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10 Things You Probably Never Wanted to Know About Us

October 27, 2009

Loren's 3rd Grade School Picture--Aww the crooked smile years! ;o)

1.  I’m short, but Caitlin isn’t. Actually,  I’m 5′ 2 3/4″ tall, but I usually say I’m 5′ 3″ because that’s easier.  (Trust me, at this height the extra 1/4″ should be a gimme!)  In grammar school they used demean us by lining us up for school pictures in height order:  shortest to tallest.  I was always second in line, the only person shorter than me was a boy named Binky Braxton.  (Kinda rude to give a short guy a name that is slang for “baby pacifier,” eh?)

Caitlin is taller than me by several inches, but we haven’t measured her lately to know exactly how many.  (I upped the height factor in my gene pool by marrying a tall dude–6 feet tall!)  My mom, sister, and I are all approximately the same height; so in our family Caitlin is known as “the tall one.”

2.  I get a lot of mail addressed to MR. Loren McCraney. It would seem some people think Loren is a boy’s name; therefore, I have a male alter-ego with excellent credit!  (I just hope he doesn’t do anything to ruin my reputation!)  Most people would be offended if they received mail addressed to the opposite gender, but I’m not!  I positively love my name, thanks mom and dad!  And I love the spelling and pronunciation of “Loren” as opposed to “Lauren.”  Being the southern gal that I am, “Lauren” and “Laurie” is a given in almost any social circle, “Loren” makes me distinctive!

When I was a kid my parents called me “Lori,” and a lot of family or people who knew me as a little girl still do.  I took it upon myself to change my name to my given name when I was 13–some people adapted, some never did.  ;o)  And that’s okay, it’s a sentimental childhood memory now.  (As a goofy side point:  I still have my first personalized bike tag, Lori is emblazoned across it for all to see, along with a graphic of a cheery bunch of balloons.)

Caitlin - 3rd Grade - Too Cute!

Caitlin - 3rd Grade - Bloomin' Wordsmith!

3.   A dictionary full of our vocabulary comes from Caitlin! Caitlin learning to speak was a time we still treasure and memorialize by keeping her Caitlinese as part of our daily conversations.  Caitlin’s dad is uber handy–quite literally can fix anything he puts his mind to, and this is a fact Caitlin picked up on early!  As a 2-year-old she’d irreparably demolish a toy then hand the remains over to her dad saying, “Fickit pweez, Daddy!!!,” with complete faith and confidence in his ability to resurrect her toy rubble.  To this day, if something breaks I say, “FICKIT pweez!”  Caitlin hasn’t stopped adding to our vocabulary, she’s always inventing a new word which pleases me no end (this is a trait she happened to inherit from me, go figure!).  Within recent years, she added “crell” due to her dear old Irish dad, who (as Caitlin puts it) cries and yells over various calamities, also known as “crelling.”  Any sort of tantrum is now a crell!

4.  I was a 12-year-old champion leg wrestler! Okay, so I wasn’t officially recognized as a Champion, but I could and did best grown men!  If you have never leg wrestled before, guidesontario.org provides us with a nifty image explaining this challenging sport:

Leg Wrestling Tutorial!

Leg Wrestling Tutorial!

My dad noticed my bloomin’ talent as a leg wrestler and happened to share his pride in my accomplishments with one of his buddies.  The buddy had not heard of this sport, and wanted a chance to beat The Leg Wrestlin’ Champeen (me).  From the look on his face, he thought he was a shoe-in to whoop up on a 12-year-old GIRL, but lo and behold…bing, bang, boom–I flipped him!  The crowd roared!  (Probably just me!)  Dad’s buddy thought it was a fluke, and asked for a rematch.  Gritty determination in my eyes, the title on the line, I OWNED HIM AGAIN!  Applause!  I beat that poor man four times before he finally tucked his skinny little legs underneath his torso, gently whimpered, and left in humiliation.

5.  Caitlin’s budding career as a Xerox machine! I assumed when Caitlin was born that she would love to sketch as much as I always have, and awaited those first drawings with bated breath!  Sure enough, Caitlin began her drawings with a completely different tack than anyone could have guessed!  She would make various scribbles resembling stick figures, and generously repeated the exact same drawing as many times as it took for every member of the family, guests, neighbors, and friends to have that particular sketch!  I used to call her my little Xeroxer.  ;o)  Sketching wasn’t her passion, but she did learn a lot about making people happy with handmade creations!

6.  My superpower is being able to tell if a woman has a big butt from seeing only her torso while sitting at a desk. I don’t know how I developed this power or if I was born with it, I just know it is a gift that can be used to assist mankind.  Are you a guy on an internet dating site?  Think you have snagged a date with the girl of your dreams, but she only has pictures of herself from her waist up?  For the right fee, I can tell you if she indeed has a super-butt!

7.  Caitlin’s superpower is making the grocery store pay her money to take food. A couple of years ago Caitlin decided she wanted to cook, and she’s now our little gourmet chef!!!  No one has been happier about this talent of hers than me!  We discussed food budgets and she took it to the next level!  Caitlin is the Queen of all Coupons!  She coordinates with the store specials like a culinary budgeting magnate!  I’ve never seen a teenager so happy to get a bargain as this kid, truly a chip off the old block, but she has surpassed mom at nabbing supermarket bargains by far!

1st cake I ever baked!

1st cake I ever baked!

8.  The first cake I ever baked was my sister’s wedding cake! Fearless, I tell ya!  The gutsy DIY spirit runs deep in my veins!  I gathered up Martha Stewart recipes, went over to my mom’s house, and forced mom into servitude as my Martha Stewart Team.  We made our own almond flour, and baked cakes until they stacked to over 4 feet tall!  I pressed my grandfather into service to make wooden tier separators with dowels.  My dad rolled out the giant circles of fondant to cover each tier and helped me apply it.  I made hand-tinted and sculpted sugar (gum paste) flowers, and my hubby helped make a few himself!  I covered all our foibles in the fondant by piping on cornelli lace and adding the hand sculpted sugar flowers.  Are there things I’d do differently and have learned since?  Of course!  After the wedding was over, I found out that the gum paste flower technique is above master’s level in cake decorating!  Ha ha!  Leave it to me to start with the most ambitious level possible!  And yes, I baked the groom’s cake too!

9.  Caitlin has a serious purse addiction! She loves Fossil, Dooney & Bourke, and any other unusual handbag.  Caitlin craves creative designs and colors, and also has a thing for the organizational aspects of a purse.  Her Granny supports this obsession of Caitlin’s by adding to her treasure trove.  On Caitlin’s side of the house near her bedroom and bathroom there is a whole wall displaying the purses in her collection!

Monet ;o)

Monet - Our Furry Kid of a Toy Poodle!

10.  We have the sweetest and most well-trained toy poodle in the history of mankind! Monet is a rescue poodle we found on petfinder.com in 2003.  He was abused before he came to us, but he has been nothing but a blessing to our family–he’s Caitlin’s little furry brother!  I’ve protected him with my own life (true story:  saved him from a pit bull attack!), and he has saved us from death by electrical fire and falling trees!  One of the really great things about Monet is that he never disturbs anything that isn’t his own toy or food!  If we drop a button or a crystal it’s safe around him!  There’s so much I could say about this little guy, but we’ll leave more Monet stories for another expos’e on Fruits of the Bloom and our bloomin’ clan!

We hope you enjoyed these little fun facts about us!  We are dying to hear at least 1 quirk, habit, or addiction you have!  We want to know more about you, our Bloomin’ Readers!  C’mon, consider our comment section your little confessional–we’ll never tell!  ;o)

xox,

Loren & Caitlin

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