Saturday, January 21, 2012

Six Awe-Full Life Experiences and a Passing of Awards

Earlier this week I was gifted by Kelley from Between the Bookends and Hope from My Protector, The Calling with the Versatile Blogger award and the Kreativ Blogger Award.

I highly recommend, if you don't already follow them, to go check out Kelley's and Hope's blogs, because they are fun to follow.  Kelley has fabulous posts that I never get tired of reading.  Hope has the best link lists regarding different writing needs I've ever seen.

Because I was in the middle of the week from hell, I didn't have a chance to accept the awards properly and to pass the awards on right away.  I am going to do that today!

I have received the Versatile Blogger Award before, and if you would like, you can read that post here.  I was still excited to receive it again, because of the cool, new badge! 

To accept the awards, I am supposed to tell you all interesting facts about myself.  I decided to choose six awe-full (meaning full of awe) moments in my life.  I love the feeling of being overwhelmed with the beauty or miracles that can be found in the world, if you just take time to notice them.  So, here we go!

*  Not trying to be sappy, but I thought I'd get this one out of the way first.  Being pregnant was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I was made to have babies, I think.  That I got to do it twice was a blessing.  Holding my children after giving birth to them, knowing that I grew a human being, is truly a miracle.  I'll throw in marrying my husband on this one, too.  I didn't think it would happen, and I am so grateful that it did!

*  When I was nineteen, I nannied in New York City, at the same time as my sister.  She arrived earlier than I did, and the first weekend after I got there, she took me into the City.  I will never forget stepping out onto the sidewalk in front of Penn Station.  My knees literally got weak.  The buildings went on forever, people were everywhere, a low-level hum of daily noise filled the streets and I totally went into sensory overload.  I fell in love with NYC that day.

*  While in New York (I nannied in Queens, actually) I got to visit the ocean for the first time.  My Nanny-family took my sister and I to Jones Beach one day.  The power of all the water stretching for miles was spectacular.  It was a blustery January day, and the waves crashed onto the beach and I felt so tiny.  I began to get an idea of exactly how huge the world is.

*  In 2001, I went to Ecuador for a three week language immersion trip.  On one of the weekends, I visited an hacienda near Cotopaxi, which is an active volcano.  I got to climb the volcano to the point where the snow begins (very hard to do, mostly because of the altitude) but the actual awe-filled moment was the trail ride we took.  It wasn't on a trail, though.  We meandered through the lands of the hacienda, through the potato fields, and into the plains. My sister had died six months earlier, and the whole trip turned out to be an escape.  In Cotopaxi, I galloped across the plains, my heart lifted by the expansive beauty surrounding me, and the horse running under me.  I felt free, in awe, and at peace.  Unintended hippo-therapy, I think.

*  Enough of the sad stuff!  My next awe-full moment was in Peru.  My husband and I went on a language immersion trip, staying with a family in Cusco (with whom I remain in contact with to this day).  Peru, or maybe I should say Cusco,  is just a magical place all by itself.  I love the people there, I love the history and traditions, I love the land.  All four of my dogs are named Quechuan names, in tribute to that wonderful region.  We went to Machu Picchu one weekend.  Our guide for the trip grew up in the Urubamba River area, and so he got us up to Machu Picchu before the sun came over the mountains, and placed us in the perfect location to watch the sun burn away the mist over the ruins.  There is no picture or video, or even words, that can capture the essence of the moment. You'll just have to believe me that it was awesome!

*  Dang this is long!  I didn't mean to write so much about each moment, but kind of got caught up.  Last one, and it's a quick one.  Every acceptance e-mail I've ever gotten.  My thoughts: "Holy Cow! Someone liked it enough to print it!" :)

Okay - six people I'm passing the awards to. I'm going to stretch out on this one, because Hope and Kelley already hit a lot of the people I would have given them to!  I also stand by my recognitions in the previous Versatile Blogger post.

Adventure Without End Tony Slater is a travel writer who is currently living in Australia.  I have had no interaction with him (through comments, etc...) but I love his posts.  They are funny and unique.

Aloha, and Hi! from HI Mark Koopmans is a stay-at-home father and writer who has a great sense of humor.  He's currently running a "Follow Your Dream" contest on his blog, so go over there to at least enter the contest!  You don't have to be a follower to play, but you might find out you want to join up anyway!  (I totally didn't mean to rhyme.)

My Imaginary Beings  Emilia Quill is from Helsinki, Finland.  I found her through the Nightgale Blog Challenge, and I love her stories.  The Sacrifice is amazingly poignant, and I think you should go read it!

Word + Stuff   Besides writing books, Trisha writes songs, for goodness sake. That is super creative, as far as I'm concerned!

Cranky Old Man  Joe Hagy writes about pretty much anything, but I really liked his post about bullying.  He has a great sense of humor, and isn't afraid to say anything.

Writing Fire  Nick Hight is a teenage writer/blogger from New Zealand who already has over 100 followers and an interesting perspective on writing and writing tips.  Definitely worth it to check him out!

Do you have any Awe-Full experiences you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear your stories!


  1. Wow. You have had some amazing life experiences! Such a world traveler you are!

    I've actually never been to NYC. It's on my list of things to do. Maybe when I get an agent ;) ;) haha.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Funny because I keep thinking, "Maybe when I get an agent I can go back to NYC"!

  2. I loved hearing these things about you! You have such an adventurous spirit and a way with words :)

    1. Thanks, Hope! I was glad to get to see different places before I "settled down." Now, I'm pretty much a go to work, be a mom and write kind of a girl.:)

  3. Thanks for the nice words, I have these awards but your recognition is much appreciated.

    Cranky Old Man

    1. You're welcome - it's just nice to let people know they're appreciated!

  4. Thank you so much!! I've received the Versatile award before too, but not this new style badge, so I'll post about it again just for that. hehehe

    Sorry to hear about your sister :( But glad that you got to have some amazing other experiences in life after her passing!

    1. Thank you, Trisha, for your kind words, and you're welcome for the awards! I loved the new badge,too. I felt the same way!

  5. My AWE-full moment was when I was driving just at the molten sky-bruise of dawn as I was listening to Enya's ALDEBARAN :

    The dawn grew more intense in its display of shifting rose into gold as the music scaled up and down. Treat yourself : listen to Aldebaran. Roland

    1. Thanks for sharing, Roland! I love sunrise. I've had moments where the music matches the mood and they are magical. I love how you wrote about it, too. I don't know why the link didn't take (maybe it's my computer) but it is in the e-mail notification, so I'll give it a listen. Enya is one of my favorites. Thanks so much for following, too!

  6. Hi Lara!
    Thanks so much for the award! I always wondered how people get those, I see them here and there on blog sidebars... cool! It's my first of course, but that's to be expected as I think you constitute around 50% of my readership :0)
    I've also read Kristen Lamb's books and am slowly starting to make more of an effort with the whole blogging thing. I got picked up by a pro blog called 'The Displaced Nation' last week which was exciting, but they want a more 'toned down' style - so not as funny. Happily I still get to write craziness on my own blog!
    When were you in Ecuador? I never climbed Cotopaxi as my boss chickened out, but I climbed nearby Passachoa. I loved Ecuador - it's what my book is about! Slightly tongue in cheek of course...
    Right, well I guess I better go write a post about accepting awards and find some other kind folks to pass it on to!
    This award comes with work, eh!

  7. Hi, Tony! You are very welcome for the awards! I saw your blog on a tweet one day, and just love it. Congratulations on being picked up by The Displaced Nation! I guess I will have to get on your other blog a well, to continue the fun!

    I was in Ecuador in May/June of 2001. I still keep in touch with friends from Ecuador, too. The Andes area is amazing. Thanks for following me :)

  8. Hey Laura! I'm having trouble finding your contact info, but... I wondered about having you over to my blog for an interview. Email me at covington-leigh [at] gmail and let me know if you're interested :) Thanks! Hope you're having a good weekend.

    1. Thanks, Leigh! I have sent you an e-mail!

  9. gah! Look how long it took for me to comment. Bleck. That's what happens when I play Harry Potter scene it by myself for four hours, lol.

    And being pregnant was rough on me, but I look back on when I could feel a baby move in my belly and I want to feel that again.

    Now when I feel something rumbling, I know it's just gas. When I was pregnant, at least I couldn't tell the difference, lol.

  10. Thank you for the awards and kind words :)

    1. You are so welcome, Emilia. I've loved the last two stories of the blog challenge! I am happy you write flash fiction and keep it on your blog, because I'll get to visit frequently for fiction fixes!


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