I've been friends with Traci Taylor for 20 years and have been working with her for eight of those years. Traci always teases me because in the 20 years we've been friends, I've only ever given her one birthday present and it may or may not have been a present that someone else bought for me to give to her.

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To celebrate our friendship, Traci turning 40 on her favorite holiday, Valentine's Day (not) and so that she can't say I missed out on giving her a birthday gift again, my gift to her (and you) is 40 random things about Traci.

But first, some photos of us through the years.

1. Traci is the oldest of 7. Her siblings are Jeff, Brian, Beth, Sarah, Charlie, and Sam. She has three nieces and two nephews. Her youngest sibling is Sam and he just turned 16.

2. Traci used to have a dirt collection. She moved a lot when she was little and she collected little jars of dirt from each state, except Hawaii and Alaska. She also had dirt from well-known places like the Norman Rockwell Homestead and Buckingham Palace.

3. Traci was born into a military family in Washington State. She hasn’t been back to her home state since she was a kid but dreams about visiting and walking the land where her family built a home in the woods by the Hood Canal.

4. Traci took piano and violin lessons, but can’t remember how to play either. She also took ballet for several years.

5. Traci, all of 5 feet tall, holds a track record in her hometown school district for...the high jump.  No, I'm not kidding. When she was in middle school, she was invited to join the high school varsity track team and her focus was hurdles. You could say she's always been "boingy."

6.Traci loves ethnic foods, the spicier the better. She does not like seafood. Or chocolate. Or cake. I do. She gives those things to me.

7. When she’s really tired, Traci laughs and cries at the same time. Apparently, she’s tired a lot.

8. Traci was told she would never be able to have kids, but became a mom at the age of 35 to a child who looks like his daddy but whose personality is all his mama.

9. Traci’s grandpa was born on a cotton field in Arkansas and never finished middle school but joined the Navy, then became a nuclear engineer, and then a pastor. Traci says he is the most amazing man she’s ever known and she strives every day to make him proud. I think she's doing a good job.

10. Traci calls her grandma, “Bob.” When she was very little, Traci, her mom, and her grandma were picking blueberries and Traci fell into a bush. Just learning how to speak, she started calling out for “Bob” and her grandma was the first to get to her. And so she became Bob.

11. Traci’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day and she’s never loved having her birthday on a lovey-dovey day. Not ever. She hates hearts which is odd because that's her default response to me whenever I text her. Is she giving me the brush off? I think so.

12. Traci’s grandma’s ancestors immigrated from Ireland to Canada and in the 1800s, they played a (somewhat scandalous) part in building the Rideau Canal. For her 40th birthday weekend, Traci and her son will ice skate on the very same canal that her ancestors helped build.

13. Traci used to wake up her entire house by playing Glenn Campbell’s Wichita Lineman record on her record player as loud as it would go.

14. Amazing Grace on Bagpipes makes Traci cry. Every time.

15. Traci’s middle name is Renee. Too bad it's not Nicole. Then she could be TNT...dynomite. Get it? Nevermind.

16..Traci’s husband knew the minute he met her that he was going to marry her. It took Traci almost 10 years to realize she was going to marry him. And she's supposed to be the smart one...

17.Traci’s favorite book is Gone With The Wind. She loves going to book sales and because other people didn’t know what they had, she has two very rare unabridged versions of the book.

18.Traci’s favorite color is red. Kelly green is a close second.

19. Traci graduated from high school and college in the same year. See, I told you she was a smarty pant. Except when it comes to love, obviously (see #16).

20.Traci’s favorite drink is coffee which comes as no shock to anyone. Her favorite special occasion order at Dunkin Donuts is “toasted almond, light and sweet.”

21.Traci’s favorite flavor ice cream is pistachio. If they had a granola flavor, that would probably be her favorite because she's the bran of the Hawk morning show, keeping things regular.

22.Traci HATES heat and humidity. Summer is her least favorite season. I hate Traci in heat and humidity. Carol Anne Freeling in Poldgergist has nothing on Traci when Traci is hot.

23.Traci’s family has a cabin accessible only by boat in Canada with no running water, no electricity, no internet, no TV. It’s where they go when they need to get away from the world. Aka: Me.

24. Traci’s eyes are mostly hazel, but when she’s really happy they turn green and when she’s really mad, they turn dark brown.

25. Every musician is Traci's favorite. For real.  Her top favorites though are Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, Michael W. Smith, and Jars of Clay. Oddly enough, the Oakridge Boys didn't make the list.

26.Traci’s favorite state is Vermont, but her favorite destination is Palm Springs.

27.Traci dresses casually. If she has to dress up for work, the first thing she does when she gets home is to change into sweats and put her hair in a ponytail.

28.Traci’s favorite perfume scent is Dark Vanilla Musk by Coty, but they don’t make it anymore.

29.Traci has lived all over the country, but her favorite place for food is Lancaster, PA. She loves how easy and cheap it is to get fresh produce at all times of the year.

30. Traci likes to read. A lot. Since she doesn’t have much alone time to read anymore, she listens to audiobooks in the car. What’s on her Kindle? Right now she’s “reading” books by Kerry Anne King, Fiona Valpy, and Imogen Clark.

31.Traci is obsessed with Febreze with Gain moonlight breeze wax melts. She also really likes Red Shed wax melts from Tractor Supply.

32. Traci’s favorite subject in school was English. She even considered becoming a college professor until radio lured her in.

33. Speaking of radio, when she was 8-years-old, Traci and her mom drove by a radio tower in Albany. Traci told her mom she would work for that radio station one day and she did. Her first job was at WYJB, B 95.5, in Albany.

34. Traci doesn’t get much time to watch TV, but when she does, she likes FBI, the Chicago series, and Lincoln Rhyme. On Netflix, she likes the Crown, Virgin River, and Designated Survivor.

35. Traci would rather hang out in the woods or by a river than at the ocean.

36. Traci’s son doesn’t call her mama, mommy, or mom. He calls her me-mo.

37 Traci can whistle and hum, but can’t sing on key to save her life. She doesn't hit the notes, she clobbers them over the head. Oh yeah, she also can’t dance at all either

38 Traci can’t sleep unless the room she’s in is pitch black and she’s in her Sleep Number bed. Her Sleep Number setting is 30 if you were wondering.

39. Traci has a soft spot for kids and for veterans and does a lot of work with both.

40. Traci loves to travel and she loves history. For her 50th birthday, she wants to take a trip to Europe to visit Ireland, where her family is from and England, where her husband's family is from.

I ran out of things that I know about Traci at #25. So thanks for helping me write the rest of your birthday present, Traci. 

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