Monday, November 19, 2012

Liebster Blog Award & Too Much Talking by Me

Lisa, from This Little Light of Mine, nominated me for this Leibster award. Thank you, Lisa! I sure enjoyed getting to know you more, and hopefully by this post, I can reciprocate. For my readers, if you have never visited Lisa, I urge you to. She leaves me pondering life and faith with every post.

11 Things About Me

1. When I was a little girl we lived in our garage. I always liked telling people that. It really was just a bitty house before my parents built an addition when I was about 8 and turned that part into the garage. Except for digging the basement and pouring the foundation, my parents built the entire house themselves! Can you imagine? I remember being clean-up crew. ;)

2. Once, as a very young girl, I remember sitting in the cool, dark kitchen (it was hot outside so the inside was closed up - no AC you know). Everyone else had finished their lunch and was outside about to enjoy the promised kiddie pool. But I was stubborn, hated hot dogs, and told my parents I was not eating lunch. Well, I was told to finish my plate or I could just sit there (I wasn't the only stubborn one). Instead, when everyone was gone, I put my hot dog at the bottom of the trash and told my dad I was done. No sooner did he come in that he went right to the trash, dug in, and found it. He was disappointed and I had to stay in my bedroom while everyone else enjoyed the water. The funny thing is, I actually liked cold hot dogs as a kid, just not heated ones.

3. In high school I ran cross country. I wasn't any good really, but I enjoyed it.

4. I married my high school sweetheart. I was just looking for a fun date for homecoming, a boy who was not afraid to talk to me. I had no idea it would be the start of a life together!

5. Making this list is hard... I never knew if I wanted children. I could never see myself with babies, and honestly did not think I would do that well with them. Boy, I sure am glad I did not listen to that interior voice! I could not imagine my life without them, and the more time we spend together, I have a huge feeling that they are indeed my own ladder to heaven.

6. I have one brother, younger than me by 18 months. He's in the army and we have barely seen each other for the last 15 years. Sad. I used to wonder what it would be like to live in a larger family. Of course now I know that large does not always mean close-knit. That still does not stop me from praying and hoping my own children remain close.

7. I like to woodburn, but rarely have the chance. I have only done two portraits, but I like to think I have a knack for it, and would like to do more. I have also played with burning on paper, to make cards and whatnot.

8. I have always liked to read, even if I have very little time for it at this stage in my life. One of my favorite authors is Jane Austen.

9. My 3 year old is a tomboy girly-girl. Me, I have absolutely no fashion sense, can never get my hair right (if I even attempt it), and can do the minimum of makeup. And mostly, I am ok with that. Except on really bad hair days. ;)

10. I love to grow herbs. They look good, smell good, and are super easy. I have found that they thrive with very little care, and even when I cut them way back, the plants bounce back quickly. I do use some of what I grown and others are just for fun.

11. I joined the Catholic Church when I was 23, nine years ago. I realize now that I had no idea what I was really doing, but thank goodness God did!

Questions asked by Lisa Maria from This Little Light of Mine.

Why do you blog?

I initially started because I had found so much inspiration from other bloggers in living out my Catholic faith and for homeschooling my young family that I thought it could be a way to share my experiences with others. Lately, however, I seem to have lost the why so I have been quiet. I think, ultimately, that it is a record of my journey and if it helps someone along, so be it, and if no one sees it, then so be it as well. Also, I have found it to be a nice way to find other women who share my beliefs and who are along the same vocation of marriage, motherhood, and homeschooling. This has been especially nice since moving to small town America and having both a small parish (where are the young children???) and a small homeschooling community (the group I joined has about 40 some families from a multiple county area, anywhere from ten minutes down the road to 40 minutes and most are older families as it is an older group).

What do you think is the best thing about blogging?

Blogging in general... connecting with others that you may not otherwise have ever met. It's nice to "talk" with others that have similar goals, especially when many around you do not.

Blogging on a personal level... it is a creative outlet and that always feels good when you finish something; when it looks and sounds good.

What are you most passionate about?

Oh boy. Time for brutal honesty. It's been a rough year. A good year, but a tough one mentally for me. Passion is in short supply. I cannot even say I am passionate about my faith in this very moment. I want to be. I am trying to be. But it is more like I am clinging desperately to a rock in the middle of a flowing river.

I suppose I am passionate about sharing my faith with my children. I pray daily that they have a stronger faith than I do; that they do not have this constant battle of ups and downs like me.

Do you have any dreams you would still like to pursue?

Yes. I would still like to putz around in a garden and turn my landscape into a place of beauty and usefulness  I would like to be more creative/artsy (is that a word?). I have a whole list of woodburning projects that I cannot wait to do... but I must... for now. ;)

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Hmm... this is a tough one. When I think of childhood, my brain shows wisps of memories. I have a horrible memory for specifics. So how about a collection of wisps? 

Holding my hand out the car window (the front car seat window of an old station wagon, with no seat belt on).

A girl and her best friend, rulers of the outdoors - pulling up worms, painting sheds, swinging on willows, jumping into the lake, imaginations wild.

Falling asleep on a summer's day on a hammock in the shade of a tree.

Family sled time in the back quarry.

The feeling of absolute innocence and of feeling safe.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

You know, all my friends wanted to be this or that. But me? I always had a hard time with that question. For awhile I thought maybe I would be dead by the time I was 20 because seriously, I had this huge wall of nothingness there whenever I would think about it. But you know, time moved on and I was 20 and not dead. Imagine that. :) I had flirted with being a pilot until I realized that I did not like going up and down in airplanes. For a bit I wanted to work with wolves. I think that mostly stemmed through my feelings that a wolf family was better than a human one. (I do love my parents and we do get along, but there were some rough patches that I never wish to see again.) I thought about writing. I never thought of marriage or being a mom. What I did end up doing was work in the environmental education field. I enjoyed being outside, being around kids, and teaching them a thing or two - and learning a thing or two myself!

What do you do when you need to re-energize?

This depends on the day and how much time I have. Sometimes a quick virtual trip does the trick. Other times, a little warm bath, time outside, reading a good book, having some fun tea, or talking with a friend. And I suppose saying a little prayer here and there. I never thought of it as re-energizing me though - more like preserving me.

What is your absolute favorite thing to do?

I have too many, but I guess one thing that is a bit all-encompassing is being creative - with the kids, with my own projects, with cooking, whatever. 

Do you have any pet peeves?

Yes, and probably more than I should have. Let's see, three big ones are... when people are more glued to their electronic devices than to people (I have considered placing a bowl out at family gatherings to collect all cell phones! Seriously annoying.)... not using turning signals in the car... using improper spelling and grammar (not that I am perfect) like when people mix up your and you're... 

Were there Titus 2 women in your life to inspire and guide you?

I had to look up to see what a Titus 2 woman was to answer this. Lisa, I suppose you are one of my current Titus 2 women as I always find inspiration from your blog (I sure hope this doesn't make you feel old!!! I have no idea how old you are anyway but considering your oldest is in college and mine is 7, I think you qualify for me). 

Growing up, there were two women I looked up to in my church (not Catholic) and they helped in guiding or perhaps safeguarding my heart for Jesus. I had other women in my life I looked up to for various reasons, but really, none shared with me what it is to be a daughter of Christ. No one talked about God or what it means to have Him in your life - how to act, how to pray, how to center your life around Him. I do believe this is very individual but still, I wonder what it would have been like to have had family prayer times, talking about God together and openly rather than in quiet, sad, desperate kind of moments. As a young woman preparing for marriage, I found the book, Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot, very inspiring - and I still do. It is one of the few books I pull off the shelf and read now and again. Over the last few years, I have found the book, A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot to be a big help in directing my vocation towards God's will.

What do you consider to be necessary to you for a happy life?

Prayer, laughter, family/friends, putting God first, keeping my mouth shut - at times anyway ;) - and speaking calmly (much easier said than done!).

Now, to pay it forward...

I have to choose a few bloggy friends who have less than 300 followers to do as I did. Tell me 11 things about yourself (anything at all), answer the 11 questions I pose to you (see below), nominate up to 11 other small blogs and let them know about the award, and create 11 questions of your own to pose those nominees.

Some bloggy friends I would like to know more about are: 

1. Elisa at Elisa Loves, who is quite fun and chatty herself but I would love to hear more. :)
2. Tiffany at Family at the Foot of the Cross, another inspirational blog for me.
3. Jamie Jo at Lord, Make Me a Saint, whose posts always remind me to be thankful and that we are not alone in this journey of motherhood.
4. Gardenia at My Little Flower, where her love for her little girl shines through in every post.
5. Cheryl at The Diary of a Sower, whose blog I have found to be useful in catechizing my children, and I would love to learn more about the woman behind the ideas. 

So, ladies, here are my questions to you! Elaborate as much or little as you desire. Answer if you will and have time. I would love to hear more, but never, ever feel obligated. God bless and take care!


My 11 Questions

1. What is a favorite childhood memory?
2. Are you a cradle Catholic or did you join the Church later on in life?
3. What is your favorite prayer?
4. What is your favorite time of day?
5. What do you consider to be your best talent/gift?
6. Why do you blog?
7. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
8. If you could go anywhere, right now, where would you go?
9. Who is your favorite saint?
10. What is your favorite season/time of the year?
11. What are you most thankful for?


  1. I just did this one, under a different name though...I'll answer your questions though!

    It was fun reading your answers--especially you memories of childhood, love that hot dog story!!

    1. What is a favorite childhood memory?
    Gosh, I guess when my little sister was born, I was 8 and my brother and I were sleeping on my aunt's floor and in the middle of the night, she got the call and I was so excited to have a baby sister!

    2. Are you a cradle Catholic or did you join the Church later on in life?

    Cradle Catholic, but only did things because I was "supposed" to, didn't know the reasons til I was in my mid 20's.--when I had a re-version...a little conversion even though I never actually left the faith.

    3. What is your favorite prayer?

    The Rosary and the Mass

    4. What is your favorite time of day?
    Bedtime (for the kiddos)Well, actually it's when they are in bed, not bedtime, because bedtime is not pretty around here -hahah!

    5. What do you consider to be your best talent/gift? Gosh...I don't have any talents...maybe my gift is my honesty and strong convictions?
    6. Why do you blog?
    I like to have a place of "Jamie" I like the connections I've made with people all over the world, I like to get things out of my head. (that's just a few reasons)

    7. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
    Never give up your faith--my dad said that growing up to us kids, funny because now he belongs to SSPX. (Pius X)

    8. If you could go anywhere, right now, where would you go?
    Without cost? a warm beach somewhere was my first thought, then my 2nd thought was the Adoration chapel, how I yearn to go...never seem to get away to go...I got those backwards, don't I?

    9. Who is your favorite saint? Blessed Mother Theresa. I also love St Padre Pio, and so many...St Faustina...

    10. What is your favorite season/time of the year?
    Spring and summer, when everything is alive and blooming and warm and sunny!!

    11. What are you most thankful for?
    My faith. my husband, my marriage, my kids, in that order.

  2. Nicole, thanks for nominating me. I enjoyed reading your post, especialy the section on your childhood: "a girl and her best friend rulers of the outdoors". it brought back my own memories of myself and my best girl friend. You bared your soul today and it is a beautiful one. when I have periods of dryness in my faith, I pick up a book on Our Lady. Any book about Our Lady and it helps me immensely. I enjoyed reading about Our Lady of Guadalupe, another book about all the different places she has appeared and what her titles are in those apparitions. It all draws me back to Christ. It'll take me a while to respond to your Q's etc, but I will. ((just kind of a busy week with TGiving coming up)). thanks again, for haring a part of your self. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Jamie Jo, I do remember that post now that you mention it. I completely get the bedtime vs in bed. Thanks for the laugh. :) And thank you for answering my questions. It was fun to read your answers. And, I say, hit the beach AND visit a new church while there.

    Gardenia, take your time. It took me a bit to get this post up too. :) Thanks for the ideas of books to read. I have a wishlist of books to read and on occasion I do order one when I need a lift. It helps for a spell anyway. I look forward to seeing your answers.

  4. Hi Nicole...sorry it took me so long to get to this but I've had some problems accessing my email and blogger.

    First, I loved learning more about you and yes, we do have a lot in common. I've just finished reading all of Jane Austen's books, a set of which was a birthday gift from my daughter this year.

    I also didn't know what a Titus 2 Woman is until I started reading Christian blogs (non-Catholic) and I discovered so many out there who inspired me and taught me things I never knew before. I'm deeply honoured to be considered such by you. Btw I'm 45 :)

    Loved this post...I have to go visit those blogs you passed the award on to. I do have lots of catch up reading to do!

    Take care of yourself Nicole...God bless you and yours!


Thank you for stopping by. I love to chat. God bless!