Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday thoughts


Thanks for being patient with me lately, and for saying such kind, supportive things in your comments to my posts. We're doing okay. We decided to change the LB's specialist care to a new set of doctors, who are far more proactive than the previous ones, which is fantastic, but that means lots of new tests and appointments while they figure out the best course of treatment. So we're back and forth a lot, in and out of the hospital and doctors' offices. None of it is new, we've done it all before. But the level of interest and concern is a little overwhelming right now.


All of this to say that I feel a little wiped out lately. We're all used to the tests and medicines and so forth, but it doesn't usually feel so stressful. Meeting new doctors always feels like an interview, or even a date. It's all about balance - you want to seem informed and with-it, but not alarmist or needy. You have to advocate for your child without sounding like a know-it-all. You can read every book and website article, but you are not a doctor.

Raising a child with chronic illness has always been a part of our parenting experience. My health was very poor after the LB was born and we had a baby with problems on top of that. One of the hardest parts was the way that people reneged on their offers of help during the pregnancy. The pitying comments were hard too. Far be it from me to advise on this subject; our difficulties pale in comparison to those faced by other people, and I know it's difficult to know what to say. My only advice: don't tell people how relieved you are not to have their problems. Don't say things like "God only gives us what we can handle." Mostly, be nice; everyone has their cross to bear.


I haven't been blogging as often lately, but I've been thinking about it. I still love it, and have lots of ideas for future posts. But I've been wondering lately if my attitude toward it is changing. I worry sometimes that blogging can easily veer off into Facebook-like territory, where we're reading too many blogs and not giving them enough thought. I've even read comments where people say they wish they could just hit a "like" button on each post. I find this heartbreaking. I don't want a quick, casual relationship with blogging. I want a more meaningful one.

I also worry that blogging can easily devolve into competition. Who has more followers, who has more pageviews, who is coming up with the best weekly play-along posts. That isn't the kind of relationship I want to have with blogging, either. It never was. I would rather have ten regular readers who really want to connect with me than I would hundreds of readers who don't. I can't speak for other bloggers, but I'm not counting coup here. Comment if you feel moved to do so, read along silently if you prefer to do that. It's all good and I appreciate you.


I've been encouraged by your response to our podcast. We've only just started but we're enjoying ourselves. I fully recognize that it may not be for everybody, and that's fine. You're under no obligation to listen. Mostly, we're entertaining ourselves. We love to talk, especially to each other, and we think some of what we have to say could be interesting to other people too. It's just the way we are; literally from the hour we met, we've been blathering uncontrollably. I've never known a person I can talk to the way I do with him. He's the most interesting person I've ever met - and I'm not just saying that because I love him romantically and had his babies and all that. Our relationship began in a relatively inauspicious way, with him needing to move to another state precisely one week to the day after we met. Our relationship mostly grew over the phone and via email, and was not necessarily romantic to begin with. It became that way over time and I'm ever so glad. The talking hasn't shown any signs of slowing yet and I'm glad about that too.

As for the podcasts themselves, I'd like to point out that this is not a sponsored endeavor or anything like that. We own all of the recording equipment (microphones, filters, editing software, etc.) and the music we're using is a snippet from a free-to-use composition found online. We record our podcasts in the evening when the children have been put to bed and the house is quiet; we write a little script beforehand and follow it loosely as we chat. He does the editing and uploads it to his own website. My little button on my sidebar links to the page where we'll be hosting them for the time being. You can listen in-browser if you'd rather not download them. We have more coming soon; we're trying to spread them out so people don't get bored. I'll let you know when there's a new one.

I loved your comments about our voices. Mine is pretty high and girlish, and I tend to giggle a lot. I loved that some people commented about how "American" I sound. I grew up mostly in New York but have generally lost my accent at this point. He's from Colorado and I always think he has that perfect "middle American" accent like a newscaster. But one weird thing is that he says "beggle" instead of bagel. As a former New Yorker, I notice these things.


I was straightening up my little corner in our office this week and stopped to look at my bulletin board on the wall over my desk. I've been hanging special things up there for a few years now and some of them come from blogging friends. Some of you might even recognize things you've sent to me (other special things from blogging friends are in my bedroom, the kitchen and the family room). My board is perfectly eclectic, I think.

Did you ever play the game MASH when you were a kid? It was meant to predict your future. We played it in middle school. It was complicated, involving making categories pertaining to the future (marriage, kids, etc.) beneath the title, MASH, which represented the kind of dwelling you'd live in someday (mansion, apartment, shack or house). There was a step that involved drawing a swirly shape until the other player told you to stop, then a line would be drawn and measured through the swirl and this would be translated into crossing off categories you'd written down earlier. I'm pretty foggy on the exact rules of the game, but I remember this for sure: one time, while playing MASH in study hall, someone said I should put down "Salvation Army store" for my S category, instead of shack. I remember being a little insulted ("that place is filled with junk!"), but now I totally get it.

52 comments:

  1. I think hospital visits are wearing and stressful at the best of times but when you're visiting with a child and have all the worry which goes along with that, it's doubly so. I hope things calm down soon and that the new doctors can suggest the best way forward. Accents are funny things, there's so many different ones here, and I suppose it's the same over there too. Daniel's girlfriend comes from Colorado and I have to listen hard when she speaks otherwise I can miss what she's saying sometimes, I don't know if it's the regional accent or just the American accent in general. Your bulletin board is wonderful, so many pretties on there.

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  2. I love the fact your blog is one where you talk. I love real blogs that aren't about being perfect. I feel privileged that you share so much with us. There are so many blogs that I flick through, it's nice to have a blog to stop at and spend a bit of time.

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  3. Hi Jennifer ! I hope things will slowly turn less hectic for you with LB and the changes with doctors...
    I can relate to what you write about how other people try to talk about this with you... Most people don't have a clue how to "behave" and say the most stupid things... "It's fate", "you get what you give", etc... After more than 10 years with a hubby fighting cancer, I have realized over the years it is just because most people are uncomfortable when confronted with disease, and they have no idea how to react. They cannot help it, it is just their way of trying to sympathise with you..

    And about blogging, good thing there is no "Like" button on blogger ! if I would want such a button, I would be back on Facebook ;-). Like you, I prefer a select "public" with which I have a real interaction/virtual social relation ! I don't care if that public is small - like in real life, better a few good friends, than a lot of acquaintances...

    PS I still haven't gotten around to listening to your podcast... Must make time for that...

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  4. Fingers crossed the medical appointments will become less overwhelming as time goes by and that the new medical regime will achieve lots. The notice board was a real feast for the eyes, a real delight. Sending you a hug.

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  5. Now I'm blushing, because I'd like a 'like' button on blogs; let me explain.
    I don't want the button for the post itself, that I enjoy reading, thinking about and replying to. I'd like the button for comments, because sometimes another person actually verbalises in a really effective or powerful way exactly what you want to express but know not how to do so. If I could, for example, press a 'like' button to agree with Susan about the chatty sharing nature of your blog I would do, and to agree with Jo that hospital visits with a child for any reason are stressful and with Ingrid, because I know people have trouble finding the right tone to talk to others in stress or need.

    Having said that (and taken my time in saying it) I would still want to leave a comment, as long as I have the time and capacity to do so as my favourite way of relating to the blogwriter. And I don't want a massive readership; finding several smaller blogs that are relatively new recently and making friends with them has made me realise again that the bigger the readership the harder it becomes to make, build and keep a proper friendship with someone. I like knowing everyone of my regular commenters, and knowing I will always comment on their posts as well (as long as I'm not on WiFi holiday!)

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  6. There are so many things about this post that love---and agree with.....how do you say that on Facebook? Who would WANT to say that about most of the stuff posted on Facebook? And while I really find myself loving the photo-inspiration of instagram...it's here I turn----the blogging community when I want to connect (whether it's via photography, craft inspiration, life challenges, interior design---hee hee! I have a Little Cotton Rabbit Elephant leaning on my inspiration board!). Some of my very very best friends are women I've found through my blog....we email, we chat, we are involved in each other's lives. This is an amazing community. I think the only way to connect is through some give-and-take. Thank you for the time and thought you put to your posts. (Me? I'm too quippy on my blog. I know it. It's just the way I am.) And know, that most of us here realize the hardest job in the world is being a mom---and it appears you are doing a dynamite job. (I think the second hardest is being a grandma---being supportive of your child, yet knowing when to be quiet and butt out. HARD! believe me!!)
    I love coming here.

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  7. Hey Jennifer,
    There are two things that I have found the most valuable since I started blogging. One is the writing of it. I love sitting down and writing whatever it is in my head at that time. Sometimes it's to share a story, sometimes rambling thoughts. At other times I have ranted and raved. I have allowed myself to be open and honest and vulnerable. There are picture heavy posts, and text laden posts. It is my diary of stuff and it has become a very important part of me. I like that none of my family and maybe only a couple of my friends read it. It gives me space and privacy. It allows me to just be.
    The second most important thing are the people I've met through blogging. I never expected to have such meaningful and real connections with others. There are maybe ten bloggers that I feel a deep affection for and affinity with. You are one of them. I sometimes feel sad that you live so far away. But actually in a way you are sat right next to me every time I read one of your posts. Your blog is genuine,warm, fun, interesting and full of you. I sincerely hope that your lovely boy thrives under new consultants. He is clearly a little star. This is rather a long comment. I just want to make sure that you realise how important I value our friendship.
    Much love
    Leanne xx

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    1. What Leanne said. One day ladies, we'll all meet up!

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    2. Oh, I would love that so much.

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    3. I agree with Leanne and Gillian! Wouldn't it just be the most wonderful thing if we could all meet up someday? :)

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    4. Yes! Come one, come all. Big blogger shindig at my house! (I wish). :)

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    5. If I ever win the lottery... Plane tickets all round!

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  8. Sorry things have felt overwhelming at the moment with your son. I do hope that the new doctors are able to find a good way forward for him, and that things settle down into a calmer routine. I have no doubt that you're doing an amazing job at being strong for everyone, you're a top mum, you really are. Changing to new doctors must have been a big decision for you all, but I'm sure it's the right thing to be proactive. I'm wishing your sweet boy all the best.

    I am constantly wondering about blogging and questioning things and thinking. Haven't reached any conclusions yet, but I completely agree with what you're saying. The blogs I follow are like yours, interesting, well written, like having a conversation, getting to know someone, making a friend. That I know is a good thing.

    I'm off to look for your podcast now, I'm looking forward to hearing you talk, it will be a whole new dimension! Wishing you a good, calm, relaxing and happy week Jennifer. CJ xx

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  9. Sorry things have been overwhelming for you lately Jennifer, hopefully the new team of doctors can help you all move forward.
    I love your little shelf. :)
    V x

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  10. Such a thought provoking and interesting post Jennifer. I really like what you said about ten good, meaningful connections versus thousands of readers. This really resonated with me today - I've been feeling very turned off instagram lately, with the play-alongs and race for followers. But within all that nonsense are real, true, meaningful and warm connections which I value. It's the same with blogging. Imagine if we'd never "met"! X

    Ps I loved your podcast and tried to comment but it wouldn't let me . It was brilliant.

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    1. Thanks, Gillian. Park fixed the comment option and he sends his thanks for letting us know.

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  11. I often see pins on Pinterest about "how to make your blog posts go viral". Personally, I can't think of anything worse! I'd rather do my own thing at my own pace and be grateful that someone else is reading my blethers!

    Keep on doing what you're doing, Jennifer. You are doing a great job at all of them! :o)

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  12. Your thoughts really resonate with me. I love to visit here, your posts always make me smile and think. I cannot imagine what it is like to parent a child with a chronic illness as a parent with one I find that hard enough. Doctors appointments are stressful so I do hope you can find a way to look after yourself during this difficult adjustment as well as doing right for your son. Thinking of you.

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  13. pleeeeeeease dont stop blogging, I love reading your blog, you write so eloquently and yet you come across so natural and not affected at all. I would really miss you if you weren't here in blogland.

    I so emapthise with the medical stuff, for completely different reasons obviously we have periods where we have tons going on with doctors etc for our son. There are so many people so much worse off than we are and yet I still find the making of appointments, preparing for them, stressing about the traffic or the parking on the way there, having to organise him to to get out of school early, and then, as you say, if its a "new" doctor, starting all over again to explain where we are and what we've done in the past. Its all so emotional I find myself exhausted afterwards. Hope things settle down for you a bit soon.
    Jillxo

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  14. I love your board!! The colour speaks to me. And how cute is that gorgeous little rabbit?

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  15. Jennifer, I hope you never decide to stop blogging, or at least no time soon! I never feel as if I have to comment here, but more like I truly want to. And I appreciate that you take the time to visit my blog when I do post - which is not very often lately. Thanks for being here, Jennifer!

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  16. i like to read your blog too. it's 'earthy' it's comfortable reading. it's natural & easy reading.
    i hope things go well with the new doctors, it's hard enough dealing with a sick child at the best of times i would hate to go through it for the life of a child & can't say i know what it feels like as i don't, all i can do is help with a little support for you & your family, keep the chins up, something will work in your favour & it will be smooth sailing for a little while again. good luck with the new doctors.
    i don't always comment, sometime i wish there was something i could tick, not necessarily a 'like' button but perhaps some of those, interesting, funny, cool, boxes that some blogs do have? i will tick those. am not up for competition either but just a blog that's easy on the eyes & your blog is wonderful for that, love the pictures & it wouldn't bother me in the least if that's all you put here for a while as your place is so different from mine.
    thanx for sharing

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  17. I think all the Dr visits are stressful at any time, and when your child is involved, it's even more so.
    I really liked what you had to say about blogging. I agree with you that I would much rather get to know those I blog with, than have lots of comments, but no relationship.

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  18. It is always interesting to read your thoughts, Jennifer, and I like that you prefer to make friendships through blogging, as I do also. Sometimes it becomes necessary to change doctors, and I am glad the fresh start is working well for you. It is a difficult thing to do, I have found. We become 'friends' with our doctors, and then at times, (I have found) it has to be admitted that medically, things are not going as well as they should. Well done you for making the change. Your pin board is so pretty, you have inspired me to tidy mine, and add a few more pretties myself :)

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  19. Hey you.........so good to hear you put it out there in this post. Been thinking about you guys a lot. My little man has chronic issues as well and it makes for a different kind of normal I guess you could say. I am so happy to hear that you all are liking the new group of specialist as I know how hard it is to find a group of doctors you feel comfortable with. You hang in there and I hope that your little bear is hanging in there too. My g man gets so tired of going to the doctor all the time but all and all he is such a trooper. And blogging...ah yes...I so struggle with it all sometimes. My blog never really grows in followers....it has always been the same amount. Long ago when I started I would link up a lot to different parties. Mostly because I have a love for not only the garden but for design. But it left me feeling empty and what I figured out was that I was longing for the connections not all the other stuff. So I stopped and reevaluated why I was doing this in the first place. And it feels right now. I don't blog all of the time but I can't let it go because it is special to me. Like you I would rather have 10 awesome followers vs 1000. I always chuckle when someone comments on my blog and I pop over to pay them a visit and they have like 2000 followers and all they wanted was for me to follow them to make their number go up...I don't bother with blogs like that. I am glad we are here together and enjoy visiting you in this space my friend....and MASH! HA! My favorite! Stay strong mama! Nicole xoxo

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  20. Jennifer, I hope everything slows down for you and things become less hectic. Your LB will be in my thoughts and prayers. You know, I have often thought about blogging and why it seems like so many people are in competition.- Whether it be to boost their followers, number of posts, etc. I guess I'll never understand. When I read the part about thoughts of it becoming like Facebook, I thought I couldn't agree more.
    I came across your blog and I absolutely loved it. I've been a reader on your blog for some time now. I just really enjoy it. I really wish people could understand that a lot of us bloggers don't want readers who come by just to drop their link to their site. I mean, really?! I've had so many people come by my blog just to say, "Hey here's my link to my page, come by and follow me". You know at first I didn't have any problems with that. But now I see, those are the people who will never actually come by and read your blog. I actually enjoy visiting a blog and reading their newest entry. Just relating to other bloggers and seeing their life experiences.- I really enjoy that. And like you, I am okay if I only get a handful of readers who leave me comments. I can tell who is genuine and who only wants something in return. I hope you and your family have a beautiful week. Take time for yourself. - I have to remind myself this often.

    -Stephanie :)

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  21. Jennifer,

    I always appreciate the honesty in your writing, and the simplicity of your lifestyle, which I can relate to, living in the quiet countryside of Crete, after being born and brought up in Canada's largest city. Blogging for me, is about the connections I have made with my readers, some of whom have become very close friends. To a non-blogger, this might sound strange, or even foolish, since I have never actually met these women in real life, but feel as if I have truly known them for years. Isn't that amazing? You know, I truly believe that just as in real life, people can click in cyberspace, too, and although we do not share the same physical space, we are able to pick up vibes from those who we feel an affectionate affinity, which is isn't virtual at all, but rather very real.

    I sincerely hope that all goes well with the Little Bear; he is the sweetest boy!! Positive thoughts and prayers for effective progress.

    Poppy

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  22. Hi Jennifer, I really enjoy your blog, I like your comment about people saying 'God only gives you what you can handle' That is not true in least, God often gives us more than we can handle in our own strength but never more than he will give us the grace and strength to bear and that not all up front but as we need it day by day and often hour by hour. I do hope all goes well with the new medical team and especially with Little Bear. Sharon x

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  23. I hope things work out well with the new doctors and that the current stress levels go down.
    I know just what you mean about blogging - I totally understand. Getting to know a few like-minded people is great for me. x

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  24. Dear Jennifer. I do so love visiting and reading about your life, your thoughts and you musings. I don't think any other social media platform could bring you and your family to life for me in the way your blog can. I look forward to new posts and always take the time to reflect on what you have written. I often comment a bit later, once I have had time to digest your post, if that makes any sense. I remember how you first stopped by my blog and how over time we have developed a friendship and it would be wonderful to meet you one day. Reading the comments above, I am touched by how much love and friendship comes your way. I am keeping my fingers crossed that your life is less hectic, worrisome and tiresome soon. Christina xx

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  25. Jennifer I can relate to so much of this post. It is interesting to me how some blogs are really popular with followers and yet others aren't and you're right it can sometimes feel like a competition. Mine is still a very small affair and I like that I have a few good bloggy relationships with people. I am content with what I do but I don't do it for business, or feel any pressure to post and if I do begin to get blog envy I just distance myself from the internet. I think if I had hundreds of followers I would feel more pressure though. My balance too is very much real world rather than virtual 'likes'. You sound like you've got your ducks in a row - you manage your home life well and have great relationships with your Bear and kiddies. Our situations are very different but I so get your comments about struggling / managing life with challenges with our own health and our boys both having differing challenges from the very beginning to now. I had people say things like "Listening to you makes me feel so much better about my own life". The positive to take from it was that I really found out who my friends were, who I could rely on and who was just vacuous when I really needed them. I cut those people out of my life a while later - when I was strong enough. I do think "God, can you spread it around a bit" sometimes. We have MRI scanning looming again next week and I just dread going through the 'info' with fascinated student doctors. I know they have to learn but I don't want my little man to be a guinea pig. Hey ho, know that I often think of you and wish you the strength to keep going. Most of all just be kind to yourself. If you blog less, it doesn't matter. Do what works for you. The important stuff will get done and all else can fit in when you want it to. Take care, J9 x

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  26. I follow your blog you because you are sensible, honest interesting and a really nice person x

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  27. So much here that strikes a chord with me too.

    One thing I'll pick up particularly ... I agree with Angel Gem, I'd like to be able to 'like' other folks comments. But I would always comment on the post itself too. And as you know, I have started commenting on the comments on my own blog - even if sometimes rather late in the day - as a way of connecting more with the people who stop by. Community and connection are most important to me ... I think it's why I blog really. Though I can fall into the trap of trying to second guess what that community might like to read rather than just share what is happening in my life.

    I also think there is a natural ebb and flow to blogging ... some months I am quiet, others I have something to say almost daily. With so much going on, and so much of that of great import, my guess is the ease of chatting for the podcast rather than having to carefully structure written sentences for the blog is just what the doctor ordered for you just now. Just please don't ever stop blogging x

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  28. Life is difficult with any child but one that has medical issues makes it so much harder. You are all in my thoughts because this does not go away, there are just months where there are not as many visits and tests, but it is always there. You know I feel that way about blogging, I do not have a huge following, but the people I do have I cherish. I like our conversations and I love feeling connected to people around the world. Blogging has opened my eyes to so much, I don't want ot lose it to an easier source or the "like" button.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  29. I enjoyed reading your post today, some things got me thinking - so thanks. I always have a little swoon moment when I see the card I sent you. we are indeed blogging friends. I would be in your 10 followers for sure. Love to you Jo x

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  30. Thanks for the update, Jennifer. I admire the way you and Park care for each other, and your children and I wish blessings for you always.

    Finding medical assistance whether for my loved ones or myself is a task I dread. Just this weekend I developed a painful abscessed tooth and had to contact the dentist on call. Then when I tried to set up an appointment for today with my dentist, I discovered he moved to another practice. Waaaaaaa...

    Once I took the members connection feature off my blog and then several people contacted me to say they wanted to "join" but they could not because I had deleted the feature...so I put it back on, but I have mixed feelings about it. Blogging is a [fun to me] platform that lets me explore my creativity and the creativity of others. I am especially interested in those who are involved in the domestic arts, and I read the blogs of some who are developing craft oriented businesses that interest me, too, even though that is not currently my calling. I blog as I want to, and always look forward visiting your posts as you publish them.

    That I am growing friendships with you and others through blogging is a bonus I did not expect when I started! :)

    Thanks for posting, Jennifer! xx

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    1. Oh, Gracie. I hope your tooth is better soon. :(

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  31. I don't wan blogging to become like facebook.. please.. ever. As a wahm i don't meet all out of people.. don't have a lot of conversations.. don't have a lot of people to tell my stories too.. with blogging i don't feel so lonely.
    Hope you and yours are and stay well..

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  32. A very thought-provoking post, Jennifer, and I agree with so much of what you say. I too love the community and communication of blogging and feel that those who regularly read and comment on my blog and I on theirs are in a very real sense friends. In my little corner of blogland I've never come across worries about numbers of followers or page-views or any sense of competition and am not on Instagram or Pinterest to experience it there.

    I am on Facebook (I only joined last year) and enjoy it, but for the same reasons that I enjoy blogging, because of making connections through the back and forth of commenting, rather than the number of likes. Incidentally WordPress blogs do have a like button, but I never use it when reading them.

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  33. It is very stressful and exhausting to be running around to doctors and hospitals on top of the worry about your child. My oldest son had a lot of medical problems when he was growing up, and I do remember all that. You are right with saying everyone has their cross to bear, so to be kind. We have no idea what another person may be going through - or what they've been through. Last night we were at my cousin's house and their two young sons are on the autism spectrum: one is high-functioning; I guess more like Aspberger's Syndrome. The other is severely autistic and at four years old, he's still non-verbal. It was heart-breaking to witness, but I would never say anything to my cousin or his wife such as "God only gives us what we can handle." That's just a BS platitude...I think people sometimes say that because they don't know what else to say. Sometimes it's best just to keep your mouth shut and be there for the person. Maybe offer some help in some way...a visit, a listening ear, send a thinking of you card in the mail, make a meal, offer to babysit.

    I feel the same way you do about blogging. I have even gone through my blog roll a few times lately and deleted the blogs where I feel I don't have a "relationship" with the writer. I'll be honest ~ if I'm taking the time to read a blog and write comments and I never get comments back from that person on my own blog, then why bother? One-sided relationships in person aren't a positive thing...why would it be any different online? That's just one reason I gave up reading the "Big Blogs". I'm also not into the competition thing. I don't have a ton of followers, and that's fine. I write my blog simply because I enjoy it. If it ever came to the point where I was stressed out about it or felt in competition with other bloggers, then I'd give it up. I love writing, I love photography, and I enjoy sharing my little slice of life for whomever takes the time to read my posts. To meet other people from all over the world and actually forming a relationship where we can actually talk to each other in the comment format like this (or sometimes even a personal email), is priceless.

    I listened to your podcast about the rituals and loved hearing yours and your husband's voices! You have a very sweet voice...you sound like such a kind person just by your voice. And I love your giggle...it's so cute! Your husband has a lovely, deep voice. He sounds like he should be on the radio. Never heard of the game MASH. How did I miss that one?

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  34. I am a new follower here, but your thoughts about blogging hit the mark for me. I like the connection blogging gives me, to people around the world, who share similar interests, and live lives that both inspire me, and make me feel a little less weird in this big world. Blogging for me is a way to connect with like minded people, but also to record this little bits of my life that I want to remember, a digital scrapbook so to speak. It has been, and always will be for me, and later my little man. If people choose to follow along and connect, that makes me happy, but if they didn't, I would still blog away :)

    While I can't truly understand what you are going through having to get to know new doctors, and running back and forth for tests and appointments, I can appreciate how exhausting and overwhelming it is. Know that you are in my thoughts.

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  35. I so enjoy your blog Jennifer and your honesty. I love it when I see a new posting by you in my blog feed. I understand what you mean about connections. Although I'm not without friends, the connections I've made through blogging are important to me. I'm thinking of you all as you navigate a new round of doctors and tests. We're currently doing the same and although I'm meant to have some kind of insider knowledge (by working with healthcare professionals) it can be overwhelming.

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  36. I love your blog Jennifer - you write so beautifully and your photos are always stunning. It sounds like you've had tough times and that its all quite a lot to deal with at the moment. Wishing you lots of strength and sending big hugs from the Uk.
    Kate xx

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  37. Nodding along with everything you say here about 'blogging' Jennifer. I agree 100% and all that competition etc can suck the joy right out of blogging even if you just see glimpses of it to the side. I completely stopped reading many of the bigger blogs because it was all one-sided and it has already made a big difference. I always liked Sue's Blogging Manifesto - blog when you like, how often you like, there are no rules etc... I prefer to have more depth to my relationships than a simple 'like' button too and that's why Instagram and Facebook just aren't the same for me as blogging. I also agree with Annie, sometimes I'm more on top of blogging and feeling more "chatty" and other times I'm a bit quieter either out of circumstance or just because I don't feel like saying much. Anyway, loved this Post, love your blog and I'm looking forward to hearing your voice on the podcast thingy xxx

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  38. I have to agree with you about blogging. I'm sorry it's taken me a while to get to your posts - I haven't been able to read/comment for what seems like ages but I didn't think it was SO long!

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  39. I'm sorry for all the stress. We are in the midst of it right now ourselves with my son's diagnosis for hearing loss and his developmental issues. Some nights I just want to sit down and cry. Last week, we had an appointment everyday except for Thursday, so we went grocery shopping! I won't offer advice or empty words, just know you are in my thoughts.

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  40. Hi Jennifer, so sorry to hear of your stress and anxiety with medical appointments etc. I agree it is hard to strike the balance when you see medical professionals with your child (or psychologists, teachers, social workers etc), it can feel like being on trial, even though the professionals in question (most of the time!) don't see it that way, and want the best possible outcome for your child. Very interested in your thoughts on blogging too. I am not interested in following hundreds of blogs; I don't have the time for a start, if I follow a blog it's because I am very interested in what the blogger has to say, how they view the world, and because I feel a (that bloggers' favourite word) connection! I enjoy reading blogs where I feel I would get on well with the blogger in 'real life'. I am turned off by blogs that feel over produced and impersonal. I always enjoy reading what you have to say; your voice is warm and authentic, and you sound caring, friendly and open. Hope this round of medical visits are as smooth as they can be. X

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  41. Hi Jennifer I've been reading your blog for quite a few months now and so enjoy it although I've never commented before. I live in England but have been to the USA several times to stay with friends. I have 3 grown children who have all had serious health problems the most recent being my my daughter having breast cancer at the age of 24 and with 3 little children to look after. I so empathise with you with regard to doctors visits, tests and waiting for results. One of our sons had had a major kidney operation at the age of 2 and his twin brother was diagnosed with chronic epilepsy when he was 18. Through it all my husband was a rock and we got through the tough times with the love and support of family and friends. I know from reading your blog that you have a close and loving family which is such a blessing for you all and so comforting for the children. Know that I am thinking of you and even though we may never meet I feel connected just being Mum and Nanny.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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