Hello, 28!

Duluth boudoir photographer

It’s undeniable; I’m now in my late twenties – woot, woot! To celebrate, I’ve curated 28 offbeat, little-known facts about the past 28 years. Prepare for travel mishaps, bizarre only-child symptoms, and my first memory (from the chapter entitled “When Petting Zoos Attack”). Do I have your attention? Here we go!

1. I started writing so long ago, I could barely wield a pencil yet. Buried somewhere are dozens of worn journals full of big words and weird stories.

2. I have a photographic memory when it comes to words, hence my childhood spelling bee prowess. Numbers? Nope, nope, nope.

3. I’m a former INFP turned ENFP.

4. The craziest thing I’ve eaten abroad is chicken heart (I skipped the Ziploc baggy full of crickets being passed around the bus in Cambodia).

5. Without fail, despite every precaution, I get food poisoning every time I visit a developing country. It’s one of my more charming qualities.

6. I played the viola for ten years from middle school through college. At times, I still ache for it. If anyone else wants to play for a symphony, but needs orchestra boot camp, let’s be accountability buddies, k?

7. When I was little, I was convinced the lilacs bloomed exclusively for my birthday (I still kinda believe it).

8. I’m an only child with abundant step-siblings. Spoiled? Nope. Blessed? Duh.

9. Most days there are way too many dishes in the sink. And we only vacuum once a week. Maybe. If we’re lucky. :: Cue dog hair tumbleweeds ::

10. My first camera was a Fisher Price Perfect Shot Camera circa 1994. It was blue and plastic and larger than my head. I was six years old and it came to Disney World in my purple backpack. With every press of the shutter, I would jerk the camera up & down. Every shot had the same vertical blur: Cinderella’s castle? Blurry. The spinning teacups? Blurry. The Dumbo ride? You guessed it. Li’l Miss Leibovitz, they called me.

11. I’m allergic to gyms and workout programs. Give me fresh air, a paddle, or hiking boots anyday, girlfriend.

12. I don’t tan gracefully, but rather sunburn in strange, extraterrestrial patterns despite my attempts to slather sunscreen evenly.

13. If you want to make me sob uncontrollably, just show me YouTube videos of servicemen and women reuniting with their dogs after deployment. I dare ya.

 14. If I ever write a memoir, it will be titled “Don’t Eat the Baby Carrots.” Once, when I was traveling in Thailand, we went to a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Ko Phi Phi. The owners kept a small blonde monkey whose Thai name translated to “One Million Bananas.” This has nothing to do with the story. Anyway, I ordered one of their prize bowls of Tom Yum Goong soup. While slurping away, I spooned up what looked like a baby carrot. I even said, out loud, “Oh look! It’s a baby carrot,” and proceeded to wolf it down. Seconds later, the left side of my face began to tingle. My left eye wept, my left nostril ran, my face went numb. No, traditional Thai soups don’t contain baby carrots; they contain hot chilis that will blow your face off. Lesson learned? We’ll see.

15. When my husband & I were dating, we spent a year living in Wales working at the family pub (for real).  And yes, it’s as dangerous as it sounds.

16. In 7th grade wood shop class, I broke three saws in one week while trying to make a dolphin clock. I’m now married to a woodworking ninja. Thank God for that.

17. In 2010, I spent three weeks trekking in the Everest region of Nepal and it rocked my world. Someday, we’re going back.

18. For me, travel isn’t just something to “get out of my system,” it’s a lifelong priority.

19. Biggest holy crap moment while traveling? It’s a tie between flying into Lukla Airport in Nepal (cheerfully dubbed the world’s most dangerous airport), or seeing a spider the size of my face perched in its freshly-spun six-foot web at the temples of Angkor. Both situations called for adult diapers.

20. Fun fact: My husband & I celebrate two anniversaries (you can read more about that here).

21. My first CD was the Go-Go’s Greatest Hits, followed swiftly by The Spice Girls. I had a definite girl power phase (which never really stopped – last week I saw Beyonce live in Minneapolis).

22. It’s been three years since we started getting our farm share. We’ve been getting the year-round Whole Diet Share from Lake Superior CSA and we LOVE it! From May-November, we get fresh local veggies, fruit, poultry, fish and meat every two weeks. Beginning in December, we get monthly shares. It’s pretty awesome (and if you’re not careful, I’ll ding-dong-ditch our surplus of root vegetables on your doorstep).

23. There was a time when I didn’t like beer. Thank God people change!

24. For some reason, I have no fear of public speaking. In fact, I kinda like it.

25. You might already know this, but my husband & I met at summer camp. He taught sailing; I taught darkroom photography and served as the camp photographer. We met on a rainy Wednesday afternoon in June, on the eve of Staff Orientation eight years ago. He won me over with stovetop hot chocolate (and his cute British accent).

26. When I say I’m a dog person, it runs deep. Between the ages of 5-8, I cultivated an entire society with my Puppy in my Pocket collection. They had parties, drama, the occasional scandalous affair, and long, thought-provoking conversations (narrated by me, of course). Bonus: They never pooped in the front yard.

27. One of my first memories was being attacked by an emu at a petting zoo. It latched onto my long ponytail and tugged with great gusto, then ate my red hair ribbon. Oddly enough, I’m not petrified of large, flightless birds.

28. It’s National Donut Day. On my birthday. It’s like the universe saying “You go girl!” and throwing sprinkles in my face. On that note, I’m off to inhale some fried dough. Cheers, m’dears!


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