I never wanted to have a blog. It feels sort of dorky, and I hate the word "blog" too. I was just one of those moms who was always lamenting that my kids said funny things, and I wasn't writing them down. That would mean I would have to be organized enough to have a notebook and a (working) pen at all times, and I'm just not. So my friend Jacqueline said, "You should just keep a blog, Alice. No one needs to read it. It's just an online journal, and it's much easier." Now in some ways, I'm kind of a Luddite. I hate cell phones (well, really any phones) and I lurve good quality paper and getting handwritten letters and writing thank you notes and stuff like that. Oh, how I love the email though. Now that is instant gratification--and I can type a lot faster than I write. So, that's basically how I ended up with a blog. I love the instantaneous nature of them saying or doing something funny, and I can just dash it off immediately and publish it. And the fact that I can post pictures is an added bonus too.
In the process of starting my blog, I've stumbled across many, many others, and now I'm a blog addict. I love peeking into the metaphorical windows of people's lives. I've got people I've never met who feel like good friends. I've got good friends who I can keep up with because I read their blogs. And I've met friends through (and here's another word I hate) the "blogosphere."
[Wake up! I'm still talking about blogs on my blog!] On the side of my page, I keep a blog roll. This is by no means all the blogs I read. I read a bunch of theological blogs, but I've actually stopped lately, because man. Those guys are MEAN. And argumentative. I prefer my roll because they're all funny and some are inspiring, too. Plus, the people who comment are nice and not jerky. That's basically my criteria. A couple of them are my famous imaginary friends: James Macdonald (Walk in the Word) and Beth Moore (Living Proof Ministries). They've got beautiful, fancy blogs (especially James--with music and audio/video clips!), and of course there's a lot of good stuff to read on there too.
Then there are my non-famous imaginary friends: Amanda at Baby Bangs (she's Beth Moore's daughter and very, very funny in her own right), Melanie at Big Mama, Veronica at Toddled Dredge, Sarah at In the Midst of It, Ree at Pioneer Woman, and (please don't miss this one) Jack at Confessions of a Trophy Husband.
Lastly, there are my real life friends: Juliet at Retired and Loving It, Ann-Marie at the Left-Handed Rabbit, Melanie at Apropos of Cole, and an old friend who is new to the blogging world, Alysa at Little Things In Life. Each of those is a great read, all diverse, all fun.
A word on Alysa--we met on our very first day at Moody Bible Institute. Neither one of us knew a soul there. We were standing by the elevator in Houghton Hall as hundreds of other girls laughed and shrieked and chatted around us. I'm not sure which of us uttered which words, but we looked at each other and here's how the conversation went: "I don't know anyone here." "Yeah, me either." "So, do you want to be friends?" "Sure."
And we've been the best of friends ever since (cemented over our love of 80s music of course). We had four years of MBI, then living in Chicago and being in the working world, then I got married and Alysa left to be a missionary in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, (shout-out to any other Moody students who had to read "From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya" in Church at Work in the World I!) When she came back from the mission field, she moved back to Chicago and married her husband, Jack. They have two children: Maddie Mae (who is 10 months older than Lucy) and Jackson (who is 2 1/2 months younger than Elaine).
We have been on this crazy friendship ride for over 20 years--through late nights and finals and many conversations at the Pizza Hut on Chicago Avenue and boyfriend disappointments to weddings and pregnancies (she threw me a shower when I was expecting Lucy, which has come to be known as "The Golden Standard for Showers") and raising kids together and the never-ending struggle of sanctification. Our conversations are now mainly confined to email since we both have crazy schedules and our older kids are in school. But last fall we started a tradition of a Moms Getaway Weekend, which hopefully we'll continue for years to come. (The agenda is basically: laughing, talking, eating, laughing, sleeping, laughing, and...well, laughing.)
Every once in a blue moon, a kindred spirit just drops into your life seemingly out of the blue, but then you realize God's hand has been in it all along. That's Alysa. I am so, so thankful for her. And I hope anyone who stops by here, also stops by her place too!
So...I guess this is kind of a public service announcement. For blogs. Which I hate. And didn't want to have. But I do. The end.