Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I have to apologize to Shannon at Smirk Pretty blog for taking so long on this nomination.  I get to comments and readers as often as I can but nominations should really take priority particularly to the other bloggers who I read and who read me.

So here are the details:

The Inspired Blogger award’s requirements look like this:

1. Display the award logo somewhere on the blog.
2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.
3. State seven things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.
5. Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award’s requirements.

That’s an awful lot of stuff for my little corner of the world, but I’m going to do my best here.

First, the logo will show up here somewhere, if I can figure out how to do it.

If you look up there at Smirk Pretty, you can click on her link.  It’s worth reading, she’s a very talented writer, very creative, and far more imaginative than I seem to be most days.  There are times I wonder if I’d be better with less volume and more thought, but then again that wasn’t my purpose.

Seven things . . .

1.  I’m a musician, first and foremost.  Sure, everyone who has a guitar or piano thinks they are, but the most annoying question I get is “are you guys any good?”  No.  We suck.  What do you think?!  So, I think we have a decent little band and though I cannot tour and play live like I used to, my brother can.  You can get us on iTunes just search for Manoucheri.   I know this seems like a commercial, but there is rhythm and harmony in the world.  Without music, our lives are empty.  It’s why I write it, play it, and hear it everywhere.

2.  Those reading this already know, but I’m not a “single parent.”  In today’s world that implies a choice, a definitive decision made by one or two people to put their children with only one parent.  We had no choice in the matter.  I hate the phrase being universal to someone like me or others who suffer loss.  I’m raising kids on my own.

3.  I like to cook.  It made life a lot easier after losing my wife that I already could cook a good meal and bake and all of it. In fact, in the near future, I hope to have little video vignettes of some of my easier meals that I have to manage with four kids and a work schedule.  If I can do it, maybe I can help others as well.

4.  I believe in love at first sight.  I had it happen and was engaged in just a few short months.  Too many people, though, think I believe that’s all there is.  It’s more I think you should be friends with your spouse.  If you love spending time with them, talking with them, and can’t wait to share that bit of good or bad news with them first your life is absolutely perfect.

5.  I am not in a place to “move on” or fall in love again.  I have four kids.  I am working and running from 5 or 6am until 12 or 1am.  It’s not that I wouldn’t love to have that presence next to me again, that person whose touch both gives you shivers and warms you from the inside out.  But in a time when I cannot hear Clapton on the radio without that wave of emotion nearly pulling me under it would be so unfair to the other person, let alone me, to try.

6.  I have learned to love romantic comedies.  I also end up watching those “Top Model” and “Fashion” shows because I have two daughters.  My oldest is eternally optimistic and likes to watch them.  Maybe it’s because of the time I get to spend with her, knowing I only have another year before she’s out of the house . . . or maybe it reminds me of my wife, Andrea, but I don’t mind them.  Though if they have Bette Midler, Katherine Heigl, or Kate Hudson I am guaranteed to throw up in my mouth, just a little.

7.  I’m doing OK.  I really am.  No, I’m not horribly happy . . . but I’m not particularly sad.  We try new things, we travel, the kids and I survived the first year, and we’re healthier than we were.  That sounds like such a cop-out of things about myself, but it’s actually a big deal for me.  Not happy, but even.  After the last year?  That’s amazing!

Alright . . . 15 bloggers.

Rene Syler’s Good Enough Mother   –   technically, a site, and I write for it, but wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t read it first.

Smirk Pretty  –   Sorry, Shannon, I know it’s sending it back and I don’t expect you to do this all over again, but I love your writing.  Is very descriptive in an unconventional way.

Chicks with Ticks  –  Two amazing women who are scientists, environmentalists, and just a really fun blog.  Inspires me to get up, get out and do things.

Insaniteen  –  Like the title calls it . . . I have 1 teen, soon to be 2 of the 4.  It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Lighten Up with Neda  –  I used to work with Neda Iranpour, a meteorologist and reporter.  She decided last year she wanted to be a fitness competitor.  She was brave enough to put it on the web, show pictures, and in an amazingly short time became one the most beautiful women who could kick my ass with her pinky.

Photo Nature Blog  –  Having started my career as a photographer, I love anything that looks to that side of the visual medium.  So their blog gives me a place to go every day.

I Made You a Mixtape is one of my favorites.  Just for the name.

The Daily Woman – OK, I’m not a woman, but Darlene actually admits she shouldn’t have called her blog that.  She’s inspiring, living sober, and a great person.  She started following me early and I’m very grateful to her for her comments.

Vicky the Northern Chicky – She’s got a great sense of humor and I like to read her stuff.  I wish I could say something more creative for Vicky, but it’s just fun to read her.

Mommy Man!  –  I stumbled on Jerry’s blog awhile back, and while he has a lot of followers, and while I’m not gay, being an at-home-Dad has a lot of similarities to being a sole parent, so I like to see how he’s doing and steal ideas.

Bucket List Publications – I wish I could say I have done half the things that Lesley has done here.  I love to live vicariously through her adventures, though I don’t have the time or energy in a year she displays in a day.  She’s truly inspiring in her quest to do the dreams she’s always had.

Terry 1954 –  Sometimes you just need that gentle inspiration

Namaste Consulting – has been very helpful to me in the last year.  Both in blog form and in comments, particularly when my sons were forced to see a grief counselor who didn’t know what they were doing.

Pulling It Up by the Bootstraps – I feel bad, I haven’t checked this one in awhile, but the upside now is it has gotten me to do it and now I remember why it’s on my list.  Will be back more often!

The Better Man Project – They commented on a post and I started following the blog.  It’s title grabbed me because I think deep down most of us want to know what can make us better people, or particularly, a better man.

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