Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Round Two of Receiving & Giving the Liebster Blog Award

LiebsterBonnie at Lady Blogger nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you, Bonnie! She actually nominated me back in November of last year on this post, but I was participating in the Christmas Spectacular and, while I had put most of this post together, I got sucked into some things in the real world (mostly grad school) and disappeared from blogging (and keeping up on blogs) for chunks of time, sometimes months and, well, here we are over a year later, and I’ve just now finished it. But better late than never right? This is actually my second time receiving and giving the award as I received it from Anicka at Anickaworld in 2012. I also had a nomination from Lora at Life in a Nutshell during the acceptance of her award from me. I didn’t do a second round of accepting/nominating at that time since I had just done one, but I think enough time has passed to do another.

The Liebster Award was apparently created by a German blogger, hence the use of a German word in the title. Of the definitions of “Liebster,” I think “beloved” and “favorite” seem to apply best here. No one seems to know who actually started it though. Bonnie’s post links to this post by Jasmine of Bird of a Paradise as the first recorded mention of the Liebster Award. In that post, the blogger asks that nominations go to those with fewer than 3000 followers. She was not the originator of the award, however, as she was accepting it from someone else and indicates one of her nominees is someone who already received it (and that person’s blog is no longer functioning).

The Liebster Award has gotten considerably tighter since the first recorded mention as it’s now for those with 200 or fewer followers. It seems things have gotten a little more complicated as well, even since the last time I received the award. Then, it was just a matter of accepting and nominating 5 other bloggers whose blogs I liked that didn’t have over the allotted number of followers. Now, you must nominate 11 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers, write 11 facts about yourself, answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you, and come up with 11 questions to ask those you have nominated. Although it’s a little more complicated, perhaps it’ll make it a little more interesting as well. I actually wrote all of the following except some of the blog nominations in December of last year, so I tweaked those that referred to that time and included an update where necessary. So here we go:

11 Facts About Me

1. I like cheese. Saying that makes me think of this. I don’t know if I can say I really have a favorite, but at the time I had originally written this fact, I had recently eaten a 4oz block of smoked cheddar blend in one sitting, and it was awesome. It was from a Hickory Farms package my mom was nice enough to send. (Thanks, Mom!)

2. I don’t like beer. I know that borders on sacrilegious in Germany, but meh. (And it’s not just because I haven’t tried one. I’ve tried every new one my husband tries, which have been a lot of them, and blah.) I do like Riesling though, so perhaps that balances out.

Autobahn on the way to Cologne (although I was not driving when I took this picture).

3. I still get childlike joy out of driving on the no-speed-limit sections of the Autobahn (yes there are some sections with speed limits) if for nothing else than the fact I know I can travel at speeds higher than what I was driving last time I got a ticket in the States and know I won’t get one. It was a little intimidating the first time, but now I enjoy it.

4. I have driven on the Autobahn while listening to this song from Super Troopers and this song this song from Fast Five, and yes, it amused me to do so.

5. Most of the social things I have done since we moved to Kaiserslautern have revolved around writing and books: a writers’ group, a book club, and a book vs movie night at the library. {Update: That’s still mostly true, except now I could add arts as I’ve also traveled with an artist group and done a few painting nights.}

6. I’ve been published in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Sweden. Besides America, Canada appears to like me the best. Sarah WaterRaven (author of Detective Docherty and the Demon’s Tearssays I need to do a book tour with her there. First I’d have to, you know, actually finish and publish a book, though. Someday… {Update: In a few days, I anticipate finally releasing a story I mentioned awhile back as an eBook and paperback. Although it’s a novelette, which falls between a short story and a novella (which is just below a novel), and is thus not quite long enough to merit a book tour, I’m pretty excited about it. It’ll cost you less than a grande Caffe Latte or Caramel Machiatto at a popular coffee chain, and I’ll have a special coupon code for my blog readers, so stay tuned.}

Me dressed as the Corpse Bride with blue-green hair (October 2005).

7. My hair hasn’t been its natural color since high school. Since I started dying it, my hair has been red more times and more shades than I can count (as of last December when I wrote this, it was medium auburn and is currently faded mahogany and in need of recoloring) and has also been blue, black, and ash brown (which is supposedly meant to neutralize red, but it actually faded back to red in a couple of weeks at which point I said “Screw it; clearly I’m meant to just be a red head”).

8. One of my all-time favorite movies is The Shawshank Redemption. That might be surprising when you consider that I don’t remember really caring for either of the two Stephen King books I read, and I have fallen asleep almost every time my husband has put one of his audio books on in the car. My favorite line of the movie, and one of my favorite quotes in general, comes from this scene: Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

9. I named Gir, my Pembroke Welsh Corgi, after the crazy robot on Invader Zim.

10. I started making rice crispy treats with cappuccino powder in the mix after I found the recipe in George Duran’s cookbook Take This Dish and Twist It, and now I can’t eat (or make) regular rice crispy treats. I plan on a post about my latest experience making it soon (and by “soon” I apparently meant a year from now, so yeah, next post, cappuccino rice crispy treats coming at ya.).

11. Last year, I bought a slow cooker with a gift certificate one of the lovely parents at the child development center gave me before I left, and got obsessed with using it. The German oven in our new place is very hit or miss for me, so I tend not to use it to cook anything but baked goods and vegetables. But I love using the slow cooker, and I don’t know why I waited so long to get one. I take pictures of everything I make (which my husband makes fun of me for) but it’s all with a plan. I’ll be adding a lot of slow cooker recipes to my recipe section in the near future, so if you’d be into that, stay tuned. {Update: “near future” was apparently also hyperbole, but I promise, they’ll be up here eventually.}

My Answers to 11 Questions

1. If you could give one piece of advice to a younger you, what would it be?

I apparently skipped this one last year, so here’s my answer as of today: I tend to think that all the things I’ve done, even if they were mistakes, have contributed to who and how I am today, so I would hesitate to tell myself to change anything. I guess I would tell my younger self: Do what you’re going to do and make the choices you’re going to make, and don’t have regrets. You’ll like who and where you are eventually, and if you don’t, you’ll have the power to change both.

2. What is your favorite blogging topic?

View over Heidelberg from the grounds of the Schloss.

Well if you go by the topic I’ve written the most about, it’s daily life in Germany. I have fun writing about that since even a basic experience like going to the grocery store or pet store can inspire a blog post. But I think my favorite thing to write about (which unfortunately I don’t get to do as much as I like) is traveling. So far I’ve written the most about exploring Germany. But I also recently got to write about France, and soon I’ll be posting about Spain {Update, I did that here}.

3. What was the hardest post for you to write so far?

I think the hardest post I have written so far was the one I wrote about
losing my Grandma S. who passed away a few months after we moved here.

4. Favorite type of exercise?

My favorite type of exercise is definitely cardio. And not just because it’s rule number one. Although I see the value in lifting weights and the importance of exercises like yoga that build flexibility and enjoy them both on occasion, I just can’t do them every day.

My favorite way to workout is through home workout programs. One of my favorites is Insanity, which I wrote about my experience with on Investing in Fitness. Another is Les Mills Combat, which I will be writing about soon. The next program I’m going to try is Asylum, the sequel to Insanity. {Update: I did write about Les Mills Combat a bit but fell behind for the same reason I did on this blog. I also did Asylum for awhile though I didn’t complete the program. Because Beachbody and Les Mills are parting ways, Les Mills Combat and Les Mills Pump will actually be discontinued in the near future, so if you’ve been waiting to try them, order before they disappear for good. You can find them at the preceding links from my shop.}

My Miniature Pinscher and Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the snow on Patrick Henry Village.

5. Do you have any pets and if so, what are they?

Yes. I have two dogs, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Gir, and a Miniature Pinscher named Apollo. I mention them on the blog a lot. I actually recently created a Puppy Love category for posts where they are mentioned more than in passing. My Instagram is also almost exclusively devoted to them (and the pics that aren’t usually tie into them somehow).

6. Do you believe in an afterlife?

I guess I neglected to answer this one last year, so my answer today is that sometimes I think I do, but most of the time I think it’s just something I’d like to believe because it would make me feel better. I came across Aaron Freeman’s Eulogy from a Physicist awhile back and, while he doesn’t talk about an afterlife in the way one might typically think of it, it is a way of living on that is going to happen regardless of faith, and I like that. Here are a few lines, but you can read and hear the full eulogy at the preceding link.

“…all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you…You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.”

7. What is one parenting blunder you wish you could undo?

I don’t have any of those since I’m not a parent and don’t plan to be.

8. What was your proposal like? Was it your dream proposal?

It was pretty much like “Can I put this giant rock on your finger?”. Haha. But seriously, my husband had been asking me to marry him since about three weeks after we started dating and had even drug me to jewelry stores to find out what kind of ring I’d like. I wouldn’t let him buy one then. I kept telling him to wait a little longer until he knew what he was getting into. At one point he sent me a text message telling me he was picking out a ring and sent me a picture of one. The day he went to pick it up, he sent me a picture of a different one, which was the actual ring.

My engagement ring and wedding band in the sun the day after our wedding.

When he gave it to me, I had just driven up from Florida and had come in at like 3am. It was dark in the room and he’d asked if he could put it on me. I didn’t actually see what it looked like until I got up in the morning. I can’t remember which time out of the several he asked that I actually said I would, so I just count that as the proposal, and that’s one of the things he said. We had actually agreed on marrying at some point before that though because I remember telling my mom on Mother’s Day that year, which was a couple weeks before I got the ring, that we were getting married.

I  didn’t really have a “dream proposal” in mind, which is probably a good thing since I am sure that would not have been it. But you know how they say that the important thing about your wedding day is that you end up married at the end of it? I figure it’s similar with the proposal.

9. Have you voted in every presidential election that you could have?

No. I voted in the first one I could. In the second one I was overseas. Although I had updated Florida that I was overseas and they had sent me stuff for a local election, I didn’t receive anything about the presidential election. By the time I figured out I would have to specifically request the ballot for that, it was a little late to worry about it.

Since we’re talking wishes I thought it might be apt to share this picture taken in the cathedral in Worms because I think the top right corner looks a bit like an angel.

10. What is something you have wished for more than once?

One thing I have wished for more than once is to be extended in Germany, partially so I could complete my practicum and internship here, but also because I haven’t seen as much of Germany and Europe as I want to and am not in a hurry to go back to the States. That wish was granted when my husband re-enlisted and was able to be extended for a year. If he hadn’t been we actually would have had to leave a month ago. I’m excited to have at least another year left, but I’d be happy if that wish came true a second time.

11. How do you see your blog changing in the next five years?

I’m not 100% sure, but it’s easier to imagine how the blog will change in five years than question of where I see myself in five years. Although I don’t know where I will be at that point, I know it is probably unlikely to be overseas, and well, this whole blog started about being overseas. Once I’m no longer overseas, the direction of the blog will have to shift away from life in a foreign country and traveling overseas toward life wherever we are, and any traveling I am fortunate enough to do will most likely be stateside. I have expanded this blog quite a bit lately from the original few topics (I’ll be doing a post on the new categories soon for those who might have missed what all is new here), so I will probably get more into those areas and will probably add more as I go as well. In preparation for that eventual switch, when I moved over to self-hosted I changed the blog name to Embracing Adventure. {Update: I did do a post on the new categories although I’ve added since then so it might be good to do another one soon.)

11 Nominees

So it turns out most of the blogs I follow that I haven’t already nominated for this award and that don’t show having 200 followers also don’t actually have their follower count on their blog. If they have their Facebook or Twitter and that had less than 200, I used that. Absent that, I checked Bloglovin’ and went by that, although I know even with my own blog that number is bound to be wildly off. So if I nominated you and you happen to have 200+ subscribers, know that I’m nominating you because I like your blog, not because I was trying to insult you 🙂 That said, here are my 11 nominees in no particular order. Some of them haven’t updated in awhile, but you should still check them out (and who knows, maybe new readers will encourage new posts ;-)). 

1. Slathered in Sunscreen
2. One Chocolate Box
3. Around the Wherever
4. Clueless With Cash
5. 360 Fusion Glass Blog
6. Gillian Rose Rodriguez
7. Sunshine. Whimsy. Tacos. 
8. The Live of Vee
9. Okinawa: A Marine Adventure
10. Sweet Carolina
11. Jessica Lynn Writes

11 Questions for My Nominees

1. What is one dream you remember (if you remember your dreams)?
2. What historical figure would you most like to have a discussion with?
3. What is one place you love to visit regularly?
4. What life lesson did you learn the hard way?
5. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
6. What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life?
7. What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?
8. What is something you want to do that scares you?
9. What do you wish more people understood about you?
10. If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?
11. If you had to move 3000 miles away, what would you miss the most?

I hope you had fun reading my facts and my answers to the questions and will enjoy checking out the nominated blogs. If you did and haven’t already I hope you’ll consider subscribing to continue joining me on my adventures. If you were nominated, I hope you’ll participate, and I look forward to seeing your answers and blog recommendations.

 A note on Beachbody links: I am a Beachbody coach and receive a commission on sales. If you shop with me, thank you for your support.

 

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