I can remember the first time I walked into Mothersville and was greeted warmly and ebulliently by the sling-wearing mama behind the counter. In the 5+ years since then, I've had the privilege of getting to know that amazing woman and counting her among my best friends. And so in honor of her birthday, I present:
36 Things I've Learned About Kristy
1. Her atheism does not preclude superstitious gestures at railroad crossings, yellow lights, and lamp posts.
2. She does not wear gold jewelry, ever.
3. She can eat the spiciest foods, but crusty bread is her mouth's kryptonite.
4. She is probably planning something very ambitious right now.
5. Any bristlings toward authority and structure are trumped by the passion she has for her work and her students.
6. If her kids could be safely and happily transplanted for a week, she would be on an outbound international flight within the hour.
7. She is averse to nicknames.
8. She would kick ass at any cooking-based reality program that requires quickly coordinating and preparing a meal for a small army of people.
9. She does not suffer fools gladly, and flakes even less so.
10. She has yenta'd a lasting marriage between the "Simply ..." line of juices and vodka.
11. She is not afraid of confrontation and can disagree without holding a grudge.
12. She is not afraid of anything that can't kill her or her loved ones.
13. She knows way more about Days of Our Lives than you'd expect.
14. Her tendency to think in complete, correct, witty sentences allows her to write her column in about 14 minutes.
15. Her only outward signs of drunkenness are conversational repetition and throwing up.
16. She offers advice humbly, even when she knows something up, down and sideways.
17. She loves giving unexpected gifts.
18. She gains no joy from the suspense of keeping something a surprise.
19. She considers ice cream an acceptable dinner, but sandwiches not.
20. She doesn't like the stereo cranked up.
21. She is quick to apologize.
22. She loves her some Oxford comma.
23. She is highly squeamish about the gastrointestinal functions of humans over age ten.
24. She doesn't want to hear about how that thing causes cancer.
25. She can name nearly every plant, tree or flower she sees.
26. She remembers almost everything.
27. She really, really does not want another dog. Ever. Really.
28. Given the option, her shoes will be off.
29. She can be as deeply absorbed in young adult pop fiction as medieval literature, and vice versa.
30. She protects herself from the evening news and other sources of unnecessary negativity.
31. Her smile can fill an entire room, and the absence of it can suck all the air out.
32. She actually likes break-out groups and will happily volunteer to speak for the team.
33. She finds baking to be too constrictive.
34. Her dedication to her family is immeasurable and unwavering.
35. She is highly skeptical of compliments about her appearance.
36. She is stunning.