1) I was born Abby Catherine Clark on May 14, 1982 in Auburn, AL.
2) My Dad was still in Vet school. My parents had no insurance. I was a honeymoon baby, and we lived in a trailer (with pink shag carpet in my nursery). At my core, I am classy :)
3) My Dad always encouraged me to set high goals, and I was an over-achiever in school.
4) I really believed him (Dad) when he told me I could do anything I set my mind to, and I churned out A's all through school.
5) Still believing the above mantra, I majored in Chemical Engineering with plans of going to medical school. I soon realized that my Dad was wrong.
6) There are some things my brain just cannot do, and it was a hard lesson to learn.
7) By God's grace (and my good, brilliant friend Stewart) I graduated as a Chemical Engineer with a pretty good GPA after all.
8) I've known of my husband, Jeremiah, as long as I can remember. He is 4 years older than me, but we grew up going to the same church.
9) I thought that he and his high school girlfriend were Ken and Barbie.
10) In 8th grade, I actually went to his Senior Prom Lead Out just to see them all dressed up.
11) He didn't know I was alive.
12) At Mrs. Pat Woods Bible Study Christmas party my Sophomore year in high school, God prodded--not nearly strong enough--propelled me out of my seat to share my testimony about what was going on with Mom's cancer battle at the time.
13) I sobbed, felt like I humiliated myself in front of a lot of older and intimidating people and was, in general, aggravated that God had made me do something so embarrassing.
14) I didn't know that that was the night Jeremiah finally noticed I was alive :) Since he felt like he (as a college Sophomore) was too old to ask me out, he urged his brother Josh to ask me out instead.
15) Josh and I "dated" here and there for the next year and half, but we never kissed.
16) On my first date with Josh, he took me up the cupola on top of their house to look at the view. As we climbed down the ladder, we heard singing and walked into the Great Room to find Jeremiah singing and playing his guitar (with his shirt off!) "This Old Guitar," by John Denver. I couldn't stop smiling. He just looked and sounded so beautiful.
17) Things with Josh were just never good, and in February of my Senior year Jeremiah called completely out of the blue and asked if I wanted to go ride horses with him at their farm.
18) He actually asked me out on my house answering machine, and we saved that message for at least 6 months.
19) So, 4 years after I had sat goo-goo eyed in the darkness, watching Jeremiah at his prom Lead Out, I was stepping out at my own prom Lead Out on his arm.
20) For those of you who have not been doing the math, he was a Senior in college and swallowed a LOT of pride to be there. He also was supposed to take the MCAT that weekend and drove from the beach with my high school friends, straight to Tuscaloosa to take the biggest test of his life.
21) We broke up my Freshman year of college while he went to Montana to play cowboy and try to decide if he wanted to go to medical school.
22) I didn't want to break up, but I am so thankful that God gave him the strength to do it for me.
23) I had so much fun that Freshman year, dating and going to football games!
24) Instead of sitting in my dorm room alone, pining for a boyfriend on the other side of the country.
25) It also gave me the opportunity to compare every person I went out with to Jeremiah (who, lets just be honest, I was still pining away for even if I wasn't sitting in my dorm room). Nobody even came close.
26) I loved college and made some fabulous life-long friends who know themselves as "Counsel": Whitney, Lindsay, Holly, Jessica, Mary Grace, and Sara Beth.
27) Together, we did a lot of talking, eating, dancing, laughing, stalking, streaking, traveling, and solving all of our love dilemmas with a fierce protection only second to that of a mother.
28) We still go to the beach together every year, and I love them.
29) I feel abundantly blessed by all of the true friends I've had in my life.
30) Oh my goodness this is already so long! Maybe I'll just do 50.
31) There are a lot of dear friends and memories I could talk about from high school, but would those really be things about me? Is there a rule book for this?
32) My first sip of alcohol was when I went to the Episcopal Church with my friend Kelsey in high school.
33) I love rap music.
34) There are times (like when I am working out or driving to the beach) when it just makes me feel good.
35) Jeremiah does not understand, but he has really tried.
36) I am pretty sure he is scared that the mother of his children knows all the words to "Low" (or "Apple Bottom Jeans" as I like to call it).
37) I am also pretty sure he likes being married to a person who know all the words to "Low."
38) I am screening what I originally wrote here. However, I realized that I launched into our love story without telling you some of the basics:
a) I graduated from a small high school (50 in my class), where I was a cheerleader and played soccer my senior year.
b) I went to Auburn and was a KD.
39) I love Victorian literature and C.S. Lewis.
40) I like that my loves vary so widely. It makes life interesting.
41) Have I said that I am the oldest of 4 girls?
42) My sisters are all amazingly talented and beautiful. I am very proud of them.
43) I am the mother of two precious, smart, and beautiful little girls.
44) They give my life renewed purpose each day.
45) Children are the definition of unconditional love. If you thought dogs were great, just wait until you have a 2 year old.
46) I hear this may change as they get older.
47) My Dad warned me when I was little that there would come a day when I would think he was stupid, annoying, and embarrassing (those weren't his exact words but you get the idea).
48) That hasn't happened yet. I have always been very proud of my parents.
49) Having children has made me realize all the sacrifices my parents had to make for me.
50) If you want to know just how selfish you are, have a baby.
51) You will see your sinful selfishness and be purged of a lot of it all at once.
52) Mary Aplin's first tooth broke through this past weekend, and I am just about ready to throw her and her cute little butt away.
53) Why do I have the urge to bite and pinch things that are cute?
54) Baby butts, baby lips, baby cheeks,..even Jeremiah's butt...all just need to be pinched!
55) I run an average of 12 miles a week. Sometimes 8. Sometimes 20.
56) I do weights 1 or 2 days a week.
57) Part of the reason I exercise so consistently now, is because it is one of the few times during the day that I get to be all by myself.
58) I love people when I'm with them, but I think if I were left to my own devices I would be alone a lot.
59) Is that weird?
60) We have sound equipment set up in our basement and some nights Jeremiah and I sing together.
61) Pace gets a microphone too, and she "sings" while we are deciding what song to do next. Really she just chants "Mommy and Daddy" over and over in a sing-songey voice while she rocks back and forth.
62) Sometimes, while we sing, I pretend I am in a music video.
63) But, I really really hate singing in front of people.
64) Jeremiah and I sang at our friends' (Natalie and Wayne) wedding. Honestly, I left feeling a little smug...thinking we'd done pretty well. Then, they gave us a video, and I have never been so humiliated. I sounded terrible and have sworn to never do it again!
65) I started a book club with some girls in our neighborhood a year and a half ago. It is one of the brightest spots in my month!
66) I love my neighborhood.
67) I have made some life-long friends here.
68) Almost every afternoon we let our kids play in each other's yards.
69) I think if our country had more community--more fellowship--like this, we would be taking a giant step towards what we all desire to be as Americans.
70) I love flowers, but I have a black thumb.
71) I just can't make myself be a consistent waterer or weeder.
72) In the fairly distant future, I want to hold a yearly, formal, sit down dinner, in our dream home, with period attire.
73) You're all invited, IF you can convince your husbands to wear the high socks and little breeches :)
74) Mexican food is my favorite, and it always has been.
75) I have to eat it at least once a week.
76) My next favorite food would be Southern cooking--meat and lots of vegetables.
78) I eat my steak medium rare, and prefer fillet.
79) I enjoy cooking.
80) I wish I could do it without trying to come up with "jobs" Pace can do to help me and toting Mary Aplin.
81) We eat salad before dinner every night.
82) Jeremiah's family always did this, and to my dismay, he can't seem to subsist without it.
83) I love dessert, but I would usually rather have a second helping if given the choice.
84) Unless we're talking about creme brulee, or something with chocolate and strawberries.
85) Looks like I'm going all the way!
86) Once a week, Jeremiah and I rent a movie and watch it while we eat dinner.
87) I took piano for 8 years, and I rarely ever play.
88) That's one of those sacrifices I didn't realize and can't believe my parents made. To pay for me to take those lessons every month--when I was complaining all the time.
89) I am now thankful for my ability to read music and my overall sense of being a more "finished" person for knowing how, even though I don't do it that often.
90) I am a bad friend to people who aren't in front of me.
91) I have some OCD tendencies. I can spend all day getting one corner spotless, while the rest of the house is just begging to be wiped over.
92) I CAN'T just wipe over. I would rather not clean at all--and sadly that is what ends up happening sometimes.
93) I love to water ski, and I hate to snow ski.
94) I say that if you're from the South, and grew up on lakes and rivers, then there is only one kind of skiing that should come naturally.
95) I collect antique books.
96) I have always had a yearning to be a "collector" of something. Books are the only thing that have really stuck.
97) I only actually used my ChemE degree for a year and a half, and I have no plans of ever going back.
98) My dream is to write a book, set in the 30's and 40's. Loosely combining my grandmother's upbringing, my family life and friendships.
99) I started it a year ago, but it's crap.
100) I hope to make a fresh start with it soon.
I would now like to tag anyone else out there who, like me, has been waiting for their turn. Just be warned that it is much harder than you think!