Friday, April 10, 2009

500th post!

When I started this blog in the fall of 2005, I used it to share photos and our doings with friends and family, much as I would have done with a mass email. Mass emails aren't much fun to receive and often get lost in the shuffle, so I thought the blog would be a good place where people could check in whenever and however often they wanted to (or not). Ellie was brand new, and we had lots of baby cuteness to share. We were living in Houston as "displaced Americans" from Hurricane Katrina, not knowing that storm would be the first of many major events to follow rapid-fire in the months and years to come. Since then, we have lost both of our fathers, moved internationally three times, and had another baby. It's been a whirlwind! Through it all, I've tried to maintain this blog. Email communications have been dropped off and on over time, phone calls prove challenging with 12+hour time differences, letter writing is so rare...often, our blog has served as the only communication coming from us as we muddled through the mayhem.

Recently, SouleMama wrote a post about why she blogs, and it has had me thinking ever since. Why do I blog now? What is the purpose of my entries? I was surprised to realize that I wasn't really sure of the answer to that anymore. Talking it out with Markus helped me realize how the blog has evolved and changed over time. To maintain regular posting, it has become less of what would be a mass mail and more of my thoughts and experiences through a filter, snapshots of our lives that do not attempt to encompass the whole but still a little glimpse for those who are too far away to share. Particularly during the times when all other communications dropped off, this blog has been a little forum for sharing that I have enjoyed as much as an outlet as anything else. Curiosity led me to add the sitemeters, and I have been fascinated to see how internationally our blog is read. This led me to write more generally, hoping for more dialogue and commentary...which in turn led to great frustration on my end when there was none, even when requested. I would love to know who is reading this blog and why. Do you come back often? Do you like the stories, or are you more interested in seeing photos and videos? Would you like daily photos, even (or preferably) without stories? More about living overseas? Nothing different? What brings you here?

As I write this, my 500th post, I also want to know what brings me here. There are a few people we know and love who check in here daily and regularly give me feedback. Part of me knows the reason I am here is just for you! The fact that you check in makes me want to be sure there's something new here for you. Because of your enthusiasm and support, I know I will keep blogging. I'm just not sure of the content and format right now. If you have suggestions or feedback, you know I'm all ears.

In the meantime, as a reward for slogging through this stream-of-consciousness (or a happy scroll down for those who skipped right past it), here are some pics to make you smile:


cujosgonewild said...

Hi! I just stumbled across your blog by hitting the Next Blog button up top. I love reading blogs. I like ones with pictures that give me a glimpse of what life is like in someone else's shoes.

I think its just nice to know what else is out there and how others live. Its nice to know that people enjoy some of the same things as me and share some of the same problems. Those are just some of the reasons why I blog.

I haven't blogged for very long (only about a month). Im hoping I keep it up and in a few years I can look back on myself and see what has captured my interest in my blogs.

I used to use sitemeter on my blog too but I took it off. I realized it gave away what my job was and I cant remain anonymous doing that! Plus I shouldn't be blogging at work and all... It was really nice having it though to see who visitors were.

Sorry this was long! Keep up the blogging!

Karly said...

You know why I check in on your blog...because I love you all and want to know what's going on with your lives!! Also, because you're too far away and it helps to bridge the distance just a teeny bit. I have been able to keep up with what's going on with all of you, offer support if needed, to let you know that I'm here checking in, to see how you're doing, how Markus is doing, and to watch Ellie grow, and now Stephanie too since she has come along. Even though I've never actually met the girls in person, I feel like I know them...Sam does too! I also have to say that you, my dear, have a gift for writing (and photography!).

Checking your blog and reading it has become such a part of my daily routine that I was surprised (but also not, if that makes sense) that you've been blogging since 05!! What an awesome milestone to reach your 500th post!

As for what you should keep blogging about...I love the blog the way it is. Really, whatever you want to do with it is fine by have for sure one dedicated reader who will read no matter what you post!! (I have a feeling I'm not the only one) So, congrats on your 500th post and on having such a great blog for so long!!

Love you lots! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Jennifer,
congratulations to your 500th post !
For me it is also a good thing to check out what you are up to and see Ellie & Stephnie are growing.
I also check the blog nearly every day !!!
I is wonderful to see how Stephanie has grown since Christmas !!
Give them all a hug from me & lots of greetings from Hannover,

Christine said...

Yay 500th post - well done!!! I hadn't realised you'd been doing it so long. I must look back at some of your earlier entries from The Hague - is there a search function?
This blog will also be a lovely way for the children to look back in years to come to see what their lives were like in different countries :)
I probably check in every few days, but I don't always have time to post a comment - you know what it's like juggling two kids... Just wait till Stephanie can run fast in the opposite direction to Ellie... We're just at that stage now!
Amelia loves seeing what her first best friend Ellie is up to now - she still has a photo of them together at the zoo up in her room :)
If you have time to look at my facebook page sometime there's loads of new photos on there - and I like comments too ;)
C x

Christine said...

Just seen your booklist - there's loads down the side of your blog I never noticed before! My two love 10 little fingers and 10 little toes too - and I've just re-read P&P! Nice to see we still have similar tastes 1/2 a world apart!

The Schutte Family said...

I check your blog probably two or three times a month or so, maybe more often when I am home and have nothing to do. It's one of the few blogs I check regularly. I enjoy all anecdotes, pictures, videos.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog like some other people read the Bible. I don't mean to be sacrilegious, but it is true. The words and the pictures and the stories restore my soul. To see my little family so far away, right here in my downstairs at my desk, is a little piece of Heaven on earth for me. The pictures are delightful, I love love love the videos because they have the added bonus of hearing all your sweet voices. But I must say, as I have said before, your commentary is the most delightful of all. You are a gifted photographer, an even more gifted writer. You capture the essence of each day, each blog, and it is a delight as a snapshot of your day or a delight as a running commentary. You often pose questions that make me think, and I appreciate that and love you for making my tired brain think in new ways. You have introduced me to another blogspot I just LOVE, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, and I feel sure you two ladies would be great friends if only you were not worlds apart geographically.

Huge big grandiose KUDOS to you for your 500th blog! I don't honestly know how you do it. Actually, I do. It's often at the expense of rest time for yourself, but you are dedicated to your readers, and we are avid fans right back atcha! You do whatever you want to change your blog, but if it were up to me I would not change a SINGLE thing. Why fix it if it ain't broke? It not only ain't broke, it is nirvana, perfection, sublime. You make me want to blog too, but I am so dull compared to you and your family I realize I have nothing special to add or say in a blog of my own. Now, don't poo poo that idea, it is true from where I stand. Anyway, just mentioned that to make the point that you are INSPIRATIONAL!!

Once again, congratulations on your 500th post! Woo hoo! Fireworks and confetti! You are the bomb, and so is your blogspot!!!



Meghan said...

Congratulations Jennifer!! 500 posts is incredible! Impressive accomplishment - kudos! I'm not the most tech savvy person and I never really 'surfed the web' so when you told me you were going to start blogging I thought it was a bit weird. I'd only ever read news blogs where I had no idea who was writing them and they felt so out-of-reach. I thought it would be a bit strange to have personal information available on the web. You have opened my eyes to a whole new world!

I check your blog almost everyday because it is so wonderful to break up the work day with your thoughts, creative projects, adventures and family tales. I love the fact I feel closer to you than I do with many of my friends who live nearby. I love the fact I can just take a quick look and see what you're up to and then get back to work on whatever it is I fill my time with.

Also, your links to other blogs has exposed me to how diverse blogs are and how many are available. When I can't get my fun story fix from your blog I check out one of your faves and feel better. I've considered starting a blog once or twice, even went as far as to set one up, but I fear blogging the way I fear journaling -- either I'll ramble and do nothing but type on my computer or I'll be completely negligent and never write (negligent bloggers make it no fun for the people who check in on occasion).

Anywho... I just want to thank you for all the hard work you put into your blog. I reap the benefits of reading so I'll try to be better and comment more often so you will know I'm checking in on your stories! And I'll end this comment with merely this:

You bloggle my mind!

mr bob said...

Thanks for all of the blogging, your messages are always a bright spot in the day.


the dipe squad said...

You like me! You really like me!

Thank you all for your amazing, supportive comments! As the oldest child in my family, I'm not supposed to need this much external validation, but boy do I thrive on it! ;)

I really do appreciate your taking the time to comment and share your opinions. I had a disparaging communication several months ago about the blog, and it has been nagging at me ever since. I'm happy to know that most of you enjoy what you find here. I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, and the blog will continue to evolve as it will. Please come back often and drop me a note whenever you feel so inclined. I always like hearing from you!