Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yay! A Blog Award for Me!

Thank you, Willow, for bestowing me with this blogger-to-blogger award! I am relatively new to the blogosphere and not so technically savvy (still trying to figure out how to get a list of other people's blogs with current posts up as a sidebar thingie), but I love to write and share about turmoil that is the infertility process, so thank you for the acknowledgement! I love Willow's story--she has a beautiful and unique family-building process that I admire, and a writing voice that kicks ass. 

Here's how this Versatile Blogger Award works:
  1. Winners grab the image and put it in your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who gave you it.
  3. Tell 10 things about yourself
  4. Award 15 recently discovered bloggers.
  5. Contact the bloggers you have awarded to let them know they have won.
Here are my 10 random things (I am an oversharer, so they may not be all that new): 

1. Like Willow, I am living where I swore I never would. I went to college at SUNY Geneseo, and while there found Rochester a horribly depressed, sad little city. Fast forward to 2001 and I had moved here with He Who Must Not Be Named, and I have never left! 
2. I have played location leap-frog with my mom and stepfather since 1998--A few years after I graduated from Geneseo and moved back downstate, my mom moved to Rochester to complete her coursework for her Ph.D. at Eastman. I moved up here for a brief time while she still lived here, then she moved back downstate. Then they bought a house up here to "retire" to, about 4 months before I desperately needed a place to live. I lived in the house for a year when my mom got a job up here and their primary residence has been Rochester ever since. 
3. I have played the violin for 26 years. I play for myself at this point mostly, but I do weddings and occasionally get paid for it by people who are not my friends or family. I just had to learn Beatles songs for a wedding for my chiropractor, which was fun (and stressful--when the guests start singing along you REALLY can't screw up unnoticed!). 
4. I am a special education teacher, but I haven't always been. My path to my passion has been twisty turny and a little circuitous... When I was at Geneseo I was English/secondary ed. Junior year I panicked and decided that teaching was not for me, but that as an English major/music minor my chances of poverty were high. I ended up going into children's publishing, did that for 3 years, moved to Rochester and got a job at a degree-completion curriculum house (got laid off when they went out of business 6 months later), freelanced as a writer and editor for almost a year (not for me), got a job at a yellow pages advertising agency (worst. job. ever.), when that ended badly I got a job at an HR corporation as an employee handbook specialist (soulsucking corporate climate, but I really liked my job--you would interview companies & organizations for their policies and try to dissuade them from, say, a Sexual Purity policy...), student taught, discovered that subbing puts you at poverty level and so supplemented with waitressing at a wedding hall and listening to calls for that same yellow pages agency, and then finally got into a district as a special education teacher and have been one since. Ironically, at the secondary level which meant that I finished my English/students with disabilities certification a few years ago. Full circle! 
5. I have a high-maintenance but very lovable greyhound, a pudgy little black-and-white cat who plays fetch with the foil caps on wine corks, and a three-legged cat (who unfortunately became that way under my care) who recently made a full recovery from a psychotic break. 
6. I am incredibly accident-prone. I get tons of bruises from walking into stuff. The first thing I did the first night of vacation in Maine this year was give myself a severe burn on the pad of my right middle finger while plugging in a toaster. I touched a bare lightbulb on the way and just seared my poor finger. Although it was fun to say "See my burn?" and hold up my finger... :) This morning I set the microwave on fire because I didn't realize that the butter wrapper (Maine butter) had foil hidden in it. On the plus side I found out that baking soda paste cleans out a dirty microwave really, really well. 
7. I proposed to my husband, via a letter that was really an essay on why marriage would be awesome for us despite our checkered pasts. I figured we had both been married before, but I had never proposed and Bryce had never accepted a proposal, so it made the second (and way better) time around fresh and new! 
8. I have celiac disease, which means I can't eat wheat, barley, rye or their derivatives or I get very sick and it damages the lining of my intestines. I just found out 2 years ago (although it runs in my family), which is good because there is a link between celiac and infertility. I have been gluten free the entire time we've been trying. I love, love, love to cook and so I was very depressed when I first adopted the gluten-free diet. But it has been a challenge and actually fun to try out new recipes. My turkey gravy (using sweet rice flour as a thickener) was the best ever this Thanksgiving!
9. I also love to garden. This year for my birthday I got gardening supplies/seeds/plants as gifts, and my tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, and herbs are all taking off like crazy. I can't wait to eat them all! I also have several perennial beds around my house that I am very proud of. Gardening is good therapy. 
10. A good friend has diagnosed me as a "Mindchamp." I am very, very smart (if I do say so myself) but can be incredibly, incredibly daft sometimes. I got this designation around 1999 while working in publishing, and it has really stuck. A few good examples--getting frustrated that I couldn't open Bryce's front door on our way back from somewhere only to realize I was using my housekey (I didn't have his yet); having a conversation towards the end of a grocery shopping trip in Maine and then stalking off with an empty cart, not our full cart, and not realizing it until a full aisle later; telling my best friend who informed me I was 2 minutes late for an appointment while I was talking to her that it was a little earlier here because I'm further west than she is... (That's the worst one. The sun may set later here but we're all on standard time, sheesh!). 

That was fun! Ok, so now I give the award to other bloggers. I am shamefully not well versed in a lot of blogs out there but am taking time over the summer to improve that situation while I'm off work. So I have wayyyy, way less than 15. But, I would like to give this award to the following blogs:  
4) TTC

Congratulations, ladies! I am in awe of your courage, your design skills, your writing voices, and how you express yourself through challenging times. Go forth and award away! 

Thanks again to Willow, who is expecting her second child via her first pregnancy! See her blog for her wonderfully written story.


  1. Thanks, Jess, for the kind words! Loved reading more about you!

  2. Awww, is that my blog in there?! Yay!!! I was just reading your past 2 posts, and noticed. Just made my day a little better :) love ur blogs btw, i look forward to following/sharing this journey!