Thursday, April 16, 2009

One Year Blogiversary

On April 18th it will be officially one year ago that I started this blog. I've written 53 posts, and since I started tracking the site visitors I have had 1,375 page visits. That's pretty cool. Since I will be getting on a Caribbean Cruise on my actual Blogiversary I thought I would post this today and say "Bon Voyage" until I get back!

I am really enjoying blogging, when I have the time. Sometimes I feel like I could write 1,000 posts and other times I feel like it's a chore. It's funny how in such a short amount of time I have become one of those people that looks at every story, every picture, every good or bad event in my life as blog fodder! I also am fascinated that people I would never had dreamed would be reading my blog are always commenting (either live or on the message board) on my posts. I've been inspired by other people's blogs, and even gotten to know complete strangers who I feel so connected to through their blogs. It's pretty bad when I go to tell my Hubby a story about a post I read on someone's blog and I start by saying "This person I know...well, I don't really KNOW them, but I read their blog...." It makes me sound like I sit in front of my computer all day long and live vicariously through other people's blogs, but I can assure you that is NOT the case.

In addition to our Caribbean Cruise, I am excited to say that we just purchased a used pop-up camper (in addition to the 40ft. travel trailer we bought last Fall to put in our campground). We are looking forward to moving around in the pop-up and experiencing new places. Buying the used pop-up and the new travel trailer was a nice compromise between Hubby and I. Hubby was getting tired of being in the same campground for 18 years and wants to experience other campgrounds and other places around the New England area. But Pal and I were more reluctant to give it up, and since Pal will probably be the one to put a stop to our camping altogether when he's a teenager and get's a "life" (at least that's what most other parents tell us happens when their kids reach the teen years...), we figured we'd compromise and get a used pop-up. The one we found was perfect - we had been looking at a lot of them and this one was spotless and had the perfect layout. We will be much more comfortable than in a tent, that's for sure! Here are pictures of both new campers:

So, I want to say thanks to anyone who has been my blog follower for this past year. It's nice to know there is a place that I can post my innermost thoughts and feelings, and that there are people are out there that care enough to read it. It's been very therapeutic, cathartic, curative, medicinal and salutary for me.

Yes, I've been reading the dictionary again.

Happy Blogiversary, and I'll be sure to post after I done being the Caribbean Queen!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Squirt!

Today is my eldest niece's 23rd birthday! I affectionately refer to her as Squirt, since I was only 15 when she was born and she was the closest thing to a little sister that I would ever get. Her mother is my 2nd oldest sister, C. Squirt is her miracle..Sis C was told at age 19 that she would probably never have children. Sis C had a lot of medical problems since the age of 2 and had had about 18 surgeries before the age of 26. So, when Sis C got married and went on her honeymoon, she came home to discover, in shock, that she was pregnant! We were all so excited.

Then, at only 7 months gestation, my 3 sisters were shopping at a local Mall when Sis C's water broke. Of course, they rushed her right into the hospital. She was then transfered to one of the big Boston hospitals because of the high risk of giving birth so early. I had been at my little cousin's soccer game and came home to find a note from my Mom that everyone (except me!) was at the hospital with Sis C and that she was having the baby. I was so scared, home alone, and pissed off because I wanted to be with everyone. My brother's friend happened to call the house and I answered the phone in tears, so he very kindly offered to drive me in to the hospital. Just as he was pulling up to the house, my other 2 sisters came home to get me. We picked up dinner for everyone and headed back to the hospital to wait for the news. When Sis C's husband came around the corner, he had his hands raised in the air, triumphantly, and said "It's a girl!". We all cheered like a team who just scored the winning run!

Squirt was the light of my life. Everything she did and said was so amazing to all of us - it was almost bordering on sickening!!! I babysat at every given opportunity, and when she was school age she used to come to work with me during school vacations. All of my co-workers loved having her there - she had (and still has) such a sarcastic, funny personality that it was like having your own personal comedian around! I was also lucky enough to have her come to work with me again, this time in a much different way. Because I work at a college and "our" students go home during winter break, we needed other help and so we hired "outside" college students. Squirt fit the bill, so she started working in my office and did so for 3 winter breaks in a row. My other niece, K, also worked in the office during breaks. It was so awesome to be able to hang out with them during my workday, and also watch them interact with my other co-workers and the other students.

Squirt has had her share of health issues through the years, and seeing her go through surgeries and other problems in her life have been difficult to watch, almost physically painful to me. But I feel like she is strong. And I mean strong INSIDE, and that her inner strength will get her through just about anything. After all, she IS her mother's daughter, and Sis C is pretty invincible! Honestly, I cannot wait to see what she does with her life and am excited to be a part of it!

So, Happy 23rd Birthday, Squirt - my little sister, my heart.
I love you all the way up to the moon. And back. Go get 'em!

Love, Aunnie G

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Buncha Addicts

Alright, so I've been really lax about posting here on my blog. And that is mainly due to my obsession with Facebook. But I have to say, I have reconnected with so many people that I would never have caught up with in the real world. I think some people oppose FB because you aren't really communicating with a live person, just their computer. But, remember when email was new? Everyone thought that sending an email versus calling someone on the phone was absurd. Now, I usually get or send an email before I get or make a phone call. And if I don't hear back right away I think to myself, "Well, maybe their computer is down." I don't automatically think they're ignoring my caller ID and choosing not to talk to me. My self esteem remains intact.

But on FB, I can find out lots of information (even some I could have done without!) in one click. If I go to my Friends Live Feed I can see who is in work, who wants it to be Friday, whose child is driving them mad, etc. etc. Last week I put in a status update that said "Why do we punish our children when all we really do is punish ourselves?" and I got a ton of feedback from other parents commiserating. It made me feel better knowing I wasn't the only parent who felt that way. I know who's birthday it is today. I know who is home sick or has sick kids home from school. We support each other with things like school, kids, love, jobs, etc. Some people who have lost their jobs are putting it out there in case someone knows of a job opportunity. It really is a community, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoy it!

I have also "met" some people through FB. For instance, the granddaughter of my co-worker (and friend) has been battling a brain tumor since she was 10 months old. I've been following her health updates through her parents' blog for more than 3 years now, telling other people I know who are inclined to pray and asking them to pray for this family and special little girl. But with FB, I've been putting it on my status updates and TONS of people told me that they would pray for little Erin. Well, when I "friended" Erin's Mom on FB, she saw how many people were praying for Erin through my updates and was so grateful. Unfortunately, Erin lost her battle with the evil brain tumor last Saturday. But when I went through the receiving line at the wake - Erin's Mom hugged me saying "My Facebook friend!!!" We are linked, if only through Facebook, but that made an awkward situation much easier: if I wasn't on her friend list and she hadn't seen my picture and name every time she logged onto FB, then that meeting in the receiving line would have had me saying things like "Hi, I'm G, I work with your husband's Mom". Instead we hugged and knew that we were bonded in our prayers for little Erin.

A funny thing about FB, though, is that those people who refuse to participate feel like it's an evil empire or something. I guess I am just not that paranoid, and if there is anything in my life that I wouldn't want people to know about me, then I wouldn't put it out there. A few months ago, I went to a mini-reunion of some old friends. There were 6 of us, but only 5 of us had FB accounts (which is how we arranged the reunion!). By the end of the night, she was getting frustrated because every sentence or every story about someone started with "Oh, she/he is my friend on Facebook", or "I read about that on Facebook". She should have made a "drinking game" out of the word Facebook, because she said she'd have been falling-down-drunk if that was the case!!

I have connected with so many people from so many different aspects of my life. I even have a link to this blog on there, because someone might care enough to read about what I am up to these days.

Me: "Hello, my name is G, and I am addicted to Facebook."
All: "Hi, G!"

Have a great Thursday!