Thursday, September 8, 2011

1981 - a birthday project

the big 3-0 is a mere 30 days away. and you may be aware of the fact that i love birthdays. all birthdays. it doesn’t matter whose birthday or how old they are. i love them and think they should be celebrated. 

this year, however, i’m going to do something a little different. it’s a gift to myself, really, but i hope it inspires a few others as well. plus, it costs nothing which is perfect for our new budget. each day leading up to the big day, i’m going to record a piece of my history. writing down these fragments of my life is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. i truly believe our lives and experiences and feelings make each of us who we uniquely are and I feel that should be recorded.
so, i’m finally giving myself just that – a life full of ups and downs, goods and bads, significants and nots, all etched in {virtual} stone. thirty years that have made me me.

first, an introduction.

it was 1981. ronald reagan took oath as our 40th president. walter cronkite stepped down from CBS. the space shuttle Columbia launched for the first time. sandra day o’connor became the first female supreme court justice. the first delorean sports car rolled off the assembly line. a first-class postage stamp cost 18 cents. pac-man fever ran rampant. MTV made its debut. IBM introduced its first PC running MS-DOS. AIDS was identified. prince charles wed princess di. katherine hepburn and henry fonda won best actress/actor for on golden pond. tom cruise made his feature film debut. physical by olivia newton-john spent 10 weeks at no. 1. and, in nutritional news, the FDA approved the use of the artificial sweetener, aspartame (nutrasweet). 

it was a big year. 

and just like eli manning, alicia keys, paris hilton, jessica alba, justin timberlake, josh groban, beyonce and britney, i was born. 
{blessing day, november 1981}

i was the third of four children born to corey mcrae kinnersley and karen sue smith. i tipped the scales at 6 lbs. even and came with a full head of thick, black hair. my eyes were brown with a green tint and my skin was olive like my mom’s – thanks to our french roots. oh la la. 

my two older brothers, scott and dan, anxiously awaited my arrival and, i’m told, really liked having me around. those amiable feelings must not have lasted long, though, because i don’t remember them in the slightest. i recall two big brothers sitting on me to enforce silence {scott} and chasing me around the house – knife in hand – to add some scare factor to our day-to-day i suppose {dan}.
{dan and maren, december 1981. yes, i was fat.}

being the first girl, my mom said she loved to dress me in all things frills, tights and pink. i spent the first decade of my life in west jordan, utah where we welcomed my little sister kelli {i spent years wishing she was a boy, and even tried calling her brian}. we then moved to south jordan, utah and eventually to the east bench where i went to high school. my dad passed away when i was 11 years old and my mom remarried a few years later, adding 1 step dad, 4 step sisters and 2 step brothers to our family.  i’m now the 8th of 10.

as a child, i enjoyed roller skates, books, friends, piano, and ballet. i did not enjoy gymnastics or sports mostly because my sister always advanced to my level and then beyond before me. so, naturally, i quit.

i was always busy, especially in high school where i participated in student government, national honors society, four AP classes and three choirs while working part time at einstein bagels {sometimes waking up at 3am to begin the daily baking}.

i attended college at brigham young university in provo where i was altogether too serious. i spent lots of late nights at the library and only missed one class. ever. i earned scholarships every semester and worked part time during the school year and full time during the summer to pay for the remainder of my entire education by myself, eventually earning a degree in communications with a minor in business.

it was there i met ryan. i guess the library was good for more than studying? we lived in provo for three more years while he finished up and i worked a few different places, but most notably the counseling and career center on campus. i met with students earning below a 2.0 GPA and in danger of being suspended from the university. if you’re curious, they were mostly unhappy about being in my office, but it was a fantastic job.

in 2007, ryan and i moved to mountain view, ca where we lived for four and a half years and welcomed our daughter, leah. 

and, in 2011, our still-family-of-three packed up and moved across the county to new hampshire. which brings us to the present…


Michelle said...

ooh, this makes me excited for the next month of blogging from you!

ed and kelli said...

love it. :)

Karen Hauley said...

i'm pretty sure these posts will bring more than a few tears and many, many memories. Oh, how I remember when you were born! When they said, "It's a girl!", I said, "Don't lie to me!" But sure enough - all girl. Can't wait to read more about your life . . .

Mary said...

What a great idea!

carolee said...

Ooooh, I love your blog projects! This will be lots of fun to read. :)

Amelia said...

I love this idea!! Way to celebrate YOU!!! You are so great and I am glad I know you! Happy 30 until 30!! It will be fun to read all of these, and when I catch up to you in a few years, I may have to copy this awesome idea.