Growing Together (and seven impossible things before breakfast)

Was it really September since I’ve been here last?

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

My first impossible thing of the day is that I’m here in this space writing words.

My second impossible thing of the day is that I’m over at Raising Humans with a guest post this morning for her “Growing Together” series. Can I gush about Tricia for a moment? Something I didn’t realize when I first started blogging is that I would make connections. Genuine, authentic connections with other mothers and writers. The kind of connections that blossom into friendship, and you wish you could call them up to meet for a cup of coffee but you live in different parts of the country (or world) so instead you find yourself thinking of them sometimes within the folds of your days. You remember their words because they’re just like reflections of your life, your struggles and joys in parenting, your growth as a mother, a woman, a human. Tricia is one of these bloggers for me, and if you don’t already follow her I suggest you remedy that a.s.a.p.

I’m looking forward to sharing this story today. Now, off to believe five more impossible things this morning.

8 blogs that rock (and why)

Blogs that Rock

*This post was originally published in March of 2013. The original post gets quite a bit of traffic so I decided to update it now, in February, 2015, to reflect some of the blogs that I currently read regularly.

This post is in response to a homework assignment for Holly Becker’s e-course titled Blog Boss. The objective is to feature 8 blogs that rock, two of which need to be fellow classmates’ blogs. I follow so many blogs (and rarely keep up with them on a daily basis), so this task seemed monumental at first. While there are plenty of blogs I check in on from time to time for their eye candy or crafty inspiration or practical purposes (for example, the more technical aspects of photography and writing), I decided, finally, to focus on the ones that speak to me. The ones that pull me in through writing or photography (or both), usually both reflective of kids and family and lifestyle and having it all and balancing it all and what does it all mean…you get the idea. These are the ones that tug at the heartstrings, magnify the little moments, find joy in the mundane and have something to say.

It was still really difficult and time-consuming to narrow the list down to just 8, but I made myself do it so that I could hone in on why these blogs speak to me and hopefully learn a little about myself as a blogger along the way. So, without further ado, I give you my top 8. Enjoy!

1. Girls Gone Child.

GGC was the very first blog I ever started following. I stumbled upon it shortly after Mia was born and I was instantly hooked. Her writing, her photos, her ability to capture the small moments in motherhood that add up to the savory memories of childhood are just beyond. She has a gift, this one. She also lays it all out there for her readers, she engages with them and truly wants to connect with them. Nothing is off limits, which keeps things fresh and interesting. Oh, and she has twins who are just a few months younger than mine, so obviously I stalk her I’ve developed an even greater connection to her.

2. Enjoying the Small Things

I came across this blog not too long ago, and the very first post I read was this one. Read it. Try not to cry. Then delve into this blog and find the joy she captures through words and pictures. This blog is full of so much…grace. I can’t help but be inspired.

3. A Design So Vast

What I love about Lindsey is that she’s completely honed in on that enigmatic thing called voice. If ever her name wasn’t attached to a piece of writing, I’m certain I could identify it as hers nonetheless. She also has the ability to tap into reservoirs of hearts and minds of mothers and women that make one think, “Yes, I hadn’t realized that I was feeling this way…or I could relate to this…or this was on my mind…or I needed to read this today.” She and her writing are such gifts, and I’m so grateful I found her in this wide and surprising ether.

4. Petunia Face

Again, the writing. The writing gets me every time. Susannah has a daughter who’s a year older than Mia and I’ve been reading her blog almost as long as I’ve been reading Girl’s Gone Child. She has the ability to connect through writing in a way that few do — a way that makes you think, “Yes, that. Exactly that.”

*Since I originally posted this, Susannah lost her mother to cancer, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and just recently traveled to Tel Aviv to undergo an aggressive treatment consisting of removing all stem cells and then replacing them and then suffering through chemo to hopefully eradicate said MS. Hop on over and you can read her day-by-day experience with this. In my opinion, I’m not sure anyone could have handled this with as much grace and humor as she. Not long ago, someone stumbled upon this post and remarked that they find Susannah to be narcissistic and then posted the definition of a narcissist. That’s it. Once sentence and a definition. I’m not sure if the included definition was intended for me or Susannah but I would like to thank that person because I’m sure we’re both much clearer now on the meaning of narcissism. And I’m going to add: We are all, just by being human, a little bit narcissistic, don’t you think?

5. Commonplace

Dina is whip smart and a truly gifted writer. She’s someone whose words I look forward to reading whenever her name pops up because I know no matter what topic of motherhood she’s exploring, I will always nod my head along with her words. She’s also just signed on as the blog editor for Literary Mama, and I’m really looking forward to seeing her influence and contributions there.

6. A Cup of Jo

Because everyone’s doing it. No, really, I love this lifestyle blog. Because Joanna was once an editor, her blog is very editorial, which always makes for a fun read, but it’s personal and conversational as well. Since becoming a mom, she also covers some parenting issues and insights. I loved her series that profiled moms who are trying to find the work/life balance. This series featured work-at-home moms (and included some of my other fave blogs that I’m not listing here because ahh! only 8) and this one features moms who work mostly outside the home.

7. Bluebirdsunshine

I found this blog through the Blog Boss course. She’s and Aussie-turned-Brit, and I love her photos of her little ones and her posts that are like little vignettes of daily life as a mom. Just someone I naturally relate to and a space that makes me want to revisit time and again.

8. Raising Humans

Tricia is one of the warmest people/mothers/writers I’ve had the privilege of getting to “know” in this vast WWW. Her posts are full of grace and familiarity, and as effective as sitting down over a cup of coffee with a great friend, even if the topic is something as controversial as vaccines. (I’m scratching my head over that last sentence. Vaccines a controversy? Sadly, it has come to that.) Anyway, her writing is beautiful and always leaves me with something to ponder as I go about my day.

BONUS: Ivy League Insecurities

This list felt incomplete without adding Aidan’s blog. She’s an effortless writer, totally fun, and always gets her readers thinking by posing great questions on life, self-discovery, and just existing (and growing) as humans/mothers/friends/writers/women/creatives. In a word, she is inspiring.