Favorite places: and an invitation I hope you will accept

Well, friends, I have decided to start a blog series. I feel like an official blogger now, because I am committing myself to an on-going project; an on-going project with the goal of inspiring and getting to know other bloggers a little bit better.
This series will not be posted once a week, or any specific time at all, really. The idea is, you email me when you feel the urge to do so, and tell me about (one of) your favorite places. Include 1-3 pictures, and write 1-2 paragraphs about what makes this place so wonderful.
You don’t have to say Paris or the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (but you sure can). In fact, the place you chose just has to be somewhere, anywhere, you have been that you love. This includes your favorite cashmere sweater, your favorite college class, the front seat of your car when you had the best idea ever, or the place you fell in love.
I’ll start today, with a place I know will make this girl shed a tear or two. And, in accordance with my own rules, I really cannot say this is my absolute favorite place in all the world, but it certainly holds a special place in my heart: Salzburg, Austria.

It may not surprise you one bit that the aforementioned girl was my tourguide to this city back in 2009. She did a really good job at refraining from telling me she would not be my friend anymore if I did not say this was my favorite European city. But, much to her pleasant surprise, I fell in love with the beauty of this historic place without any outside prompting. So many little cafes (including ones where Mozart and Christopher Columbus hung out), so many colors, delicious food, history (did you catch the Mozart/Columbus thing? Let me also include WWII), and outdoor markets.
I left a tiny little piece of my heart there, to insure I would return one day.
And now, I would love to know: what is your favorite place?

How time flies: and other profound thoughts

Hi, guys, my name is Jenny and I am the author of this blog.
I thought I would introduce myself since you have most likely forgotten I exist.
Who are you? Just kidding. I could never forget you!
Here’s what’s been happening:
I got a cold. Then I got the stomach bug. Then I recovered from that and was bummed that I had forgotten I had a cold. Then I was just barely well enough to get on the plane with Eric and fly to Oklahoma for a super late “Christmas” with my family. It was the first time we had seen them since this happened, and it was about ever loving time.
Here’s what’s been on my mind:
Should I feel guilty for not blogging for so long? No. Silly. Should I just give up since it has been so long? No. Stupid. What will I write about next? I don’t know. Anything could happen. Will I get writer’s block for a few weeks and then suddenly be inspired by the best blog post idea ever? Doubtful. Will I continue to try and balance marriage, work, reading, cooking, writing, blogging and not just become obsessed with one thing, even if it is just mentally (it usually is)? For the sake of my marriage and sanity, you bet. That’s the plan, still. I’m sticking around, friends.
I am also reading Robinson Crusoe post-Hunger Games, and I do not regret it. I think I will write a post on that soon, actually.
This will be all for now, but I leave you with this adorableness: my newest niece. Her mom/my sister just entered the blog world, too, so….you should go say hello and tell her that her favorite sister sent you!

Blogging confessions: the good part

If you have given up on me, I don’t blame you. If you thought I had decided to just go ahead and shun the blog world altogether, I can understand that, too.
I have been thinking a lot about blogging (surprise!) since my last post, and thinking about all the wonderful comments from you fellow-bloggers who COMPLETELY get what I am saying. Thank you. I responded to all of you in Part I, and then realized I was pretty much saying the same thing to everyone: Thank you. You get it. I agree. You are so right.
I promised a post about blogging positives. But before I get there, I would like to bring attention to this (thanks, Jennifer, for making me aware). And also, this.
Everyone is talking about how blogging is ruining their lives!!
Not really, but kind of.
All of you who commented: you got it right. Blogging is just like everything else in life. It takes balance. Is it okay to relate blogging to alcohol? The difference being, there aren’t advertisements on TV telling us the dangers of blogging. (My tongue was firmly planted against my cheek just then, in case you couldn’t tell.)
Or, as my husband said while talking about something entirely unrelated to blogging, “You don’t have to do drugs to neglect your responsibilities, or as a result of falling into despair. You can read a book!” It made me laugh. It also made me realize that, yeah………anything in this world can keep you from doing the things you should be doing. Even things that are not bad. Like reading books. And blogging.
So, to be clear: I am not blaming blogging. Blogging is innocent and not to be blamed.
So! The good things about blogging:
A blog makes you organize your thoughts. It is a home for floating ideas that might otherwise be lost amongst more vivid, more substantial, thoughts. Suddenly, those ideas that are on the verge of leaving my mind in a flurry of undeveloped chaos can be lassoed in, and tamed.
And taming wild thoughts is so rewarding. I feel mentally sound after I finish writing a post. Sometimes relieved, less burdened.
It is also a great place to talk to like-minded people. After all, who else could I talk to about the troubles of blogging? Although, yeah, I wouldn’t need to have that conversation if I weren’t blogging. But it was still a beneficial conversation because it wasn’t just about blogging.
It is fun. Some of you pointed this out, and it should not be overlooked. Yes, blogging is great fun!
It is a scrapbook of your life, it keeps you disciplined, it makes you think about things you might not otherwise think of, it makes you learn things, and it makes you realize how alike we all are. It is so human.
About me. Well, I am not going to blog when I feel pressured by the internet world. I am going to run far, far, away from blogging when I make responding to readers a bigger priority than talking to my real-life friends and family. There is a time and place for everything, and I am going to ask myself questions on my motives on a regular basis. Come to think of it, maybe I should ask myself my motives for everything I do.
I hate asking myself what my real motives are.
Gee, Blogging, you sure are a thought-provoking phenomenon!
What did I forget? What else is good about blogging? Bad? Ugly?

Blogging Confessions Part II

(I really enjoyed the comments from my last post. If you commented, I replied in my own comment section. So take a look if you missed it!)

Many of you share my feelings, as I suspected. And now I am just tempted to pour out my whole heart. About blogging. And only blogging.
Today, let’s talk about the “hate” part of blogging that I mentioned in my last post. Blogging is what you make of it. Which is AWESOME. And sometimes HORRIBLE. It is awesome when you can be creative and get enjoyment out of it simply because it is your blog and you have endless possibilities.
Then there is that ever-present temptation to present yourself as someone you are not (which goes for all social networking). Or to start living in the blog world more than the real world.
Let’s pause there, because that is a terrifying thought. Think about. You can’t enjoy dinner out at a really cool restaurant because you forgot your camera. And what is the point of doing anything if you can’t share with the world your awesome adventures. Did you even go to that really cool restaurant if you didn’t post about it? I think it would be so easy to slip into that mindset. And then you might as well start unpacking and kicking up your feet because at that point, hi, welcome: you live in bloggyland now. Home decor has now been replaced by templates.
And now comments/followers. Your own personal fans who never say anything bad about you or your blog. Your family may have harsh things to say that might make you a better person if you would only listen, but bloggyland is filled with all sorts of affirmation. You can always find someone who will sympathize with you. The temptation here is to perceive your blog friends as more understanding and therefore more trustworthy.
Blogging is all about you. That’s just the hard fact of blogging. And selfishness is not exactly a virtue. So how………..do you blog about yourself without becoming self-absorbed. Is there a magic formula?
These are all temptations I have faced. I’d like to think I have nipped them all in the bud, but I have to ask myself these probing questions often, in order to stay on top of…myself.
At this point I don’t blame you if you are asking yourself why I even put myself through this. I could stop blogging at any time. That’s a logical point.
Is blogging worth it? Yep.
In my next post, I will prove to you that I think blogging is positive!! For now….share. Tell me. Do you feel these temptations creeping up? Are they also the source of your blog loathe? Do you even care about these things? Does this post make you want to bang your head on the table and say “why? why? why?” Do you think I need to chillax? Seek therapy?
(And yeah, a picture of my old neighborhood in the Spring seemed just as fitting for this post as any.)