100th Post!



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Hello everyone!

Since I'm one of the most Type A folks out there, naturally I've been thinking my 100th blog post for quite some time.  I knew it was coming and I was really trying to brainstorm the best options for what to do for this post.  I knew I didn't want it to be super deep content, just something fun and celebratory and silly and what is more fun than learning absurd facts about someone?!?

Now I know that not everyone cares about random facts about me, but I'm the type of person who likes to internet creep learn as much about someone as possible by reading their internet content and I figured I can't possibly be the only one!

So, here we are: 100 facts/photos/videos/embarrassing stories/etc about me (split into categories, of course!) to celebrate making it to my 100th blog post!  WOOHOO!  Let the awkwardness begin...

About Me

1.  My parents originally had plans to name me Kelly-Jean and then changed their minds at the last minute when I was born. All I'll say about that is "thank goodness." I am very much a Grady.
2.  As a kid I used to HATE my bright red hair, now I love it.
3.  My favorite color is pink. If it comes in pink, I want it.
4.  I love to write letters and have a box of stationary in my room 100% of the time.
5.  I own a stupid amount of clothing. Like, it's excessive. I just LOVE dresses!
6.  Speaking of dresses, I wear them almost exclusively. I just find pants uncomfortable.
7.  I'm obsessed with budgeting and money management. I was even into it as a young child.
8.  I can still sing every word to any song I learned as a kid. My brain somehow remembers these things for life!
9.  I'm never without a book. I quite literally keep one in my purse at all times.
10.  I consider myself a very socially aware introvert - I love people and can interact with them quite well, but logistically speaking I need my alone time to function.


Growing Up

11.  I took the SATs in 7th grade. #nerdalert
12.  As a kid I used to make up songs about anything and everything because, as I mentioned earlier, my brain remembers music WAY better than pretty much anything else. This ended up being particularly useful if I had to memorize something for school. I still remember the spelling and definition of "onomatopoeia" because I put it to the tune of The Mickey Mouse Club Theme to prep for a middle school test.
13.  My older brothers used to call me "Dictionary" because I was obsessed with our  "Mr. Men & Little Miss Picture Dictionary" and I would read it like a storybook.
14.  I was a master Skip-It artist growing up.  I would go outside for hours and just kill it on my pink sparkly Skip-It. (Kinda like this one but way cuter!)
15.  My swingset song in Kindergarten was Gangster's Paradise by Coolio.  Please don't ask me how I learned it because I honestly have no idea.
16.  I once told my family that I thought I was a better singer than Kenny Loggins and at the time I totally meant it. #modest
17.  My brothers will never let me live down the day, in third grade, when I called eating lobster an "interesting concept."
18.  I still have my baby blanket from when I was an infant and I intend to never get rid of it.
19.  I believed in the tooth fairy for WAY too long and I'm unashamed.
20.  I had to get stitches when I was five because of an incident involving my chin and a set of metal stairs at a McDonald's Playplace.

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan Photography <3 

My Family

21.  I am the baby of my family of origin - and the only girl! :)
22.  Growing up, my brothers did every sport known to man, which meant that I also attempted pretty much every sport known to man. For the record, I was unequivocally horrible at every. single. one.
23.  Our family had an Elf-On-The-Shelf when we were all little (it's a big thing now but it wasn't at all a thing then) and he would write us letters in teeny tiny font on teeny tiny paper. (My parents are GENIUSES, you guys!)
24.  My parents met at a wedding when their dates left with each other. No, seriously!
25.  A few years ago my brother Timothy married my now sister-in-law Lee, and I went to the emergency room the day after the wedding with a case of mono so severe I was hospitalized and then on bedrest for six weeks.  What did they do?  It was literally days after their wedding and instead of honeymooning, they were at my bedside taking care of me. Unreal. <3
26.  My brother Andrew is one of the bravest people I know. He's lived in so many different places and isn't afraid to just pack up a suitcase and go where the wind takes him!  I could never ever do that in a million years. I'm so proud of him.
27.  Tim and Lee now have my most favorite baby on the planet (sorry other babies, I love you too, I promise!) --- my nephew Aiden!!!
28.  My family used to have pizza and movie night every Friday as a child and we would switch off who got to choose the movie. Much to Tim and Andrew's chagrin, I would choose "3 Ninjas" pretty much every time.
29.  My parents had this killer idea for chores for all of us - a chore jar that we randomly selected three chores each out of every Saturday - and I distinctly remember somehow actually having *fun* with it!  Like I said, total geniuses!
30.  My new extended family, Christopher's family, contains some of the kindest, smartest, most lovely people I know.  We have already made some pretty awesome memories and I'm so happy to be a part of their family and to be able to make more and more as the years go by!


School

31.  I went to Bennington College post-high school and left with a Bachelor's Degree with a concentration in Theatre and Education.
32.  The thing about Bennington is it's a super little Liberal Arts school in the middle of nowhere Vermont.  And by "super little" I mean approximately 650 undergrads when I attended. Yup. Super little.
33.  Before Bennington I was a pretty decent student from elementary through high school, although I loved loved LOVED college and so appreciated the ability to study what I wanted to study!
34.  In my minor years, though, I was a serious band geek (who's surprised here? Spoiler alert: no one) and I did both marching band (I was in colorguard) and concert band (I played the flute for seven years).
35.  I was ALSO a choir geek and was sometimes involved in four choirs at a time.
36.  I got one detention in my entire high school career (for being late to school, which is the lamest reason of all time) and I went to the principal to try to get it changed. More than once.  He didn't relent, but on detention day I got the last laugh - they were doing the photographs for the library bookmark that day!  So essentially I got to be on the school's official bookmark, they gave us candy for participating, and I got to leave detention early!  Hollah!
37.  In 8th grade I got a C+ in Spanish and I cried.  Like a baby.  My mom was like "...Grady, chill."
38.  My friend Patrick and I won the Senior Class Superlative for "Most Likely To Brighten Up Your Day" and I was SHOCKED. When they handed out the passes for the awards, I honest-to-goodness thought it was a joke.
39.  Incidentally, the one and only time I skipped a class was WITH Patrick after they took our photo for the Superlatives.  He drove me and a few of the other winners to Bagel Works.  I hid in the back seat of his jeep and I don't think I've ever been more scared in all my life. We made it back fine and didn't get in trouble but DANG, I remember being ridiculously nervous!  #rebel
40.  My parents used to give me $2.00 for lunch money every day in middle school and every day I'd buy a small bag of smartfood popcorn and a zebra cake for lunch so I'd have enough money left over for an extra after school snack. (Sorry, Mom & Dad...)


Quirks

41.  I always put the radio and TV volumes on an odd number. Always, always, always. When I was younger my brothers would put it on an even number if they wanted me to leave the room because they knew it would eventually bother me so much I'd have to leave. (#rude)
42.  I LOVE live-tweeting TV shows.  I went through the entirety of The Office and then recently I got through all but the most recent season of Pretty Little Liars.
43.  As a kid I would only drink orange juice if it was in a wine glass with ice. Like, my friends' parents knew and would give it to me that way, too.  I have no idea why.
44.  I am weirdly good at parodying songs as I'm listening to them and love to come up with alternate lyrics for things.
45.  I love to research EVERYTHING.  Whatever is going on in my life, I will research for days!  Stepparenting? Check!  Money matters?  Check!  Relationship tools?  Check!  Can't stop, won't stop.
46.  Maybe this is because of my hippie college past but I LOVE these mason jars. We use them at home for drinking cups and have for years and years. Yes, yes, I know, so hipster. Haterz back off.
47.  I judge the quality of a dress by how well it twirls.
48.  Columbine by Dave Cullen is one of my favorite books of all time.  It goes into the misunderstandings and misinformation given by the media at the time of this horrible tragedy and how that reporting actually likely made everything worse. Quite dark, as you'd expect, but a super fascinating read.
49.  I'm very picky about my food - I'm one of those grown adults who doesn't like her food to touch and has issues with mixing textures. It sounds ridiculous, but I promise I can't help it!
50.  I spent a fair amount of months doing daily vlogging back in the day on my youtube channel.  (I take no responsibility for content from 2010 :-P)

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan Photography

Marriage

51.  My husband Christopher and I met working on a show, The Tempest, together in the summer of 2011. I had zero interest in him at the time. (Sorry, babe!)
52.  We became "an item" in January of 2012 while working in a sketch comedy troop together.  Yes, we were your classic "Show-mance" but we ended up outlasting the production, clearly. ;)
53.  Christopher asked me to marry him at the theatre where we first met and worked together. He was very clever and had my friend Kaitlyn trick me into thinking she needed help with something post-show. Unfortunately, Kaitlyn did TOO good a job of convincing me because while Chris was trying to bring me to the stage to propose, I was frantically trying to dial Kaitlyn on my cell phone to find out what she needed help with! Ahahaha!!!
54.  We have been together for almost five years, but our one-year wedding anniversary is coming up next week!  Goodness gracious, how time seriously flies!!!
55.  Christopher and I went on an epic road trip for our honeymoon (blog post forthcoming!) from New Hampshire to Florida and back again in 9 days!  We visited our alma maters together and ended up at Universal Studios (Hello, Harry Potter World!) before heading back to New England - finding weird and hilarious roadside attractions along the way including a tiny village made for cats and a giant shoe house. I couldn't have asked for a better trip!
56.  I LOVE coffee and Christopher doesn't like coffee at all. It's heartbreaking.
57.  When I went on my trip to Europe, Christopher wrote me a letter to open for every. single. day. of my 3 1/2 week trip!  Honest to goodness, a legit letter for every day - PLUS two extra ones in case I needed them!  It was straight out of The Notebook, you guys. <3
58.  This isn't really about marriage, but it is about Chris so I think it counts - he is one of the most brilliant actors I know.  Not only does he have wonderful comedic timing, but he can also make you cry without saying a word (literally - he has zero lines in the show he's currently doing and he made my mom, cousin, and sister-in-law cry with his performance!). I'm so so proud of him.
59.  We're both introverts, which means we have a tendancy to be a little bit like hermits if we're not careful!
60.  Christopher was married and divorced before meeting me and has a now 12-year-old (whatttttt?!) daughter named Jessica. Which brings me to...


Step-Parenthood

61.  I have known my stepdaughter, Jessica, since she was seven years old. She's now 12, which is absolute crazysauce.
62.  She is hilarious and sassy and an incredible, incredible artist.
63.  Being a stepmother is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done.  It has challenges I never imagined I'd have to face, and requires things of me I didn't even know were possible.
64.  Jess and I have a wonderful relationship, and one that I truly cherish.  She lives with Christopher and I full time, and has for years, so we're all very close, and function as close to a "nuclear family" as I think could be possible given our situation.
65.  That doesn't mean we're without conflict, though, and it's something I like to write about because when Jessica first came into my life, I had absolutely no frame-of-reference - just no idea whatsoever about how to balance and handle this whole "stepparent" thing.  I'm grateful to feel much more knowledgable now (although I have ZERO doubts that I'll face more hard stuff in the future) and I hope to be a resource to other stepparents who are just beginning to enter these crazy waters.
66.  I've read pretty much every book on the subject I could get my hands on. No, seriously. Ask me about a stepparenting book - it's probably on my bookcase right now.
67.  I know some people prefer other terms, and that's totally fine for them, but I actually intentionally use "stepmom," "stepmother," "stepdaughter," etc rather than some of the current popular alternatives ("Bonus Mom," etc). I want to do my part to take back the cultural narrative that says stepmoms are evil. I don't want to avoid using the term "stepmom" because I think avoiding it gives the idea credibility that it shouldn't have.
68.  I don't use the term "blended family" either, but for slightly different reasons.
69.  I do want biological children someday if God chooses to bless us with them, but I also don't like it when folks ask if I'd "like to have children of my own."  Jessica is my child.  She may not be biologically mine, but she is my child in spirit and in our family and I will treasure and treat her as such.
70.  Something I think a lot of people don't know about stepparenting is that the law is really whack when it comes to stepparents' legal rights - in my state, you have zero legal rights as a stepparent, but you have complete financial responsibilities. (Not that I have any opposition to stepparents having financial responsibilities, let me make that clear, but having ZERO legal rights and 100% financial responsibilty seems pretty ridiculous to me.)



Theatre

71.  One of my favorite things in the entire world is theatre.
72.  I have participated in on-stage productions since I was eight years old and in technical aspects since I was twelve.
73.  The photo above is from a production of South Pacific that Christopher and I were both in last summer. It was seriously a blast and a half and I'll never forget that show and the fun we all had!
74.  In college I was able to perform in a show called "David's RedHaired Death," and I highly recommend all of you stop what you're doing and find a copy and go read it right now. This piece changed the way I look at life and performing and I'm grateful I was able to do it.
75.  Another play that I think is really phenomenal is a piece called "Gruesome Playground Injuries" and I was able to Stage Manage a production of this several years ago as well. I ran four boards at once (live video footage, light board, sound board, and computer projections) and it's one of my proudest technical works to date. Plus, I just had a phenomenal experience throughout the whole rehearsal process with the cast and crew.
76.  I am a TERRIBLE dancer. No, seriously. It takes me 100 years to learn a dance piece (Or, as my good friend Bartley so kindly puts it: I just need to "marinate" on it) and my technique isn't great, honestly.  BUT I have learned to get decently good at the "fake it 'til you make it" method and it's served me well in my theatre career.  A confident smile makes a big difference, ya'll!
77.  My very first show was a youth production of "Johnny Appleseed" and I played a little girl named "Red Delicious" and a cardinal named "Scarlett."  High-quality theatre here, people.
78.  I ran a youth theatre program for several years post-college and it is one of the things I miss most in my life.  I ended up having to resign from my position for complicated reasons but it's still painful to think about and I really do still miss that job and most of all miss my former students.  I feel very very blessed to have had that experience, regardless of the eventual outcome.
79.  I met my two best friends (who would later be my two maids of honor) in a production of Oliver! when they were ten and I was twelve. We've been best friends ever since.
80.  If I had to choose one single activity that has changed my life the most overall, I think theatre would have to be the answer. It has enriched my life and complicated my life and brought joy to my life and, ultimately, it introduced me to myself as I was growing up, and eventually to my husband as an adult!  I am so, so grateful to this art form and will forever be involved in it and indebted to it.

Likes & Dislikes

81.  I LOVE Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Like, it might be a borderline obsession.  I drink one bigger than my head every day, regardless of the season.
82.  I do not like yogurt. I can't stand it.  I wish I did because I know it's super good for you, but I just can't get into it. I don't even like being in the same room as someone who's eating it (I'm talking to you, husband!) because it grosses me out that much.
83.  I would be 100% lost in the world without my planner. Like, I would actually genuinely have no clue what I was doing on any given day - I depend on that thing to keep my life together and if I'm without it for any reason I feel so stressed out until I get it back again.
84.  I just can't get into watching movies. I like movies, I just don't love the part where you have to decide to watch one. When I do sit down in front of a movie, I usually love it!  But I'm not the type of person who ever thinks "Man, I just wanna watch a movie tonight!"  It just doesn't happen.  It feels like such a commitment to sit down for two hours and watch something in a way that watching three episodes of House, MD does not... Whoops!
85.  One movie I DO love, though, is Drop Dead Fred.  It is literally my favorite movie of all time --- and apparently $49.99 on amazon? #worthit, honestly.
86.  Don't even think about getting near me with spicy food. It feels like it'll burn my mouth to even be in the same room as anything spicy. (Christopher, on the other hand, LOVES spicy food. Yikes!)
87.  Lately I've been super into Instagram!  I've been trying to get better at editing and curating and I LOVE to look at other people's feeds, too.
88.  I kinda mentioned this earlier but I feel very strongly about it, so I'll say it again. I HATE PANTS.  They're so uncomfortable, they're like leg cages!  I just don't get the appeal.
89.  I love love love candles!  I have way too many and I get way too excited about them and protective over them.  A few weeks ago I had to leave the house earlier than expected and I literally asked Christopher to set a timer to he wouldn't blow out the candle too early and make the wax uneven in the top... It's fine, you guys, I promise, that's not weird...
90.  I absolutely ABHOR cleaning up gross food. It's my top least favorite chore. I'm so serious about it I mentioned it in my 6 Things I've Learned in 6 Months of Marriage post --- because I HATE IT.  Get away from me, gross food - I shant deal with you!


Totally Random

91.  The photo above used to be not only my facebook profile picture but was, at one point, one of the pictures I chose to use for an online dating site.  Great choice, right?
92.  I own two record players and probably something in the range of 50+ records.
93.  I think foaming soap is at least 70% better than non-foaming soap.
94.  I own seven separate pairs of glasses and I change them out depending on my outfit and mood.
95.  My very first blog post (on gradybird blog anyway!) was a four question Q&A with a photo of me wearing devil horns... I'd like to think I've come a long way, folks!
96.  As a child I used to collect baseball caps, specifically strange/unique ones, and I had not only four sequined hats, but also a solar powered fan hat that I would wear regularly. Clearly I was an extra cool kid.
97.  My taste in music is all over the map - I like musical theatre, country, folk, pop, and a whole lot of other stuff, too.  Putting my ipod on shuffle is a total adventure.
98.  I'm a woman of faith and a strong feminist and I absolutely do not think those two are mutually exclusive.
99.  One time at an audition when I was in 4th grade I told a super accidentally-offensive (in that "kid who doesn't know what they're saying" way) Catholic joke. I got the part.
100.  I've been writing for as long as I can remember.  In high school and college I used to journal so much that I filled up upwards of 45 paper journals alone with personal thoughts, poems, short stories, and just about anything I could think of. Writing is a true passion of mine and I'm so grateful to be able to share that with you all, here!


WHEW!  Thanks everyone for reading - if you made it this far you are a star! (And, you might actually love to internet creep *almost* as much as I do! I salute you, my friend!)  We'll be back to your regularly scheduled programming later in the week :)

Hi, I'm Grady! Welcome to my blog :) A little about me? I'm a smitten newlywed and brand-new stepmom living in New Hampshire. My day job is boring on paper but great in real life (just like Dunder Mifflin!), and when I'm not working I love to spend time with my family, perform in or manage productions at the theatre, and eat ice cream while listening to yet another financial management podcast.  I write about my marriage, step-parenthood, and whatever else is going on.  Be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog!

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