ME! And you and you and you and you and you and you! A very kind soul has nominated me for a Liebster Award, and I am happy and grateful to accept it. I have been gifted by Rice Cakes and Redemption, a thoughtful, fellow run-on-sentence blogger struggling with endometriosis, repeat IVF failure, and pursuing foster adoption to add to her family built through foster adoption. Whew! Please check her out.
With honor comes responsibility, so the rules are:
1. Recognize the blogger who gave you the reward
2. Nominate at least 5 (or however many you can come up with, less or more) bloggers with less than 200 followers (leave a comment letting them know they've been honored)
3. Answer 10 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
4. Give 10 questions to the bloggers you yourself nominate.
You don't have to play along, I won't be offended if you decide not to, but it can be fun and it's a great way to find new people to connect with! Viva la networking... And who doesn't like to be recognized for awesomeness?
My nominees are (and forgive me if I'm cheating, because followers aren't clearly visible on some, and pageviews aren't the same as followers so I'm not sure how to do this but whatever, enjoy your recognition...) in no particular order:
1. A Boy, A Girl, & A Cat
2. The Unexpected Trip
3. Just A Little Off Kilter
4. And The Vial Makes Three
5. Teach Me To Braid
6. Operation Baby Gage
These ladies are funny, they are inspiring, they touch me with their candor. Just in case you need a heads up, #5 and #6 are pregnant. So much love in this little group. So many chuckles in the middle of the crap soup that is infertility, no matter what part of the journey you're on or what methods you need to get to that family that, let's face it, should really be free.
Ok, question time! Here are mine that I got from Ms. Rice Cakes:
1. What is your #1 pet peeve?
Hmmmm. I have many, but #1 is probably not saying "thank you." When someone holds the door for you, take the nanosecond it takes to say "thank you." When someone lets you cut in when there's traffic, wave a little. When you drop something and someone picks it up for you, say "thank you." I don't think you can be too busy to show a little gratitude. And it so irks me when that seems to be the case. (I may possibly occasionally add in a little sarcastic "YOU'RE WELCOME!" when this does not happen.)
2. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging when I entered into the IVF phase of infertility, had just failed my first IVF, and felt strongly that I should speak out about it. I wanted to educate people on the realities of infertility, make the emotional crap more visible, be a resource on all things infertility for other people (I am an obsessive researcher), and just vent my feelings. I process through writing, and this blog has helped me in more ways than I can count. The fact that I've gotten proof that it's helped others makes me feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this community (which is kind of sick), but in the way that if I have to eat this shit sandwich, then at least I can make it as tasty as possible and share my tips with others. (Sorry for the analogy. Gross.)
3. Biggest blogging related fear?
That I am misunderstood. I have been misunderstood before and it hurts. Also that sometimes nobody reads it, and while I do this primarily for me and if no one reads it I shouldn't be sad, who am I kidding? You put this out there to have people read it and have some kind of reinforcement for baring your soul so publicly. Sometimes you wonder if you wrote something weird, or if you're the only one who felt a certain way about a certain situation.
4. Best advice you ever got?
You cannot control the things that happen to you, or things that other people say or do. You can only control the way that you choose to deal with them. Attitude is everything. It's not easy, but you can let go of the choices that other people make. Your own choices are hard enough. (I have had a wonderful therapist for some time.)
5. First job?
Ha! First illegal job was working as a "model" at Macy's spraying passersby with perfume at the tender age of 12 or 13. Made me feel bad for the perfume sprayers for the rest of my life. First actual job with a pay stub and taxes taken out was when I was 14. I was a crewmember of the YCC (Youth Conservation Corps), working for the county Parks department to blaze trails, build boardwalks, maintain county parks. Oh, and I was the only girl on my crew. That was AWESOME. (I did it a second summer, was NOT the only girl, and now knew how to draw male genitalia on fogged up windows from the gems in my previous experience.) I am a master of character-building experiences.
6. Secret dream job?
Well, it wouldn't be a secret then, would it? :) Honestly, I love teaching and if all the bureaucracy stuff could magically go away and I could just focus on helping students learn and love learning, it would be even more swell. Also I would love to be a stay at home mom for a longer period of time than I fear I will actually be able to, and without the danger of losing my hard-won and impossible-to-regain teaching job in this climate.
7. Favorite household chore? Least favorite household chore? (that’s a two-fer)
I actually love vacuuming. No joke. I HATE scrubbing out the tub/shower. So awkward and unrewarding.
8. Biggest risk you ever took & would you do it again?
Even though it led to the best things in my life ever, leaving my ex-husband was an incredibly big risk. I was kissing 30, finishing my master's in education and about to be student teaching (aka paying to work), and had spent nearly 10 years convinced I did NOT deserve better. I had no money, was scared I'd be alone forever, and uncertain of my job prospects. But I did it, even though everyone who was hoping I'd do it was unsure I'd actually do it, and I realized that I WAS worthy of so much more and I WOULD be ok and WOW could my life be a zillion times better. Hell yes I'd do it again. I would have put proposing to my husband, which I did via letter, but I was pretty sure he'd say yes so it wasn't a huge risk (although still scary). And if I hadn't taken that other risk I would never have met my wonderful husband to propose to him in the first place. So there it is!
9. Best vacation EVER (one you have already taken)?
Hmmmmm. I have to say going to a camp on a pond in Maine, near Bar Harbor. It is the most complete relaxation we have ever experienced. A week of hiking, kayaking, reading, coloring, cooking, eating out, drinking wine on the deck, climbing the pink granite coastline... it's just heaven. And lots of lobster in butter. Mmmmmm. (Sadly, infertility has interfered with this vacation the past few years, which makes us very depressed. Hopefully this year we get to go again.)
10. All-time favorite movie?
Ooooh, tough one. I love, love, love When Harry Met Sally. It's funny, it's heartwarming, it's real, it has THE BEST LINES EVER, and is timeless despite the horribly late-80s clothing and hair. I also love Bridget Jones' Diary, because it is also funny and real and has THE BEST LINES EVER (they tie).
Ok, nominees, here are your questions to answer--have fun!:
1. If you could go back in time to relive any memory, what would it be?
2. What is the food or beverage that you absolutely cannot live without?
3. When did you decide to start your blog?
4. What is your favorite room in your home and why?
5. What's your favorite quote (or one of your favorite quotes)?
6. All-time favorite book?
7. What has been your favorite job over the years?
8. If you could go back to school for anything other than what you went for, what would it be?
9. What is the weirdest advice that anyone has ever given you?
10. What song lifts you up when you're feeling down?
There it is, ladies. Congratulations and have at it! I can't wait to learn a bit more about you. And thanks again, Redemption and Rice Cakes!
PS -- I apologize for the weird formatting, cut-and-paste is apparently not very blog-to-blog friendly. :( Thanks to my much more tech-savvy husband for fixing the weird white blocks this appeared before it was 8 different fonts and sizes...