Some Much Needed Sunshine

Sunshine Award

I love blogging awards because 1. It’s humbling to know others are actually reading your stuff (and like it) and 2. It gives you a chance to pay it forward and recognize others for their ability to reach out and touch you through their writing and stories.

I’m honored and humbled that Tracy over at Wanderlust nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Thanks Tracy – I could use a little sunshine right now in the midst of this cold! If you aren’t familiar with Tracy’s blog, stop by and check it out. Not only is she an AMAZING photographer, she has over 20 years of sobriety, which to me sounds like an eternity! I’ve found very few people in the blogging world who have that kind of sobriety so I consider her a true gem.

As with any award, there are a few guidelines. Here’s how it goes:

To accept the award, the awardee must do the following:

  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Present 10 deserving bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”
  • Link to the awardees and let them know of the nomination.
  • List 10 interesting things about yourself.

Okay, 10 interesting (if you can call them that) things about myself.

  1. Growing up, I wanted to be a high school English teacher.
  2. I never, ever thought I would end up settling down in Oregon. But, now, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love it.
  3. I used to think I really liked big cities, but as I get older, I realize that I don’t like them at all. And, I’m okay with that.
  4. My dream is to live on a little piece of land with room for a BIG garden and chickens.
  5. I have a thing for cowboy boots and love everything country – music, rodeo, Americana, etc. I think it has something to do with my Texas roots!
  6. I could never run for a political office because there are too many pictures of me topless and inhaling (not necessarily at the same time). Unfortunately, when you drink like I did, you do really stupid things that you end of regretting. Ugh. Oh, and if you happen to have any of those pictures PLEASE burn them!
  7. I used to think that being a church-going Christian meant you had to have really big hair and wear lots of makeup. Not so! God loves me just the way I am!
  8. I got my first (and only) tattoo on my 33rd birthday. It’s a naked woman sitting on a crescent moon, which is the same one my mom had on her ankle. It’s taken from a necklace she used to wear when I was little and I treasure it. It’s my way of holding her memory close to me – always.
  9. I’m thinking about getting my nose pierced again. Shhh…don’t tell my husband!
  10. I love, love, love strong coffee. Hot. In a big mug. Preferably by a big, roaring fire.

Okay, now for the good stuff! I absolutely love the blogging community and have come across so many amazing and talented people. I truly admire those who are willing to take a chance and expose themselves by sharing their innermost thoughts and experiences with total strangers. Not all of them are recovery sites, but they all speak to me in a special way and give me diverse views on living life. I encourage you to check out their sites. (Heather is taking a little break from blogging, but she’s awesome so I had to include her.)

Paying It Forward


Okay, so this is pretty cool. The other day I received an e-mail informing me that Recovering By Grace had nominated me for the “Shine On” Award. Honestly, I was surprised and genuinely humbled that someone else out there (besides my husband) thought something of my writing and blog. I’m feeling very grateful as this is my FIRST award since starting this blog!

In receiving this award, it’s only right that I pay it forward by following the rules as detailed by Recovering By Grace:

“This award is for the blogs that shine, make you feel good and are inspiring to the reader.”

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you (above)
  • Share some facts about yourself or answer questions given to you.  (below)
  • Nominate fifteen bloggers who shine a little light in your day and be sure to notify them. (below facts)

So, some facts about myself. Hmmm…this could get interesting – or really boring. Okay, here goes:

1. Like Recovering By Grace, many people want to know more about my name. Chenoa means “peace” and the symbol of the white dove. The origin of my name is Native American, however, as far as I know I have little or no Native American in me. The best fun fact about my name is that my parents got it out of the New Age Baby Name Book – yes, they were hippies! I hated my name growing up ( I really wanted to be a Cindy or something normal) but have grown to like it over the years. Oh, and apparently there’s a town called Chenoa in Illinois.

2. As mentioned above, both of my parents were hippies and I was raised in a tiny town in Northern California up a long dirt road on 13 acres of Redwood trees. And, no, I didn’t have to walk to school up hill in snow, but it did rain a lot and sometimes the road flooded!

3. During the summer of my 5th and 6th grade year, I attended a performing arts camp called Camp Winnarainbow created and run by the famous Wavy Gravy and his wife. We slept in tepees and were woken up each morning by a conch shell and a recording of Jimi Hendrix playing the National Anthem. No joke.

4. I was never baptized, but will be baptized in the Catholic Church next Easter. I consider this a very personal and intimate decision and am grateful to my parents for allowing me this choice in life by choosing not to baptize me as a baby.

5. While I was raised by very liberal parents, I now consider myself to be a conservative Christian. Perhaps, some would say I’m rebelling against my upbringing or because I married a conservative Catholic, but in all honesty, my political and religious views have changed and evolved over the years due to my lived experiences. I don’t feel like one or two words necessarily define me as a person and, in turn, I don’t let it define others. I have very liberal and very conservative friends and family and I love them all.

Okay, so now onto the nominations! This was hard because many of the blogs that have already been nominated are blogs that also inspire me. However, I looked over the blogs I follow and came up with what I believe is a pretty deserving list! Some are recovery related, some are not. But, they all inspire me to be a better person. I hope you will check them out because I think they’re pretty awesome! Here they are in no particular order: