Monday, February 11, 2013

Because I'm a Winner, No, not a Loser

I’d like to thank the academy…

That was how I’d planned on receiving this award.  But apparently, there is no academy or little statue.  No matter, I have a half eaten chocolate Santa in my fridge with my child’s name on it so that will have to do. ( I had planned on posting a picture of it here, but I ate it instead…)

Anywhozit, a fellow Congolese adoptive Mom Jennifer over at Call 2 Congo blog nominated me for this fun blogger's award, the Leibster award! To be honest, I’m not really sure what this means or if it is real.  But when I googled it, the interwebs seemed to know what it was so there.   

So, what is a Leibster Award? This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word.  I’m fairly certain that this is kinda made up, but that’s okay.  It’s an award.  And when you spend the majority of your time wiping noses and butts, you take what you can get.

If you receive the award, there are a few rules to follow… 

Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves. Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked. The blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate. Bloggers must be notified of their award. No tag backs. 

So here we go…

11 Random things about me.

1.       I’m the youngest of three children.  I’m a lot younger than both my brother and my sister.  (Something I love to point out to all of my sister’s friends.)  This age gap mixes together all the fabulous traits of a youngest with an only child.  Yep, yep, this explains a lot.  Someone once told me you could discover a lot about a person by asking the following, “When you were a child, what was your job or role while getting ready to go on a family vacation?”  *ahem* My job was to just sit in the car and wait for everyone else to get us ready.

2.      I’m a sucker for a well written television show.  I was a Media Production and Creative Writing major in college, which might explain this passion.  My all time favorite television shows?  MASH and the West Wing. I’m a sucker for complex characters.  I’m really digging the turn Downton Abbey is taking with Thomas and Bates for this very reason.  

3.      I cannot, cannot, cannot stand Nicholas Sparks books or movies.  You need to know this if we are going to spend any amount of time together.  My mom has told me she prays that one day I’ll be mature enough to enjoy him and movies on Lifetime. ­I kinda feel like there are other things I would rather have her praying for…but if you like him and his vapid, sentimental relationship porn, that’s cool. Lots of people I adore go crazy for those boy meets girl she dies or commits adultery story lines.  And I’m totally fine with that.

4.      I love my basement.  In fact, I do not know how I lived almost 35 years without one.  Seriously, like Yoshi in Super Mario brothers, our basement has been a game changer. 

5.      If money were no object, I would become a professional student.  I just love school.  I love taking notes, sitting in libraries, writing papers, giving oral reports.  I would love to get a master's in 20th Century Literature and then another in Theology.  {This is where my husband acts shocked that I didn’t give tours in college because I sound like such a nerd.  But really, I swear I wasn’t—next tidbit notwithstanding}

6.      I did Student Television in college.  

7.      I’m a “order the same thing every.single.time” at restaurant kinda girl.  If you suggest we go to a new restaurant, this will cause me great anxiety and I will have to look up the menu online just so I can pick out what to get in peace.  I’m not good at making relatively inconsequential decisions on the fly.

8.      I hate going to the grocery store.  Honestly, I’ve considering homesteading just to reduce the amount I have to go.  But something tells me going to Kroger once a week is a heck of a lot easier than milking a cow and making my own cheese.  But I hate it.  Hate it.

9.      There is never anything really good in my refrigerator.  {see above}

10.  I have stubby thumbs.  So does my dad and at least two of my nieces.  And even Megan Fox has one.  I used to be really self-consciouse about it.  Then I realized, “Ummm…they’re thumbs, who cares?”  In some circles they are called “Murderer’s Thumbs”.  So I dare you to make fun of me.  My husband thinks they are cute.  So THERE!

11.  {Hallelujah I’m almost done with these.}  My preferred alcoholic beverage is champagne.

And now for the questions that Jennifer from Call 2 Congo sent me:

1.      Are you working your dream job?  As a stay-at-home mom? Yes.  Most definitely.  But I would like more PTO.

2.      What is your favorite holiday or other tradition that you implement with your children?  I adore Christmas.  The expectant waiting for God to dwell amongst us, the lights, the sugar overload, the snuggly mornings of sleeping in.  Growing up, my mom always gave us Christmas PJs as our Christmas eve present.  We’ve modified that a bit: we give our kids their Christmas jammies on Thanksgiving and a new book on Christmas eve. 

3.      Do you have a recipe you are “famous” for?  Not really.  But whenever a party calls for heavy hors d'oeuvres, I always get asked to make the same sausage dip.   I got the recipe from my fabulous sister-in-law, Holly Phillips, who can cook as well as she can design. 

Hot Sausage Dip (insert inappropriate comments here)
-1 lb HOT sausage (preferably Neece’s if you can get it)
-1 box cream cheese (I use Neufatel to counterbalance the fatty sausage)
-1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
Brown sausage.  Drain and rinse off excess grease.  Set aside.  Melt cream cheese in skillet.  When cream cheese is gooey, stir in Rotel tomatoes and crumbled sausage.  Serve with Frito scoops.  If you can wait long enough and not eat it straight from the skillet (this happens at Holly’s house every single Christmas), it’s great in one of those mini-crock pots.

4.      Are you crafty, and if so, what is your medium?  Yes.  I’m super crafty. I prefer artistic. {My roommate in college once introduced me this way—“This is my roomie EJ.  She is really autistic.  Like crazy talented autistic.”  The guy I was introduced to and I just looked at her awkwardly.  I said, “Ummm…I think she meant arrrrrtistic.   I don’t have autism.  But I did really like the movie Rain Man.”  She was really embarrassed.  That’s okay.  Fifteen years later and it still makes me giggle.  And cut me some slack with the Rain Man comment.  It was 1998 and I was 21.}  I’m fairly competent in most art forms except for pottery.  I can sew, draw, paint, sculpt, knit, scrap, emboss, and glue-gun like a boss.  But my preferred medium?  Hmmm…I guess some amalgam of all the above-- multi-media collage.  In high school, I won an award for a 3D collage diorama I built in a fish tank.  I made a collage for Gracie’s room and I’m itching to settle into this house a little more, pull out my easel, paints, and shredded paper and get to work.

5.      What book do you recommend when I “get a life” and some free time?  Anything by Nicholas Sparks.  Just kidding.  Anything by David Sedaris. 

6.      What is your all time favorite movie?  Sound of Music.  My flower girls even wore white dresses with blue satin sashes.

7.      Are you an animal person?  Yes and no.  Yes, I respect and genuinely think animals are lovely and we should treat them as blessings and reflections of God’s love.  I’ll watch a documentary on Penguins and go to the zoo.  No, in that I have zero desire to ever have a pet other than our fish. Also, I kinda think out culture's humanization of pets is ridiculous. 

8.      What is one thing your readers may be surprised to know about you?  I’m an introvert.  Really.  I adore being alone.  Yes, I’m loud and outgoing, but it taxes me.  Large groups of people freak me out to no end and I always collapse in exhaustion after parties and usually come home from Women’s Retreats or girl’s weekends depressed and sick.  I’m not so good at filtering the appropriate from the inappropriate which makes meeting new people a hazard.
9.      Do you have a bucket list?  If so, name one thing on it.  Not really.  I think I’m too type B to make a list that spans my entire life.  It makes me itchy just thinking about it.  Buuuut….I would love to have a rockin’ 50th wedding anniversary party with a band.  I’d like to embarrass my grandchildren by drinking too much and grinding on Sloan.

10.  How did you choose your children’s names?  Each of our kids were named for family. 
-Henry Marshall—Henry = Sloan’s paternal grandfather, Marshall = Sloan’s brother-Margaret Grace—This was a surprise name.  Originally, we’d chosen Emma Sloan as our girl’s name, so when that placement fell through we were at a loss.  But Grace’s entry into our family in the midst of that grief was a grace to us.  Thus, she named herself.  But the Margaret?  We didn’t have anything to go with Grace and our case worker called and said, “Are you going to give her a middle name?  I need to get this paperwork typed up with a name.”  I shrugged my shoulders and just said, “Well, I guess Margaret sounds good.”  It got on our list because Margaret also happens to be the name of my late paternal Grandmother and my great aunt.

Our Congolese kids will keep their African names as their middle names.  The names we intend to give them are as follows:

-Charles.  Because Sloan is actually Charles Sloan. 
-The name we’d originally chosen for our daughter was Vivian, the name of Sloan’s maternal great aunt.  But when we got our referral, our cutie just didn’t look like a Vivian.  She looked like something else.  At dinner one night, while discussing girl names, I said, “I want to name her after someone we’d like her to grow up to be like.  I want her to love God and life and laughing and family and art and music.  I want her to be kind and generous and to treasure everything.  Is there someone in our family like that?" 

Then Sloan and I looked at each other and at the very same time we said, “MOLLIE!” 

So we are naming our youngest after the fabulous Mollie Burpo.  She’s not ‘technically’ family, but she’s been like a sister to me for as long as I can remember.  Our friendship began as camp buddies in Missouri so many summers ago.  And through the magic of the interwebs, she has become beloved by Sloan and our kids as well.  She points me to Jesus, makes me laugh, and has promised to steal me a lock of Jen Hatmaker’s hair. 

11.  If you had $10,000 extra bucks, what would you do with it?  I’d buy 4 airplane tickets to Kinshasha.  I know this is supposed to be a “what do you dream of getting” question, but honestly, I just want to get my kids home. 

My 11 questions for my tagged nominees:
1.       Who would you invite to a dinner party for 10?  Can and should include famous and/or dead people.
2.      When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
3.      Best gift you’ve ever received.  {You cannot say Jesus, salvation, my spouse, or my child}
4.      What is your go to road trip snack?
5.      What is your dream vacation?
6.      What drives you to blog?
7.      What do you hope your children remember about their childhood?  What do you hope they forget?
8.      What’s your go to “I’m at a party and I’m going to tell a funny story about myself” story?  You know you have one.
9.      What are you most proud of? {I’m assuming it is not the above story}
10.  What do you like the most about yourself?
11.  What is your favorite dessert?

And the nominees for my Leibster Award are:
Amanda at Living on Grace 
I think I’m supposed to do 4.  That’s what Jennifer did.  I’d love to nominate Cindy at Joy in the Journey, but with her 5 kids and prepping to go to Ethiopia for a mission trip in a few weeks, I’m fairly certain this would sink her.  So Cindy, feel celebrated and loved, but don’t feel obligated to do anything other than hug me next time we meet.

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