November 18, 2008

One Year Ago

Today marks the anniversary of our the start of our family blog. 145 posts later, here we are. During the last year I've been asked several times why I do this. So, I thought this anniversary would be a great time to answer that question - "Why a blog?"

Communication with Family
Other than a few of Jeni's siblings, both Jeni's and my family live in other States. It is very difficult to keep up communications just over the phone because unless you talk every week, it's hard to remember what has taken place and its usually the little things that make life interesting to those that don't live nearby. My sister has an amazing blog and I feel like I know her and her family so much better as a result. In fact, on a recent visit to see her I was able to ask questions and comment about things that had recently happened in their lives, almost as if I'd been there participating.

Communication with Friends
I love reading about my friends' experiences in their blogs. They help give me greater insights, comforts and have helped me to realize that while every family has their own set of unique challenges, every family deals with them in different ways. I have learned so much! It's a wonderful peek into the lives of those I care about.

Record of our Doings - Now
Countless times over the last year Jeni and I have asked ourselves questions like "When did this happen?" or "Didn't we do this?" I feel like my memory is so much worse than it used to be. Having the blog history, I can do a quick search through our events and find what I'm looking for. I've also found that things we are blogging about are things that we would normally never record anywhere and thus forget. I've also found it helpful to put my favorite quotes on the blog for quick searching capability. And even recently, Maddy's friends have been going onto the blog to find out about her going-ons, looking at her pictures, listening to her performances, etc.

Record of our Doings - Later
In the Church we've all been counseled to keep journals. One reason is to remember daily how grateful we should be for all we've been blessed with in our lives. Another reason is for our posterity's sake. They can look back on these experiences and it will give them a greater sense of who they are and where they've come from. Having kept a journal every day of my mission, I've tried to keep regular records since coming home and there have been a few years I've done really well, and many year's I've done really poorly. I've found that blogging has kept me in this "daily rememberance" mode much more effectively. On Sundays, I copy my blog entries from the week into my main journal (kept in Microsoft Word) and then add additional thoughts and comments in that journal. It's almost like the blog entries are my "large plates" and the Sunday comments are my "small plates."

Easier than Scrapbooking
Earlier in our marriage when Jeni's health was better she used to scrapbook and was very good at it. It was fun to see the pictures combined with a few words or phrases that told a story. In my opinion, it was that combination of pictures and writing that made scrapbooking so popular. For me personally, blogging accomplishes the same purpose but is much easier and more permanent than scrapbooking. While perhaps not as crafty or creative, blog entries will never rust or fade, the pictures are perfect quality, there's more room to tell the story, plus you can even add video!
So there you have it - my rationale for having a blog. For those of you that have allowed us a peek into your lives through your blogs, thank you for being willing to share! And for those of you that read our blog, thanks for putting up with our craziness! Who knows what the next 145 posts will bring?