35 Facts About 35 Years

It’s my birthday soon. I’ll be 35. I was planning my week and saw that my birthday was coming up. I actually spaced it. 35.


I remember being a kid and wishing upon a star to skip the kid life and skip straight to being 21 years old. Why on earth would I want to wish that precious time away? Now I’m 35, finding stray grays, finding my way in life, and wondering if it will ever slow down.

In recognition of my 35 years of existence, I thought I’d share 35 facts about myself. Because strangely enough, there’s nothing on this earth I know more about than me. I’ve been through a lot with myself. Had some hard times. Fun times. Stupid times. And I’ve stuck with me through it all. Kind of. So – here’s to 35 years. And 35 random pieces of info you may – or may not – already know about me.

35 things

  1. When I was in elementary school, I used to write “Rachel Fox” on my papers instead of my actual name. Rachel is my middle name, and Fox is my mama’s maiden name. It sounded suave. Sophisticated. It wasn’t “Valerie Butts”. The adults made me stop writing it, but I think I could have pulled it off as an alter-ego.
  2. I have several OCD tendencies, one of which involves M&Ms. I have to have an even number of them in my mouth – the same number on each side – in order to eat them. If there’s an odd number, I’ll bite one in half to make the sides of my mouth equal. I also eat them in rainbow-color order.
  3. I love to sing. Like really belt it out. Hymns are my favorite to belt. But I don’t, because we live in an apartment with paper-thin walls. I sometimes like to drive to a nearby coffee shop to work, but I’ll take the long way so I can belt out a tune or two on the way. As a kid I used to play out how I would sing in a music video. I thought I needed to practice cause I’d be a rock star one day. I haven’t given up on that just yet…
  4. I have a tattoo. It started out as a tiny heart with a rose through it. It ended up with a cross behind that, an angel wing on each side of the cross, and a pair of wings beneath it. Each wing contains the initials of my grandparents. If I had to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t. But the meaning and the memories involved are very special to me.
  5. When I was 23 years old, I thought I had been exposed to radiation and was going to die a slow and painful death. My husband informed me my “symptom” was a result of eating too many fruity pebbles. Who knew.
  6. My 25th birthday was really hard on me. I was depressed. Something about 25 just sucked the life out of me. I begged my friends not to make a big deal of it. I wanted it to pass quietly and maybe no one would notice my life was over. (ha.) My girlfriends turned it into one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had, though. It was a birthday I’ll never forget, and they made a forever-lasting impression upon my heart that day, letting me know how very much they loved me.
  7. I LOVE motorcycles. My Uncle took me for a ride on one when I was around 10 years old, and I’ve loved them ever since. My husband does not love motorcycles. Yet. I’m still working on him.
  8. One of my fondest memories is snowmobiling in the Bighorn Mountains when it was -34*. Yes, 34 degrees below 0. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Except for when my sister almost drove us off a cliff. As I was yelling through my helmet, “TURN! TURN!” all she heard above the roar of the motor was “wooooo!”  She thought I was living on the edge of adventure, when really my life was flashing before my eyes. After that, Dad, another uncle and I went on a solo ride in this huge bowl – and I’ve never felt so free. It was so. much. fun.
  9. My earliest memory is of taking swimming lessons when I was two years old. I remember standing on the side of the pool, crying. I then remember jumping in and feeling super secure with the kickboard and telling the swim teacher, “this is fun!”
  10. My favorite seasonal candy is the Cadbury Creme Egg. I make myself sick on them every single spring.
  11. I was baptized in the Pacific Ocean when I was 14 years old. It was December 28th. Even the Pacific Ocean is really cold in December. Afterward, my friends and family gathered ’round and sang songs right there on the beach.
  12. Sometimes God speaks to me in audible ways, and sometimes he speaks to me in ways I can’t explain. My husband doesn’t understand it, but after being with me for 14 years, he understands enough to believe me when I tell him “God told me.”
  13. I felt Harlynn kick the morning her heart stopped beating. I was brushing Little Miss’ hair before Brent took her to daycare while I stayed home on bedrest, and I felt her kick me especially strong. I went into labor after that, and only felt contractions. After she kicked me, I giggled and said “good morning, baby girl.” It’s a moment I play over repeatedly. 15 hours later, we’d learn she was no longer alive.
  14. I am a cat person. My husband and children are allergic to cats. My husband is a dog person. I am allergic to dogs. We are now a no-pet family.
  15. I used to eat hot dogs straight out of the package on camping trips (or whenever I could get away with it.) Now the mere thought of having a cold hot dog straight out of the package makes me gag a little.
  16. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was camp. We camped all the time. I always swore I would take my kids camping so they could have as many memories camping as I do. We haven’t done it a single time yet.
  17. I used to smoke many years ago. Marlboro Ultra Lights. I smoked for about six years. Now, I’m highly allergic to cigarette smoke.
  18. I haven’t had a sip of alcohol since around 1:00 a.m. on March 1st, 2009. I rarely drank, but when I did, I was a binge drinker. My only regret is ever drinking in the first place.
  19. Once I drove nearly 70 miles with a dead bird on my windshield, until I could get home to have Dad peel it off.
  20. I cracked my windshield when I palmed it to scare a grasshopper off of it. It had been sitting in the H O T sun all day, and I underestimated my Hulk strength. One palm to the grasshopper’s location, and I had a star-crack across the entire windshield. The good news was the grasshopper was indeed scared away.
  21. I once threw a baseball through the rear window of my car. You’re noticing a pattern here…
  22. When I hit a deer with our car (really, the deer hit me) the day before my husband’s birthday in 2005, I brushed the broken headlight pieces off my front bumper. The highway patrolman told me to stop doing that or he’d cite me for littering. (Nevermind the fact half of my car was strewn about the highway already.) He then picked up a piece of my headlight that was covered with deer guts and excrement and threw it in my backseat. I prayed for the opportunity to pour hot coffee in his lap. (I waited tables where he’d stop in for iced tea) The Lord didn’t grant that prayer. (and I’m glad.)
  23. When I worked for the Game & Fish department and they would bring in a bear, they had a contest to see who could guess the bear’s weight. You’d put a dollar in the pot to be able to play, and whoever got the closest, won the pot. They stopped telling me when they brought bears in, because I cleaned them out every time. #sorelosers
  24. I used to have a meticulously clean home. Then I had children.
  25. Danny was my favorite New Kid on the Block.
  26. Roxette’s “It Must’ve Been Love” was my FAVORITE song when I was in grade school. That song makes absolutely no sense to me, but I dig the melody.
  27. I have always been overly emotional. Some people have been gracious in telling me I “have a tender heart”, but I think it’s closer to being exceptionally sappy. I cry at the drop of a hat, and I always have. It’s never been a trait I’ve loved about myself, but I’m learning to embrace it as part of who I am.
  28. I cannot tolerate talking about animals while I’m eating. I have no problem preparing meat or eating meat, but I don’t want to talk about it. My daughter doesn’t understand this and I have to remind her (and Brent) I can’t handle that kind of table talk. Talking about fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, or other animals or bugs/insects is strictly prohibited while food is present.
  29. Sometimes food doesn’t have to be present to prohibit conversation mentioned above. I remember a few instances where my sister was trying to tell me stories about goldfish (and there was one about a frog) and I had to stop her. I was getting nauseous.
  30. My first apartment experience involved me cleaning my neighbor’s whiskers out of my bathroom sink every other day. When he pulled the plug in his sink to drain it, the water filled my sink before going down the plumbing. Every other day I had to clean my bathroom up after another man I wasn’t even living with.
  31. Hair grosses me out – when it’s in a drain or on the floor or wherever. Yuck. (especially when it’s someone else’s….like their whiskers in my sink.)
  32. Worse than hair, I can’t handle drool. My son is a champion drooler and it makes my stomach flip a little to watch it pour out of his mouth.
  33. I’ve had one dream and two “visions” of Harlynn since she died. I pray for more every single night.
  34. I’ve been skiing one time. Halfway through the introduction from the ski instructor, I started non-voluntarily skiing down the hill, stuck my arms out in front of me and pushed two unsuspecting victims down the hill with me. I reached the bottom of the hill and stopped when I skied right into the lodge wall. I bummed up my knee, turned my skis in and got my dad’s money back.
  35. Homemade fresh guacamole is my favorite side dish to make, but I never take it anywhere, because we eat it before we have a chance to get a lid on the bowl.

So there you have it. Surprised by anything? Feel like you know me more? Wish you knew me less? 🙂