Dawn and I agree about most things and have quite a bit in common (although I'm way behind her in family additions)... and she's right-on-the-money when she said in her post: "All bloggers like to analyze and talk about blogging". I'm no exception. Blogging is my thing - I just can't help myself. Who would have known four years ago that I would still be doing it?!
So here are the rules to the tag:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them
I also loved Dawn's interview questions. I think I'll borrow them and continue her trend of rule-breaking (sorry, Dawn - but these questions were just too good to pass up on). My husband always said I had a "criminal mind". I'm just sayin'.
1. How long have you been blogging?
I started steadily blogging in June 2005 as a random comment on someone else's blog - accidentally creating my own Blogger account. I think my first post was some sort of beatnik poem.
Any advice to beginners?
If you start blogging, start it for the right reasons - do it for YOURSELF. Don't compare yourself to other bloggers. Do it regularly - otherwise you will get discouraged and quit. Decide ahead of time how personal you want to get and what topics you do/don't want to breach. Blogging is even better if you have a purpose, but random personal sites are also fun. Just do what comes natural for YOU.
2. What are the good things blogging has brought to your life?
"Invisible friends" (as my husband calls them), a forum for my writing, photography, and a place to share what's on my mind, a sense of community and connection to other homeschooling mom bloggers and Christian mom bloggers, and it has introduced me to endless resources for my children's education (it's fun to get free stuff to review)
3. What would you consider the pitfalls?
Time away from other priorities. Having to deal with people that are offended by things you write on occasion. Having to deal with spam comments (what a sad waste of time). A gazillion-trillion more emails than you normally would have to deal with.
4. Tell us about your blog name. Ever think of changing it? If so, to what? Why?
My blog name was a nickname my husband gave me when dating. It was totally absent of any pre-meditated thought. I named my blog in the same random moment that I created that blogger account while commenting on someone else's blog in June '05. I have thought of changing it, but the longer you blog, the harder that becomes. I would advise anyone starting out to think about branding and the future before they list that name with their host!
5. Knowing what you know now, was starting a blog a good thing for you? Why or why not?
Yes. I'm glad that I did it. My husband wasn't really happy about it at first, but he began to come around when the free curriculum and small financial perks started to come in. He also realized that writing is my 'thing' and it was a real blessing for me to have an outlet. Sometimes it seems like a burden (when I have a deadline or when I get writer's block and would rather be doing anything else), but I always seem to snap out of it eventually and the joy comes back. I think turning it over to God as a way to share my life in Him with others is what keeps it fresh for me.
6. How do you think blogging, bloggers, or the blogosphere has changed since you started?
There are a lot more blogs now than there used to be. I felt like I was coming in on the tail end of things in 2005, but blogging has grown leaps and bounds since then. I get lost trying to keep up with all my favorites and am jealous when I see my buddies going to blogger conferences and getting to meet each other. It is like another world out there that you feel very a part of - even though you are in your own home. With my latest pregnancy, I've been very preoccupied with life in the real world... but one day I hope to be able to do more and get more involved in my blogosphere bubble. The conferences are really intriguing and I'm looking forward to doing more than just local blog meet-ups (as I participated in this past holiday season). There's such a great network of social networkers out there and since I love blogging so much, I'm really interested in getting more involved.
8. Ultimately, what would you like your blog to accomplish for you or others?
SCRAPBOOK: My first reason for blogging was always to have a record of my thoughts and our lives and homeschooling accomplishments for my children to keep. I planned to some day make a book of it - whether it would be a public or private book I never even considered. I just wanted to pass it on to my children as a legacy of love for them from their mom.
INSPIRING OTHERS: I realized after starting blogging that my personal records of our lives was something that was inspiring to other homeschoolers and other stay-at-home moms of young kids. I began to keep better records of our educational activities and long lists of links that I had found to help out with their journey to raise their kids as well. It felt good to know that my time blogging was benefiting not only me (and one day my kids), but other moms who needed inspiration.
CONSUMER ADVOCATE: As blogging began to be a part of my daily life that I couldn't imagine parting with, the sponsors, advertising, contests, and reviews started to be more available to me. I found that I really enjoyed offering these services to the blogging community and was blessed to be able to benefit from them as well. Living on one income, it has truly helped us out. Not to mention I have met so many great bloggers through this sort of networking. It is great to be a part of technology that is influencing the consumer world for the better and giving a voice to moms.
FRIENDS AND PERSONAL FULFILLMENT: The best part about blogging is the connections I have made with other bloggers and the creative outlet I have found online. This is especially true because I am a mom that spends a good deal of my week at home.
Who are you really -
1. Name something or a few things that bug you and expound. We want your unfettered opinion(s). Shouldn’t be blog related.
I have to copy Dawn on this one: "Restaurants that don’t serve sweet tea, especially in the South, where they should know better." Amen, sistah! I order water EVERY time a restaurant doesn't have sweet tea. I'm beginning to think most of the restaurant owners down here came from 'the North' or another country. Good thing I don't mind eating Tex-Mex with a tall glass of ice water.
I also really don't like my house being dirty. Or the fact that banks charge you 35$ overdrafts on 2$ cups of coffee and tally all your transactions from biggest to smallest (so that there are at least 5 small purchases that will make them 35$ each when you happen to be short on cash). The low-down-dirty-varmits. I don't like it when Congress robs the American people, either... but that's for another post.
2. Tell us about one of your best childhood memories.
My best memories are mostly since I met my husband, but I remember a lot of fun that was had out on my grandparent's farm as a kid. I used to ride on top of my grandpa's Chevy truck to feed the cows across the pasture... catch tiny frogs at the pond and chase the barn cats with my cousins... lay out on the trampoline at night looking at the huge Texas sky with its Milky Way veil and bright stars... drink chocolate milk on Saturday morning and watch comics before the adults got up.... and I also remember staying up late watching Johnny Carson with my grandpa - who would always let us have coke or rootbeer floats with Blue Bell vanilla ice-cream. I loved hearing him laugh.
3. Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day is mostly a day spent with a proper focus on the Lord, my husband, and my kids. I enjoy it when we tackle a project and complete it (like the garden we put in last year). It's fun when we lounge around all day and do our own thing - then get dressed and go out to eat or to a movie together. Lazy Saturdays or busy Sundays - really doesn't matter... just the way we all work together and enjoy each other's company - that's what makes it perfect. I also love doing things with our family and friends.
4. Do you have hobby that you love? Tell us all about it, make us love it too.
Blogging you already know about. I also love anything creative and artsy. Photography, drawing, scrapbooking, quilling, painting, decorating, daydreaming about all of the above... etc. I'd also love to learn how to do quilting and embroidery. My grandmother used to win quilt shows up in the far Northwest.
Another thing I'm crazy about, but don't spend enough time on is learning to design blogs and learning how to use new creative software packages. Learning to design has been a spare-time project of mine forever, but I finally decided that I needed to jump in and just get my feet wet. My first template I did myself was my food blog. I was thrilled by the experience. I'll probably design the kids' blogs next - before I tackle my own blog. In the mean time, I'm hoping to talk a designing blogger buddy in to helping me with this site - which has needed some updating since about 3 years ago!
5. Tell us the best or the worst thing about being you.
Well, aside from being just weeks away from labor and delivery (the last few weeks of pregnancy are not easy and childbirth isn't my idea of a fun time), I'd say being a perfectionist is my worst shortcoming. I tend to create too much work for myself, set unrealistic goals for myself, push my kids too hard, and get overwhelmed often. I absolutely LOVE organization and it drives me crazy that it comes with so much difficulty for me. I eat, sleep, and breathe my dayplanner and calendar. Without them, I would be turning in circles, scratching my head in confusion.
The best thing is being a forgiven child of God. I often wonder at how my life is so amazing - my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, my passions and the opportunities I have had to fulfill them... it is such an irony looking back at the street-punk teenager I was. I'm a walking testimony that Christ is alive and well. I couldn't be more blessed.
6. What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you? We want all the details.
I'm one to talk before thinking and I tend to rush in to things without mulling over the long-term consequences. I've left my purse in a Casino in Louisiana and had to drive back to go get it in the middle of the night because my apartment keys and wallet were in it and I wouldn't be able to go home or to work the next day... I've forgotten to pick my son up from daycare once while I was working full time - and left him at a bus stop when we were on a field trip with friends in Downtown Little Rock. Pathetically embarrassing moments seek me out, baby. Probably the most recent embarrassing thing that happened to me was the "fry snatching" incident. I can't believe I blogged about it. But then, that's what bloggers do.
Personal - (please answer them all)
Vital Statistics –
How old are you? 36 (too old to be starting over with an infant - but very thankful for the blessing)
Children? this next one will make 3 who are here with us
If so, homeschool, private, or public? homeschool
Favorite season? In Texas the seasons are a bit different. We have HOT season and cool season. I like the cool season the best - which includes fall, winter and spring. It lasts from the END of November through the beginning of March (if I'm lucky). From mid-March through mid-November, it is SUMMMER in Texas. I love the flowers and sunshine, but without A/C, the weather here is just unfriendly-like.
Favorite past time? blogging, photography, reading, looking at home-decor magazines and hanging out with friends... oh, and eating at Pappasitos when I get the rare opportunity
Favorite color? dayglo orange (as seen in the sunset) and soft lime greens (I love almost every color - it's really hard for me to choose just a few)
Favorite movie? Fireproof, the Matrix, Bladerunner, Sound of Music, Emporer's new Groove, Gods and Generals... I could go on all day.
Favorite song? Lately I'm in an ambient mood. I love Lemon Jelly, Cold Play, and David Nevue. I also love Randy Travis' gospel albums, retro, techno, and contemporary Christian. I like most music - even some rap! LaCrae has some groovy rap songs. I love Will Smith's "Just the Two of Us", too. I used to go to clubs with my husband for years before we had kids. I loved dancing. Now I just do it while I clean the house.
What kind of car do you drive? In reality – an SUV with a third-row seat (it guzzles the gas, but has come in so handy carting friends, family and stuff whereever we need to go)
Mac or PC? PC (dreaming of one day getting a Mac)
Dog or Cat? cat person (have 2, but won't make that mistake again - I'm a 1-cat kind of gal)
Salt or Pepper? both (mostly salt) However, I'm a spice nut - so I can't limit it to just salt and pepper. I have racks and racks of spices. Boxes and bins and shelves of them.
Vanilla or Chocolate? Both. Who can resist white cake with buttercream icing? However, dark chocolate is my weakness. I'm really not big on ice-cream either way... unless it's imported from Italy.
Diet Coke, Sweet Tea or Evian? Sweet tea (not too sweet) is probably my very favorite drink... but I love regular coke and iced cold RO filtered water with small ice cubes - perfect for crunching.
Steak, Chicken or Shrimp? chicken (we rarely eat any steak or shrimp, but I also like fish and chopped or ground beef - and amazingly, I use lentils a lot instead of meat in dishes) Great. Now I'm hungry for a cheeseburger and don't have anyone to bring one over.
If you actually read all that stuff, you are a true friend. Either that, or you have too much time on your hands. So, since you aren't busy, can you run through the drive-thru for me and get me a cheeseburger?
Thanks, Dawn, for the tag. That was fun. Gave this hippo-sized, pregnant, 'on-bed-rest" mama something to post about on a rainy Monday when I should be paying my bills and homeschooling my kids. Ah, sweet distraction. That's what blogging is.
I tag the following blog-addicts:
Lori (All You Have to Give)
Bev (PF Mommy)
Beth (Pages of our Life)
Hallie (My Crazy Life)
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