Liebster Award…I Guess you Like Me!?

Thank you Nadege Nicoll from (so creatively named!) for nominating me for a Liebster Award! Image So from what I can gather a Liebster Award is a “newbie” blogger’s “Welcome to the Club” chain letter.  Like the email you get for sharing recipes with others or the request to pass along your favorite inspirational quote.  If you are excited about the topic, it is just peachy-keen to be tapped on the shoulder to participate and give your two-cents.  If you are not, it is possibly an audible *sigh* or a minor inconvenience.

Well, you won’t hear a *sigh* here!  There is no real award or plaque to hang on the wall and there is no official voting committee or recognition ceremony held.  No monetary gain or advancement in my blogging career is forthcoming.  But on a small scale it means someone thought of me (heck, they could actually FIND me!) and offered up my website to help other bloggers find me too! Maybe even (gasp!) follow me or engage in a post and leave a comment to join the conversation (what we bloggers all strive for, no crickets out there…)

So here’s the deal.

If you’re nominated for the award you must:

  • Make a post about the award, thanking the blogger that nominated you.
  • State 11 interesting facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers with 500 or less followers
  • Write 11 new questions for your nominees

So here is my story…

11 facts about myself

1. I love to dance and sing and used to fantasize about being an actress when I was younger. See About. My first official role was “Louisa” in the Sound of Music.

2. I have been in four car accidents. In three of the four car accidents the cars have been totaled. (I swear only one was my fault when I was 16!)

3. I completed a marathon with my aunt in 2009 and every year in October I do the same half marathon with her.

Marathon Map

4. I love my engagement story and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  My husband proposed to me on a bench overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge after we saw Phantom of the Opera – always a favorite.

5. I am obsessed with my nails. When they are trimmed, filed, polished and looking pretty (which is almost never!) I look at my hands more than is normal I think.

6. I went to nine different schools growing up. My father traveled a lot because of his pilot’s job (helicopters and airplanes).  Always being the new kid, I really felt sorry for myself when I was younger.  But now I do not envy someone who has lived in one place their entire life. I think moving made me a little more resilient and interesting. In fact, the house I live in that my husband and I built is the longest I have lived anywhere. Truth be told, I am starting to get the itch to move.

7. Somehow I never took typing class in high school. I perfected my own hunt and peck method writing papers in college. But so much of my time is spent at a computer that I wish I knew how to do it right and much faster.

8. I cannot stand to lose things. Car keys, CD’s, books, my baby’s puzzle pieces or alphabet letters. You name it, I go ape s#*t if I can’t find it.

9. I adore red wine.

10. My favorite time of day is the mid-morning. It is the time when I am most hopeful and I look forward to the possibilities that the day could bring.

11. I have learned so much about myself, my faith and what is important since I became the mother to my third child at age 39-1/2 that my life will forever be viewed as “Before” and “After”.

And the Nominees are…(I hope you won’t boo-hiss me if you’ve already been nominated! I don’t expect you to do this again if you don’t feel the desire.  And if you have more than 500 followers, please don’t be offended. I would love to know more about the woman behind the blog!)

11 questions from Celeste…

1. If you were an animal, what would it be and why? A dolphin. They are beautiful creatures and seem to have a perma-grin. I dig that. Also I am a Pisces who loves the ocean but is more than moderately afraid of drowning. So to actually live in the sea would be particularly satisfying.

2. What do you find is the hardest at being a parent? Trying to keep my frustration under wraps when things don’t go the way I want them to. AKA not losing it twenty times a day!

3. When is the last time you laughed so much your belly ached? On the way home from a night out with great friends recently. I don’t know what we were laughing about exactly but I just remember it felt good and I just couldn’t stop.

4. If you were given to choose a super power, what would you wish for? The ability to cure diseases. Two people very dear to me live with one and several good friends are being very negatively impacted by disease right now.

5. What’s your happy place? 82 degrees, sunny, near the ocean with books, drinks, loved ones and music nearby.

6. What is your most embarrassing moment? I can’t think of any real doozies right now but a few weeks ago I went to Target with my yoga pants on inside out. I hope that qualifies.

7. You can marry a famous person tomorrow: who will you choose? No way. I can’t imagine being married to anyone else.

8. What is your favorite quote? Be true to your word, your work and your friend. ~Henry David Thoreau

9. What is the last thing that made you really, really angry? I can’t think of any one thing off the top of my head. But the culmination of little things throughout the day that exhaust me and make my fuse short is the biggest challenge. Last week my 21-month old pooped on the carpet (don’t ask), spilled my entire coffee cup in the middle of the living room carpet (so thankful it was only lukewarm by that time) and hurled her entire bowl of peas over the side of the high chair at dinner. You know, that kind of exhausting and fuse-blowing stuff.

10. If you win 10 million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with it? Give to charity, charity, charity, shower my husband’s Father and my parents with whatever they would need or want, travel to Europe, invest and trick out my house to the nines!

11. What is your biggest fear? The death of one of my children or my husband (drowning and centipedes rank up there too.)

11 Questions I want to ask the nominees…

1. What is your favorite childhood memory?

2. What movie or book can you most identify with?

3. What is one of the best lessons you have learned?

4. Where was your most favorite vacation?

5. Why do you like to write?

6. If you could have three items on a deserted island what would they be?

7. What is a quirk you have that makes you YOU?

8. What is one of your best moments?

9. If you could re-do a moment over again in your life, what would it be?

10. What is your favorite quote?

11. What is something that puts you in a good mood?

A Christmas Poem

The stockings might be hung by the chimney with care

But wait, three more kids’ sporting events I have to ride share

The children started winter break bickering and fighting galore

And I thought to myself “What did I stand in that Black Friday line for?”

And Daddy was stressed out by the Visa bill

And I was in heaven shopping and shopping still

When in my kitchen I felt the pressure to bake

All the other Moms made mounds of cookies to share, I must be a fake!

And the Christmas cards did not get out this year

What will friends think with no photo of my family in our vacation gear?

When in the mall parking lot there arose such a clatter

The last spot in front of the department store was such a matter!

Wait, where did I put my ugly holiday sweater?

It’s the new fad to showcase poor fashion choices of which people should know better

How many things can I cram into this week?

Where is the Tylenol, the coffee and the wine from Cedar Creek?

More rapid than eagles the years fly by

Christmas memories of my older kids’ when they were little make me sigh

Is the focus on presents, buying stuff and just “getting through”?

Or love, peace and joy to be shared with my crew?

For really how magical this time of year

There’s no need for unimportant details or frustration it’s clear

Be nice to the person in line at the store

Marvel at the music, the cheer and the good memories of yore

Make new traditions or honor the old ones

It really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy loved ones.

Pass the Art Smock

IMG481Want to have some fun?  Put six women in a situation they probably haven’t been in since the first grade, add wine and stir.  A recent trip to an art studio/bar for a friend’s birthday celebration was a welcome surprise.  However, I was so confused about the concept.  I drove her crazy trying to conceptualize what we were all getting in to.

My side of the conversation went something like this: “We’re going to paint and drink wine?” “How are we going to paint?” “What will we paint?” “I can’t paint!”  I knew one thing –  I was in for the wine and girlfriend time. Bring on the art smocks!

We had the choice from a menu of several different works of art complete with the accompanying colors mixed and presented to us, a set of brushes, a canvas, an easel and the most important choice: white or red? (See photo. We prefer red.)

Now what? We’re supposed to make our canvas look like the one in the brochure?  Sure. Five easy steps to Van Gogh.

Would I ruin the canvas with the first stroke?

The process from start to finish was so satisfying.  Some conceptualized what they were going to do first and plotted and planned the first stroke.  Some just dove right in and started splashing paint on the canvas. There was doubt, giggles, comparison, uncertainty and concentration to go around.  One friend felt the pressure to create something worthy of her daughter who had seemed quite incredulous that Mom could go out and actually come home with a recognizable piece of artwork. (Mission totally accomplished by the way.)

Was it the wine or the child-like enthusiasm that kept us having so much fun? In retrospect it seemed like the sheer joy of creating something that wasn’t there, and each woman adding her own spin to it, was the MOST fun. No matter what our backgrounds or experience, we were undeniably all artists that evening.  I highly recommend the experience to anyone given the opportunity.

And wouldn’t it be amazing to challenge yourself to do something, anything creative in the upcoming weeks if you haven’t tapped in to that side of yourself recently?  What would YOU do? Leave a comment – keep me posted!