10 April 2013

Liebster Award

It always startles me to realize that people actually bother reading the things I post here. I certainly had one of those moments a few days ago: many thanks to Liz, of The Trenchcoat Introspective, who nominated me for a Liebster Award! I'm so grateful for her kind words, and honored that someone who writes so well and knows so much about Catholicism thought I was worthy of passing the award on to.

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award was designed as a way to recognize and increase the readership of smaller blogs (when it was created, this was under 3,000 followers, but now this has been lowered to no more than 200 followers). It also gives old readers a chance to learn something new about the blogger who receives it.


The Official Rules as of 2013

The requirements for accepting this award are:

  • Post the Liebster award graphic on your site.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated the blog for a Liebster Award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 11 facts about yourself so people who discover your blog through the Liebster post will learn more about you.
  • Answer the 11 questions from the post of the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 9 other blogs with 200 or fewer followers for a Liebster award by posting a comment on their blog and linking back to the Liebster post.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer in their Liebster post.

11 Random Facts about Me

1. My feet are always cold... really, really cold. On particularly warm summer days, I've been known to remark in surprise that "my feet aren't purple today!" Despite this, I really only put socks on when I have to leave the house; I prefer bare feet.

2. Between high school and college, I took five years of Latin. I think it's a beautiful language, and I use it pretty regularly: I have a copy of Hobbitus Ille on the coffee table right now for reading while the baby naps. Whenever I hear something that sounds odd in an English translation of the Bible, I still turn to my Vulgate to figure out why.

3. If you ever tried on my glasses, the visual distortion would seem different than that from most other glasses. My prescription is only for a (different) prism in each lens; there's no magnification at all.

4. We refer to the baby as "Little Bear" on the blog because that's what we called him before he was born, even before we found out that he was probably a boy. We were trying for something gender-neutral, because we didn't want to grow accustomed to saying "he" for nine months and then have a girl, but we were both so sure that we were having a boy, "Little Bear" started sounded masculine to us a few weeks after we started using it. We did a fairly good job of avoiding pronouns, just saying "the baby" or "Little Bear," for most of the pregnancy though.

5. I almost never ate 100% white-flour bread growing up, to the point that when I went away to college and ate baked goods I became sick. My mother ground her own flour from wheat berries, spelt berries, and a seven-grain mix. Since moving back to Alaska and getting married, I've tried to make everything I bake at least partially wheat or spelt flour.

6. Having a messy house makes me crazy. I'm not OCD--nothing is ever quite perfect, and that doesn't bug me too much--but one thing I really appreciate about being home with Little Bear all day is having the time to keep each room neat and orderly. As Little Bear is becoming more mobile and learning the joys of pulling things off shelves and throwing them on the floor, I'm anticipating having a lot more straightening up to do!

7. My mom put years of effort into teaching us girls to cook before we left the house; she is known as a very good cook, so I'm always flattered if someone compares me to her! She was pretty thorough, but I was more than a bit of a tomboy and was always palming my cooking nights off on my sisters so I could go work in my dad's shop, so there are some regrettable holes in my cookery training. Like tonight's dinner: I'm roasting a chicken for the first time. Guess who I'll be calling for advice?

8. While I've had a devotion to the Divine Mercy for many years, and helped to found a household dedicated to the Divine Mercy in college, when I first encountered the chaplet I hated it. Not just "meh, not my kind of thing;" hearing it made me angry, and I refused to join in praying it. Looking back, it doesn't make a lot of sense... it wasn't a rational thing, but an emotional response: the chaplet made me feel guilty for sin, more so than anything else I'd encountered, and I guess I was lashing out in typical young-teenager fashion at something I didn't like and didn't understand.

9. I've tried and failed to learn to knit several times, but I really enjoy crocheting. While I was pregnant, I made baby blankets for five friends who were also expecting. I also made one for our little guy, which I put off until last because I didn't want to be unable to finish anyone else's... Because he was earlier than we expected, it was only finished a few days before we went to the hospital.

10. All of my sisters have loooooong hair, but since chopping mine short early in my college years, I haven't had the patience to grow it longer than my shoulderblades. When I get too bored or frustrated with it, out come the scissors. It's always stayed longer than my jaw line, though.

11. Even before Little Bear came along, thanks to having many spread out younger siblings, I could recite many children's books from memory. My repertoire has only increased as he's gotten bigger!

Questions from the Trenchcoat Introspective:

Why are you Catholic?
The easy answer would be that I grew up that way, but there has to be more to it or it wouldn't really be my own faith. To put it simply, I believe that the Church contains the fullness of Truth. I've never really doubted that the Catholic Church is truly the church founded by Christ, and that all of her teachings are true. I may not understand them fully, like the mystery of the Trinity, or I may grow frustrated with some of them, even if I understand that they are for the good of my soul, but I believe that they are true. And knowing that they are true, how could I be anything else?

Who is your favorite author and why?
I'm going to have to go with GKC. Chesterton was so vibrant, so nuanced, so prolific a writer: no matter where I am, I can find something he's written that speaks to the situation. And no matter how many times I read something from him--novel, mystery, essay, poem--I always walk away with something new to ponder. One of the formative books of my highschool years was a slim volume by Chesterton entitled The Napoleon of Notting Hill. To this day, the principles espoused by the varying characters fire my imagination and prompt me to reflect on the state of our civilizations.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Time manipulation sounds good; slowing things down, speeding things up. "Think you're only napping for 20 minutes, child? Think again." "The chicken is still frozen and needs to go in the oven soon? No problem!" The ability to sit for hours rocking a peacefully sleeping baby, without cutting into the time I really have to spend cooking and taking care of the house, would be lovely.

Imagine you could travel to any time period without consequences. Where would you go, and what would you do there?
So many tempting options! 1901 for the premiere of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto; 1054 to get a first-hand account of the Great Schism; the first century B.C. to explore the Library of Alexandria... Who am I kidding? Of course I'd travel to 2062 to test drive an aerocar.

What is your idea of a perfect burger?
Start with a homemade roll, either whole wheat or spelt flour. Spread a thin layer of honey-mustard on both sides. Add a quarter-pound moose patty; if you can't get moose, buffalo or elk would work. Pile on lettuce and slices of onion, tomato, and dill pickles. Enjoy with sweet potato fries, pickled beets, and a cold ale!

Why do you blog?
I started this blog for two reasons: as a way to fill time toward the end of pregnancy while I was home all day and often stuck on the couch with dislocating joints, and to keep writing. I really enjoy writing--my thoughts flow best on paper, it seems. My degree is in communications with a concentration in journalism, and I worked for my school's public relations department as a student and have continued to freelance for them occasionally since graduation. Between jobs, and especially while the baby was smaller and sleeping frequently and not really... interactive, blogging gave me an outlet for communication. It still does, although I spend a lot more time playing with blocks and reading board books these days, and I appreciate having a reason to "put pen to paper" at least once or twice a week.

What's your favorite mythological creature and why?
Right now it might be the cinnibird, a giant bird which built its nests out of cinnamon sticks high up on cliffs or tall trees in Arabia. I know, it sounds like a brightly-colored children's storybook, but Herodotus and Aristotle both wrote about it! Pliny the Elder took a more cynical view of the cinnibird, suggesting that the Arabians had invented it as an excuse to raise the price of cinnamon.

What are your thoughts on angels?
Well, I believe they exist, of course... and I know that some people interact with their guardian angels, and I tend to ask our guardian angels to protect us when we travel... Other than that, I don't know much. I've really enjoyed the recent posts about angels at The Trenchcoat Introspective, though!

What was your very first blog post (on your first blog) about? How do you feel about that post now?
I honestly don't remember... It was about eight years ago, and that account has been gone far too long for me to be able to look it up.

What is your dream job?
This probably sounds like a total cop-out, but it's exactly what I'm doing now: being a stay-at-home mom and taking freelance projects in my spare time. I get to spend every day with our son, take care of the housekeeping and cooking for my husband, and still know that I'm contributing to our savings. I wouldn't give this up for any salary or career!

If you were canonized, what would you want to be the patron saint of?
Since patronage is often assigned based on elements of a saint's life, in the unlikely event that I was ever canonized, perhaps "joint problems" would be reasonable: for years, I've had trouble with my shoulders, hips and knees popping out of place.

I think I'll use my Liebster Award nominations to encourage the writers of some blogs I enjoy reading even though they don't get updated as frequently as some of the bigger ones (no pressure, really!):

Megan of Clearing the Sill of the World, who shares life as a young wife and adorable pictures of her little siblings.

Claire, of In Te Speravi, who is so knowledgeable about the Church, and manages to infuse her writing with her amazing personality.

Liz, of Quick-eyed Love, a mom of two whose writing inspires me and makes me laugh.

Alice, of Granola Stilettos, whose blog title kind of says it all... Crunchy, spirited, well-articulated motherhood.

Jamie, of Regarding Beauty, whose blog is only beginning but has a beautiful way with words!

Megan, of The Martha and Mary Project, who ponders the life God is calling us to through a scriptural lens.

Andy, of The Player's Side of the Screen, who probably won't repost this but will be very proud of me for having done the paltry amount of HTML in this post from memory.

Yvonne, of Beyond the Sea, who (like me) started blogging to keep up her writing, with reflections and the occasional book review.

Questions for my nominees:

1. What one experience has done the most to shape the way you view the world?
2. How did you learn to cook? Do you have a favorite dish to make?
3. What is one thing you are glad that you knew when you were 20?
4. Name the most important piece of furniture in your home. Why?
5. If you have kids, what part of being a parent do you most enjoy? If not, what do you think would be the best part?
6. What song or piece of music did you listen to most recently? What do you think of it?
7. Do you believe it is possible that there are life forms on other planets?
8. Of the places you've never been, where would you most like to travel?
9. You're holding a sleeping baby, dinner needs to go in the oven, and you don't have time-manipulative superpowers. What do you do?
10. When was the last time you danced?
11. Do you have, or would you want, any pets?

Enjoy! Thank you again to Liz for nominating me--I had fun.


  1. Yay HTML! (It actually is something I'm interested in, I just need to figure out how many blogs I read that have 200 or fewer followers...and the answers to the questions/facts. ;-))

  2. I got tagged! 0.0 I will have to get on this.

  3. Hmmm, somehow I never saw this till now. And I have most definitely been extremely lax in blogging for soooooo long (although I have been thinking about trying to get back to it recently). Maybe this will be the impetus I need- I love these question things! Questionnaires, along with standardized tests, are my very weird guilty pleasure. :-P

    1. I know what you mean! I always enjoyed standardized tests, and could never resist one of those Facebook questionnaires when we were in college...