Throughout my entire life, writing has always been where I turned during times of any intense emotion. Being the over-analyzing and sensitive person that I am, I have always found it easiest to express my true emotions through journaling, poetry, and now blogging. When my son had his initial anaphylactic reaction last December 2014, I spent those next weeks, terrified of everything and confused about this world of food allergies that I had suddenly entered. After praying for strength and guidance, I knew I had to take action in organizing my emotions in addition to all of the information I was learning. Therefore, I started my blog as a way to organize, educated, and share our story, hoping to ultimately be able to encourage and help so many others. https://theartofamessyhouse.wordpress.com/
Because my site is still in the works, I never expected to already have some followers. With that being said, I am beyond honored to have been nominated by two of these amazing bloggers. First of all, a big thank you to https://unperfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/ I admire how you are encouraging other moms by sharing the truths of motherhood while incorporating your deep faith in God. While we may only know each other through blogging, your passion and love for being a mother shines through your entries. Your family is beyond lucky to have you as their own. Secondly, I also need to send a thank you to https://escapetolife.wordpress.com. Your view on life and your experiences are truly inspirational. You add an inspiring and eye-opening perspective on these experiences that can easily relate to anyone. I definitely look forward to future posts and what lessons they will teach and share.
The Award Rules:
- Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
- Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
- Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
- Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
- Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
- Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.
My responses to ESCAPE TO LIFE’s questions:
- Where do you gather your core inspiration from?
I am an over-thinker, over-analyzer, over-worrier, over-everything unless I write. When I write, all the jumbled words and emotions in my head just seem to flow naturally, thus allowing me to gain a better understanding of myself. To add, praying and running are both when I do my best thinking. However, my core inspiration for everything in life comes from my love of my family and my faith in God.
2. What is your favorite color, and how does it apply to your life?
Pink and red are both my favorite colors. While I disliked them most of my life because they were too “girly,” at some point of my life that completely changed. I think it was somewhere in college I began to draw hearts all over my notebooks and switched to loving red and pink, the colors of love.
3. What does music mean to you? Has a certain song gotten you through a hard time?
Music has always meant a lot to me. Being a strong believer in “anything is possible” if you work hard and believe in it, singing is definitely not my area of talent or possible for me to do without piercing some ears (Although my son doesn’t seem to mind.) While my dream of being a singer/songwriter may not come to play mainly because I have no singing voice at all, music is a constant inspiration to me. During all the difficult times in life, I have gotten through them with the help of particular songs. For example, when I struggled with an eating disorder as a teenager, Celine Dion motivated me to make a major change in my life and survive one of the scariest times. During some difficult times in college, Matchbox 20 and Keith Urban both wrote perfectly in a way that I knew I could go on.
Most recently, during this past winter when we first learned about my son’s multiple severe food allergies, I turned to Christian music. Kutless’s “What Faith Can Do” and Jeremy Camp’s “He Knows” helped me to change my negative thinking around and start believing again. Sometimes, I secretly wish I could still become a songwriter. However, for now, blogging and working on my book are keeping my creativity active and satisfied.
4. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
I would love to go to Australia; however, the older I get, the more and more I dislike flying. Maybe someday though… If not Australia, then I would definitely love to go to Hawaii and Alaska.
5. What is your favorite book, and how has it changed you?
Reading has always been another favorite pastime of mine. One of my favorites in the past few years was “The Language of Flowers.” Also, most memoirs that I read change me. One of my favorites is “The Glass Castle.” And of course, “The Secret” which I read during a very difficult time of anxiety. It really reminded me that only I had the power to change my thinking which is just what I did several times in life, retrained my brain to think positively. I am definitely forgetting some of my other favorites right now too.
6. What do you consider to be your strength in life, or your favorite part about yourself?
I believe that my greatest strengths are that I am an extremely empathetic and open-minded while also extremely motivated and hard working. Now, the combination of empathy and sensitivity caused me a lot of tears over the years, resulting in me being ashamed of it until my 30s. It wasn’t until after having my son that I really began to realize that my ability to be so empathic and open-minded really is such a blessing and something to be proud of. Something I am proud of. Therefore, my ability to see the world through various lenses is my greatest strength.
7. What do you want to be when you grow up, or in other words, what is your dream job?
Oops, I answered this above. If I had any lyrical talent, I would want to be a song writer/singer. Mainly, this is because I want to be able to inspire others every day. Being a published writer would also be pretty awesome. Although I do love being a Special Education teacher, I feel a huge drive to be able to help a greater population of people on a greater scale.
8. What is your favorite animal, and why?
Dogs are my favorite probably because I have almost always had one since I was born.
9. Who would win in an improv poem war: a phoenix or an eagle?
Interesting question…. I believe the phoenix would win because of its hidden inner strength. I think the strongest people often have that type of invisible strength.
10. Who is your best friend?
My husband is my best friend, my soul mate, my rock. While he may drive me crazy at times, it is because of him and my son that I continue to be made into a better person each and every day. They have both taught me more about life, faith, and the true definition of love than I ever imagined.
11. Where do you see yourself in half an hour?
My son will wake up from his nap and we will be outside somewhere playing enjoying this beautiful day.
My responses to UNPERFECTING MOTHERHOOD’s questions:
- What is your biggest challenge as a mom?
Food allergies and eczema are by far the biggest challenges I have as a mom. I think because I cannot control them 100%. In my perfect world, I would be able to take them all away and cure my son. Seeing him in discomfort and limited is so heartbreaking and frightening, which is why I try to keep a positive outlook and attitude about it all.
- What is the greatest life lesson you what your child or children to learn?
Anything in this life is possible if you believe and work hard, allowing God to lead your steps. I want him to see that no matter the challenge, no matter the difficulty, no matter what negativity is thrown at you, it can’t define you. These are all defining moments in which we decide how we are going to define ourselves. I believe that everyone’s story is written in these defining moments in life. Therefore, I want my smiley “Cutes” as I call him to believe in himself and his endless possibilities.
- What do you and your spouse do to spend quality time together?
Before meeting my husband, I was the opposite of a homebody. I always needed to have my days and nights lined up with plans. However, now I love spending my evenings at home together. Add some pizza and wine outside on the back deck and it’s an added bonus.
- What do you do to cut family expenses?
I have cut back on some shopping but this is definitely an area that I wish wasn’t so stressful at times.
- What advice would you give to a future mom?
Trust your instinct. Also, learn to laugh at yourself and not taking yourself too seriously. There will be TONS of people who offer you advice and tell you what you should do without you even asking. Despite what you may think during those first few crazy weeks of motherhood where hormones are all out of sorts, all, or most of these people do mean well. Ultimately, only you know your child best and therefore, trusting your instinct is the way to go.
- What do you love most about being a mom?
I love the new found joy that I now have in the simplest things such as going on a walk to look and count birds or airplanes or stopping to dance at even something so random as a catchy commercial that my son hears.
- Do you say some of the same clichés as your mom? If so, what?
I have yet to use the same cliches. However, I have found myself saying something my mother always warned us, “I am going to get Daddy.” I say this to my three year old dog though, not my son. Oh boy!
- How do you know if your child is lying about something?
Since my son is only 15.5 months, he hasn’t told any lies. However, he does give me a certain look right before he is about to do something he knows he should not be doing. “Toddlerhood” has started!
- Do your kids act more like you or your spouse?
I am a very organized person. Without trying, I have made my little guy into someone who likes to push in drawers and put his toys away before leaving a room. I think this is a good quality right? My husband is a very silly person and TJ is also super silly. It’s funny how motherhood changes you though. Before having TJ, I spent too much time being caught up in over thinking and worrying what others were going to think. I promised myself before he was born that I would try my very hardest to only show my happy side around him and from day one, I made sure to do just this. In doing this, I somehow became way sillier myself, dancing and singing to whatever song is playing in the car, on the television, or on his toys. (This is something that no one would have ever seen me doing without several drinks before being a Mommy.)
10. What do you do to pamper yourself?
Once a month I get a manicure and pedicure. Once or twice a year I get a massage. Hmm…speaking of massages, I think I am due for one. =)
11. What’s the one thing you would change about the world to make it better for raising children?
If I could change anything in this world, I would replace all hatred with love. The older I get, the scarier this world gets. If people truly opened their hearts to faith and God, they would be able to view the world through lenses of love instead of viewing people for their differences.
My nominations for the Liebster Award:
- http://happyfamilyblog.com/ – An incredibly creative and resourceful blog that any mom/parent can relate to. In addition to sharing excellent ideas, you also bring up several interesting, thought- provoking topics. I look forward to continuing to read about your adorably, happy family.
- girl.under.wraps- When first reading The Girl Behind the Blog, I totally related to having too many thoughts and using writing to help organize them. I love this writing style and use of graphics. I look forward to all this blog has to offer!
- https://sonyca.wordpress.com/ – What a clever idea this talented writer created with “Only 100 Words.” Since I just recently found this blog, I am excited to read more and more of these great stories.
- Stay Calm I’m a Foster Mom- I love everything about this blog. This family is an amazing inspiration for all of us. The interviews just melt my heart and I could read them over and over again. Our world is a better place because of people like you.
- https://healthandfitnessablackwomansperspective.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/the-process/ – This woman is one of the most amazing people I know. Her story, outlook on life, and incredible faith in God are beyond inspiring. Check out her blog! I know I am looking forward to more posts.
Here are my questions for all of you:
- What/who makes you smile the most in life and why?
- Are you a spiritual person? If so, how does your faith inspire you?
- What are the biggest goals that you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
- What is a lesson that you learned the hard way?
- What moment(s) has/have changed you most?
- What would you tell your childhood self?
- Who is your biggest role model or hero?
- What do you consider to be your strength in life, or your favorite part about yourself?
- What’s your biggest challenge and how do you face it?
- If you could change anything at all about our crazy world, what would you change?
Sorry for this incredibly long post! Thank you to both of my nominators as well as everyone who takes the time to read our story.
And with extra gratitude in our hearts, we smile on…