I actually started blogging in July 2002 - more than a decade ago. My first blog was on livejournal and lasted 4 years, covering the summer before my junior year of college through two years of grad school in Baltimore and DC. My intention was to keep my friends and family updated on my semester abroad in Spain, but I kept on rambling for a few years after my return. Interestingly enough, my first blog started right after Matt and I broke up after my sophomore year of college and I stopped writing right after I moved down to North Carolina 4 years later - to live with Matt. Full circle blogging.
I really loved blogging and I'm not sure why I quit. I've always loved writing and apparently, I really like putting my business out on the internet for anyone to find.
One fall day in 2008, Jamie and I decided we would take a day to catch up on our scrapbooking. The way I say that it sounds as if this was something we did on a regular basis but it was not. Both of us had scrapbooks that we started years ago and were way overdue to finish and we figured a date would be a great way to get our act together. In fact, I think Jamie's was a scrapbook of her wedding showers and mine was from the first year Matt and I dated - both from 2005. After what turned in to a weekend of scrapbooking and spending entirely too much money buying stickers at Michael's we both concluded the same thing: we did not really like scrapbooking. (The end result, yes. The process? Nope.)
I knew I wouldn't continue to scrapbook our life together but I wanted a way to continue to document my lovely little life. And thus... the return to blogging.
I'm so happy I did. I forgot how much I loved writing. Even if no one ever read this blog besides my mom, it would still be a happy outlet for me to sit down at a blank screen and let my fingers fly. I also have this tremendous fear that I won't remember important events in my life - or worse, the seemingly insignificant but just as wonderful day to day events - and blogging is a bit like an insurance policy on my memories.
In the four years I've been blogging at Yankee Belle, I've documented our travels - Niagara Falls, Toronto, Dominican Republic, New York City, Tennessee (Bean Station! and Nashville), Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Emerald Isle, San Fran, Sonoma, San Diego, LA, Palm Springs and of course, Park City and the best snow on Earth. We obviously have some serious wanderlust. I've written about wino visits, tailgates - so many tailgates, med school, Match Day, residency. I've posted a handful of recipes and restaurant reviews. I've changed jobs twice. We bought a house. We got a dog. We realized our dog was mentally unstable. We got pregnant and of course, had a baby. (And now that's all I talk about anymore.) 4 years and 500 posts. I'm happy it's all here.
One thing I didn't expect from blogging? Friendships. The community. I've met dear friends through blogging (and Twitter). Friendships that started as tentative comments after months of blog stalking and eventually progressed to emails and phone calls and visits. I've had acquaintances who I knew first in real life - former high school classmates or coworkers - and through snapshots of their life blogged and shared, I've gotten to know a different side of them. And now, having become a momma, I find myself seeking out blogs - sometimes archives of blogs - to reassure myself that my experiences of parenting are normal, that the hard times will get easier, and to look for advice or ideas I hadn't thought of yet.
It's been important to me to keep blogging even though I've got my hands very full these days. I'm almost always behind in blogging these days. Most of the time when I write a blog, I back date it at least a week to the appropriate day the event or thought happened. I'm constantly writing blogs in my head or using the voice memo app on my phone to capture thoughts that I hope I have time to flesh out. The days are full, and most nights when the little one goes down I run around cleaning the kitchen, refilling the bottles and picking up the living room. But my happiest nights are when I curl up on the couch with a glass of wine, the husband next to me watching football or some show on Discovery channel about cars or pawn stores or guns, and I open the screen and write.
I often wonder what will become of my blog one day. Will my kids go back and read it? Will they like being able to have a glimpse of their mom as a person, before they came along? How will they feel about what I've shared about them? Will I regret these words on a computer screen, forever in a Google cache, or I will savor them the way I do when I go throw an old shoebox of nostalgia?
Will I still be writing in another 4 years? Where will I be when I hit 1,000 posts?
I don't know the answers to these questions, but something compels me to come back to this platform day after day and write. I do know one thing: this is a hell of a lot cheaper than buying all those stupid stickers at Michael's.
Morning blog session (and a way to sneak in a photo of Bo.)