You all invite me into your homes and lives via your TVs and mobile devices all the time, and you know what I look like, sound like and probably a few things about my daughter, my UGA Bulldawgs and my likes and dislikes. But I thought today I'd share a few things you might not know about me.
I shared this on my Facebook page recently, but for those of you who don't follow me there, I thought I'd put it up on my blog as well. While I tried to narrow it down to 12 things since I do work at NewsChannel 12, I just couldn't because I'm a horrible decision maker (just ask my husband), and if you want me to narrow a list down, we're going to be here a while. So here are 12-plus things about me you might not know.
#1 - When I was born, I was the first child for my parents, the first grandchild for my grandparents on both sides and the first niece for two uncles and one aunt. To say I was spoiled would be an understatement.
#2 - My birth made five generations on my maternal grandfather's side of the family. It was even published in the local paper. And I had a lot of grandparents at birth – four grandparents, six great-grandparents and one great-great-grandparent. Today, I have one grandfather still living.
#3 - My addiction to chocolate obviously started early… it has not changed, but I'm not posting the grown up pictures of me looking like this.
#4 - I have been told I could swim before I could walk, that I could swim from one person to another at nine months old. My grandmother taught me (and all of my siblings and cousins) to swim. I am embarrassed to say I have still not taught my daughter how to swim, but she has been taking lessons. I wish my grandmother was still here to teach her.
#5 - I pretty much grew up on a boat with a fishing pole in my hand. OK, not literally, but I have been fishing almost as long as I've been swimming, and there are times in my early life where I was on a boat as much as I was on land. I have my grandfather to thank for that. He is an awesome fisherman! (and yes, I caught that dolphin) That's just how we do it in the FL Keys.
#6 - My desire to be on TV must have started early. I was on a TV show in South Florida called "Duck, Duck, Goose" when I was around five years old.
#7 - I had stitches as a child because I was trying to ride our dog like she was a horse. I fell off and my face landed on a rock. You can still see the scar on my upper lip today.
#8 - Speaking of horses, they were my life through my college years. I started riding around the age of seven and then went on to show in several circuits in South Florida. I owned a Quarter Horse nicknamed "Slick." I was even on the equestrian team at UGA my freshmen year.
#9 - Unlike my co-anchor, I really do love turtles. I was part of the "Save a Turtle" program in Marathon, Florida, a program which my grandmother helped get going. She and I would go out together most mornings and search our assigned beach for signs that a sea turtle had come ashore the night before to lay her eggs. If we found a nest, we were trained on how to dig it up and transfer the eggs to a hatching box that would then be taken to the nursery. Our beach was too close to sea level for nests to survive there. The high tide would kill the eggs. I have great memories of it.
#10 - I started snow skiing at the age of seven. Not a big deal for most, but it is when you live in the Florida Keys. Most of my friends had never seen snow. My grandmother took me skiing every year and that eventually turned into family ski trips as often as we could do them.
#11 - I know how to operate a Ferris wheel. During summers in high school, I worked at the Alpine Amusement Park in Helen, Georgia. I was one of the employees trained to run the Ferris wheel. The amusement park is no longer though. A tornado destroyed it a few years ago.
#12 - I have lived in Europe twice. The first time was to attend Lancaster University in England. The second time was while my husband was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Air Force. I was over there for his last six months – it was fabulous, especially the month we spent in Italy!
#13 - Speaking of the hubby, I am married to a U.S. Air Force veteran. I am so very proud he made the choice to serve our country.
#14 - I have now worked at a total of seven TV stations in 13 years. I started at a small cable station in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, then went to a station in Northwest Georgia, then a station in Atlanta, then Sioux Falls, South Dakota, then Macon, Georgia, then Omaha, Nebraska, and now New Bern, North Carolina. I hope to stop moving now.
#15 - I have what I consider a large family – three siblings (I'm the oldest), five first cousins and too many second and third cousins to count. I think my family feels like a large one because so many of us are very close, and we like to gather in large groups.
#16 - The two most influential role models in my life are my mother and my grandmother. They were two amazingly strong women, and they are certainly the reason I have become the woman I am today. You have probably heard me talk a lot about them - I lost them both to cancer within the last four years.