Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community.

I started my blog several years ago in an effort to document my journey through transplant. I was resistant to the idea, but my family urged me, knowing that it would provide the creative and emotional outlet I would need to cope. Eventually, though, I realized that my blog and presence on social media was not just giving me a way to get through my own illness, but amazingly and quite shockingly, it was helping others to deal with their own as well. Through my blog, I have been able to help other transplant patients, in various stages along the journey – whether it has been waiting on the list, or dealing with chronic rejection like myself. But, I’ve also been able to meet and speak with other chronically ill patients of all kinds along the way, who although don’t share my diagnoses, share my struggles, and therefore we have a bond. So, my blog has changed from simply being an accounting of events to a story of overcoming the odds, finding joy in spite of negativity, and maintaining determination when it seems as if everyone and everything is telling you to give up. This I have found applies to ALL people, not just the spoonie community.

[clickToTweet tweet=”So, my blog has changed from simply being an accounting of events to a story of overcoming the odds, finding joy in spite of negativity, and maintaining determination when it seems as if everyone and everything is telling you to give up.” quote=”So, my blog has changed from simply being an accounting of events to a story of overcoming the odds, finding joy in spite of negativity, and maintaining determination when it seems as if everyone and everything is telling you to give up.” theme=”style3″]

Through my writing and blogging journey, I have had the opportunity to meet many special people along the way, including Kirsty from That Noise is Mine, who nominated me for this award. Kirsty is an amazing blogging instructor, and I am a part of her Blog Mentor Program. I have learned an incalculable amount of information from her in a very short period of time.

Thank you, Kirsty.

Here are the rules for the award:

Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

Nominate new bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Here are Kirsty’s questions for me:

Summer or winter?

This might be toughie for me. I love the clothes that you wear in winter: cardigans, scarves, mittens, thick, fluffy socks. But, I hate being cold. I mean – I truly, madly, deeply hate being cold.

Summer, on the other hand, involves a lot less clothing, which has always been daunting for me because I like to cover up. However, on the bright side, there are hats, which I love. In SETX, it is also blazing hot and 100% humidity. I hate being hot. I mean I truly, madly, deeply hate being hot.

Summer, for me however, has a lot of nostalgic memories going for it.

I have fond memories of spending time with friends from my congregation in the back rurals volunteer teaching the Scriptures. We would leave out early in the morning while it was still cool and spend all day talking with people, taking a picnic lunch and eating by the lake.

There were many times that my friends and I would get in their car with the windows rolled down and drive out to some creek, or river or backwoods access to one of the lakes to go swimming and sunbathing, dragging along a giant cooler filled with soda and snacks, coming home later that evening burnt to a crisp.

And there was always at least one trip to the beach.

Yeah, I think I would trade all my cardigans for that. Definitely – summer.

What is your favorite song and why?

Lemon Parade by Tonic

I heard this song for the first time when I was in high school. High school was a particularly challenging time in my life, as you can imagine for the sick girl, the fat girl, the religious girl, the smart girl – I was literally the butt of every single joke of every single person in the school. Trust me, eating lunch in the bathroom stalls my freshman year is not something that I am proud of…

As a teenager, you are trying to figure out who you are in general. But, I hadn’t yet found my voice, the preferred way to stand up for myself – which in a year or two I discovered was with my words.

When I heard this song, it’s words resonated with me. I wanted someone to see me in that way; I wanted to see myself in that way. Secretly, I hoped that in the future I could look back on that time in my life and remember it as a building block, not a stumbling block.

It was also during a time where I started to branch out and discover what music I truly liked myself, not just what my parents or friends enjoyed.

It is a song that I still love to this day. Whenever I hear it, I just feel good.

What does your perfect day look like?

  • Blue skies
  • Sunshine
  • 75°
  • light breeze
  • the lake
  • Leland & Copper
  • Peace & Quiet
  • A book & a hammock

What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?

Age 10 was not a good year. At that age, my health really began to fail very seriously. I had a very hard time at school, I had a very hard time at home, I spent the vast majority of time in the hospital.

It was the following year that I remained homebound and wasn’t even able to go to public school because I spent so much time in the hospital. I had many medical tests that were scary and painful, I had many surgical procedures, I had to take a lot of medications that had many side effects. It was something that a 10-year-old child should never have to face. It was hard.

So thinking about the advice that I would give myself at that age, with all of that craziness going on– –-

Miriam, none of this is your fault.

And –

Tell someone how you feel. Don’t keep it pushed down inside.

What makes you smile?


My husband’s pun jokes. He has a pun for any and every situation. They are hilarious. Even if I’ve heard them a hundred times, I still think they are funny (even if on the outside I’m rolling my eyes). I can be in the foulest of moods, and one of his play on words will bring me back every time.

You may not know it, Dear, but “the dairy air has it.”

Would you rather visit your past self or future self and why?

When I think of visiting my future self, the only thing that comes to mind is “spoilers.” So that’s pretty much a no-go for me.

On the other hand, thinking about visiting my younger, past-self has some appeal.

My little past-self was a bit lost at times, took a long time to find her voice, was a huge people-pleaser, and was way too preoccupied with what other people thought.

If I could go back and give her some advice based on the wisdom I have now, not telling her what was going to happen her future (as I said spoilers) but just letting her know how to adjust her thinking and personality in order to keep her from some of her tragic decisions and pain, I think I would do that.

For example, I would tell her that that jumpsuit that she picked out at Goodwill in sixth grade that she thought was awesome and wore to school was still awesome even though everybody made fun of her. She should’ve just kept on wearing it. Those kids didn’t have any style! She was ahead of her time.

What is your go-to meal?

I love to cook and bake. That is really where I am in my element and where I am joyful, content, happy, passionate. So, choosing a go-to meal is really hard for me.

When I think of a go-to meal, I think of something that you can make quickly and easily, and that I could make especially on a night where I’m very tired and not feeling well, but is still nutritious and feeling and gives you that, “Man I’m glad I ate that” feeling and not that “Lord I wish I had not eaten that” regret.

With that said, I would say that the meal we love to make and to eat is soup.

Yes, with all that buildup – it’s soup. But, think about it! You can put anything in soup!

My family has a recipe from way back for potato soup from Germany. All the women in my family have a different version of it, but it’s basically the same thing. It’s my ultimate comfort food. Creamy potato goodness! It’s so easy to make and cheap and wonderful.

You can also just throw all the vegetables you have in your fridge and some bone broth and have a beautiful soup.

Or you have noodles and some sesame oil and some vegetables and some miso and you have a great Asian soup!

See? I could go one and on… So there you have it – my great and wonderful and exciting go-to meal is soup.

What is the best piece of blogging advice you have received?

Stop over editing.

I was the newspaper editor in high school three years in a row, yearbook editor for two years.

I was an English and education major in college.

Editing comes second nature to me.

But, blogging is not journalism, and it is not formal writing. When people read a blog, they want to read what is raw, true, and real.

My tendency to edit and analyze my posts over and over again made my writing lose my authenticity sincerity. When I received the advice to let that go, and just write, edit simply, and post, it was not only freeing for me as a writer, but benefited my blog overall.

Are you happy?

Wow! A loaded question, indeed.

Happiness to me is an emotion that comes and goes. You’re happy when you buy a new dress, you’re happy on a sunny day walking your dog, you’re happy when you steal a glance across the room with your spouse. But, I believe in life these days, happiness is not something that can exist 24/7. It can be sought and achieved, but just as quickly lost due to unforeseen changes and problems.

Actually, I just wrote a guest blog post about how I find joy here, if you’re interested (shameless plug!).

What I am is content. Contentment a totally different animal. Contentment and joy are long-term emotions, unlike happiness, which I believe can be fleeting.

I am content with my life – who I am as a person right now, what I have achieved so far in my life, with my family, with my friends. I know and understand what is important versus which is not, and able to prioritize those things accordingly. And because of what I have been through in my life, I am able to find joy in even the tiniest things around me every day. Happiness, Joy, Contentment. Call it what you like, yeah – I’ve got it.

What is your favorite quote?

Being a major word-nerd and a constant reader, this is an impossible choice to make.

Can we just call it a draw?

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

I think if you know anything about me, your knee-jerk reaction would be to say that my biggest challenge would have been the recovery from my transplant or one of my other major surgeries. But, I have to say that while those things have been extremely difficult, the physical is something that I have grown used to having to overcome, and is therefore not always at the top of my list.

My biggest challenge is my own self-doubt and self-criticism. That little tiny voice inside my head that is relentlessly badgering me, trying to talk me out of things, tearing me down, and wearing me out. I’ve been working for years to overcome this challenge, and I’ve gained some ground, but it’s still something I struggle with every day.

So now it’s my turn! Yay!

My nominees are as follows:

1. Monica Laipple at Invisible Not Broken

2. Robert Joyce at a30minutelife

3. Tina Russell at Simply Shine

4. Kirsty McAllister at Truly Madly Sassy

5. Adriel Maldanado at Adriel’s Life

6. Anitra Jackson at Chronicles of a Momtessorian


And (drum roll please…) Here are your questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

3. If you were an animal, which animal would you be, and why?

4. Who inspired you to write, and what did they say?

5. What’s your biggest regret (and if you could go back and change it, what would you do differently?)

6. What is your proudest achievement so far?

7. What’s the best thing you’ve EVER eaten?

8. What was the moment you realized you were really an adult?

9. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

10. If money were no object, where would you choose to travel?

11. Salty or sweet?


Blogging and being a *Writer* have been such blessings to me. Being able to help others in this avenue has been a really wonderful experience as well. Meeting other bloggers and writers through this journey has been an unexpected but fantastic bonus! I feel honored to be nominated for the Sunshine Bloggers Award and very privileged to pass on the nomination to these amazing fellow Writers.

I cannot wait to see all the new nominees responses!

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