Lovely Blog Award

The last couple of weeks, I took Writing 201- Poetry. I thoroughly enjoyed it and came up with some poems that I really like and am quite proud of. The more important part of the class though, was finding new bloggers. I really enjoy the community of the blogging world and wish I would have started this sooner. (Blogging would have made my deployments so much more entertaining! Oh well. I am sure there will be another eventually.)

During the class, I was honored with the Lovely Blog Award by both Franky tells it like it is and Kathy’s Blog: Healing from the Loss of a Parent. Two nominations in one week. I am honored! [Insert blushing here.] Thank you so much:)

If you are not familiar with this award, here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide the link to their blog.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 – 15 bloggers for the award, and comment on one of their posts to let them know.

Here are 7 facts about me:

  1. I love the color purple and have several items in that color: coffee cup, phone case, clothes, calendar, jewelery, sunglasses, scarves, luggage, vases, candles…..
  2. I used to help teach acrobats, ballet, tap, and jazz to little kids when I was in high school. For pay, I received my own free lessons and costumes for recitals.
  3. I am still friends with a girl I met in 5th grade and was my best friend in high school. We may not talk everyday, but we catch up periodically and go on trips together at times: one cruise, two all-inclusive resorts, weekend trips and in a couple of weeks, we will meet up at our high school for a cheerleader reunion. Oh, and the lessons I taught above, were with this bestie:)
  4. This past June, I went on a blind date with no expectations of anything other than a meal and bowling with friends. We are still dating now and it has been a fairytale to say the least.
  5. I am a Soldier in the Army Reserve who has deployed three times. In that position, I am a photographer, writer, media escort, and now, a commander. It truly has been on honor to represent the United States on deployments and gather pictures and information that tell the stories of other Soldiers. I can’t imagine my life without these experiences now. They have shaped all that I am now.
  6. While in Afghanistan, I bought about 40 scarves. Hey, they were pretty and cheap and it was one way to feel girly in a world of dust and blah uniforms. Funny thing is, I don’t ever remember wearing scarves before that deployment. Maybe because I didn’t own any? Well, I do now!
  7. Due to the military (and just life in general), I have lived in several places: Michigan, Ohio, Germany, Texas (two different towns and years apart), North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Hawaii. Then, if you count deployments and long military training events/schools (since I did have an address to receive mail, they can sort of count), you can add: Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Carolina, Missouri, Washington and Louisiana.

Now, on to the nominations!  Here are some blogs that I visit often. Check them out as they are always entertaining me.

  1. Meaning and Musings for inspiring writing and wonderful poetry.
  2. Jaytee59 for amazingly vivid photographs.
  3. Snow’s Fissures and Fractures for great short stories and creative photo editing.
  4. This, That and the Other Thing for quotes, stories pictures and well, other things.
  5. Rinse Before Use for humorous articles on relationships, love and life.
  6. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields ~ Addicted to Purple for the super fun host of Friday Fictioneers.
  7. Cee’s Photography for a ton of different photo challenges, and fun and beautiful pictures.
  8. Ronovan Writes for inspiring writing and the weekly haiku challenge.
  9. Predestined30 for beautiful emotional poetry and honest, well-written thoughts.
  10. Julie Powell ~ Photographer and Graphic Artist for WOW photos and art with a touch of witty good information to boot.


There are several more, but I thought I would limit it to ten and the first few that came across my feed today (and ones that I did not mention before). For those of you who do not do these awards, just know that you are appreciated. I completely understand and can respect that decision. So here is your online ‘high five’ for being awesome!

That is all folks. Go seize the day and share your blessings:)



Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

At the end of May, Strawberries Forever honored me with the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. This was the first for me and I as excited about it. Then life went crazy, and I forgot about it. But before you find me rude, a great many things were happening then. So hear me out. In the beginning of June I had a few different military missions to do. In the middle of June I went on a blind date fairytale that has been blossoming into the most romantic time of my life. In July, I had more military missions and moved into a new house (and had to repaint nearly the entire rental house I lived in for over four years). August included more military missions in between the increasing work load at my civilian job while trying to find time for dating and unpacking. Oh, and I had to research and buy a new car to replace my 235,000-mile car that was showing a bit too many wacky issues to be trusted anymore. Throw in a visit back home, some social events with friends and family….yeah, I forgot. That, and man, I am tired but have never felt more alive!

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award was new to me, but is similar to other awards it seems. But, here are the rules for those who may not be familiar with it:

1.  Say “Thank You” to the person who nominated you & link their blog to your post.
2.  Answer the 10 questions given to you.
3.  Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.
4.  Include the Award Badge in your post.

These are the answers to the questions given to me. 

1.  When was the first time you knew that you wanted to write?

Sometime in elementary school I knew I wanted to write. I even wrote two “books” for as an assignment where they were reviewed by a real adult author. I was a huge deal for me back then and I still own those books today.

2.  What is the favorite childhood memory?

I have several, but one that comes to mind pretty quick is going to this small lake in Michigan. There were two levels to the lake, which was more like a pond now that I have seen it again as an adult. The creek or stream fed into the pond and then there was a small waterfall that created a lower level pond that was more shallow and like a mini beach. We didn’t go there often, but when we did it was always fun. There were other kids, we took snacks and we stayed for hours.

3.  What is one food that you love from your family’s culture?

At Thanksgiving, my daughter MUST have green bean casserole and homemade mashed potatoes. My son REQUIRES cream cheese and celery sticks and homemade stuffing. Every Christmas my mom would make no-bake cookies and hard rock candy. I have started doing it with my kids and now, it is a tradition. If I don’t make these things at the holidays, it is just not Thanksgiving/Christmas according to them. So, I guess a tradition has been started/has been continued.

4.  Do you have children or expect to have one in the future?

I have two kids: son and daughter. Though I think it would be fun to have some more, I am ready for the stage in my life where I can enjoy me again. So, I am happy to babysit some adorable babies and toddlers for a bit and then send them back home. As for the preteens and teenagers…yeah, they don’t babysitting. They do know everything at those ages anyway. Didn’t we when we were that age?

5.  If money was no object, where would you travel to?

It used to be Spain. I was so enamored with the idea of it. However, over the years, Ireland has seemed to replace that and made it to the bucket list. I am really not sure why or how that change has come about. I think it may be that I am found of the Irish accent and culture. Thought I studied Spanish, which I think was my main reason for wanting to visit before, an Ireland vacation seems to be higher on the list. If I ever go, I think drinking a beer in a pub seems like a good start and then maybe finding some wild ponies would be on the list too.

6.  What do you like about blogging?

I like the ability to write on a variety of topics in a variety of styles. And though that, I am finding a community of people who are often more accepting and friendly than some of the communities actually around me.

7.  What are your thoughts on all-girl or all-boy schools?

I don’t see the appeal in them really. We have to learn to interact with each other eventually, so why not start when we are kids?

8.  How old were you when you first rode a bike?

I don’t recall the exact age but I had to be in elementary school as my recall my first bike was when we lived in Michigan. The Christmas I got it was magical too. Under the hue of Christmas lights, I saw Santa pulling my bike up to the tree. I moved quietly behind the couch with my mom and dad as we watched Santa pull out the other gifts. But all I could see what the best gift ever: a pink banana-seat bike with swirling streamers hanging from the handle bars. Aaahhhh, the memories of riding around trails on that bike still stick out in my mind. I do wonder where that bike ever went though…And who was “Santa” since my mom AND dad were behind the couch with me.  HHHhmmmmmmm?

9.  Is there a song that brings tears to your eyes?

I absolutely love Hurt by Christina Aguilera. If you listen to they lyrics/watch the video, it is all about losing someone over some issue(s) and then realizing that your chance to ever see them again is gone, forever. It then you realize, maybe you were wrong? Maybe you should have forgiven them? Maybe you should have tried to make amends? But stubbornly, you continue to avoid them for whatever reasons, but now that they are gone, did you really just hurt yourself by hurting them? It makes me think of a few loved ones in my life.


10. How do you feel about receiving awards?

I know some people don’t accept them, and I can totally respect that. It can be taxing to have to answer the questions, and maybe more personal information than some bloggers want to share. And then the nominating part is always a challenge: Who do you choose? Will someone feel left out if you don’t put them on there? Will someone be annoyed that you chose them?

I guess the bottom line for me is that it is very thoughtful that someone thought of my blog to select me. So, I may as well return the courtesy of doing the same for other bloggers. And if they don’t do awards like these, I can totally understand that as well.


For the nominations, I decided to go with some blogs I have found recently (and a post I liked of theirs): 

  1. The MomHood (
  2. What the Woman Wrote (
  3. jmeyersforeman photography (
  4. From Hiding to Blogging (
  5. Photography by Nic (
  6. Drawing with Light (
  7. Coffee fuels my photography! (


Questions From Me:

  1. What made you want to start your blog?
  2. What have you wanted to do on your blog but haven’t yet? Why not?
  3. Name one item on your bucket list, or more if you like?
  4. What is your biggest fear?
  5. What is your best moment in life?
  6. With New Years fast approaching, do you make resolutions? If so, name one. If not, why don’t you like to make them?
  7. If you could host a challenge on your blog, what kind would it be?
  8. What was the name of your first pet? What do you remember the most about them?
  9. Did you ever go to a high school reunion? Was it fun or not?
  10. Do you have a pet peeve?


The Versatile Blogger Award-Thanks!

versatile blogger award

In April, Berryduchess nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award. I accepted but I failed to follow through with my part when my schedule went crazy with work demands, a family emergency and a vacation. Now, I am at a place where I can sit down to do this (now that I remembered I it).

So first of all, thank you Berryduchess. I am honored that you have noticed my blog and nominated me. I have always enjoyed your posts as they are filled with some great writing and humor. I have laughed to tears and nearly cried at some of your posts. If you have not seen her blog, go check it out and follow. You won’t be disappointed.

If you are not familiar with the Versatile Blogger Award, don’t feel alone. I wasn’t either. I searched the reader and looked at a few people’s blog posts on this. One blogger, Predestined30, had a good summary of it. “The Versatile Blogger Award is for the blogs that bring special talents to life. In choosing nominees, the quality of the writing is considered, the uniqueness of the topics presented, and the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. An added quality of authenticity to the photographs is evident through the field of vision.” (Now that I quoted them, I better check out their page!)

I am not sure if I meet all those elegant descriptions, but hey, who am I to judge if people think I am better than I believe myself to be, lol.

With accepting the award, comes some action on my part. So here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their blogs to let them know you nominated them.

Facts about me:

  1. I own a horse. I was obsessed with horses as young girl. And finally, as an adult, I just went and got one. I didn’t know a lot about them really, other than I liked them, but I am figuring it out as I go. Fortunately, my quarter horse mare, Daisy, has great patience with me.
  2. I am an Army Reserve Soldier who has deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. This “part time” job is a life commitment and it NOT one weekend a month if you have any level of responsibility. It requires a great amount of dedication and personal time to stay “ready” but I wouldn’t change my past for anything.
  3. I adore purple. My horse has a purple winter coat, saddle blanket, halter and lead rope. I have many purple items myself: clothes, phone cover, purse, calendar, jewelry and some home decor trinkets. I do draw the line at purple cars and homes though. That is a bit too much. However, I LOVE the smell of lavender. Not sure that’s a coincidence or that even my nose loves purples.
  4. I am addicted to butter-cream frosting and avocados. (Not together of course. That would just be weird.) And addicted is not too strong of a word. If those things are in front of me, it is hard for me to not eat them, even when I am full.
  5. I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in a true love/soul mate even though I have not met him yet. I tend to be a passionate person. I dance in the rain. I sing obnoxiously in my car (and not well mind you). I love small and big gestures of love (little notes left in the car and surprise, no-reason trips). I am happy hiking and then going to a symphony. My soul mate would like these things too and have just as much zest for life as I do. And, he will be my best and most faithful friend.
  6. I don’t make friends quickly, but when I do, they tend to stay my friends for life. I just recently made a trip with my best friend from high school (we met in 5th grade). And she got meet some of my Army friends who I deployed to Iraq with in 2006. Having those two groups of friends meet was pretty darn cool I have to say.
  7. I enjoy a wide array of music. From country to rap to classical, I like it all and will dance in my kitchen when it’s on. Some of my favorite artists are: Pink, Eminem, Kenny Chesney, Hoodie Allen, Lindsey Stirling, Bach, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, Hoobastank, Mike Comfort, Flo Rida, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, Mozat….That’s normal, isn’t it?

Other bloggers I enjoy reading:

From Balderdash to Epiphany

He always makes me laugh with his humorous poems!


Wonderful pictures and many have an abstract-artsy wonder to them.

The World is a Book…

So many great photos that have made me stop in awe.

Serins Sphere

She has everything from blogging tips to poems to stories. A must read blog:)


Ben is like the Obi Wan of cameras. He gives step by step instructions on how to do very specific things. I always learn something from him.

Meanings and Musings

Florence speaks from the heart and I like it. She writes poems, commentary and deep-thought pieces.

Cee’s Photography  

Cee hosts a number of challenges that cover photography as well as writing. I am not even sure how she manages them all but I just adore her page.


Marilyn Armstrong’s page is quite witty. I love her humor and upfront posts. She also takes some great photos. She is definitely versatile!  (And her blog name happens to be the title of one of my favorite movies.)

Ronovan Writes

Ronovan got me addicted to writing haikus. Funny because I don’t even remember haikus from the poetry class in high school. But here he has got me hooked and writing a haiku a week. Ronovan does more than poetry though. He writes a variety things that are very thought provoking. He even does interviews with other bloggers, book reviews and more that I haven’t even seen yet I am sure.

Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist

Julie never ceases to amazing me with her photos and Photoshop skills! Wow is one of my standard comments when I see her work.

Captivate Me    

Robyn is the host of the One Four Challenge, which I adore and am addicted to. Her photography is quite magical and her blog should be on a must have list for follows.

Cardinal Guzman

What a great photographer! He has endless amazing shots, some humorous stories and I just noticed…some recipes on his blog. He is also the host of the Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons.   This challenge has made me go out each month to find new shots and be a little less antisocial.

Lens and Pens by Sally  

Sally is one of the first few blogs I found when I started on WordPress. She writes some wonderful posts that are inspiring and make me think. She is also the host of the Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. I am always taking pictures but not always with my “real” camera. Sally’s Challenge lets me share my countless life-on-the-go phone pics and challenges me to add some writing to them as well.

Nancy Merrill Photography

Nancy posts some terrific photos that are classic and elegant in every way. She is a true artist with a camera. She also hosts A Photo a Week Challenge, which has a different theme each week.

Photos by Emilio  

Emilio takes some great photos and always seems to add a funny story about what was going on when taking them. As a fellow photographer, I like this.

Visual Venturing

Stacy is the host of the After Before Friday Forum, which is how I found Stacy’s fun page. She posts some wonderful shots and shows steps on how to do some editing. Her challenge is about showing the before and after shots of editing your own photo. But once a month, all the photographers in the forum will edit the same photo (from one of the forum members). It’s great to see the variety of editing from all the contributors. Stacy and her group have been so nice and welcoming. I am glad to have found them. 🙂

Phew! That took a bit of time to put together.

So now the ball in your court followers. Go check out my favorite bloggers. If you happen to be one of my favorite bloggers, feel free to accept your nomination. If you don’t do them, no worries. I completely understand and will not stop following because of it. 🙂 You are stuck with me.

The One Lovely Blog Award

Thank You “Berryduchesss” for the nomination to the, “One Lovely Blog Award.” (


I am honored to be in the company of such great bloggers.

For those of you who don’t know (because I know I didn’t), the One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer or up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and to also help the new blogger reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow-blogger who chose them. This award acknowledges bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines.

The guidelines for the One Lovely Blog Award are:

*Thank the person who nominated you for the award.

*Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog.

*Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.

*Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

So here goes. Seven things about me are:

  1. I joined the Army Reserve at 29 years old so that I would have a way to use my journalism degree. At that age, I was already married, raising kids, and living the American dream that is accompanied with debt. There was no fiscally smart way I could intern or take an entry-level journalism position and leave my retail management job. Signing the dotted line to serve my country was one of the best decisions of my life as it has made me who I am today.
  1. I am a photographer as well as a writer. I have taken photographs in some remote parts of the world for the military. I have also served as a wedding photographer for a few years. I find that being behind the camera is a way to show others beauty that they may otherwise miss and a way to capture memories for people. Both of these tasks is an honor to do. (Currently, I am working on a photo blog. Hopefully, I will get that up and running soon.)
  1. I am addicted to a few things in life: games on my phone (Scrabble with Friends, Tetris, Angry Birds…); fattening foods (Swiss Cake Rolls, avocados, buttercream frosting); Lindsey Stirling, Mike Comfort and Pink music; being by the water, the feeling of passion, and anything purple.
  1. After dreaming of a horse since I was a little girl, I finally got one a few years ago. Outside of being on a few mindless trail rides, I never really knew how to ride or what it took to care for one though. Fortunately, my old mare is tolerating my learning curve and has not killed me yet.
  1. I like variety in my life. On any given weekend, you may find me doing anything from white water rafting to reading a book to attending the symphony. I am willing to try many things and am perfectly happy in a fancy dress or some hiking gear.
  1. Outside of the Army Reserve, I am a civilian editor of technical manuals for the Army. In this job, I read about gun systems, parachutes and combat team tactics. Yet ironically, as a Soldier, I hate reading manuals to find things out for my job. (This fact makes my friends all laugh.)
  1. I started my blog as a way to practice my writing and as an outlet for my broken heart. One day, I hope to write the books in my head…and heal my heart that gets broken with each risk I take.

Now for my nominations.

I would like to nominate the following blogs that I have found interesting: