Monday, August 15, 2016

Nobody Knows That I...

From reading a person's blog, you learn a lot of interesting little tidbits about them.

You probably know that I'm a Latter-day Saint (not trying to sound awesome, my church is literally called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) who runs a traveling circus has 6 children.

I like being a cheapskate and writing things that make people laugh; I dislike sleeping (I think it's boring) and pretending to know how to make crafts.

But did you know these 7 things about me?

I was an avid swing dancer in college.

This will come as a complete shock to anyone who's seen me try to move in a graceful manner from one place to another. But it's true. I was a member of the swing club in college and have the T-shirt to prove it.

Nobody Knows That I... -- 7 lesser-known facts about your favorite Unremarkable Files blogger. Did I surprise you with all 7?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Clearly, my dance partner is thrilled.

To be clear, I can not (and do not) just go out on the dance floor by myself and spontaneously bust a move, or whatever they started calling it after 1992. I can swing dance, and that is it.

I'm a closet Tiger Mother.

I try to be a relaxed mom and sometimes succeed, but I cannot contain the perfectionist/control freak within when it comes to my daughter's violin.

Have you ever read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother? I've never threatened to burn my daughter's stuffed animals if she didn't practice, but while I was reading the book I got the feeling that the parts where I was supposed to be shaking my head and being glad I wasn't like that crazy lady, I was actually jumping on the couch and yelling "Yes. YASSS! Preach it, sister!"

It may have something to do with all the money Phillip and I have ponied up for lessons over the years, but violin practice for an hour a day, 6 days a week is non-negotiable around here.

I talk to myself.

That's right, I talk to myself and I do it all the time. Complete with hand gestures. I think out loud so often that my older kids don't even give it a second glance, and my preschooler just asks, "Are you talking to yourself, Mama?"

To be honest I don't know if everybody does this. I just can't imagine not doing it. How do people organize their thoughts without hearing themselves say it out loud? I also read my own work aloud when I proofread it. Can't not do it.

I have two different-colored eyes.

If you look at my driver's license it will say "blue," but truthfully neither of my eyes are blue. The left one is a blue-ish green, the right one is the same with a brown starburst around my pupil. Or if you're my kids, you just think I look like this:

Nobody Knows That I... -- 7 lesser-known facts about your favorite Unremarkable Files blogger. Did I surprise you with all 7?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Circa 2005. I don't actually own a pair of red shoes.

I suppose that technically, I have blue eyes because Phillip and I have 6 blue-eyed kids. According to my middle school science teacher, only people with two little 'b's can do that. That's about the extent of what I know about Mendelian genetics.

I had brain surgery as a child.

This is something almost no one knows, not because I try to hide it but just because it never comes up.

But when I was 10, a blood vessel in my brain burst due to a birth defect we didn't know I had.

After a 9-hour neurosurgery and almost 2 weeks in the ICU, I came home and had to re-learn how to walk and write. My mom says I lost my sense of humor and didn't understand what was funny for a whole year (ironic, no?)

Also, I had a really funky haircut for a while since they'd shaved some of it off for the surgery.

Today, there's little evidence that it happened. The scar on my forehead where they put a drain to relieve the internal bleeding looks like I just picked a chicken pock. My other scars are under my hair and behind one ear (which does stick out more than the other now.)

I think I use my vision more than most people to keep my balance which means I sometimes need help hiking downhill on uneven ground. However, post-surgery I couldn't pull a shirt over my head without falling over so I think I'm doing pretty well.

I have a terrible memory.

This may be related to the brain surgery, or it might not be. But here's a very typical conversation between Phillip and I when choosing a day hike when we last visited family in Utah:

Me: I think we should hike this one!

Phillip: I've been there before. Actually, you and the kids came, too.

Me: We did?

Phillip: Uh-huh. It was 3 years ago.

Me: (narrowing eyes) Are you sure?

Phillip: Positive. Remember how there was the giant rock and it took us forever to get there?

Me: I have no recollection of any of this.

Phillip: ... Of course you don't.

In my defense, there have been plenty (okay, some) times that I remember things Phillip doesn't.

I had a baby in college. And actually took that baby to classes with me.

With permission from the professor, of course. He was awesome about it.

(Funny story: when my article "Why I Make My Kids Go To Church" went viral last year, that professor happened to see it and emailed me. I was totally floored he could remember one student from 10 years ago, to which he responded, "Well, not all of them bring a baby.")

Nobody Knows That I... -- 7 lesser-known facts about your favorite Unremarkable Files blogger. Did I surprise you with all 7?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Baby who couldn't care less about graduating from college.

Phillip and I got married just after I turned 21, had a baby just before I turned 22, and graduated together with an 11-month-old in 2005. It may not be the right path for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.

I love that being a mom has been part of (almost) my entire adult life, and that Phillip and I grew up together and have been a team forever. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Hopefully you learned something new about me today. Did I succeed in surprising you with all 7?

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Carolyn Astfalk said...

I love that you took your baby to class! They're so portable when they're tiny and sleepy. My husband and I both took our firstborn to work on occasion. My husband's co-workers wouldn't even realize the baby was there, asleep in the baby sling.

Jenny said...

I can't dance either, despite the 5 years of dance my mom let me take. I can dance when I have some sort of routine, but to go out and just dance...I usually fall back on the Hitch dance instead.

Trisha said...

Love these unknown facts about you! Very different. And brain surgery is rad!

Unknown said...

I had my second baby in college. Both of the two oldest have been to college classes. We had flaky college girls for babysitters so a couple times they just didn't show up and my hubby took our son to class and finals week always messed things up and we ended up having to take kids with us if it was a non-test final. Being a PE major helped in that dept. for my husband. One professor's wife had a baby the same week I did and we both bought them in on the last day of class.

Rachel said...

I was a faithful attendee of the Ballroom Dance club in college, and Angel and I regularly went swing dancing up until we moved away from Michigan--he doesn't love it all that much, but me and my sisters and cousins do, so he was always the chivalrous one to take us...and sneak away to buy himself ice cream during the few dances that one of us wasn't claiming him. :P

I JUST read The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother last week and I thought the lady was kinda crazy. But only because I have pretty much no value on music myself. My mom is a bit of a Tiger Mom but in totally different areas of life.

I got married in college, the same semester as one of my professors got married. Obviously not doing so good on the baby front, though. My mom got pregnant with me in college, while Dad was still in school too, but she immediately dropped out. She didn't really like college all that much, although occasionally now she's frustrated that she's automatically disqualified from most jobs she would want to do because she doesn't have a degree. She still doesn't want to go to college, though.

Alicia @ Sweeping Up Joy said...

I am surprised! This was fun. I also forget everything but cannot blame any past surgeries. It's just me. :)

Kendall said...

You certainly have some very interesting stories/facts from your life here! I think it's incredible your professor didn't have an issue with you bringing your weekend baby to class back then! And how cool that you know swing dance! :)

PurpleSlob said...

Wow! A few surprises, yep! The swinging, the surgery, the different color eyes. I have that too! Both mine are "Blue", except for the half brown of the left one.
The memory thing?? Motherhood!!

Queen Mom Jen said...

Brain surgery! Wow that must have been scary for your parents. I think we went to the same university. I never took a baby to classes, almost, but not quite. My first came right after graduation. I love learning about my blogging friends.

AnneMarie said...

These are so surprising and awesome!! Swing dancing is the best. Did you do East Coast or West Coast style swing? (I'm very partial to East Coast, and thankfully, since my college was in Ohio, that's the kind we did at weekly swing nights) I love that graduation picture of you guys! We got married halfway through college (we were both 20, entering junior year) but didn't wind up getting pregnant until a handful of months after graduation. I'm fine with the fact that we didn't have a baby in college (obviously God has his plans), but there are times when I think, "Oh, it would have been kind of cool to take our baby around campus and introduce him to everyone." (I may have a slightly romanticized view of baby-ing in college, haha!)
I have a terrible memory as well! It could be because of a brain injury I had about 13ish years ago (no surgery like you, just an injury that put me in the ICU for a week and a half), or it could be "just because." Seriously, I never remember how to get to places, I always forget movies that I've seen, and I frequently forget stories that people tell me!

Katy said...

All very interesting and good stuff to know if we are ever at the same cocktail party or PTA meeting and get to chatting!

Michelle said...

I love this! I was also a swing dancer in college. I LOVED it. I also talk to myself all day, but I figured it was an only child thing. So who knows :) I also have one blue eye and one bluish-green eye. My high school chemistry class once spent a whole class period arguing over the color of my eye.

Jenny Evans said...

And sometimes they relieve themselves in their diaper very loudly, which breaks up the monotony of the lecture (and horrifies the childless students in your class.)

Jenny Evans said...

I am the exact same way. If you teach me steps I can (mostly) do it. But left to my own devices? Google "Rick Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up." That's me.

Jenny Evans said...

I don't blame her. It was hard enough just plowing through right after high school when it's still fresh in your head. I can't IMAGINE going back now. I can't even help my 6th grader with her homework anymore!

Jenny Evans said...

That's the thing, I think some people just are like that, and maybe that's me. I guess I'll never know, though.

Jenny Evans said...

Well, it was at BYU which is a pretty family-friendly school. Not sure it would have flown in other places.

Jenny Evans said...

I know what you mean. I have a 10-year-old and I can't imagine it.

Jenny Evans said...

We learned both East Coast and lindy, but East Coast was my favorite.

It's still fun to take your kids around your alma mater even if they were born later, I transferred from one school to another so my kids have been to both and I've made them listen to all my boring stories about when I was a student there. It's fun.

I also cannot remember movies, and a few times I've read like 100 pages of a book before I remember that I've read it before!

Jenny Evans said...

At this point in life I'm not fancy enough for cocktail parties and too exhausted to make it to a PTA meeting, but maybe someday!

Unknown said...

I love that you brought your baby to college. If you had brought him/her into a class I was in I most likely would have made you be my bff so I could hold that baby all class long! And I probably would have failed the class. lol

Kathryn said...

BYU swing dancing was great fun! Very informative and interesting list.

Jenny Evans said...

I went to another school for 2.5 years before transferring to BYU and it was there that I did swing dancing. Never did start at BYU... too busy!