Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dinner Conversation

Tonight I had some car trouble that left our family out and about during dinnertime, so we stopped by Pei Wei, a Chinese restaurant, to eat in the middle of trying to fix the van.  These are some (much needed) funny things that were said during dinner:

Cooper was asking for "poking things" like the big kids were eating with, and Jack said, "He is talking about the pork chops."

Later Jack said, "You would think that this place would be gross since it is called "Pee Wee", but it really has great food!"

I thought so too!

What To Do?

In a week, Corey and I are going to New Orleans.  He is going to a conference, and I am tagging along to enjoy his hotel room and a break from real life.  I am really excited about getting away for the weekend with my guy.  It has been a while and it is very much needed!  

Holing up in a hotel room with a good book, a tub for a hot bath, and a bed for long nap is a little slice of heaven to me, but just in case I get bored... What do you recommend I do while he is at meetings and I am not.  (either in the hotel or in the French Quarter).  Any great book recommendations?  Also, for those of you that know New Orleans... What things are a "must see" for Corey & I to do together?  Restaurants?  Sights?  We won't have a lot of time, but we want to see all that we can while we are there.  I will look things up online, but I wanted some first-hand-insight if anyone has any.

Kinda Interesting

I came across this website where you put in your birthday and it corresponds that date with a certain verse in the Bible.   Here is what it had for me and Corey.  I thought that it was interesting.  For what it's worth...

My Birthday, December5
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.
Isaiah 12:5 NIV

Corey's Birthday, March 11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

Our Anniversary, June 13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13NIV

"BIRTHVERSE consists of 366 verses chosen from the 66 books of the Bible. Each verse correlates the chapter and verse with its month and day."

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Last night was another Padres game. Jack was playing my favorite position - Catcher. I love it for no other reason than the fact that he looks so dadgum cute in the catcher's gear. I was so glad that I had happened to bring my camera.


~Catching Jack~


~Left Field~
(I love the gum in his mouth on this one.  
I kept waiting for him to blow a bubble, but he never did.)
We were surprised when Cousin Claire and her mom & dad showed up on their bikes.  The field that Jack was playing at is pretty close to their house.  How cool to have family that can just drop in!

I Love (with a capital "L") the look on Cooper's face as he was running to me in these pictures!

When he is concentrating, Coop uses his tongue these days.  :)
Last night he was concentrating on learning to climb the dug-out.  
(It is a right-of-passage for all little brothers at a baseball game.)
~The Huddle~
Claire plopped herself into Jack's lap and was one of the guys for the huddle.

Fun at Poppie & Gibbie's House

After Skyler's birthday party on Saturday, we all went out to my mom and dad's house for hamburgers.  After dinner, we were able to enjoy the beautiful yard that they have created.  There was a serious game of Duck Duck Goose and lots of Football played.




~Playing Duck Duck Goose~

Asher was a bit intimidated by the big game of Duck Duck Goose, so he just played by himself.  He would walk around saying, "duck duck" while he pointed to his own head.
Skyler & Cooper wanted to keep playing once everyone else was done.  They would tap each others heads until they would start running and squealing and then they would tumble to a heap on the ground laughing.

~Football Time~


~Claire watching the football players~
~Corey found the best spot!~
(He has a reputation for falling asleep after birthday parties.)

Thanks for the wonderful, peaceful evening Mom & Dad!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Princess Skyler's Birthday Party

Last Saturday we went to Waco to celebrate my niece Skyler's 3rd birthday. 
It was a "Princess Jumping Party", and it was tons of fun!


~Adrielle, Skyler, & Coby~
(baby Chloe should be here in the next few weeks)
~Poppie & Princess Allie~
~Jack going down the big slide~
~Climbing Cooper~
~Cute Claire~
~Asher & Emmie in the inflatable train~
~Me & The Birthday Girl~
~Skyler with Poppie & Gibbie~
~Allie with her Sassy~

My Boy & His Dog

This is how Corey found Jack & Milly this morning when he woke up.
(Jack really does have a bed, but often we find him asleep on the floor in the mornings.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

One For Now...

I couldn't resist. There were so many good pictures from this weekend, but this is one of my favorite ones...

~ Jack & Asher ~

More photos to come tomorrow...

190

...that is how many photos I took in the little-over-24-hrs. that we were in Waco for my niece Skyler's birthday party and her baby sister Chloe's baby shower. 190! I actually took many more than that which I have already deleted. I am sure that I will post a slew of them tomorrow. For now, I am tired and off to bed...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ecclesiastes 3

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

("The Mystery Flower" - 2 days later)

Remembering Zachary

This is is something that I wrote a while ago to remember a little one that will not be spending today, his first birthday, on Earth where it seems that he should. At the time that I wrote it, I was not sure why I was so inclined. I just needed to. Maybe it was for me. Maybe it was for his mommy, my friend. Maybe it was simply to honor his memory. He was here. His life means something. It was significant, no matter how short. It impacted me. It impacted many. With my friend's permission, today - one year later - I post my memory of the day that he was born and what led up to that day. Happy birthday, Zachary. My heart is with you, Amanda.


Facing My Fears and Finding a Forever Friend


 ((This is a story that is very much not about me… but it is about my perspective during another family’s story and the way that their story has impacted my life.))


It has been a year.  A year since I began a walk with a friend through perhaps the darkest valley of the shadow of death that I have ever experienced.  Though I would never wish it on her for the sake of what I have gained from it, my life has been forever changed because of it.  For that, I am eternally grateful. 


After my miscarriages, I felt an incredible connection most anytime that I heard of another that was enduring the same.  Sometimes I had the strength to respond.  Sadly, sometimes, I did not.  Always though, my heart was broken for my friend or acquaintance that I was hearing the terrible news about.  When I was miscarrying and recovering and grieving I felt so alone and lost.  I didn’t know what was coming next.  I was constantly in a state of surprise at the way that reality would crash into me.  For others that I would hear about that were enduring a loss after me, I wanted to be there for them to give them a “heads up” and to stand beside them to do what I could to hold them up when their lives seemed to be crumbling around them.  I didn’t want them to feel the same sense of loneliness and uncertainty that I had felt.  So, while I did not have anything to offer in the way of making their baby come back to life, I had experience, compassion, and a bit of understanding.  I had felt many of the same feelings, had the same sort of irrational, scary dreams, and suffered as I tried over and over to walk back into my life the way that I had known it only to find out that it was never going to be the life that I once had.  I wanted to bear all of those burdens with the ones that were now bearing them for the first – or not the first – time.


One day in October of 2006 I heard that a girl in our small group at church had lost her baby.  My heart broke for her, and although I wanted to reach out to her I was nervous to pick up the phone and call her.  She and I had had conversations before, but I am a shy person and a person that had just gone through a few turbulent years, so making new friends was not my strong point.  I was not sure if she would want to talk to me – a near stranger.  But I did it… I called, and we talked for a while on the phone.  I remember when we hung up that I told her that I would be calling her and keeping in touch and meaning it in an unusually serious way.  I was so sad when we got off of the phone…   The next several months are a blur, but I remember that we talked a few times after that.  I remember hearing that she was again pregnant.  I remember getting an e-mail that the baby was a girl… then another that said, “Oops!  It is really a boy.”  I remember that I saw her at a friends’ house that spring and she looked beautiful with her little baby-bump.  She was glowing.  We talked about how her older two kids would both be in school the next year and how special that it would be to spend one-on-one time with the baby that she had worked so hard to have.


In January I heard about a lady at our church that was in the hospital waiting to deliver her stillborn baby.  Karen.  I was heartbroken for her.  A little later that day, I had this thought that I should call and see if they needed anyone to take pictures of their baby boy after he was born.  I instantly was consumed with fear and did not call.  I rationalized it by thinking, “I don’t even know them.  I need to give them their privacy.”  I don’t know if I would have been asked to come or not had I made the call, but the thought of going into a hospital room in the midst of intense grief and a baby that was no longer alive terrified me.  And if they had wanted me to come, what would I do with the pictures once I took them?  Did I want them on my family’s computer at home?  Could I stand to edit them?  Where do you even print things like that?  I was scared of all of it.


After that time, I was a bit consumed with the idea that God might be calling me to minister to families that were in the midst of losing a baby by taking pictures for them.  I was terrified and felt some sort of anticipation all at the same time.  I spent a lot of time looking at websites of photographers that offer the service of photographing terminally ill babies and babies that have already passed away.  Each time that I looked at these websites, I was surprised at myself that I was not scared by the pictures and was only thankful for the blessing that the family had something tangible to hold on to once their baby was gone.


The next time that I think that I heard anything from my pregnant friend, was a warm April afternoon in 2007.  It was a Wednesday.  I was at the neighborhood sandbox with my baby.  The phone rang, and it was a friend calling to say that our friend was in the hospital.  Her baby was trying to come, and they were trying to stop it.  It was way too early.  I remember yelling, “Oh no!  Not Amanda!”  She had already been through so much.  She was so close to being at a point that the baby could survive.  I started praying and felt sure that her baby boy would be okay.  She had been on prolonged bedrest before to save a pregnancy.  It worked then.  Surely it would work again.  A few hours later another friend called with an update.  I actually remember answering the phone anxiously and almost happily… sure that I was getting the “it’s all okay now” report.  Quickly, my emotions changed.  It was my friend, Amy, calling to say that Amanda wanted to know the name of the funeral home that we had used for our baby… her baby was gone.  She was now waiting in the hospital to deliver him.  I cried.  And cried.  Then I felt an overwhelming need to be with her.  Amy and I arranged to leave for the hospital in the next few hours.  I called the lady, Karen, that had delivered the stillborn baby in January asked her what to do.  We had become friends since her baby was born.  She told me to tell Amanda to take as many pictures as she could – it would be almost all that she would have to remember her baby by.  She also told me about how having a blanket that she could wrap her little one in when he was born and then take home with her had been such a blessing.  As I was on my way out the door I thought, “I wonder if I should grab my camera.”  I had no intention of going to the hospital to play the role of the photographer.  I simply wanted to be there for my friend.  Something inside of me told me to get the camera.  I think I almost said, “no” out loud… then I grabbed it and ran out the door.  Amy and I met and went to the store to look at the blankets on the baby aisle.  I remember the odd feeling that I would have as I would pick one up and say, “Awww, this is a cute one.”  Then the reality of the situation would crash down on me.  The reason that we were actually buying the blanket.  We bought a blanket – the smallest one that we could find - and drove to the hospital.  We talked about everything under the sun… How we didn’t know what to expect, how we were heartbroken for our friend… and every menial thing that we could think of to distract ourselves from reality.  As we walked into the hospital my heart was pounding.  What was there to say or do that could possibly be helpful?  Nothing.  But I had to be there.  If she’d let me stay. I had to remain by her side.


When we walked into Amanda’s room, I was surprised to see the calmness with which her husband, James, and she sat there.  Later, I would realize that it was a state of shock combined with God’s grace that they were experiencing, and I would learn to feel it that night as well.  We sat and talked to pass the time as she waited for the time to come for her precious baby to be born.  Amy and I told her that we would stay as long as she wanted us to or could leave at any time.  She seemed to want us to stay.  We learned that a name had been chosen for the baby.  Zachary James.  Zachary.  “Remembered By God.”  How heartbreakingly fitting was the meaning of his name.  As we sat and waited for time to pass, the nurses would come and go from the room and tried to prepare Amanda for what would happen when Zachary was born… as if that was possible.  American Idol was on the TV in the background, and I remember thinking how odd and almost infuriating it was that life goes on in spite of situations that seem earth-stopping … the same way I had felt when I would observe people continuing their life of normalcy after my losses.  At one point, Amanda coughed then asked me to go get the nurse.  Later, I would find out that at that moment Zachary began being born. 


Moments later, Amy, Amanda’s mom, another friend, and I went to the waiting room of the hospital to await the birth of Zachary.  It was not unlike many other hospital waiting room experiences that I had had… watching families look at their new ones through the nursery window, seeing moms walk down the hall in their robes to go see their newborns in the nursery, nervously chatting with those that are waiting, praying for the mom in labor… but it was vastly different at the same time.  There was a sickness in my stomach that I had never known.  A feeling of sadness in my heart that was deep and unfamiliar.  After a while, I walked down the hall to see if the nurses could tell us anything.  They told me that Zachary was born… that is all that they could tell me.  I observed them for a moment as they chose a small blanket and gown for him from a collection of handmade things that some ladies at a church had made.  The blanket made the one that Amy & I had brought seem the size of a king size comforter and the gown was the tiniest piece of baby clothing that I had ever seen.  I walked away from the nurses’ station with tears flowing down my cheeks.  I passed a nurse coming out of Amanda’s room whose face matched mine.  Later, I found out that this was her first case like this.


A little while later, the four of us that had been in the waiting room wandered down the hall towards Amanda’s room.  Amy and I whispered that we had never been in a situation like the one that we were about to be in, and my stomach churned.  I had peace and composure that I did not understand, but the uncertainty of what laid before me was sickening.  Would Amanda and James be uncontrollably emotional?  Would I become that way?  What would the baby look like? 


I entered the room to find a mama sitting in her hospital bed lovingly staring at her newborn baby.  She seemed in awe him – not unlike other mothers that I had witnessed after a baby has been born.  She was calm and the tears gently flowed.  The baby was perfect.  Tiny and beautifully perfect.  She showed him to us with a combination of pride and sorrow that was interesting to me.  We were told that he had not, in fact, been born still but had had a tiny heartbeat for a little while.  Soon after we were in the room, someone handed me Amanda’s camera and asked me to take pictures of the baby.  It was a moment that came to be that I somehow knew was about to happen.  The camera would not work very well, so I offered to go to my car and get my camera.  This moment too happened as if it was a part of a script that I had already read. I walked to the car shaking slightly, still feeling that unexplainable peace, and knowing that this was what I was supposed to be doing.  It was right.  Not scary in any way… as I once had imagined that it would be.  I came back into the room and proceeded to take the most emotion-filled pictures that I think I have ever taken.  The sense of calmness remained as we positioned the baby different ways, as his parents and grandmother took turns holding him, as the nurse dressed him. Every once in a while I would be overcome with emotion and I would go behind the column in the room and breathe deeply and shed a tear.  But for the most part, I did not cry.  I was determined not to.  At that point, time became a blur.  I think that we were probably in that room for a couple of hours before all of the pictures had been taken and the time seemed right for us to leave. 


I stayed up almost that whole night processing what I had just lived.  Thinking about my friend.  Imagining what she might be feeling. In awe of what I had just seen and done.  Mostly, I was in disbelief of how God was working all things together for good in spite of the horrificness of the situation.  If I had never lost a baby, I do not think that my heart would have been sensitive to the idea that I could be a part of documenting the death of a baby.  If I had not known Amanda, I might never have had the nerve to call a family and offer my camera and myself.  Because I have now done what I was terrified to do and because I can get my friend’s input on the experience from her perspective, I feel like I could do it again.  I would hate to get that call, but now I am willing to get it and act upon it.


The next days and weeks I witnessed faith and God’s grace in an almost tangible way through the lives of James and Amanda.  While there were obvious times of deep sorrow and grief, there was a constant state of peace that passed all understanding.  I had the privilege to learn from them and grieve with them and try to comfort them.  I do not take that lightly.


Since that night in April, my friend Amanda has become one of the dearest friends that I have ever had.  This experience has pulled us from our different places in life and bonded us together.  Walking this walk beside her has given me perspective into my own life and losses that I am certain I would not have without it.  For that, if for nothing else, I am thankful.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

An Evening At The Byron Nelson

Today Corey & I took Allie and Jack to the Byron Nelson golf tournament after school.  I had never been, and I loved it.  It was beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing.  It was not crowded at all like it will be over the weekend... and I was glad about that!  We were not allowed to bring a camera (which absolutely drove me crazy!!!), but this is a picture of the 18th hole that I found online.  (It was actually 100 times more beautiful than this photograph shows!)  This and the 17th hole are where we spent most of our time.

Cooper Words

Answering me as I call for him and find him in Corey's desk chair... "I'm Pooker Daddy."  ('Pooker' is one of Cooper's many nicknames.  Switch the C & P, see?)  "Oh, Pooker Daddy... What are you doing?", I asked.  "I am just working on my "pomputers" that I made."  (Exactly what Corey does!) 

Talking about yesterday... "Lasterday"

When I turned the car radio on this morning... "Mom, I want to hear Dr. Laura."  (Who knew that he knew there was such a thing?!?)

Thinking about his love of mouths and the fact that I have a fever blister right now... "Mommy, can we touch other people's 'mouffses' or just our own 'mouff'?

Asking Allie... "Do you have a boo boo on any of your lips?"

Talking about his toys... "My Star Wars Guys are hungry. They need Fruit Snacks."  (which happen to be Cooper's favorite) I said, "We are out of Fruit Snacks. Would they like some Goldfish crackers?" He thinks for a minute... "No. They will choke on Goldfish." (Maybe Cooper doesn't want any Goldfish, you think?) Then he says... "I think that my Star Wars Guys want popcorn." Once the popcorn is served I say, "Where do we keep our snacks?" He answers, "In the 'chicken'." (Again, switching some letters.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Backyard Photos

~ Allie discovered that we have roses today. ~

~ Corey's Garden ~
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, & Peppers
~ First Fruits ~
Well, actually Cooper picked our very first tomato last weekend, but these are the first that we will get to eat. (Hopefully) 
~ Mystery Flower ~
This one is about to bloom.  I have no idea what it is... but red is good.  The thing about moving in to a new house is that I have no idea what plants are here.  There are new surprises almost daily right now.  All those things that I thought were weeds last week are blooming this week.  That is kind of fun. 
~ Creative Jack ~
Jack wanted to get into the picture taking too.  He found the perfect place for his Lego masterpiece and took several pictures of it to get just the right one.

Allie's Photo of the Day

~ Inside Iris ~
She's got a creative eye, I tell you.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Guys

I just have to brag for a minute...

Tonight Jack had a baseball game at 6pm. Corey had been working in the city - about an hour from home - all day long, but the man just almost won't miss anything that his kids do, so he loaded up in rush-hour traffic and headed to the ballpark to watch his little boy play. He made it just in time to see a bit of the last of the game - just in time for Jack to know that his daddy loves him enough to make it to his game, no matter what. When I saw Corey at the game he told me that he had found out that he got the big client that he has been working on for a while. I was so proud of him. He has worked hard at pursuing them, all the while, knowing that God is in control, and if He doesn't want Corey to have that particular client - or any certain client - he doesn't want them either. No matter the loss in income. He's got faith that amazes me! Anyway, we were very excited about the new deal and went to dinner to celebrate. While there, Corey told us that he had not finished what he had to do at the job that he had been at today, so he had to go back - an hour away - and finish tonight. He wouldn't even be able to get started until after 10pm. I have said it before, and I will say it again... and again... The man is the hardest worker I have ever seen. Well, he is rubbing off on his son. When Corey came home to change clothes before he left for work again, Jack changed clothes too and gathered a pillow, a blanket, and his Gameboy and went "to work" with his daddy. Some might think that that is crazy - to drive hours out of the way in the middle of work for your kid's game or to let an 8-year-old go "to work" in the middle of the night - but I think that it is amazing. What an example of priorities is my little Jack getting from his daddy tonight?!? You put family first, you work hard, you do what it takes to spend time together... I am truly blessed to have the man that I have.

Tonight With Cooper

Cooper still takes a nap most every day... or at least he spends a couple of hours in his bed each afternoon where he is supposedto be taking a nap.  Today, however, naptime was not in the cards for him.  By the time I had to keep him up to go get the big kids from school, rush home to get Jack changed into his baseball uniform, run to WalMart to get snacks for the baseball team, and make it to the baseball game in time for Jack to warm up... there was no time for a nap for little Cooper.  Normally, that would mean that we come straight home from the game, quickly feed him a peanut butter sandwich (or something equally as fast) and put him to bed before the "I didn't have a nap today" behavior emerges.  Tonight though, we left the game and headed to a restaurant for a "Daddy got a new client" dinner celebration!  (WAY TO GO COREY!!!)  It was risky, but he made it through the meal with the only melt-down occurring when the waiter took his plate at the end of dinner.  (Man, you don't mess with Cooper's food!)  We got home, and I was all gung-ho and ready to tuck him in for the night until he said in the cutest voice ever... "Are you guys watching American Idol?  Can I watch it with you?"... as he climbed up into the pile o' people on the couch.  Still, I would have put him in his bed at a commercial if he hadn't been so dadgum adorable... There is nothing cuter than a 2-year-old saying, "I like Randy Jackson."  And the fact that he knows and can say "Syesha"and "David Archuleta" is just hilarious to us... SO... He stayed up - like the 10-year-old that he thinks he is - and watched American Idol... until he fell asleep in my arms.  That is a rare occurrence, and I love it when it happens!  And since he was sleeping where we could see him (as opposed to in his crib), we were finally able to get a picture of his "new thing".  Sucking his thumb!  The poor baby hurt one of the fingers that he typically sucks a week ago, and ever since he has whole-heartedly sucked his thumb.  I didn't even know that kids would start that at almost 3 years old!  But he did... Here's what the cutie looks like when he is doing it...


Irresistible

The Thing About Bloggin'

So, I have been mulling over this blogging thing for a few weeks.  I love it.  But why do I love it?  Is is weird that I love it?  Do I need to justify it (for you?  for myself?)?

When I first started a blog - 2 years ago - it was just a "here are my pictures" kind of blog.  I didn't keep up with it for long.  It didn't do much for me.  I abandoned it.  Over the next year, I started reading a few people's blogs.  They were more of the "this is what I am thinking, learning, contemplating" kind of blogs.  Now that, I could get into that.  I liked reading people that I had things in common with or that I found interesting.  But still, I was not ready to blog myself... my feeling, my thoughts, my hopes, my fears, my hurts, my joys.  Until one day.  Once I tried it, I was hooked.

So after thinking about this for a few weeks, here are my thoughts on why I blog:

1. I want to document things for my kids to look back on. I want them to see the pictures of the things that our family did together and know my thoughts about those things.  I want them to know how I feel about them.  I want them to have it down on paper (or a computer screen) that I am madly in love with them.  I love being their mommy.  I love their daddy.  I also want them to be able to look back at my entries someday and see what their crazy-old-mom was thinking when she did this-or-that.  I want them to be able to see that I am just a human- a broken-human - trying to live this life to the best of my ability.  I want them to see the struggles that I have in all areas of my life.  I want them to learn from them and know that I can relate to their struggling as they navigate through their lives.

2. It is a good way to keep in touch with people and let them know what is going on in my family's life.  Sadly, I have just about abandon the idea of snail-mail altogether.  Email is still an option for some things, but as far as sharing our family's photos and what we are up to, this is the way to go.  Plus, it gives the reader an option to look at every adorable picture of my darling kids or just skim through every few months and catch the highlights.  (Why you'd do that, I do not know.  :) )

3.  I want to be known.  At first it was scary to put myself "out there".  I didn't want to be judged... but I did want to be known.  Desperately.  I was in the midst of some serious evolution, - finding a "new normal"- and I needed to figure out who I was and quit pretending that I was who I wasn't.  Not that I was intentionally acting like someone that I wasn't... but I was changed and/or changing.  I needed a way to work through that and to present myself to those that chose to get to know me.  The new me.  The different me.  The constantly changing me.  

4. I sometimes need a place to work through my junk. When my mind is jumbled with thoughts, I sometimes sort through how I am feeling by writing it down.  Sometimes my entries are for me, and me only.  (and it is cheaper than therapy)

5. I like getting to know "you" on a deeper level. Around the time that I started blogging regularly, several of my family and friends and acquaintances did too.  I cannot say how great I think it is that you did... and that I get the privilege of getting to know you better because of the parts of yourselves that you allow to be shown through your blogs.  Knowing people - really knowing them - is so important to me.  I don't have any desire to know people on a surface basis.  If we are going to invest into each other's lives,  I say let's get down and dirty.  Lets get to know each others junk.  Hopes, fears, frustrations.  Reality.  I think that that has happened for me with my blogging friends.  I know you guys better and you know me better than we did a year or two ago.  None of that "How are you?/ Just fine." junk goes on between us anymore.  When we pass each other in a public place I have an idea how you are and you kind of know how I am too.  There is a sense of understanding that we now have because of this little window into each others souls that we have each granted each other.  We can be authentic.  What a novel idea.

6. It is the most awesome prayer-chain out there.  Where else can a person awaiting a double lung transplant or parents of a micro-preemie baby or a mother that has just lost her infant daughter get thousands of "bonus prayers"?  Or what about plain-old-me.  I am not going to call each and every one of you and say, my kids are puking, I have not slept in 5 nights, my heart is broken right now, etc. and ask for your prayers.  But if I post it, I know that you are thinking about me and my family and my situation and maybe you are lifting me up in prayer.  Really... prayers flooding heaven for you because you are one of those blogging-people.  I think that that is amazing.

7.  There are just some people that are interesting and funny and creative, and I am intrigued by them. I have always liked to people-watch.  Blog-reading is the ultimate in people-watching.  I can come into someone's craft room, and see the things that they have created.  I can read someone that is totally different from me and learn from them.  I can look at certain blogs when I just need a good laugh or want to be inspired to take a beautiful photograph.  I can read an interesting mommy-blog and see that my life is not so different than hers and get inspired by her ideas. 

8. It gives me something to do at 3am. Yes, I am a bit of an insomniac.  So, if you don't mind... could you post something every once in a while for me to read in the middle of the night?

So there you have it... I am a card carrying member of the bloggy-world.  And probably will be for a long, long time.  Now you know why.

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