Recently, I found myself home alone.
I know, I know. That is total shock and awe to all you moms out there. We don’t get alone time often, do we?
But it was more than that. It wasn’t just home alone. I woke up alone. Showered alone. I EVEN HAD TIME TO SHAVE MY LEGS. (<— Be jealous.) I got dressed alone. I ate breakfast (a slice of strawberry pie, just because I could), and later lunch, alone. I read uninterrupted, shopped without “help,” and visited a friend for coffee without finding someone to watch the kids. Later, I took a long walk with another friend, without pushing a stroller or monitoring traffic for my biking girl’s safety.
Things I didn’t do: Get others dressed. Feed anyone. Tidy anything for there was no one to untidy anything in the first place. Get out of the shower before I was done to help with an emergency potty or to separate fighting children.
It was heavenly.
But I also found myself trying to figure out what to do. It was like I was uncomfortable with the silence. I just wasn’t sure what to do with all my new found time. Strange as it seemed, I even had difficulty focusing while reading.
That day, I realized how much my identity has changed in just a few years. I am a wife and a mom: a caretaker, a homemaker, and a million other things. Without the people that fill my life with mounds and mounds of joy (and a never-ending to-do list), I was lost.
And so, in honor of my lost-ness, I am dedicating this post entirely to… ME. That’s right. At the risk of having no one read beyond this statement, this post will not contain a single kid-antic. Instead, I’ve listed 10 random things about me that you maybe don’t know. Count how many of these you already knew, and check your score at the bottom.
1) I once sang on stage at the NW Washington Fair. Seriously. My cousin Andy and I sang at a talent show, and someone heard us and asked us to sing the same song at the fair. We were that good. So of course, we said yes. You know the grandstands? Big Time, right? Well, we were about half a mile away from there on a teeny-tiny stage, with an audience made up of our parents and probably our siblings who were dragged along by force. And likely also our Grandma June, who thought we were amazing in every way. She probably even loved the rayon white shirt with black polka-dots I wore that matched my rayon black shorts with white polka dots. Bless her.
2) I love ice cream. As in, LOOOOOVVVVVEEEE it. I know what you’re thinking. That’s too easy, you say. Who doesn’t love it?, you say. My mother, for one. My very own flesh and blood doesn’t like it, because, and I quote, “It’s too creamy.” WHAT is THAT? I’m likely adopted.
3) I have a serious issue with hotel rooms and their (lack of) cleanliness. Which is why I wear flip-flops in the room and go into full-on freak-out when my kids run in and jump on the bed, rolling around in what is certainly someone else’s filth and dead skin cells. (They don’t always wash the bedspreads, you know. GROSS.) It is also why I get giddy with excitement (to the point of taking pictures) when I enter a room and see this posted on the headboard:(That is now the only hotel we’ve stayed in more than once. I love that sign so much.)
4) I’m a terrible cook. No, seriously. Some of you only think I can cook. Need I remind you of this dinner travesty? The truth is, I am extremely good at reading, measuring, and following directions. I can follow recipes like nobody’s business. I have a cupboard full of (what I assume are) wonderful cookbooks, but I look at them and don’t even know where to begin. My sister once went through one and marked all the recipes she thought I should try and wrote notes telling me why. “Make this… It’s so easy and so good.” Of all the recipes she marked, I’ve tried exactly two. And she was right, I absolutely loved them both. The rest of the things I make are recipes from My Mom or My Sister or My Google.
Side story: I once was going to try to make a homemade lasagna. My husband commented that maybe I should work on mastering boxed mac n’ cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches first. In his defense, I had just served him charcoal with mushy noodles for lunch. Not in his defense, he says he prefers his mac n’ cheese noodles “al dente.” Whatever. You’re already eating mac n’ cheese. You don’t get to be too picky.
5) There is one recipe I’ve made up entirely on my own, my World Famous Guacamole. It is – I don’t mind saying – ridiculously deliciously awesome. It’s not world famous just yet, but it really should be. It’s that good.
6) I spent 4 months on full bed-rest (except potty breaks and super quick showers) when I was pregnant with Annalise. I didn’t finish a single book the entire time. My mind didn’t focus well. I’d get too antsy and skip to the end. Too bored and start a new one. Too fidgety and I’d have to find something to keep my hands busy, since the rest of me had to be still. (In the end, she is totally worth it.)
7) The summer before my senior year, I lived with a family in Maasbracht, a small town in the Netherlands. Toska, the mom, served the same food for breakfast and lunch every day: sandwiches with Nutella or butter and chocolate sprinkles, and orange Fanta. No produce or “sides” whatsoever, and unless I asked, water was only served at dinner. Dinner was the only meal that varied, except on Saturdays. Our Saturday breakfast was the same, but lunch was an array of Belgian cheeses, breads, and chocolates that we would pick up earlier in the day. Super delish. And to think, I actually lost weight that summer. (I once tried a diet of Nutella sandwiches and fancy cheeses to see if I’d get the same results. No such luck.)
8) When I get stressed out, I have a tell-tale sign on my face: a sore that appears under my right eye. Some people get cold-sores. I get face sores. In the end, it’s all herpes.
A particularly bad stress case:
9) I’m super clumsy. I broke my arm in third grade when tripping over a giant army beanbag. (I was watching some cute boys at the time.) And I once – to Matt’s utter delight – ran into a ginormous planter pot in the middle of Alderwood Mall (about 4 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter). Smacked right into it like it wasn’t even there. (I was watching Matt at the time.) I’m noticing a theme here. Maybe this one should be: #9) I’m easily distracted by charm from the opposite sex.
10) I am a tad OCD. Which is why, even though I didn’t have another thing to write, I am including this last fact about me so as to end on a number 10 instead of ending on 9. Also why I turn mug handles the same way, point all pencils in a holder the same direction, and drove to 6 (yes six) different Dollar Tree stores to find bins of the same color for the art cupboard. (I had all but 2.) In the end, I gave up and have 2 mismatched bins. But they must be in this order, or they don’t look right:
And I’m kind of hating that picture because of the stack of workbooks that are off-centered, but they don’t fit anywhere else. I also hate the pink art case because it doesn’t match and makes the workbooks sit awkwardly, but Matt said I need to get over it and store the art stuff in the art cupboard, even if it doesn’t match. GASP.
Other things I’m OCD about: kids not touching things in the bathroom, kids scrubbing and sanitizing completely after touching things in the bathroom, and more recently, checking for fly eggs in my food.
So… How’d you do?
0-1 Stranger-danger. Hi, I’m Holly. Do I know you? Or did my mom send you to this page?
2-5 Acquaintances. Likely, we’ve met. Or else you’ve met my mother. She likes to tell stories about us kids.
6-9 Friends. We must be. Or we should be. Except, of course, if you don’t know me and you know this much about me, that kind of makes you a creeper. Or friends with my mom.
10 Relative. Hi, Mom.