Liebster Award– a peer nominated blogging award that began in Germany to encourage writers with less than 200 followers to “keep on keeping on.” In German, Liebster means favorite or beloved.
My fellow blogger Kristen was recently nominated for this award for the work that she does in telling her infertility story in her blog Reinventing Kristen. Kristen is also taking a writing class to help her further explore her passion for the written word. As a result she strings together some truly impressive and heart felt work. You should really check out her blog.
So you can imagine my reaction when I learned that she nominated me for this award.
Thank you Kristen. If I were German I would tell you that I am completely and utterly geehrt.
So here is how it works:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
2. Answer the questions designated by the blogger who nominated you.
3. List 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 3-5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
5. Make up a set of questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.
Kristen’s Questions for Me:
What is the one thing in your life that you are most proud of achieving?
Without a doubt, my daughter. It took a surgery, couples counseling, four transfers, two fresh IVFs, and 11 embryos to have her. There were many moments that I doubted and came close to giving up but I am so thankful to have her. I am also proud of the kind of parent I am. Nobody’s perfect, but I know I am doing my best for her and will create a bright, strong, and healthy young woman.
What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
Two scoops of strawberry on a waffle cone please! It can’t just be any old strawberry. I prefer the natural strawberry with the great big chunks of beautiful berries. If the ice cream itself is pink, I want no part of it. Sadly, its still 40 degrees here in Northern Michigan and my ice cream days are yet to come. I am not much of a sweet eater, so I typically only eat ice cream in the peak of the summer heat. Its more for nostalgia than craving.
What is your favourite movie?
I have to pick one? We don’t watch TV in this house (except ESPN and The Walking Dead) but we are total movie buffs. I had a huge crush on Carey Grant when I was younger and love Arsenic and Old Lace. Its a rare comedy for Grant and a super silly and funny flick. It also has a bit of a Halloween theme so if you haven’t seen it, think about renting it this October. As long as you can deal with black and white movies, you won’t be disappointed. Among more modern movies, I loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Its rare that a plot surprises me, and this one did. Its one of only a handful of movies I have seen more than once since I got older and began to value my precious time.
What/who has been your greatest source of strength in life?
My Dad. We lost him to cancer when I was only 19 but he had already made quite the impression by then. He was a great man, very kind and generous with his time and energy. He loved his kids and was crazy about my Mom. Dad was the perfect example for a young woman and I credit him for leading me to my second greatest source of strength, my husband. Though they never met, it was the image of my father as the picture of the perfect husband that led me to settle for nothing less than Bill Winslow. Bill has be strong for us when we needed it most, and even when I hardly deserved it. Like I was, Spork is lucky to have such a great man for a father to set the “mate” bar high for her.
If you had to pick your favourite motivational one-liner, what would it be?
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”
If you had one tip for someone about to go through IVF, what would it be?
I have millions! The main one is not to forget to nurture your relationship and enjoy life while you are devoting most of your energy to making a baby. To be a whole parent, and maybe even to be successful in IVF, you have to remained balanced and also have compassion for yourself and your spouse. Infertility puts more strain on a marriage that most people would think. You still need to take vacations, have date night, and have sex for fun. Otherwise your life and maybe even your love could slip away while you are waiting for baby.
What was it about your partner, that first time that you met them, that attracted you?
His deep, sexy voice over the phone. We met in person, but when I really took notice it was when he called me for that first date. It still makes me giddy like a schoolgirl if I stop and think about it (like I just did).
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Neither and both. I hated cats until I had the coolest cat in the world forced on me when I married Bill. I hated him, but like many cats he could sense that and set out on a mission to make me fall in love with him. lt worked. He actually slept sort of wrapped around the top of my head at night. Sometimes I would wake up and he would be laying beside me with his front leg stretched across my chest like he was holding me.I loved that cat. We lost him at 7 years old to the tainted cat food debacle that happened a few years back.
We have a dog named Don Diego. He is a dog I desperately wanted but really haven’t had much to do with since he was trained and stopped being an adorable puppy. I am one of those people who like the idea of animals but am terrible at caring for them. To be honest, I was a little afraid this would be true with Spork. Thankfully her cuteness has not worn off yet.
I despise Don Diego’s slobber and hair and regularly swear I will never have another dog. I am sure I will though.
Eleven Random Facts About Me
1). In high school I won the State Championship for Spanish Oral Proficiency in two different years. Today I can barely ask a Mexican waiter where the bathroom is. I would have no problem asking how to find the library, but strangely I have never needed directions to a library in a Spanish speaking country.
2) I ran the Columbus marathon in 2009.Bill ran the race with me and we crossed the finish line holding hands. I still consider myself a marathon runner even though it has been 5 years and I have only run one race. I will absolutely get back to running distance after I am done battling infertility.
3) On a whim, I got a tattoo of a band of daisies on my ankle when I was 19. I have hated it ever since. It is faded from three laser treatments and I will complete the removal when I am done making babies.
4) I want to go to law school when I retire. Or maybe when my kids are grown. Heck, at my age they may be one and the same.
5) I love creative writing and enjoy a great book, but have lost my interest in fiction. A few years ago I decided that since life is stranger than fiction it made more sense to read non-fiction. I read a great deal about behavioral economics and psychology. Why people and groups of people do what they do fascinates me. I also love statistics and the art of prediction.
6) I am about to begin reading the Bible again from cover to cover. The last few years I have found myself yearning to have a stronger relationship with God but have had a difficult time really “feeling it.” Over the next year I am going to re-read the Bible and see what comes of it.
7) Just about everything I want to do except having a baby has to wait until after we are done with infertility and it makes me nutso. Items on the post baby list include getting ripped at Crossfit, lasik eye surgery, laser hair removal, eating gluten, and of course more marathons.
8) I am the oldest, meanest, most emotional, and most self centered of 4 kids. But we are super tight and my siblings love me anyway. My youngest sister lives just down the road and we spend an unusual amount of time together.
9) I hate flying. This of course began after September 11th. I have even had to go so far as taking valium for flights. Another reason I am glad to be at a closer clinic for treatment now.
10) I used to smoke cigarettes and miss them. I choose not to smoke solely for health reasons. If I learned the world was going to end tomorrow, I would go out and by a carton right now and would drink expensive red wine and smoke my brains out until the end came. That is, if I didn’t have a daughter and husband who would be put off by it.
11) My first kiss is now a proud gay man. I just learned this a couple of years ago. It was a relief to know that I wasn’t really rejected after all. Phew…
Now for my nominees:
1) In Vertigo Fertizo-we both began blogging at about the same time. She is honest, creative, and downright hilarious at times. But she is still very serious and while I am sad that her first IVF didn’t work out, I have enjoyed following her journey.
2) Honestly Infertile– she is doing what I initially set out to do, poking fun at infertility. However I just couldn’t always remain light and funny as she describes it on her “about” page. Sometimes her humor can be a little gross, but delightfully so. There are many gross things about infertility.
3) A Few Pieces Missing from Normalcy- An Infertile Man’s Perspective. I can’t tell how many followers he has or if he has received the award, but he should if he hasn’t. His posts are super honest and sometimes a little dark (as any honest infertility post would be).
Questions for my nominees
1) Do you have to be dragged out on the dance floor or are you the one doing the dragging?
2) What is one product you have to splurge to buy the name brand and why?
3) Who is your secret celebrity crush and why?
4) What is the most obnoxious fertility related experience you have had? It could be something that happened or something moronic that someone has said to you.
5) What extracurricular activities did you participate in when you were in school?
6) What is your favorite season and why?
7) The secret to a great marriage is…
8) Why did you start your blog?