For those of my family and friends who read this blog but aren’t really in the blogger community, there are many different varieties of blog awards floating around out there. While my dream is to be Freshly Pressed (which basically means my blog being chosen by the corporate Big Wigs who run the WordPress site to be featured on their homepage, which is visited by THOUSANDS and thousands of people every day), I also think that blogger awards are a really nice idea and a bit more meaningful. Blog awards are not awarded by corporate Big Wigs–they are awarded by other bloggers, and are really the blogging community’s way of saying, “Come look at this blog! I think it’s really cool.” I have discovered a handful of really interesting blogs after seeing them nominated for blog awards, and hopefully some new people will discover my blog after seeing it nominated as well!
I am really excited because this is my first blog award ever! The Lovely Blog Award:
Isn’t it pretty? Now, some contingencies come along with this award. I obviously need to give a shout out to the blogger who gave it to me. I need to list seven random facts about myself, and also nominate fifteen more bloggers for the award. EEK! I don’t know if I read fifteen other blogs, so I may have to cut that list in half. Makes it that much more special for the people being nominated, right?
First, a big thanks to VividHunter for giving me this award. I really enjoy perusing her blog about Japan (it makes me wish that Justin and I had spent a little more time there). She has a lot of great photos and travel advice to share after living there for five years and teaching English there (English teachers, unite!). She also met her husband there (that’s quite a souvenir! ;-)) and I believe they now live in Australia, which is where she’s from. However, I was surprised to see that she nominated me on her other blog, The (anti) Procrastination Diaries, which is more about her daily life and her struggles/triumphs as an aspiring author. How cool is that? I didn’t even know she had this blog, but I now officially have two blogger friends (the other has been nominated on the list below) who are
aspiring inspiring authors, which really encourages me to get out there and try to get something published as well. Like VividHunter, I am also thinking about starting a new blog once I am no longer “lost on planet China,” just because I’ve become really fond of blogging.
Now, onto a list of seven random things about myself:
1. For my entire life, I’ve really hated mushrooms (on pizza, out of a can, whatever). However, in China, I cannot get enough of the really bizarre Asian-variety of mushrooms they have here! Some are long, skinny white threads, some are rubbery and blackish/green and almost look like seaweed, and some are big and brown with the umbrella-shaped cap and the big stem. They have such different tastes, and I love them all! I eat mushrooms on almost a daily basis now.
2. Justin and I harbor a dream of adopting a husky dog. I’ve never owned a big dog before, but Justin refuses to allow me to adopt a little fluffy, yappy, “un-manly” puppy. We would need to wait until we have a place with a backyard that he can romp around in, but if The Fonz (our cat) gives us his blessing, I think it could be really fun.
3. When we first decided to go to China, I was terrified, but now that we’re about to head back, I’m a little bit scared of what awaits us at home. Unemployment? A dying economy? Take Back [enter city name here] protests and all of the cutthroat political ads that are probably airing on TV? AHHH! Maybe we should just stay here. (Just kidding…we are definitely coming home, don’t worry.)
4. I am a really big fan of acapella music. Not necessarily old guys singing barbershop quartet or anything, but there are quite a few younger groups out there making acapella arrangements to Top 40 songs that are really good. Pentatonix is one that I recently discovered on YouTube. I also belatedly realized that they debuted a TV show (on NBC) called The Sing Off in which different acapella groups from around the country compete. It aired in the fall when we first arrived in China, so I missed it, but I’ll be tuning in for the upcoming season when we’re back in the States!
5. I’m afraid that I’m losing my taste for sweets. We were cleaning out our cupboards and we found a forgotten bag of snacks that we packed and brought with us from America back in September. There was a strawberry Nutrigrain bar in there, and I was a bit surprised at how sickeningly sweet it tasted. I can’t believe I used to eat those all the time! We had to throw it away.
6. I secretly dream of learning how to play the banjo, especially if we end up moving to Tennessee when we return to America. I can picture myself going to an outdoorsy concert, and the band about to perform on stage says, “Hang on a minute! Where’s Lem? We can’t start without our banjo player!” and I’ll say, “Well, I just so happen to be a banjo player!” And they’ll invite me up on stage and I’ll wow the audience with my awesome finger-picking skills…
7. Lastly, Justin and I definitely have the travel bug, and we want to continue traveling in the future, even if it’s just within the United States for awhile. We have a dream of renting a camper/RV and taking the Great American road trip one summer, all the way from the east coast to the west coast and back again. For Justin, this fantasy would also involve seeing a game in nearly every Major League Baseball stadium across the country. For me, it would involve stopping at all of the “World’s Largest” attractions, even if it’s something silly like “The World’s Largest Wooden Spoon!” and especially if it’s something incredible like “The World’s Largest Cheeseburger!” VividHunter has inspired me to make this dream trip a reality because she and her husband recently took the Great Australian Road Trip and blogged about everything along the way.
Now, onto my nominations for The Lovely Blog Award:
Victoria Writes: This British blogger has won so many blogging awards that when she sees this, she’ll probably roll her eyes and say, “Another one?” (It’s okay if you can’t devote another post to announcing your award nomination and telling everyone how great you are…I understand. ;-)) She is the other aspiring author I mentioned earlier. She has recently bravely quit her day job to focus on writing, and gives her readers weekly insights into what she’s reading, what she’s writing, and the ins and outs of trying to get published.
Becoming Cliche: This is a blog from an American mom with three kids, and she is hilarious! This is where I go for my daily laugh, and also for my insight into what it’s like to be a mom and (from the children’s perspective, at least) become “cliche.”
This Italian Family: I started following this blogger when I realized we had some uncanny similarities. We’re both named Rachel, we’re both in our twenties, we both married Italian guys and now have Italian last names, and we have both lived in China! How cool is that? Rachel posts a lot of pictures and updates about what goes on in her Tennessee life, and also frequently shares really delicious-looking recipes that I can’t wait to try when I get back home.
The Byronic Man: Another hilarious blog with so many followers that this is probably the umpteenth blogging award he’s received. He is a PROFESSIONAL comedian, so his witty take on pop culture events, his entertaining perspective on events in his own life, and his weekly contests are always a treat!
Happiest Baby in the World: This blog comes from a fellow China ex-pat couple living in the Sichuan province. Their sweet little baby girl is in China with them (her pictures are so cute!), AND they’re doing post-graduate research on panda bears–how cool is that? I really enjoy looking through their photos and hearing their stories about Chinese life–I can usually really relate!
Adventures on the Road: No wonder I’m longing to take a road trip across America! Traci Lee has a marketing job that requires her to travel (lucky!) from coast to coast, all over the U.S., and each time she goes to a new place, she blogs about it and take gorgeous photos that make me feel like I’m there. I originally found her when she was Freshly Pressed after writing a poignant post called “A Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self.”
Plus Ultra: Another travel blog that I really enjoy! James is from Hong Kong, and it seems like he has traveled to just about every country in Asia and Europe, and then some! He chronicles his journeys with stunning photos and well-written, National-Geographic-worthy articles. Prepare to be blown away–James has a veritable travel magazine going on in his blog! Of course I really love his posts about China, especially his post about The Great Wall that earned him Freshly Pressed status.
The Good Kind of Random: Okay, I feel like this is cheating a little bit. I’ve actually known Micah personally, long before he ever had a blog. I know what you’re thinking–“You’re only giving him an award because he’s your friend!” Not true! Micah is in the U.S. Air Force and he has been deployed to Afghanistan. He gives interesting updates on what’s really going on over there, from serious issues (like his unbiased opinion of how the new Afghanistan government is faring) to sillier ones (like bathroom manners, or lack thereof, on the base). It’s an interesting read!
I nominated eight blogs instead of fifteen. That’s about as many as I can faithfully keep up with. Now go check them out! 😀