While I wouldn't call myself a "pack-rat," I've always been a "saver" of things that are special to me. When Ryan married me, he quickly learned he would also be acquiring many heavy tubs, full of my keepsakes. (He's had to lug these tubs up and down apartment steps and attic steps during several moves.)My great aunt Mert got me started scrapbooking when I was young, and I fell in love with the creative kind of scrapbooking that exists now after I found out I was expecting my first son. Over the years I have made scrapbooks for family members, and I've started a few (completed this one of my early years) for myself. I hope this project will spur me on to finish my other scrapbooks I have started. Maybe my kids will be interested in them one day, and I sort of see it also as an acknowledgment to my parents - that I loved my childhood, and I'm proud of the life they gave me.
What I had written on this page:
Mom and Dad went to her regularly scheduled doctor's appointment on July 22. The doctor told her to stay in town (We lived about 40 minutes away.) because she would probably have me soon. They ate lunch at Mexican Villa (surprise, surprise) and back at the hospital, Mom got really sick. The doctor started laughing as soon as he saw her and said he should have warned her not to eat spicy food. I was born at 8:25 p.m. that night at St. John's.
19-20 years later, while sitting in one of our elementary ed. classes, Julie and I had great fun discovering that we not only shared a birthday, but we also shared the same hospital nursery.
She wouldn't have recognized me, though. I hope I've changed a lot since then. (Although, I think I do still make that expression.) I weighed 9 pounds and 12 ounces. I apparently inherited the ability (curse?) of bearing big babies; my daughter was 9. 10. (Although, unlike me, my Mom was the superwoman who gave birth to her large babies without surgery.)
My pretty momma and handsome daddy were married in February, when my Mom was barely 16, and my dad was 19. In September, my big brother was born. (You do the math. I remember when I was in elementary, telling friends that my brother was born really early because I couldn't have imagined any other explanation.) 2 years and 10 months later, my brother got a sister. (My parents have now been married 38 years! I'm SO proud of them for making it work.)
Matt and I were (are!) typical brother and sister: fought a lot and played and loved a lot, too.
There is no significance to my first name: Jenny (officially Jennifer). It was just a name my parents loved. They obviously weren't alone, as I think it was the top baby girl name in 1975. That's okay, though; I like my name. My Mom calls me Clara (or even Clara Sue), sometimes when I'm in trouble.
My middle name is Clara, which was my Dad's mother's name. (Don't my grandparents look like movie stars?) She unexpectedly died when my brother was a baby. My brother and sister-in-law carried the name on further by naming my niece Clara.
That's all I've got for now. My parents don't actually have very good memories of little things like our births, bless their hearts. I think taking care of 4 kids at such an early age zapped their memory processes. I ask her twenty questions, and she's like, "Hmm, I don't know," or "I don't really remember." My Mom won't even tell me if I was planned. "I wanted every single one of you. Of course." Me: "Yes, I know that. But was I planned, or was I a surprise?" She will NOT concede. She thinks that if she tells one of us we were a surprise, we'll think she loves us less. Silly Momma. I have really great parents.