Monday, December 9, 2013

The Liebster Award

This past weekend I was catching up on blog reading, both my favorite pastime and my family’s least favorite, because it means that I will be sitting with a laptop IN MY LAP for hours.  And hours.  And who can find the food around here when mom has her nose glued to a screen all afternoon?

And evening?

Sometimes, all that blog reading pays off, and by sometimes I mean every time, because bloggers are some of the best writers, and the reason why most of them are ‘just’ bloggers and not household name authors is because they are distracted by other things in their lives that demand attention nearly every hour of every day, and who has time to hammer out a tome when there are dollars to be made, noses to be wiped, and daily fistfights to break up? (Oh, wait.  That last one’s just me, isn’t it?)

And sometimes all that blog reading pays off because you make actual connections with the people behind the screens, and you learn a bit about their real lives, and they learn about yours.  And you find that bloggers are pretty awesome people.

And not just because they give you awards.

Which happened to me.  Lisa of The Meaning of Me passed a Liebster Award my way about three weeks ago.  And I just read about it this weekend.  Look, I never said that I do my favorite pastime all that often. After high-fiving myself for winning an award and thanking Lisa a bit gushingly and embarrassingly, I did some light internet research and learned that The Liebster Award (liebster meaning dearest in German) is a meme that has circled the blogisphere for a while and it is designed to spread love and support between bloggers, to encourage each other and say hey, I like you, keep doing what you’re doing.  I also learned that The Liebster is a virtual award and not a diamond-encrusted tiara that would go quite beautifully with a variety of outfits anchored by yoga pants.

Like most awards, the Liebster is not without responsibility, and as I march to accept it, I must also provide something in return.  A list.  Three lists, actually.  Buckle up, kids.  Here they come.

I don't know about this 'less than 200 followers' qualification.
Surely it is true for me, but for others, I can't really say.
I chose to omit that detail when choosing future award winners.

11 Facts About Me

1. I got the tip of my thumb cut off when I was three.  It looks weird.  Stop staring.

2. If someone asked me to move to France tomorrow, I’d do it immediately without hesitation.  I have also brainwashed my children to agree with me.  I have romantic notions about owning a lavender farm in Provence.  I can’t explain it.

3. I keep a list of books and movies I want to read and see.  It is over two hundred titles long.  I read about three books a year and watch the same movies over and over again.

4. I am against having pets.  I think all animals should live outside.

5. My left leg is a quarter inch shorter than my right.  Between that and my thumb, I kind of feel like I should carry a sideshow participant card around with me.

6. I read Vogue magazine from cover to cover each month.  It has a special place on my kitchen desk, and no one else is allowed to touch it.

7. I pray for famous people who are in turmoil to get their act together.  I mean, I actually pray for them.  I’m looking at you, Lindsay Lohan.

8. I have comically high standards.  While my husband is researching cars to replace my eight-year-old Altima, I’m pricing Range Rovers.  We live a one-income, used-minivan lifestyle.

9. I remember odd things like telephone numbers, song lyrics and old friends’ birthdays, yet I can’t remember conversations that I had yesterday.

10. My husband went to college at Penn State.  He loves it with every fiber of his being.  I hate Penn State with perhaps the same fervor.

This is how my husband "decorates" our home in the name of Penn State.  Hideous.

11. I have an Elizabeth Taylor-level love of extravagant and ostentatious jewelry.

11 Questions to Answer (from Lisa)

1. If you had to choose, would you rather give up your sense of sight or your sense of hearing?  Hearing.  I like it quiet, and while I would mourn the music and the sound of my loved one’s voices, I’d rather not hear than not see.  I have trouble hearing anyway due to some overzealous headphones use back in my teens, so I’m on my way there anyway.

2. What is your favorite time of day? Why? Early morning, suckers.  It’s so quiet.

3. What is your favorite article of clothing? A pair of jeans I’ve had for a few years.  I am aware that I wear them a lot.  Like five times a week a lot, sometimes.

4. What household chore would you rather not do ever again? All of them.  I hate cleaning up after people.

5. Who is your hero? Why? This is so hard for me.  I don’t know.  I’ve never been a hero worshipper.  I always looked up to my mother, because she is confident and clear and decisive.  These are three things that I am not.

6. How do you like your steak cooked? Medium.  I like it pink.

7. Describe the worst/weirdest haircut you’ve ever had.  I’ve had a few.  The weirdest was this short layered bob with super short baby bangs.  My husband cried when I came home from the salon with that one.  The worst was the Millenial Mom cut: short and layered on top and the sides, longer in the back and a little bit spiky all over.  Oh my goodness, why didn’t anyone tell me how horrible it was? I’m holding everyone around me responsible forever.

It's so bad, I can't even show my face.

8. What would you like to be known for? Being a good person.  Having a sense of humor. Raising fabulously successful children. Writing the best novel in the history of the world.  See also #8 above.

9. Dog person or cat person? Cat.  Dogs are way too needy and annoying.  Stop slobbering on me.  Stop jumping on me.  Stop barking, for the love of everything holy and pure!! 

10. Which is better – the book or the movie? Usually the book.   Did you see the Twilight movies?  OMG so painful.  

11 Leibster Award Winners (chosen by me)

1. Jessica Clemmer at Finding My Voice

3. Erin of One-Sided Momma

4. Maureen of Scoops of Joy

5. Jeannette of Tiny Rotten Peanuts

6. Dawn of The Dawnie Project

8. Julie at By Any Other Name

10. Rebecca at Rosey Rebecca

11. Jennifer at Dancing in the Rain

Congratulations, bloggers!  You all have won this prestigious award!  I hope you’re reading, and that you do it.  If you’re not on this list, you can still pull a Liebster.  After all, the Liebster award is really just arbitrary.  There’s no real award apart from being chosen to do it.  Which might not even be a good thing in your eyes.

Either way, this Liebster business is no joke, people.  It’s a challenge.  And I don’t really know if any of these bloggers have done it before, or if they will pass it on.  I hope they will for their readers’ sakes, including me.  Here are the questions I would like answered:

11 Questions for Liebster Award Winners

1. What embarrasses you?

2. How much do you swear around your kids, if you have kids?  If you don’t have kids, how much do you swear in general?

3. Do you speak a foreign language?  Why or why not?

4. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?  It’s okay if you say “right where I am now.”  I won’t judge you for being boring.

5. Outside of your family and yourself, what is your biggest love?

6. What is one thing you are terrible at?

7. Your dream job.

8. What is your biggest sociopolitical concern?

9.  Where and when would you go if you could travel through time?

10. Are you adventuresome?

11. Creatively, what are you best at?  What are you worst at?

Whew!  Thanks for hanging in with me, friends.  Let me know if you do a Liebster, so I know that you’ve passed the torch along! Happy Liebstering!


  1. Congratulations on the award!

    I wanna see your thumb! Also, list #1, #9 - me too.

    1. Thanks, Alison! The thumb is a conversation starter - or stopper, depending on your level of horrification.

  2. I love learning more about you, always! I can't wait to hug you when I meet you in April.

    1. Thanks Kristin! I know, right?! I'm getting excited!!

  3. i really liked this. and in response to your #7, i'm seriously distraught over khloe and lamar. i wish i was kidding. no, no i don't.

    1. Thanks, Corie! I hear you about Khloe. She has really put up with a lot, and really gets the shaft most of the time. ;)

  4. It was close. We almost needed to check our birth certificates for twin status until your dog response. Since you've seen my FB, you know I am half Labrador. But they are gross, slobbery and needy, I can't argue that. LOVE your responses and am ridiculously excited to answer your questions. Giddy really. Thank you for the Liebster, I'm going to barricade myself away tonight and carry on the torch, sister. P.S. I just adore that pic of you with your mom.

    1. Eeeeeee!! Thanks, Erin! I can't wait to read your responses and see if we really are twins separated at birth. So glad you are participating!

      PS that picture of my mom - true to form, my husband snapped it just as I stuffed my mouth full of whatever we were cooking at the time. It really is quite remarkable how consistent he is at taking terrible pictures of me.

  5. Congrats :) I feel ya. We live the one income used minivan lifestyle too. Isn't it grand? I mean it can be. And bwhaha. I love that you blurred out the picture.

    1. He! Thanks, Sarah! Yeah, the look on my face in that pic is almost as terrible as the haircut. I really do love the one-income life, too, except when my starry eyes overlook reality it's always kind of a slap in the face. :)

  6. Oh my! Well, first I'd like to thank the academy, and all the little people I stepped on on my way to the top...

    Also, like you, some of my bits and pieces are not symmetrical AT all. It's totally noticeable, by the way. And I truly thought I was the only person in the world who is anti-pet. My kids seem to think so.

    I'll be posting about my fabulous new award soon - I'll let you know when it goes live. Thanks so much!

    1. Your acceptance speech - priceless. It's still making me laugh. I will totally share my tiaras with you.

      Whew - another non-pet owner. Do you not like animals, or is there a deeper reason for not having pets, like fundamentally not believing in human/animal cohabitation?

      I can't wait to read your answers!

    2. I like animals fine - from a distance. Occasionally I even like other people's pets, but mostly I don't want something else to clean up after. I really do believe most animals are happier outside in their natural habitats, though. Long ago I had house cats, and even though I liked them, I was quite happy when they were finally gone. That is not as horrible as it sounds, by the way. I didn't just turn them loose in the wild or anything... Really.

  7. There is a money-back guarantee of getting happiness whenever I visit this blog.

    Okay, that sounded like a spam comment. But it's me. Jennie. You know - the one in France that you're going to move right next door to?

    1. Hello, Jennie! You make me laugh. I would definitely move next door. You know France is on my short list of places to retire, right? It won't be long now! Okay, twenty five years at least. That's nothing.

  8. This was so fun! Your first section about why bloggers are not household names made me feel so empowered!

    I'm stuck on the whole half-a-thumb thing. My step-father-in-law has half a thumb and only three fingers on one hand, and I am now going to be forever picturing his masculine hand on your body.

    1. GAH! MAN HANDS!

      Our neighbor when I was growing up had hands like your SFIL. Mine is very subtle.

      Despite all that, I'm glad that you found value in the bloggers-as-suppressed-authors comment. I truly believe it.

  9. I absolutely loved your post - intro to answers, non-matching body parts and all. This is why I love this little meme - getting to know more about the people behind the blogs.

    Now - about the diamond-encrusted tiara. I can mail you one if you like. Gimme your address.

    1. Thank you Lisa! And thanks you for choosing me! I had fun with it. I can't wait to hear the responses of the bloggers I chose! I love getting to know what makes up a person.

      I'm overjoyed to hear that you have extra tiaras lying around. Thank you so much for offering to send me one!

  10. Congratulations, Andrea!
    I laughed at your haircut photo. I have had some doozy styles, myself. :)

  11. Congrats on your award, WELL Deserved! And so fun to get to know you EVEN better! Espeically that whole cut thumb, one leg shorter than the other stuff! ;-)

  12. Hi Andrea! Believe it or not, I did see this post the day you published it (thank you for the compliment!!!), and have been meaning to respond since then, but it's been that kind of week. Or month, actually. I am clinging to sanity by my fingertips and teeth as I try to navigate my to-do list and my computer time has suffered as a result. :) I promise that I will in fact get too this sooner rather than later! And I loved your answer about your favorite time of day being early mornings because they are this house early mornings are bedlam because I have two supremely early-bird sons, so my favorite time of day is the evenings after everyone else is asleep! :)

    1. Never fear - when my kids were young nighttime was the quiet time around here, too!

      You're welcome for the compliment, and I totally know how it is at this time of year. We all have to make the hard choices. For me, I sacrifice exercising at the holidays. Which I should probably reconsider.

  13. Hi again...I have finally Liebstered!
    Thank you again for picking me...high praise indeed. :)

  14. Oh, man...I am sooo behind here!! Thanks so much for the compliment of the nomination...especially when I'm feeling like such a total lame-o blogger of late!! I haven't been reading almost anything that wasn't in list form of late...blogs, books...agh!! If it didn't appear on FB, I've missed it...and even then, I feel like I'm missing most things!! But, I'm honored, and hope to be able to engage this brain of mine...though, I have to shamefully say...if I'm totally honest, I'm not even reading 11 other blogs right now, so I'm a-feared I will be a complete failure in my ability to pass on this time-honored tradition!!!

    I shall give it the 'ol blogosphere try...and some non Christmas writing will be refreshing. I might be on a bit of holiday overload...