1. The winner can (and should, really) put the logo on his/her blog.
2. The winner must link to the person from whom they received their award.
3. The winner must nominate at least 7 other blogs for an award.
4. The winner must place links to those blogs on their own blog.
5. The winner must leave a message on the blogs of the people they’ve nominated.
Oh my, so many rules! And I read so many wonderful blogs! Should I pass this honor on to the established bloggers that we all read, or should I point you in the direction of some new bloggers - friends of mine in real life? I think we'll go with my real life blogging friends...
1. Jenny at Untrained Monkeys - Jenny and I met our freshman year of high school, which means we've known each other for 18 years. That blows my mind. In addition to being a mommy of two gorgeous, active kids, and a blogger, she's a photographer and a state trooper. Jenny writes about whatever happens to be on her mind, the same way I do, and even if you haven't known her for almost two decades, she is someone worth reading about. And her pictures (especially the ones of my kids!) are gorgeous!
2. Becky at Sailing Is Funnest and I Miss the North - You thought I was old having known Jenny for 18 years - I've known Becky for 25 years! She moved onto my block way back in the 80s, and was walking down the street with her dad when I invited her to come play in my sandbox. Becky writes about current events, politics, her life, and her friends. I love how the internet brings those of us who have lost touch back together.
3. Erin at Life of a Spaceman - Erin's married to Matt, and Matt and BJ went to school together, so we've known him for at least 8 years, and we've known Erin since a little after they started dating. Now they live in Florida with their sweet daughter, Katelynn, and they both write about their life. Matt just started a new blog about politics, but I'm pretty sure it's password protected.
4. Heather at Little Fiddly Bits - Heather and I have known each other via our husbands for about 8 years, too. In addition to being the mother of the darling Amelia, Heather is an artist. She does all kinds of things I wish I could do, and writes and posts pictures about her creative antics. I wish she'd post some of her wedding pictures, because they did a whole Renaissance theme, including big poofy dresses, mead from Oliver Winery to drink, and period music. It was really something, and I still remember it all these years later.
5. Brandi at Under the Big Top - Brandi and I met sophomore year of high school, so 17 years ago (eep!) and lost touch after high school, but reconnected recently on Facebook. She has FOUR kids, and somehow finds time to write about them, which amazes me. She just started writing this month, and I'm excited to see where it takes her.
6. Kim at The Darwin Exception - Kim and I met online probably 8 or 9, years ago when I worked at IndyNet and had WAY too much free time to dork around online because I didn't have any work to do during the 8 hours a day I had to be there. And she is hilarious. She lives in this backwards town in New York State, and writes about all of the colorful characters who live there, too. She's also extremely involved in Court TV, to the point of being a contributor to a book about one trial, was it Scott Peterson? I forget... But if you like Court TV or watching infamous trials, you really should read Kim's coverage, because it is more detailed than any I've ever read. One of these days I'll write about the time I sent the SWAT team to Kim's house (back when she lived in Florida) because I thought her husband had killed her. It's a hoot. (We haven't met in real life, but we've spoken on the phone and she's sent my kids presents, so I'm going to bend my own rules and include her. If I ever make it to New York, she's the first person on my list to visit!)
7. Last but not least, there's Michelle at The Kidd Korner - I can't remember when Michelle and I met, exactly, but it's been several years. She's the person who gave us the awesome train table that's in our living room! Her son B outgrew it. It's a favorite of the kids who come over to visit, and my kids of course. Michelle writes about her son and their activities. He's a big boy, so reading her blog gives me a taste of what my kids are going to be like in 5 years, and how very busy we will be!
I have to say that Jenny, Erin, Heather, Brandi, and Michelle's blogs are dear to my heart, because they started blogging after reading my humble little blog, here. It's humbling to inspire people to find their own voice, and to be able to express themselves in this unique way. I hope that they love it as much as I do.
When I began blogging, it was a way for me to keep our family (which is ginormous, including steps I once counted that I have 26 aunts and uncles) connected to my kids. It was also a way for me to keep a baby book for my kids (God knows that I'm never going to find time to do a proper paper baby book with snipped locks of hair and baby teeth in an envelope - I just don't have the skillz). In the year and a half that I've been writing, though, it has become so much more. There are so many women and men in the blogosphere who I count among my friends. There are dozens of wonderful blogs that I read every day - the list (which I desperately need to update) is there on the right. It truly is a community, and I am honored and blessed to be a part of it.