Oh, I’m so thrilled to have been tagged to write about 6 things you didn’t know/didn’t need to know about me. Being tagged has helped me to feel more like I belong here in the world of REAL bloggers. Many thanks, Kimberly. And, that leads me to my first “thing” about me:
 Until recently, I have often felt as though I don’t belong. As though I’m on the outside looking in. Perhaps, it’s a function of being the 4th of 5 children or not having a voice in childhood — I’ve found it since — to be heard above the din in our home as I was growing up. Regardless of it’s origin, since getting married and having my 3 beautiful children, I have absolutely found the place in this world where I truly belong. A place where I am on the inside and others are looking in at, and choosing to become part of, the wonderful life we are living.
 Above almost any other activity, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to be swimming with the fishes — SCUBA diving, that is. I love the peacefulness and unexplored beauty of the underwater world. The quiet hum of my own breathing and the slow, graceful movement of all God’s sea-faring creatures… It is my Zen! I used to teach SCUBA diving and would jump in the water — pool or ocean — every chance I got… before work, after dinner or in the middle of the night! Whenever the tide was right. Though I have not gone SCUBA diving since having my children (sadly, it is contraindicated for pregnancy and nursing), I know that I will return to my favorite past time very soon. AND, I know that, when the time comes, my children will be my most avid SCUBA buddies as they love the water as much as I do. But, most especially, it is my daughter who eagerly awaits coming of age to be SCUBA certified and who I happily anticipate sharing this beautiful underwater world with.
 MY favorite color is ORANGE. Surprised? Actually, not many folks I’ve met choose this vibrant yet warm color as a favorite. It reminds me of a beautiful summer sunset; of Halloween, my favorite holiday; of autumn leaves; and of a warm and cozy hearth fire or camp fire… roasting marshmallows and listening to my mother’s or husband’s beautiful guitar strumming. It brings me peace to see it and be near it. As such, I love to wear orange and to decorate with orange (not highly recommended by HGTV, by the way). I have 3 bright orange jackets/coats. So bright that folks frequently comment that I must be a hunter. (LOL, I am SOOO NOT a hunter!). My great room is painted 2 shades of orange like a sunset. And, I have a large, orange sectional that brings out the orange accents in the area rug in that room too! And, as of yesterday, I even have an orange cell phone. YEAH! As a matter of fact, I have so much orange clothing for myself and for my children that we actually have a separate “orange/red” bin that fills up and needs laundering just as quickly as my “dark” and “white” bins do. I think the color must suit me, though, because those closest to me are never surprised when I choose orange.
 I believe that we humans have free will and make our own choices and that things happen by chance… and, maybe sometimes, by circumstance. I don’t believe God is playing a great game of chess with us little people down here on earth and that all the moves are predetermined. Which, of course, seems like a direct contradiction to my very strong belief that I was destined to have these beautiful boys — my identical twins who happen to have Down syndrome. That said, I do believe that God intervenes on our behalf when necessary. As such, I always feel like the song “Amazing Grace” was written about me… when God intervened and gave me these heavenly children. Almost 15 years ago, my then boyfriend (now husband and father of my children) and I were seated in an IHOP in Kansas City, Missouri with friends who were all mesmerized by a 3-year-old boy with Down syndrome at the next table. My beau stole infrequent and uncomfortable looks while everyone else went outwardly ga-ga over this handsome child. Once outside, I questioned his reaction saying that we had not been together so long that if he were uncomfortable with the possibility of having a child with Down syndrome — as this was “always a possibility being I am 8 years his senior” — it wasn’t too late for him to go his own way. Obviously, he did not choose that path but instead chose the one with me and, happily for both of us, these incredible children. Upon the boys’ DS diagnosis at birth, we both immediately hearkened back to that brief, but apparently poignant enough to remember, conversation. In hindsight, it certainly seemed a glimpse into our future. And admittedly, my husband and I both feel strongly that we were “meant” to have these boys. God’s hand, I’m sure!
 Nature makes me happy. I’m the lady driving down the Southern State Parkway with a big grin on my face. No, I’m not having a funny conversation on my wireless phone! The smile and joyous feeling is the direct result of seeing the leaves changing colors almost right before my eyes. I LOVE nature! I like watching squirrels scurry around burying their acorns, birds sitting on the telephone wire or flying their migration formation, a hawk soaring overhead, a mouse scampering across the path, a cat basking in the sun, a happy dog walking — tail wagging — with his master. Heck, a flowering weed peeking through the crack in the sidewalk makes me happy. Nature is resilient. It exists despite man’s best efforts to thwart it! I like that! It makes me feel like I want to help restore and grow it versus break it down. And, that makes me feel good about me too — because I’m focused on conservation, environmental responsibility and preserving our planet for future generations.
 If you have children and watch Noggin, you might know the song, “I don’t like candy corn!” Well, here’s my 6th confession, I don’t like candy corn or, for that matter, any candy at all. Please Note: this statement excludes chocolate which is not candy but a food group unto itself. Right? Given my lifelong struggle to control my weight (that ‘c’ word might actually be part of the problem), it’s surprising even to me that I absolutely don’t like candy. Cookies, cakes, bread — and chocolate, of course — are my poisons… But, I could be starving and never touch a single piece of available candy. For those who know me… isn’t that sorta surprising?
OK, so now that you know things about me that you didn’t need to know, I have to figure out how to tag a few of my blogging friends and pay it [the fun] forward. Watch for that in my next and related blog : )