Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My 100th Post and 25 Things About Me

A couple months ago some of my blogging buddies (Beth Vogt, Melissa Tagg & Lindsay Harrel) participated in a 25 Things About Me Blog Theme and as I contemplated how I could celebrate my 100th blog post, I thought it might be fun to do a little 25 Things About Me post of my own!

I started blogging full time in February of this year, and, as of today, I've shared 100 blog posts on my blog. Wow. Somewhere around 95 I started to wonder if I'd run out of things to say... :)

So, without further ado, here are 25 random things about me.

1. I'm married to my high school sweetheart, David. We met when we were sixteen and I unashamedly chased him for nine months before he realized I was the most incredible woman on Earth. :)

2. My mom & dad were high school sweethearts and all three of my siblings married their high school sweethearts - crazy, huh? I've known my in-laws since we were all teenagers - and now we're all in our thirties.

3. My maiden name was VanRisseghem - pronounced exactly how it's spelled. Van-Riss-eg-hem. It's hard to learn how to spell Gabrielle VanRisseghem in Kindergarten, but by the time you learn it, you almost know the entire alphabet!

4. We live on the banks of the Mississippi. God opened up an opportunity for us to buy this house last year. I still pinch myself when I wake up in the mornings - it's absolutely beautiful.

5. I live in my hometown where my mom is the mayor - and I love it! Our community is big enough that I don't know everyone, but small enough that I can go to the grocery store and run into a handful of people I want to visit with.

6. I worked at a historic site for ten years - it was my dream job and I'd love to go back one day when my children are older.

7. I love pasta. All kinds.

8. I have four children, the youngest are twin boys. One of my earliest memories as a three year old child was running around the house with a ball under my shirt, pretending to be pregnant! Being a mommy has been my greatest dream and God has blessed me in big ways.

9. I have a phobia of wood ticks. Eww. They suck your blood - can it get any more disgusting than that?

10. I love watching golf on television - but I don't play it. I know - it's kind of weird, but it's so relaxing.

11. I love to travel. It doesn't matter where or for how long, but I love seeing the world.

12. I've been on an airplane at least once, if not two or three times, every year since 1996 - with the exception of 2010 & 2011, when my twins were very small - but I've made up for it by taking two trips BY MYSELF in 2012. :)

13. I bit my fingernails until I was twenty-four years old! It was a terrible habit I'd tried to break my whole life, but I finally did it when I was pregnant with my first child. Now I enjoy great nails! :) Ha!
Doris Day

14. I love old movies - almost anything pre-1965. I love Doris Day, Gene Kelly, Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Roc Hudson, Van Johnson, June Allison, Howard Keel, Lucille Ball, Maureen O'Hara, Elizabeth Taylor - the list goes on and on!

15. I have 17 biological aunts and uncles - and over 40 cousins! My dad is from a family of 9 and my mom is from a family of 10.

16. I LOVE historical fiction - both reading and writing it! The first historical book I read was Love Comes Softly by Jennette Oke - and I was hooked.

17. I made almost 1,000 flower pins last year. I had a booth at a craft fair with my sister-in-law and I sold quite a few (but have many more left). I started making the pins as a way to enjoy a creative outlet when my twins were still small - until I could start writing again.

18. I'm a huge fan of MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) and have been involved for seven years now.

19. I took ballet lessons on and off from the age of five until I was seven months pregnant with my second daughter at the age of twenty-six. Now I enjoy Zumba as my preferred method of exercising!

20. I love living in a state with four distinct seasons. Winter isn't my favorite, but it always makes Spring so much more amazing.

21. I write because it's like food for my soul. I thank God for my love of writing. Someone recently asked me how I find the time to be a wife, mother, volunteer, writer, etc. and I told them that writing energizes me to do all my other jobs well. It doesn't subtract from my life - it adds to it.

22. I'm an old-fashioned girl at heart. I often think I was born in the wrong century - but I'm reminded that God sent me here for such a time as this and my times are in His hands.

23. I'm wildly hopeful about my writing. My husband puts it this way: be hopeful, but don't get your hopes up. I know God has a plan - He's given each of us a gift - a commission to plant seeds of His Kingdom on this Earth through Faith, Hope & Love. However He chooses to use my writing, I'm wildly hopeful I can plant those seeds and see His Kingdom grow.

24. My husband and I disagree about how we're going to retire. We both want to travel the United States - but I want to do it in an RV and he wants to do it in a two passenger sports car, so we've come up with an agreement: whoever pays for our retirement gets to decide how we will see the USA! Maybe, if we play our cards right and follow Dave Ramsey's Plan, we can tow his sports car behind my RV. :)

25. I am a sinner saved by Grace. I was raised by parents of deep and abiding faith and I've never known a time in my life when Christ wasn't the center. My faith is the bedrock of my existence - but it hasn't always been an easy road to travel. I've had doubts that have shaken me, fears that have tripped me and questions that have stretched me - but through it all, I've had a faith that has sustained me. God defines my life, and orders my days, and I humbly seek His will.

So there's twenty-five random things about me in celebrating my 100th blog post.

What about you? I'd love to learn something random about you in the comments - and feel free to participate in this fun blog idea!


  1. What a great post. Even though I know you, it's fun to learn more! Maybe I should start blogging again & do this on mine!

  2. What a wonderful post, Gabrielle! It's so nice getting to know you better! : )

    We are similar in many ways . . .

    I married my high school sweetheart, too! On October 19th, my hubby and I will have been together for 26 years!! He had just turned 15 two days before, and I was still a couple months away from turning 15. We've been married for 19 of those 26 years! And I love him more every day!!

    I LOVE old movies, too!! I adore Gene Kelly and Judy Garland -- as well as Frank Sinatra!! Do you love For Me & My Gal as much as I do? :::the bells are ringing, for me and my gal. The birds are singing for me and my gal.::: Oh, and don't get me started on "Singing in the Rain." LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! :D

    I've been listening to Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland for a few years now, and just a few weeks ago, I started listening to Nat King Cole. When I was reading the beginning of A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman, I came across the mention of the song "Stardust." I googled it, and came across Nat's version of the song, and I fell in love! I've since bought 2 of his CD collections from iTunes, and I can't stop listening. :D

    And your #22 -- that's ME! Definitely an old fashioned girl at heart. My oldest daughter, who's 15, likes to say I have a "grandma lifestyle." Sheesh!! I guess it might seem that way to a 15 year old, lol. ;-)

    And of course, I love historical fiction as well!

    One weird, random thing about me is that I must wear socks to bed. Even in the summer. Yes. I. Am. Weird. LOL!

    Again, great post Gabrielle! Like I said, it's so wonderful to get to know you better. : )

  3. How fun!! Love the wedding pic. So romantic. I think I will do a blog post like this too. One thing you will read on my blog will be: I was born in a car. You'll have to read my blog to learn the details. ;))

  4. Loved this post and getting to know more about you, Gabrielle. Wow! That's a lot of aunts and uncles. Those pins are adorable. Do you sell them to online friends per chance? =)

  5. Loved to learn more about you and I love Zymba too.

  6. Fun stuff! I have ten random things on the bio page of my website: http://juliejarnagin.com/bio/

  7. "Wildly hopeful." I love that!

    And...we're movie twins!! I adore old movies...so, so much. :)

  8. How fun, fun, FUN getting to know you better! We have so much in common, it's scary. Except for the golf watching thing. I watch it take a nap because they talk in those smooth, low tones. :)

  9. I loved learning about you, Gabe! We should see old movies sometime while wearing your flower pins! I loved those. :) And I'm with Donna, golf watching? Huh. lol

  10. THAT is your back yard view?? I'm so jealous! I loved reading this!

  11. Laura - I didn't know that you blogged! You should start again - I'd love to learn more about you, too.

    Michelle - I love that we have so much in common - especially all the good things. :) That's too funny about your socks to bed - I almost always wear a sweatshirt and lots and lots of layers to bed - that's how I'm most comfy. :)

    Ruth - I can't wait to read your post!! Born in a car? Now that's a hook line that I need to know more about. :)

    Keli - I will mail one out to you tomorrow! I'll find one that will compliment your lovely array of purple clothing. :) Please message me with your address - you've sent me so many wonderful things these past few months, it would be a treat for me to send you something!!

    Cat - oh, a Zumba fan! Isn't it fun? Thanks for stopping by today.

    Julie - I can't wait to check those out! Random facts are the most interesting. :)

    Melissa - I've always been a wildly hopeful person. :) Old movies are the best! After we find a Chuck E. Cheese in Minneapolis and play skeeball, we'll have to rent an old movie! :)

    Donna - I think the smooth, calm voices and the relaxed atmosphere is what I love most about golf on television - plus, my hubby loves to watch it, so we're both happy!

    Jessica - thanks! I wish we lived closer...that's the biggest bummer about having online friends, isn't it? :) Too bad we can't get together and watch old movies. And golf on television is the best - I don't care what you and Donna say. :)

  12. Amy - yes, that was a picture I took last summer of my girls in their jammies right before bed. My backyard is a work in progress (my hubby is a landscape designer), but one day it will be perfect - or maybe not. He views his yard like I view my WIP - it's never quite finished... :)

  13. Love, love, love...and I love that I knew a lot of these already! :)

    Love what you said about hope. It's a hard line to walk. I tend to be more conservative and reign in my hope, but I know that God wants to give us good things. I'll just keep trusting that and see what happens.

    Can't wait to experience a real fall in less than 2 weeks!

  14. Loved this!! Sooo thrilled that you're an "old movies" buff like me! Aren't they just the greatest?! (One of my faves is The Enchanted Cottage w/Robert Young. :) )

    I have worn the lovely flower pin you gave me at conference and have received so many compliments. You should do a vlog.

    I know God has fantastic things in store for your writing ministry! :)

  15. Gabrielle,

    Congratulations on your 100th post! Good for you for sticking with it so faithfully - but then, from your 25, it looks like you're that kind of girl. Sometimes I wonder if faithfulness is being disregarded in this century... but I when I read posts like yours, it resonates with me, and I know that it's people like you who will keep faithfulness something rich and beautiful, no matter what century we're in.


  16. Lindsay - I wish you could have been here about a week ago, that's when the Fall Colors were magnificent! But, I'm so excited to have you coming soon - and hope with all your might, Lindsay, because God's plans for you are good! :)

    Cynthia - I love Robert Young and the Enchanted Cottage is such a great movie! I wish I would have known you were an old movie fan when we met at ACFW - we could have talked oldies for hours, I bet! I'm so happy you like your pin and you're getting good use out of it! They are so much fun, aren't they?

    Becky - thank you so much. Your words mean a great deal to me - and they resonate with my old-fashioned heart. Faithfulness and goodness, and all the Fruit of the Spirit, are vital in our Christian walk and I work at letting the Holy Spirit cultivate my heart soil so that the Fruit can grow to maturity and in abundance and then I can plant those same seeds into the hearts and minds of my children and all who I interact with. I'm touched that it's evident.

  17. Great list and I LOVE your flower pins. They're so beautiful.

  18. Happy 100th to my favourite 16 year old mother of four!!!!

  19. Johanna - thank you! I had fun making the flower pins, but it took up most of my evenings last summer! :)

    Jennifer - that's how rumors get started! :) Thanks for stopping by - I'm thinking about you as you prepare for Bolivia!!!

  20. Happy 100th blog post! A friend and I were once denied entry into Shenzhen China because we were traveling with diplomatic passports and the border agent wasn't sure that we weren't spies. P.S. - I like old movies too. "Bringing Up Baby" is my favorite. :-)

  21. Gwen - what an incredible experience! I've never been suspected of being a spy (well, except when my older brother talked to his girlfriend on the phone when we were younger - then he accused me of being a spy all the time)!

  22. Hey girl! Many of these could be on my list as well. You already know I'm a huge fan of MOPS, and, writing definitely sustains me through the ups and downs of motherhood. One thing you didn't know is that I'm also a huge fan of old movies. Give me a good song and dance number from the 50s or 60s any day of the week! My husband has always found that part of my personality strange, but it comes from peaceful times spent with older relatives watching movies like Easter Parade or Singin' in the Rain when I was younger.

    Here's hoping your writing journey is going well!


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