Well, truth be told, I hadn’t heard of the Liebster Award either, but I’m glad Vanessa from Josephine: A Creative Life brought it to my attention by nominating me for this award.
Going back as early as 2011, the Liebster Award is one that exists only on the Internet, meant to foster a sense of community among bloggers. The purpose is to connect followers to newer blogs.
Liebster Award Rules
Write a blog post announcing your nomination in which you thank the person who nominated you.
Answer the questions set out by the blogger who nominated you.
Nominate 5-11 other bloggers.
Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer in their nomination posts.
Notify all nominees via social media.
This nomination came at just the right time, as I have begun to realize the power of women supporting women in her creative endeavours and the strong sense of community that can be fostered between bloggers and on social media platforms, especially Instagram.
Instagram is where I discovered Vanessa. Like me, she is a teacher and lives in Ontario. She impresses me with what she can accomplish with her blog, especially now that she is back to work in such a demanding career. I look to her for insight into how she balances her various roles. Also like me, she’s doing what she can and making it up as she goes. I love walking this journey alongside such incredible women.
1. If you could give your life a book title what would it be?
A book title for my life? Oh, Vanessa, you start me off with this toughie? In truth, I often struggle coming up with taglines, blog post titles and handles. Titles! Sometimes they come easily if I’m inspired and other times I can’t see beyond the same bland ideas. So, if I were to – in the fog of sleep deprivation – title my life, it would be something like Seeking Joy. I’ve always been accused of being a bit of a serious person, and while I have my share of lighthearted moments, I give proper weight to things that matter to me. As I pass through seasons of my life, I find I’m always battling with my perception of things. I hope to come to a place where I can live in the moment and feel fully the joy of presence. Becoming a mother makes this clearer to me than ever, but it’s still easy to get caught up in the exhaustion and busyness of survival mode. Being present with loved ones and feeling the courage to go into the world of newness and discomfort will be a lifelong journey.
2. Quotes are such a big thing these days. What’s your favourite quote?
I’ve been finding a lot of inspiration in Sara Avant Stover lately. I follow her on Twitter and have been reading her book The Way of the Happy Woman. This quote speaks to me in particular: “Every woman, whether or not she realizes it, is a creative genius. Within her lives the capacity to bring forth new life and to regenerate during each moon cycle and each spring. … spring exhales the intoxicating fragrance of radical possibility. Who do you want to be now? How do you want to live? What’s ready to come to life inside you? We can always begin again.” My followers might recognize this from my previous posts here on the blog as well as my Instagram captions, but I hope that like me you find something new and inspiring in the quote each time, as I have. There really is something about the idea that within us lies the possibility of regeneration. We can always begin anew. So go out there are create whatever is within you to do so. Change and opportunity are always possible to those who give in to her natural urgings.
3. What’s your favourite comfort food?
Some of my go-to comfort dishes include poutine (especially while in the first trimester of my pregnancy with Finn), nachos and vegetable green curry or any type of stir-fry, really.
4. Do you prefer a day at the beach or wandering the streets of a beautiful city?
While I love me a good beach day, I’d have to say that in recent years, I tire of the beach much quicker than I would in my early twenties. These days I prefer the cover of the shade, but from where I’m standing in an early Canadian spring, a beach on a warm day sounds lovely. I’m reminded of our honeymoon to the Côte d’Azur, which is the perfect combination of both, I’d say. We could enjoy bicycle rides along the Promenade des Anglais and soak up the Mediterranean Sea air and spend our time touring the Old Town quarters or peruse some of the many art museums. Being a bit of a history buff, I loved moments, like when our visit to the fish market turned us unexpectedly on an upward path leading to an archeological site and the best view of Nice! So, while I love a good book and a beach, there’s nothing like the feeling of unexpected discoveries while abroad.
5. Coffee or tea?
Hands down I’m a tea drinker. My collection of loose leaf is excessive. Lately, I’ve found sipping hot water infused with lemon, ginger and honey to be soothing. I have to say that since becoming a mother I’ve had too many days when I traded in my beloved tea cup and saucer in for a potent cup of maple-flavoured coffee or a mocha, but more typically I’d say tea is my preference.
6. On a Friday night would you like to be in your favourite trackers or the perfect party dress?
Friday nights to me are for winding down from the week with the possibility of the weekend colouring the night with fun. Depending on the week, on some Fridays this looks like staying up late watching a good movie, spending time with friends around a camp fire in the backyard, or sometimes just to bed with the sunset. Long gone are the days when Friday nights meant party dresses, and I’m so okay with that. Joel and I are excited to spend these nights with our children rather than at a party.
7. What is your favourite book of all time?
Vanessa, you’re asking this of a professed life-long book lover who can while away the hour, day, all days amongst books? Like many of these questions, I find it difficult to narrow my favourites down to a single answer. Books, music, food, etc. are all things I appreciate according to my tastes, emotions and needs of the time. With new reads coming into my life all the time, this one challenges me. If we’re talking epics, I’d say the Harry Potter series, I think for obvious readers to those who have read the books. I’ve also read a few books lately with strong female characters that I find so inspiring when so much of literature is about the men. I’ve written about The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah in a post entitled Winter Reading To Cozy Up With, but I feel another blog post about some fiction favourites coming on.
8. What was the original inspiration behind your blog?
I’ve been thinking about blogging for too long now. I’ve wanted to write all my life. What finally inspired me to take the leap was becoming a mother. There is nothing more inspiring. When I considered blogging in past years I wondered what would be my niche. What could allow me to incorporate all of my interests in reading, writing, music, climate change, global issues, social justice, style, minimalism, degrowth, food, toxins and other concerns for the future other than parenting?!
9. We are all mamas so let’s hear some “balancing act” tips. How do you keep up with a blog and mom life?
When I think of my inspiration to take a chance at blogging – make no mistake, it takes bravery to put your writing, thoughts, and every day life out there for all to see, and this is something I’ve struggled with all throughout this process – it’s my husband, Joel, who inspires me. He has supported me from the start and though he isn’t an avid reader like I am, he reads each of my posts. So achieving the balancing act of blogging while in the midst of motherhood is possible mostly because of the support of my husband. Without complaint, he takes on the larger share of household chores if it means providing me with a tidy space and completed to do list so I can focus on writing. Blogging gives me renewed energy, even though it often takes a lot of time and focus to do. I’m better for having this creative outlet and something just for me and I’m grateful to have a husband who understands this too.
10. Describe your ideal Saturday morning.
Slow days at home are the name of the game for us on the weekends. My ideal Saturday morning is waking with my two guys and our dog, Tess. We’re early risers who love to take a coffee down to the dock to watch the world come alive around us – when weather allows. Lately our mornings are dictated by Finn’s naps, but sometimes we have him take those in the car while we drive to run errands or on slow days we lay down with him for some shuteye or to discuss plans for the weekend. With the coming warmer days I look forward to taking Finn to our local farmer’s market for a mid-morning taco from our favourite food stand. Though I know that the warmer days mean early mornings on the boat with Joel in search of the big catch. In the meantime, we finish the morning with a big brunch at home made with meat from a local natural farmer – peameal is delicious – farm fresh eggs and produce from our organic box.
11. Who’s your inspiration?
My inspiration is my sister. She is the example by which I have always measured my life, as she has always been with me through every stage and most experiences, but I am struggling to put words to the way that she inspires me as a mother. Aware of the differences between our personalities and preferences, if I could do something precisely as my sister has done, it would be to raise my children as she has raised hers. The way she interacts with her children is a beautiful dance between them, and while she certainly has her moments, as most parents, her patience and effort seems to come from an unending source. She quietly does her best to cultivate a healthy and happy home for her children not for recognition from anyone, but driven by her need to do well for them. On top of all of this, she still finds time – somehow – to pursue her own hobbies and interests. This may strike you as something commonplace or something all parents strive for, but without even the bias of my close relationship with her, trust me that there is nothing ordinary about her.