48 hours of being grateful for gratitude

Oh-no-I-haven’t-written-in-two-days-and-I’m-so-sorry-and– Wait a minute. No I’m not.

How many of us have written this exact start to a post, only to realize that little break did a lot to refresh their writing and content? So today I’ll apologize for needing that break, for not being superhuman, because I really, really wish I were superhuman. What I won’t apologize for was taking that break, even though it did mean I missed engaging with my blogging community.

So what did I do in those two MIA days? I celebrated a coworker’s wedding, went out with friends, worked (a lot), and spent time with my parents and husband. These are all things to be grateful for, no question. Yet what I felt most grateful for during those 48 hours was the chance to approach life from a different perspective.

I’ve been in the gratitude mindset for over a month now, and believe me, it is an amazing mindset to be in. However, it’s pulled me away from my creativity mindset, my career mindset, and even my family mindset. Over the past two days I allowed myself to just be grateful. Gratitude was no longer an angle for a post, it just was

Tomorrow I’ll be back at my gratitude treasure hunt, but today, today I’ll just be grateful that I can feel gratitude.

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Liebster Award Nomination

liebster-award

Wow! This is so exciting! I don’t have to look too far for a reason for gratitude today: it’s for all my readers who think I’m worthy of such awards, like Boarding Pass.

“Liebster” is German for “dearest”, and the awards are a fun way for bloggers to help each other out by cross-promotion.  Having just finished my first month of blogging, I’m thrilled to participate.

Here’s how it works:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.  Thanks, Boarding Pass

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.  See below.

3. Nominate 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.  See below.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.  See above.

Here we go!

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT MYSELF

1. I named my first cat Queen Priscilla Elizabeth. Then we took it to the vet and found out it was a male.

2. My senior year of college I decided to take 21 upper division credits. I think all the Red Bull I drank nearly killed me.

3. I decided I would move to Montana when I was 12 years old, came here for a wedding, and fell in love with the mountains.

4. Cheesecake. I will do anything for it.

5. I used to say I hated poetry. Well, that’s changed (see last three posts).

6. I also used to say I hated coffee. Again, see previous posts.

7. Pure Barre is my most recent obsession.

8. When I lived in Spain, I used to try to convince Spaniards that I was from Russia, France, anywhere that wasn’t English speaking. One time I convinced a guy I was French, and he began speaking French to me. I only answered, “Oui, oui,” to everything, as that’s the extent of my French language skills.

9. I usually spend an entire year planning a trip, because I love the anticipation so much.

10. My husband and I recently bought a Toyota Tundra, which makes me feel guilty due to its gas-guzzling nature, but I secretly love how giant it is.

11. I treat my dog, Bailey, as though he were my child. He gets stockings from Santa at Christmas, gets put in time-out if he’s naughty, and is regularly puppy sat by my mom.

11 QUESTIONS FROM BOARDING PASS

1. What’s your favorite thing about your hometown or where you currently live?

My favorite thing about my hometown is how unpretentious it is. Social status means zip there.

2. If you had to pick your last meal, what would it include?

It would include cheesecake (see above), chicken parmigiana, Caesar salad, sourdough bread, and a delicious pinot noir. Then I would probably just go into a food coma if I managed to eat all of that.

3. What’s the one item you can’t live without while on vacation?

Tough one! Hiking shoes.

4. Do you have a funny or embarrassing travel story when something didn’t go according to plans?

Oh I’m sure I do. Let me think on this one… When my parents were visiting me in Spain, we went to Sevilla where they speak a very hard to understand dialect. As my parents speak very little Spanish, I took the lead in making all our travel arrangements. However, when we got to the train station, the man could have been speaking Greek for all I could understand him. So I said (in Spanish), “Okay, great thanks, yeah, bye.” My dad looked at me and said, “So we’re all set?” I replied, “Let’s see if we can get tickets online.”

5. What’s your favorite movie?

Love Actually, hands down.

6. Do you prefer the window, aisle or center seat on an airplane?

Window seat, please!

7. What one famous person, living or deceased, would you like to have dinner with?

Seamus Heaney

8. How do you take your coffee?

In the form of an 8oz double shot latte.

9. What’s your favorite site, monument or place you’ve ever visited?

Ireland. All of it.

10. If you could teleport to any place in any era, where and when would it be?

The Elizabethan era in England. I would have loved to watch a Shakespeare play with, well, Shakespeare.

11. What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever gotten or could give someone?

Plan your trip well, but leave room for surprises!

MY 11 QUESTIONS

 1. At age 8, what did you want to be when you grew up?
2. Are you what you wanted to be at age 8?
3. Favorite piece of art in your home–describe, please!
4. Who or what encouraged you to start blogging?
5. What is the best meal you’ve ever cooked?
6. If someone came up to you tomorrow and said, “Here’s a plane ticket to wherever you want to go for the next month.” where would you go?
7. What is the best poem you’ve ever read?
8. When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone, and how did you do so?
9. If you had to live without coffee or wine, which would it be?
10. What is your favorite article of clothing you own, and why?
11. How do you relieve stress?
MY PICKS

Best Moment Award

I am so honored to receive the Best Moment Award today! 

Best Moment Award, web awards, blogging awards, winners, nominations

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.

RULES:

Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded.

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a NEW set of people/blogs worthy of the award; and winners notify them the great news.

Acceptance Speech

Humbled? Yeah, you could say that. You could most definitely say that. When I started this blog last month, I never dreamed people would actually read it. For them to not only read it, but to like it? Unfathomable. Yet here we are, thanks to tworedtornadoes, who, by the way, has an exquisite writing style. But before I move forward, I’d like to take a few steps back.

My mother made me a published author at age three. She still has the book, the only copy of my first “published” story. My first grade teachers were the next to invest a whole lot of time and effort into my writing. Each month, they allowed every student to submit a story for publication, to be completed with a typewriter and cardboard cover. I was hooked. I, I told everyone I met, was going to be a writer.

And then, slowly, I realized this wasn’t something I could say I was going to “be” when I grew up. It made people smile in a knowing way that communicated, “How adorable. She still has hopes and dreams.” And so I started saying I was going to be something a bit more mainstream: a journalist, a grant writer, a teacher. These responses earned me a respectable nod and a, “Oh you’ll make a great (insert writing-affiliated career here).”

Then one day I woke up and that career wasn’t enough anymore. It was confining, allowing for minimal creativity in my writing. So I joined all of you, the blogging world, and felt like I was back in the first grade. Today I’m grateful for all of you who have liked my posts, become my followers, and most of all, for those who have taken time to comment. You take me back to the first time I wrote a story and saw the words come to life. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Most of all, I want to thank tworedtornadoes for encouraging me and finding my work worthy of this award. Secondly, I want to thank Michelle at Play for her upbeat, happiness-ridden blog. Michelle at Play, you’re my pick for this award. Congrats!

It’s your turn: Time to share that gratitude!

In the past three weeks, I’ve been sharing a lot with you, my readers. Today, I’d like to hold back my furiously typing hands and hear what you have to say. After all, the point of this blog isn’t just to see how happy gratitude makes me–it’s to see if we can all get a little more happy in our lives. So here’s your chance: tell me why you’re grateful! Maybe together we can inspire a little more gratitude.

The Versatile Blogger Award

We are taking a break from our regularly scheduled dose of gratitude to say congrats to The Versatile Bloggers!

If you’re nominated, you’ve already won The Versatile Blogger Award. Congratulations!

How It Works:

#1 – Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.
#2 – Copy and paste the award to your blog.
#3 – Share 7 random facts about yourself.
#4 – Nominate 5 bloggers and include links to their sites as well.
#5 – Let the other bloggers know that you have nominated them.

The Versatile Blogger Award Itself

VersatileBloggerAward

Thank you to the wonderfully sassy blogger who nominated me: Lil Miss Fox

If you need a pick-me-up, a great “Top 5” list, or a good laugh, be sure to check out her blog!

Now on to my 7 Random Facts:

1. I am secretly saving up to buy another wedding dress. Not because I’m planning a second wedding, but because I LOVE wedding dresses.

2. I purposely buy puzzles for my genius dog, then invite friends’ dogs over to show how smart my dog is in comparison. For the record, I am not proud of this.

3. I tell everyone I’m of Irish descent, when in actuality, my ancestors came straight over from Germany. Thank God I married an Irishman and could take his last name to fool people.

4. My all-time favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Read it. You will fall in love.

5. I once traveled to Ireland just because I read a poem about it. If you would like to hop on a plane and do the same thing, check out Seamus Heaney’s “Postscript.”

6. Okay everyone, don’t hate me for this: I used to think blogging was kind of dorky. Then I started doing it, and it’s become a joy I look forward to every day.

7. The next trip I’m taking is to Italy and I. Can’t. Wait.

And now onto the nominees! Congratulations if you are one of them, and thanks to all of you for sharing your blog with the world.

Jonathan & Rebecca – These two have got the simple life dialed.

The Happsters – A whole blog that focuses on spreading happiness? Yes, please.

The Ambiguity of Fences – I’m fascinated with borders, and this blog illustrates them so well.

Lesley Carter – One part blogging, one part traveling.

courtingmadness – The place to go for some very witty writing.