31 October 2013

A Little Sunshine in the Midst of Rain: The Sunshine Award

It's autumn in the Netherlands, so that means that there's been heavy winds that make cycling more of a workout than normal. On the bright side, it has been rather sunny (I think we have had less than normal rain this year), and I've been kindly nominated for the bloggers' Sunshine Award by Liene at Femme au Foyer. Liene has a great travel blog that is worth checking out!

Here's how the Sunshine Award works:  
1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2. Share eleven random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the eleven questions set by your nominating blogger.
4. Nominate eleven bloggers yourself.
5. Post eleven questions for your nominees to answer.
6. Let your nominees know they're up.

And off we go...

11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I don't like drinking milk from two separate cartons in the same glass. I'll drink one right after the other, but I don't want them mixed in my cup. I know it doesn't make a difference, but I've been doing this for a long time - I'm sure my parents are rolling their eyes as they read this.
2. I love cats. It's really hard to reign in the crazy cat lady in me at times.
3. I didn't have a strong Boston accent to start with, but I've mostly lost it. Unless I'm yelling. Or reading Make Way for Ducklings. Or visiting my parents. If you don't know the Boston accent, watch a few clips from Good Will Hunting.
4. I didn't have a video game system growing up - so Mark and I bought a Wii the Christmas before we married.
5. There's an 11 year gap between me and my brother.
6. I've had the nickname "Ace" since I started the fifth grade. The art teacher had no idea how to say my name and said should wouldn't learn it, so how about just going by "Ace?" I have no idea what her name was any more, but I have to say it's a pretty cool name to go by.
7. I really like to have things in "rainbow order" and will spend a stupid amount of time putting children's markers/crayons back into boxes in the "correct" order.
8. I love reading about Irish history.
9. I broke my arm pretty severely when I was 9 and had to have surgery to set it before it was put in the cast. After the surgery, my arm swelled so badly that the linen inside the cast left a scar that is still visible on my arm.
10. I have never lived in a home without an animal present (the animals were always invited and welcomed in, and I don't count college dorms... in which the animals were not invited or welcomed).
11. One of my stupid human tricks is that I can touch my nose with my tongue.

11 Questions from Liene:
1. If you could choose only one blog post to represent you, which one would you choose?
          This was hard, but I think the story of the first time we biked to Belgium is my favorite post. The trip was pretty typical for one of these on the fly ideas we have. All around it was a good time, we did a lot of exploring, and we had a few humorous, if unexpected, happenings along the way. And in the short time I've been blogging, I think it was one of the first posts that I really felt direction for what I wanted to do here.
2. Name your favorite author, and favorite childhood author.
          My favorite author now is either George RR Martin (winter is coming, after all) or JK Rowling, or Jane Austen... Okay, I don't actually know. I like reading a good story. From childhood, I think Rohl Dahl if only because I reread Matilda and The Witches so many times.
3. What is one thing you are most looking forward to in the coming year?
          Watching Little Man as he starts "big school" and improves his Dutch.
4. Your favorite accent? (for example, an Aussie speaking English)
          Nothing's quite like an Irish accent, but a Boston accent just sounds like home.
5. What would you choose as your last meal?
          Lo Mein. A lot of Lo Mein.
6. Do you have a favorite spectator sport?
          Does housework count? I'd really rather watch than participate.
7. If you could spend one year living anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? (Pretend language and distance from family isn't a barrier)
          I would say Denmark. It's a place I've always wanted to go and I have family roots there. And I would probably be at Legoland every day.
8. Name five things your refrigerator is never without.
          Milk, mayonnaise, carrots, cheese, and beer. I really don't know why mayonnaise is always there... otherwise, it seems like a well-balanced diet to me.
9. What is your biggest pet peeve?
          I really wish people would give more attention to the Oxford comma.
10. You win an all-expenses paid, week-long vacation to anywhere in the world – where are you headed?
         Someplace in the Southern Hemisphere. I think maybe Australia or New Zealand, I've never been, but would really like to explore.
11 Describe the favorite place in your home.
          Our living room is great. Lots of natural light and space. It's much bigger than our apartment in Chicago, and we don't feel like we're sitting on top of each other.

11 Bloggers I am Nominating:
Some of these blogs I've been reading for a while, others I found rather recently, but I enjoy them all and would encourage you to check them out. So - tag!

Beginnings in Bayern
Blazing Speed of Light Machines
Chasing the Donkey
Expat Tales from Stockholm
Megan Joy Jaunts
Oui in France
Our Lives are an Open Blog
Princess and the Grapie
The Hemborg Wife
The Move to America
The Three Under

11 Questions for the Lovely Folks Above:
1. What is your favorite hobby/leisure time activity?
2. Where is your favorite place that you have visited and why?
3. If you could try any job/activity for a day, what would it be?
4. Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?
5. What is your favorite holiday/event to celebrate?
6. What is one food no one could ever convince you to eat?
7. What is the number one goal you would like to accomplish over the next year?
8. Who is your favorite fictional character (from a book, tv show, movie, play...) and why?
9. What were your favorite and most hated subjects in high school?
10. (From Liene) Name five things your refrigerator is never without.
11. (Also from Liene) If you could spend one year living anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? (Pretend language and distance from family isn't a barrier)

So, there you have it. I hope you're finding a bit of sunshine where you are.


  1. Thanks for the nomination, I'm looking forward to participating!

  2. Love your questions! I'm with you on the crayon boxes, although I took it one step further and glued a broken crayon back together recently... (some things probably shouldn't be shared!) Looking forward to checking out some of your nominations, bisous!

  3. Thanks for the nomination!!

  4. Of course! I can't wait to see what you have!

  5. Thanks again for the nomination, Liene!
    Don't feel too bad about the crayon, as a kid, I often wouldn't use a particular box of crayons so I wouldn't "ruin" them... Hope you enjoy my nomination list!

  6. You're welcome! I've enjoyed reading your blog =)

  7. HOLY WHACK-DOODLE! My first blogger award.... yay! I am chuffed. Now... what can I tell you all about me? Hmm.......
    That milk thing is strange... but so is number 11, and I can also do it. So that cancels out number 1.

  8. Okay, so I am your mother after all, I just spent the end of my day rainbow colorizing / alphabetizing the vaccine information sheets the vaccine information sheets at my new office...unfortunately no purple hanging file folders to be found!

  9. I had to laugh about the milk because I do silly things like that and the rainbow order! Must be the type a inside us. :-) Congrats on the award!

  10. hahaha! You're welcome, I'm glad you're excited. And yes, I know I'm weird, there's no point in hiding it. ;)

  11. LOL, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Now if only LM would keep to the rainbow order....

  12. More likely contagion from you to me.

  13. I recently read a short story by Roald Dahl for adults and it was quite the thriller! Thanks again for nominating me I am working on right now!

  14. Interesting, I'll have to look for it. And you're welcome! I'm looking forward to reading it =)

  15. Hey, thanks for the nomination! George R. R. Martin and Jane Austen fans unite!

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