Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-blogger-award

Some of my favorite days are the cool, blustery days where the golden rays of sun shine down and warm your chilled hands and face even as you snuggle under a cozy, oversized sweatshirt. Serendipitously, I recently learned that there is a word for this phenomenon: apricity – the warmth of the sun on a cold day.

I like that word. Apricity. And it’s what I want to be to the world: the warmth of the sun on a cold day. The warmth of the Son on a proverbially cold day. That’s what Jesus came to be – light in the darkness; warmth to the cold. Neither dark nor cold actually exist; they are the absence of light and heat respectively, and Jesus came to freely give all He had to those who had none. Apricity – the warmth of the sun on a cold day. 

Little Sunshine over at Sunshine Ave recently nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award (an aptly-named award for a blog so named)!  Evidently…

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to “bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”.

…something I aim to do both on this blog and in everyday life! I am honored to have been nominated for this award and gladly accept! Thank you, Little Sunshine, for the nomination!

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers for this award
  4. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated
  5. Notify the bloggers you nominated

Rule #1? Check!

Rule #2? Here we go…

Little Sunshine posed the following 10 questions for me to answer:

  1. What is your biggest dream?
    • This question makes me think of Rapunzel in “Tangled”. rapunzel-dream
    • I’ve had a lot of dreams over the years, and I’ve been blessed to see most of them come true. I used to dream of somewhat superficial things – visiting all 7 continents, releasing an original album on iTunes – but now I consider those more of life goals. A dream is something precious and intimate, interwoven into your heart. And these days, my dream is more like a vision – to be a wife and mother, full of life and joy, radiating light into the world and growing more and more into the godly woman I’ve been uniquely created to be.
  2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    • As mentioned in #1, I’ve had a goal for a while of visiting all 7 continents. I’ve been to about 30 countries and 5 continents, all of them wonderful experiences, and a year ago, I would have definitely said that I most want to visit Australia and New Zealand. But Seth is an American through and through; a homebody of a patriot, and we are taking a trip to California later this month, which is about as foreign a trip as this cowboy wants to take. And after imagining exploring California with Seth, there’s no place I’d rather be.
  3. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?introverting-coffee-book
    • Introvert. Definitely. This surprises most people when they first hear it – mostly because I’m a pretty social, outgoing introvert – but my perfect day involves curling up in a quiet little nook with a latte and good book… or finding a secluded park where I can walk and think and listen to music on my earbuds… or staying home to clean and organize my apartment… or sitting alone in the silence to work on my latest art project. Mmm. Perfection.
  4. Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?
    • Yep. When I was in 2nd grade, I decided that I wanted to go to West Point and be an engineer. But what we want as sweet, innocent, idealistic 8-year-olds is not always aligned with reality, so although I am living the dream of having an engineering degree and working at a major oil company in Corporate America, I have discovered that the composite of the bureaucracy, politicking, process nazis and inauthenticity of my current workplace comprise something akin to my personal hell. Which is why I am changing careers to teaching… where I can spread my cynicism wisdom to the next generation.
  5. Do you usually follow your heart or your head?
    • My head. Sometimes going with your gut is a great option for quick decisions, but for any decision that allows for more than a few seconds to go with your first instinct, I have found that emotions are subject to the whim and fancy of the day and may not hold up longer-term. I prefer thinking through the logic of various options, examining my intentions, considering the ripple effect of whichever choice I make, and of course consulting God in prayer.
  6. What are you most thankful for? by-grace-through-faith
    • That while I was still a sinner, Christ did for me. Even though I am undeserving of being rescued from my sinfulness and total depravity, Jesus willingly took on the punishment I deserve (through his death and resurrection) so that I could be brought into a right relationship with God. Nothing compares with that – no family relationships, no dating relationships, no job or financial success… Without God’s love and mercy and grace, I would be like the walking dead.
  7. What’s on your bucket list this year?
    • Finishing my teaching certification. And maybe getting my CHL.
  8. What’s your favorite food ever?chocolate-is-a-girls-best-friend
    • Peanut butter. Or chocolate. Let’s go with chocolate covered almonds as a fair compromise. 😀
  9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
    • “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:36-40
  10. Which of the places you’ve traveled to inspired you the most, and why?
    • My favorite trip I’ve ever taken was to Germany at Christmastime with my family, but the place I’ve visited that most inspired me would have to be South Sudan, mostly because that trip helped to right my perspective on so many things in life. We are profoundly blessed.

Alright! Hopefully you all now feel like you know a bit more about me! Here are my nominees (I liked Little Sunshine’s questions, so answer these same questions if you choose to accept)!

  1. MyLittlePieceofQuiet
  2. Salvageable
  3. InsanityBytes
  4. MrsSpike
  5. BlissfulBritt
  6. SingleStrides
  7. INFJRamblings
  8. MySweetJesusBlog
  9. BeautyBeyondBones
  10. TheRoseQuartz
  11. Captainsspeech

Authentically “Sunshiny” Aurora

Advertisements

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

lovely (adj.) – 1) charmingly or exquisitely beautiful; 2) having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye; 3) delightful and highly pleasing; 4) of a great moral or spiritual beauty

A big, Texas THANK YOU to Michelle from Texas over at Diary of That Crazy Girl for the nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award!

Rules

Here are the Lovely facts about my Lovely self:

  1. I am “fun sized” (5’4″) and frequently have to have my pants hemmed, unless I want to wear 3″ heels with everything (and I am much too practical for that)!
  2. I have a freckle in the iris of my left eye, and I like to see how long it takes dates to comment on it. It’s small, so only the perceptive notice it!
  3. I have a passion to be a mentor and counselor to high school and college-aged kids. Everyone should have both a Barnabas and a Timothy.
  4. I’ve been to all 50 states in the U.S.
  5. I have a goal to visit all 7 continents (including Antarctica)!
  6. I have an engineering degree and also partial degrees in both biblical counseling and graphic design.
  7. I view myself as a chocolate covered marshmallow – hard on the outside but soft and gooey on the inside. And let’s be real. Everything is better with chocolate.

And here are my nominees, all Lovely bloggers in their own unique ways:

  1. Juni Desiree
  2. Little Sunshine at 1617 Sunshine Ave
  3. Paul at The Captain’s Speech

Authentically Aurora

Starlight Blogger Award

Starlight Blogger Award 05/30/2015

Bitter Ben just nominated me for the Starlight Blogger Award, which is ironic, considering this award was created specifically to “celebrate the creative bloggers who have truly inspired… others through their beautiful and original content, imagery, art, abilities, and wonderful personalities.”

Wonderful personalities? Ha! Oh, Bitter Ben, you are funny…

This award is to “honor those individuals who are considered ‘the light emanating from the stars’“, and recipients are those who bring “light into your soul with their creativity“.

Don’t get me wrong. Bitter Ben inspires me all the time with his creativity. I just don’t know that his beautiful and original content would necessarily be described as bringing light into my soul. I get more of a mental image of Emperor Palpatine from Bitter Ben’s creations. And I say that in the most affectionate way possible, especially considering that Palpatine is a fellow INTJ. ❤

EMPEROR PALPATINE

Anyway, thanks, Bitter Ben. It is my honor and privilege to warm your bitter heart and occasionally give you a case of THE FEELS. After all, I’m a girl who likes a challenge. 😉

Now. Here are the rules (which, like Bitter Ben, I will not follow because I am a rebel, and the bitterness flows through me).

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. I mean, I know I already thanked you up there, but not thank you, Bitter Ben. How am I supposed to let the bitterness flow through me when you’re calling me all inspirational and light-giving and stuff?
  2. Answer three questions (more to come on this).
  3. Nominate 6 other people. I, being a rule breaker, will nominate 3: J at Salvageable, Paul over at his blog Captain’s Speech, and Ally of My Little Piece of Quiet.

Here are my answers to Bitter Ben’s questions:

1. If you had only 24 hours to live, what would you do on your last day?

I was going to be humorous in my answer to this, but then I realized that I’ve already thought about this question, and my answer is pretty heavy. So brace yourselves.

If I knew I was going to die in 24 hours, I would go into action, telling all the people in my life more freely and openly about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and why I believe faith and trust in Him is the only way into a right relationship with God and eternal salvation.

If I truly believe what I profess to believe – that the reason I am here on earth; my purpose; my very identity is all wrapped up in who God is and who I am in relation to Him – there is no other way I could spent my last 24 hours on this earth.

2. What is your favorite hiding place? Or what would you like to be your favorite hiding place?

I spent a lot of time hiding in my closet. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. When I need to think or pray or be alone and hide away from the world, I go sit on a little step stool in my closet. Since I live alone, this doesn’t necessarily  make much sense, but it’s comforting to me to sit alone in the dark. Remember, I’m an INTJ like Emperor Palpatine.

3. If you had the brains and ability to create an invention what would the invention be and how would you use it?

A teleportation device, duh. Best invention ever…. especially if your city has the kind of traffic that mine does!

Nominees, your questions to answer are:

  1. What is your favorite holiday tradition and why?
  2. What is the most difficult topic that you write about and why?
  3. What is the reason you write?

Now go forth and be inspirational!

Authentically Aurora

Helping Hand Award

Helping HandWhen I get outrageously bored and feel stuck in the mundane, I start creating – doodling in meetings, daydreaming during long commutes, or developing song lyrics while trying to stay conscious during a particularly tedious conversation.

Actually, when I get really sad… or mad… or happy… I start creating. I’m an artist. That’s what I do. But when I get bored is when I really, REALLY start to daydream and think about possibilities of what COULD be. It’s my way to escape the present.

And, in the past few weeks and months of trying to escape the present, I’ve been mulling over the idea of developing my own blogging award. I was thinking I’d call it the Encouraging Blogger Award… or something catchy like Aurora’s Award for Affirmation… or something not-so-catchy like the Not-So-Bitter Blogger Award.

But then – THEN! – I got nominated by Brighton Bipolar for this thing called the Helping Hand Blogger Award (thanks, Brighton!). I didn’t even know it existed! But it’s exactly what I’ve been daydreaming about because I’ve been wanting to let a number of you know just how much your comments and feedback mean to me.

The Helping Hand Blogger Award is meant to recognize bloggers who not only write encouraging, inspiring blogs, but also take the time to invest in their fellow bloggers through kind and insightful comments. This blogging community has been such a blessing to me over the past year; you really have become family. The best kind of family: the kind of family I never actually have to meet… or go on vacations with… or talk to about politics over Thanksgiving dinner.

But seriously. Thanks, dear blogging friends, for your support and encouragement over the past several months. A special shout out to my Helping Hand nominees, who I hope to meet someday, either on this side of heaven or the next:

Hugs,
Authentically Aurora

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

the-very-inspiring-blogger-awardIf there was one word I’d hope would be used to describe me, “inspiring” is definitely in the Top 5, along with words in the vein of godly, loving and Christlike. So it is with great honor that I accept Mrs. Spike’s nomination for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Mrs. Spike is a wonderfully inspiring woman herself and someone who is quickly becoming more than just a fellow blogger but – dare I say it? – a real friend. She truly is in the business of “keeping the blogisphere a beautiful place” – a sentiment that is at the heart of this award. So thanks, Mrs. Spike, for recognizing me as a fellow source of inspiration!

7 Facts About Me:

  1. I have been to all 50 states in the U.S., and North Dakota was the last one visited – an unregrettable choice (sorry, Mom).
  2. I worked as a volunteer EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) in college. I’m really glad I had the experience… and really glad it’s not what I do for a living.
  3. I am in a swing dancing society and have been for seven years. Lindy Hop is my favorite!
  4. My favorite Ninja Turtle has always been Donatello. Smart and purple? Yes, please.
  5. I just bought a new car last month – a BMW 328i Sport. Prior to that, I was still driving my high school vehicle. Yay practicality.
  6. I am currently calorie counting. And it stinks. On the upside, I have finally developed a taste for 100-calorie tall nonfat lattes over my usual 290 calorie (and 28g of sugar) tall mocha.
  7. It’s officially my birthday month. BOOM.

And My Nominees for the VIBA (all rock stars!):

  1. Rambling Abby
  2. A Sheep’s Life
  3. Glam and Grace
  4. So What
  5. Truth Warrior
  6. My Heart Will Sing No Other Name
  7. My Little Piece of Quiet

The Rules

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank your nominator because they’re awesome
  • List 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other blogs for their awesomeness (I did 7)
  • Post the rules so people know them

Authentically Aurora

Versatile Blogger Award: Accepted!

Versatile Bloggerversatile (adjective) – changing or fluctuating readily; embracing a variety of subjects, fields or skills; turning with ease from one thing to another


A hearty thank you to Mrs. Spike for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! As a classically trained pianist with a mind for computer programming, she is the definition of versatile, and I am honored to be counted in her company. If you’re not familiar with Mrs. Spike, check out her blog! She is an inspirational INFJ whose writing is raw, authentic, poignant and tinged with hope.

7 Facts About Me (that display my versatility!):

  1. I have an engineering degree and work for a major oil company.
  2. While working full time, I am also attending school part time. I am currently taking 9 hours’ worth of classes toward a second Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design.
  3. I am a singer/songwriter and released my first album of original songs on iTunes in 2013.
  4. I just finished writing and illustrating a children’s book.
  5. I have been to all 50 states in the U.S. and have a goal to visit all 7 continents before I turn 30!
  6. I am an ardent Christian who has volunteered on mission trips in many third world countries, including South Sudan and the Dominican Republic.
  7. I am an introvert who loves public speaking. In fact, I think someday I may become an inspirational women’s speaker.

15 Nominations (I’ve nominated 10):

  1. Blissful Britt
  2. My Little Piece of Quiet
  3. Steve and Jon’s Best Things
  4. Key + Arrow
  5. Courtney Shea
  6. Em Speaks
  7. Outstanding Bachelor
  8. Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings
  9. LoveLifeandGod
  10. Rogue Cheerios

Thanks, blogging community – and congratulations!!!

Authentically Aurora

The Liebster Award

Liebster AwardWhy do you write? Is it for the attention; the acclaim; the dream of being the next Jonathan Acuff? Is it your way of cataloguing or even processing your life? Or is it for the pure love of writing?

I write because it is therapeutic and because, let’s be honest, my life can be a great source of entertainment for the downtrodden desperately in need of a laugh. But it’s also nice to be noticed and complimented on a job well done, even though that wasn’t my goal going in. So it is with great honor and appreciation that I accept mylittlepieceofquiet‘s nomination for The Liebster Award. Consider this my acceptance speech.

Jennifer Lawrence acceptance speechI’d like to thank, first and foremost, God for the gift of words, particularly the Word who is also the Way. Next, I’d like to thank my family and friends for all of their support through the crazy adventures detailed in this blog. And lastly, I’d like to thank all of the kind, psycho, timid, bold, wise, immature, clueless, well-intentioned and not-so-well-intentioned men who have served as fodder for my writing. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Alright, on to the good stuff. What is the Liebster Award? It’s an award of recognition in which one blogger with less than 200 followers nominates 11 other gifted bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Here are my 11 nominations:

  1. Masculinity Summit
  2. Lifeloveandthepursuitofmommyness
  3. Written For Our Instruction
  4. codegirlblog
  5. typetasting
  6. themodernladyofficial
  7. Casey Fiesler
  8. MARKMDMPH
  9. Fictional Types
  10. My Heart Will Sing No Other Name
  11. Scribal Tattoo

Next, my 11 answers to mylittlepieceofquiet‘s questions:

  1. Do you have any pets?
    1. Nope, but that didn’t keep me from getting fleas earlier this year!
  2. If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be and why?
    1. Jesus. It’s hard to trump the Son of God. Initially, my answer to “why” was going to be that there are some questions I’d like to ask God, but then I decided that, really, I just want to bask in his presence, sit by his side and be wrapped in the strong arms of the One who loves me more than I can imagine.
  3. What are some of your hobbies?
    1. I have tons of hobbies. I get bored easily, so as soon as I feel like I have mastered one, I move on to another. Over the past five years, my hobbies have included: reading, swing dancing, writing music, painting, photography, running, traveling, cooking, ancestry research and now blogging!
  4. Do you prefer to drink coffee or tea?
    1. I have always loved the smell of coffee. It’s a comforting smell that reminds me of mornings in my childhood home as my dad was getting ready for work. But only in the past few years have I started to like the taste of coffee. I drink green tea every morning, but I’ve become a sucker for sweet coffee drinks.
  5. What is your favourite season of the year and why?
    1. Christmas, duh! Actually, fall in general. I love the crisp weather, the changing leaves, the spices and smells of the season, the focus on friends and family, the perspective shift to a season of giving, and the celebration of the birth of our Savior.
  6. How long have you been blogging?
    1. Just a few months now. I started in August.
  7. What are a couple of your favourite movies?
    1. Top 3: Bourne Identity, Tangled, Gladiator
  8. If you could pick one favourite book, what would it be?
    1. Besides the bible? Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. It was one of my favorites in junior high/high school and still has a special place in my heart.
  9. What is your favourite colour and why?
    1. Picking a favorite color is tough because my favorite color to wear is not the same color I’d pick for a new car, nor is it the color I would choose for the interior decorating of my living room. My favorite color to wear is green, but when I was a girl, my favorite color overall was purple because I believed it to be the color of royalty, so I thought it best represented God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
  10. What is one of your favourite quotes?
    1. So many good ones, but for today… my dad always said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
  11. What is your favourite type of music or favourite song?
    1. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of country music, but this week, my go-to song is Blank Space. Don’t judge. Horrible lyrics, but you’ve gotta admit that it’s catchy!

And finally, my 11 questions to my 11 nominees:

  1. Which of your posts is your favorite, and why?
  2. If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be and why?
  3. What are some of your hobbies?
  4. Where is your favorite place to sit and write?
  5. What is your favorite topic to write about?
  6. How long have you been blogging?
  7. Of the topics you’ve blogged about, which is the most difficult to write about, and why?
  8. If you could pick one favourite book, what would it be?
  9. What is your favourite colour and why?
  10. What is one of your favourite quotes?
  11. Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Thanks again, and happy reading!

Authentically Aurora