Friday, November 21, 2008

November's Fantastic Write-Away Contest

Write-Away ContestI want to thank our sponsor, Suave, without whom there would be no Fabulous Prize which is nothing less than a year supply of personal hair and beauty products. WOW! If the floods or the fires come and the world is left without shampoo today's winner will be sitting pretty. Literally.

Thank you also to Andrea at Mommy's Martini, our guest judge who made her way through the 41 entries as you all gave us your F-words (no pun intended) about Thanksgiving.

And last of all, thank you to our entrants. May you all have a wonderful holiday season.

. . . And the Grand Prize winners are:

Abba Stories with Feed a Hungry Family AND The World According to Suz with Favorite Fall Food: I Like Pie

From our guest judge: "Two entries in this month's contest really stood out, and I found myself agonizing over which should win the top prize. One is a poignant story that demonstrates both tremendous faith and a true generosity of spirit that really captures the idea of Thanksgiving. The other is that rarest of creations: a post that is laugh-out-loud funny. In the end, I could not choose between them, and so I am awarding a joint First Place to the following two posts (with thanks to Michelle for letting me break the rules this way!)"

Honorable Mentions:

We're Eaton' with Full
Candid Carrie with Forgetting Thanksgiving


Here are a list of the entries in the order they were received:

1. The More the Messier with Fall Festivities
We got up bright and early last Thanksgiving Day - not voluntarily, of course, but when you manage to get your 2-year-old to bed by 7 in the evening, you've got to accept that she is going to be chirping merrily in your ear around 6:30 AM. I went downstairs full of plans to make the house presentable and to finish cooking the dinner for our guests.

2. My Life, My Happiness, My Joys with Thanksgiving and Family . . .
With Thanksgiving fast approaching and I am once again thinking about what I shall be cooking for that day and planning our menu, I am forced to think about how it will just be two of us this year. With my brother not being able to join us this year and my father passing away three years ago, I sit here and remember past Thanksgiving memories.

3, Adventures in the 38-Aker Wood with Thanksgiving Comes First
When I was a kid (good grief, did I just say that? argh). Let's start again. I can remember . . . okay, not an improvement. In recent history, retailers saved all the Christmas unveiling until the day after Thanksgiving. (OK, it's not great, but it's better.) And the stores all opened at the same normal time (10 AM) that they always did. And never on Sunday.

4. The Thoughts of Thora with I Know Why They Call It Fall
I know why they call it Fall, and really it has very little to do with leaves. Fall is my favorite season. There is something about that nip in the air that brings a quirk to the corner of my mouth. After being baked out of my clothes all summer, it is time to take out the clothes that cuddle my whole body and wear them in layers.

5. The World According to Suz with Favorite Fall Food: I Like Pie
People should know that I can take just about anything in moderation — for instance, I can eat one doughnut without eating a dozen doughnuts. With most things I can stop. Control myself. Not go hog wild with the food-cramming. Usually.

6. Idaho Cheneys with My First Thanksgiving
My first Thanksgiving was a really special day. I know Thanksgiving is a special day. Thanksgiving is a national holiday, often a three day holiday for schools and businesses. It's a day we celebrate the first shared harvest in America. A day we celebrate with families and remember what we are thankful for.

7. Going Coastal with Facing the Future
Miss Fabulous joined us four years ago. By the time she was born we had been praying and waiting for her for four long years. We watched friends and family have child after child and wondered if we would ever be parents. Our prayers were closer to pleadings for just one chance to be parents.

8. Compost Happens with The Fabled Fairies of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Dinner? No problem! I'll call in the fairies. They'll do everything. The laundry fairy washes, dries, and presses the table linens, including the cloth napkins. If she's feeling generous, the sheets and towels might get folded, too.

9. Blog o' Beth with F Is for Freaks
Every Thanksgiving my mother enthusiastically suggests that we make ham this year instead of turkey. At which I respond, "but I don't like ham, I never have". My mother lets out an exasperated sigh and says, "okay, I'll make a small turkey too".

10. Ooglebloop's World with My Fifteenth Thanksgiving
Fortunately, I am about to celebrate my 55th Thanksgiving this month! Where HAS the time gone?? Over the years, I have celebrated many different Thanksgivings at many different locales. Some were fabulous, some forgettable, some traditional, some spur of the moment.

11. TJ with Forgo the Fast Lane for a Seat at the Thanksgiving Table
“I am going to stop running through my life.” I said these words out loud in my walk-in closet where I sifted through the worn-out clothes and wished for replacements. The fall ritual of shifting the old season’s clothes to the back and bringing the new season to the front had left me wanting.

12. If You Give a Mom a Moment with Fanks
Aidan, my three year old, is speaking very well, except for one problem: he has a problem with the letters "th". He can't pronounce the "th" sound; it comes out as "f". His brother Ethan is "Efan." He is "fwee" years old, and the next holiday coming up is "fanksgiving."

13. Candid Carrie with Forgetting Thanksgiving
Did anyone else notice that retailers are skipping Thanksgiving? Why isn't it being promoted this year? In My World, everything seemed to go right from The Orange and Black Holiday to The Red and Green Holiday.

14. Adam, Hannah, Charlie, Austin and Me with Falling in Love with a Tiny Black and White Picture and Giving Thanks
First, here is Nemo. The ultrasound showed a very active and I do mean ACTIVE baby with a healthy heart. There are not words that can sum up that feeling that I am so in love with my little baby, this pregnancy has been loaded with complications and every night after I stick the needle into my leg and get my pump running, I go and sit somewhere and just rub my belly.

15. Dunhaven Place with Falling Leaves or Self Less = More of Self
Leaves. They are falling all around us. A few weeks ago, as I waited in my car for the school bell to ring, my windows rolled down to catch the balmy breeze, a leaf sailed right into my car. It was almost as if it were a disembodied spirit which was falling to the ground, then, gathering a last moment of self-will, flew sideways through the window to drift lazily into my lap.

16. Que Sarah Sarah with Food, Family and Forgiveness
Thanksgiving: It is what you make it. It doesn't matter to me that there are only three in my family on Thanksgiving. I cook like Julia Child herself is coming to dine.

17. Days Ease Wordlets and Craftiness with For Faith
As Faith fastened her gaze on the sun-setting sky, a frown fringed her features with shadows and concern. She had never been one to fret about things she could not change, but in the fading light of life at the moment, it seemed all she could do to release a fraction of the fear that welled up inside.

18. My Neurotic Spot with A Family of Blessings
The time has come again for Thanksgiving. In just under two weeks, millions of Americans will face the dawn of a new morning and at some point during the day most likely take a mental tally of their blessings. I will be one of them. In a time of economic uncertainty, I am thankful for the simple things.

19. If You're Happy and You Know It with F Is for Father
Six years and 13 days ago, my mother and father were on their way to a cabin in East Texas to spend the weekend with two other couples. Our three families, a total of ten kids, had spent most of the past Halloween weekends camping outdoors instead of trick-or-treating. Other times of the year we would exchange Christmas presents or have game nights.

20. Outnumbered 2 to 1 with Faking Thanksgiving
Ms. Clarke's high heels tapped impatiently against the tile floor as she walked up and down the rows, dropping a crisp, lined piece of paper decorated in a fall motif on each of her students' desk. "As you all are aware, tomorrow is Thanksgiving." She began in a sing-song voice. "I would like you each to write an essay about what you are thankful for this year. Remember, Students, you are in junior high now. I expect some thoughtful insight."

21. with No, Thank You
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Flew Jet Blue again. I love the Socialist aspect of their seating arrangements. It's incredible how differently the passengers are treated when the only difference between the "classes" is two inches of leg room. Up to the "escape" row you get 36 inches after that it narrows to 34.

22. The Extraordinary Ordinary with Falling Isn't Failing
My heart hurt as I watched my one-year-old struggle to get his body to do what his head was asking. I stood and watched as he slowly made his way across the room. He was crawling, then moving up on his knees, then putting one foot out in front of him in an effort to pull himself up and walk.

23. Stop the Ride! with Thanksgiving, a Holiday for the Frugal
Holidays can present quite the dilemma for the frugal minded. We long for simple celebrations and traditions, but are lured by the siren songs of retailers and the expectations of those around us. Almost every major holidays has become over commercialized, and there is always pressure to keep up with the neighbors. Not so with Thanksgiving. It is a holiday for the frugal at heart.

24. Short Stop with The Fedex Arrow
Have you ever noticed the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo? It's there - between the "E" and the "x" - in the negative white space. Once you see it, it will be the first thing your eyes are drawn to every time you see a FedEx truck.

25. Overstuffed with Flu for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 2003 was a memorable one for many reasons. It was our first holiday season in Arizona, far away from our large families in Utah. We moved to Mesa because Joel had started working on his doctorate at Arizona State University that fall and, as poor students, there was no way we could put together the fundage to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas was a longer break, so it was the obvious choice.

26. Southwest Photo Mementos with For Family Fare
Family focus fun,
food, Friendly favorite friends,
Faith for future feasts.

27. I'm a Drama Mama with My Father's Laugh
My family could count on it every year. It always came at the same time. We had gathered around mismatched card tables and stained folding chairs. We had given our thanks and everyone had eaten more than their fair share of the food. The leftovers were distributed to anyone who wanted them, fashionably contained in old butter tubs.

28. Waiting for a Little Vlachster with Fazio's Fiasco
Do you think hosting Thanksgiving is stressful? Do you loose sleep wondering if your Tom Turkey is going to be juicy and tender for all the gluttonous guests to devour? Last year I co-hosted Thanksgiving for the first time and I must say, it went off without a hitch. But every year at about his time, I remember a story of a man who wasn't able to handle the pressure, and gave a whole new meaning to the term "turkey shoot."

29. How Could You Not?! with I Cannot Wait for Thanksgiving
Today, Vlachster (I don't know your real name sorry) posted a funny story about Thanksgiving. I wrote a comment on her site, and it made me kind of tear up. I joke around saying that my birthday is my favorite holiday, but really, Thanksgiving is. I had it at my Grandma Fechter's house every year of my life until she died in 2003.

30. Unexpected Bliss with Giving Thanks
I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Kansas, to be with my mom while my dad had surgery. He has an aneurysm on his aorta, which is scary enough, but even scarier since he managed to postpone the surgery for 5 months longer than his doctor recommended.

31. A Gathering of Days with Friday after Thanksgiving
On Thanksgiving day we are all filled with love for our families, grateful hearts and a lot of food. Really good food. It's not everyday that we cook like this. We sit around with our pants too tight and decide that the only activity we can possible do is to look through the paper at all the ads for tomorrow's biggest shopping day of the year.

32. Team Moffitt with Football Equals Disaster
The morning was crisp and cool. The field was dry, and clear of snow. The air was filled with the sounds of men playing football. My congregation’s tradition of the Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl for the men had begun.

33. More Muffins Please! with Feeling Full
Are you full? I often ask this question to my children when we are finishing a meal, wanting to make sure everyone has had enough to eat. At Thanksgiving dinner, I can easily get full; usually a little too full! Thanksgiving is a time that we contemplate things for which we are thankful, or full of thanks. There are so many things that fill my life with richness and joy, I should be thankful and feel full all year round.

34. Just Beyond Mom with Finding the Gift
“Mom, what’s good about mosquitos?" My kids ask this on a regular basis, because I taught them to look for a good purpose for everything. We’re still debating what purpose mosquitos serve beyond spreading disease and feeding bats.

35. My Ice Cream Diary with Forgive in Time for Turkey
"I've really never had a problem with forgiveness. I think of it this way, if I can forgive my dad for abusing me and my mom for abandoning me then I can pretty much forgive anyone for anything.

36. Watching the Grass Grow with Thanksgiving
To the family were issued invitations decidedly not formal
Hearing that few of them feared other obligations, finally we narrowed the list

37. Abba Stories with Feed a Hungry Family
I awoke to find myself staring cross-eyed at a small button nose. My four-year-old, Jonathan, peered into my bleary face, blue eyes dancing. “Is it Thanksgiving yet?” he bubbled.

38. Circles and Dots and Other Distractions with Thursday
On this Thursday of all Thursdays, I waited for a peep from my neighbor who is an American freak. Don’t worry, although the word “freak” sounds intense, as it was adopted into German, the negative connotation got lost in the transfer. It just means someone who is obsessed with something, an enthusiast. The first time I heard the term, I thought, “Well that’s not a very nice thing to say.”

39. Zen Mama Wannabe with The Fortunate Ones
We are not lucky, my father would tell me. Luck is for people that win the lottery. We are fortunate. Thanksgiving was my dad’s favorite holiday (with the Fourth of July a close 2nd – as a former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy who fought in World War II, he was definitely a patriotic man).

40. We're Eaton' with Full
I stepped outside to take a breath, lean on the chipped blue railing, and stare across the beach. The waves danced slowly, but all I could hear were kids squealing, that random high-pitched noise, and the thud of a basketball. I looked near my shoe, and small-potted cacti smiled back.

41. Her Cup Overfloweth with For Robyn: Thankful and Blogging about It
She is my greatest cheerleader, my biggest believer, my heart's champion-She is my step-mother. I usually never refer to her in such a way: step-mother. She is no step or half-way, almost, or only-on-the-weekends mother. No ma'am. She is much more.

Technorati tags: Write-Away Contest, contests, blogging, writing


MommyTime said...

I just wanted to thank everyone who entered for making my job both enjoyable and difficult! There were lots of wonderful sentiments in these entries and much heartfelt giving of thanks. What a nice reminder of the true meaning of the season.

Becky said...

Thank you so much, Andrea and Michelle, for this honor! :) Just as God helped me find a needy family for Jonathan (and the rest of us), He helped me write about it. He is truly amazing, and I hope this story makes Him even more famous! He is my Provider, Redeemer and Abba Father.

Candid Carrie said...

I am so honored to be an honorable mention!

Many adjectives have been used to describe me, but honorable? This just might be a first for me ;)


Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I can't wait to read your winner's entries. Great job, ladies!

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

I am new here! What a great blog :)

Daisy said...

I can't wait to read these!

Suzanne said...

Thank you, Michelle! And thanks to Andrea, as well.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all! (And may each of you get lots of pie.)

Octamom said...

Congrats to your winners--what a wonderful collection of sweet, sentimental and sassy! (see, I couldn't even come up with words starting with F for my comment! ;o))