Fabulous Blogs, Friendly Awards, and Housekeeping Stuff

Tuesday, we got new carpet in our basement. Totally excited that there is no longer a "mystery smell" creeping up the stairs; although, I guess like the weather, we'll just wait a while and that will change again.

Anyhoo, since I was housebound all day, I had a chance to catch up on some of my blog reading. That rarely happens before Friday!

I think I have a Feedburner issue, though, because I am not getting notifications when some of my favorite Blogger blogs post new stuff. Is that happening to any of you? I have my blog set to mail myself just so I know if something like that happens.

Wow, there are so many great blogs! Back in 2004, when I was a new mom of 7 month-old-twins whose husband just moved her halfway across the country, I really wanted to start a blog. I had absolutely no idea how to go about it though.

Now, it seems like you can't swing a bag of cats (NOT that I would do that - it's just an expression) without hitting a blogger (wouldn't do that either, just so you know). In the past two years, I have built relationships with a lot of other bloggers that really feel like genuine friendships.

That's crazy, right? I mean, I've never even met these people in real life. Surely I'm being catfished (did I use that expression correctly?).

But, it's true - these people are friends. We care about each other and what we write about. We understand things that non-bloggers don't understand. And that's pretty cool.

I have gotten the Liebster award in the past, and The Mommy Ref bestowed it to me again. I have to say, getting an award more than once does not suck. I mean, does Diane Keaton go to the Oscars and say, "Oh no, really, I've gotten one before. I'll pass on this one."? I don't think so.

The problem comes with awarding to other bloggers. The "rules" say the blog has be be a new or up and coming blog, under 200 followers. And passing it on is hard because like I said, I like and read so many blogs.

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.

3. Choose 11 new bloggers (or with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.

4. Go to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.
Here you can find not just 11, but 100 facts about me.
Here are the questions I was to answer:
1. Why did you start to blog? I wanted to continue to tell Joey's story and maybe make a foray into freelancing (pa-ha to the second one - has not happened).
 2. Is there a story behind your kids' names? Not really. Since we tried so hard for our first, our twins, their names have special meaning, but the rest were just names we liked. When we got to little boy #5, he got named the only boy name we had left that we liked. And his middle name is Joseph in honor of Joey.

3. What is your favorite sitcom? Old school, it's Friends. I watch reruns on Nick at Nite every night. Current is Modern Family.
4. Have you ever been to another country? Mexico on my Honeymoon.
5. What is your favorite ice cream? I'm a Vanilla Bean kind of gal. Next to that is anything with fudge and nuts.
6. What did you want to be when you grew up? An author (of course)
7. Are you allergic to anything? Nothing except exercise.
8. What state would you move to if you could? This is tough. I really have liked everywhere I've been in California.
9. What is something you want to accomplish before 2013 is over? To be paid for something I write. To lose 15 pounds.
10. Who is your celebrity crush? George Clooney - has been for years.
11. What were you doing at 8am this morning? I was cuddling in a chair in the family room with my one year old, drinking coffee while he ate cereal, and simultaneously checking e-mail and watching the Today Show.

Now here's the tricky part. I don't know who I would give the award to. Mommy Ref already gave it to two of my newest favorites, Funny is Family and MommyRiverBadger. Another of my new favorites is Cloudy with a Chance of Wine, but I think she has already accepted it. Let's just say, I will have to think about that. Here is a post in which I mentioned a bunch of my favorite blogs. And here, here, and here are three Pinterest boards to which many amazing bloggers Pin their best posts.

Another award I received was from Jen at Life on the Sonny Side. It is The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Aww, Jen really inspires me, too. She is so bubbly and full of energy, always tweeting and writing for the Epistolarians as well. The rules for accepting the award are simple - just tell 7 things about yourself (okay, here they are) and pass the award on to a few bloggers who inspire you.

That second part is a little harder. There are so many bloggers who are doing good with their blogging platform:

JD at Honest Mom. This gal is about to explode on the big-time scene. She has been blogging about PPD and anti-depressant use for a long time. She lent her experience to a Parenting article that has been widely shared and, in some instances, criticized. She inspires me by not being afraid to talk about her experiences and reach out to mothers who are struggling.

Steph at I'm Still Learning. Steph talks a lot about anxiety and panic attacks and how to handle them.  I think it's brave of her as well to step out of her comfort zone and share with her readers the strategies that help her to cope. She has two boys about my boys' ages, too.

Anna at An Inch of Gray. Anna lost her son Jack in an unthinkable accident. She writes beautifully about his memory and her journey through grief. It's inspiring to me to see another mother who is working her way through the unimaginable, yet still being a source of strength for many.

Jessica at Four Plus an Angel. Jessica is another mother who is dealing with child loss - the loss of one of her infant triplets. She is also raising an autistic daughter. After the shootings at Newtown the shooter was revealed to be autistic, and suddenly, people with autism were villanized and feared. Along with several other bloggers, Jessica helped start Autism Shines, a website that highlights the special qualities of children and teens with autism.

Kim from Let Me Start By Saying and Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat. I have already professed my admiration for Kim, but Jen is a new acquaintance. I'd seen her blog, and I admit, I was hesitant to read it because of the title. She honestly is a really great person whose blog is not all about beating people up! Both of these women have published books, and are set to publish second ones very soon. They inspire me to take those steps toward writing the book in my head - Joey's story. That's why I am here. It's what I've wanted to do. You can find their books here and here.

AnnMarie from Tidbits from the Queen of Chaos. AnnMarie is raising four kids who are at three different stages - toddler, tween, and teen. I thought I had chaos! To add to that, her two sons have Cystic Fibrosis. Reading her blog is like having a conversation with a friend. She makes you root for her and her family, and I draw strength from knowing that while not every mom has it easy, there are some who are going above and beyond for their families.

I know there are more. These are the ones who stick out in my head today. Please visit as many of the bloggers I have mentioned here and give them some love.

I also want to remind you about the e-book I am in along with several other bloggers.

I partnered with the b Positive Project, Anna from My Life and Kids and 17 more bloggers to create a free eBook that I think you’re going to love.

The b Positive Project is a t-shirt and apparel company that creates comfy clothes and tries to inspire people to have a positive mindset and do good things for others.

From wrinkles, to depression – from parenting with humor to inspiring our husbands *wink* – this eBook might make you think. It might make you cry. It will definitely make you laugh out loud.

Be sure to use the coupon code in the book to receive 10% off your purchase at the b Positive Project. That same coupon code will help kids with cancer – for every 10 transactions, the b Positive Project will send 100 hats to kids battling cancer!

We’re also sharing 50 Ways to b Positive. Yes – punching someone in the face is included… so is praying.

Lastly, please look to the left over here and click on a few more things - if you're not clicked out already! I have three wonderful blog sponsors and two amazing advertisers. Check out the blogs mentioned - they are all amazing. If you are needing an gift card, please come back here and click through to order. And check out Esoteric Velvet's website. It is new, edgy, fashion forward. It is your place for shopping for the latest in art, fashion, and design.

And, did you know that you can vote for me once a day for the Best Mom Blogs? It's nice to see myself in the top 10 - I'm not going to lie.

Thank you to all those who read, who comment, who support. I love doing this!! Mwaaaa!

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