A few months ago (okay, more like 7 months ago) I was honored to find I had been tagged by Joanne ( of Joanne's Cottage Garden) in what is apparently called a Meme. The idea is to list 10 things about yourself you think your readers may like to know, then ask other fellow bloggers to in turn do the same.
Much thanks also to Dominique at 4Walls and a View , Forgetful Girl and Lisa at Sundog Tales who all (fairly) recently nominated me for a Happiness Award. The concept there is similar, too: list 10 things that make you happy, and then nominate others to do likewise.
So, while it took me awhile to finish it, here are my lists! I'm combining the two awards into one entry. I think that's allowed, right? :)
Here are 10 tidbits about myself you may or may not be interested in (insert drum roll here)....
1. I was named after mountain laurels, a flowering plant abundant in New England (where I grew up). I was not named after Laurel & Hardy, though I get that question a lot.
2. I was born a blonde, and stayed fully blonde until I was about 6 years old. I'd say that explains a few things about me, but I don't want to insult my blonde friends.
Me, age 4-ish.3. I grew up in a small town with quite a few dirt roads, no street lights, no banks, no gas station, no restaurants and just one small general store.
That photo was taken at Storyland in N.H. I cropped out the freaky looking clown behind me so as to not scare anyone.
Okay, so that's not an actual working road in my hometown. It's a small path off one of the dirt roads, but you get the idea. :) One of my favorite memories as a kid is riding my bike to the small convenient store with friends. We would buy candy or ice cream treats for 25 cents... which I think officially makes me sound old.
4. I have always deeply yearned to be a mother. It's something I've dreamed of since I was a little girl, and I continue to hope that I will still someday have the chance to experience all the joys of motherhood.
5. I studied abroad in London for a semester my junior year of college, and backpacked through Europe with a friend during spring break. After college, that same friend and I drove across the U.S. for almost 2 months. I love to travel. Some of my favorite places include Hawaii, Bryce Canyon, and Italy. Here are some photos I took of said favorite spots:
7. I consider it a great honor to be my nephew's godmother, and I absolutely adore both my niece and nephew. I wish so much I could be more active in their lives.
8. The day my fiance proposed to me was the happiest day of my life. I am so fortunate to be engaged to my best friend.
9. I would love to spend some time in Kenya or Nepal or some third world country and volunteer to work with poor women and children there.
10. Illness has taught me a lot about patience, forgiveness, gratitude, hope, humility and grace. In the process, I've also learned that your life is not defined by circumstances, but by how you respond to those circumstances. I dream every day of how glorious it will be to someday get my health back.
~~~~As for 10 things that make me happy (insert more drum rolls)...
1. My fiance. Everything about him makes me happy: his friendship, understanding, humor, intelligence, strength, kind heart and his love. He makes my spirit fly, even if my body is stuck in bed.
2. Family and friends. I feel grateful to have a healthy family, loving parents and so many wonderful, loyal and life-long friends.
3. Books. I love learning, getting absorbed and being transported to distant places with a good story. I am so grateful for audio-books which regularly allow me to do so.
Me listening to an audio-book4. Music. I enjoy all forms of music, from rock to classical to almost everything in-between. Music can immediately transport me back to healthier times and memories, as well as to new places I've never been. I love music that touches you to the core, takes you on a journey, and expresses what words alone cannot.
For Christmas this year, I finally entered the 21st century when I received a little mp3 player so I can download books online, which also makes me happy.
5. The internet, which allows me to keep in touch with friends and stay connected to the outside world in ways I otherwise could not.
6. The rare but sweet chocolate indulgence.
7. Nature. I love nature and am grateful for all the glimpses of it I can still experience from afar... from the bright blue sky out my window to the comforting sounds of bird song and the soothing, earthy smell of a soft rain.
8. Simple daily blessings like good food and clean sheets, a nice breeze from my window, or a surprise email from an old friend.
9. Dreams. I have amazingly vivid dreams. It is in dreams that I can still walk, talk, run, shower, sing, dance, work, travel, visit with friends and family, meet new people, laugh out loud, have a family of my own, paint, draw, swim and even fly.
10. Envisioning my future and all the millions of things I hope to do when well. I am ever grateful for the strength and endurance of hope.
Photo from weheartit.com
Thanks to all for the nominations! As for passing them on, I think anyone who hasn't already done so, is able and wishes to participate should make a list as well. It's a good way to stay mindful of your blessings, which can sometimes be a challenge when chronically ill.