Gratefulness post: Awards are awkward.

This past week, I was honored to receive two very special notices. Little Bird’s Dad has nominated me for the unique Liebster Award, and Sian of To Fethiye and Beyond… nominated me for the lovely Sunshine Award. I’m honestly speechless. Everyone who blogs hopes, on some level, to reach people through their words. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what a self-esteem boost it is to have such recognition, and I’m so grateful.

As with nearly every blogger award, there are some criteria I need to meet. Blogger awards are a lot like chain emails… except that nothing bad happens to you if you fail to follow the instructions. Since blog awards are all about connections, I’m really looking forward to this. I love networking, so getting to plug some of my favorite blogs is a blast for me. 🙂

Since the Liebster Award reached me first, I’ll start there, and follow up with the Sunshine Award in a second post.

The Liebster Award is an award that helps us all discover new blogs that we enjoy. This award is given to upcoming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means beloved (which, incidentally, is the meaning of “Amanda” too! Ta-da!) These are the non-compulsory (but definitely good form) rules to follow for this award:

1. Thank the Liebster-winning blogger who nominated you, and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked. (Below)

4. Create 11 questions for your nominees.

5. 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.

6. Display the Liebster Award logo.

Since I don’t believe in conditional love, feel free to disregard any or all of the rules, and accept the award no matter what. I would love to see some of your answers, though, if you have time…. 😉

And we’re off!

1.Thank the Liebster-winning Blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

As I mentioned, Little Bird’s Dad nominated me for this award. And talk about a fantastic blogger! Little Bird’s Dad blogs about his life, his family, and his particular perspective of a often-misunderstood demographic. By turns funny, heart wrenching, and enlightening, his blog is an engaging chronicle of his life with a beautiful Little Bird. I love reading his blog, and I’m thankful he has enjoyed mine.

2. Post 11 facts about yourself.

(Whew. Here we go.)

  • I can wiggle my ears.
  • I love snakes, and aim to have one for a pet very soon – probably a python.
  • I’ve played classical piano since I was 5, and taught for several years. My digital piano is the only piece of furniture that will move with me at the end of this month.
  • I love film. I had a small part in an independent film a little while ago, and I worked on the 3D conversion of a fairly popular movie. I’m currently co-writing and producing a couple of web series projects with my Dude.
  • Cheez-Its are my guilty pleasure food, which is unfortunate, as I recently went gluten-free.
  • My mother is my idol, but it took me 18 years to figure it out.
  • I can’t stand long facial hair on men. Neatly trimmed, 1/2″ long beards? Sure. Any longer, and I get grossed out.
  • I have 4 younger siblings, and every one of them is better looking than I am. Most of them are taller than I am, too. No bitterness, I promise! 😉
  • I refuse to take a side in the Mac/PC debate (and not just because I love Linux.)
  • I love coffee. Lovelovelovelovelovelovelove. I once tried to quit, and made it all the way through the difficult and miserable two-week-long withdrawal. The day after my victory, I got a call from the manager at my local Starbucks, offering me a job. The rest was delicious, highly-caffeinated history.
  • I’m hilarious when there’s no one but my husband around to see. One day I’ll start recording myself  round-the-clock so I have proof of this.

3. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked.

If you had to live on a deserted island, and could take only 1 movie, 1 music album, and 1 book with you, which ones would you take and why?

  • Yikes. Way to start with an easy one. 😉 Movie: Finding Nemo, because it’s beautiful, lighthearted, and the score was written by my favorite modern composer. Bonus: the constant reminder of sharks would prevent me from (suicidally) trying to swim to the mainland. Music Album: my favorite alpha wave cd by Daniel May. It’s my yoga music. Book: (don’t hate me for such an obvious Jesus Juke here) the Bible. Mostly because no matter how much I read it, I always feel like I can find something new. Even if you aren’t a Christian, you gotta admit it’s a beautifully written work.

If someone could spend one day in your city, how would you recommend they spend that day?

  • This one’s tough, because the city I live in I don’t consider “mine.” The closest thing I have to “my city” is Atlanta, so I’ll use that.

I would start with brunch at the adorable Sun in My Belly cafe, followed by coffee at Condessa. Quick tour of the World of Coca-Cola (it’s ATL – you have to) and then a slower jaunt through the amazing Georgia Aquarium to see the whale sharks and the new dolphins (even better if the Titanic exhibit is in town). Then it’s take-yer-pick lunch from the food trucks, which should be eaten on the grass at any one of the gorgeous parks nearby. The afternoon should be spent walking through Little Five Points and scoring some great finds at the awesome shops in that area. Dinner is nearby at The Vortex if everyone involved is of age. If there are younger visitors along, Grindhouse Burgers in Sweet Auburn Market are my personal favorite. Later that evening, head into Midtown for more coffee from the artsy baristas at the Westside Octane before heading up to The Fox Theatre for a late show.

What is your favorite meal?

  • Oooh, another toughie. Assuming no dietary/allergy restrictions, I’d have a slice of deep dish pepperoni pizza, fried okra, sweet potato fries, a spoonful of my hubby’s homemade macaroni and cheese, and Cheese-Its for munching. Dessert would be a rich chocolate brownie with a tiny bit of vanilla bean ice cream. For drinks: water and lots of coffee.

What would you do if you won the Powerball Lottery?

  • Pull out a modest estimation of what I would need to live on for the next 50 years or so, and evenly divide the rest between my parents, my parents-in-law, my siblings (-in-law) and my favorite causes (Not for Sale, IJM, and Safe Families).

What is your favorite non-profit organization, and why?

  • Oops, answered that too early. 🙂 I have three. The “whys” can be found here, here, and here, respectively, in better explanations than I could create.  Please, please, please click the links and read about these extraordinary organizations. There are too many people who need help and can’t help themselves. It’s time for those of us who have so much to start stepping up and giving back.

What “app” do you use more than any other?

  • Probably my email. I love interacting with people, and most of the time email is the best way for me to do that. Incidentally, if you ever have a question or a thought you’d like to share, feel free to reach out to me at I’d love to chat with you!

Is your morning drink coffee, tea, soda or something else?

  • Ha. I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count. :p In all seriousness, I’ve recently begun drinking 8-16 oz of water every morning first thing, before diving into my first cuppa joe.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

  • Yikes. Another toughie. This may sound oddly selfish, but I’d love a cure for diabetes. Specifically type 1. My long-suffering husband is a t1 diabetic. It breaks my heart that he has to live with this disease that he did nothing to cause, and can do nothing to cure.

What are your favorite blogs or social media sites?

  • I spend most of my working day on WordPress. I feel like I’ll never see everything there is to see on this site. I spend a bit of time on Twitter (@Shrikesgirl, if you wanna follow) and I’m on Facebook. I’d have to say of the three, WordPress is my favorite. Good luck getting me to name a favorite blog, though!

What world event do you think had the most impact in shaping who you are today?

  • I can’t say that there’s a world event that had a big impact on me. Obviously September 11th stands out in my mind (as it does for most Americans), but even that, I feel, didn’t change who I was. I did recently blog about my biggest “aha!” moment regarding simple living. Other than that, my marriage to the love of my life is probably the event that best symbolized the end of my old self and the beginning of my new one.

What do you think about the death of Robert Ethan Saylor?  (Don’t know the story of Ethan Saylor?  Click here)

  • This is the most difficult question for me to answer. Initially, upon reading about Ethan’s death, I was shocked and horrified, saddened, and angry. I’m still new to the story, so I have very little idea of how I can actively lend my voice. For now, I’d highly recommend you take a look at Little Bird’s Dad’s blog for some really important info, and ideas on how you can show support for Ethan’s family (and the Down syndrome community in general). It’s time we break through  the stigmas and misconceptions, and demand a higher level of education and responsibility from our law enforcement.

4. Create 11 questions for your nominees.

All righty, now I get to have some fun!

1) What is your proudest memory?

2) Who in your family do you best connect with, and why?

3) Do you have a place you consider a haven? If so, where/what is it?

4) If you could get paid to do one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

5) What is one thing about yourself that you would never change?

6) Do you have any unique traditions or celebrations? If so, what are they?

7) What is one event in your life that made you a better person?

8) What is something you’ve always wanted to do, and why haven’t you done it?

9) Do you have a favorite quote or personal motto? If so, what is it?

10) What year of your life (up to this point) would you live over again?

11) What is one thing you did today that made you happy?

5. 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.

Yes! The best part. Here goes (in no particular order):

Everyday Spiritual Wisdom

Incense and Sounds

To Fethiye and Beyond…

Pegahoot’s Blog


Not in Part, But the Whole

Bluegrass, Greengirl

The Little Blog of Letting Go

Rhyme Written in Red

Thoughts We Might Have Had

Minimalist Bride

Congrats, lovelies! I hope this award helps to boost your presence and get your blogs more recognition. I feel that each of you has some fantastic things to contribute, and I can’t wait to follow you into the future. 🙂

6.  Display the Liebster Award logo.

Apparently you can pick (or make?) whichever version of the award logo you want. I found some fantastic options on Google images, and then went off and made my own. (You know you saw that coming.)


Aw, shucks. 🙂

11 thoughts on “Gratefulness post: Awards are awkward.

  1. II am new in this “awards business”, but this Award is really interesting one. Most of all i love part where you have to create your own quiestions. Sometimes our questions tell more about us that our answers 😉 Amanda, imho your questions are brilliant!

  2. Nicely done!! It’s pretty early in the morning where I’m posting, but this post has me craving pizza and coffee now!

    Love your blog, keep posting so we can keep reading!

    Rock On,

  3. Thank you so much! I’ll have to get right on that. Been offline for the majority of the last 4 days since I took a 4 day weekend and the ratties chewed through our laptop cable! iPads are not as good for blogging haha (wordpress app doesn’t have a landscape orientation mode for typing. weird right?)

  4. Thank you, Amanda! I’m working diligently on this, but I’ve just been swamped with work and kids on spring break this past week! You most definitely deserved the award, and if someone else had nominated me, you would be first on my list. 😉 Again, I thank you for the honor, and will be rounding up my top 11 blogs and giving them (and you) lots of love.

    Oh, all the happy things I get to say! 🙂

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