Thursday, March 27, 2014

Concerts, Conferences, and Canines - Oh my!

It's finally Friday in what has been a super busy and chaotic week for me!  I'm excited to end the week by, once again, combining Finish The Sentence Friday and Ask Away Friday!

Today, I'm swapping questions with my bloggy friend Tamara from Tamara (Like) Camera.  I am so happy that I'm going to get to meet Tamara and hang out with her in June at BlogU! Tamara writes with such emotion and depth in each of her posts.  She is also a photographer and, in her posts, she includes many photos.  They are all so incredible and wonderful.  Her photos convey as much meaning and feeling as her words do.  I should expect it by now, but I am blown away every single time.

Tamara is a contributing author to The Mother Of All Meltdowns as well.  Speaking of that, next week, MOAM is kicking off a HUGE Mother's Day Extravaganza!  I can't divulge too many details, but we are going to be giving away some awesome prizes that I assure you any mother would LOVE!!! See the graphic below for a few hints and be sure to follow us on Facebook so you don't miss out on your chance to win!!!!

And now, on with the questions!!  Here are my answers to the questions Tamara gave me.  After reading them, head over to her blog to see her answers to my questions. 

1. The FTSF sentence for this week is "I went to a concert. . . . . "  Do you remember the first concert you went to?  If not, tell me about your favorite you've ever been to.
I grew up in a small town, so there were no concerts close by.  I was in high school when I went to my first concert.  It was a Reba McEntire concert and I went with my friend Mitch.  I remember my mom being a little nervous to let him drive us to a "big" city (Charlotte) that was about two hours way.  We had fun singing along with the radio all the way there.  At the concert, we had lawn seats, but it was still great!   (Thanks, Mitch!)

2. We will meet this spring at BlogU! I can't wait! How are you feeling about the conference? Nervous? Excited? What is making you most excited or nervous?
Right now, I'm mostly excited.  I'm sure I will have some nerves as it gets closer.  This might sound corny to someone who doesn't blog, but I really feel like some of my best friends are bloggers that I've never met.  I am so eager to meet the ones who will be there, but I am an introvert and self-doubter by nature, so I hope everyone still likes me after they meet me in person! I'm also hoping to get some writing tips and learn more about how to get my writing "out there."

3. Can you share a recent photo and tell me the story behind it?
I took my girls spring shopping a couple weeks ago, but then the weather turned cold again and they weren't able to wear any of their new clothes - until last weekend.  The weather turned warm again for a couple days and they could not wait to slip into shorts and flip flops.  My youngest, Emily, is my little fashionista and was VERY excited to wear this new outfit.  I put her hair in the braids and she just looked so cheery and cute, I snapped this photo with my iPhone as we were heading out to my other daughter's soccer game on Saturday.

4. What profession would you most like to try? And what profession would you most hate to try?
Before I had kids, I was a preschool teacher in the public school system. It's been over a decade since I left that world, and, honestly, I have no desire to go back.

I would love to make a career out of my writing. As I mentioned, that's something I hope to learn more about at BlogU. I still hesitate to call myself a writer, but, as superficial as it sounds, I think getting paid to do it would make me feel validated. It would allow me to do something I love and receive tangible benefits from it.

On a completely hypothetical level, I would love to be a musician. I love music, but am not musically talented. If I could suddenly be gifted with a beautiful voice or a knack for playing an instrument, I would love to spend all my time writing, singing, listening to, and playing music.

What job I would hate? Sales. Which is ironic because that's what my husband does. I'm just too introverted and uncomfortable when approaching people. I would also loathe anything like accounting that deals heavily with numbers. Math is not my strong suit at all!

5. You started blogging around when I did! What is the most important thing you've learned about yourself from blogging?
This was a tough one, but I'm glad you made me think about it. I think the biggest thing I have learned about myself is that I have something worthwhile to offer the world. I spent a lot of my life fading into the background by choice because that's where I thought I belonged. I wasn't a fabulous musician or artist of any kind. I wasn't a star athlete. I'm certainly no beauty queen. I felt very plain and average. I felt that there was nothing very exceptional about me.

Now, when people tell me that my writing has touched them or made them smile or helped them feel better about their own circumstances in some way, I think to myself "I did that. MY words did that." That is a talent and a gift that I DO have and I'm proud of that. I'm glad that I have finally found my gift and the courage to share it.

6. I read about you being a picky eater, which is totally me too, and I'm actually afraid to travel to countries in which I can't drink the water or comfortably eat the food. What are your favorite foods?
I love pizza and pasta. I eat a lot of chicken, too. It is my protein of choice. I definitely have a sweet tooth as well and love chocolate, cheesecake, cookies, and candy.

7. Sophie is adorable! Tell me the story of how she came into your lives. And do you have any wisdom for the puppy stage? I'm going to need it!
Thanks! David and I both grew up with dogs and, shortly after we bought our first house, we went to our local animal shelter and got a dog of our own. Her name was Maggie and she was a GermanShepherd/Chow mix. She was great when it was just us adults, but if you know anything about chows, you know that they can be rather unfriendly and they aren't good with kids. So, when Maggie passed away in 2010, we thought long and hard about what kind of dog we wanted to get. For several reasons, we decided we wanted a border collie, but pure border collies are crazy expensive! I found some online for $1000 or more. While searching online, I stumbled across a litter of border collie mix puppies that had been rescued from a shelter. They had been dropped off at the shelter probably hours after they were born. At that stage, they require such intensive care, the shelter was going to put them down, but a lady who runs her own small rescue program saved them. We went to visit and saw all the dogs in the litter. My husband really wanted a boy dog since everyone else in the family is female, but when we got there, the only two males in the litter had already been spoken for. We petted them and played with them. At one point, my husband picked up one of the puppies and she nuzzled right up to him. He was hooked and we knew she was the one. We had to wait about three weeks before she was big enough for us to take her home, but, now, she is part of our family and we love her.

Oh, as for advice for you - crate train her. We had never done it before, but we are still so glad we did it with Sophie.

8. Other than BlogU, do you have any plans for travel this spring/summer (or even fall)?
We go in together with David's family and rent a big beach house every summer. We will be doing that in mid June. We are also going to Hilton Head for a few days with my friend Mitch (See #1) and his family in July. My hubby travels a lot and my girls want to travel more, so we might take a trip to a fun city somewhere, but don't have any definite plans yet.

9. What have you learned today?
Oy! It's been quite a day. Actually, it's been quite a week (and it's only Wednesday as I type this!). One thing I've learned today is how I will answer now anytime someone asks me question #5. I hadn't really thought about that before you asked. I was also reminded that it's o.k. to say "no." I was asked to join a committee today, but I'm kind of drowning this week and simply cannot imagine adding anything else to my plate, so I politely declined. I also told my daughter's middle school that I will not be leading the writing club again next quarter. I always feel guilty when I turn people down, but I simply cannot do it all. I learned that a long time ago, but sometimes I need the reminder.

10. I saw that someone had asked you about YOU, but I wanted to know about your husband. What traits of his do you see in each of your daughters?

For starters, they look very much like him, especially my youngest. When I shared my Twenty Random Facts I About Me, I mentioned that all my girls can roll their tongue like my husband. It's genetic and I can't do it. He is adopted, so it is really cool for him to see such an obvious genetic connection.

Personality wise, my oldest loves to build things and figure out how things work. That is totally my husband! My middle one is most like David. She is a ball of energy and she always seems to find the positive in any situation. She loves math and does not like reading. All of these are traits my husband has as well. My youngest is very witty, like him. She has made some quick retorts that have put us on the floor laughing.

He has high expectations for our girls and is hard on them sometimes, but he's a great dad and he has a unique, special relationship with each girl. They love him so much and I do, too!

This post is part of Finish The Sentence Friday.  FTSF is hosted by some wonderful blogging ladies.  Please give them a visit and check out all the other blogs that participate as well!
Stephanie at Mommy, for Real
Kristi at Finding Ninee

Ask Away Friday is a fun blog hop in which two bloggers trade ten questions, then answer them on their blogs.  It's a great way to connect and get to know other bloggers!  It is hosted by:
Amber from Bold Fab Mom


Janine Huldie said...

Love that you and Tamara swapped for this one and also loved that you got to see Reba McIntyre in concert. Happen to love her and her music, so definitely could see how that would be a fun concert to get to go to. Thanks for sharing and linking with us again, Lisa :)

Tamara Bowman said...

I love Reba McEntire! I love the question you gave us both for #1! The Sophie story is incredible, really. What a close call. And #5 is also incredible. It's so amazing to find that something you can do and want to do. I love the thoughtful answers you gave to each answer. Read them all twice!

Chris Carter said...

AW!!! I love SO much about this post!!! I love love love that pic of
your cutie pie in her braids and new spring clothes!!! And you KNOW how
much I adore both you and Tamara!!! Two of my faves in one place!
LOVE IT!! And writer...touching hearts and lives... YES. You are
THAT. Repeat after me: "I am a WRITER. I am a WRITER". I have a post
brewing in my heart about that very issue...will let you know when it
comes out. ;)

I soooo wish I could go to BlogU even more now
that I know YOU are going too!! Ugh. Instead I am using the spending
(that we really don't have) to go see my sister in TX in June. I must.
Priorities... But someday- SOMEDAY!!!!

I also agree that some of my best friends are my blogging friends. It's REAL. Truly.

And we STILL love Reba! We still watch her is one of my favorites with the kids!! Oh and the BOOK the BOOK!!! I MUST get that banner on my blog!!


Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

Your husband was adopted? So was I!!! Wow. Cool. Anyway, sorry I digressed but always love when I find other adoptees (met my bio mom and 1/2 bio sister a couple of years ago for the first time). Loved your questions and am so excited to meet you at BlogU. Also, selfishly, I wish you'd go back to teaching. The more I'm learning, the more I realize that the teaching world needs more of them like you. Also I love that Sophie is a rescue dog. My dog Chief was a rescue and I swear that he saved my life in more ways than one. He passed away a year ago now, (there's a post out there if you're bored - something like "more than a dog" or something - sorry but ugh that dog, I miss him) and I'm still not really ready for another. I want to be ready though, so that's a start right?

Karen said...

I was tearing up when you spoke about your husband, what a great dad...sniffles and so glad he can see that genetic connection in his own kids.

Wow...reba must have been a darn cool concert.

Jen @ Real Life Parenting said...

I totally relate to feeling like some of my blogging buddies are my best friends! It's so true!! And I'm beside myself with excitement to be able to squeeze and hug so many of them at BlogU!! :D

Dana said...

Each AAF I learn more about you, Lisa. Love it! I second the crate training advice. My dog is nine and she still sleeps in her crate with a blanket over it every night. I think it makes her feel safe. And writing...I would love to get out there more too. We'll have to chat about it more at Blog U. :)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Janine!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Aw! Thanks! I was worried that my answers were too long, but had to get it all out! :-) So glad we did this - it was fun to exchange questions and answers with you and can't wait to do it in person in June!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

"I am a WRITER!" Feels good to say that and to get so much support from lovely people like you! I wish yo could go to BlogU, too, but completely understand. Family comes first, always. But, SOMEDAY, for sure! XOXO

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

You are?!?! That is cool. He has no desire to meet his bio mom, but he would like to get updated medical history info. She was only 16 when she had him, so a lot has changed in 42 years, I'm sure! You are sweet to wish I would go back to teaching. For me, at least in my state, there is just too much politics involved. Maybe if you opened The Best Special Needs School In The World I could come work there for you! :-) I have a feeling that, when you are ready, the perfect dog will find you and I can't wait to meet you in June!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I'm glad for him, too. It is very cool to witness.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Yep! June can't get here fast enough!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Definitely have to chat and, hopefully, learn more about that in June. Our dog still uses her crate, too. She often goes in it on her own during the day and sleeps there every night. We just say "Go to bed, Sophie" and she trots right in!

Ginnymarie said...

The first concert I went to was in Youth Group, so we saw a Christian band named Petra. It was a great concert! I would love to see Reba some time. It's been a long time since I've gone to a concert like that...

Michelle Nahom said...

Great questions and answers! I have gotten better over the years at saying no, but I still have guilt. And sometimes if the person catches on to that and pushes it, they can sway me and I am always mad at myself then because the reason I needed to say no in the first place still exists!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

It's been a long time since I have been to a concert too!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I know exactly what you mean!

MamaRabia said...

Lisa, I love your writing. I think you have a knack for words. You never sound like you're trying to be preachy or anything. You sound like a genuine, down to earth person!

clarkscottroger said...

I am here from the FTSF (and I like your concert story) but I am a total fan of the canine species, so my compliments on your excellent doggie. lol

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thank you Rabia! That truly means so much to me!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks! She's a good one! :-)

Robbie K said...

I love #Ask AwayFriday..such a great way to get to know bloggers I love a bit better. I love that you and Mitch are still friends and that your families vacation together!!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Some friendships stand the test of time!:-)

Jodi @the noise of boys said...

What a great graphic you came up with! you are very talented! I would never want to be in sales either (atleast not direct sales) but everyone always suggests those types of careers for me! I hope you have a blast at BlogU- I am so jealous! Sophie is a gorgeous dog!

Tiffany Mrsh Haywood said...

It's nice to meet another picky eater. It's so weird because I honestly love food but I have a very limited range of stuff I will try...chicken, pasta and pizza are among mine too :D

Kate Hall said...

Oh I really enjoyed this! It was cool getting to know you more. I'm like you with the writer title. I hesitate to call myself a writer, I'm more comfortable with blogger. I've been paid for two articles, but still struggle to say "writer." BlogHer kind of felt like a reunion last year, so I think that's what BlogU will feel like too. It was so fun hanging out with people you knew, but had never met. Loved it!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks, Jodi! I am excited for BlogU - wish you could go!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I agree - I love food as long as it's something I like! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I envision that is what BlogU will feel like, too and I can't wait!

Beth Ayotte said...

I loved your answer about what you have learned about yourself from blogging. That feeling when your words have meant something to someone, I love it. Just makes me feel warm inside! I loved that you were able to voice that so well!
Also loved your story about your dog. We just adopted a shelter puppy in the fall and had a similar experience. I went in with a specific pup from the litter in mind based on the online pictures. But when we spent a little time playing with the pups, our little Daisy would not leave me alone! She kept coming over and snuggling into my lap, then she'd get down and play a little, then run back over to me for snuggles. She was meant to be ours!!
Have a great weekend!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Beth! It is a great feeling to find your gift and your meant to be pet! :-)

April @ 100lbcountdown said...

Emily looks adorable! I would be excited too! :)

Wendy May said...

Border Collies are wonderful family pets. I had a Lurcher Greyhound, they are bred with Border Collie for many reasons. Sweetest dog ever. Tamara had some great questions and you answered, awesome! Nice to meet you through AAF!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...


Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks so much for visiting! Nice to meet you too!

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

I didn't really have any desire to meet mine until after Tucker was born and I did end up getting a medical history from her (and SO glad I did as she and both of her sisters have had breast cancer). I used an intermediary to find bio mom - a woman who had given a baby up for adoption around the same time my bio mom did me (and she was 18 so not much older than your husband's).
Here's to the best special needs school in the world and you coming to work there! YAY BlogU!! :D

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