odds and ends from a life under construction

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I got a Liebster!


I would be lying if I said I never won anything. I mean, I just won a huge prize. But something for which I was chosen at random means a lot less than an award from someone I know and admire. Ashley at Show Me Ashley nominated me for a Liebster Award (a while ago now, thanks to my unexpected blogging hiatus), and I’m extremely excited to be included!

Liebster Award

The Liebster Award is for bloggers to give to other bloggers. It’s a lot like a chain letter – you receive the award, you pass it on to others, and the award continues being given away in an unbroken string of blogs. The exact rules for giving and accepting the award have changed over time, but here are the rules I’m following:

  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you
  • Pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees
  • Go to their blogs and notify them of their nomination

I already mentioned Ashley above, so it’s time to answer her questions!

1.) What is your favorite thing to do?

Hanging out with my family is probably my favorite thing on the planet to do. I tell people all the time that Jason is my best friend, and even if we weren’t married and I wasn’t warm for his form, he’d still be the first person I’d call when something good (or bad) happened, and I’d still want to hang out with him non-stop. And our kiddo is pretty cool too. We make a great team.

2.) What would you do(job) if you could do anything?

Walt Disney Imagineering

I’d want to be a Disney Imagineer. Without a doubt. Like the biggest nerd on the planet, I even took a photo of an Imagineer in the Magic Kingdom as he was inspecting a new ride. Fangirl alert! Imagineering covers a lot of ground, but I’d be happy doing a whole host of typical Imagineer tasks – everything from the environmental design for the cruise ships, to designing signage in Disney theme parks, to creating products for Disney Stores, to using sensory experience to enhance park attractions (that smell of chocolate chip cookies wafting down Main Street USA isn’t merely coincidence). They even have jobs pretty close to what I’m doing now, so it wouldn’t be hard to make the leap from my current day job.

3.) When and why did you start blogging?

I actually started long, long ago – at least 16 years ago now. I started in college, with a site on non-defunct GeoCities (I was in College Park, of course). I’ve had lots of blogs (and accompanying domain names) since then (my brief stint on LiveJournal is pretty amusing), but AccidentalJulie.com was probably my longest tenure in one place (I still own the domain, but there’s nothing there at the moment). I started this blog, Project Julie, about a year ago.

4.) What are some of your favorite ways to stay healthy?

Just going for a walk always makes me feel active and invigorated. When I was heavier, I dreaded going outside. Walking around hurt my joints and made me tired, and weather that was pleasant for everyone else made me sweat in weird places. Just moving around was uncomfortable, so now I take please in “just moving around.” Evan loves to ride his Strider bike or go to the park, and we live in a very walkable neighborhood so going for a short walk actually gets us someplace interesting.

Of course, I’m also addicted to running, even though it’s not always my favorite thing. And I like having simple healthy snacks on hand – like single-serve cups of peanut butter or a handful of pistachios, or even a whole grain waffle I can toast in the toaster oven at work – to keep me from eating all the junk food in sight.

5.) What are you most proud of?

Finishing my first half marathon. I still can’t believe I did it. And with a not-terrible time to boot! Honestly, I’m still surprised I didn’t cry. I doubt the tears will stay away when I finish my marathon this fall, though.

6.) Favorite/dream vacation spot?


Ireland. No question. Hands down. My maiden name is “O’Neill,” and I’ve long desired to visit the place where my history comes from. Plus it’s insanely beautiful.

7.) What is your favorite day of the week and why?

Fridays. I like my job, so I like going to work. But I also like looking forward to the weekend and knowing I don’t have to go to work the next day. Don’t have clean pants to wear to the office? I can put off laundry for a while. Evan stayed up a little too late? We can let him sleep in. When I leave work on Friday, I have a little window of time with less responsibility than normal.

8.)What is your favorite meal, healthy or not Winking smile?

I love Mexican food. SO much love. My favorite meal hasn’t changed in about three years: a three-item combo with two cheese enchiladas (no onions) and one pork tamale smothered in red chile with beans and rice from La Loma.

9.) What has been your favorite race experience thus far (or what you would like to experience)?

Finish Line Ferris Wheel

I really enjoyed running the Never Land Family 5k with my husband. We don’t typically run together because he’s much faster than me. But for our first Disney race, he stuck it out and ran at my snail’s pace. I loved stopping for photos with him, and crossing the finish line hand in hand was a memory I’ll keep forever.

10.) What motivates you?

Since I started these questions with my family, it’s only natural that I end with them too. Everything I do is for my family. They’re constantly on my mind. I can’t imagine how different our lives would have been if I hadn’t had surgery and lost the weight I’ve lost; I made the decision to do it so I’d be a better wife and mother, and in that regard it has absolutely paid dividends.

Thanks again, Ashley, for the nomination! And now it’s my turn to pay it forward. Bloggers, start your engines. Here are 10 people I’d love for everyone to get to know:

Amy @ amy (up north) runs
Katie @ Katie Talks About
Karen @ Fabgrandma
Jenn @ Ever After in the Woods
Keri @ Eat, Drink, and Be Keri
Brooke @ Brooke Not On a Diet
Jaemie @ Jaemie.com
Amy @ Pumpkin to Princess
April @ Run The Great Wide Somewhere
Sarah @ Sarah Runs A Lot

And here are their questions!

1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
2. If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?
3. What is your favorite childhood memory?
4. What is your least favorite job that you’ve ever had?
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
6. When you cook, what do you consider your “signature dish”?
7. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
8. What is the best thing that happened to you in the past week?
9. If you could be a character on any TV show, which character would you be and why?
10. What’s your favorite joke?

I can’t wait to see your answers, fellow Liebster Award nominees!

One Comment

  • showmeashley says:

    Yay! I really loved reading this. I am slightly jealous of your skills that would make it possible to work for Disney. I should see if they need a social worker, or you know professional guest that just walks around the park gushing about how wonderful it is?

    Picture of you and your husband is perfect.

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