I joined a local mom's group back in February. It has been a great way to meet people & have others come up with fun things for my kids and I to do together:-). They have a "member spotlight" feature where the moms take turns sharing about themselves all week. Craziness, huh?!, to have to talk about yourself for a full week. Well I've really enjoyed learning about these other women and it has now come to my turn. Writing a bio about yourself is a tough thing, what do you include when you only have so much space? You don't want to bore people & I hope that is not what I have done. So much is left out, but oh well, its done. I decided I might as well share it on my blog.
Spoiler warning: Since I am so far behind on my posts, things are revealed in this bio that I have not shared yet, so if you want the full story you may want to wait until...well I'm not sure when I'll get around to updating, hopefully soon.
Here's one version of my life so far:
My story begins on March XX, 19XX in a little town called Orange, CA. I was born a ninth generation Californian to the greatest parents, Russell & Teresa. I am the oldest of 5 kids: 3 girls & 2 boys. I loved growing up with lots of siblings. My parents raised us all in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons:-). My Dad was in the oil business so we moved lots while I was growing up. I went to 5 different elementary schools. K- lived in Yorba Linda where I remember learning to ride my red bike in the cul-de-sac. 1st – moved to Denver, CO where my mom gave me a home perm that left me unrecognizable even from my teacher & where I accidentally got on the junior high bus instead of the elementary school bus-what bus driver can’t recognize a 1st grader from a 7th grader-I was so traumatized. 2nd-4th – moved to Anchorage, AK where we played badminton on our front lawn til 10 pm in the summer sun and climbed our Mt. McKinley, the large mound of snow left in our cul-de-sac by the snow plows, in the winter. I can truthfully tell my children that I walked uphill in the dark with flashlights in the snow & ice to school:-). 5th- moved to Dallas, TX where I was so embarrassed by a little boy who liked me and would buy me teddy bears and necklaces. I don’t know what he saw in me, it was a really bad fashion year for me, 1989:-). 6th – moved back to Cali, to little old Wildomar, where my mom told us we would only live for 1 year (my parents finally moved from that house in 2006). Jr. High was awkward but also full of fun- drill team & science club trips to Catalina.
Except for my freshman year, I loved high school at Elsinore High, go tigers! I got up at 5:30 every morning to attend early morning seminary (scripture study) before school. I was involved in so many things which I loved and hated at the same time. I think this is the time in life I realized my true talent for sleeping. I could fall asleep anywhere and get a great sleep. One time my mom found me asleep sitting in my desk chair with my head on my bed & the rest of my body suspended in air. I filled my time to the max-volleyball, track, AP classes, student government, CSF, Spanish, Yearbook, church youth group and leadership, and then boys on the side:-). My real driving force behind the madness was to be able to get into the school of my dreams, Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. It is extremely competitive to get in and I studied so hard to be able to do well in class and on the ACT. All of my effort paid off and in the fall of 1996 I headed up to beautiful Provo, UT a college town about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City. I was initially very intimidated by the amazingly talented people that I met, all of them having to be great at what they do to get into the school. I was just me in a sea of 30,000 phenomenal people. I soon overcame my insecurities and began to embrace & learn from others instead of being intimidated. I forged life-long friendships with people who shared & understood the same core beliefs I did and who knew how to have fun- the straight-laced way:-).
I learned how to study in high school, but I learned how to play in college. Yes, classes were challenging, but I had already developed good study habits so I didn’t feel too overwhelmed. I entered BYU as a Spanish major. I had always been interested in studying the language of my mother’s family. My grandmother is full Mexican but her father, my Abuelito, believed that they were American, so they should speak English. He did not teach his children Spanish which I find so intriguing, what a different era they lived in. I found a new love my first semester in college, Humanities. I could not believe that I had a class where my homework would be to attend concerts, go to museums, watch foreign films, and create art. I ended up double majoring in Humanities and Spanish teaching. Learning to play was lots of fun. Attending a large university has some definite benefits: lots of fun & new activities and lots of nice, smart, cute boys. I did my share of dating in high school but college was a whole new experience. I went out multiple times during some weeks and was able to really see some of the characteristics I wanted and definitely did not want in a partner.
After my Freshman year I came home to work 2 jobs to save up to attend study abroad in Spain. At the end of the summer I went up to school early to be a counselor to the incoming Freshman. It was during “training” that I met Mike- Pre-Law, dry, witty sense of humor, confident, horrible fashion sense, but very impressive & romantic. We both had bad first impressions of each other, but that soon melted away to what I can only explain as a fairy tale courtship. I was definitely whisked away. We were engaged in October and married in January 1998 in the majestic San Diego Temple for time & all eternity:-). I continued to attend school a little distracted but graduated with my teaching degree in 2000. Although I did not make it to Spain, Mike promised me that he would take me to Europe, which he did in 2001. I was in heaven amongst the architecture, sculpture, and paintings.
In looking back on our 11 years of marriage, it is amazing all that we have gone through together. We live our life faith-based and believe that what has transpired is God’s will for us. In our darkest hours, this has been tested but hopefully I have passed those tests. Mike has had various jobs some of which have ended in extreme financial difficulty. We have relied on the generosity of good friends and family to make it through. My family is incredible and I am so happy that most of us live so close. We are quite the crew together, seeming to fall back into our pre-adult selves. Despite several medical complications, we have enjoyed the blessing of 3 darling, active boys: Owen 7, Eyan 4, and Tate 2 and are happily anticipating the arrival of baby number 4 in March. We are a tad hesitant since each time we have a child, we end up moving. When O was 3 months we moved to So Cal; when E was 6 months we moved to UT; when T was 2 weeks we moved back to So Cal. Most days I feel blessed to be able to stay home with my boys :-). We have a busy crew; lots of wrestling, dirt digging, bike riding, lego building, lightsaber dueling, and tons of eating. For the most part the boys play well together and would all sleep in the same room if we’d let them.
I have also had opportunities to explore some of my interests and talents. I have had my own floral business, began training as a yoga instructor, and had, until this past Feb, my own company as well as one with my sister selling handmade children’s and women’s products online and to boutiques. I have too many interests for rooms and boxes in the house. I love projects but am not great at finishing them unless they are done in one sitting because I am always overly ambitious as to the undertaking.
The past 6 months has been a difficult time for our family. In summary, beginning in April my husband was no longer able to swallow food. For months he went to drs without answers as I watched him shrink and almost starve to death. Before this all began we had decided that it was time to try for another baby. I ended up miscarrying. On the same day Mike finally got his diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, we found out we were pregnant again. As you can imagine finding out that the person you love the most has a crippling disease that could take away all of his functions is beyond heart-wrenching. I was actual grateful that I had discovered I was pregnant that same day despite the wonder if this baby would know the amazing man and father as I know him. Knowing I had a child developing inside of me forced me to gain control of my convulsive crying. Since then my extremely optimistic husband, my supportive family, encouraging friends, and my loving God have helped me to work through fear and despair. The realization of having this disease has only brought out the best in my husband, he is truly the most inspiring person I have ever known. This helps me to want to be that for him. I am not sure what our future holds but I know God’s hand is in it and I pray it brings out my true character as I move forward as a wife, mother, and friend.
Hope you're not asleep, thanks for letting me share:-)