Friday, November 29, 2013

Liebster Award

The blogger behind sayin' i love you has nominated me for the Liebster Award! She's got an awesome blog where she writes about her family, her faith, and all the life in between. And fun fact - she lives in Nicaragua! Go check out her blog if you haven't already. It's pretty great. :) Thank you for the nomination, girl! I'm really excited to take this opportunity to share more information about myself to my lovely followers. And I'm pumped to learn more about my followers too!

This award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn't that such a lovely name and idea for an award? And the great thing about it is it gives smaller blogs an opportunity to get a little more recognition and increase connections in the blogosphere. 

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1.) The nominated blogger must list 11 random facts about him- or herself.
2.) Answer the 11 questions your nominating blogger wrote for you.
3.) Nominate 11 bloggers for this (literally) lovely award.
4.) Write 11 questions you'd like your nominated bloggers to answer. And make sure they are aware of their new award.
5.) No tag backs!

Let's start with my 11 facts:

1.) I'm an introvert. I love my quiet, alone time and get very intimidated at large parties or gatherings of new/unknown people. My whole life, I've only had a few close friends, but that's exactly the way I like it. :) And I think my introvertism is the reason why I don't blog a whole bunch. I love blogging, but I have to find something I'm really excited about or dedicated to posting in order to feel like sharing. 

2.) My minor in college was in music with a concentration in voice. That means I like to siiiiiinnnnnng! At my college graduation, I performed "God Bless America" as a solo with the band in front of a crowd over 20,000! Nowadays, I'm not that showy, but I do cantor at our church every few weeks.

3.) Strands of wet hair drive me crazy! I spazz out when they get stuck on my fingers. In the shower, where this is most likely to happen, I immediately put strands of hair on the shower wall. Then, at the end of the shower, I swirl it around and ball it up so it's easy to throw out. Icky!  

4.) I love giving gifts, but I'm horrible at waiting to give them. For example, just yesterday I almost gave my husband his big Christmas gift. Luckily, he stopped me in my tracks, but I just don't have the patience to hold off on giving the gifts I just know the recipient is going to love!

5.) My birthday is 17 days away! Yup, I'm a December baby. And along with being horrible at waiting to give gifts, I'm also horrible at waiting to receive gifts. My husband wrapped my gift and placed them out in the main room just a few days ago and I've already figured out what it is: an Aerogarden. I'm so excited because this is such a great, thoughtful gift, but now my punishment is that I have to wait 17 more days to be able to use it! Silly me.

6.) I was kinda chunky in high school, so I gave up eating red meat and pork to lose some weight (and I did!). Nothing was able to stop me from eating Big Macs and pepperoni and hot dogs until I put my foot down and just took away the options completely. That lasted for several years, 'til a friend had me over for dinner and her mom served meatloaf. In college, I became a vegan because I read the book "Skinny B*tch" and it told me I had to. That lasted only a few months. Before our wedding, I used to tone up for the big day and lost 15 pounds! And now I'm trying out the anti-inflammatory diet to help with infertility. No, I don't like dieting, but I've definitely been drawn to different forms of it for different reasons throughout my life. 

7.) I love cooking and, in the past few years, have learned the importance of high quality spices in cooking. For Christmas in 2011, my parents got John and me a whole buncha yummy herbs and spices from Penzeys Spices, now our absolute favorite spice company. If you've never tried them out, I recommend it. As far as I can tell, their spices generally cost around the same as what you'd find in the grocery store, only they're a whole lot yummier and very high quality. Once you order some, try them out on this delicious recipe (that we just had for dinner tonight): Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili.

8.) Jobs I've worked in my life include: waitress, camp counselor, RA, orientation leader, middle school science teacher, high school math teacher, and (now) youth director.

9.) I've never been to Europe, but my husband promises to take me there one day. Though I've never been across the Atlantic, I have been out of the country twice. The first time, John was doing a month-long rotation in Antigua, Guatemala through his residency program in Houston and I went along for one week of the adventure. It was lovely! The second time was our honeymoon in Aruba, which was also lovely!

10.) I like all things nerdy including Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, math, graphing calculators, and this hilarious math joke: One day, Jesus said to his disciples, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like 3x squared plus 8x minus 9." A man who had just joined the disciples looked very confused and asked Peter, "What on Earth does he mean by that?" To which Peter replied, "Don't worry. It's just another one of his parabolas." Buh-dum CHH!

11.) Back in 2011, I took a picture every day for an entire year. I'm no professional photographer, but it was a fun challenge and now is a great way to look back and remember that year. 

And now my 11 answers:

1.) Why did you start a blog?
I've always been drawn to blogging. I had a livejournal in high school which was basically just blogger before blogger existed. When I was engaged, I wrote about the whole wedding planning experience on my wedding blog, Schwedding! And then after that whole sh-bang was over, I started another blog that was supposed to be a photography and recipe blog, but it fizzled rather quickly. About a year later, when we found ourselves in the world of infertility, I realized many women used blogging as a support network (which I was in dire need of) and I felt like I finally had something to write about again. Enter: Blessed to Be! 

2.) What is your favorite time of your day?
Late night. I've always been a night owl, though I've become less of a night owl over the last few years, especially when I was a high school teacher. In college, I'd stay up doing work until 2 in the morning, and that's when my best work would get done. Now it's more like 10pm or midnight. I just like feeling like I have nowhere to be and the time is all mine for my crazy creativity. On the flip side, I am NOT a morning person AT ALL. I've tried and it just didn't work. So night time it is!

3.) When was the last time you cried and why?
When I wrote that post about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It really was a bummer of a day. Infertility is about the only thing that makes me cry these days. Boo!

4.) Do you like to leave comments on other people's blogs? Why or why not?
I do like leaving comments, although sometimes I feel like I'm an awkward comment robot. I want to let readers know that I'm following along and enjoying their posts, but I'm not always the best at coming up with clever or encouraging responses. It actually takes a fair bit of effort for me to write comments. So, I'm apologizing now if I have ever written or do ever write an awkward comment on your blog.

5.) What is your favorite quote?
Not sure that I have a favorite quote. But I always love quotes from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Here's a recent favorite: "The truth is the truth even if no one believes it and a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it."

6.) What is your guilty pleasure?
Long, hot showers. Jalapeno Cheetos. The TV show Nashville.

7.) Do you have any talents?
I can play the ukulele and piano and I sing. I can also lick my elbow. And wiggle my nose up and down. 

8.) How old were you when you had your first kiss?
9th grade in a game of spin-the-bottle. Embarrassing. 

9.) How do you feel about plastic surgery?
For folks who need plastic surgery to correct scars, burns, malformations, or abnormalities, I say it's great! Otherwise, I'm not so cool with it. God made you beautiful, so learn to embrace it! 

10.) What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memories all involve hanging out at family parties with my mom's side of the family. I have 5 aunts, 5 uncles, and 9 cousins on that side and when we all would get together, it was always a blast! And we pretty much had a family party every few months: 4th of July, October Fest, and Christmas Eve were the 3 best. One year, me and most of my cousins did a re-enactment of "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music. It was pretty sweet!

11.) How did you come up with the name for you blog?
Funny you should ask! I wrote a whole post about it here. :)

Any now for my 11 nominations! Congrats, you just won the Liebster Award!!

Cathy @ Fiscally Chic
Justine @ This Country Life
Jasmine @ Chronic Brevity  
The lovely blogger @ Waiting Hopefully
AM @ Snapshots
Mary Beth @ Grace of Adoption
The sweet blogger @ Infertile Minnesota
The kind blogger @ Ask and It Will Be Given

My 11 questions for you, dear award winners:

1.) Why do you blog?
2.) What is your favorite smell?
3.) What would you have as your last meal? Include appetizer, main course, and dessert.
4.) If you could master any skill overnight, what would it be?
5.) Who's your favorite Disney character?
6.) What movie did you most recently watch? 
7.) What song are you currently listening to on repeat? 
8.) Cupcake or slice of pie?
9.) If you could have any miniaturized animal as a pet, what would you pick? (e.g. My husband wants a mini-bear.)
10.) If you just found out company was coming over in a few hours, what dish would you whip up for them?
11.) Summarize yourself in 4 words. GO!   

Thanks again, sayin' i love you! This has been a bunch of fun. And now, I look forward to learning more about all of you newest Liebster Award winners. :)


  1. Love reading your blog! Wished we lived closer for a cup of coffee and some good laughs! My husband is a big fan of all things nerdy and is slowly converting me too!

    1. Sounds like a double date would be fun, as my husband is the reeeeeally nerdy one! Our husbands would likely get along well. And that would keep them distracted so we could talk about less nerdy stuff. It really is too bad we don't live closer. :/

      Thanks for the sweet compliment!

  2. I am always blessed reading your blog, sharing in your joys and sorrows. SO impressed that you were a math/science teacher, as a history major I have lots of admiration. :) From one December birthday (14th) to another, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and peace to you this month.

    1. You are too kind, friend. I also have lots of admirations for teachers who stick to it longer than I did. It was hard work and it takes a dedicated person to do it right. Happy birthday! Mine is the 16th, so we're SO close! Peace to you too. :)

  3. I am the same way about giving gifts. Loved learning more about you! I can't believe you sang in front of that many people...very impressive! Thanks for the nomination too:-)

    1. You're welcome! And honestly, I can't believe I sang in front of that many people either! It was a special moment, for sure, but I think I'm done with performing in front of large crowds. It makes me too nervous. :)

  4. Dear Stephanie, thanks so much for doing this!! I loved learning more about you and I have to say random fact #3 is definitely the one we have in common. I know it's icky but I do the same thing :D Also, you're not a comment robot. All your comments make me either smile or laugh, always very sweet, kind and encouraging to me.
    You are so talented too, wow!! Anyway, hugs and have the greatest of birthdays!!

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one driven crazy by wet hair! Thanks, again, for nominating me. I had a blast coming up with facts, answers, questions, and more nominations. I'm glad that my comments aren't too awkward. But I seriously feel so awkward when I write them sometimes. I guess it's just something I need to work on. :)

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