I turned 38 today! I’m feeling thankful and glad about that, to the praise of God’s glorious grace. In the spirit of celebrating life and choosing thankfulness, here’s a list of 38 random things about me. It’s kind of a long list because 38 is on its way to being a high number (ahem), and I’m chatty, even in written form. Enjoy!
- I was born a week early, and my parents weren’t quite ready for my arrival. The story goes that my mom was quickly packing her hospital bag after her water broke in the early morning while my dad jumped on the phone to request a substitute teacher for the day. At one point he infamously called out, “Janet, can you wait until 4th period to have the baby so I can just get a half day sub?” The answer was no, and he’s never lived it down.
- I grew up in Arcadia in the same house from the time I was born until I moved out to go to college. My parents still live there. My grandparents actually owned it first, and my mom lived there from when she was born to when she was four. Then my great-grandmother lived there, and my parents bought it from my grandparents in the 70’s.
- My maiden name is HasBrouck, and let me tell you- there’s a lot of pride in being a HasBrouck. We can trace the HasBroucks’ American history back to two French Huguenot brothers that came here from Europe in 1692. There’s a Hasbrouck historical society in New Paltz, New York where you can tour a few Hasbrouck homes. George Washington even stayed in one! I received a scholarship in college from the historical society. I had to make a copy of a genealogy page that my dad is listed on and submit an essay and transcripts. Basically, it pays to be a HasBrouck.
- You may have noticed that sometimes I capitalized HasBrouck, and sometimes I didn’t. Well, that’s because originally Hasbrouck did not have the capital B. My great-great-uncle was running for office in Des Moines, Iowa back in the day. He wanted to get the Dutch vote, so he capitalized the B to make it look like a Dutch name. He may have gotten the idea from some family history when there were ancestors living in Holland or Belgium. Some of us like the way it looks so we still use it, while others have dropped it.
- Personality typing is so fascinating to me! I’m an ESFJ and a 9 on the Enneagram. My top five strengths are woo (winning others over), communication, responsibility, positivity, and learner.
- When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an ice skater like Kristi Yamaguchi and a singer like Whitney Houston.
- When I was 4 1/2, one of the most influential events of my life happened- my sister was born. I can’t imagine myself without her.
After hearing a little about how close and similar Debbie and I are, my therapist said that we display some twin-like qualities. To which I responded, “REALLY? I LOVE THAT TELL ME MORE!”
- I’m a bit of an exclaimer. You probably already knew that.
A while ago, I was choosing some Berenstain Bears books to get for Savannah, and I remembered my favorites from childhood. There was Go to School, about Sister Bear going to kindergarten; Messy Room, when Brother and Sister Bear had to do a lot of organizing; Moving Day, when the Bear Family bought a fixer upper treehouse and did a big renovation; and New Baby, when Sister Bear was born. I liked realizing that the things I’m passionate about now were present in my little girl heart as well.
I was in marching band for 5 years- 2 years in jr. high and 3 years in high school. Seeing a (good) marching band makes me so happy.
- Books. Yes, please. So many good ones, so little time.
- Other favorites: fireworks, Christmas, cold weather, pancakes, peonies, anything aqua blue, podcasts, blogs, antique stores, and chocolate.
Hosting a party (large or small) brings me a lot of joy. It can be super tiring, but it’s not draining, if that makes sense.
I really love being a homemaker. Are we talkin’ meal planning? Decorating? Organizing? Housekeeping systems? The soul behind all of that? I’m all ears.
My practical side often holds back my creative side. It’s a classic head vs. heart situation. Still working out how to give both parts of me equal say.
I nerd out when I learn something new about science. This is particularly fun because I’m related to a well-known astronomer and author named Hugh Ross. I am very thankful for the work that he and my cousin Kathy do. And he makes holiday conversations fascinating. =) I’m slowly making my way through his book called Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job. So interesting!
- Boats are fun. I grew up going to Catalina for a week every summer on my Grandpa’s boat. Then my best friend in high school owned a boat, so I learned to water ski and wakeboard in (on?) Lake Havasu. And now I love any chance to go out on the water.
I love planning and using paper planners. Oooh, and pens. And pencils.
- I’m oddly good at underlining large writing on posters or a whiteboard (#teacherskills), but I’m horrible at it when I try to underline in a book or on a small piece of paper. So weird.
I have a bit of a potty mouth when I’m stressed. (Mom, don’t tell Dad!)
I love being at home, but I also love to travel. I’ve been to lots of amazing places!
- As a kid, my family traveled all over the United States. I’ve been to 39 states. Hawaii is my favorite.
For the three summer months between my 3rd and 4th grade years, my parents, sister, and I lived in the Philippines on the island of Cebu. We stayed with missionaries at a Bible College. My dad taught some summer session theology classes and my mom was the school’s librarian for the time we were there. I have some vivid childhood memories from that trip!
I spent a month living in an orphanage in the Ukraine on a missions trip when I was a sophomore at Biola. It marked me in many ways, and I’m so glad I had the chance to go.
Israel- part of my upper division Bible classes at Biola. Jesus is real, y’all. And he lived and died and rose again (!) in a real place. Wowza.
Austria, Germany, Hungary- missions trip when I was in my early 20s. So fun! Can’t wait to go back someday.
I went to Thailand (amazing place!) to visit my friend, Melanie, who was a missionary there, and then from there I flew to New Zealand for my elementary school best friend’s wedding. She’s Australian and went to college in New Zealand, so she had a destination wedding there. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve every been. Add it to your bucket list.
- I’ve been to Portugal twice to see my dear friends, the Shoemakers, who are missionaries. Loved it! And it was so fun to see their new life there.
Debbie and I went to Europe together. It was amazing. We went to France, Switzerland, Italy, and England. I would go again today if given the chance. And if someone would come pack everything a family of four needs in order to travel.
- I love writing, speaking, social media connections, real life connections, discipleship, mentoring, dating coaching, mothering. So many amazing ways to connect with others! But I hate when I let my insecurities and fear of what people think of me keep me from serving with my gifts. This is an ongoing struggle for me.
- I was an elementary school teacher for 11 years. I taught a few years of 5th grade, a couple years of a 4th/5th combo class, and ended my career in 4th grade. Upper elementary aged kids are so fun.
- I love being a mom. Gosh, the hours are rough, but the cuteness overload helps.
- I love church. By Thursday or Friday most weeks, my soul can just tell that it’s about time to go be with God’s people again. To sing songs together about his goodness and love. To submit to something bigger than myself. To be reminded of who Jesus truly is and who he says I am- a sinner saved by grace.
- I still can’t believe that I get to be married to Trav and be a mommy to Savannah and Cade. I do not deserve such sweet gifts from Jesus. Grace indeed.
- Trav and I are such a good fit for each other. Sure, our differences can cause conflict and drive me bonkers, but overall I am so very thankful to his wife.
- I want to say more about Jesus, but trying to figure out what to say is making me weepy and I need to wrap this thing up. Colossians 1:17 is coming to mind: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” So, all the things on this list- the fun, the interesting, the ordinary- it’s all orchestrated by him, for him, because of him, and so forth. I don’t want a life that makes sense without him.
- I love lists. And friends that read all the way to #38. Seriously though, I’m so thankful for you!