May 11 2015

Liebster Award

pink Liebster Award with heartThe Liebster Award is passed along to bloggers from other bloggers. It’s meant as a way to help build up the blogging community as a whole and to enable readers to discover new blogs. Thanks for my nomination, Momma Moose — it seems like a fun way to distract myself from the fact that the movers are coming tomorrow. So instead of packing for California, I think I’ll just answer your eleven questions. 🙂

1. What made you decide to start a blog of your own?
I’ve kept a handwritten diary from the time I was in fifth grade until my last year of college. I have 52 volumes of them, actually, which is admittedly ridiculous (especially now that we won’t have a basement for storage)! Once it became clear that I would need to leave my teaching career in order to pick up and move, I promised myself I would devote more time to what I really love: writing. After all those diaries, a blog seemed like the natural choice.

2. What is your favorite part about blogging?
For me, it’s still mostly the idea of memory-keeping. Recording details for myself (and now for my children) has long been a pastime. The idea that there might be a blogging community was actually lost on me until a few weeks ago when my blog went live; so far, the support of that community has been the most welcome surprise.

3. What is something that can always make you smile?
My daughter. Cheesy, but true. With the emergence of her distinctly two-year-old personality, she often has me belly-laughing. Other things that have always made the cut: driving with the sunroof open (while singing to my favorite song du jour), a drinking-and-dancing night out with the girls, and a seriously enlightening class period with my students.

4. How do you overcome challenges in your life?
Preparing to move across the country in a few days, while pregnant, is proving to be a challenging situation. So far, a healthy dose of denial has worked fairly well. 😉 Otherwise, I talk to my close people and to God and try to remember that this, too, shall pass. I also attempt to remind myself that everyone, everywhere, is dealing with something. Sometimes many things, and often far more difficult than whatever my reality might be at the moment.

5. What is your motto for life?
Oooh, a life motto would be a good thing to have. But I don’t. Not yet. I tend to latch onto quotes that feel applicable in the moment, so I’ll give you a couple recently rediscovered gems:

“When it gets so black you think the end is near…well, that’s when all the stars appear.”
-Ace of Cups-

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
-C.S. Lewis-

6. What is your favorite quote or Bible verse?
Since I just offered up a couple quotes in #5, I’ll choose a Bible verse for this one. “There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place” (Deuteronomy 1:31).

7. If you could be any animal, which one would you be? Why?
Planes give me anxiety, which is why this answer is especially ironic. I would be something that can fly. I wouldn’t want to be a Starling or a Blue Jay (my grandma, an avid bird lover, couldn’t stand those two). I also wouldn’t want to be a hawk or some other bird specifically of prey. But I might want to be something bookish and majestic and intelligent that can also fly, so I suppose I’d be an owl. I’ve always wanted to be that free, ever since I was a little girl. True story: one Christmas when I was very young, I wrote a letter to Santa and placed it near his milk and cookies. “I don’t want any presents this year. I just want to be able to fly. Can you do that? Check yes or no.” When I woke up the next morning, I found his answer to be confusing and a little heartbreaking. No? No, he can’t do that? How magical could he be?

8.What is your favorite place to shop and indulge in retail therapy?
As I’ve said, I will really miss my Michigan mall once I am out in California, so that probably qualifies as my favorite. But it’s less about a specific store and more about the retail items themselves. In general, I’ve accumulated far too many dresses and shoes.

9. Do you drink wine? White or red?
Yes. Yes, and yes. I miss you, alcohol. Three more months.

10. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
I have a passion for just about every major holiday that exists, and my home’s decor changes throughout the seasons in order to reflect that — sometimes right down to the salt and pepper shakers. New Year’s Eve brings such promise, and Halloween was a blast until I graduated from college (and I still love the crisp sweater weather that accompanies it). Christmas is pure happiness and magic, though, so we’ll go with that.

11. If you could have lunch with your ten-year-old self, what would you say?
My current state of affairs is so up in the air, I don’t even know what to say to my thirty-something-year-old self. I would probably tell her not to worry so much — even then, I was a ball of anxiety — and to take more important risks and fewer stupid ones. I might flash a photo of my daughter and say, “Here she is. Be the best person you can be, because one day, this will be in your life.” And I might leave my ten-year-old self the same letter I left my students two weeks ago, with the same parting words.

I wish for you the same things that I wish for my daughter (and almost-son): that you will grow up to be kind, that you will be endlessly grateful for what you have, and that you will work hard enough to EARN what you do not have yet.

All things I’m still working on, myself.

To spread the Liebster Award love, I nominate the following blogs:
1. lotus travels
2. return of light
3. Betty & Baby
4. DIY Adulation
5. The Awesome Woman Project
6. Be the FUN Mom

Here are your 11 questions:
1. How did you come up with the name of your blog?

2. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written thus far?
3. Name three things you would do if you won the lottery.
4. What is the next big decision you have to make?
5. Describe either your most embarrassing moment or your biggest pet peeve.
6. What is something on your bucket list?
7. What TV show/invention/etc. is most ruining the youth of America?
8. If you could pick one age to be for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
9. Who is your current celebrity crush?
10. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
11. What is the most surprising and/or rewarding and/or frustrating thing about being a mom?

LIEBSTER Award Rules:
*Return the love and link back to the person who nominated you
*Answer the 11 questions asked of you
*Ask your own 11 questions
*Nominate (and link to) 5-11 bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers

About Melissa

I'm a high school teacher from Michigan who (reluctantly) moved across the country when I was six months pregnant. Now that I'm in California, I spend my days babbling to a toddler, dancing with a four-year-old, and wandering aimlessly around the two locations I can find without using Google Maps. The plus side: since the move, my work has been published by Writer's Digest and The Writer, and is also featured on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, BlogHer, and Mamalode, among others. I am a frustrating mix of contradictions: as a member of SAG-AFTRA, I relish the thrill of a film set, but the stage fright struggle is real. I'm an anxious ambivert who both yearns for alone time and profoundly misses the company of other adults. I prefer my words (and my people) genuine, with a side of humor.

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