Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some amazing friends I have never met

This is Mamas Losing It's Writers Workshop
Write about your first blogging friend
This is the story of some of my blog pals. It covers only a few of them, but here goes:

My first blog friend was Jennifer at the The Petersons Go Public.
And here is our story (HA!)
I first found blogs when I did a search for crockpot recipes (for realsies). In my search on google I got this blog as a result. Stephanie completed her mission and posted a crockpot recipe (that she made) every single day in 2008. Anyhow, one day I had a question about an ingredient from an older post/recipe and went to ask in the comment section. I starting reading through the comments and thought Jennifer was funny because she asked if she could skip the sauteing of the chicken before placing it in the crockpot. After all she said, she wanted to Crock, not Cook. I clicked on her profile and started reading.

At this point, I didn't have my own blog and no interest in getting one. AT ALL. I am boring, I don't have kids, and dinner at The Cheesecake Factory followed by a lap around Williams Sonoma while drinking a St@rbucks is exciting for me, which doesn't translate to exciting to the rest of the world. I kept checking Jennifers blog, and a few sites she was linked to. My interest started to peak, but again, I have nothing to offer.

Then one day, Jim suggested I post about my cooking and baking and the things I created at cake decorating class. So it began.

And it kind of sucked (sorry for using that word Grandma)

My aunt commented on the first two posts, I am sure totally out of guilt and family responsibility, but other than that, for a while NO.ONE.CAME. And if they did, I didn't know it. I was ready to throw in the towel. I counted on certain people reading and commenting and it was disappointing to feel like I was really just typing to type.

Then I went back and started reading some of Jennifers older posts. It turns out we share the same heartache of losing our mothers. Losing a parent is, while an unwelcome one, a bond that ties people together. I emailed her suggesting a book that I had read (and reread) about dealing with the pain and ongoing struggles losing a mother presents a woman. She responded right away and I felt a bond with her. She was a friend. Not a blogger buddy or someone whose blog I read, but a friend.

Jennifer, in my opinion has had more heartaches than seems fair, but the thing of it was - she was writing about them, pouring her heart and soul out to a world of people.
I started thinking maybe I could do more than just recipes and spice facts. I had a story too, and maybe someone out there wanted to read about it. The thing is, it's kind of risky out there. People can still judge you, and even more harshly because they don't have to do it "to your face" or even tie a name to who they are when they do. Still, I thought I could do it, I thought I wanted to do it, I just didn't know how.

So, while I was ready to branch out I was never sure where to start with making my blog a personal thing, and Kathy helped with that a ton! When she started writers workshop, it gave me an excuse, and a push to open up and start writing.

One of the first ones I did was tough for me. I was truly terrified to post it and I think I cried writing and reading it more than once. It was the first time I was "laying it all out there" Still, I posted, nervous and scared, and once again Jennifer swooped in and had this to say:

kind of alluded to a comment on this, but it really deserves one of its own. You should really be writing! I love when someone can reach down into themselves and pull something like this out!
I cried because of your mom going. I cried because of your dad trying so hard to fill both roles. Those are so close to home right now---and it feels so good to know that someone else has endured what I have. You are a special lady Carrie! And I wish you only good things!
Thank you for this.

It was an unexpected compliment from someone I had never even met. Someone who didn't have to say it because I expected it. It truly pushed me to keep opening up. Thank you Jennifer!
And btw, my aunt may have a bone to pick with because she says I have made her cry too many times reading the blog recently!

Blogging has been great for me and in the last year I have:
Cried, laughed, been inspired, and found a new way to express myself here
Laughed til I nearly peed and found direction and inspiration to write here
Saw the true meaning of Faith in God here (tissues required)
Cried for a woman who traveled, met, and cared for a baby she was due to adopt before having the birth mother change her mind here
Learned that Jim forgetting to take out the trash (five minutes after I ask him to do it) isn't worth nagging over and that I should remember how lucky I am to have him here (I would seriously grab a tissue before going to that one) and here
Laughed out loud (and recently got great hair advice) here
Admired the strength and bonds of family here
Wondered if I could do the same if I were in her shoes here


Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

Beautiful post... and you totally cracked me up with the

"perfectly acceptable time for the boys to go to bed"

I am still laughing!!!

ManicMandee said...

I was totally wondering about the whole story with how you met Jennifer and am glad to finally know. I had the actual privilege to know Jennifer in person before I knew her blogging self. She is seriously amazing! And thanks for finding me. I'm so glad to be getting to know you now too. Your blog is fantastic!

Jen said...

You hit the nail on the head, blogging is AWESOME!!!!!

blueviolet said...

That is such a nice tribute to your friend. You're lucky you found each other!

Sometimes Sophia said...

It was great to hear you recount your bloggy beginnings. Having a friend to encourage you is a gift. Your tribute to her is lovely and heartfelt.

Enjoyed reading your post... will have to come back for some of those recipes. Thanks. :)

Heather said...

I'm gonna have to bookmark your blog so I can check out the blogs you love. Your post is great. I love the crock pot lady too. :)

Mama Kat said...

Awww, look how sweet you are...and WOW how long has it been since I stopped by?? I LOVE your layout! Shannon did an awesome job!

I am so glad you stuck it out and opened up. You know you're doing something right when you can make people cry!! We love you!

Jennifer P. said...

I feel awful that Mama Kat had to tell me about this post since i have been such a rotton blog reader lately.

Carrie, I am SO glad to know you too. Thank you for the kind words. I'm just a person who uses her writing to get through some tough times, but it has been an amazing thing to be able to inspire a few people along the way. I have been blessed with a lot of great friends in my life, but blogging has taken that number over the top and I couldn't be happier.

Love you too, and LOVE hearing your writing in addition to seeing what you cook. I think your new blog is perfectly 'you' :).

Love you.

Ms. Cupcake said...

Hey Cheesecake Factory and Williams-Sonoma sound good to me! Dropping by from sits. Happy Sunday!

Lace said...

Thanks for your input on my disgusting closet situation! I am going with your suggestion b/c I think I need as much organization as possible! I'm talking storage inside of storage, my friend! Haha. Come back and see me sometime this week so you can see your idea brough to life!

ckrae said...

Well, you got me again.... when you said tissues required....I found a whole box just in case. I love your blog and wish I could write as beautiful as you. You truly have a gift. I am very proud of you and proud to be yfa and friend.