Week Three: Writing Your Personal History

The questions from week two took me a few weeks to complete. I had a fun remembering my early years. The highlight was remembering my two best friends. They were sisters, only eighteen months apart, and I was only six months behind the second one. We had a great time playing together (unless we were fighting.) 🙂

They had a large yard with a playhouse and a tire swing. They had trees to climb and a fun tree house. They had a large petroleum tank that we liked to climb on and pretend it was our “horse.” In the spring, we liked to pick the white and purple lilacs growing around their house and play “He loves me, he loves me not” and to play ‘wedding’ where we would sprinkle the blossoms all over the “bride’s” head.  We played with Barbies and other toys. We liked to play “skating waitresses” and we would use the shingles off their dad’s shed for “money.”

We liked to play “Red Light, Green Light” and “Mother, May I?” and “Swinging Statues.” We also liked to play games with the boys across the street and jump on their trampoline. They came to my house sometimes, but mostly we played at their house.

We liked to dress up and lip sync to The Bangles songs like “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.” We also really liked to watch She-Ra, Duck Tales, Mary Poppins, and Jem and the Holograms. We loved the day we became ‘cousins’ because our grandparents married each other.

 

IMG_1570
My third birthday. I am the one in blue with pigtails.

The questions for this week are:

  1. Tell about your early fears (of the dark, of animals, being alone, staying with babysitters, etc.)
  2. What were some of the funny things you said or did when you were little? What were some of the embarrassing things also?
  3. Can you remember your grandparents and visits with them? Did they take you with them sometimes? Also your aunts and uncles?
  4. What were your favorite pastimes, activities?
  5. What were some of your problems at this early age (0 to 5)? Have you been grateful for some of these things that you have been able to overcome? What could you tell your grandchildren to assist them with some of these same problems?

 

Writing Your Baby’s Story

I recently started writing about my own history and decided it would be fun to write a few blog posts about starting a history for your children. My “babies” are thirteen, ten, and six. I decided it was better late than never to write about their births, their first year, and their toddler years. I plan to share a few questions you could answer to start their story.

Here are the questions for this week:

  1. When did the couple find out about the pregnancy?
  2. What was the mother’s reaction to the pregnancy test? The father’s?
  3. To whom did the couple first tell the news?
  4. What were other’s reactions?
  5. How did the mother feel while she was pregnant?
  6. Did the mother have any weird cravings?
  7. What were some of the fears of the expectant parents?
  8. Were the parents given any advice?
  9. What was the family like before the baby was born?
  10. Where did the family live? What did the parents do for a living?

I recently started three documents and wrote the answers to these questions for each of my boys. It was fun to compare the answers even though they were the same questions, especially to number 2. When I found out I was expecting my first baby I was so excited, but I had also felt a bit of relief because we had been trying “for so long.” It was six months. I was 23 years old and thought that six months was SO long. It is funny to look back on it now.

When I found out I was expecting our third child, I was thirty-three and my reaction was very different. I was profoundly grateful. We had lost three babies after our second child over a period of four years and I wasn’t sure I could keep a baby to full term at this point. However, I found out when I was sixteen weeks pregnant and it was already passed the time that I had lost the other babies. It was truly a miracle. I was so happy to know that I would be blessed with one final little baby.

dsc_0121

 

Writing My Personal History

A few years ago, I attended a family history class and the focus of the class was writing your own personal history. I received a list of questions to ask yourself each time you sit down to write. It is a good way to prompt memories and stimulate writing. I started writing my own history a few years ago, but of course, I became more enamored with others people’s stories and never finished it. I was stupid enough to delete the document! It is like my journal in fifth grade. I didn’t know what to do when I filled my notebook so I threw it away! I regret not having those experiences recorded by my

your_life_is

ten-year old self to give to my sons. They could have laughed at me, but also seen that their mother was young once too.

I plan to post questions here each week so you can follow along with me. Hopefully by the end of this year, I will have a good start again on my own personal history and you can too if you decide to follow along.

Here are the questions for this week:

  1. What is your full name? Where did you get your name from? What is the full name of your mother and father? Where and when were you born? Where was the first home you lived in? If you had older brothers and sisters what did they think of a new baby when you came into the family?
  2. Describe yourself as a baby. What was the color of your hair? Was is curly or straight? What was the color of your eyes? Your height? Do you remember anything about your “baby” items? Your crib, your room, a favorite blanket or toy. Tell some of the things you remember your mother and father telling you about yourself as a baby.  Did you share a room? Do you remember when you gave up drinking your bottle? etc.
  3. Where did you fit i your family? Were you the oldest, youngest, middle child? Did you have siblings? How well did you get along? How many brothers and sisters did you have?
  4. What were your childhood diseases, injuries, illnesses, operations, accidents etc?

I am going to have fun with these questions this week.  Talk to you soon!

Geeking Out Over LOTR Mini Reunion

Spring Break 1992, I was thirteen years old. I remember “laying-out” to get a tan in my swimming suit in the backyard. However, upon closer examination of my reading material you would not find Seventeen or the latest Sweet Valley High books,  you would find J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion” in my hand for ‘light’ reading.  I had devoured The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Series two times already that year so I needed something different.

I remember being so obsessed with The Lord of the Rings, I wrote my own mini spin-off about Legolas. In this novella, he fell in love with a mortal whose description was strangely similar to mine. My seventh grade English teacher wanted us to practice our penmanship so I had to purchase a new pack of lined paper just so I could turn my novella in, fifty pages and all. And what other thirteen year old girl spent her weekends and summers with her older brother and his friends playing MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing)? Only me, (but hey some of his friends were cute.)

Has it really been fifteen years since the first Lord of the Rings movie came out?  It seems like yesterday, my then new husband and I ran off the theaters after our college finals.

I love this photo Dominic Monaghan shared on Instagram yesterday, of course, I like the actors and think this is fun, but it has been more fun for me to the first time I became acquainted with the characters they played.

My favorite has always been Aragorn. He wandered Middle Earth for ages as Strider, dirty, and a bit angry and yet as each challenge comes in the book, he rises to the occasion, eventually fulfilling his mission as King of Gondor. His character sticks out to me because I just when I think I’ve got things figured out and then a challenge or a trial comes throws me off track, but I can’t let them stop me from becoming the best person I can be.

Yes, I am a Lord of the Rings Geek and I will always be.

untitledI

Stranger Dialogue

Have you ever watched people conversing but could not hear what they were saying?

I think it is so much fun to make up dialogue for strangers as if they were characters in one of my books. It is a great way to spend time you have to waiting.

The other day I saw three teenage boys walking on the sidewalk. It had snowed the night before and it was very chilly even though it was mid-afternoon.  One of them stopped and showed the others something. I dreamed up him saying, “Hey look, snow!” As if they had not noticed until that moment.

There are also two teenagers at my son’s junior high who like to show the world they are in love every day after school. They smooch and lay on the grass with each other. When I picked up the kids in our carpool for Christmas Break, we watched them saying good-bye to each other for the two weeks.The kids helped me with dialogue.

“It will be alright,” he said rubbing her back. “I will tell Santa you have been good and he will bring you some cookies.”

“Oh, thank you, but I don’t like cookies,”she said and sniffed.

It is a very fun activity to do when you know the strangers can’t hear you, but probably even more fun if you are daring enough to do it when they can.

I love this clip from Gilmore Girls.