Today is my 34th birthday. Though I should probably have come up with some sort of fermented birthday treat, I’ll have to save that for Matt’s birthday later this year. Since this blog is less than a year old, I thought I’d share some tidbits about me and my life. I don’t mind turning 34, but 34 tidbits…is a lot of tidbits to come up with. Here we go!
1. I met Matt towards the end of college. Though we were the same age and same major, our paths had never crossed until our senior year.
2. We’ve been together for 12 years and married for six!
3. We spend the holidays as one big family. Matt’s parents have welcomed my mom into their family holiday celebrations, so we never have to split our time during the holidays. We’re pretty lucky.
4. I have one brother, Jon, who is nine years older (he would say wiser) than me. Jon is married and has two daughters and currently lives in Washington state. He has served in the United States Air Force since he graduated from high school and has traveled all over the world and lived all over the U.S.!
5. I was named after my dad, Alan. My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor in his mid-30s. He fought a courageous battle and sadly passed away 5 years later. I was 10.
6. My mom is a retired high school English teacher and probably cringes every time she sees one of my posts pop up in her email, knowing she will come across some sort of grammar problem. (Hi Mom!)
7. Matt and I have a giant orange tabby named Kramer. He is named after the Seinfeld character and totally lives up to his name. Though Kramer tops the scale at 17 pounds, he is not overweight…just a tall (long?) guy. His tail is as long as his body and he can put his front paws on the counter to watch what I am doing.
School and Work
8. I attended the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse where I majored in Marketing. I was an active member of my business fraternity – Delta Sigma Pi. I loved the college experience and don’t regret taking five years to get through it.
9. While in College, I studied abroad in Scotland. I lived and went to school in Dalkeith Palace which was built 1702. Yes, it is haunted!
10. To help pay for school (and beer) I bartended at a bar called The Library. Their slogan was “If Mom calls, tell her I am at The Library.” Clever.
11. My first job after college was for the apparel affiliate of the University of Wisconsin Badgers athletic teams. Over the course of eight years I developed skills in event management, marketing, ecommerce and buying. I also got the chance to experience the madness of the first Rose Bowl and Final Four appearances over a decade! I never imagined I would know so much about collegiate athletics!
12. In 2014, I resigned from my job to travel the world and eventually become a full time blogger.
13. Great Big Globe is a travel blog that I created with Matt during our two-year around the world trip. We traveled to 34 countries on four continents.
14. It was that trip that led to the creation of The Wild Gut.
15. I would love to be a group fitness instructor someday!
Health and Wellness
16. I’m a vegetarian. Well, that is actually not true. I was raised a vegetarian. My mom became a vegetarian in her 30s and that was how my parents decided to raise me.
17. I am actually a pescatarian. In 2009, Matt committed to a paleo lifestyle. I dabbled with it but it was nearly impossible for a vegetarian. Meals and meal planning started to become a nightmare. So, I finally took my first few bites of salmon. I actually liked the taste from the beginning but the texture was hard for me to get used to. Since then I have been including salmon and other fish in my diet. I even tried raw octopus on a stick when we were in Japan!
18. Though I grew up a vegetarian, I rarely touched vegetables as a kid. My mom would make me sit at the table until my vegetables were gone but I would often pass them off to our dog. Once she caught on to that, I’d hide them in my socks and dispose of them later. I know, totally pathetic! I clearly hated them.
19. I didn’t start eating a nutritious diet until I was well out of college.
20. I love group fitness classes.
21. I like working out. I don’t dread getting up to work out and enjoy going to the gym.
22. I am definitely not a runner and have never even run a 5k!
23. As I mentioned above, travel is a big part of my life. My first trip out of the country was at 16. I traveled to Costa Rica as part of a Spanish language immersion program through my high school.
24. During college, I traveled to Scotland, England, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands.
25. I’ve traveled through Asia, Africa, Europe and Central America. I hope to step foot in South America next year!
26. As part of our two year around the trip, Matt and I spent two months overlanding and camping in Africa. The adventure started in Nairobi, Kenya and ended in Cape Town, South Africa. It was a whirlwind of an experience and sometimes I still can’t believe we did it.
27. We actually camped inside Serengenti National Park and fell asleep to the sounds of roaring lions. It was incredible!
28. I bungee jumped off the Victoria Falls Bridge in Zambia and sand boarded down the dunes in Namibia. As soon as I check skydiving off my list, I think I’ll be putting the adrenaline activities on hold until I am much, much older.
29. I am going to experience Hawaii for the first time next month!
30. I am one of those people that is obsessed with the weather. If I ask you about the weather, I am not making small talk. I REALLY want to know about the weather.
31. Though I run a blog where I talk a lot about food, I didn’t start cooking until last fall. Until then, Matt was the cook in our house. I am slowly getting the hang of it and even cooked a batch of ground beef for Matt. Yes, browning beef is incredibly easy but I had never done it before! I still haven’t mastered chopping onions without crying.
32. Everyone has their preference on news. I am a CBS girl. I love Charlie, Norah and Gayle!
33. Speaking of TV, I loved The Office, Parks and Rec and Parenthood. I currently watch New Girl and am dabbling in This is Us. I also enjoy CBS Sunday Morning, Saturday Night Live and Nature on PBS.
34. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be pizza.
I hope this post allowed you to get to know me a little more and I hope you’ll continue to stick around for a long time. I am incredibly excited to bring you more recipes and share everything I am learning about the relationship between fermented food and drinks and your gut microbiome!
We’re having a legit heat wave in Madison so I am taking a half day to get outside and enjoy it! Back tomorrow with a birthday recap.
I loved reading your 34 points of getting to know you. How come I didn’t know that you’re a weather nut? It’s great to know that I now have a “weather buddy” in the family! Ruth gets tired of me talking about the weather all the time. Speaking of weather we are having a blizzard up here right now, complete with thunder snow!
Sounds like you had a great bday.
Ruth and I gotta run to the hot tub and watch it snow some more.