Sharon Marie over at Finding Vanilla Octopus was kind enough to include me in her Liebster Award list. It seems to work kind of like a chain letter that connects bloggers and brings awareness to smaller blogs. To qualify your blog must have fewer than 200 followers, and if nominated by someone (tag! I'm it!) you are supposed to reveal 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions, and nominate 11 more bloggers (not including the one who nominated you) and pose 11 new questions to them.
I'm game! I love answering new questions. I don't have a list of 11 bloggers to nominate since too many of the blogs I follow appear to have large readerships, but I'll do my best.
So here are 11 somewhat random things about myself that some of you know and some of you don't:
1. You are my favorite reader.
2. I can't handle background music when I'm trying to think.
3. I want to like The Lord of the Rings but it bores me to tears.
4. I prefer Rubik's cubes where the white side is opposite the blue the way the original ones were.
5. I like all cereal.
6. Part of me wishes I'd had one more baby.
7. I can't imagine being able to care less about professional sports than I already do.
8. The second movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony gives me chills nearly every time.
9. If I'm ever diagnosed with a terminal disease I will start eating Nutella out of the jar every day.
10. Hearing children sing makes me cry.
11. My left foot points inward and I kind of like it that way.
Here are Sharon Marie's 11 questions for me:
1. How long have you been blogging, and why did you start?
I started blogging for Babble just before my husband was deployed to Iraq the second time. I found during his first deployment when I was trapped in the house with a preschooler, a toddler, and a newborn that writing and connecting with people online made me feel less isolated. I wrote a couple of essays for Babble, and when I found out Ian was being deployed again I asked them if they would be interested in having me blog my experiences as a parent whose spouse is in a war zone, and they were. It gave me a way to focus my thoughts and express my concerns during a stressful period while giving other people some insight into what some military families face. When Babble let me go almost a year ago I started this blog. My audience is smaller but it doesn't matter. I just love to write and blogging is a good medium for me.
2. Is there one special blog post that you're most proud of, and if so, what is it?
Hm. There was a post I wrote for Babble called 'Special' that seemed to express something that mattered to people in a way I wasn't expecting. Also, 'Life in a Case.' I was pleased with how it came out since I just dashed it off without any real editing. And I may write an updated version of 'In Defense of Handwriting' for this space, because every time I read another article declaring cursive is a waste of time in school I want to forward them my post.
On this blog I'm proud of 'Foreign Policy in My Kitchen' because it was a brave step for me to publicly take a side in something political. As posts that I think are simply good examples of how I like to write I would go with 'Some Days It's Good Just to Breathe' or 'The Marks of Practice.' And I thought 'Choosing Not to Choose' was a good post. (Speaking of choosing not to choose, apparently I like my own writing a great deal. You asked for one post and I linked to seven. Sheesh.)
3. What side of yourself do people around you least often see?
4. What is your biggest daily challenge?
To not eat all the things.
5. What hobby or interest would you pour tons more time into if you had several more hours available in the day?
I would love to be really good at archery. And pool. And it would be neat to be able to play piano. But realistically if I had more hours in a day I'd probably use them to do more of the things I'm already doing, because I like all of those things, too.
6. What is the main goal that you are still striving to achieve in your life?
I'd like to make one violin that is really beautiful and praiseworthy in the eyes of people in my profession and that would impress my teacher.
7. What is your least favorite physical feature?
My belly. (But I've come to terms with the stretch marks there, at least. My daughter once told me she loved them, so now they don't bother me.)
8. What talent (that you are lacking) would you choose to have, if you could pick one?
I think it would be fun to be a really good dancer. Or just know what direction I'm facing.
9. If you were a superhero, what would your special power be?
Who doesn't want to fly?
10. Do you have a favorite quote or saying, and if so, what is it?
"It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around." ----Stephen King, On Writing (I don't know if it's my favorite, but it's up there.)
11. How much do you feel you've changed from when you first made your way "out into the world?"
Lots. (I hope for the better.)
And as I mentioned previously, I don't have 11 blogs to list, and I don't know if any of these bloggers have time to bother with my questions (and on my mom's blog in particular they have no place), so I am probably the link in this chain where the whole thing breaks down, but oh well. Here are some smaller blogs I like to visit:
Family Rocks: The Life of Peg
The State of Discontent
Room For Curiosity
And here are my 11 Questions:
1. If you had to leave your house in a hurry and could never go back what items would you grab?
2. Is there anyone from your past you hope never to run into?
3. If millions of dollars fell into your lap lottery-style, what would you do with it?
4. If there was one thing about yourself you could magically fix what would it be?
5. What book do you think I probably haven't read but should?
6. Do you think it's true that no two snowflakes look alike?
7. Who is the person you can most rely on to make you laugh?
8. If you had to live in a different country, which one would it be?
9. If I told you tomorrow you could hang out for the whole day with anybody, who would you pick?
10. What is your favorite building?
11. Sisko or Janeway?
(I also had a question about the nature of evil, but that seemed a little dark for this assignment.)
Anyone in general who wants to answer any of these in the comments I would LOVE to read them! So that's my post of elevens.
I wonder why elevens? Someone a Spinal Tap fan maybe? Only picture I could think to add was of on Aden on the day she turned 11: