would launch from Kennedy Space Center, our windows would rattle, it was that loud.
10. When the Space Shuttle would re-enter the atmosphere on its way to land at Kennedy Space Center, the sonic boom would startle me so badly I’d jump about 5 feet every time.
11. On January 28, 1986, I was sitting in my 9th grade biology class when we heard the distinct rumble of the Space Shuttle Challenger’s lift off. We in the class ran to the window when someone yelled, “It’s the shuttle!” It didn’t take long for us to realize something had gone terribly wrong when we saw that smoke trail bloom from the straight line it should have been into two big, deformed clouds. As we could see debris falling away, someone in the class kept saying, “They must be parachuting out, they must be okay.” Tragically, they weren’t. That was a sad day.
12. That was also the year we all wore neon. It was the 80’s, notoriously known for some tremendous fashion mistakes. I remember the neon, because I remember how everyone looked that day when it was so eerily silent during the class changes as we could still see that abnormal smoke trail in the sky.
13. I went through the spiral-perm, big-hair phase that seemed to be required in the 80’s.
14. I played the clarinet in the junior high and senior high marching bands.
15. I took 3 years of high school Spanish, but I haven’t retained enough to be able to understand much more than “por favor” and “gracias.”
16. I was on the staff of the creative writing magazine for our high school during my junior and senior years. I really enjoyed learning how to put together the layouts, and I learned a great deal from my writing teacher, whose two favorite phrases were, “No schmaltz!” and “Show, don’t tell.”
17. During that writing class I started writing a book that has been shelved for, lo, these many years. My husband still says I need to write it. Maybe I will when the kids are grown, Lord willing. We’ll see.
18. I walked to high school until my best friend got a car, then we drove together most days.
19. After I graduated from high school, I went to the University of Florida. Go Gators!
20. I majored in Communication Processes and Disorders. Try saying that 10 times fast!
21. I met my husband at Northwest Baptist Church in Gainesville, FL when I was a junior and he had just come to UF for his graduate work.
22. He had to ask me out at least 3 times before I realized he liked me as more than just a fellow student at the university.
23. I can be a little dense sometimes. See number 22.
24. D. asked me to marry him Easter weekend of 1993. I said yes, obviously; I'm not that dense!
25. After graduating with my B.A. degree in May of 1993, I completed one semester of graduate school, specializing in Audiology.
26. D. and I got married on December 18, 1993, just one week before Christmas. I was 22 and he was 24.
27. We went to Disney World and Sanibel Island, FL for our honeymoon.
28. I quit graduate school after we got married because I was stressed out about school and we thought it might be hard to be newlyweds and both of us writing a thesis.
29. I tend to work too hard when it comes to school. I can’t seem to stop studying, and I stress myself out.
30. I got a job working for an HMO, first as a clerk and then as a claims examiner.
31. I really did not like working the phones during that job. Some of the customers and medical office managers were downright mean.
32. After D. finished his Master’s degree, he had to go to San Antonio, TX for three months of Officer Training School for his Army commitment. We drove out to Texas together, then I flew home alone and cried the whole way.
33. While D. was in Texas, I packed up the house to get ready for our move to Tampa, FL, where his new job was waiting for him.
34. We lived in Tampa for a few months before moving on out to Brandon where we’d been going to church. You can read a little about that time here.
35. We bought a miniature schnauzer and named him Oliver. He still lives with us, but he’s neurotic as can be and drives me up the wall sometimes. But he’s really snuggly and cute, too. He’s my dog.
36. We bought our first house in 1997, and it had a grapefruit tree in the backyard. That is about the only thing that would grow back there. Everything else we planted died. We thought the soil might be toxic.
37. I’m not good with plants. I forget to water them and they die.
38. I tried to go back to school and work part time as an apprentice speech pathologist, but I felt so not cut out for the job and stressed out that I threw up every morning before going to work. We decided that it was time for me to quit school for good, and to look forward with no regrets, and I went back to work for the Lutheran ministry in Tampa where I had been, and I stayed there until a month before our first child was born.
39. We went to Cancun, Mexico for our last vacation without kids in May of 1997.
40. In October 1998, our first son, J. was born.
41. In June 2000 I miscarried at 10 weeks and we grieved the loss of a baby we never got to know.
42. In April 2001, we welcomed home our second son, M.
43. On September 11, 2001, I was preparing breakfast and taking care of our two little guys while watching the Today show that morning. I stopped everything when they showed the footage of a plane flying into the World Trade Center. I was holding my little 5-month-old in my arms and watching the TV in disbelief, thinking, “What is happening?” when the second plane hit. And I cried as I watched the buildings collapse into rubble and thought of all those people who had just entered eternity, and grieved that many probably didn’t know the Lord. My friend, Charla, called right then and said, “Are you watching the news? What’s this going to mean for D.?” I hadn’t even thought that D.’s Army National Guard commitment might be called upon, but, it certainly did look like we were under attack.
44. What it meant for D. in the early days was a call to 3 months active duty guarding the Armory on the night shift. So, while he technically was still at home, he was gone all night (12 hour shift) and sleeping all day. I took the boys to the park, the mall and Chick-fil-A a lot those days, because keeping two very small children quiet all day is very hard!
45. In July 2002, D. accepted a new job in southern Indiana, and we packed up and moved. He was hoping to have a little free time to go back to school and perhaps do some teaching eventually.
46. In October, 2002, D. told me he’d quit his new job. The work environment was such that I understood he’d absolutely done the right thing. But it was scary, all the same.
47. Two days after quitting, D. got the call to go to Bosnia for a year with a Kentucky Army National Guard unit that needed someone with just his qualifications. Though I cried many hours over the impending separation, we definitely saw God’s hand in providing a job for my husband.
48. I spent that year in Indiana, found a church home, made some good friends and got as involved as I could there. I enrolled J. in preschool so that he would meet some friends, too. During what could have been a very lonely year, God used that time to teach me and grow me and strengthen my dependence on Him. I praise Him for this, too.
49. When D. came home in October 2003, we packed up the house and moved to the southeast, to our current home, because, once again, God had led him to just the right job at just the right time.
50. In September 2004, I suffered a second miscarriage at 11 weeks, and we, again, grieved the loss of a baby we would not get to meet.
51. A week before Christmas that year, D. got a call from his commander that he was slated to go to Kuwait/Iraq for 6 months.
52. I had just learned the day before that I was expecting again.
53. In January 2005, D. left for Kuwait.
54. One week later, I suffered our third miscarriage. This one was the hardest, because we had told the boys before D. left that we were expecting another baby. We told them earlier than I would have liked to because we did not want them to be confused later on when they remembered that while Daddy was gone, Mommy’s tummy got bigger and a baby came along, since I wasn’t showing yet when D. left. They had not known about the others. I had to go through 5 long, painful days of the miscarriage effects while trying to keep it together for the boys and not let them know what a hard time I was having.
55. I still get weepy when the boys ask about “the baby that died.”
56. I got to welcome my husband home in June 2005. Because he was returning from Iraq, the airline gave me and the boys special permission to go all the way up to the gate so we could meet him as he deboarded the plane, and the boys waved the "Welcome Home" signs they had made. He looked so handsome coming off that plane in his uniform.
57. In September, 2005, we again learned I was expecting.
58. Our sweet little girl, R., was born in May 2006, and what a little blessing she is!
59. I don’t like to decorate.
60. I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a pair of drapes for my house. Every house we’ve had, I’ve just lived with what was already there, because it’s always been nice enough.
61. I don’t like clutter.
62. I like my walls to be wallpaper-free. Really, my tastes are pretty simple.
63. I really like Coke Slurpees from 7-Eleven, and whenever we are in Florida, I have to get one.
64. My second favorite drink is a Diet Coke with cherry from Sonic. Love their crushed ice.
65. Oh, and tea. I drink lots and lots of tea – cold, hot, flavored and not.
66. My favorite food is Italian food – pasta, pizza, you name it. I hope we get an Olive Garden close by soon.
67. My second favorite food is nachos with cheddar cheese, refried beans and good salsa. That’s our favorite snack around here. Not the healthiest, I know.
68. I’m right-handed.
69. I really enjoy reading – especially mysteries.
70. I spend way, way too much time on the computer. Blogging has become a small obsession – does that get any better now that I’ve reached the 100th post??
71. I struggle with patience. A lot.
72. I don’t like bananas by themselves.
73. But I could eat a whole loaf of banana bread in one sitting. I don’t, but I could!
74. I used to really like music, but lately I’ve found I climb the walls if I have it on all day.
75. I love to listen to good preaching on the radio when I’m cleaning house. Two of my favorites are John MacArthur and Alistair Begg.
76. I’m a morning person. I absolutely cannot stand to stay in bed or in my pajamas late into the morning. Once I’m awake, it’s time to seize the day and get moving. Drives my kids nuts.
77. I get kind of loopy when I stay up too late.
78. Some TV shows I enjoy when I have time to watch are: LOST, Jericho, Monk, Psych, and House. I don’t watch any daytime TV at all.
79. Because neither of us are night owls, we tape most of them and watch later if we have time.
80. I like strawberries.
81. I consider eating watermelon to be an excellent way to hydrate my body. I could eat half a melon in a sitting.
82. When I’m pregnant, I can’t stand to eat chicken.
83. Green beans with butter and Creole seasoning are another favorite.
84. I don’t like going to the gym, but I love the way I feel once I’ve finished exercising for the day.
85. I don’t like taking my dog for a walk because he winds his leash around every mailbox.
86. One of my biggest fears is finding a frog or snake in the house. Gives me the willies.
87. I really like to type.
88. I always feel I’ve said too much.
89. One of my favorite phrases from a song is: “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” I find myself saying that a lot.
90. One of my favorite Bible verses is: “You will keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
91. I have lots of other favorite Bible verses, too.
92. I’m too serious a lot of the time.
93. My husband tells me often, “Lighten up, Beck.” But he says it with a smile.
94. While I love and enjoy my children greatly, I am finding that I don’t think I’m a “kid person.” I have to really work at remembering where they are coming from and not treating them like mini-adults.
95. I really like to go to the movies, but I’m finding there are fewer and fewer worth going to see these days. (Aside: We did really enjoy Night at the Museum .)
96. I like to cook, but don’t like coming up with what to cook each day. I get into a rut sometimes.
97. I’ve always wished I could be a runner, but have never wanted to do what it takes to get over the hump of learning how to run.
98. I like to have lots of big windows on my house. I don’t like feeling like I’m in a cave. Lots of light, please.
99. Sunny days can really perk up my mood.
100. I like to take the kids to the beach.
Wow. That is probably way more information about me than anyone could possibly want. If anyone is still here, thanks for reading!