Copyright: Lottie Lillian Photography
The 5 random facts meme has been making its way around Instagram lately. I’ve seen a few people who decided to expand it into 25 facts on their blog and am jumping on board, too. I know that many readers don’t know me that well, so I wanted to share a little more background. I also know that I always learn new things about people from these memes, even when they’re people I know well in person or have been following online for years. So hopefully, you’ll learn something about me today. Enjoy!
1. I live in southeast WI. Wisconsin is my fourth midwest state. I’ve also lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa (so clearly, I needed a state with a new first letter). I love the midwest and can’t imagine living anywhere else, although I love traveling just about anywhere in the United States.
2. With the exception of the four years I lived in Iowa, I’ve lived my entire life less than half an hour from Lake Michigan. The lake is one of my favorite things in the whole world. One of the big selling points for our current house is its proximity to Lake Michigan. We’re just half a block away and have a beach access point in our neighborhood, which is where I take a ton of my lake pictures (although not the picture above).
3. I’ve lived in a variety of neighborhoods over the years. But I’ll always be a city kid at heart. I have no idea why anyone would want to live on the end of a country road in the middle of nowhere. Our current residence is the first place I’ve lived without streetlights and close proximity to a major road or highway. I always need white noise to fall asleep.
4. My favorite kind of music is classical, followed by jazz. I am by no means a classical music expert, but I am a classical music nerd (and all around general music snob). Beyond classical and jazz, my musical tastes are extremely varied. I will never be able to name the vast majority of the pop songs on FM radio (for which I already apologize for to my kids because I know this is all kinds of embarrassing).
5. My favorite band is I’m Not a Pilot. I say that they’re my favorite local band, which is true. But they’re really my favorite band, too, even though they’re no longer together. I saw them about 20 times live from 2013-2015. More recently, my favorite band is Common Deer. I started listening to them after they opened for Third Eye Blind at Summerfest last year. (It is not a coincidence that I’m Not a Pilot and Common Deer have a lot of similarities.)
6. As of December, I’ve been married 11 years. Getting married is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I feel extremely fortunate to have met a great partner early in life and to have not spent my adult years dating. I try not to ever take my marriage for granted.
7. It took me and my husband Jake six and a half years to have our first child. We spent a year trying on our own, four years undergoing testing and treatment (off and on, not straight through), and one and a half years pursuing adoption. Infertility has been the hardest experience of my life. Someday I hope I’m able to move on from it a bit. But I’m not sure if or how long it will take for having kids to feel normal for me.
8. Jake and I are still infertile (and at this point, really don’t know why). We are hoping to adopt at least one more child. Obviously, the time frame is completely unknown, which is tough. We’ve already spent so much time trying to grow our family, and I’m just ready to be done.
9. I have always loved photography but didn’t get serious about it until 2010. I bought my first DSLR in 2012 and have never looked back. Photography is one of two key elements in my life (the other is my cats) that kept me going through a lot of really dark days without kids. Bettering my skills at something I really love during a period when I had very little control over the one thing I wanted most in the world was extremely empowering. While I may not always be as into photography as I have been the last five years, it will always be something I love.
Copyright: Melissa Morgan Photography
10. Like many photographers, I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of the camera. Now that we have Tommy, I’m making an effort to get in a few more of the pictures. I don’t want to be a mom with hundreds of pictures of her kids who’s not in one of them or who’s only comfortable sending out Christmas cards with kid pictures, not full family pictures. I also (shockingly) have very high standards for photography and am making it a priority to hire someone for family photos and big life moments.
11. Writing is another one of my early life loves and something I return to time and time again to work things out, find comfort, share my passions, etc. Anyone who is surprised that I ended up writing for a living doesn’t know me well at all. I started freelance writing in mid-2011. I always thought that it would be a good fit with having kids. Five and a half years after I started, I finally got confirmation that it is.
12. Once I find a dish that I like at a restaurant, that’s what I order every time. It’s very rare that I’ll switch things up and try something new.
13. Also, on the subject of food, I’m one of those weird people who likes vegetables much more than fruit. I almost never crave fruit. When I do, it’s in the summer. I’m super picky about fruit getting mixed together, while I’ll try pretty much any vegetable combination.
14. My favorite dessert is tiramisu. Typically, it’s something I like to order at restaurants and don’t make at home very often. My favorite cheater tiramisu recipe to make for social gatherings is this 10-minute tiramisu, which I’ll be honest, I always serve with Nilla wafers, not ladyfingers. If I’m feeling like a more involved tiramisu recipe for a special occasion, I make tiramisu cheesecake.
15. I consider myself more crafty than artistic because I love making things. I don’t have a particular purpose or cause behind most of my DIY projects. Creativity comes naturally to me. I will always have way more project ideas than I will ever make. Over the past decade, my crafty interests have included counted cross-stitch, jewelry, and greeting cards. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I also like to make a lot of my own home and holiday decor.
16. I don’t have a lot of really bad dreams, but I don’t have a lot of great dreams either. Most of my dreams involve either trying to get something done or trying to get somewhere. When I’m trying to get something done, nine times out of ten it’s in a school, almost always a high school (often, but not always, my actual high school). I finished my last degree program six years ago and still have dreams about not graduating because I didn’t complete the work for a class and other things like that. When I’m trying to get somewhere, I’m almost always in an airport or train station. It’s very rare I get on a plane or train and even rarer that I make it somewhere.
17. I feel strongly about not posting baby/kid pictures and in general, not oversharing about personal family moments on Facebook. In short, I think it’s incredibly harmful to our society and more generally, not fair to kids. I know that it might seem weird that I post pictures here and on Instagram and not Facebook. It is intentional. At some point, I may start sharing little Tommy moments (i.e. funny things he said) on Facebook. But I have no plans to post pictures any time in the foreseeable future.
18. I got braces for the first time in my life a few weeks before I turned 34. As of writing this post, I’m almost 11 (of about 18) months into the process. I really hate braces. Every last reason I put off getting braces for years is valid, and there are several more reasons it’s awful beyond anything I ever could have anticipated. I hope that I feel like it’s worth it in the end.
19. Currently, I own my second car: a Toyota RAV4. I love it. I didn’t get my first car until I was 20 and drove it for nearly 12 years. Saying goodbye to it felt like to the end of an era. (Have you watched the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall gets rid of his first car? Like that.) I fully intend to keep my second car until I’m at least 40.
20. Aside from people I don’t know touching my baby all the time, the aspect of having a baby that I dislike the most is formula feeding. At six months, the sting of not breastfeeding isn’t there anymore. But I still dislike the whole process. It’s expensive, smelly, and messy, and washing bottles is really tedious. In general, I don’t mind washing dishes. But washing bottles gets tiresome.
21. I am not much of a coffee drinker because my stomach (and nerves) can’t handle more than an occasional half cup. But I love tea and can drink it daily with no issues. I love plain black teas and pretty much anything with vanilla or peach. I also love raspberry tea, although it’s one of the few that I really prefer iced instead of hot.
22. My favorite sport to watch is basketball. I grew up in Chicago during the Michael Jordan Bulls era (their final Michael championship was my freshman year of HS). Then I went to Valparaiso University for undergrad, where basketball is kind of a big deal. I played in the pep band and went to most of the men’s and women’s home games and traveled for a handful of tournaments. Currently, my phone background is a Jason Peterson picture of Derrick Rose (who doesn’t play for the Bulls anymore, I know).
23. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had in undergrad. I keep in touch with most of them, but none of them live close to me. I would give a lot to get to see any of those people regularly. Jake and I also made a lot of amazing friends during his medical residency. We are fortunate to still see a few of them regularly and to have other great friends all over the country we’ll always be able to visit.
24. My writing influences include (in no particular order), but are not limited to, Emily Giffin, J.K. Rowling, Michael Crichton, John Feinstein, Nick Hornby, and Madeleine L’Engle.
25. My all-time favorite TV shows are The Office, Seinfeld, and Fraiser. I am almost always in the middle of slowly re-watching my way through one of these three series. I’ll also forever be a fan of old Simpsons (seasons 1-9) and Futurama. My more recent favorite TV shows are The Americans, Master of None, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
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