Friday, January 26, 2018

Five Facts About Me

Happy Friday, friends!  If you're on Instagram you've likely seen the five facts tag in instastories.  Earlier this week I was tagged by my sweet friend, Beth of Our Pretty Little Girls.  I thought this would make for a fun Friday five post, so rather than answering the tag in instagram stories, I'll share here today! 

One  //  Travel is one of my greatest passions.

If I had to, I'd give up internet and television (and maybe even chocolate!) to fund our adventures.  The memories created on our travels, whether near or far, are absolutely priceless to me!  Thankfully my husband shares this love.  Keeping in mind that our daughters may marry hubby who aren't adventurers at heart, we have the next few years of vacations planned out to hit all the "must visit" places on our travel wishlist before our oldest graduates high school.  Within the next two years we have plans to take them to ten states they've never visited.  We also have Disney magic on both coasts as the end destination for those vacations, naturally. ;) Adventure awaits!

Two  //  My life is a musical.

While I don't play a single instrument, music has been one of the joys of my life from the beginning.  As a child I ended each day one of two ways, either in my bedroom dancing to records with my mom and little sister or falling asleep in front of the television watching MTV (when they actually played music videos).

Once my parents used music as a creative form of punishment for me.  Instead of receiving a typical "grounding", they once sentenced me to a month of listening to only country, the one genre of music I hated.  Still to this day we'll be out shopping and a country song from that era will play.  My husband doesn't even have to ask how I know every word by heart.  It was clearly popular during my month of country.  Want in on a secret, I don't even mind it now.  Well played, parents! ;)  

As an adult, music has continued to play a huge role in my life.  It's actually what brought my husband and I together.  If my walls could talk they'd say that there's a real life musical taking place in our home.  All it takes is a single word to send me into a song.  It's been joked that I'm a human jukebox.  I may not always sing in key, but music is one of the biggest parts of me.

Three  //  I've had two favorite colors in my lifetime, each with incredibly sweet ties to my heart.

As a child I loved the color yellow!  My room was painted yellow, but that's not all.  My dad asked me, "What color should I paint the house?"  Sure enough, he painted it yellow.  He also built me a playhouse that looked like a smaller version of our home, painted yellow as well!  (No wonder I'm a daddy's girl.)  Since our youngest daughter was very small her favorite color has been yellow.  This cheery color has such a special spot in my heart.

I absolutely loathed the color pink until I had my first baby girl.  Shopping for and receiving gifts of all things pink, frilly, and feminine forever changed my view of this perfectly pretty color.  Our oldest was born just before December.  Jason decorated the front of our home in all pink lights, both in celebration and announcement of her arrival!  It's been my absolute favorite ever since.

Four  //  I've traced my family history back to the year 1066!

I'm fascinated by history, especially family history.  I've researched and traced my family history all the way back to my 31st great grandfather, Engelram De Alfreton, who lived in Derbyshire, England from in 1066 - 1090!  

Here are three relatives I've been especially intrigued by:

Nathan and Sarah Northrup
my 7th great grandparents

My 7th great grandfather, Nathan Northrup, fought in the Revolutionary War.  I love that I can trace my heritage back to such historical events in my nation's history!  However, I find his wife, my 7th great grandmother, Sarah, to be even more fascinating!  I've come across multiple published documents that tell quite a tale about this great great great great great great great grandma of mine!  After she and Nathan raised five sons and a daughter, her husband died at the age of 77.  While most women would live out their remaining days quietly a widow, Sarah was unlike most.

The Most Aged Couple
(Retyped for easier viewing)

The following is recorded:  "In the year 1830, Alexander Howden, a Revolutionary solider, aged 83 years, and Mrs. Sarah Northrup, aged 98, residing in Athens above Sheshequin Narrows, became espoused and hoping for a quiet little wedding, took their bridal trip, staffs in hand, to Sheshequin.  But the magistrate, Samuel Gore, before whom they appeared, spoiled the anticipated plan by informing them that a few witnesses were necessary, whereupon he gathered enough neighbors to make a genuine surprise and the marriage ceremony was duly performed.  After the marriage, this unique bride and groom took their staves in hand again and started homeward.  Mrs. Northrup, who was known as "Mother Northrup" was the widow of Nathan Northrup.  She died in 1837 among her children in Monroe, aged 105 years.

One of the most fascinating things I read about her was, "When past 90 years, she would spin eighty knots of yarn in a day and when a century old she would take the floor and dance an old-fashioned step with the agility of a girl in her teens.  After becoming a centenarian, she would walk from her son's residence at Athens to the home of her children in Monroe, a distance of 22 miles."  Oh, to be as young at heart and energetic as my 7 times great grandma!

Joseph Northrup
my 10th great grandfather

From what I found on this side of my family, my 10th great grandfather Joseph Northrup was the first to come here from England, landing in Boston on July 26, 1637.  He was one of Eaton & Davenport's Company "of good character and fortune", who came over on the ship "Hector & Martha".  In 1646 he married my 10th great grandmother, Mary, who was born in Connecticut 19 years earlier.  I find it so fascinating how far back my roots go in both England and America!

Sir John Fortescue
my 17th great grandfather

Sir John Fortescue became the chief justice for King Henry VI's bench in 1442.  He was knighted a year later.  When the King's army was defeated in Yorkshire in 1461 Fortescue fled with the king.  During this time he was appointed lord chancellor of the exiled government.  He wrote De Laudibus Legum Angliae (Commendation of the Laws of England) in 1470 for the crown prince's instruction.  This is said to be the first book about law written in a style simple enough to be understood by the layman.  

In this book he wrote, "Indeed, one would much rather that twenty guilty persons should escape the punishment of death, than that one innocent person should be condemned, and suffer capitally."  Today that is simply put, "innocent until proven guilty".  

My sources of research for information on Sir John Fortescue beyond have been Britannica.comWikipediaFact Monster, and Harvard Law Review.

Five  //  I believe that every day is a gift worth celebrating!

While birthdays and holidays are a big deal in our family, we also realize that our lives are made up of more days without big events upon their calendar squares.  Knowing that everyday moments make up the biggest part of our lives, we celebrate even the simplest of things!  For example, one tradition we have in our home is that whenever our family sees one of our birth dates on the clock (example my birthday is September 13th, so if the clock reads 9:13) we shout it out "9:13!  9:13!"  This sometimes leads to a one minute dance party!  We have several fun traditions unique to our family and we enjoy each of them thoroughly.

I believe that every day is "sprinkle-worthy", because when it comes down to it, we aren't promised tomorrow.  Today is a gift from God.  The breath in my lungs at this very moment isn't something I deserve or have earned in any way.  Thinking on this fills my heart with gratitude to God!  Whether I live to be 105 years old like my 7th Great Grandma Sarah or tomorrow is my last, the reality is this life is a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.  For this reason I praise God not only for the gift of this day of life, but also for the assurance of where I will spend all the tomorrows beyond my final breath.  If you aren't certain where you'll spend eternity I can't think of anything more important to square away right now.  The same God who created you in His likeness and has given you this day of life you're living, also made a way for you to be sure that you are in right standing with Him before you stand before Him.  God is so good to have made it crystal clear why we need Him and how to obtain salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He provided us with His Law, the Ten Commandments, to show us our need.  Seeing that I have taken His name in vain (using it as a swear word, "Oh my ---"), have lied (countless times over the course of my lifetime), have dishonored my parents (there was a reason for that aforementioned creative punishment my parents gave me), and while I've never taken a life Jesus said, "You've heard it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;  whoever insults his brother will be liable to council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to hell of fire." (Matthew 5:21-22).  God is so holy that He sees even anger as murder at heart.  While some may think, "The 10 Commandments are in the Old Testament, that's not applicable now after Jesus came."  In Matthew 5:17 Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."  He did exactly that in living the perfect life that He alone could, being fully God and fully man in the the person of Jesus Christ.  Then Christ willingly shed His spotless blood as the only acceptable payment for the full debt of our sins.  When we repent (ask for forgiveness and turn from our sins) and place our trust in Christ, we are forgiven and offered eternal life!  For someone as undeserving as I, this is reason to rejoice and celebrate each and every day I'm blessed with here on Earth and will spend throughout eternity to come, with a heart of gratitude and joy unspeakable!  Out of the sincerest care for you, sweet readers and cherished friends, I pray you'll know the hope that's offered to you through Christ alone!  

Thank you so much for allowing me to share five facts about myself!  This was a fun post to put together and I hope you got to know me a bit better through it.  I'd love to hear any commonalities we share, or a random fact (or five) about you in the comments section below!


Celebrating 1,000 Weeks of Marriage!

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  1. Well I did not think possible but you made em LOVE YOU MORE!! Yes my sweet sista, sprinkle worthy days each and every day for these blessings bestowed upon us! I adore the birthday shout out, that you traced your genealogy that far incredible!! I had a yellow bedroom as a girl too! YOU shine light, you make us all wanna dance to the music, follow our dreams, travel to places unseen and LOVE LIFE!!! You are a true gem in this world Brenda and I appreciate you so! xo

  2. I love this post! I know we just met but it seems we have a lot in common! I love travel, but I don't think I'd give up internet for it...or maybe I would! I like that month of country punishment, I might have to try that! I love the birthday on the clock thing. My bff used to do that! I also love genealogy. I can only trace mine back to the late 1800s, I wish I could go as far back as you did!

  3. That is amazing that you traced your family history so far back! So interesting!! Pink is actually my favorite color. I think that yellow is so you too because you are such a bright spot in this world and like Andrea said you shine light. :-) Keep being a ray of sunshine in a sometimes cloudy world. I also hope that you have a wonderful weekend! :-)

  4. You are such a delight, sweetest friend! I love each and every little thing about you! Your passion for living life to the full--literally celebrating every minute--is one of my favorite things about you! I've never met someone so celebratory, and I LOVE IT! You know how to make everyone around you feel SUPER special! You're the best, Bren! Love you BUNCHES!!!!!!

  5. WOAH I cannot believe you traced your lineage so far!! I have been saying that I'll start doing that, and I think it's finally time. I hope you have a great weekend, friend!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

  6. You are making me want to trace my family back now. :) That is really interesting... I try to get a lot of information from my parents, because they are getting older and I just worry so much will be lost with them. Pink was actually my favorite color as a girl and I even painted my bedroom HOT pink. The dance party when the clock hits birthday numbers is a fun family tradition. :) Have a beautiful weekend!


  7. I am loving this post, Brenda! I feel the same way when it comes to travel. I'd give up tv and internet in an instant if it meant I could travel non stop! Making life long family memories are so important to me too! Tomorrow is never promised. That is so true. Many times I need to stop and remind myself of that. Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Love your post! I love travel as well! It looks like you have been some fun places!

  9. I try to make each day special with my boys and we love to travel; though we don't get away nearly as often as I'd like.

  10. I love reading stories about my ancestors and you’re amazing for being able to trace yours back so far! Wow! Have an amazing weekend!!

  11. I wanted a baby girl so badly, I wore pink underwear and a pink shirt to our ultrasound. God blessed us with a girl!

  12. So much happiness in this post friend! 1066, WOW! That is SO stinking cool. I also found myself nodding my head in agreement over the color pink. I was never a big pink fan before being a girl mom too.

  13. Your travel pictures are beautiful. I love to travel too. We have a Disney World vacation planned for November, and I'm getting really excited about it already!

  14. I love this post! Yellow is such a cheery color. Now that our kids are getting older we hope to travel more. We are lucky to both be teachers and have our summers so we need to take advantage of it!

  15. Whoaaaaa! So fascinating about your family history! We haven't talked about that in awhile, but I haven't researched mine in a long time. And you got pretty far back with your research. So awesome!
    Looking forward to your travels coming up!! ;)
    P.S. For some reason I was talking to Matthew about MTV, not that long ago, and I literally said those exact words: "when they actually played music videos". lol


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