mama mondays: indulgences and awards

I had a chance to experience my second conference of the month this weekend. While it’s not typical for me as a busy mom to indulge in two conferences so close together, these two opportunities were too good to pass up. So, Daddy had soccer duty (four games in all) on Saturday while I headed out to the conference site, here in Fargo this time, ready to grow in knowledge of what it takes to thrive in the profession of communications.

I mentioned in a post-conference essay a few weeks ago that good food (and the luxury of not having to prepare  meals) is among the wonderful perks of conference-going. The spring conference of the North Dakota Professional Communicators this weekend was no exception. The pasta bar at lunch and the London broil with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans at the VIP Room for dinner really topped off the experience, not to mention the homemade dessert:

The conference ended with the presenting of the Communicator of Achievement Award, as well as other award-giving, in particular those for the 2010 NDPC Communications Contest. I was very pleased to learn that entries for my parenting columns received both first- and second-place honors. The first-place entry will go on to nationals. I felt honored to accept my awards and enjoyed watching fellow communicators receive theirs.

In case you missed them when they first appeared, here are two of the four columns (two per entry) that garnered the awards:

Stay or Go: A Mother’s Perspective on Valley Flooding

Twelve Days of Christmas and Chaos

And speaking of awards, I have been feeling terribly guilty because, while I have received various blogging awards from blogging friends in the last six months or so, I have yet to reciprocate. And even though these honors are perhaps less distinguised than the more formal sort, they are the way we bloggers give thumbs-up to one another and I definitely feel there are bloggers in my midst deserving of the same awards I’ve been so delighted to receive.

For example, last Friday, I received the "The Beautiful Blogger" award by Laura at Wavy Lines:

That made my day! So now I’d like to turn back to the blogosphere and award some of my most beautiful blogging friends the same. There are many worthy recipients. These are just a few that have brought a particular spark of beauty to my life lately. If you have a moment today, please visit them:

Mary @ Play off the Page

Marie @ Murray’s Momma

Liz @ Random Thoughts of a Lutheran Geek

Kim @ Kim’s Pondering Beyond Breast Cancer

Who in your life deserves an award this week?