Saturday, May 11, 2013

32 Random Things About Me...

Since today is my 32nd birthday, I thought I'd share 32 random facts about me...  I've mentioned before that I don't share too many personal things on my blog, so this is certainly a change of pace for me!  I've read many similar posts on other blogs and I've always enjoyed learning new things about others, so here I go...

1.)  I grew up on a second-generation dairy farm in a small community in Northeast Washington State. I'll always be a farm girl at heart.  For my entire adult life, I've been trying to get back to living on a farm...never thought it would be so hard to do.

2.)  I love to read, but wish I had more time to.  I love books about history, biographies, etc.  My favorite books are the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

3.)  Because I was around animals constantly growing up, I was determined to become a veterinarian my entire childhood until I had a part-time job at a veterinary clinic in high school and realized that I'm way too sensitive after having to help put animals to sleep.  I still know how to milk cows, care for livestock, ear-tag, de-horn, and even castrate cattle though!  Not sure where these skills will ever come in handy again unless the execs at Manolo Blahnik want to hire me at their dairy farm :)  I'd work there in a second!
My first time showing a calf at the local fair at 5 yrs old

4.)  For the last 3-4 years, I've been a total insomniac.  Hours of the night are spent tossing and turning instead of sleeping... Needless to say, I'm a worrier by nature.

5.)  My favorite movie has always been "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" with Clint Eastwood.  I grew up watching Westerns with my dad...  It's funny that I ended up marrying a man named Clint and that his middle name is Wayne (my dad's name).
Daddy's girl
6.)  I have two older brothers: One lives in Atlanta and the other in Seattle.  Its amazing how growing up with brothers (and on a farm) influenced who I am today.
My brothers and I in 1985
7.)  I love, love music (all-types)!  My favorite band is U2 because I grew up listening to my oldest brother playing it in his room next to mine.  I love to have music going when I paint and when I'm cleaning.  When the kids aren't in the car, I play music way too loud!
8.)  Talent I wish I had: Singing!

9.)  Nerd-Alert:  I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, etc. Again, growing up with older brothers...

10.)  Even though my house doesn't stay perfectly clean all the time (it gets quite messy when I'm working on projects), I tend to be a little OCD when cleaning.  Messes and dirt nag at me!  My husband jokes that we can perform surgery in our house after I clean.
My track peeps...4 x 400 relay team 1999
11.)  I love sports and ran cross-country and track as well as played basketball all throughout my childhood.  I still hold the school record in the 1600 meter run (one-mile) at my high school.  I used to be able to run 400 meters (one lap around the track) in under 60 seconds, a 5K in 20 minutes flat, and squat 365 lbs. I can't run anymore due to stress fractures I developed in my legs, but I can still play a mean game of "HORSE".  One of my goals for the next year of my life is to get back into shape...I'm so pathetic right now.

12.)  I have the tendency to be competitive about certain things, but not in the "keep up with the Jones'" kind of way and am always genuinely happy for other's achievements. My mom says, "Don't go to the flea market with me!"  I also have the tendency to be stubborn, but it's something I'm adamant about.

13.)  I love, love history and anything related to the Civil War.  I once watched Ken Burns' Civil War documentary almost non-stop (nerd-alert again).  My kids are going to hate me when I start dragging them around the South to visit all the battlefields, etc.  I think my love of history is why I tend to decorate with vintage and antique items.

14.)  After realizing in high school that being a vet wasn't for me, I set off in college to major in history/political science then go to law school.  I briefly worked on a local congressman's campaign and had the opportunity to meet Laura Bush (right before she became First-Lady).  I would have been eaten alive in politics because...

15.)  I'm honest, sensitive, and trusting to a fault, morally-grounded, and tend to see the good in people vs. the bad. This has got me into trouble more than I care to admit.

16.)  I have three girls: Gabrielle (Gabby) - 12, Lily - 7, Summer -3.  I had my first daughter when I was just nineteen...words cannot describe how difficult this time in my life was.

17.)  As a single mom, I put myself through private education (Gonzaga University) by working at a law office, scholarships, and student loans (I'm still paying on those pesky things).  I received my business degree with a major in accounting (a 5-yr program) in 2004 and went straight to work at an international accounting firm.  I met my husband in the cubicle next to me!  At times, I really miss my career.

18.)  I pretty much hate math (go figure), but I love, love making spreadsheets!  I think this stems from my days of being an auditor of large SEC companies and when I was a financial analyst...  I'm a huge planner and everything from family vacations to detailed workbooks on the purchase of a new vehicle goes onto a spreadsheet.
Our first big family vacation - 2011
19.)  I'm a big Disneyworld fanatic!  As dairy farmers, we didn't go on too many family vacations, but my grandparents brought us to Disneyland when I was 4 and I've been smitten ever since.  My husband and I never went on a honeymoon and hardly had any family vacations until two years ago when we splurged and went to Disneyworld with the kids.  We had such a great time forgetting about life and having I try to squeeze in a trip to Disney as often as I can :)

20.)  When I was 17-18 yrs old, I was the Inland Northwest Dairy Princess, in which I represented dairy farmers for six counties in Washington State.  I gave speeches about the benefits of milk at elementary schools, got to be on the radio, and was in various parades (I can still do a mean parade-wave).  I still drink tons of milk and have lots of "Got Milk" paraphernalia.  Support your local farmers...I guarantee you that they work way harder than most people.

21.)  Despite being a former "princess", I'm a tomboy at heart.  Like any girl, I like to get dressed up on occasion, but I'm pretty much a low-maintenance girl.  I'd rather have my hands in soil than at the nail salon.  Super high-maintenance girls annoy me...sorry!

22.)  Instead of babysitting for money in high school, I drove huge hay trucks for a local farmer.  I still drive a's actually a beat-up old Chevy Avalanche that has seen better days, but at least it's paid off.  I'm not into luxury vehicles and car status...just not my thing, but I do have a thing for sparkling, new trucks.  I will always be a truck-girl and I'm blaming my dad on this one!

23.)  My celebrity crush is Chris Hemsworth...the actor in "Thor".
24.)  I'm almost 5'10'' and my entire family (on my dad's side) is very tall because of our Norwegian heritage.  My maiden name is Grytdal and even with my married name, I'll have random people ask me if I have Norwegian roots.

25.)  I wear size 11 shoes...which is the bane of my existence!!  Please, please...Shoe manufacturers, if you are reading this - make more size 11's!!

26.)  I'm deathly afraid of those frilled-neck lizard things.  I had a vivid nightmare of them chasing me when I was in high school and have been terrified of them ever since.  I can't even look at a picture of them!
27.)  This may come as a surprise, but every single thing in my house except our IKEA sectional and the mattresses have been purchased by that hard work that I've put into my little furniture/home decor business over the last several years.  When it comes to money, my husband is just like Tommy Lee Jones' character in "Hope Springs" (with Meryl Streep).  Maybe it's a CPA-thing, but since staying home with the kids, he said if I want home decor for the house, then I have to pay for it, even the dishes.  If were up to him, we'd be wedged in a condo with mattresses on the floor...he's not a house junkie like me.

28.)  One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't jump on the blog bandwagon back in 2005-2007 when my husband and I renovated our first house and I started painting furniture and creating things.  I started my blog back in 2009 to just share with customers where my next sale would be, etc.  No before/after pics of hundreds of projects :(
My favorite Italian cappuccino cups
29.)  My two vices:  coffee and shopping (for home decor/furniture).  I seriously feel addicted to finding furniture that I can makeover.  I've started and stopped my business so many times over the last several years due to all the moves my business has endured.  I swear that I'm not going through the headache again...only to find myself filling up the garage with projects.

30.)  My gut reaction is to buck trends and try to do something that everything else is not doing, but sometimes it's hard that way in business because most customers want the trendy.  There's a fine line...but I love classic over trendy.  Go Ralph Lauren!
The view from our front door back on the farm
31.)  My ultimate dream is to live out in the country (I'm not a fan of suburbia) in a cute little house, with a barn full of animals (maybe one with furniture too), a huge garden, and my border collies (my dad used to train them to herd the dairy cattle).  I miss having animals so much it hurts.
One of the zillion farm kittens I had growing up..."Crouton"
32.)  I'm hoping my 30's turns out better than my 20's.  There was a lot of work, stress, and no play in my 20's. I need to stop and smell the roses, relax a little, and just enjoy life more...I'm working on it :)

Wow, that was kind of fun to write...hope you enjoyed it and feel like you know me a bit better :)  Have a great weekend!



Sharon said...

I Loved getting to know more about you! I grew up in the city but when my husband and I got married...we bought a small 40 acre farm to try to live more "self sufficient". What a ride! Raising animals, fresh eggs, huge garden, quiet living and especially...lots and lots of hard work! I enjoyed this post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of this Kristen! I love when bloggers share more about their personal life although I am not very good about doing that myself. The picture of you with the calf is so adorable. You remind me a lot of my 11 year old daughter. She is very beautiful but quite the tomboy and she adores animals. She wears a size 9 shoe now so I bet she will end up a size 11. Life does get better as you get older and you get a lot of things figured out. With your work ethic, smarts, and strong moral character, I have no doubt the future for you and your family will be amazing. BTW, your daughters are beautiful too, just like their Mom!

Unknown said...

Lots of hard work!! Sounds like you have your "head on straight"!! Hope all your dreams come true! Beautiful family.

Lynn Fern said...

Happy Birthday to you!! I also love U2. Your girls are just beautiful. I hope your day is filled full of awesomeness...

Victoria King said...

Hello Kristen:
I just loved reading your blog...thanks for sharing "you" with all of us. I loved it and now know why you are such a special young woman. My daughters and I just loved you and your Mom the first time we met as vendors in the same show. We have enjoyed following your new adventures out east and we look forward to seeing you as we all set up our booths for Farm Chicks. Hugs, Victoria
(Sisters Creed)

Andrea said...

I loved learning more about you!! I was surprised you are only 32 (not that you look older). I also giggled about your experiences at the vet clinic. As a vet myself, I agree euthanasia is tough, but whenever I think about dehorning that first cow, my stomach turns-first and only dehorning I ever did. We have sooooo much on common-too bad you are so far away!!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday! I am turning 32 as well this year and love reading your post. You've got quite a lot to be proud of. I hope you are able to find your way back to the country.

Wishing you all the best!

Debra@CommonGround said...

Have a wonderful Birthday and Mother's Day weekend. Great way to get to get to know you better!

lynn cockrell said...

I so much enjoyed reading these tidbits into your world, Kristin. I can relate to the comment about your husband not understanding the "house and furniture thing." When I read the part about Disney World it brought a smile to my face. If you visit my little blog, you will find that we are wild about Disney World. We have 5 grandchildren and the love affair with Disney has been passed down to yet another generation. It is the perfect place for all ages.

Thanks for sharing a little of your life with us!

cindy said...

Happy Birthday! I love reading about other bloggers...we don't have much in common except that I had my first child at nineteen (bad time of my life as well), I have a daughter named Kristen, I love your decorating and I love Disney World :) Those are enough, though.

Enjoy your day!

Jenny@thelavendermagnolia said...

I can promise that your 30's are better than your 20's and the 40's are even more calm and relaxed than your 30's! Thank God for that!

Thanks for the personal stuff. You know me, I am an over-sharer and need to dial it back!

P.S. I wear a 9 1/2 or 10 wide shoe and they are rare and no one ever gets in more than one pair of those, so I feel your pain!

Victoria's Vintage Designs said...

Lovely post... Happy Birthday!

Raylene L said...

Happy Birthday Kristen! I hope you have a beautiful day! I loved learning more about you, thank you for sharing. I share your passion in that I love history, vintage & antques.

I agree with Jenny on the age thing, it is oh so true!

Gypsy Heart said...

I loved reading this ~ thanks for sharing! I could never, ever be a vet, an assistant or even work in the office. Some situations would just break my heart ~ I am so very grateful that there are wonderful people doing this!

Your home is so beautiful! You really have a talent for redoing furniture and decorating.

I promise...your 30's will rock! IF I could ever go back, I would never return to an age prior to 30. And the others are fine too...age brings a calmness, a realization of lots of things and more fun! I so hope you have a wonderful birthday and a very Happy Mother's Day!


Anne Boykin said...

Hi Kristen, Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing with us. I love your blog!

Unknown said...

Hi Kristen, this was really fun! I think you are so interesting (I know you don't think so!) I worry about your insomnia - I think it's a symptom of your very strong inner drive. That drive has worked so well for you, but you have to be careful to manage IT so it doesn't manage YOU! You need to run a mile every day (at least)! Wear yourself out a bit so your mind can rest. There- that was your unsolicited Happy Birthday and Mother's Day advice all rolled into one! Many happy returns!

Kristin said...

Happy Birthday Kristen (and Mother's Day too)!! Loved your list of 32 things. So fun. The Outlander Series is my VERY FAVORITE too.

Blondie's Journal said...

What a fascinating life you've had so far! I always wanted to live on a farm...I grew up on the prairies of Illinois surrounded by farms so I daydreamed about it often!

Loved hearing all about the girl behind the blog! :)


Lauren said...

I loved this post!! Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing this with all of us. It's nice to know a little more about you. I really enjoy your posts!

Kirby Carespodi said...

Loved meeting you yesterday and getting to know you a little better today! Every decade gets better--and since you had your kids when you were fairly young (I was, too) by the time you're fifty, the sky's the limit!! And if you need a spot to get rid of some of your stuff when you get to GSO, let me know--I've always got room!

Mindy said...

I love these kinds of posts. It definitely gives a different perspective to a blog to know more about the person behind it. I do one about once a month that I call, Random Thoughts & Tidbits. It's just bullet points of randomness and it's still crazy to me that they generally receive the most comments. People like to "know" you.
Great post & Happy Mother's Day!

Holly said...

Happy Birthday! This was so fun to read!
I'm from Spokane so I always love to hear little tidbits about the area. I live in Lynden now, home to lots of dairy farms so I guess we have a little in common! I can't milk a cow, but I do work for a dairy farmer!
I don't know where you are from exactly, but would love to know. I went to Lewis and Clark H.S. and WSU, but Gonzaga was home to many friends.
Happy Mother's've earned it!

All About Vignettes said...

Happy Birthday Kristen. I love that you shared so much about yourself. I can relate to much of what you shared. I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania and love the country. And, so excited to find another Outlander fan. Did you know that the next book in the series is out? I just found it at the library and can't wait to see what happens next.

Suzy said...

Happy birthday, Kristen! I'm so glad that I was able to share it with you on Saturday. It was wonderful getting to peek inside your heart!

Kimberly said...

Love your post .... And happy birthday as well as happy Mother's Day!!! Hopefully you can "find your farm" our in Greensboro or kernersville- lots of wide open beautiful space there. I would move to a farm in a heartbeat but my family is spoiled by Cary suburbia!!!

Kimberly said...

Love your post. Happy birthday as well as happy Mother's Day!! Hopefully you can find "your farm" our in Greensboro or kernersville!!! There is lots of beautiful wide open spaces there. I would move to a farm in a heartbeat but my family is spoiled by the Cary suburbia. And I think my daughter whose is a college student at UNC would think I was crazy - she is not a fan of bugs which no doubt come with a farm. Enjoy!!!

Shabby chic Sandy said...

That was fun--thanks for sharing so much about yourself!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said... happy that I was able to spend your birthday with are incredibly sweet, talented, and strong person...and glad to be able to read more about you and what pulls at your heart hope for you is that you realize your dream of living on beautiful land with animals that you love and building the farmhouse of your dreams....Happy Birthday Kristen and hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

Kathy said...

Kristen so nice to meet you, I too spent some of my childhood in NE Washington...Kettle Falls area and still have fond memories of the smell of the pines....great getting to know you better, I so love your talent!


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