Thursday, August 9, 2012

You are my Sunshine!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away. These are the words to my favorite lullaby. I love singing this one to the boys and I'm fortunate they aren't the toughest critics. ;) But, it's not the sunshine I am referring to today...

I am referring to the fact that I have been chosen for my very first blog award!! Woo hoo! I must admit I was definitely a bit surprised one morning last week to wake up and find the exciting news. When I started this blog a few years ago, I really didn't anticipate anyone aside from my mom and sister actually reading it. But, now that around 20 of you do, it has become something that I really enjoy keeping up with on a regular basis. I used to love writing when I was younger. Does anyone else remember the Power of the Pen writing contests? I don't think I won any awards back then, but it was a nice creative outlet that I find I still enjoy today. The main purpose of my blog is to capture all of the memories we make as a family. I know that 20 years from now I will be so happy that I did. I have enough trouble remembering what we did last week, much less years ago. This blog will allow me to remember all the good stuff...and the bad too. ;) I also use it as a means of keeping our families up to date with what have been up to. Since we have never really lived very close to either of our parents, the boys don't see Grandmas and Grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins as much as most families do. It is my hope that this blog helps them watch the boys learn and grow! I have also started adding in my menus and recipes. While I am by no means Martha or Rachel, I hope that my meals or recipes can inspire other moms to put healthy, yummy meals on the table for their families. I used to cook from boxes and struggle to put meals on the table most nights of the week. Now I realize that it isn't as hard as it seems and it can be fun too! :)

As I stated above, I have been nominated for a Sunshine Award!

Meredith, at Mom of the Year, was so kind to nominate me. If you've never checked out her blog, you must. I recently started following her and her blog quickly gained a spot on my must-read list. She is so funny! With two kiddos of her own nearly the same ages as Ethan and Noah, we can relate. :) Sometimes I swear she is writing about mine. It's kind of freaky, haha! Thank you so much for the nomination, Meredith!

This award's purpose is to "positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere." Awesome! While I don't have a large following like lots of the mommy blogs out there, I do hope that I inspire at least a few other moms. In today's world full of mom-petition, we need to stick together and inspire each other to be the best moms we can be, not tear each other down.

The requirements of the Sunshine Award are that I need to thank the person who nominated me and link back to them. I also need to post the award on my blog, answer 10 questions, and pass the award on to 10 other bloggers.

So, here are the bloggers who inspire me...this definitely isn't a list of "mom" blogs so much, but they are fellow bloggers that inspire me in various ways and I enjoy reading what they have to say! :) A lot of them have huge followings, so this award may not mean much to them, and others don't really write for the public so much, so they will probably be surprised by this award. But, they are all people who inspire me to be a better person!
  1. Mollyberries' Hodge Podge: Molly's blog is one of the first I started reading on a regular basis. She inspires me to want to run. If you know me well, you know I have never enjoyed it. The way she describes her marathon adventures, it makes me want to someday be able to complete one of my own. I'm a long way off from there, but in the meantime, I enjoy living vicariously through her blog.
  2. My Life Playing House: An account of Mommyhood on the Plains: She probably doesn't even know I read her blog, but I love it. I've only met her once, via our hubbies, but I love reading about all the fun things she does with her three adorable children. She inspires me to be more creative with my kiddos!
  3. Thrifty Decor Mom: Her weekly menus inspired me to start doing the same on my blog. She also posts about awesome DIY projects that are easy to implement. It doesn't hurt that she's a fellow Ohioan. ;)
  4. Plain Chicken: She has a huge following and there's a good reason for that! Her recipes are some of the best out there. They are normally really easy to make, kid-friendly and tasty to boot! Her posts make my mouth water and inspire me to make great meals for my family too.
  5. Annie's Eats: Another very popular food blog, it is probably my favorite. The pictures she posts of the food she makes look so pretty, I wouldn't want to mess the food up by eating it! As a physician, mom of two and popular food blogger, she inspires me to try new, more difficult recipes. I am amazed at how she does it all!
  6. Momastery: This mom inspires me to be a better person overall. A better wife, mother and friend. She is such a sweet, genuine person and I enjoy reading her motivational posts.
  7. No Screen Summer: This blogger is actually my cousin! I know what you're's unfortunate that her quick wit and funny genes did not make it into my DNA. Me too. Haha! Though she isn't currently blogging, this one is a great read. She inspires me to find the funny in life and try to take life in stride. I think we should bug her to start blogging again, don't you?? :)
  8. Chocolate-Covered Katie: This healthy dessert blog has inspired me to start making healthier desserts. It's no secret that I am dieting changing my lifestyle, and her recipes have helped me to still occasionally enjoy a sweet treat, without having to feel super guilty about it. ;) She also inspires me to try getting more creative in the kitchen and experimenting with my own recipes!
  9. Honest Toddler: This blog is just downright hilarious. It seriously makes me nearly pee my pants on a regular basis. Sadly, I don't need much help with that one after two natural childbirths, but I've had some close calls while reading this blog. Sometimes I wonder if one of my children are the honest toddler, but I feel better knowing some of the stuff they do isn't so out of the norm after all! ;)
  10. My Life and Kids: Anna is hilarious. Plain and simple. I love reading her blog and I love the fact that she inspires me to "find the funny" in parenting. Taking care of kids full time can be tough and sometimes it's best to stop taking everything so seriously and just laugh!
The questions Meredith asked me to answer are fun!

1. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
This is a tough one. Though I have lived in the eastern half of the US all of my life, I think I might have to go with San Francisco for this one. Hubby and I visited once several years ago and we both loved it. While he would probably go with San Diego (or a tropical island), I preferred the city life of San Fran. Now if we could just afford to do it...haha!

2. If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go?
This is a toss up between Europe and any tropical island. Let's face it though, a trip to the spa without my little darling boys in tow is a vacation these days! ;)

3. What's your favorite part of blogging?
Probably preserving the memories. Like I said earlier, now that I've had kids, my memory is something of the past. I struggle to remember things from last week, so memories of Ethan as a baby are already starting to fade. I don't want to lose these precious memories forever, so I hope to keep up with them here. So hold me accountable to that! ;)

4. Coffee or hot chocolate?
No! Fun fact about me...while I love chocolate (well, much more than I did as a child), I still don't care for chocolate milk products (ice cream, milkshakes, hot chocolate). I'd much rather stick with good 'ole vanilla!

5. How do you take your coffee?
Up until this year, I was a Starbucks only kind of gal. You know, the more fru-fru the better! While I still love my iced non-fat caramel macchiatos (yep, Starbucks has me hooked with whatever crack they put in there), I now make my own cup at home to drink daily. Thanks to Fresh Market's almond amaretto blend, I enjoy my morning cup 'o joe. I like to add a spoonful of vanilla syrup, a splash of half and half and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream! :) Yep, not exactly a regular cup of coffee, but I enjoy one cup each morning. After months and months of waking up multiple times a night with Noah, I decided I needed the daily caffeine fix to chase after two crazy little guys all day!

6. What do you do to relax?
I can't lie, I'm a reality tv junkie. While I don't watch very many of them out there (the more busy I get with the kiddos, the less TV time I seem to have! Haha!), I watch my fair share. It's one of my guilty pleasures and sometimes it's just what I need to wind down and escape from the real world. It may or may not include a nice glass of riesling. ;)

7. How do you keep calm in stressful situations?
Hmm, that's a tough one. I guess I would have to say that I normally turn to my rock. That would be my hubby. He's my best friend and has an amazing ability to stay cool in all situations. I'm extremely type A, so everything is stressful to me. He's definitely type B, so he balances us out and helps me keep my sanity! We're a team in this parenting thing and I'd like to think we make a pretty good one. :)

8. Beautiful skies or clear with stars?
Both are quite tempting, but I've always been a sucker for a clear, starry night. There's something about sitting under a beautiful night sky around a fire pit with loved ones, toasting marshmallows or enjoying some hot apple cider. It's one of the many reasons I love fall!

9. Dogs, cats or fish?
While my first pet was a fish, I've got to go with dogs on this one. Our adorable boxer, Daisy Duke, is and always will be our first child.

10. Be honest - which name do you like better, maiden or married?
I am actually fine with either. The only downfall to my married name is that I always have to spell it. It's not spelled like the famous mattress company. ;) My maiden name would have made for a catchy blog title (Frankly Speaking??), but it can be confusing to have a man's first name as a last name.

Thanks again Meredith for the nomination and I hope that everyone spreads some sunshine today!


  1. I loved reading this! Thanks for your kind words and I am excited to check out your nominees! You've got a gift for writing and thanks so much for sharing it with the rest of us :)

    1. Thank you, Meredith! I'm glad that you enjoyed it! :)


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