Liebster, by the way, means "dearest" in German. Don't ya love that? The first requirement for my accepting this "Dearest" Award, is to tell five things about myself that are not generally known. The problem I have with that is, that after more than five years of blogging, I'm not sure if there's anything about myself that I haven't already shared. (And heaven knows, the world has been hangin on my every word right? ;0) But I haven't been doing much blogging and this is a great way to sort of work in a "catching up," so here's a go at it...
1) I just got contacts for the first time a couple weeks ago! (That's something new to report!) They're "multi-focal" meaning they're supposed to do the same job as bifocal glasses, correcting both my near-sightedness and my far-sightedness. And you know what? They really do! The lens made for my left eye, which is my dominant eye, is for far seeing. My right eye's lens allows me to read without extending my book out to the end of my arms. Crazy thing is that my brain has figured out how and when to use each corrected eye -- together, so I don't have to do the work. No more looking down my nose to read through my cheaters, then looking up to see the nerf bullet heading toward me, then looking down through my glasses to pluck the nerf bullet off my book. It's so much more simple than bifocals or carrying around reading glasses, and I love how well they work. When I can actually get the darn things in! Goodness, there's a knack to it! Maybe someday I'll actually wear them.
In the meantime, I'm keeping my half-dozen pairs of cheater glasses handy -- all over the house, but never where I need them when I need them...
2) Which leads me to an admission. A somewhat guilty one. I am a Perpetual Delegator. You know that kind of Mom? Undoubtedly it's a habit brought on by twenty-five years of having my hands full -- usually full of baby or toddler or something having to do with a baby or toddler.... And at any random time during the day, I'm running off in two or more different directions, if not physically, then mentally. So, to simplify my life and keep things tidy and efficient, I send youngins on errands. Constantly. It's probably given my kids a complex. To wit:
"Here, Gabe, take your Math book and put it in your bin. And since you're passing the kitchen, take my coffee cup with you and put it in the sink for me, will ya please?
"And, Oh, while you're in there, see if Anna's in the back of the house and tell her it's her turn for Math.
"And tell her on her way back here, to see if she can find my little red reading glasses...
|Gabe and William, buds. Right at that moment, anyway.|
A few minutes later: Gabe returns and hands me a full cup of coffee. And nothing else. No Anna, no glasses. So.... yeah.
I just thank him. Coffee's what I really wanted anyway. Gee, I raise smart kids.
3) Another guilty admission. I hate to exercise. Really do hate it. I was born without those "happy-exerciser" endorphins you hear tell about. I have never felt anything but tired and sweaty and miserable after exerting myself -- and I'm pretty sure that running and bouncing around just make my fat cells hang on for dear life. Truly, the only way I'll exercise is if I don't know that's what it is I am doing. Even hiking (which I love) is just a necessary evil I endure in order to get to pretty scenery inaccessible by car...
4) But, that said, I've lost twelve pounds in the last five weeks or so. (Woohoo!) For health reasons, I've been suffering through a very strict low-carb eating regimen (we don't say the "D" word). Along with feeling literally "lighter," I also have been making strides toward overcoming my chronic fatigue issues, so it's really been worth it -- but, I'm here to tell ya, being on a protein diet during Lent is no fun. I may just turn into a fish before it's all over. (Oh, my goodness; I can't wait for Easter. Can we just pause a moment and think about bacon: breakfast, lunch, and dinner?)
5) I was born and spent the first year or two of my life in Spain, where my Dad was stationed in the Navy. I was a bald baby at first, but when my hair grew in, it was blonde, blonde, blonde and very curly -- a novelty among the Spanish people and a source of delight, I guess. According to my mother, everywhere she took me, the native people would rub my head for luck. As I grew up, my hair deepened to a honey color, then a light brunette, and continued to darken, so that by the time I was in my mid thirties it was dark enough to look almost black. Much to my chagrin. I think it was all that rubbing. I think in a random tweak of the universe, I now have the Spaniards' hair and there are a bunch of Spanish folks (probably pretty old by now) wandering around with blonde hair.
Do I need to say that Clairol and I are very well acquainted? But nowadays, I have to cover not only the dark hair, but the white strands that are creeping in... Just a few more years and I'll be a "tow head" again.
And now here are Natalie's questions for me to answer:
1) Your preferred terrain would be desert, coast, mountains, or plains/hills?
Well, hmmmm... Being the daughter of a Navy man, I grew up near the ocean, but I've been landlocked here in Colorado all my adult life (let's assume that's more than twenty-five and less than forty years altogether, right?). If you know me, you know I lovelovelove my mountains, but I gotta say... one whiff of sea air and I'm overcome! I'm a kid again, standing at the harbor with my siblings and my Dad, watching a storm come in, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore drowning out my squeals as the salty wind whips my hair into my eyes. Oh, how much I've missed the beach!-- How could you not love it? Where is anything more alive, more powerful, more calming, more beautiful, more full of God?
|This photo from the Visual/Sensory blog -- because almost all my beach pics were lost when the computer crashed...|
I'm not a swimmer. No kidding; you ain't getting this Momma of eleven into a "babing" suit ever again -- no way no how. I don't surf or boogy board, either, and I don't see us ever owning a boat. (How nerve-wracking would that be for a mother of many small children?) So, what do I do at the beach? I sunburn. I collect shells, make sand castles, breathe in the salt-tangy air, count the heads of the children in the water (over and over and over), dump sand out of children's bathing suits, wash sunscreen out of little girls' eyes, guard everyone's valuables and flipflops, try to keep sand and seagulls out of the food... etc., etc., and you get the picture.
Give me the mountains any day: you still get the majestic beauty and the peace -- and the all-encompassing presence of God, but they very seldom knock you off your feet; and speaking of feet -- no sand in your shoes or food or hair or shorts; lots of shade for long parent-controlled hikes; no seagulls or drowning to worry about -- just mountain lions, bears, wandering out of cellphone range, or falling off cliffs. Yeah.... The mountains have their downside, too. But, there is one great advantage that mountains have over seashore: If you're not up for the risk or challenge of the actual wilderness, you can see them for free from your back porch. Yep. Just look at 'em. Aren't they something?
|Near McClure pass last summer...|
|Love 'em. (This one -- me a couple springs ago on the edge of Grand Mesa looking west.)|
2) How long have you ever gone without shaving/waxing your legs?
Never long enough that anyone would notice.
3) What boy and girl name do you love but haven't used? Hmm... Frankly, with eleven children, we really have used all our most favorite names -- and their corresponding patron saints are happily established as our family go-to heaven friends. But, that said -- Paul (0ur firstborn) would have been Laura, a name I still love -- but never used. Dominic would have been Mary Margaret (or Margaret Mary; we never did decide). I always liked the name Emily -- though it never reached the top of the name list at the right time... All girl names... But, honestly, I can't think of a single boys' name that I love that I didn't use for one of our seven young men.
4) If you had twins what would you name them? Cosmas and Damien? Protus and Hyacinth? Peter and Paul? I guess the question is whether you make the names relate to one another or not, saint-wise, or other wise -- like Holly and Ivy,
-- or Crimson and Clover
-- Luke and Leiah
-- Simon and Garfunkle
-- Emmy and Oscar
-- Porgy and Bess
-- Thing 1 and Thing 2
... or whether you ought to alliterate, as with
-- Tina and Tommy
-- Anna and Adam
-- Luke and Leiah
-- Xavier and Zoe
We did actually have twins, though ya know. We named them Kevin Christopher and Matthew Francis -- specifically for the help and protection of those patron saints. Matthew is hanging with the saints right now, as he was stillborn into heaven -- so I can't ask him, but I can ask his brother, Kevin, how he'd have liked having matching or "theme" names. Being the nut that he is, I expect he'll come up with a choice few that would work for him. But I'm guessing most twins wouldn't care for it.
5) What is the best materialistic gift you've ever been given? Easy. My camera. I love my Nikon D 7000. Love it. I don't have to be a photographer to take really beautiful pictures! My next gift, though, needs to be classes to learn how to really use it! ('Cause I'm a tutorial retard...)
6) What is your biggest pet peeve? People who don't clean up after themselves, because they either just don't care that they're wrecking things or they expect the cleaning fairy to clean up their mess. (Erg. Don't get me started.)
7) Have you ever skinny dipped or streaked? Neither. At least not since I was about three years old.
8) What is your favorite quote, psalm, or reading? Oh, wow. I don't have just one -- I have millions, and they change with the day, the mood, the light coming in the window. I have quotes all over my house, literally -- saved in notebooks, hung on walls, stuck to the refrigerator, taped around my bathroom mirror... But, to narrow it down, just a bit... I love just about anything by G.K. Chesterton or St. Teresa of Avila. Here's one I'm contemplating just today:
9) How do you relax after a rough day? I pin on Pintrest, or read, or watch documentaries on Netflix. If I'm lucky and Dan's home, I'll be getting a backrub while doing any one of the above...
10) What is the best quality you see in your significant other? Just one? Dan is the epitome of patience and long suffering -- an extremely important characteristic for a man who's married to me...
Ann (Learning Late in Life)
Maria (La Dolce Vita)
Cathy (A Bit of the Blarney)
Here are your instructions, I am nominating you for the Leibster and tagging you for Five Things.
1. Tell five (or eleven) things about yourself most people don't know.
2. Answer my questions (below).
3. Tag / nominate five (or two, or nine) others with 200 or less followers.
4. Ask them your own new questions.
5. Have fun!
(Please feel free to answer all ten or just choose five.)
1) What is the best vacation you've ever gotten to take? Why does it stand out?
2) If you won a two-week, all-expenses-paid vacation for two anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
3) What is the scariest thing you've ever been through?
4) What is your favorite dessert? (Recipe please?)
5) Fill in the blank: I can't help but laugh when I remember__________________.
6) What song can you not resist belting out with the volume cranked all the way up on your car radio?
7) What was your favorite cartoon as a child -- and would you (do you) watch now should it turn up on TV?
8) Approximately how many sets of earrings do you estimate that you own?
9) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
10) If you could change your first name, what would you want to be called?