Sunshine Blogger Award

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When I started this little blog earlier this year, I didn’t have any idea how difficult blogging actually was. Which is funny because I have been blogging as a freelance writer for years. But, running your own blog comes with a lot of behind-the-scenes work that you just don’t see. In the early stages of blogging, it’s also easy to feel like the only people reading your work are your family and friends (Hello there!). I’m grateful to say that isn’t the case anymore.

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the Serena Cooper of The Bossy Brunette. Serena’s blog is full of great tips on parenting, beauty, and organization. She’s also a fellow mom to twins and I love seeing her perspectives on parenting.

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers, by other bloggers who find your blog inspiring, creative, talented, and/or entertaining. It’s like giving another blogger a giant High 5! To participate, you answer the 11 questions posed by the blogger who nominated you. Then you turn around and nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 of your own questions.

Thank you Serena for the nomination! Let’s dive in on these questions.

1. What are your top 3 blogs that you look to for inspiration?

Oh, this is a hard question! I have been reading blogs since the very early days of blogging in 2008/2009. So, I’ve come across a lot of lovely blogs and I’m constantly reading something different, depending on what I need in my life at the time. Right now, my favorites are probably:

Chris Loves Julia, Chicken Scratch Diaries, Allie Casazza

2. What is your next goal/milestone for your blog?

Growth. I just started A Marvelous Family this year. My next big goal is to reach more people and refine my message. I’m also working through Elite Blog Academy, so I’d like to finish the course in 2020.

3. What hobby would you start up if you had the time/money?

Ha! It’s hard to imagine having more time in my life. With four kids, a husband that travels often, and my own business, it’s hard to find time for anything. But, if I did automatically have more time and unlimited funds, I’d travel with my family. I love exposing my kids to new experiences and travel is a great way to do that.

4. How do you fit blogging into your daily routine?

Being busy with young kids makes blogging time scarce. I fit it into the cracks. For example, early in the morning or late at night when everyone else is sleeping. I can usually get an hour or two while my three older kids are at preschool/school and the youngest naps. Sometimes I’ll even set aside an hour or so where I tell the kids I’m going to work and they will play while I work on my laptop in the same room. I’m grateful for patient kids who can (mostly) play nice while I do that occasionally.

5. Who in your family or group of friends is the most supportive when it comes to your blogging?

I am blessed with family and friends who are supportive of my work. But, out of everyone my husband Ryan is my biggest supporter. He was my first email subscriber and the first to read my blog. In fact, he has been pushing me to start my own blog for ages, and bought me web hosting as a gentle nudge to get going. 🙂

6. Where was your last vacation, and would you recommend it?

I recommend any vacation! It’s hard to get “too much” vacation time. We do a lot of fun things with our family, but I think my last “grown up” vacation was with my husband to Hawaii for our 10 year anniversary. Hawaii is magical, so yes! I highly recommend packing up that bathing suit and getting a flight there immediately!

7. What is one product that makes your life easier, i.e. something you would not want to live without?

Honestly, I know I am probably with a lot of other moms when I say this…Amazon Prime. And Walmart grocery pickup. They aren’t paying me to say that either! 🙂 I’d just rather not drag my kids through the store if I can help it.

8. What is your favorite thing to do when you need a little “me” time?

I am a big reader and an introvert. When I need “me” time, I usually pull a book from my list of books that’s waiting to be read, and hide somewhere away from my family for a bit. I love that time alone with a good book.

9. Tell me about a time when you experienced a stranger’s kindness.

One of my favorite experiences like this happened when my husband and I were flying to another state to pick up our son (who wasn’t born yet) whom we were adopting. We were travelling with an empty car seat. One of the women behind us in line to board the plane noticed that we were leaving the car seat at the gate and we didn’t have a baby with us. She spent time asking us about our adoption plans. On board the plane she made such a fuss over us and offered to pay for drinks for us to celebrate our “airplane baby shower”. In the rush of getting ready to adopt a baby, we hadn’t had much time to celebrate and it was meaningful to have someone that we didn’t even know be excited for us.

10. How did you decide on your blog’s name?

I love all things family. I studied Marriage and Family Relationships for my graduate degree and later taught college courses on family relationship. So it was pretty easy to decide that I wanted to blog about the family. But, my blog’s name actually came from something someone told me once. That I would create “a marvelous family”. As someone who experienced years of infertility, adoption, giving birth to twins, and more, creating a marvelous family is one of the most difficult and rewarding challenges I have ever faced. Now that we are finished having kids, my focus has shifted from creating my family to keeping things marvelous in the crazy.

11. What is something that you want to do in 2020 (not related to your blog)?

I love setting goals. One of my big goals for 2020 is to de-clutter my home. In this period of my life I constantly feel the need to simplify. Toys, papers, clothes, etc. I notice that I’m happier and a better mom when I don’t feel overwhelmed. 2020 will be the year of simplifying.

My Nominations:

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger Award. In no particular order:

  1. Dollar Otter-financial tips and tricks for paying off debt and getting your finances in order
  2. Cenzerely Yours-parenting and motherhood
  3. Raising Kids with Purpose-parenting and organization tips
  4. Sparkly Bright Eyes-living a positive life with a chronic illness and parenting ideas
  5. The Koala Mom-homeschooling, parenting, and more
  6. Everybody’s Fed, Nobody’s Dead-mental health, parenting, and homeschooling
  7. Learning to Live Outside the Lines-parenting, recipes, and more
  8. Ultrasoundfeminsider-pregnancy and motherhood
  9. Good Parenting Brighter Children-parenting, grand parenting, traditions, and more
  10. Mama Shan Loves-motherhood and parenting
  11. Elle Sunflower-breastfeeding, parenting toddlers, and more

Here are your questions:

  1. What is your favorite part of blogging?
  2. If you could choose just one book to take with you while stranded on a dessert island, what would you read?
  3. What is your #1 blogging goal for 2020?
  4. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
  5. What made you want to start a blog?
  6. If you could spend a day in any location in the world, where would you go?
  7. What is your favorite hobby (outside of blogging)?
  8. If I gave you $1000 and told you that you couldn’t spend it on yourself, what would you do with it?
  9. Do you have a defining moment in your life that helped you decide what you wanted to do when you “grew up”?
  10. What is one of your favorite family traditions?
  11. Would you rather walk, bike, or swim?

Thanks for reading! If you’ve been nominated, it’s your turn now.

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