I have been inspired by lot of blogs that I read online, and my style of blog writing has definitely changed since I first started writing. When Jason started our blog, I didn't really know much about blogging. It seemed like a really neat idea to have a place to record all our observations about Seth, so that our family could read about all his milestones. I didn't really consider writing too much about my feelings or my musings about parenthood.
Back in 2008, a friend included my blog on a list of links on the side of her blog, and I realized that lots of other people were blogging, and they were sharing a lot about their lives! I am so grateful to have this record of our children's development available in one place, in addition to all the physical memory keeping I do. Memory keeping is another term I learned from the blogosphere - for me, the important act of keeping baby books, scrapbooks, school records. Memory keeping looks different for everyone - Facebook updates can be memory keeping, so can emails, or notes jotted down on scraps of paper.
When I was pregnant with the girls and during their first year, I didn't have the mental energy to write much on the blog, and I still have hopes of filling in some of the missing milestones on the blog. But I also felt myself being called back to the blog, but in a different way. I felt the desire to be more transparent, to include my feelings along with the observations. There is still a fine line about how much to include online in this day and age, but I feel like it's important not to portray only the good parts, because we all struggle. We all have tough days, and I think it's important to support each other with honesty.
I've learned a lot from these blogs that inspired me: invite people into your house even if it's messy, offer support to a parent having a hard time, provide compliments when you can, and be honest about your struggles. Grant yourself grace as you would grant a friend grace. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.
One tradition I've been inspired by over the years is from a blogger named Ali Edwards, who in addition to having so many wonderful ideas about memory keeping, started the yearly tradition of choosing one little word.
One little word that you aspire to draw from in the new year. I've been an observer of this tradition for a few years, but this year I felt drawn to participate. My one little word for 2016 is continue.
I don't have the need for things to change too much this year. Of course, we are always evolving. But I wish to continue. Continue nurturing my children, my husband, and my family and friends. Continue supporting my children's development, and taking pride in being a stay-at-home mom during this season in my life. Continue developing my identity apart from my identity as a mother. Continue enjoying my life, and working on things that are hard. Continue updating the blog. Continue fostering my relationships and being a good friend. Continue putting one foot in front of the other and embracing the day.
Thank you for being part of my journey; we're so blessed to be continuing with you together into 2016.