Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I have been recognized for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by my fellow warriors Elisha at Waiting for Baby Bird and My Perfect Breakdown. I am filled with gratitude, love and light with this recognition, especially as I have so much admiration for both of these women. Gratitude for their courage in sharing their stories and for how much they both have taught me. 9 months ago when I started Ever Upward I never could have imagined the amazing people I would meet through this blogging world or how much I would learn from them. Thank you is simply not sufficient enough. To accept this award, here are the things I need to do:

1. Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you.

2. List the rules and display the award.

3. Share seven facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated. (I am going to list them and leave their participation optional, as I know things can be really crazy for people, but I just couldn't not list you all).

5.  Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Fun Facts About Me:

  1. I love the show New Girl. I literally have most of season 1 memorized, it just makes me laugh out loud from the belly with pure joy.
  2. If the therapy and the writing thing doesn't work out my backup career is to become a makeup artist, I am a master at eye makeup...I think ;).
  3. I have two tattoos and totally have the itch for two more. But I also have a weird tattoo rule for myself: if I want the same thing on the same part of my body for six months then I can really get it.
  4. I am a book whore, I literally have at least 5 books I am reading at a time. I am drowning in the stack of books on my nightstand, and I love it.
  5. I try really hard, all of the the time, sometimes too hard and too much and too fast, which is therefore why I tend to break a lot of things, trip and hurt myself a lot and spill everything.
  6. I love to laugh, I love to learn and I love to connect and I think that is done best with people who love us, get us and are also willing to do the same.
  7. My parents have temporarily moved in with us due to my dad's accident back in March. And, I am probably enjoying it way too much! But, their help with the dogs, the house and the yard is immensely appreciated and so needed right now with work and the book.

I had to participate in this when I saw both of my friends nominated me but also because I love finding new blogs and friends though this big, amazing blogging world. So here is my top 15 list, I think ;), and in no particular order.

Waiting for Baby Bird

My Perfect Breakdown

A Few Pieces Missing From Normalcy

Blooming Spiders

Considerings

Everything Reminds Me of You

In Case I'm Gone

Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

Momsicle

Oh For the Love of...Me

Postcards from Heaven

Red Thread Broken

Someday Starts Today

Searching and Fearless

The Frozen Moon

A First for Me - The Liebster Award

It is with a full heart and soul of gratitude to Spirit Baby Come Home for nominating me for my first blogging award. Thank you does not seem sufficient, thank you. The Liebster Award is a way for smaller blogs to gain some recognition.

The rules are:

1. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award. See above.

2. Answer the questions designated by the blogger who nominated you. See below.

3. List 11 random facts about yourself. So much harder than it seems!

4. Nominate 3-5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers. See the end of the post

5. Make up a set of questions for the nominated bloggers to answer. Hope you like!

Questions I have been asked to answer:

  1. Favourite childhood memory? I tend to be one of those people who don't have a detailed memory of my childhood. In reality, anything when I was dancing as a child is the best memories!
  2. Who was your dearest friend when you were growing up and why were you so fond of her/him? My oldest friend Kelly, just wrote a post about her, here!
  3. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be and who with? Exactly, where I am this second ;).
  4. Favourite food or foods? Popcorn (with butter) and peanut butter chocolate ice cream
  5. Have you ever been afraid to do something and later recognized you missed out on a great opportunity? Tell us about it. I'm always afraid when I'm a taking risk but I work very hard at practicing afraid and brave all at once.
  6. If you had to dress up for Halloween this year, who or what would you be?  Why? I loathe Halloween, but I have an adorable flapper dress I bought a few years for my go to costume.
  7. What is the most difficult challenge you have ever faced?  What happened? Surviving infertility and fighting for my recovery.
  8. Do you believe in miracles?  Wish you did? I believe not everything is in my control and I have faith that it all happens just as it is supposed to.
  9.  If you were another kind of animal, what would you be? Butterfly
  10. Best meal you remember having and where you had it? My favorite restaurant Edge Wild in Chesterfield, Missouri
  11. Favourite book? The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Eleven Random Facts (About Me)

  1. I grew up in small town Iowa.
  2. I have to work very hard at my recovery and practice daily.
  3. I am developing a great faith.
  4. I break things, a lot, especially electronics.
  5. Nothing makes me laugh as much as jumping off a diving board for hours on end.
  6. My favorite show is New Girl.
  7. Connection is what it is all about.
  8. I only have one speed, fast.
  9. I am usually reading no less than 4 books at a time.
  10. I love going to movies by myself.
  11. I am blessed, I am lucky and I have worked really hard.

Bloggers I hereby nominate (should you choose to accept the honor, see RULES above):

Everything Reminds Me of You

Busy Nothing

Searching and Fearless

Dear Nominees, if you choose to accept the nomination you must answer the following 11 questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. How has writing changed you?
  3. What has been the most defining moment of your life thus far?
  4. Where would you want your next vacation to be and why?
  5. Favorite hobby?
  6. You have four hours to spend however you like, what do you do?
  7. Favorite book?
  8. What is a small habit you’ve been trying to break for what seems like forever?
  9. Is it just a quirk?
  10. Three words to describe your appearance?
  11. Three words to describe your personality?

Thank you for reading and continuing to support Ever Upward. Writing has completely changed my life and continues to help me heal. The connections I have made all over the world have been amazing and I am so grateful for them. I am overcome with light and love!

More Than Brevity

Taking the scariest step in my short writing career, I nearly panicked when I submitted to a well known mom blog as a childfree mother. And yet, here I am, in complete awe of the warm embrace I’ve received from the light and love of this ever upward lighted path.

 
 

This post inspired by the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty

WRITE YOUR FIRST “FIFTY”: No rules. Just stick to the word count — no more, no less than fifty words.

Self Validation: Finding the Balance Between Proving It and Owning It

I have clearly known my goals for starting Ever Upward (the blog version) from the very beginning: ~ to help build credibility for the book.

~ to continue my healing process.

~ to educate.

~ but mostly, to connect with others.

The feedback I have received in the few short weeks of starting the blog has been nothing short of amazing and exactly why I knew I had to write my story, which is really everyone’s story.

“I had no idea.”

“I get it now.”

“I felt your heart in your haunting words.”

“Your post gives me strength to find my truth.”

“It makes me happy that you put your struggles out there to help others going through the same thing.  There are so many women who are in a similar situation that need to know they aren’t alone.”

These words I know come from love and connection; ultimately my goals in writing.  But, I am also finding that I need to keep myself in check with all of this love.  I want to make sure this doesn’t become about making myself feel okay or accepted or validated through others’ approval.  Feeling validated is not on that list of goals above.  Because then it becomes about proving that this is okay, that I am okay, that my story is okay.  And ultimately, that is the very opposite of my goals.  I have to make sure to take this love and make sure it is about the connection while also not tying it to my own validation of myself.  Because when I tie outside validation to my story, it ultimately owns my truth and puts my self-worth at stake.

We are taught, socialized really, to seek outside validation, which only attaches validation to our self worth; how much money do we make, how big and fancy is our home, how many likes does our status get on Facebook, how many followers do we have on Twitter, etc.  Ultimately, we have to learn how to validate for ourselves.

If I can find the validation within myself, my self-worth isn’t tied to the success of the blog, or eventually the book.  It isn’t tied to how many views the blog gets or the courage it takes for other’s to share it.  It isn’t tied to the people who criticize the blog or who read it and don’t like it and don’t get it.  It isn’t tied to the people I so wish would read it, because more than anything I feel like I need (but really want) their understanding and empathy.  Because the truth is, these are the very people who probably will not read the blog.  So I have to do the work, for myself, to learn to accept their limitations, to find validation from, and within myself.

Self validation and owning it has to be a daily practice, whether or not we must practice to own our depression, to own our weaknesses, to own our vulnerabilities, to own our anxieties, to own our struggles... To own our everything, our stories.

Because within owning it all, we own ourselves and find our own validation.

And when we own ourselves through self validation, we open up the space for our happiness, our truth, and our ever upward.