Welcome to #AskAwayFriday, a weekly link up hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber of Bold Fab Mama.
This is a meme where two bloggers ask each other 10 questions and they answer them on their own blogs. You link up with Penny and Amber and we all get to know each other a little bit better. I recently saw it featured on Alison’s blog and asked her if we could swap questions.
Is there a smile that always makes you smile back when you see it in your twitter stream or in your Facebook notifications? How about when a name shows up in your email and you know that the words contained inside are going to make you feel seen? Heard? Important?
From the moment she introduced herself to me over Twitter to her takeover of the virtual world (she has!) I’ve felt so lucky to be able to call her a friend.
Alison Lee is a mom, a wife, a writer, a baker, a memory maker and a kick ass blogger. A ROCK STAR.
To me, she’s my girlfriend, my sanity and a part of the TRIBE that I am so lucky and humbled to have.
If you’d like to read the answers to the questions I asked her, CLICK HERE.
Here are here the questions she had for me:
1. I know you adore shoes. When did your love affair with shoes start?
In 2000, when I turned 30. I had always loved footwear but felt like I didn’t wear high heels well. But something changed in me that year. A new decade for me, a new millennium for the world and I decided to start wearing my sexy on the outside. The best part of my shoe obsession? The place I love to shop the most for my pumps??? PAYLESS. Which makes it easy and guilt free to fill my closet.
(made for me by the AH-MAZING JC Little at BlogHer’12)
2. And the cupcake obsession?
Oh. Cupcakes. Little pieces of heaven.
I think it happened right after my wedding. I hated my wedding cake. I don’t like fondant and I’m always leery of any baked good that just tries too hard. But I gobbled up our groom’s cake, a lovely supermarket made concoction of whipped icing and moist vanilla cake.
It’s really always been that way for me. I like boxed cake or supermarket made cupcakes, they are light and fluffy and exactly why I love cupcakes: they are a smaller (so you eat it with gusto) and very pretty version of the cake.
Plus, how can you not look at a cupcake and not be happy? The colors, the frosting, the way you can hold in your hand and the fact that it is a small sweet piece of the bigger whole, which is how I see myself.
It’s a PARTY in a paper cup.
3. You’ve been blogging for a long time. I know of many blogs who burnout after a couple of years.
What keeps you going?
I have burned out.
Many, many times.
I’ve taken breaks away from it (Not a week or so, MONTHS) and I always come back because of my TRIBES.
You know you read and hear that writers need to write. I am not like that, I don’t need to write. I like to do it, I have stories swirling in my head constantly but I never felt like I wanted to take over the world with blogging or that I had anything particularly interesting to say. Instead, I’ve just tried to focus on the connections and community I was building with people. I still feel honored to read the blogs and articles I do with people who have become my friends behind the screen.
I like to write, but I don’t ever feel like I have to and that makes it easy to stay here in this space.
4. You started as an infertility blogger, a topic that is difficult for many to write about. How did you get past the “I can’t talk about this, it’s too personal” hurdle?
This is a timely question because I am going through that right now with the death of my brother. I vacillate with being angry with myself for not writing about him yet and then feeling like no amount of words, no pretty sentence structure is going to capture what I want to say about Ben.
Yet, writing about infertility was actually pretty easy. I was sharing my vagina stories and my depression about not being able to get pregnant with people in Wal-Mart lines so to take it to the screen wasn’t that much of a stretch for me. Plus I was “singing to the choir” back in 2005. I started an “infertility blog” so the people that were reading it were all going through the same things, it wasn’t hard to open up.
I felt (and still do) that whatever I was sharing was going to give HOPE to someone else or help someone else to know that we were in this together. It took me 4 YEARS to get pregnant and so I shared 2 ½ of those years with women who helped save my life, sanity and sense of hope more times than I can count. There aren’t enough THANK YOU’s for that kind of loyalty and friendship.
5. What is life with twins really like?
It’s easier than you imagine:
As John and I say OFTEN , “We never knew ONE baby, so we just parent the way we know how.”
It’s harder than you imagine:
“Two children of the same gender with completely different personalities but the same birthday and maturity level, going through the same milestones, finding their way in the world with one another and yet, separate from one another.”
Does that about sum it up?
The perks? I still dress them in matching outfits, I ADORE being a mom of twins because it makes them special (and that special sometimes dribbles down to me). Even when there is double the homework, the snacks for the class, the registration fees, the $$$$ for birthday parties I remind myself that we only do it ONCE a year, ONCE a lifetime and that brings me back to a sweet spot with it.
**I always wished for a child….I got TWO in a way that wasn’t traditional but instead was miraculous. **
6. What do you love most about motherhood?
Seeing myself, John and various members of our families emerge from these two little people. I also love being called Mom, being told “Because I love you so much” and knowing that kind of unconditional adoration.
It’s like having your own private FAN CLUB and the two members of it are your cheerleaders for life.
7. What is the most challenging part of motherhood?
Well there are lots of challenges but I’m going to piss some people off with my answer.
Everyone has an opinion.
The WORLD has an opinion and it changes from minute to minute.
You work, you don’t work. You Ferber, you Helicopter. You pick public or private or Catholic school.
Everyone has something to say and then all your questioning starts.
I tell people often, that the one gift infertility gave me was that once my babies were healthy and HERE, I realized how that was enough for me.
I was finally a MOTHER, the rest would work itself out.
8. You have been writing fiction for a few years now.
Do you have any plans to publish Kimmy and David’s story in a book?
YES! (sort of)
I always have very big plans.
Listen, I want to get something published, but I suffer from low self esteem, especially about my writing. Especially because I read other friends, colleagues and true writers who are much more talented than I am.
Here are my plans: I registered for a course on “HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST NOVEL” this spring at our local community college. I am ripping apart and rewriting four short stories that I hope to self publish first sometime this year as a springboard to getting Kimmy & David ready for their debut.
I am hopeful that I can believe in myself long enough to follow through and get them (Kimmy, David, Marco and Liza) between the covers of a book.
Wish me luck?
9. You’re part of the Write On Edge team. Tell us more about the community there, and your role.
Write on Edge is why I am a writer.
Starting with THE RED DRESS CLUB because of Erin and a prompt eventually led me to an introduction of the words of Angela, Cameron, Mandy and Roxanne.
I am humbled (Yep, there really is not other word for it) to share a small space alongside them.
Write on Edge is a community of writers that has grown out of a love of words and telling stories. Memoirs, poetry and fiction sit next to one another, prompts are given every week and people link with their own works.
There are daily editorials and we encourage communication and conversation with topics that range from proper grammar, plots and writing styles to publishing advice, motivation during writer’s block and story ideas.
I am an Assistant Editor and was delighted to be added to the staff. I think of myself as one of the Write on Edge cheerleaders, sharing the work of the community on social media, helping to promote that work and of course writing an editorial every other Monday.
Proud is the best word for how I feel when someone asks me how I feel about being part of Write on Edge. Proud to be a small part of it, proud of the work and dedication of every staff member, proud of the community we’ve built and maintain.
If you love to share your words in memoir, fiction or poetry I invite you to come and write with us.
10. Three of your favorite quotes ever.
I love quotes. I feel like words help, heal, inspire, motivate and are one of the reasons I am still alive.
Picking three is hard so I’m going to just choose…these are three quotes that mean something to me:
“One is not born a woman, one becomes one.” Simon de Beauvoir
(It takes a long time to become a woman….but it’s such a sweet journey and a joyous destination)
“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” –Maya Angelou
(Dr. Angelou is the author of many, many, MANY of my favorite quotes)
And because I adore all things about #HarryPotter:
“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” –Professor Albus Dumbledore
( I always hope to make, share and lend a little “magic” every day)
A big thank you to Alison for her thoughtful questions, I enjoyed answering these for you.
If anyone else would like to play #AskAwayFriday with me I’d love to do this again. Just contact me.
Have a wonderful weekend!