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Hi.

Thanks for visiting Joy42. Follow along on my adventures as an American Expat, a newlywed, and someone trying to figure out how to take care of myself. I hope to encourage you to seek out the little joys in your life.

10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me

10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me

I've noticed I've been getting some new readers around these parts so I figured I'd introduce myself and give you some fun facts about me. It's perfect timing as that seems to be going around on Instagram stories and I was tagged a few times earlier this week. I like reading random and especially unusual facts about people, but I'm always worried I'm not interesting enough to compile a list. That fear be damned and here we go!

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o n e | I'm both the youngest child and the middle child. This is always a go-to in 2 Truths & A Lie. How you ask? Half-siblings. I'm my mom's youngest child (of four), but I'm my dad's second child (of four). They share two of us, so I have five siblings total: two half-brothers, two half-sisters, and one full-sister. But half-siblings aren't really a thing in my world, only when I'm explaining my complex family tree to people--and of course during the subsequent test. In my mind, they're all my brothers and sisters and that's how I generally talk about them.

 16 February 2017

16 February 2017

 16 September 2017

16 September 2017

t w o | I'm both married and engaged. Okay, this one doesn't work as well, but it does work to confuse people. Luke and I got married in September in a small legal ceremony in a register office here in the UK in front of two of our friends. We're planning a blessing ceremony for this May that will for all intents and purposes look just like any ole wedding, we just don't have to sign any paperwork after the ceremony. So sometimes I present myself as engaged or present Luke as my fiancé. Other times, I say I'm married and Luke is my husband. It just kind of depends on the context.

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t h r e e | I used to work at Disney World. Actually, this one is pretty cool and I might turn this into a post on it's own. In August of 2010, I started working as a life guard as part of the College Program. It was an experience of a lifetime! It's a great conversation starter and looks pretty good on my CV.

f o u r | I broke my arm in kindergarten. I was at a friend's house up the street and we were--for some reason--playing "jail" in her mother's tomato guards. It was my turn to go to jail, so I climbed up and over to get inside. It's worth noting, these were pretty tall, fairly sturdy structures. When I finally got set free, I climbed up and over to get out, but managed to fall from the top. I ended up breaking my right forearm, but I think my family just thought I was faking for a while because my grandma offered to treat me to DQ later and it wasn't quite the fix I needed. I think I got a lime green cast and it was pretty cool when they used that little saw to cut it off a few weeks (maybe months?) later.

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f i v e | I had heart surgery twice. It's a bit more serious medical story, and one that happened within my first six months of life. When I was 11 days old, I had surgery to repair a coarctation of the aorta, leaving me with a scar along my left shoulder blade. When I was nearly five months old, I had open heart surgery to repair an atrial septal defect leaving me with a scar from my collar bone nearly to my belly button. I wrote about it more here last May.

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s i x | I've volunteered at Sundance twice. In honour of the 2018 festival, I thought this was a fun fact to include. In 2013, a friend of a friend who was living in Salt Lake City at the time mentioned applying to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival. That sounded really cool to me, so I decided to apply as well. I was accepted for the 2014 festival and then returned for the 2015 festival. Both times, I worked the late shift at the Park City Library, usually taking tickets or keeping count of how many people entered the auditorium (my favourite job) for the final two movies of the day. I still have a list on my phone of all the celebrities I saw over those two festivals, including James Franco, Ken Jeong, Jake Johnson, Kevin Bacon, and Kyra Sedgwick, all of whom I spoke to, Keanu Reeves, so I got popcorn and a soda for, and Jack Black, James Marsden, Chris Pine, Margot Robbie, and Sarah Silverman, whom I just saw from across the room. (Among many others.) It was a lot of fun and I have a serious case of FOMO this year especially because I was there the only two years it didn't snow apparently and I've always regretted spending my days in Salt Lake City instead of wandering around in Park City and going to more shows before my shifts.

s e v e n | I have no known allergies. But here's the fun part. When I was in day care, I told the school that I was allergic to peanut butter so I wouldn't have to have PB&J for lunch and they'd make me a turkey or ham sandwich instead. In fact, I've only ever had PB&J once that i can remember because I think it's gross.

 Summer, Lady, & Nymeria

Summer, Lady, & Nymeria

 Rey & Finn

Rey & Finn

 Susie, Buddy, & Jovie

Susie, Buddy, & Jovie

e i g h t | I've fostered over 60 kittens and 2 puppies. Back in Colorado, I volunteered at the Humane Society as a foster mom, starting in 2009. I had to take a training course and pass a home inspection, but then I was on an email list for animals that needed fostering. Because I already had 2 adult cats, we only ever got kittens and they mostly stayed separate from each other, unless supervised. In 2016, they got in 8 puppies and wanted to send them out in pairs so I volunteered to take 2 and instantly fell in love. I named them Rey and Finn since I had just seen Star Wars Episode VII for probably the third time. It was hard giving up the kittens, yes, but usually they were ready to go and I would leave with a smaller, needier litter when I dropped off the last litter. But I did always take a liking to the runt of the litter and there were a few groups of three that were particularly hard to give up, like Lady, Summer, & Nymeria and Buddy, Jovie, & Susie. Dang it! Now I'm thinking about all the other groups I loved. Scratch that, I don't have favourties!

n i n e | I won a texting competition in high school. My youth group set up a tournament to see who could text the fastest. A nonsensical phrase or a company slogan would show up on the screen and you would go head-to-head with someone else, the winner progressing to the next round like a March Madness bracket. I made it to the finals and ended up winning a hoodie and, of course, bragging rights. (This was back in the days of predictive text and no full keyboards, so they tried to make them sentences and phrases that wouldn't be recognised by our phones already.)

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t e n | I'm obsessed with the Oscars. Back in 2009, I made a goal to watch every film that had won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Later, my mom pointed out that I would miss some pretty great films if I only watched the winner, so she proposed I watch all the nominees as well. I started at 2009 and tried to work my way back, but it's been slow-going after 1998. So I've seen every film nominated from 1998 to 2009, plus about 95% of them from 2010 and beyond, as well as a few handfuls from before 1998. I would love to pick up the project again, but I would probably start at the beginning in 1929. I also used to throw an annual Oscars party, complete with a buffet with food representing each nominee and ballots for everyone to make their predictions. (I've also thrown Game of Thrones watch parties and a Breaking Bad finale party.)

Tell me something interesting about you in the comments!

Header Photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.

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