Can you believe it’s Sheenazing Award season again!? Time really flies, ‘eh?

Anyway, I am honored to have been nominated in a few categories this year, alongside some really terrific blogs. And Blessed is She was nominated as well! Please head over to A Knotted Life and check out all the nominees and vote, vote, vote! But only once per person. Rules are rules.

And now, I’d like to share my five favorite things about the Sheenazing Awards!

1. The Sheenazing Awards Define Our Community

“The Blogosphere” is a big, untidy, nebulous thing. It can be unkind, and NSFW. Even some of the Catholic parts. But WE have a nice part. We have a part that’s supportive and encouraging. We have a part that encourages healthy debate and friendly disagreement. I love our part. And, to me, our part is the Sheenazing part. This award defines my internet comfort zone. All of the internet that I know and love is here. I sometimes explore outside its cozy borders, but I’m never surprised when there be dragons out there.

2. Getting Nominated for One Was Kind Of My First Big Thing

I had been blogging for one month when I received my first Sheenazing nomination. And God bless whoever it was who nominated me. I think at that point you only needed one nomination to make the ballot, I can’t imagine I had more that. When I started this blog, I did it the way I do most things, with a lot of confidence and very little planning. I had no idea there were other bloggers like me out there. But there were. There were bloggers out there doing the liturgical year, and homeschooling, and fashion, and photography, and media, and pop-culture. And in most cases, they were doing it better and with more love. I’ve found so much inspiration from reading these other blogs. I’ve learned to be more careful in how I word things, and more cognizant of the fact that two people can do things differently from one another and still both be good Catholics and good mothers. And I learned that from other Sheenazing blogs.

3. The Sheenazing Awards Help Blogs Grow

I didn’t win that first Sheenazing Award. But I did win one the next year. And a big part of the difference was the new blogs I found to read, and the new readers who found my blog, all because of my nomination. These nominations and awards are Catholic blog outreach, helping new blogs find readers, and helping tiny blogs get a little less tiny, and helping little blogs become pretty big (in their own tiny little niche of the internet).

4. The Sheenazing Awards Encourage Bloggers and Blogging

I love that these awards exist at all for us. Most of us bloggers spend a LOT of time on our blogs, and most of us don’t make much (if any) money doing it. We do it for the community, and because we love writing. But, even so, it’s pretty awesome for someone to say, “Hey, good job.” That’s what these awards do. I even love that there’s no prize. It doesn’t need one. It’s just special because it’s special. And I love that Bonnie’s blog isn’t some official “Catholic Blog Conglomerate.” She’s just one of us.

5. I heart Bonnie

Speaking of Bonnie, I honestly can’t remember how she and I blog-met. I’m assuming I started following A Knotted Life after my first nomination, then we had the whole Silver Linings Playbook thing, which I could have handled better, but she was really sweet about. Then I commented on one of her posts that summer and she invited me to come over, and I was in Chicago, so I packed up the kids in my in-law’s minivan and I did. And now I’ve been out to see her a TON of times considering that I usually live in Los Angeles. And she is a very dear friend.

She puts in hours and hours of work on these awards out of the goodness of her heart all just so we Catholic bloggers can have some fun and meet new blogs and get a little recognition for what we’re all doing to make the internet a little nicer place to be in. She makes all of that happen for us. It’s pretty great.

So, please, vote. And give Bonnie a little love, too. She won’t win a Sheenazing Award, but she’s the MVP of this whole corner of the blogosphere.

I have yet to cast MY votes, so if you have a blog and are nominated, or you are especially fond of any of the nominees, especially in the Underrated or Non-Papist categories, let me know in the comments!

And, I’m linking up with fellow nominee Jenna of Call Her Happy for #5Faves today. Head on over there to find out what else folks love today.

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