Since I know I have a few new readers, I figured now is as good a time as any to re-introduce myself. My name is Tori: wife to Brandon, mama to Natalie, blogger, baker and baby maker*. In honor of turning 28 this past weekend, here - in no particular order - are 28 things about me.
*NOTE: I work at a fertility center. I do not consider myself a baby making factory.
1. All through middle school I hated being called Tori and insisted on being called Victoria. Once I got to high school, I loved being called Tori. At this point, the only people who call my Victoria are my parents and cousins.
2. I am not a religious person, but I am a spiritual person. Much to the disappointment of my mother, I don't go to church and I haven't had Natalie baptized. Church is just not somewhere that I feel comfortable, but I pray and I believe. I read the Bible and I seek guidance from God. I try to live by the Golden Rule.
3. I am a ridiculously positive person. To the point where I am sure it annoys people. When things look grim, I still try to be cautiously optimistic. I think it's important to only put good things out into the universe and I try to avoid negativity in my life.
4. I work at a one of the most prestigious fertility centers in the country and I seriously love what I do. After experiencing pregnancy loss and becoming an IVF warrior as a friend once called me, I find that I relate to my patients in a completely different way and I love being able to support people through their journey to build a family.
6. Brandon and I got married on 9-10-11. After picking the date, we found out that it was his maternal grandparents' wedding anniversary. I have his maternal grandmother's engagement ring. Some things were just meant to be :)
7. Brandon is the first person I dated where I actually felt like I could be myself in my own skin. I had never been goofy or silly in front of anyone else. I never felt like I could. That being said - I almost did not date my husband because I thought he was a full year younger than me and that was a weird concept to me. As it turns out - he is 23 days older :)
8. If you ask my parents, to this day they will tell you that every guy I dated in high school and college had the "shelf life of milk". I never felt the need to be in a relationship or have a boyfriend. The first time my parents met Brandon, they were fairly certain he was a done deal. They say he has the "shelf life of spam".
9. I love to bake. I love trying new recipes and creating my own. I love making cupcakes with unique flavor combinations: lemon and lavender, strawberry with balsamic buttercream, etc.
10. My older sister and I have a very weird, love/hate relationship and we are freakishly close. We did the Breast Cancer 3 Day together in 2010 and recently ran the Sophie and Madigan's Playground Pirates and Princesses 5k together.
11. I used to love running. At my peak, I was running 8-12 miles/day. I would love to get back into running but I am seriously struggling to find the time.
12. Growing up, I hated Halloween because I felt like it took away from my birthday. Someone was always having a Halloween party the same day as my birthday party so some years my birthday party had a questionable turn out. Now as a mom, I beyond excited about Halloween.
13. I always thought summer was the best season. As an adult, I am realizing more and more that fall is really my favorite season: cooler weather, oversized sweatshirts, college football, boots, buffalo plaid and pumpkin everything. What is not to love?
14. I love good, smoked, Carolina style, chopped pork BBQ. Like a lot. I could eat it every day.
15. I am a huge believer in paying it forward. So much of my maternity wardrobe was lent to me by various friends/co-workers that I was thrilled at the chance to be able to lend my clothes out to the next preggo to help her out.
16. Pre-pregnancy I had a terrible sweet tooth. During my pregnancy, just the sight of sheet cake with all that icing made me nauseous. Post pregnancy, I am somewhere in the middle. I am super curious to see where Natalie falls when it comes to sweets.
17. My commute is 72 miles round-trip every day. Most people I know don't commute that far in a week. Perhaps that's why I struggle finding the time to run...
18. I am a terrible control freak. Brandon had little to no say in our wedding, the unpacking of boxes in our home or the baby registry. I am very lucky that he rolls with the punches.
19. We closed on our townhouse on a Friday. By Tuesday, we had everything cleaned, walls painted, new carpet down and everything unpacked. Like I said, control freak.
20. Natalie's due date was 11-12-13. My OB/GYN was at a conference that day, so I waited until 11-13-13 to be induced. I know I made the right choice. It was better to have my own doctor than a cool birth date for my daughter.
21. I had the absolute best birth experience, ever. I LOVED being induced. Apparently - that's not normal. I loved the fact that we set a date and we had a plan: get that baby out. I knew when to be at the hospital and I knew I was not leaving there without a baby - anything in the middle didn't really matter.
22. I love the idea of random acts of kindness: paying for someone's drink in the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru, raking your neighbors lawn because you're already doing your own or shoveling out an elderly neighbor in the winter. I think it's important to be kind.
23. I love Target. I can, and do, spend hours in there for absolutely no reason at all.
24. I have a very hard time admitting when I need help or when I cannot do something. If I finally do admit it, I feel like I have failed and I hate not being good at something. I am incredibly stubborn in that regard.
25. I love wine. Especially red wine - in fact, I don't drink white wine at all. I especially love a good merlot. I was a big pinot noir fan but lately merlot has been my vino of choice.
26. People overwhelm me. While I am friendly with many people, I really only have 2-3 really close friends. I can be incredibly social, but I am also terribly introverted. Go figure.
27. I would love to travel more. I grew up traveling around the country with my family during the summer and my parents encouraged me to travel abroad for spring break when I was in high school. I wish I had the time and the money to do more traveling now as an adult when I feel like I might really appreciate it.
28. Hosting Thanksgiving is my favorite and it is something I really look forward to every year. I love cooking for my entire family and baking up special treats. I love having everyone in my home and spending time with family. I firmly believe that Thanksgiving is what Christmas is supposed to be.