Accidental Award. Great Road Trip of 2012

June 4, 2012

As most of you have probably noticed by now, I have a contract with an ad network called BlogHer whose ads appear in the right column.   I get a little income each month from running the ads and then every week or two, one of my posts is featured on some of the other blogs in the network which provides a little extra blogging exposure. Well, a couple days ago, I received an unexpected email from BlogHer.  It said:
My name is Shannon Carroll, and I'm the conference programming manager at BlogHer. I'm writing to let you know that we’ve selected  your piece, "Grateful For The Scars" to be honored at the Fifth Annual Voices of the Year Community Keynote! Out of nearly 1,700 submissions, the committee has chosen one of your posts to be one of only 110 pieces that will be honored as a 2012 Voice of the Year at BlogHer '12 held in New York City.
(Note:  Although I can't really afford to go to New York City for the event, it's nice to have my post represent me in abstentia.) While I was quite thrilled to hear that something I had written was receiving this  honor in the national blogging community, I don't actually remember submitting anything! The only possibility I can think of is that about 6 weeks ago, I sent in "Grateful for the Scars" to what I thought was just a "regular" editor.  (I had submitted it be considered for inclusion in a Blogher program that features selected posts across a broader spectrum of the ad network other than just the biweekly feature.) It appears as though I managed to submit the post to the "wrong" person and entered myself in this competition instead. Anyway, in the blogging world at least, this honor seems to be a pretty big deal; in fact, I found out after the fact that everyone who had (purposefully) submitted something was aware of the day when the winners would be revealed and were counting down the days until the announcement.  And then here comes clueless ol' me who didn't even know I had submitted anything. Because I am organized like that. Here are a few more details about the selection process.
Each year, The Voices of the Year Community Keynote honors up to 120 of the brightest voices in the blogging community, as chosen by the community.  All submissions go to the category judges, who will carefully review each one. Once the judges have worked their magic, the executive committee takes over,  finalizing the selections. The event's scope grew exponentially over the years, along with the blogosphere itself, and women's presence in it. In 2008, over 200 entries were read by a committee of about seven people; this year, almost 1700 were read by 26 readers, and were filtered yet once more by another six readers before the winners were chosen.
I really appreciate you humoring me for a few moments and letting me write about this honor; I feel so gratified that all my typing and toiling away in the guest bedroom for hours on end has actually gotten a bit of recognition--even though I was rather (happily) surprised by it all.

A Trip!

In one week, Steve, Sarah will set off on a major road trip, hitting Washington, D.C. first for a little sightseeing, before driving to Wisconsin for a family reunion. (I haven't been home in almost three years, since my dad's funeral.)

Nathan and Meagan will be flying in from Florida and I will get to see my mom and my five siblings and their spouses and my nieces and nephews.  I might even get a chance to take my kids around my home town of Sparta, WI and show them where I used to live and where I used to go to school.  I'm sure they'll be quite fascinated.

I'm sure I'll have all sorts of stories and pictures to share from the Great Road Trip of 2012!

And now, since I can't bring myself to post something without a picture, I'll close out with a few vintage photos of Nathan and Meagan back in their mid-dating, pre-engagement  years.  The ones of them kissing each other on the cheek are two of my all time favorite pictures of them. Aren't they so very, very cute?

28 responses to Accidental Award. Great Road Trip of 2012

  1. Sheriscrapper June 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    We live just outside of Madison, WI but will be visiting my mom in Cashton, WI the weekend of Fathers Day….when will you be in Sparta? It is kind of exciting (in maybe a weird way?) that the Smiths will be so close! :). Have a great time in Washington D.C. and Wisconsin!

    • Hi Sheri,

      We’ll be in Portage for the duration of our stay and will be attending church with my sister and her husband Sunday morning where he is pastor.  You’d certainly be welcome to come attend the service if you’re nearby.  As far as when (or if) we’ll make it to Sparta, we haven’t planned that far ahead yet.   This is a “fly by your pants” sort of vacation.

  2. Sparta! My husband spent four months at Fort McCoy, WI in 2003 right after we were married. Preparing to be deployed to Iraq. Small town but its beautiful country there. I spent several weekends at Fort McCoy and in Sparta and Tomah visiting him. Enjoy your trip back home.

    • Rachel,

      How fun is that?  I used to go out to Fort McCoy as a teenager when they opened up their rec facilities to the town.  In fact, I rode my bike out there more than once–I think it was about 7 miles each way?   Nice to meet someone who actually knows where Sparta is!

  3. What a wonderful affirmation from the Lord that what you share matters! Congratulations, Becky, you deserve it…even your Father thinks so :)

  4. Dianna in Louisiana June 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

    So, so happy for you Becky…….  You definitely deserve this honor!  Have fun on your trip!

  5. Jodi,

    Thanks for posting that link; I had forgotten to do it.  There’s a whole lot of good writing going on in those posts.  My goal is to eventually get through all of them.

    As far as what part of IL we’re coming through, I honestly have no clue.     Sorry I’m not more helpful but we haven’t quite gotten to that part of the trip planning procedure yet!

  6. Catherine Young June 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Congrats.  Sorry you aren’t coming to NYC.  I would have love to have treated you to a lunch or dinner.  If you have a chance to go there, here is a perfect place to stay: http://www.houseoftheredeemer.org/

    • Catherine,

      Oh my.  I went to that website and immediately wanted to hop on the first plane and start taking pictures.  What a gorgeous place!

      And thanks for wanting us to come to NYC; that would be my next place to want to visit after D.C.  Although we’ve been there before, it’s been quite a while and I would love to see it again.

  7. Congratulations, Becky!  Of course, your Smithellaneous groupies all know that you deserve awards, but it’s nice to get verification from outside, official sources! Accident?  Schmaccident! A little Heavenly nudge of your elbow, if you ask me.

  8. make sure to bring your slithery slathery skito stuff and a warm jacket, normal Wisconsin- weather 80 one day and 50 the next!! If you near Mayville look me up at my cheese store! Old Fashioned Foods. Congratulations on your award!

    • Peggy,

      We used to go to Mayville, WI almost every year to sing at a church there.  I think it was called Mayville Community church?  I have fond memories of your area!   And a cheese store sounds like a cool place to hang out!

  9. There is nothing accidental about the award. Meant to be.

  10. That was a great post! Congratulations.

  11. hmmmm… “there’s no such thing as coincidences”… or so I’ve heard.  Seems like you had a guiding hand when you submitted to the “wrong” person.  An award, well deserved, Becky!  congratulations.

  12. how wonderful and so excited for you.  I hope you enjoy your Great Road Trip of 2012 and I will look forward to lots of pictures.  I have never been to Wisconsin (Chicago yes, when my son briefly lived “up north” :-(  )  Have lots and fun and enjoy your family

    • Gail, we are really excited about our trip.   Since all of us have a little gypsy in our blood, we get pretty pumped up at the thought of the open road!

  13. Michelle Zammat June 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Congratulations!! Very exciting for you to receive an award. I hope you guys have a great time in DC and driving out to Wisconsin.

    • Thanks, Michelle.   I’ll miss Manteo but it will be fun to see some brand new sights!  (And have new stuff to take pictures of.)

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