10 Quirks (or at least interesting things)

On a pier in Carlsbad, CA

1. I am pretty active - I exercise almost daily. And it is this exercise that has caused me several injuries: messed up shoulder (when I was in college I had swimming and weight lifting classes back to back and somehow that put too much strain on my shoulder), torn ligaments in my ankle (basketball), broken thumb (basketball), and I've lost most of the hearing in my left ear (can't know for sure, but my best guess for why this happened was going down around 100 feet on a scuba dive, that's a lot of pressure).
2. If I could have any job in the world I would be a professional basketball player. Unfortunately I don't have the height (or the skills).  But I am grateful for all my 5 feet 10 inches.  I tower over everyone else in my immediate family.
3. I have an ongoing battle with some birds that like to build nests in our attic.  I block them out and they find another way in.  Currently I'm winning the battle.  However, I'm not ready to declare victory yet -- they have proven to be a resourceful foe.
4. I like something sweet after dinner. It doesn't have to be a whole dessert, a few chocolate chips will do.
5. I lived on a Navajo Reservation for 5 months when I was a missionary.  I spent all day every day visiting with the Navajo people.  They are a proud people with a rich and fascinating culture.  I was in Monument Valley on the border of Arizona and Utah.  If you're not familiar with Monument Valley I highly recommend Googling it.
6. Before marrying Amanda I had never really been outside the US (I'd been to Tijuana, but that doesn't really count). Now I've been to many different countries.
7. Have you ever seen the "Best Taste Award" on items at the grocery store?  I'm a big fan of those and have been known to buy something with the award just to try it.
8. I really enjoy being around dogs.  We wanted to get a dog ever since we got married. Before we got Penny I spent time with Amanda's sister's dogs on vacation and watched co-worker's dogs occasionally (still do actually). It has been so great having Penny in our family.
9. I drink a lot of water.  I have a 20 ounce water bottle that I fill up 5 times a day when I'm at work.  Of course the days I'm in meetings all day I have to scale back.
10. I floss daily.  I don't think most people do that.  No wonder I fell in love with a dentist's daughter.

1. I have weird and specific tastes when it comes to chocolate. I like real milk chocolate (like in candy bars), but I do not like dark or semi-sweet chocolate – at all. I like tootsie rolls, but other chocolate flavored things disgust me, including chocolate flavored tootsie pops. There are a few hot chocolates that I am okay with (although I would never crave) but the thought of chocolate milk, or even worse, chocolate ice cream makes me squirm. I like brownies (at least fudgie ones) but I have never had a chocolate cake that I like (with the exception of munchedoucious cake - if it can be considered chocolate.)
2. There are some processes that I can only tolerate part of and can’t stand the other part. For example, I am fine with writing letters, but I am horrible at mailing things. I don’t know what it is about mailing, even if I have stamps it is still an obstacle. As a result I have tons of unsent letters. I am fine with, and sometimes even enjoy, talking to most people on the phone – but I HATE calling people. The ONLY exception to this is Ryan, I can call him without having to give myself a pep talk first. I am fine with washing and folding laundry but I can’t stand putting it away. I’m fine with cleaning the bathroom, all except the toilet – it grosses me out.
3. I am an Olympic junkie. I generally really dislike watching sports on TV, but I don’t care what sport it is, if it is Olympics I LOVE it. I don’t get much accomplished whenever the Olympics are on – I am glued to the TV and I rarely watch TV. I think I inherited this from my mom - she is the same way.
4. I have a goal to go to every continent. I also have a goal to go to all 50 states – I think I have 5 left to go. Unfortunately, I also had a goal to be able to name all 50 states and fill them in on a blank map before I had any children. (Abby came as a suprise and I did not meet my goal. Actually, I sometimes can fill them in and I can list them all, but sometimes I still make mistakes.) Yes, it is ridiculous that someone as educated as I am can’t already do that, but there is a big hole in my knowledge of geography…and history…and government.
5. I read books multiple times. There are books that I have read more than 10 times. To me it is like watching a movie more than once. If I know I like a book I know I won’t be disappointed when I read it again. I read a lot of new books as well.
6. I one time picked up a bird I thought was injured on a package of tortillas and gave it a ride home with me in my car. (It’s kind of a long story and I don’t feel like typing out the whole thing but if you care and you get to know me feel free to ask – it was pretty dang funny.)
7. I get very attached to people. I have a hard time letting people I have cared about move out of my life. That is really the only reason I do Facebook – to try to find the people I have lost track of and make sure they are doing okay.
8. There are certain jobs that I think I should take up if I ever find some time. For example, I think at some point I should become a locksmith. It can’t be that hard to learn how, the overhead can’t cost that much, each job takes about 5 minutes and you make $50. Sounds good to me. I also think I should become a speed walker. I have two reasons for this. It is my only hope at getting into the Olympics and I already walk pretty darn fast. I can generally out-walk pretty much anyone I know, even if they are taller than me. I can walk fast for a long time too. I think the reason for this is because my dad is a fast walker and he would always hold our hands and we would have to keep up with him. I have contemplated being a speed-walking locksmith.
9. If I intended to be the one providing for our family I would be an exotic animal veterinary dentist – I think that would be the best job in the world (next to being a parent - of course). The reason I went into neuroscience instead is because I didn’t want to have to pay off a ton of school debt (instead I got paid to go to school) when I didn’t plan to work all my life and I think as a stay-at-home mom the things I learned in my graduate program are pretty valuable. I did really like my grad program and I liked working after so that is good.
10. I think being a full-time, stay-at-home mom is the greatest job in the world and I am so grateful to get to have my dream job. Before recieving this opportunity I really enjoyed my life because I have the best husband in the world, he is my best friend, we have so much fun together on all of our adventures, and we are way blessed. Still, I'm grateful for my change in profession.

1. Abby loves water - she loves swimming, she loves splash parks, but for some reason she won't sit down in the bath. She prefers to take her baths standing up.
2. Just about any type of music can get Abby dancing if she's in the mood - she'll even dance to hymns at church.
3. People often tell us what a calm, peaceful baby is. That is because she does a shy act when others are around and just sits calmly in our laps without really talking. That is NOT how she acts when she is home with us, she is very active and talkative.
4. Abby has the loudest, highest voice of any little kid we have ever met - so loud and high-pitched that she even surprised her pediatrician. He's suggested we keep ear plugs around the house.
5. Abby's taste preferences change from day to day. This may be typical of all children her age, we don't know, but we've found it hard to predict what she will be willing to eat on any given day. She will almost always eat rice and black beans though.
6. Abby loves to laugh, and she loves to make people laugh. She will laugh along with you just for fun, she loves to be tickled, and she has a fun sense of humor and personality that keeps us laughing.
7. She is almost always happy outside. Even when she was colicky as an infant she would often calm down if she was taken outside. We've spent a lot of time outside.
8. Abby seriously loves animals - all animals. She loves going to the zoo, she loves looking out the window while we are driving to see what animals she can spot, she loves Penny - she gets super excited to see animals and does not appreciate being taken away from being with them.
9. Abby is smart - she has met all her milestones early, has a larger than normal vocabulary for her age, is very oberservant and explorative, and continues to surprise us with her quick learning.
10. Abby is the greatest little person we have ever known. She is going to make one fantastic big sister!
Big Beach - Maui, Hawaii

Saguaro National Park - Arizona. Abby's first national park, it won't be her last (actually, she has already been to several more.)

Ryan and Bella - Valley of Fire
At Graceland (one of Elvis' planes) - Tennessee
Exit Glacier - Alaska
World's cutest butterfly!

Impromptu trip to South Carolina (It was on both of our lists of states to get to - we got these blueberries for $1/pound!)

Cheering for some horses at the Kentucky Horse Park

Redwood National Park
Our first Christmas with Abby

Waimea Canyon - Kauai, Hawaii