I originally shared this post last year, but over the last 12 months, my blog has continued to grow and I’m happy to welcome all the new faces around here! If you want to know some more about me—or ensure that you beat me in any game of 2 Truths & A Lie (because I’m probably going to pick from this list—this post is for you. I’ve updated it a bit since last year too. So in case you’ve been around that long, there are a couple of new facts for you!
I’VE BEEN BLOGGING SINCE 2009
I started blogging on Blogspot 10 years ago in March. My first blog was called Tales from a Time Out because I was on a “time out” from the University of Colorado. (Yes, that’s literally what it’s called when you take one or two semesters off.) It was a great creative outlet for me in a really dark time, but it was also very much 2009 Blogosphere. Later, I rebranded to just TFATO to try to avoid getting contacted about being a mommy blogger, thinking I couldn’t stray too far from the original name. I eventually changed it to Hannah, Here!, but my frequency slowed way down in 2016. Exactly 2 years ago yesterday, I started this iteration of my blogging life as Joy42. (You’ll still find plenty of traces of the name around this site. At least for now.) In 2019, I’m starting fresh with something simple: Hannah Drake. Clearly I suck at naming blogs, but I figured I couldn’t go wrong with my name!
I’M BOTH THE YOUNGEST CHILD AND THE MIDDLE CHILD
This is always a go-to in 2 Truths & A Lie. (See!) How is that possible, you ask? Half-siblings. I'm my mom's youngest child (of four), but I'm my dad's second child (of four). They share two of us, so I have five siblings total: two half-brothers, two half-sisters, and one full-sister. But half-siblings aren't really a thing in my world, only when I'm explaining my complex family tree to people--and of course during the subsequent test. In my mind, they're all my brothers and sisters and that's how I generally talk about them.
I WORKED AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
In August of 2010, I started working as a life guard as part of the College Program. It was an experience of a lifetime! It's a great conversation starter and looks pretty good on my CV. I wrote a full post about my experience, here.
I BROKE MY ARM IN KINDERGARTEN
I was at a friend's house up the street and we were--for some reason--playing "jail" in her mother's tomato garden. It was my turn to go to jail, so I climbed up and over the frame for the plants to get inside. It's worth noting, these were pretty tall, fairly sturdy structures. When I finally got set free, I climbed up and over to get out, but managed to fall from the top. I ended up breaking my right forearm, but I think my family just thought I was faking for a while because my grandma offered to treat me to Dairy Queen later and it wasn't quite the fix I needed. I got a lime green cast and it was pretty cool when they used that little saw to cut it off at the end.
I HAD HEART SURGERY TWICE
It's a bit more serious medical story, and one that happened within my first six months of life. When I was 11 days old, I had surgery to repair a coarctation of the aorta, leaving me with a scar along my left shoulder blade. When I was nearly five months old, I had open heart surgery to repair an atrial septal defect leaving me with a scar from my collar bone nearly to my belly button. I wrote about it more here last May.
I VOLUNTEERED AT SUNDANCE TWICE
And almost did a third year this year! In 2013, a friend of a friend who was living in Salt Lake City at the time mentioned applying to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival. That sounded really cool to me, so I decided to apply as well. I was accepted for the 2014 festival and then returned for the 2015 festival. Both times, I worked the late shift at the Park City Library, usually taking tickets or keeping count of how many people entered the auditorium (my favourite job) for the final two movies of the day. I still have a list on my phone of all the celebrities I saw over those two festivals, including James Franco, Ken Jeong, Jake Johnson, Kevin Bacon, and Kyra Sedgwick, all of whom I spoke to, Keanu Reeves, for whom I got popcorn and a soda, and Jack Black, James Marsden, Chris Pine, Margot Robbie, and Sarah Silverman, whom I just saw from across the room. (Among many others.) Luke and I applied for the 2019 festival last fall and both got accepted, but ultimately decided not to go this year. We’re hoping to do the 2020 festival instead!
I WENT TO CIRCUS CAMP
During the summers when I was in elementary school, instead of going to day care, I went to a lot of day camps through our local museum and the gym where my parents work out. I remember one of them being a week-long course in origami. But the best one was probably circus camp. Or maybe it was clown camp. Either way, I learned how to do things like juggling and spinning plates on sticks. I currently posses none of those skills today, but it was definitely fun while it lasted.
I’VE FOSTERED 2 PUPPIES & OVER 60 KITTENS
Back in Colorado, I volunteered at the Humane Society as a foster mom, starting in 2009. I had to take a training course and pass a home inspection, but then I was on an email list for animals that needed fostering. Because I already had 2 adult cats, we only ever got kittens and they mostly stayed separate from each other, unless supervised. In 2016, they got in 8 puppies and wanted to send them out in pairs so I volunteered to take 2 and instantly fell in love. I named them Rey and Finn since I had just seen Star Wars Episode VII for probably the third time. It was hard giving up the kittens, yes, but usually they were ready to go and I would leave with a smaller, needier litter when I dropped off the last litter. But I did always take a liking to the runt of the litter and there were a few groups of three that were particularly hard to give up. In November, Luke and I got accepted with an organisation here in Birmingham to foster kittens. We didn’t want to take any over the holidays, so now we’re just waiting until they have some available for us!
I WON A TEXTING COMPETITION IN HIGH SCHOOL
My youth group set up a tournament to see who could text the fastest. A nonsensical phrase or a company slogan would show up on the screen and you would go head-to-head with someone else, the winner progressing to the next round like a March Madness bracket. I made it to the finals and ended up winning a hoodie and, of course, bragging rights. (This was back in the days of predictive text and no full keyboards, so they tried to make them sentences and phrases that wouldn't be recognised by our phones already.)
I LOVE A GOOD THEME PARTY
I love hosting so much and recently created an “Entertaining” section on my blog to house those posts. Over the years, I’ve thrown many a theme party, usually around a book, TV show, or movie(s). The first one was my Harry Potter dinner party in honour of the final movie coming out. My sister made a beautiful, traditional English roast dinner like they would eat for a feast in the Great Hall. We had sweets from Honeydukes, like liquorice wands and sherbet lemons. We made pumpkin juice and (alcoholic, if I remember correctly) butterbeer. For dessert, we had cauldron cakes, treacle tarts, and pumpkin pasties. Honestly, I want to have this party again!
I’ve thrown three Oscars viewing parties with my mom that were always so much fun. We would make a smorgasbord menu based on the Best Picture nominees, make predictions on all the winners, and sometimes get dressed up. One year we even had a red carpet! The best thing we ever had on the menu was in 2013, at our first party, when my mom made catfish etouffe for Beasts of the Southern Wild. I’m actually planning to do a post about this soon.
For the Breaking Bad finale, I threw a viewing party complete with themed invitations, predictions on how the show will end, sky blue cocktails, and the title card as a cake. My dad even showed up in a full hazmat suit, which scared the crap out of me when I answered the door!
I’ve had two big Game of Thrones viewing parties, first for the season 4 finale and again for the second episode of season 5. (We watched the first episode too.) I’ll do a big post with some ideas and all the cool stuff we did ahead of the final season, but my Red Wedding Cupcakes were always a favourite. Luke and I are hoping to go big for the last episode of the series this year, but we haven’t totally decided yet because we can’t watch the episodes until Monday over here.
Tell me something interesting about you in the comments!