All, thank you for the 6 (!) Liebster nominations.  Sea and I have finally answered all 66 (!) questions.  My answers are in black, Sea’s are in purple.

I suspect many of you won’t want to read the 122 (!) answers behind the cut, so I’ll ask my questions first.  Coming pretty late to the Liebster game, I’m not nominating any particular blogs.  If you’ve been looking at other Liebster posts thinking, “This seems like fun!”, or “Aw, Liebsters are just a popularity contest anyways.”, or if you read these questions and think “Wow, PartnerA, you ask such hard hitting questions.”: you’re nominated.

  1. What is one thing you wish you could go back and do differently?
  2. If you could be an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
  3. What is one thing you’re really great at?
  4. What is one trait you hope that your kid(s) (theoretical or actual) don’t get from you?
  5. How do you define your family?
  6. What is your comfort food?
  7. What is your first memory?
  8. Partners and children excluded, who is your favourite person?
  9. If you could teleport anywhere, right now, where would you go?
  10. What is the best part of your life right now?
  11. What is your most interesting scar?  How did you get it?

Now, more than you ever wanted to know about me and Sea.

From 2 Aussie Mammas:

1)      How is your life different than you thought it would be 10 years ago?

It isn’t very different than I thought, or hoped, it would be.  I thought I would be working in a different field.

I never thought I’d be a parent. Now there’s Bingo the Impending Fetus waiting in the wings.

2)      What’s your dream dinner & dinner date?

Sea is a pretty good date, though I wouldn’t turn down a date with Queen Latifah if she asked.  Either way, chocolate counts as dinner… right?

Homemade lasagna and garlic bread at home with PartnerA.

3)      Beer, wine or spirits?

Even pre-Bingo I wasn’t a drinker.

None of the above.

4)      What is your strangest quality?

I have the attention span of a… what now?

I am frightened by just about everything. Except spiders.

5)      What are the first three things you’d do if you won a million dollars?

Pay off the mortgage and/or purchase a bigger house.  Buy a lot of candy.   Donate to causes I care about.

Buy a newer house in a nicer area. Hire a financial advisor. Save.

6)      What was your family like growing up?

My family is full of smart, creative people who love me.  They also argue a lot and resent each other.


7)       What quality do you love most in a/your partner?

Sea is very smart, very talented in many ways (writing, photography) and organized enough for both of us.  She’s also pretty cute.

Level-headed calm, patience, acceptance… and dimples!

8)       What is your best physical trait?

My dimples, I’ve been told.

My eyelashes, so I’m told.

9)      What is your favourite book?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

 The Giver by Lois Lowry.

10)   What’s the most embarrassing album in your music collection?

I don’t really listen to music, which is embarrassing in itself.

Hanson’s Middle of Nowhere (yes, that’s the one with ‘MMMBop’).

11)    If you had one whole day to do whatever you wanted, no responsibilities, what would you do?

I do have those days, though I’m told they’re numbered.  They usually involve a lot of sleeping, eating and knitting.  Quite often there’s also some bad television thrown in for good measure.


From Pieces of Religion:

1)      Paper Book or Electronic?

I use an e-reader pretty frequently (it’s so tidy, it holds so many books!):  so frequently, in fact, that I found myself absentmindedly tapping the page of a paper book waiting for it to turn.  But I still love the feel of an actual book in my hands, and the smell of a book (either brand new or really old) can’t be outdone.


2)      Who would you have dinner with if you could pick anyone ever?

I would really have liked to have met my grandparents.  Three of four had died before I was born, and my remaining grandmother died when I was quite young.  From what I know, they were all intelligent people who led varied and interesting lives.  I would love to speak to them and hear about their life experiences firsthand.

My grandmother and grandfather, who passed away in 2002 and 2011, respectively.

3)      What kitchen utensil would you be?

A rolling pin: I like to smooth things out, and cookies are my closest friends.

Saucepan. I can handle small amounts, but too much at once and I’m quick to boil over!

4)      If you met the president, what would you say to him?

The president of which country?  This determines my response.

I’d be speechless!

5)      What’s the hardest lesson you have had to learn in your life?

I was a very spoiled/overindulged child.  As well as having doting parents, I went to a school where every child was told they were special and bound for success.  It came as quite a surprise that I wouldn’t automatically do well in everything: that sometimes I would fail because I hadn’t done enough and, more frustratingly, that sometimes I would fail because of factors entirely beyond my control.

That people who are wrong, deceitful, and selfish often still win, and people who are right, genuine, and generous often still lose.

6)      What’s the best decision you ever made?

Moving to the city where I live now.

I don’t know.

7)      What’s your favorite musical?

(How we gonna pay, how we gonna pay, last year’s) RENT!


8)      What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Oh, I have so many.  People who stand on the side of the escalator that you’re supposed to walk on.  And a stubborn refusal to reconsider positions that are narrow-minded or simply wrong.  Oh, only one?  A person’s stubborn refusal to reconsider which side of the escalator they’re standing on.

People who end verbal sentences with conjunctions and ellipses! “They were all out of chocolate ice cream, so…”

9)      What’s your greatest accomplishment?

Finishing a graduate degree while working fulltime, maybe.  I’m sure there are other things I’m prouder of, but nothing is occurring to me at the moment.

Maintaining employment, despite a list of diagnosed challenges that could easily have me housebound. I try incredibly hard, at everything.

10)   Where do you see yourself in 15 minutes?

I will either be eating macaroni or still answering these questions.  Possibly both.

Eating lentil soup and continuing to answer lists of questions.

11)   Where do hope to be in your life by the time you are retired?

I hope that I’m happy and financially stable.  I hope that I have good friends, hopefully including the ones I have now, and a family that I love/loves me.

Living mortgage-free with PartnerA with a comfortable savings/income and a grown kid or two who is successful and still loves us, despite its inevitably wonky childhood.

From Our Journey to Become Mommies:

1)      White, milk, or dark chocolate mocha? 

Always chocolate, but ew to the mocha.


2)       Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a mid-sized city that often felt like a small town.  If you meet somebody from this city, it’s likely that they’ve met me or a member of my family.  I liked it as a kid, disliked it as a teenager, and appreciate it now.  That said, I wouldn’t want to move back.

Small town. At the time I didn’t like it, but now I look back on its simplicity nostalgically.

3)      Your favorite adult as a child? (and not your parents, if they were your favorite)

I adored, and still adore, my aunt.

A teacher whose impact on my life was immeasurable and with whom I remain in contact, years later.

4)      Most embarrassing moment from your high school years? 

The story is fairly specific and identifying, which means that it is unbloggable.  It involves a dead mouse.

Every phys ed class ever, but especially the one where it was my turn to serve the volleyball and it launched backwards, a dimwitted classmate called me ‘retard’, and everyone including the teacher laughed!

5)      What’s the most delicious food you’ve ever eaten in your life? 

I don’t know, but I’m sure it involved chocolate.

That would be a tie between Ikea garlic bread and Cadbury Creme Eggs.

6)      If you had to move to another country, where would you move?

The UK.  If nothing else, the chocolate is better.

England? I’m a creature of habit, and I imagine England to be similar to here.

7)      Coolest thing you’ve ever been for Halloween?

One year I was a head on a platter.  I made small children cry.

In the sixth grade I was Wednesday Addams. People told me that the resemblance was uncanny, especially the unwavering solemn frown.

8)      City or nature person?

Though I’m fundamentally more of a city person, I like both and hope that there’s always some balance in my life. Can I choose the suburbs?


9)      What are you most proud of in your life?

Again, I’m not entirely sure.  I’m proud of the life I have: my home, my relationship, my friendships, the Bingo-to-be.  But many of these things are more a result of my good luck than anything I’ve intentionally done.

Owning and maintaining a home.

10)    If you could relive the past would you? And to which part of your life?

I’m fairly happy with my life now.  I think I’ll stick with it.

College. If only I appreciated how easy I had it at the time!

11)    If you had to change careers, what would you pick?

If I had more money and time, I would go to law school.  This can be interpreted either as a) lawyer or b) perpetual student.

If it was financially sustainable, I’d be most satisfied writing.

From 2 Mommies Trying to Adopt:

1)      What is your favorite time of day?

Late afternoon or early evening, when the sun is setting and everything is tinted gold and pink: best experienced in spring or fall when travelling east.

I’m an early bird! I love mornings.

2)      What is your favorite spot at home?

Curled up on the left side of the couch (my side), ideally with a purring cat or two.

The chaise end of the couch in my living room. PartnerA and I refer to it as ‘the long side’.

3)      What was something you were scared to do, but did it anyway?

Despite having been immersed in a fairly supportive community and very open family, my initial coming out remains one of the scariest things I’ve done.  My memories of those early weeks of coming out—announcement piled on announcement— feature a pounding heart and many tears.  Years later it’s strange to remember how big coming out felt at the time, when now I wear my queerness on my sleeve.

I live with (diagnosed) chronic anxiety; every day is an exercise in confronting fear.

4)      What book had the greatest impact on your life?

Oh, that’s a tough one!   I honestly don’t know, but there are a number of children’s/young adult books that I’ve returned to many times over the years: The Giver, any Harry Potter book, the His Dark Materials trilogy.  I can’t say that any one of these books has impacted my life in a startling way, but I always find my way back to them and appreciate them in new ways.

The Giver by Lois Lowry.

5)      What grammatical error is most irritating to you?

The incorrect use of apostrophes: I really can’t handle it.

Your/you’re! Its/it’s! There/their/they’re! I regularly wear this shirt from Threadless.

6)  When you are feeling bad about yourself, who is the first person you turn to to remind you of how great you really are?

I’m lucky to have many lovely, affirming people in my life.  Often the first person I turn to is Sea, but the Doctor also has an incredible knack for making me feel heard and valued.  Really she’s much too personable to be in the field of medicine.

Probably my therapist. She doesn’t exactly proclaim my inherent greatness, but she does remind me that I’m my harshest critic and encourages me to consider my positive qualities, achievements.

7)      When are you at your calmest?

In quiet moments, either alone or with somebody I care about nearby.  Biking.  Knitting.

I’m calmest in the water, swimming.

8)      What is your greatest fear?

Rejection, I think.

Dying traumatically and alone.

9)      What is one thing you want to accomplish during your lifetime?

Having a baby/becoming a parent is big on that list, but as that seems to be imminent I’ll go with something else.  I would really love to write a book.  I’ve started twice—in fact there’s half a novel sitting somewhere on my computer— my goal is to finish at least one.

Publish something. What or how, I don’t know! Something.

10)   Who inspires you?

My father.  His range of interests and talents is incredible; he’s written three books (see the point above); he’s a fantastic storyteller; he is also one of the calmest and kindest people I know.

A teacher from my childhood whose impact on my life was immeasurable and with whom I remain in contact, years later.

11)   When do you feel the most vulnerable?

In moments where I feel emotionally open or exposed.

In the presence of people who don’t know me very well.

From Making Lucky Number Seven:

1)      What is your passion in life?

I genuinely care about reducing hurt.  This involves both fighting for social justice and taking care of kittens.

I don’t know that I have one.

2)      What is your biggest regret in life?

Moments when I’ve caused others hurt or harm.  Times when I haven’t been there for people important to me.

Never appreciating the moment.

3)      What are you most afraid of?


Dying traumatically and alone.

4)      What aspect of yourself do you love the most?

I’m fairly easygoing, in general.

My determination.

5)  If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

You will be happy as you are.

Just breathe. It will be okay.

6)  How do you feel about tattoos?

It depends on the tattoo.  I appreciate many of the beautiful tattoos I’ve seen, but I’m too indecisive to get one myself.

Not for me.

7)  What’s your favourite article of clothing that you own?

My Converse!

A purple Gap t-shirt.

8)  What time do you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning?

In an ideal world, as late as possible and as late as possible.  In the real world, I go to sleep around 11 and wake up around 7 during the week.

Weeknights, I tend to go to bed around 11 and wake up around 6:30. Weekends, bed around midnight, up around 8.

9)  Tell me your favourite line from your favourite song

I don’t have a favourite song.  Different songs and lyrics impact me at different times.

“Let it be, let it be. yeah / There will be an answer, let it be. / And when the night is cloudy, / There is still a light that shines on me, / Shine on until tomorrow, let it be”

10)   One moment that took your breath away.

My first kiss with Sea.

I can’t think of one.

11)   What’s the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?

Windex can get dried paint off surfaces.  Rubbing alcohol can remove permanent marker.  You’re welcome.


From twomoms2be:

1)      Describe your fondest childhood memory.

Acting out fairytales with my parents.  I very clearly remember my father pretending to be the wolf to my Red Riding Hood.

Sitting alone on a piece of granite beside a lake in the mountains, in the sunshine. This was in biking distance of my childhood home and I went there often to think, to write.

2)      Sweet or Spicy?

Sweet, always sweet.


3)       If you could change your name would you and why? If yes, what would your new name be?

My name, particularly the combination of my first and middle name, is quite feminine.  When I was younger I really wanted a name that was more gender neutral, but now I appreciate the name as mine.

No, I wouldn’t change my name. My name is who I am.

4)      What is one quality you would change about yourself?

I would love to be less disorganized and, connected to this, more reliable.

I wish that I was more socially adept.

5)      You win the lottery. What do you do next?

Pay off the mortgage and/or purchase a bigger house.  Buy a lot of candy.   Donate to causes I care about.

Buy a newer house in a nicer area. Hire a financial advisor. Retire. Donate. Save.

6)      Glass half empty or half full?

Half full!

Half empty. I’m a pessimist.

7)      What is your biggest pet peeve?

Oh, I have so many.  People who stand on the side of the escalator that you’re supposed to walk on.  And a stubborn refusal to reconsider positions that are narrow-minded or simply wrong.  Oh, only one?  A person’s stubborn refusal to reconsider which side of the escalator they’re standing on.

People who end verbal sentences with conjunctions and ellipses! “They were all out of chocolate ice cream, so…”

8)      I’ve got a time machine… Where are we going?

Everywhere!  I would love to see the world at different times in the past.  Why stop at just one place or time?  I’ll be careful not to step on any bugs and inadvertently change history.

Back to the future! I’d like a glimpse at where my life is headed.

9)      What is your secret guilty pleasure?

Watching bad reality television, though it really isn’t a secret.

My not-so-secret guilty pleasure is Hanson music on my iPod!

10)   Stolen:: But, If you could trade places with anyone, who would it be?

It would be interesting to spend a short amount of time living the life of somebody very different from me—the Queen of England, for example— but in the end I don’t think I would want a life other than mine.

My life is okay. I’d prefer to be someone calmer, less prone to panic, but I don’t think that I’d give up the life that I have now for those qualities.

11)    Is there ever a time when a law should be broken? Explain!

Absolutely.  I believe many laws are oppressive and unfair, structured to benefit the most privileged.  Though I’m a law-abiding sort of person, I believe more in broader rules: treating others well and trying to do no harm.

If the consequence of adhering to the law will be significantly detrimental, harmful, or fatal, then the law should be broken.


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About Beginning from the Start

This blog began when my partner and I decided to start adding the requisite 2.5 kids to our lives. Three years later, we’re now the parents of a very active toddler and (maybe) considering adding another kid to the mix. Read on for adventures in TTC, pregnancy, toddlers, queer parenting and more.

7 thoughts on “Liebster(s).

  1. Haha, I was just going to nominate you for a Liebster but then saw you have 6 nominations. So I was coming on here to say that I wont nominate you as I have 6 too and it’s a lot of work. But then I remembered I received another nomination last night giving me the grand total of 7…so, (rubs hands evilly, TAG – you’re it. (Also known as ‘Congrats, this is your 7th Leibster nomination.’ Heh.)

    • queerconceptual nominated me, which makes yours my 8th! BUT it doesn’t count, because the nomination isn’t referenced in your post! So I won’t. Ha!

      And I left the nomination open a) because I don’t follow 66 blogs and b) because I think most blogs have been nominated at least once or twice now!

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