Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's an award, not a chain letter (ok, it's kind of a chain letter)

The extremely prestigious Liebster award has a muddled history. It's a way for smaller bloggers to promote each other and share the love by answering lists of each other's pressing questions. It might be kind of a chain letter, but I can't think of anything more flattering than being nominated for an award by a fellow writer I admire. Since I've been nominated twice this year, I have two lists of questions to answer.

I should be awesome at this.
I answer questions all day long. For example:

Why don't Catholics believe in Thor?
Why is that tree (in Patsy Cline's Walkin' After Midnight) sadding?
Where is my blankie?
Can I paint the walls now?
What is Saturday? (No, I know when is Saturday. I want to know what is Saturday.)
Did Jesus bleed?
Can I have more cereal?
Do you get to eat an extra marshmallow if your peepee goes into the potty?
Where are my favorite yellow socks?
Can you read this book to me?
Why won't Sammy read this book to me?
If I flip this H upside down, what letter will it be?
If you could be a planet or a dwarf planet or any celestial object, which one would you choose?

It never ends.

Happily for me, the questions asked by my blogger friends are a little different. Thank you, Rabia and Kendra, for the special recognition of this award. It's such an honor to be nominated by you!

The rules of accepting the award are as follows:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. (Does this need to be a rule? Would people not naturally do this? What kind of world are we living in, for heaven's sake?)
  • Answer the 11 questions of the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers you admire who have fewer than 200 followers. Or fewer than 2000 followers. Or something. This part isn't exactly clear.
  • Ask 11 of your own burning questions for your nominated bloggers to answer.

First, Kendra's questions:

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?

I live in Luray, VA. If you live here, you have to say it "Loo-ray." Like "Hoo-ray for Loo-ray." We have lived here long enough to know that.

Luray is the kind of classic American small town where people move to raise kids. They have a duck race in the creek every spring and fireworks downtown every July 4th.We moved here when George started working as an associate pastor at one of the local churches. We didn't have kids then. It was going to be short-term. It's been 12 years. We have almost four kids now.

Life happens.

2. What are you currently watching and/or reading?

Watching: Torchwood. We ran out of episodes of Doctor Who and are trying to fill the void. Torchwood is far inferior to The Doctor, but it's not awful.

The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day (for The Well-Read Mom, a book club I've been hosting at my home this past year)

When the Labels Don't Fit: A New Approach to Raising a Challenging Child by Barbara Propst

3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

I was raised Southern Baptist, made a commitment to Christ as a child and joined the Catholic Church just after college. I don't like the word "convert." All Christians are Christians, just like all ice cream is ice cream. A Buddhist who becomes a Christian is a convert. A Baptist or Presbyterian who becomes Catholic is still a Christian, just a different flavor. I think the technical term is "coming into full communion with the Catholic Church," not "converting."

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

I had a roommate in college who was (and is still) a truly loving, caring person. She lived her faith in an active, vibrant but not overly showy way. She made a big impression on me. I started doing my own research, did a lot of reading, started attending Mass at the local Catholic parish, and fell head over heels in love with the Eucharist. That is what ultimately drew me in. When I started the RCIA program at our parish, it was on an exploratory basis, but it became its own journey, and by the end, the pull of Christ in the Eucharist was just too strong for me to walk away (even if I had wanted to). It felt like coming home.

Incidentally, my former roommate makes beautiful things for her etsy shop...and she's still lovely.

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

14, give or take a few, but I really only wear three of them right now. I should just get rid of the heels, shouldn't I?

6. Are you a good dancer?

My kids think so. I don't generally dance in public unless I've had a glass of wine.

7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

He does. I like to knit in the car. 

8. What's your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Christmas is my favorite holiday. We observe Advent, so we don't really start with Christmas until Christmas Eve. We usually have our Christmas at home on Christmas Eve, celebrate with a big breakfast, go to Mass that evening, and then travel to spend the night and the next few days with our extended families who live in other parts of the state.

9. Which is correct? Left or Right?

Definitely left.

10. Do you have any scars?

I have one on my left knee from falling on the blacktop at school while jumping rope in third grade. I have another one on my right thigh from falling out of a tree at my grandma's house. The tree was rotting, and I wasn't supposed to be climbing it...the branch I was sitting on broke, and down I came.

11. What's the most famous thing you've ever done?

I marched in a special parade on New Year's Eve with the JMU Marching Royal Dukes for the 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi Dynasty in Monaco. It felt like a pretty big deal, even though all the local ladies thought we were from Belgium (and one of them stomped on our banner when she found out we were Americans).

And now, Rabia's questions:

1. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in the past week? 

You know, this week hasn't been as funny as some others. The worm incident was pretty funny, but that happened last week (I think).

2. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Make coffee. Then drink coffee. 

3. Do you speak another language? If so, which? If not, what language would you like to learn?

I speak some Spanish, a little French, and some Signed English (not ASL). I'm learning Latin along with Sam. I'd like to be better at all of them before I took on anything else.

4. In high school were you into sports, band, choir, art, or something else?

I did band, drama and field hockey in high school.

5. If you were going to write a memoir, what would you call it?

All Will Be Well, with some catchy tagline so people wouldn't think I was just stealing from Julian of Norwich.

6. When you snack do you go for sweet, salty, fruity, or crunchy?

Sweet. Better yet, chocolate.

7. List three songs at the top of your playlist lately.

"Raspberry Beret" by Prince and the Revolution
"The Longest Time" by Billy Joel
"Restless" by Audrey Assad

8. Which of your parents do you think you are most like and why?

I think I'm a pretty good mix of them. I look a lot like my mom and I can make something out of nothing. I'm pretty driven and have a tendency to hold myself and everyone around me to very high standards, which is like my dad.

9. If you could become a character on a TV show for a week, who would you choose to be?

I'd like to travel with The Doctor, but I wouldn't really want to be any of the people who did that. Maybe Amelia Pond?

10. What is your favorite blog post that you've written?

It's hard to pick one favorite, but I really like this one.

11. Tell us something interesting going on in your life right now.

I'm trying to figure out how to pick my battles with my very independent, divergent-thinking five-year-old son. It's never boring.

And now, for my nominees:

Rosie at A Blog for My Mom
Kelley at Over The Threshold
Beth Anne at Beth Anne's Best
Bobbi at Revolution of Love
Claire at Claire Writes
Maureen at Canadian Catholic Mom
Kathleen at Becoming Peculiar
Rhonda at Naptime Novelist
Sarah at And Twins Make Four
Chris at Campfires and Cleats
Heather at Blessed and Busy

That's eleven. Some of you don't update that often, but I hope you might play along, anyway. If you don't, I guess the Liebster police are going to come get me or something.

Here are your questions, folks- I'm dying to know:

  1. What is the best meal you've ever eaten (where, with whom, relevant details...)?
  2. If you could only have 3 books to read/reread for the rest of your life, which 3 would you choose?
  3. What one habit or trait would you erase from your life?
  4. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
  5. What's your favorite quotation?
  6. Do you wear shoes in the house?
  7. What's your favorite chore and why?
  8. What one song would you like to never hear again?
  9. What one word are you most likely to misspell?
  10. If you could close your eyes and be any place in time or space when you opened them, where would you be?
  11. If you had to rename yourself, what name would you choose?
That's can post the answers on your blog if you like (and be sure to let me know- I really do want to know these things about you!).