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Liebster AwardI wonder if I will ever get tired of saying that today was the best day of my life? Here’s another day that’s better than I could have imagined – I received recognition for something I am doing that truly makes my heart soar. My friend over at RomeoatTwenty nominated me yesterday for the Liebster Award (after receiving three nominations herself). Congratulations Romeo and thank you for the nomination! I only write about things that are close to my heart to have a person see something special means the world to me. As I was wrapping up writing this, you responded to me. I keep doing my own little twitchy thing over here. I am all smiles and warm fuzzies over you looking forward to reading my words every day. I am blown away. Thank you. Thank you so much.

What’s the Liebster Award?

The Liebster award is awarded to bloggers with under 200 followers to try and promote their blog in addition to adding to our community of bloggers. The rules of the competition are pretty easy:

  • Include a link back to the person responsible for your nomination
  • Provide eleven facts about yourself
  • Respond to the eleven questions set by the blogger who nominated you
  • Select eleven more outstanding blogs
  • Choose eleven questions to ask your nominees.

Eleven Facts about Exploring Alura

1. Lovely Touches by Alura? I have strongly considered the idea of starting a business where I instruct people in the art of blowjobs. I love giving love and there is no better way than oral sex. I love how awesome it feels to perform and how sexy and powerful I feel while doling out pleasure. I think I could create an event where there is lots of fun, laughs, and learning, and one you walk away knowing how to rock someone’s world.

2. Fantasy gets my blood flowing. I am the dorkiest of dorks, the nerdiest of nerds… okay maybe not, but I do enjoy the heck out of Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, Harry Potter, Dota 2, World of Warcraft/Hearthstone, and I’m developing an interest in RIFT. Magic, fantasy, card or board game, role playing or video game, it doesn’t matter – I’m intrigued.

3. Silly song singer. If you happen to pass me while I’m driving, you’ll probably think I am either crazy or having a seizure. I’m not. I’m just singing my heart out at the top of my lungs. To every song I can – I have ten stations programmed in the radio. When one station isn’t playing a sing-a-long, I will quickly flip through the others until I find something. I do this so frequently that I absentmindedly flip through radio stations (via steering wheel controls) even when my fiancé has his Bluetooth device connected to the vehicle … when pressing the button has absolutely no effect on the song playing through the Sync system.

4. Considering a new label. Lately I have been asked if I am an artist. I don’t really know what that means. However, I can tell you I have an intense desire to create. Writing has become my source of comfort and way to filter and process things happening in my life. I have taken to “doodling” in a sketchbook – I can spend hours and hours working on the same sketch and somehow maintain a razor sharp focus I could never manage in a professional workplace setting. When I was planning and decorating for my daughters’ birthday party, I was on cloud nine. And even when I can do nothing more than sing along to the radio, my heart feels calm and content.

5. Eyes of Innocence. I am quite childish. I prefer to laugh, dance, and play my way through life. It is a constant struggle to keep up with my responsibilities. At home, I struggle with time management, time estimation, prioritization, deadlines, repetition. Every list I make is almost always thrown off course with the latest schenanigans with the kids or the fresh set of tears brought on by one of them getting stuck in a tree. Basically I suck at all the things I need to get by in life – as an adult. At times, I wish I could have someone to manage the day to day details so I can focus on love. I feel like I waste so much time trying to provide the things I need to live that I actually miss out on loving – which is the best part of life for me.

6. My heart is always at home. My children and my fiancé are everything to me – they have been my haven in the storm.  When it had been 48 hours since I last ate, I didn’t hear my stomach grumbling. I only had eyes for Patience as she tore down the sidewalk on her bicycle, or ears for Prudence as she belted out her latest diddy, or smiles for Providence in all of her ginger hair, blued eyed, chubby cuteness. And Patrick, oh Patrick, he could melt away the stress with a touch. My love for my family blurs out all the bad things to the point I just don’t see darkness anymore.

7. Love the thrill of victory. I love playing sports. I’m extremely competitive and organized sports always give me a thrill. My favorite team sport is volleyball. I love the feeling of timing a spike perfectly and drilling it down a girls’ face or the thrill of an amazing block to score a point. I also miss the days of track and field. I can still vividly recall the butterflies in my stomach before the start of each race. That adrenaline rush is such a heady experience and one I can’t say I have replicated since.

8. You do you and I’ll do me. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, just because we have the right to them does not mean all opinions deserve to see the light of day. I happen to believe the best way to raise children is with love, laughs, and learning. That doesn’t mean I’m right and certainly doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. What it means it that you can do your thing and I’ll do mine. If I like what you’re doing and I think I need some advice, I promise I will ask.

9. Thirty year old baby. My emotions are all over the place. When I feel something, I get lost in the emotion. Just as quickly as I learn my lesson, the wave passes. However, it leaves me looking a little crazy. I cry all the time and I have little control over it when it happens. Like most people, I cry when I’m sad and even when I’m happy. Most times when I’m angry I cry – the anger just bubbles over in tears. Unfortunately I can’t even say I am a good crier. You would think with all of the practice I could somehow manage to look elegant or at least worthy of sympathy. Nuh-uh – still haven’t managed that one. Instead, I become a puffy eyed, sniffling, tear streaked freak show.

10. Runway confidence in dollar clothes. I wish I could go shopping at the Thrift Store for new clothes. I could spend hours going through the racks mixing and matching outfits. I get this weird thrill out of taking something someone didn’t want any longer and giving it another chance with a fun twist. And all of my favorite outfits have come from the thrift store. Except for my bathing suit. That was a WalMart original and I still love it. I guess sometimes even I need a little commercialism. Though if I had the cash I would totally buy this little two piece. It is so right up my alley and I think it would probably work really well with my body type. *swoon*

11. Love, love, love. My deepest desire is to help people love others more than they love themselves. I think that our world is getting off track. We are able to reach out to the ends of the earth in an instant, giving a microphone to so many new voices. But with those microphones it seems we are developing a sense of entitlement and forgetting our sense of community. Just because I am able to tell you how I feel on a grand scale does not make my opinion any more important and certainly does not mean I should expect you to live by my beliefs. Every day I see people living in ways that I deem unacceptable, doing things I think are wrong, making choices that I can’t understand. I see them yet I accept them and the choices they make … because that is exactly what I am asking of every one else. My life is my own and so is how I choose to live it. Just like I want to be free to live my own life without other people interfering, why would I project my beliefs and expectations onto others? Sure, I will probably see things that I don’t want to see. But like I tell Patience and Prudence – that’s life. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Eleven Responses for Romeo:

  1. If you could have any name in the world, what would it be?  If I could keep my name in this scenario, I would. My name is Kristan, pronounced “kris-tin”.  As a child, I hated that my mom spelled my name incorrectly, but the older I get the more I have come to have an affection for it. When someone asks how I spell my name, I can almost always get a smile when I tell them my mom doesn’t know how to spell. And who wouldn’t want a name that means ‘anointed one’? Now if I had to choose a different name, I believe I would land on Alura. Back in one of my first D&D campaigns I created a healer named Alura. I came to associate the fun, free, and mystical side of things with that character, which is perhaps why I chose Exploring Alura. I always attempt to name my characters Alura or some variant if the name is already taken, it would only seem fitting if I were to adopt another name that would be the one.
  2. Beach-side or river-side? This is such a tough choice for me. More and more I realize that I am drawn to water and crave being near any body of water, even as small as my bathtub. However, of the choices I think I would most prefer beach-side. The idea of spending my days beside an endless ocean calms me with just the mere thought of it.
  3. Your favourite book becomes reality – which character are you, and who is your love interest? My favorite book of all time has to be The Giver by Lois Lowry. This is a children’s book I read around the seventh grade however it has stuck with me through adulthood. The story is about Jonas, a twelve year old living in what appears to be a utopian society. In this society, everyone is given a role to play and Jonas’ role puts him outside of everything he had ever come to know. I connect with Jonas’ character, his love of his community, and his ability to face the unknown.
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years? I don’t have any plans for the future. While I have hopes and dreams that would be amazing to see come to fruition, I don’t have any concrete ideas on how to make them happen. I guess I hope in five years I am still believing I had the best day of my life, every single day, regardless of what form that happiness might take.
  5. You’re  stuck on an island with a box – what’s inside the box? My box would contain an endless supply of paper and pencils. I enjoy being around people but I equally enjoy my alone time. Being stranded on an island with nothing to do but draw or write sounds like some sort of fantasy.
  6. If you could trade places with anyone, who would it be?  I wouldn’t want to trade with anyone. I am insanely happy with my life and where I am at as a person. Sure I wish I didn’t have a slumlord landlord, had enough money to afford being charitable, or even just had a washing machine. If I had a fix to those problems, would I take it? Absolutely!!! However, should I never find a solution to those situations, I will still die an extremely happy and content lady.
  7. Friends or family? These terms are kind of synonymous to me. My relationship with my blood relatives has always been filled with stress, drama, and loads of negativity. Where I couldn’t find comfort and support from the family I was born into, I created my own family from the friends life has afforded me. We don’t see each other frequently, but when we do it as if not a day had gone by. Conversations flow easily, smiles come quickly, and we always pick up right where we left off.
  8. You have $100,000,000 to spend, and only 24 hours to do so… what do you spend it on? Food. Lots and lots and lots of food. I talk of my newly acquired hourglass figure however what I usually leave off is how I got ‘skinny’. In June of 2012, I weighed 259.4 pounds. That summer was sort of the last plateau before our fall. I had started a weight loss pill that helped me lose 40 pounds in 90 days. By the time I found out I was pregnant in October of that year, I was down to the 210 range. That’s when things started to get really bad. Food was a huge issue and so my fiancé and I skipped most meals to ensure our girls could eat, with him skipping more because I was pregnant. I got down as low as 178 while still cooking the bun in the oven, thankfully ballooning back up to 190 by the end of it. After giving birth in July 2013, the weight has continued to fall off, leaving me hovering around my high school weight of 155-160. Stress and a limited food supply will do that to you. The point I’m making is I don’t think people are aware of just how difficult it can be to get by and that sometimes people you wouldn’t expect need help with real issues like whether or not they will eat that day. If I had massive amounts of money, I would buy massive amounts of food to help make sure no one has to go through anything close to what we did.
  9. Do you regret your first kiss? Not at all. I can’t say I regret anything when it comes to love.
  10. Have you ever been in love? Yes and I fall in love every single day.
  11. Is ignorance bliss? No. Acceptance is my bliss.

Eleven More Outstanding Blogs:

First, I believe in giving back to those who give to you (with less than 200 followers):

1. Mommy Effer – Leanna is a friend in real life and one of the first people to tell me to start my own blog. Thank you Leanna for leading me to something that makes me so happy.

2. Pavanneh – Thank you for stopping by regularly and for commenting. I love what you stand for and what it seems like you are about.

Then, I like to promote awesome reads about the responsibility of caring for others:

3. WaywardKnight – I identify with this blog because he has a desire for a return to caring for others because it is the right thing to do and a charming way with words. I applaud his crusade and the ability to hold himself to a standard that has become foreign to most!

4. Satchidananda – I appreciate Buddhist principles because they often speak of acceptance which is something I hold of the highest importance. I really like the journey this blogger is taking and I can personally relate to her view.

5. The Faithful Pacesetters – As I was reading through blogs last night, this one kept coming back to me. And even as I was deciding the very last person to choose, Jeff started following my blog. His piece on providing hope stuck with me. I love his belief that leaders seek the benefit of all, not themselves.

I think it is also important to learn who you are and love everything about yourself. How can you love others fully if you don’t first know how to completely love all that you are? And so a few blogs who promote loving yourself in a beautiful way.

6. Surrending In Faith – I have suffered and been through trial after trial. My struggles continue every day but from those struggles I found my strength and an entirely authentic version of myself. I appreciate finding another like soul who struggled and found her light.

7. Health Wholistically – I get such a positive feel from this particular blog. She just radiates a good energy. I love how she promotes self-love and her own nutritional beliefs. I love even more that she wants to find what actually works for you, not just her idea of what she believes will work for you.

8. The Ground On Which I Stand – This is another comforting blog that speaks of acceptance. I love it because every day I fail, and every day I realize I am 100% human.

Then, a little dose of pure connection. These are pages where I stopped in and couldn’t stop myself from reading more.

9. Curiously Commonplacing – I love the bluntness of this blog. We have become a society that is constantly concerned with being offended, so much that we often lose the message along the way or read something that isn’t there.

10. Vanessafilo – I stumbled across her page and couldn’t leave. Her story is so similar to mine and she so perfectly articulates almost precisely how I feel. I love the world of blogging because you find people who bear the ssimilar wounds that create an instant connection (at least on my end).

11. ejpollard – As I was looking through for another blog that piqued my interest, this one grabbed me. While I only had the chance to browse through, his selection of photos and the intelligence of his posts drew me in and makes me want to come back when I can sit down and dig in. I guess I want to know more.

Eleven Questions for my nominees

1.  What is the most beautiful thing in the world to you?

2.  What type of music can make you get up, singing and/or dancing, almost every time?

3.  What is your favorite song/music of all time and why is it important to you?

4.  What is the one thing you love most about yourself, the thing that people would say is “just so you”?

5.  If all of your responsibilities were taken care of (food, finances, health, emotional, etc.), how would you spend your free time?

6.  If you could change one thing about people as a whole, what would it be?

7.  What is your favorite color and why do you believe it stands out to you?

8.  If you could go anywhere and do anything, what is the first thing you choose to do?

9.  Would you prefer to explore the mysteries of the ocean or the mysteries of outer space?

10. What is your idea of the perfect date? (No detail is too small on this one)

11.  What does falling in love feel like to you?

 

I am so excited to have been nominated and just as excited to learn about my nominees. So much so I may just have written the longest post ever…. Sorry to be so wordy but I want to give you a chance to get to know who I really am and why this blog means so much to me. Thank you for reading and I can’t wait to get to know you!

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