A Double Whammy


Okay, so I’ve now had two people nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award: My darling friend and sister of my heart, Michal and my dear friend (and soon-to-be a new mother) Hayley (who also happens to be Michal’s amazing sister-in-law). I’m telling you they don’t make sister-in-laws and friends like these two women anymore. Suffice to say, I have no choice but to participate in this wonderful opportunity after both these ladies have recommended mine; the point of all this being to direct more readers to blogs with fewer than 200 followers in a chain-mail form of nominating people. I also get to answer some questions about myself.

Eleven Random Facts about Rachel 

1. My major was journalism, but my passion lies with magazine writing. I am a advertising/marketing copywriter for two: Texas Wedding Guide and Design Guide magazines. I do everything from print writing (features) to anything online, including our social media.

2. I have a nerdy side that comes out in the form of quoting or relating most life circumstances to a movie or book quote.

3. I am ridiculously in love with all things chocolate. It’s the purest form of dessert, in my expert opinion. Also, I love wine. Especially enjoy a glass or two with my boyfriend after a long day. He actually has turned me into more of a wine snob. Interesting fact: He didn’t care for wine until he started dating me. I liked the sweeter, white wines, whereas he preferred the bite of reds. Now I prefer red wine over white because of him.

4. I love to cook or bake a new recipe at least once a week, and not just pin them on Pinterest. I mostly love it because I enjoy doing it for or with my boyfriend.

5. I’m addicted to working out, Pilates and road biking – although I don’t take any of them too seriously. I’ve done three 5Ks and Hotter ‘n Hell bike marathon last summer (53 miles).

6. I’m left-handed.

7. When it comes to being right-brained or left-brained, I’m pretty much smack dab in the middle, but tend to lean more to the left (I’ve got that artsy side).

8. If you had to compare me to a character in literature, I would be Marianne (Sense and Sensibility – passionate and a romantic) with a dose of Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice – a love of books and extremely stubborn/opinionated) with a dash of Jane (P&P – inclined to think the best of people) and wishing I had more Elinor in me (S&S).

9. Don’t be fooled, I may appear to be an extrovert, but I feel I lean towards being more of an introvert – I like my thinking space.

10. My ancestry is Greek and German. Not sure what that indicates about me….stubborn and smart? To look at me (and my nose) you’d see the Greek in me.

11. One question I’ve been wondering this whole time: Why 11 random facts? Because it’s an odd number and these are odd facts?

Eleven Random Questions Given from Michal, via Hayley, via Rachel (why not?)

If there was one place in the world you would travel to, where would it be? Italy. I’m a HUGE history (and art) buff, and there’s so much history there from Rome, with its history of the catacombs and persecution of the early church. Then there’s Venice, with great composers like Vivaldi and other great artists.

Have you yet mastered the art of parallel parking? No, and I don’t think I ever will. I can manage if I have to, but I break out in stress sweat each time, anticipating the screech of metal.

What is your favorite word? Vivacious (it pretty much changes from month to month). According to Merriam-Webster: Adjective (esp. of a woman) Attractively lively and animated; Synonyms: Lively – sprightly – spirited – brisk – anitmated – alive.

What is your favorite season of the year and why? If I lived in Northern California, I would say, hands down, Summer. But since I’m in Dallas, Texas, I would have to say Autumn. There air is electric (and cooler) and there’s so many spices in the air. The anticipation of the upcoming holidays full of delicious food and fun celebrations with friends and family. I love how colorful fall is and that I finally get to pull out my brown boots and cardigans.

What are you looking forward to doing most this summer? Spending some quality time doing activities with my boyfriend that we’ve been unable to do because he’s been consumed with homework and finals the past few months. He’ll be graduating from seminary (DTS) this month.

What is your favorite quote or words of wisdom?  Almost every quote from C.S. Lewis hits the mark. There are so many good quotes – it’s hard to decide. So, instead of agonizing, I’ll share a quote from a book I’ve been reading (Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller) that’s encouraged and punched me in the gut: 

But I can guarantee that, whoever you marry, you will fall “out of like” with them. Powerful feelings of affection and delight will not and cannot be sustained. It is quite typical to lose the head-over-heels feelings for your mate even before you get married, because our emotions are tied to so many things within our physiology, psychology, and environment. Your feelings will ebb and flow, and if you follow our culture’s definition of “love,” you may conclude that this can’t be a person you should marry. Our culture glorifies romantic passion, and so we say, “If this was the person for me to marry, my feelings wouldn’t be so up and down.” In a chapter called Christian Marriage in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes:

People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on “being in love” forever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change – not realizing that, when they have change, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one…

In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love seem to dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of a marriage is that is it a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love. So what do you do? You do acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must be tender, understanding, forgiving, and helpful.

Coffee or tea? Coffee. Usually one cup a day. But I love tea, too.

What is the last movie you watched? The King’s Speech (with Colin Firth). This is a must-see (and must-own) movie. The quotes and exchanges are so colorful and gripping.

If there is one person in the world (living) whom you aspire to be like, who would it be?  There really isn’t just one person, and most are peers I look up to.

What/who/where is your inspiration for writing? Two writers who most inspire me: C.S. Lewis and Jane Austen. They had such verve and incredible insight. Basically any book or blog where I love the writer’s voice and use of words, I get excited about what I do because I learn from them.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family? Movie and pizza nights or our random, but in-depth conversations on a topic.

Here are a few blogs I think deserve many more readers:

A Woman Alive by Michal Conger. I could read her blog all day because she has such a way with words. She writes with clarity and in a style that’s enjoyable to follow and easy to understand. She also possesses wisdom beyond her years.

Sweet Tooth Mama by Hayley Elseth. I have a horrible (but wonderful) sweet tooth and enjoy following her adventures in the land of delectable sweets and treats, the tips she gives and the resources she recommends. And she has fun images.

Austen’s Guide to Happiness by a mother and wife living in Australia. I recently stumbled across this blog, and if you’re a die-hard fan of Jane Austen, you may just love this blog. She ties in scenarios and characters in the books with real-life struggles and delights.

The Rabbit Room by S.D. Smith. Good stuff on here if you’re a lover of literature. It has some great resources like podcasts and its own bookstore.

Ok, to be honest, most blogs I follow have a huge following and very few of my friends have blogs. I will often stumble across some delightful blogs via Pinterest. Also, I’ll take time out of my day to read the blog from The Gospel Coalition, which features multiple guest bloggers.