blog awards!

Our blog was recently given “The Versatile Blogger Award” and the “Liebster Blog Award”, two little blog awards given to newer blogs to help gain some exposure with readers.  Thank you to World Via Standby for giving giving us the awards! We’re big fans of her blog, where she uses great photography and excellent writing to share her incredible globetrotting adventures with her readers…definitely check out her blog!

versatile blogger


Here are the rules for recipients of these awards:

1. Share 11 random facts about yourself

2. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you

3. Nominate 11 new bloggers and ask them 11 questions

Since this is a joint blog, you get to hear from both of us!

Here are Shera’s 11 Random Facts:

  1. Most people are surprised by how much I laugh. Life is amusing, people! :)
  2. I’m 50% Dutch.
  3. I’m a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory.
  4. I love burritos.
  5. I don’t like/won’t watch horror movies.
  6. I broke my arm in 7th grade.
  7. I enjoy playing Super Mario Bros. on the Wii.
  8. Someday, I want to write a novel.
  9. I play the piano.
  10. I get “hangry.”  Hungry = angry/grumpy/generally unhappy
  11. One time, I taught 2 ducks how to fly.

Here are Kyle’s 11 Random Facts:

  1. love ironing.
  2. Dedicated night owl (unless I’m going fishing or photographing in the morning)
  3. I majored in physics in college.
  4. love club sandwiches.
  5. My biggest pet peeve is me when I make mistakes.
  6. Ice cream: YES.  Frozen yogurt: NO.
  7. I have yet to break any of my bones, but I’ve cut my scalp open 4 times, needing staples/stitches 3 of those times.
  8. I play a lot of Ultimate Frisbee.
  9. I’m married to an NCAA Division 1 All-American gymnast!!
  10. If I could keep my current salary and get a job pressure washing and painting, I would do it in a heartbeat.
  11. I am an avid over-analyzer (I’ve already rearranged this post twice for optimum readability).

Here are Shera’s answers to the questions posed by the World Via Standby:

1. Why do you blog?

I blog because I enjoy practicing my photography, but I needed a bit of a push to get out there and do it. This blog has helped me gain experience and gotten me to regularly use my camera. I’ve even discovered a love for old film cameras! I also blog because I’ve moved away from most of my good friends, and this is one way I can share a hobby with one of them, and my pictures with all. :)

2. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened during your travels?

One time, my friend and I rented a car in Spain and of course it was a stick shift. While we were both familiar with driving a stick shift, we could not figure out how to shift this thing into reverse! We were stuck in our dirt parking space with no way out… both of us struggling to come up with an idea on how to get the dang thing to move into gear. We vaguely remembered being told some trick, but neither of us could get it. A couple of men came into the parking lot then and we were desperate, so in broken (horrible) Spanish, I tried to ask them to help us get the car into reverse. We had just come from Germany (the other language I knew for our trip), and my Spanish was really lacking as a result ~ with some German words coming in and out of my vocabulary haha! The guys thought I was saying we didn’t know how to drive and were about ready to give us a lesson, when they shifted into reverse! We were so excited, and somehow communicated that that was all we needed. It was pretty embarrassing – after the trick was so simple – all you had to do was lift up slightly while shifting into reverse and it fell into gear smoothly. Darn.

3. Favorite travel song?

“Breathe Me” by Sia. I know it may be random for travel, but I always listen to it on the train, airplane, in the airport – whenever I want to relax a bit and soak in the entire experience of traveling.

4. What has been your most terrifying experience?

Terrifying is a pretty strong word – getting married is probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done haha! As far as travels go though, I hopped on a plane to Vienna all by myself for my first trip to Europe. I was going to visit a friend, but when my flights got messed up and I was delayed, I realized that I had no way of contacting her, no address, no knowledge of the German language… only the hope that she would be there waiting outside of customs… that was pretty scary. It all worked out though, and I’ve been loving going overseas ever since.

5. Indiana Jones or James Bond?

James Bond

6. What is the one thing you are most proud of?

I don’t think there’s one thing I’m really proud of… I’m proud of…

My husband. He’s been to Afghanistan twice and is my hero and my love.
My mom and dad. The more I live, the more I see and experience, the more people I know… the more thankful and impressed I am with my parents.

7. Where was your first trip and how old were you?

My parents were not ones to be held back from traveling because they had a child. I’m sure I can’t remember the first trip I went on, but the earliest trip out of the country that I remember was to Mexico when I was 5 years old. We went to Cancun, and I remember being called “blondie” everywhere, and my dad was called “mister whiskers” because he had a beard. We explored the beaches and I remember climbing sooo many stairs at the pyramids at Chichén Itzá. My mom had already been teaching me some Spanish, and while at the pool I made friends with another little girl and was able to say a few things like how old I was in Spanish. It was thrilling to communicate in a different language… that was the beginning of my love of learning and using new languages. :)

8. What’s the worst place you’ve ever been to?

Hmm… well living in the swamp of Louisiana for 4.5 years really puts anywhere else into perspective as to how “bad” it is. My worst experiences have been in Bussels. It’s not the city’s fault – we were exhausted and starving, and the only food we could find was in a little pub. And the only thing they had was a disgusting plate of “meat” which would better be described as congealed fat and chunks of brain. Bleh… the next day I got taken down in the train station by another passenger rushing for a door – left quite a mark on my leg. The scar is still there. So – no thank you to any further visits to Brussels. Nothing personal, it just hasn’t been good to me!

9. What are some words you live by?

Love your neighbor as yourself. And remember that oftentimes laughter is the best medicine.

10. What’s your biggest fear?

Wasting my life away. And cancer.

11. When you’re not traveling, what do you spend most of your free time doing?

Reading, taking photos, and hanging out with the husband.

Here are Kyle’s answers to the questions posed by the World Via Standby:

1. Why do you blog?

I’m the kind of person who needs some form of external framework or system in order to be goal-oriented, otherwise I end up running around, doing whatever is at the forefront of my mind.  I decided to try blogging to see if it could create the kind of framework that would help me regularly practice photography and intentionally think/talk about photography.  This blog also allows me to share my thoughts and progress with friends, as well as “hang out” and do photography with Shera while living in different parts of the country.

2. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened during your travels?

During a trip to China, I tried to say, “It’s nice to meet you all”, in Mandarin, over a loudspeaker, on a stage, in front of hundreds of Chinese people.  At that point, I think I had about three days of experience in speaking Mandarin.  The response that followed – the excruciating silence, the cold, blank stares of the Chinese audience, and the look of complete confusion on the translators face – told me that I would need more than a few days of practice speaking Mandarin before I should be addressing the general public of China.  After what felt like an eternity of awkwardness, the translator finally realized what I was trying to say and exclaimed, “Ohhh…很高兴见到你!”  I was more than a little bit embarrassed and felt like the stereotypical ignorant American.  Being humbled is a good thing, though, and the whole ordeal pushed me to really pour myself into learning Mandarin over the next month in China.

3. Favorite travel song?

I’m one of those frustrating people who are incapable of settling on a favorite anything.  But old Radiohead songs from Hail to the Thief and Kid A and songs from Spoon’s album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga are pretty nostalgic for me – they’re great for remembering old trips and experiencing new ones.  That being said, Daft Punk and Pharrell just came out with “Get Lucky”, which is making a run for number one on my list…

4. What has been your most terrifying experience?

I don’t think I would be considered a particularly brave person, but I honestly can’t think of a time when I’ve been truly terrified.  I do remember being pretty scared when, as a child, I cut my scalp open with the metal handle of a Radio Flyer, which was a pretty bloody ordeal (see above: Random Fact #7 ).

5. Indiana Jones or James Bond?

James Bond

6. What is the one thing you are most proud of?

I’m sorry…I really couldn’t figure out how to answer this one.

7. Where was your first trip and how old were you?

My first trip was from L.A. to San Diego when I was three months old.  My first out-of-state trip was from L.A. to Gunnison, UT when I was two years old.  My first international trip was to China when I was 20 years old.

8. What’s the worst place you’ve ever been to?

The stretch of road that passes through Southeastern Oregon and Western Nevada is pretty much devoid of anything interesting.  And I’m usually the person who can find something interesting just about anywhere.

9. What are some words you live by?

Love God with your whole self and everything you have.  Love everyone around you like you love yourself.  Fight the night.

10. What’s your biggest fear?

Losing my family and friends.

11. When you’re not traveling, what do you spend most of your free time doing?

Hanging out with my wife, hanging out with friends and family, playing Ultimate, taking/editing photos, exploring parks/coffee shops/restaurants around Seattle.

And here are our new nominees:

We realize some of you may not be “into” blogger awards, but we really enjoy following you and hope you’ll participate!

  1. Seeing It First Hand
  2. Edith Levy Photography
  3. Stephen G Hipperson
  4. Javier GM Photography
  5. Good News For People Who Love Bad News
  6. Mabry Campbell Photography
  7. Ashley Hayhurst / Photographer
  8. Real Fun Food
  9. Strassenfotojournal
  10. Hiking Photography
  11. My Life In The Sky

Our Questions For Bloggers

  1. What is the most difficult part about blogging for you?
  2. Is blogging a profession or a hobby?
  3. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  4. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world, regardless of cost?
  5. What has been your most culturally shocking experience?
  6. What was your favorite childhood TV show?
  7. Apple or PC?
  8. When you were in middle school/high school, what was your dream job? (Are you pursuing this now?)
  9. What is your favorite food?
  10. If your house is burning down, do you save the valuables or the memorabilia?
  11. Too much time on your hands, or not enough hours in the day?


  1. Congratulations on your award and thank you so much for nominating me. I truly appreciate it.

  2. Thank you so much for the award. I really appreciate it and I am happy that you like my photography.

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