Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blogiversary: Five years

Pismo Fireworks 4th of July 2009 - Pismo Beach, CAphoto © 2009 Anita Ritenour | more info (via: Wylio)
So it is finally upon me -- five years of blogging here!

These kinds of things make me all nostalgic to go back and read some old posts. And I'm going to inflict at least a few of them on you. This is the equivalent of looking at your old, dorky pictures from back in the day. Except instead of outdated clothes and giant perms, the horror is a bit more subtle. Have fun with that.
  1. My 100th post (June 28, 2006) -- This list was killer-hard to write. I don't know if that meme is still out there, but back in the olden days, the thing to do when you hit your 100th post was to write 100 things about you.
  2. Heroes (March 27, 2009) -- I partly love this post because that clip is one of my all-time favorite Dwight moments, but I also love it because those people are still some of the most amazing people I know. I've written about them a bunch over the years and you can expect to see more about them in the coming years. 
  3. New Pictures (May 29, 2007) -- Okay, not so new anymore, but here's a chance to see the fam a few years ago. A lot changes with kids in three years!
  4. Good Naked v. Bad Naked (April 10, 2006) -- Here's a post I'd like to go back and revisit sometime in the future. I'm not sure I'd approach it exactly the same way now, but the basic idea still resonates with me.
  5. The Gap (August 24, 2008) -- Remembering the first time I played with the team at CRC and how it's easier to do things as part of a group that doing it alone.
  6. Full Featured Friend (May 26, 2010) -- Still one of my favorite more recent posts. Love the phrase, love the imagery. 
  7. In the Beginning... (November 10, 2005) -- The one that started it all. And it was about relationships. Which has been a very common theme through this whole blog.
Back when I started blogging, Facebook was in its infancy. Twitter didn't even exist. Blogger as we know it wasn't even in its beta form yet. This blog was mostly going to be a place for me to post updates about our life here in WV for family that didn't live nearby. Maybe a place to post a thought or two about faith or lessons learned as a wife and mom. But honestly, that was going to be it. I didn't have thoughts about anyone other than my mom and maybe one or two others from church or a message board stopping by. I genuinely didn't think that it would last very long (the astute person will note that the registry date for my blog is February 2005 -- I posted once when the site went live and then not again until November. I deleted that original post.).

So after five years, what have I learned?
  • Brevity really IS the soul of wit. I'm not great at applying this to real life, but truly, most stories can be pared down to fewer than a thousand words. I learned that lesson back in high school and it holds true today.
  • Humor in print is really, really hard to do. There's not much I can add to that. People who consistently pull of funny in print have my undying admiration, because it is tough
  • People resonate with honesty. The more honest a post, the more people seem to be compelled to respond with their own stories. I suppose it might be that people just want to rubber-neck, but I don't think so. I think people just want permission to be who they are and the best way we can give that permission is to be ourselves first.
  • My readers are brave. This one is new to me (and goes along with the previous point), but wow. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to the Not Alone series. Truly, this alone has made continuing this blog worthwhile. I cannot thank the contributors to that enough. 
  • Everyone has a story. I don't think that I ever thought that I had a story, but reading through the accumulated writing of my 30's, there's definitely a story. It might not be terribly exciting or dramatic or make a good book or movie, but there's a story. It's good to share our story and it's good to seek out the stories of others.
Thank you for joining me on the journey. It's been fun so far -- I hope that continues to be the case!

Please take this time to gush about how awesome I am for blogging for SO LONG. Stories about how this blog has changed your life appreciated, but not necessary. (Your day was Saturday. This is about ME, people.)

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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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