The recent days have been very sad here in the US and beyond. Meaningful words still feel difficult to come by. The blogging community, which I have come to truly appreciate and love in the past five months, angel drawinghas reacted to the sad news with many voices. Some have been immediate, shocked reactions and expressions of sympathy, others well-thought out articles with advice, and many, like myself, have been expressing their sadness through poetry and/or photography.

I thought I would dedicate today’s post to thanking for some of the award nominations my blog has received in recent weeks. Being nominated by friends who enjoy reading my blog encourages me to try to find the time to do what I love, namely to write and to work on the images to illustrate my words.

I want to thank Ivon at http://ivonprefontaine.com/ for nominating my blog for the first star in the Blog of the Year 2012 Award, Carolyn at http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/ for throwing the second star my way and Tazein at http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/ for granting my blog the third star. So now I have three stars for Xmas.

Thank you all so much for these stars. Much appreciated. I am a happy follower of all three blogs as I’m sure most of my readers are, but if you have not yet discovered these blogs, please click on the links now and take a tour!

The ‘rules’ for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award (from the creators of this award) are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!). I took special notice of that rule.

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…!

You will find the Award Designs (one to six stars) here.

I would like to grant a Blog of the Year 2012 Award to the following 20ish wonderful blogs that have been consistently on my read list since I discovered each of them:

http://exceedingspeed.wordpress.com - you deserve multiple stars, but this particular one’s for becoming Freshly Pressed!

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com/ - congrats for your winning performance in NaNoWriMo!

http://thegreenstudy.com/ - a star for a great writer!

http://ivonprefontaine.com/ - one more for you, thank you for your always beautiful thoughts!

http://luggagelady.net/ - one star to put on your creative luggage!

http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/ - Carolyn, one back to you! You need a bigger design!

http://throughharoldslens.com/ - a star for the Maasai bracelet!

http://retireediary.wordpress.com/ - a more star in your collection of beautiful photos!

http://melodylowes.com/ - a frozen star to decorate one of your wonderful poems!

http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/ - one more star for your collection Tazein!

http://www.sperka.com/ - a star to guide the adventurous night drives in Thanda!

http://hikingphoto.com/ - a star to light up the night sky for your adventures in Maui!

http://kenneturner.com/ - a star to hide in one of your wonderful images!

http://ljlenehan.com/ - a star to light up your sky of touching poetry!

http://lizziejoysphotosuite.com/ - a star for the beautiful results of your classes!

http://keepingitrealmom.com/ - a star for always keeping it real – and very interesting!

http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/ - a star to top one of your beautiful twigs!

http://leannecolephotography.com/ - a star from a student to a wonderful teacher!

http://paharidotme.wordpress.com/ - a star for your continuous discovery!

http://cancerkillingrecipe.wordpress.com/ - a star for being the amazing Oneanna65!

http://camtaylor.net/ - a star for teaching us so skillfully about dealing with adversity!

http://letlifeinpractices.com/ - a star for your always excellent advice!

and finally an honorable mention to http://garyschollmeier.com/ – Gary, I assure you this is not an award :) It’s just a little tiny mention for always discovering and picturing everyday beauty!

Flowers

Congratulations to all of you and a big thank you for being here in the blogging world lighting up my days!

I have also been nominated for another award…but those rules are a bit different (and we’re already much beyond 700 words) so I’ll need to save that for a separate post.

Today I am thinking especially of blogging friends who are educators, and other teachers I know, and their students. Praying that they will both be and feel safe.

Lots of love.