Thursday, April 11, 2013


I'm participating in this year's A-Z challenge, and so will be posting daily about a subject focusing on a letter of the alphabet.


I'm blowing big kisses to Ashley Lynn who writes A Woman's Journey Back to Army Strong, for choosing me as one of her recipients of the Liebster Award. Happpppppppppppppy dance!!

"Liebster" is German for "dearest" and it's a blogger to blogger award for those having 200 or fewer followers, so they can get more exposure. Well, I'm ALL about exposing myself, so -- I graciously accept. I will restrain myself from climbing up onto the nearest podium and tearfully proclaiming, "You like me!! You really LIKE me!"

Of course, there are rules, always rules:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2, Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less, who you feel deserve to be noticed, and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been nominated.
5. Answer the 11 questions the blogger presented you with, create 11 questions for the blogs you are nominating, and list 11 facts about yourself.

Ashley came up with some interesting questions, so here goes.

1.  Why did you start your blog?
I began my blog in February 2012 because the last of my four children was leaving home for college and I finally had time to put two coherent thoughts together. I love telling stories, and spilling incredibly embarrassing personal details, so it was natural that I would start blogging.

2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was in second grade, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. However, after my Pulitzer-prize winning short story was written that year (How The Mouse Got Its Long Tail), my career as a writer was born. In the sixth grade, I rewrote Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in a more condensed form, dumbing it down so my peers could comprehend it -- yes, that's just how nerdy I was. After writing for my high school newspaper, I majored in journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill.

3. What are you currently looking forward to?
So many great things are happening soon! I just did  the Cooper River Bridge Run April 6, my husband and I are vacationing soon, and then best of all, my oldest son and his wife are expecting their first child together in May. Can't wait to get my hands on that grandbaby! I've got several fun runs coming up as well, including an Electric Run, a Glow in the Night run, and a Zombie Run. Fun!!

4. What is one of your current goals?
One of my goals is to run a marathon by the time I am 55, so I am eyeing Disney in January 2014. I'll begin training for it in the fall.

5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Oh dear, just one? I despise it when people are unkind to each other. It's so easy to be nice, but it seems that the culture today applauds people who insult or hurt each other. I find that deplorable. Oh, and my husband leaving the toilet seat up. That's a major pet pee-ve (groooaan).

6. Where are some places you have traveled/lived?
I was born in Richmond, VA, and have lived in North Carolina most of my life. My husband and I have been to the Cayman Islands, Ireland and Italy, and we took a river cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna. I've also been to France. We love to travel, and hope to do more of it in the future, before we become too decrepit.

7. Describe yourself in four words.
Exuberant, altruistic, funny, rebellious, and adventurous. Yeah, I know that's five -- see, I AM rebellious.

8. How did you come up with your blog name?
Actually, my oldest daughter suggested it. We were bouncing ideas around and it seemed to encompass my philosophy of embracing all that life offers.

9. What are five things on your bucket list?
Besides running a marathon, I'd like to see the Northern Lights, go fly fishing in Montana, zip line through a forest, visit Hawaii, and see Yellowstone. If it were possible, I would also like to eat as much sea salt caramel gelato as I can and never gain a pound.

10. What is your dream job?
I would love to be an artist and have a studio in a barn on my dream farm. I'd write poetry and novels, create mixed-media art, and continue blogging and doing my Facebook pages and groups. I'd have a lot of alpacas, rescue animals and we'd grow our own food. We might starve though, because I did NOT inherit my grandmother Vonnie Mae's green thumb. My husband says that when I go to a nursery, all the plants begin silently screaming, "No! Not me! Don't pick me!!" So maybe there should be a farmer's market close by my farm.

11. If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?  
You know those little jagged boxes with words inside like "Bam!" that are in superhero comics? I'd have those. (Are we surprised that my superpower has to do with words???) Then, when I was out living my "normal" life, being a superhero in disguise, I'd come up against, say, hatred, with my invisible, invincible  shield and "Whammo!" -- I'd obliterate it. Bigotry: "Kappppowwwww!" Rudeness: "Blammm!" And you could read it all right over my head.

11 Fascinating Facts About Me
1.  I've been married to my high school sweetheart for 32 years and we have 4 children, grown now. At some point, I home schooled them all.
2. My nickname is "Bubbles," for reasons I will not disclose. Lol!
3. I'm 54 years old, and began running 2 years ago after being a couch potato my entire life.
4. In the past 5 months, I ran my first and second half marathon.
5. I am crazy about weddings! I love to help plan them, and create things for them (guest books, table cards, cake decor, favors, etc.)
6. I taught adult religious education for over 16 years as a volunteer.
7. Also about 16 years ago, I began a book club so I would have someone to talk to about what I was reading.
8. I am an idea person. I'm always thinking about new careers, inventing things, and thinking deep thoughts. It takes up a lot of time. ;)
9. I'm also a dog person. We have a Lab/golden retriever mix (Sunny) who is about 13, a pug (Vespucci) who is 11, and an English bulldog (Boudreaux) who's 9. We also have a rat, Perignon, but that's a story for another post.
10. When I commit to something, I go all in. When my youngest daughter was in Girl Scouts and had to sell cookies at Walmart, I was the one dressed as a giant Samoa cookie, dancing my heart out in the parking lot. Yeah, I sold a lot of cookies that way.
11. My grandmother lived to be 100, and I fully intend on beating her record.

Questions For My Nominees
1. Why did you start your blog?
2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
3. Would you support me in my endeavor to be Queen of our country?
4. What is your dream that you're afraid to talk about but secretly think about all the time?
5. Of course, because I love to read, what's your favorite book?
6. If you had total control of the world, what are 3 things that you would do immediately, aside from crowning me Queen?
7. What is one goal that you achieved that you are most proud of (not counting family)?
8. What are you working hardest at right now?
9. What is the most hilarious thing that has ever happened to you?
10. Finish this sentence: In 2013, I will _____________________.
11. They're making a movie about your life. Who would  you choose to play your part?

And -- ta da!! -- the moment we've all been waiting for!!  My nominees for the Liebster Award are:

Movin' It With Michelle...Running, Recipes, and Real Life Adventures!
In the Box, Out of the Box
Jen's Ink Pen!
Curiosity and Cute Shoes
The Ongoing Adventures of Healthy Habit Girl
Family Travels on a Budget
I'll Recognize Me When I Become Me
Jason's Thought of the Day
Lead Our Lives

Check out their blogs, and tell them ArmsWideOpen sent you.  And enjoy.


  1. Yes, you are funny! Along with sense of humor, we have a lot in common! In second grade, I also decided that I wanted to be a teacher, and that's exactly what I did! I've been married to my high school sweetheart for almost 10 years and I have 3 dogs!
    Mmmm...sniff that grandbaby as often as possible!

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    2. Thanks Jamie, I tell it like I see it. :) Isn't that funny how our lives are pretty parallel? Good for you for being a teacher. We need good ones!

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  3. Thank you so much, Patsy! I'm working on my post and ping back to you! Awesome blog!

  4. Here is the link to my post...thank you again!