Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cheers to you!

Loyal readers, please accept my apologies for not blogging for so many days (though LAP picked up some of my slack. Thank you, LAP). The truth is that I was so busy enjoying the holidays with family that I didn't have enough time and energy to write. The hubby, bubby, and I were on an eight-day tour of Midwestern love. We started in Chicago; traveled to Terre Haute, IN (home of the Honey Creek Mall and federal death row); drove from Terre Haute to Salem, IL (birthplace of William Jennings Bryan); headed back to Terre Haute; then traveled to Fairfield, OH (City of Opportunity, NTB); and finally made our way back to the Windy City just in time to sit in a little bit of Bears traffic on Lake Shore Drive. Holiday road trips can be tough (at least if you are forced to travel with an "inefficient packer" like me, just ask my husband about all the fun he had loading the car and then driving it with zero visibility), but I would not have traded a moment with the family and friends with whom we celebrated the holidays. What's more, it was an absolute joy to see the bubby enjoying his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The bub still has no idea why he received presents, but he mightily enjoyed opening them. The coming weeks are sure to bring reports of the fun he is having with some of his loot.

Since this is a season of gift-giving and blessing counting, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who take the time to check and read this blog. I started it on a whim (credit for its name goes to my youngest brother, The Intern) and it has proven to be a richly satisfying and rewarding endeavor. Though a lifelong lover of words, I have always thought of myself as a reader more than a writer, probably because reading has almost always been pure pleasure for me whereas I often find writing frustrating and time intensive. As most of you know, I have been in graduate school since 2001 and have written hundreds and hundreds of pages of the mostly frustrating and time intensive variety since then.* Starting the blog has been an opportunity for me to have fun with writing and my voice. Blogging has also changed my outlook on daily life, especially the challenges of motherhood. Though always a glass-half-full-type person, I now find myself, more than ever, looking for the humor and the joy in the world and people around me. With the name, "Not to Brag," I had planned to use the blog to report on accomplishments that might be worth bragging (or not) about. I never imagined I would be shouting my love for Lean Cuisine pizzas from the rooftop, reporting on the bub's bowel movements, or finding a forum to vent my long-held frustration with male attitudes toward fashion. That's the best thing about life though: those moments when our lives exceed our own imagined versions of them. Hands down, the best thing about starting a blog has been the feedback I have received from those who read it. To all of you who leave comments, send me emails, or pass on your compliments via my mom, I thank you. I feel closer and more connected to friends and family than ever, NTB.

I am thrilled to report that two of my dear friends (both of whom are far better writers than I) have started blogs--check out the links to Beyond Pickles and It's A Small World After All to your left. I love seeing life through their eyes and am delighted whenever new posts are on offer. Maybe starting a blog is something you might be thinking about for 2008 . . . I would love to read it. I'm planning a New Year's Resolution post for Tuesday. Until then, thanks again to all of you for reading. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and I wish for you, in 2008 and always, more health, happiness, fun, humor, and joy than you even imagined . . . and plenty to (not) brag about!

*Academic writing does have its satisfactions and shining moments, I will admit, but they are hard won.


LAP said...

Great to have you back. Even though I was part of the midwestern holiday tour, I have missed you on NTB. Looking foward to what you have to say in '08.

LAP said...

Sorry, me again. Forgot to tell you that I really enjoyed the following line:

"That's the best thing about life though: those moments when our lives exceed our own imagined versions of them."

E... said...

I missed you too. Thank you for your help at getting me back to writing, something I didn't realize I needed as much as I do until I was doing it again, and for your constant inspiration.

M said...

It's great to have you back. I look forward to each read.

SMF said...

Every one of your posts is like a present to your readers, but I think this one might be the best of all. Looking forward to the 2008 updates!

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