I have so many thoughts rattling around in my mind… Having Ahmad here this week has been SUCH an experience and I want to share about that (and tell some of his Liberian stories!)  Plus, it looks like it will develop into a more long-term relationship, so I have LOTS to share! —  But I’ve been stuck because the last post was my 99th…. which means this is my 100th…. and in blog-land, the 100th post is often commemorated by the fabled “100 things ” list. 

Now… I wasn’t originally planning on writing one, but I have enjoyed reading other people’s lists so much that I thought it was really only fair to complete the cycle.  So, in time-honored blogging tradition, here is my list. (More about my house-guest later!  🙂 )

1. I was born in 1980
2. I have lived in Washington State my entire life.
3. I am a country girl through and through. I like visiting cities, but it would be difficult to adjust to living in one.
4. I love walking alone at night under a million stars.
5. I believe in the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
6. I am continually longing for and pursuing a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord.

7. I am profoundly grateful for God’s grace.  Grace is the life-line that keeps me on my spiritual journey.  I am awed by it and definitely don’t deserve it… but I am grateful for it.
8. I love to read… just about anything!
9. I don’t get as much time to read as I would like (well, besides children’s books — I have read Jo’s favorites so many times, I have them memorized!)  When I get into a good book of my own, I will often stay up very late to finish it.
10. I am a quiet person by nature. I don’t like crowds. I prefer one-on-one conversations.
11. I grew up on a farm with horses and “broke” my first filly when I fifteen.
12. I named her Joy.
13. Several years ago I gave her to a little girl down the road who had always dreamed of owning a horse… they are very happy together.
14. I am 5’6″
15. I fell in love with my husband when I was fifteen and he was sixteen.
16. I have never loved anyone else…
17. He has been my best friend for twelve years and still is. I can’t imagine anyone else I would rather grow old with.
18. I am a hopeless romantic at heart – one of my all-time favorite books is Pride and Prejudice… It doesn’t get any better than the line “…you have bewitched me body and soul…”
19. I have a soft heart that relates too deeply to situations at times.  I cry when I am happy, sad, frustrated, stirred deeply, or just tired. I cry when things are inspiring and when I am overwhelmed.  Sometimes it is rather inconvenient, but I keep tissues handy.
20. I broke my wrist badly playing soccer when I was twenty-one.
21. My right arm was in a cast for several months, so I learned to write with my left hand and I am now somewhat ambidextrous.
22. My parents own a vineyard and my dad makes wine, but I’m not a wine snob.
23. I do love a good buttery chardonnay, though.
24. I am a chronic list-maker… I think through problems best with a pen in my hand.
25. My least-favorite household chore is laundry.
26. My favorite is reading blogs (oh, wait, that’s not a household chore!!)
27. I love to garden… it is immensely satisfying and therapeutic to work with my hands in the soil and tend things that grow. I like planting flowers much better than vegetables.
28. My favorite flowers to grow are zinnias.
29. I am a terrible procrastinator.
30. When I was a kid there were a hundred things I wanted to become when I grew up… most of them were very glamorous.
31. Now that I am grown, I just want to be remembered as a faithful friend, a kind mother, a loving wife and a tender-hearted woman who gave freely and opened her arms to the hurting. 
32. I love to draw and paint (especially with watercolor.)
33. I am intrigued by colors and the way they are able to communicate so much without words.
34. I am the first-born of two children in my family.
35. My little sister is two years younger than me and is one of my closest friends.
36. My earliest memory is the day she was born.
37. I played the piano, violin and flute while growing up.
38. I still play on occasion, but I have forgotten so much…
39. I don’t regret the fact that I stopped playing. I like listening to music more than I like playing it.
40. My husband is a brilliant musician, so he can teach our kids!
41. I went to a small Bible School here in NE WA before getting married.
42. During this time I danced with a Performing Arts Troupe and traveled across the country twice.
43. Typically I don’t make new friends easily — I am working on becoming more out-going.  Blogging has helped this a lot!  It’s so much easier for me to type than talk to someone I don’t know!  🙂
44. I am very loyal once I make friends.
45. I think there is so much beauty in life and I delight in looking for it in unlikely place… I try to soak it in and capture it when I can.  There is nothing more satisfying to me than capturing beauty… in film, on canvas, with words, even just in memory.  It keeps child-like wonder alive.   
46. I am a nature-lover and believe in making wise decisions to steward the earth. I am deeply inspired by God’s creation.  I am awed by the wild, rugged beauty surrounding us and I want to do what I can to preserve it for my kids and grandkids.  I am learning to take less and give back more. 
47. I believe in Truth and Moral Absolutes.  
48. People fascinate me. I love discovering what makes each person unique and what their passions are.
49. One of the reasons I love to travel is this fascination for discovering people and how they interact within their culture.
50. I have a hard time making important decisions.
51. Right after high school I became EMS certified and worked on an ambulance for five years.
52. I learned during that time that I am not cut out for the medical field (at least not emergency response!) – I responded to some really bad accidents and had a hard time processing them.
53. I am, however, grateful for the training and experience.
54. I love to cook — but hate cleaning up afterwards!
55. I try to eat as healthy as possible and cook primarily with organic foods – but I am not a legalist about it.  Growing a garden helps this healthy quest during the summer…
56. I am afraid of spiders and drunk drivers.
57. I am allergic to bee stings and hydrocodone.
58. I love to write. I never feel like I have experienced a situation or enjoyed a moment fully until I have written about it. I have journals full of odd bits of ramblings, reflections and descriptions. It’s more for me than anyone else although I hope they mean something to my kids someday.
59. Since I started blogging I have found it difficult to determine what to write in my journal and what to write on my blog. I am not used to people reading what I write and it’s a bit intimidating.
60. I used to hate having curly hair, but it’s grown on me… (oh, terrible pun! I’m sorry, it wasn’t on purpose!!)  🙂
61. I co-founded and taught in a private elementary school in our community for several years.
62. I had very poor eyesight as a kid and wore thick glasses, but God mercifully healed my eyes when I was eleven.
63. I will never take being able to see clearly for granted!
64. I was a tomboy as a kid and loved climbing trees, building forts and playing outside all day.
65. I still love to climb, but I mainly stick to rock-climbing now instead of trees.
66. I love solitude. I am a believer in the replenishing nature of meditation and reflection. Quietness and stillness renews my soul. 
67. I am intriguiged by the Celtic Way of Spirituality… and the Celtic Mystics because of their passion for nature and the wild, elemental side of creation that they viewed as a gift from God and a means to knowing Him more intimately. 
68. I love poetry; although I don’t write poems as often as I am inspired to because I over-analyze and the inspiration fades.
69. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile my artistic tendencies and my analytical side.
70. One of my dreams is to write and illustrate children’s books… someday… maybe when I’m eighty…
71. I am a NOT an early morning person AT ALL.  Ughh.
72. Although I do look forward to my morning ritual of a cup of coffee on the deck in the sun…
73. I love daily rituals like that — familiar patterns that envoke feelings of security and continuity.
74. At the same time, I love spontaneity and spur-of-the-moment invitations. 
75. I am trying to simplify my life more.

76. Family is very important to me. I was raised in a tight-knit family and we are still very close. I hope my relationship with my daughters is as close as my relationship with my mom.
77. I have an adventurous soul and love a good adrenaline rush or a challenge.  However, since I became a mother, I am much more cautious than I used to be.

78. I’m usually open to trying new things although I worry that I won’t be good at them.
79. I tend to be too hard on myself.
80. I also worry too much about disappointing people. 
81. During the summer I was sixteen, I worked at woodshop learning to restore and rebuild antique furniture. Peter said I did it to impress him. I guess it worked!  🙂
82. I have wanted to adopt since I was a little girl.  My heart has always ached for the lost and alone.  I was the one in school befriending the “oppressed” and sticking up for them.  My passion for wanting to make a difference in people’s lives has increased dramatically as we have walked through this adoption process.
83. I would like to start a ministry someday focused on helping educate young people in developing countries because I see the essential role education plays in stopping the cycles of poverty.
84. I am an outdoorsy girl all the way. I love anything that gets me outside – hiking, mountain biking, climbing, swimming, camping, riding, working…  just not hunting!
85. I can’t whistle or curl my tongue.
86. I can snowboard pretty well, though!
87. I broke my nose in a horse-riding accident when I was seventeen. You can still feel the bump where it was broken.
88. Sometimes I read the encyclopedia… randomly.
89. I’ve been reading the encyclopedia since I was a kid. I wish I could remember all the crazy and fascinating stuff I’ve read about!
90. My nick-name in high school was “Ber”… I still have friends that call me that.
91. Peter and I backpacked Europe the summer after we were married. It was an amazing summer (even though we ran out of money toward the end and lived on baguettes!!)
92. I was four months pregnant with Joanna when we left… (And even though it was an incredible experience, I wouldn’t recommend back-packing Europe while pregnant.) 🙂
93. I enjoy playing many sports … but soccer is my favorite.
94. I live 17 miles from the Canadian border.
95. I speak Canadian fluently.
96. I live 91.4 miles from the nearest Starbucks.
97. I like rainy days.
98. I seldom wear make-up.
99. I am generally optimistic unless I am having a bad day…
100. I love taking pictures of children because when they smile, their whole faces light up!! … Grown-ups don’t smile like that enough.