In honor of my 37th birthday coming up, I thought to share 30+ things about me. You would have thought I’d have listed such by now, but I think I’ve subconsciously pushed this post aside, procrastinating the write for one reason or another. Tho it was catered towards what I’ve learned, I wrote a similar listed post back when I turned 30, … maybe reflection is the fearful root. Or it could be that birthdays now days aren’t always anticipated as they used to be. Yes, the attention one receives, the pampering, and all the well wishes are always nice, but there’s something about getting near the 40 yr old mark that is a tad bit scary.
Tho I have 3 years to go, inching closer to the next decade freaks me out a bit. But there’s no need to stew on the matter, right? I’ll enjoy now, all that life has brought me, and all that has contributed to the discovery of who I am.
Back to the bulk of this post… clearly procrastination is still at an all time high. I’ve now closed the office door, have my coffee near by, and am ready to share a bit more about myself! If you know me at all, you know my posts can get pretty lengthly. There’s no doubt this will be different. It’s a given this post will hold much further detail than my about me page already written. My hope is that you find this somewhat new and entertaining, while learning a bit more about me than you already do!
1. First thing that comes to mind is that I am adopted. I am half Saudi Arabian, so that is where I believe my dark skin resides from. Raised by a single mother until I was 10, she remarried and I inherited 4 step brothers and 4 step sisters. All older and out of home, my elementary and teen years were shared with one sister. None the less, it was quite the change from the single child life. One I know God had a hand in.
2. I grew up in Salem, Or – the capitol city of Oregon, South of Portland. I lived in the PNW for most of life. If you ever visit the green state, it really is a beautiful site to see. Much of my childhood involved camping trips, and outdoor vacations.
3. At one time, I had wanted to be a singer. I was the choir attendant and sectional leader from middle school thru high school. Forget sports, my extra curricular activities involved drama courses, choir rehearsals, play practice, and private singing lessons. My senior year of high school I was titled the solo soprano state champion. Puccini arias and Mozart were my strongpoint, and I held high hopes to teach the theory privately someday. I attended Seattle Pacific University with an intended major of music performance. Maybe it was the endless hours in the music lab, the stolen experience of college life, or the 2001 stock market drop (resulting the loss of my entire college fund) that brought me back home. With a hard decision at hand and one University year under my belt, I took a different (and finically smarter) route. I attended a local community college in Salem, and received my Associates of Arts and Science degrees.
4. I am not completely ready to go into detail on the next ‘about me’, but I’ll state it with intentions to someday tackle the write. Shortly after college, I dove into a depression and was diagnosed with an eating disorder. I share this, not because it defines me, but because I don’t believe I would be the person I am today had I not endured it. The lowest of lows are the only words that surface in attempt to describe. Since then, I have overcome the dark diagnosis. Having suffered those years, I’ve learned that part of my life doesn’t define who I am. I am enough, YOU are enough, and if you take anything to heart from this write remember that we go thru experiences for a reason. Whether that to learn, grow, dismiss falsehood, or inherit a better understanding of ourselves.
5. I met my husband thru a prank phone call. Long story short, his roommate in AZ was long distance dating my roommate in OR. Us ladies were bored on Valentines day and knew he was home, so we decided to have a little fun. Patrick and I knew of each other, and continued the mimic days after. Eventually we decided to chat and the rest is history. 15 years, 2 kids, 3 cats, and a dog later we still laugh at how far Kelly Bernards and Milosh have come.
6. I am a pilot’s wife. He swept me off my feet in 2001 and has taken me along for the ride ever since. Not knowing all that this life entails, I said yes to his proposal on an airport runway. Married in 2003, we’ve endured military pilot training, 3 moves cross country, flight schools, TDYs, financial highs/lows, career shifts and promotions. He piloted the USAF C17 for nearly 14 years, and this past year took a position flying Kyle Busch’s (NASCAR) private jet. I won’t lie, the pilot wife life hasn’t been easy. There are days and nights I’ve lived in fear, but witnessing him live a childhood dream outweighs it all. It’s taught me lessons of integrity, patience, true work ethic and passion. Tho the machines he operates are large in size, he has never once made me feel small. I claim the title proudly and will fly away with him any day, saying yes a million times over.
7. I’ve had to do the math several times, and each time I do it, the number goes up. We’ve moved 10+ times in our marriage. A lot has to do with the earlier years of Military life. Patrick’s pilot training took us to North Carolina, Texas, Oregon and finally a permanent station in Puyallup, Washington. Patrick took a position in GA in 2016, which was the largest move to date. A family of four’s move cross country is much more tedious than two naive college aged newlyweds. Currently renting now, I know another move is due within a years time … we plan to build and finally learn what a forever home feels like.
8. Already to no. 8 – I’ve held many jobs over the years. Mainly in retail and customer service. I meandered into the field of accounting for several years shortly after I married, but left the corporate world when I became a Mom in 2010.
On the subject of family –
9. My son asked me the other day, “When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?” Ellie chimed in and answered on my behalf, “She wanted to be a Mom.” I couldn’t agree more. Patrick and I waited 7 years to have children. Both of our careers and many moves gave reason for the wait. I have been blessed beyond measure to be given the desires of my heart. Jonah is eight – a smart, spirited boy who shares my dark skin and oval eyes. And Ellie is my blonde haired, blue eyed little girl – strong willed at 5, going on 15.
10. When Jonah was two, God answered my prayers and reconnected me with my birth mother. I learned I had a brother and twin sisters. Meeting all of them in October of 2012 was a moment in my life I will never forget. I felt as if so many questions were answered. For years I had dreamt about and wondered if I shared physical traits, characteristics, and even viewpoints on life’s topics. Tho we’ve parted ways for reasons not discussed, I am forever grateful to my birth mother in her decision to place me up for adoption.
11. Before having children, Patrick and I adopted a mut. We named him Oakley. I am not sure if it was the act of forced parenthood, or naivety that ultimately led me to return the sweet pup two weeks in, but it led me to believe, for quite sometime, I wasn’t fit for motherhood. Several years later, Patrick convinced me to adopt two sister kittens, and they restored a little faith in the matter. We adopted a third cat shortly before Jonah was born. Pet dander reached an all time high and months after Jonah arrived we decided to re-home our fur babies. Fast forward 8 years and we’ve added Rebel to our family – a mini-golden doodle who, annoyingly so, has recently grown into his name. Nonetheless, he keeps me company on most days, is the most loyal dog I’ve known and our family wouldn’t be the same without him.
12. As stated above, I was an only child until age 10. My adoptive mom divorced when I was 3 and we moved from Oklahoma to Oregon where her family resides. Still to this day, I do not know how my mom managed to work a full time job, attend night collage courses and raise me. Now having a girl of my own, life has really come full circle. Stubborn and hard willed at five, I am sure my mother’s day to day wasn’t easy.
13. Two of the biggest supporters and role models in my life were my grandparents. They willingly helped my mom carry the load while attending school, and taught me many life lessons while growing up. From learning how to make change, proper berry picking, the beauty of a sunset and all the in-betweens. They set a beautiful example of faith, work ethic and love. Not a week goes by where I don’t think of them and their importance in my life.
14. My biggest fashion influence while growing up was my Mom. She has an incredible craft to sew. She can look at a dress, create a pattern and sew it just as envisioned. I had her craft at my call. Prom dresses, choir uniforms, musical costumes, and my entire bridal party’s dresses – they were never store bought. Granted, the idea that I wore hand sewn clothes wasn’t the most popular. Just as trends go in and out, practice makes perfect all the same. I still believe my creativity and fashion sensibility stemmed from an in-house seamstress.
A few random facts to note –
15. I have a serious jean fetish. At one time, I counted 35 pairs of jeans in my closet. I’ve had given my closet a good purge or two since then, dramatically decreasing that number with realization that it’s not practical or needed in any regard. Shopping trips with my Mom growing up always, always, involved a fresh new pair of jeans. There’s something about the stitching, wash, and style that I love and I just cannot say no to. There are those who live in leggings, and then there’s me – forever in denim.
16. My ultimate favorite retailer will always and has always been J.Crew. I’ll forever remember the very first pair of Chino khaki shorts (entirely too short, now thinking about them) that I had to purchase to complete my first store experience. Could be the store layout, the modernized look, the classic and timeless pieces that have been in my closet for years .. J.Crew has my heart.
17. After Jonah was born, my type A, organized self dove into the realm of party planning. With a growing family and monumental birthdays to celebrate, I went extreme. Themed parties were my jam (and I believe still would be given an endless budget, time and a place of residence long enough to establish friendships and invitees). Pinterest had nothing on this Momma. Jonah’s zoo animal, Caillou (don’t even get me started on the now hated character), paint, and Ninja turtle parties were ones for the books. Sadly, Ellie only gathered one ‘shabby chic’ themed first birthday party under her belt before we moved to GA and Momma was partied out.
18. Tangent to the party planning, I also tapped into cake decorating. Google, YouTube, and several cake blog experts encouraged creativity. I thrived on a challenge (still do), learning new techniques to satisfy one order after the next. Each design and order topped the last, and I ultimately burnt out. Ellie’s birth allowed me an excuse to ease off the hobby a bit. In truth tho, the fun and therapeutic hobby turned into feeling undervalued. On occasion I’ll look at my past work and hold a sense of pride, surprised of my creative ability. That said, if I were asked to decorate and create again, I would in a heartbeat.
19. I have a huge sweet tooth. More so, a sweet tooth for chocolate. I must have at least some form of chocolate once a day. Wether it be a few Hershey kisses, or hot cocoa at night, the crave must be satisfied.
20. Coffee – I love it, am addicted to it, and am bit of a snob when it comes to it. Doing a quick tally, I’d say I spent roughly 6 years of my life working as a barista. I loved every minute of it – learning the ins and outs, science, and establishing a firm foundation in customer service. If you follow me in IG stories, you’ll know I make an afternoon coffee run to Starbucks. I’ll add tho, I am not a strict devotee to Starbucks – it’s just the closest coffee business within my school run pick up route. I love the mom and pop shops or roadside stands – they seem to have a stronger aromatic brew (see..told ya I was a snob.) My favorite caffeinated drink of choice is a triple soy latte with some sort of sugar free syrup to satisfy my sweet fix.
21. Second to coffee – my all time favorite drink of choice is carbonated flavored water. I know, it sounds odd, but it is so good. I always, always, must have at least 5 flavors of choice in the fridge. If low in stock, I’ll make it priority to do a Walmart run. Over the years, Safeway and Harris Teeter have been optional store brand choices to feed my fix. I’ve tried LaCroix, but it’s just not the same carbonation and imo, lacks the flavor. Favorite flavors include watermelon, fugi apple, and apple pear.
22. My most favorite snack are tortillas. I realize that, too, seems odd. But several years ago I was on this low carb kick and found the most delicious tortillas to accompany a recipe I had wanted to try. Mid afternoon you can usually find me hitting the refrigerator for a turkey tortilla, or eating one plain. Odd, I know.
23. I haven’t always been into fitness as much as I am. I can remember in high school my best friend would go to the gym often, and I’d roll my eyes at the time spent doing so. Now, on days where I miss a workout, something is off. Yes, I workout for the physical benefits, but a lot of it is for stress relief and mental clarity. I love a good sweat from a run, HITT workout, or cycle class – it’s freeing and sets me up for whatever is on the day’s schedule.
24. My most favorite color is green. Tho I think it’s not the most flattering on me, I do love the color in all regards. It signifies growth, renewal, nature and energy. All components prominent in my life.
25. Like most girls who grew up in the 90s, I love pop music and will gladly turn up any old school boy band song that comes on the radio. Growing older, and Patrick’s refusal to listen to my high school tunes, I’ve come to enjoy indie pop and alternative music. Some favorite bands and artists include 1975, Chvurches, Cold Play, and Halsey.
26. Several years back I suffered from muscle strain in my hip. I was forced to halt all running and was advised by my physical therapist to practice yoga. I attended one class and was hooked. With many benefits to list – injury healed, elongated muscles, mindful awareness – I made a conscious goal in January 2018 to practice yoga every day. Give or take 10+ days, I made it thru the year successfully and my practice has now become a nightly ritual. Much like my cardio workouts, yoga brings me mental clarity and focus. It’s a chance to decompress from the day and allow myself time for me.
27. You may have guessed by now, but I am a very organized person. Slightly OCD, I love all things orderly. I am a list person, clearly, and tend to go hay wire if my mind, tasks, or plan is all out of sort. Ever so often, Patrick likes to mess with me a bit to lighten up my tight strung way of run. He’ll purposely leave clothing unattended, pillows out of set sequence, or mess up a few paper piles. Tho it drives me crazy, an unravel to our tight ship is often needed. Not sure what I’d do without him and his lax character.
28. If it’s even possible to state – I am both a morning person and a night owl. I love the quietness both hours bring. Tho I should, I don’t sleep much, and have never been much of a nap person. This characteristic most likely correlates with the last – my mind is always on go-mode. I tend to be very productive in the early hours, so naturally the habit has stuck. I’d much rather be up being productive than sleeping precious time away.
29. My favorite verse, saying, mantra, and quote (all rolled into one) has always been Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” It brings comfort when feeling lost and joy in sorrow. He knows all and is all. Despite circumstances, and experiences we endure, He’s made us in His perfect image, and has planned it all out with the best of intentions. There’s no need to worry, for He always has and always will prevail.
30. Christmas is by far my most favorite Holiday. More so, the season that it lands in tops my list. Traditions, decor, memories, sights, scents.. all of it makes me so happy. In our household, it’s known that you do NOT state “Christmas is over” hours after gifts are open on Christmas day. Nor do you mention the idea of it ending at least until New Years. In my perfect world, Christmas (or the feelings it gives) would be present year round.
31. I laugh typing this, as it’s known amongst my closest friends and family, but it’s something I’ve always done and habits never die hard. Many have a morning routine and apply their makeup standing in front of a mirror. I, on the other hand, sit in the sink. It’s quite comical, but in choosing the homes to live in (and building our first home) I made sure the master bathroom sink was low enough to climb up, and sit comfortably for my morning way of run. I’ll even climb up and sit happily in a hotel bathroom, or when staying with friends make myself home. Quite possibly one fact that’s new to most reading. Told ya you’d learn something new!
32. Pet peeves to list include the obvious – any unorder to my day. Messed up piles, unfolded laundry, toys out of bins, slow internet .. (told ya the ship is tight). Others to mention that Patrick has reminded me of are touching my face, and dare I say it, bad grammar.
33. Tho it may not seem as such, I am an introvert. I tend to set close boundaries when it comes to stepping outside my comfort zone. I’d rather stay indoors, and often make excuses to not participate in social events. I am not entirely sure why, but feel that at times I am hard to approach and am slightly intimidating. So, I fearfully close myself off from the ‘what could be’ scenario all together. I always surprise myself and have a good time when my guard is let down, I socialize a bit, and say yes to sharing who I am. Tho I enjoy keeping to myself, the trait isn’t one I am particularly proud to mention. Quite possibly one reason I have chosen the blog as my way of expression. Still behind a screen, yet an open book to share. I am working on it.
34. Favorite shows to watch are reality based. Slightly embarrassed to admit, I love all the MTV scripted or forced reality shows. Teen Mom, 16 and pregnant, Siesta Key… I know, I am 37 years old and I cannot relate to any of the drama, but it’s fun to watch, nonetheless. I also love watching old sitcom reruns of those watched when younger. Friends, and Seinfeld are top picks. And if we are talking acting entertainment – Patrick can attest I am the best and worst person to watch a movie with. The best – because I cannot for the life of me remember what I’ve seen and haven’t seen! Endless choices for a movie night in! The worst – I ask questions. Unless it’s a mindless chick flick, I am impatient in learning the plot and must know how it all ends. Maybe that’s why he watches so many movies while on work trips…
35. My most favorite place on earth is the beach. More specifically Caswell Beach, Oak Island, NC. I’ve written before how I’ve adopted a love for the sea, and how special this place is to our family. There’s just something serene when there. It’s as if all cares are set aside and I feel at peace.
36. Back in 2015, I was invited to an online Keep Collective jewelry party. I immediately fell in love with the pieces, but more so, in love with the meaning they held and the ability to share your story in a unique and personal way. I signed up for the jewelry alone, without intentions of anything more. My why has changed over the course of three years, but I never would have imagined the friendships, stories and memories made had I not given this designer’s life a try. To date I’ve helped design over 2300 stories (120k+ in sales) – ones that are meaningful, purposeful, valuable and worth being told. Your story makes you, YOU.
37. Which comes to the reason for creating this blog. I am grateful for all that this designer’s life has taught me. Yes, being a Keep designer has truly opened my eyes to the importance of sharing who I am. Even if it’s thru something as small as a bracelet on wrist. This blog is an extension of that. I’ve put into practice a way of self expression. It’s evident my love for fashion, style, and a good sale are a large portion of what is shared here. If you’ve made it this far down the read, you are a rockstar – and I appreciate you taking the time to learn a bit more (okay, a lot more) about me. My hope is that you continue the follow, enjoy all that’s shared, and see the value in being independently you. Cheers to 37 years and all that makes me, Me.