Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine for my Blog Readers

This post is a shout out to all our blog readers.
But particularly those who comment.

Mostly because I can't exactly shout out to blog stalkers.
So if you stalk and you want to reveal yourself, now's a good time.

In no particular order
and without naming names (this will be fun),
Happy Valentine's Day to . . .

My girlfriend from our medical school years
who worked with me in the Admissions Office
and whose laugh is just plain AWESOME
and who I'm so glad blogs because she is an excellent writer
and who we got to visit this past summer
and who I miss.

The girl from Vancouver who "met" me through this blog
because her father has Parkinson's just like mine did.
I've grown to genuinely love and care about her
and am grateful for our connection.

My cousin-in-law who has become
a friend and confidant to me.
I've become better friends with her because of blogs,
but we've taken it to another level with chats and even phone calls.
I love that we share some deeply personal things in common.
It is nothing short of sanity saving for me at times.

My sister-in-law who is a blogger extraordinaire.
Years ago, as a present to my husband's parents,
we started a private family blog to help us all keep in better touch.
She caught the bug and I'm glad she did.
I know her so much better because of her daily blog posts.
She is almost always one of the first to comment on our blog and I love it, because I know that sometimes she does it just because she knows how much I appreciate the comments.
How thoughtful is that!

My Mom who reads our blog faithfully
and who calls us (sometimes crying, sometimes laughing)
after reading just about every post
to tell us how much she loves the post
and how much she loves us.

To my best friend growing up who, I've recently learned, reads our blog regularly and who learned to comment (yay!) and comments on here even though I know she'd probably rather I turn my Facebook account back on.
AND who came to visit me a few weeks ago
so we could have
a WICKED fun girls' weekend like good MA/RI girls do.
AND who's joining us on our trips to DC for the National Book Festival
from now on because of our blog post about it.
AND who sent me a very thoughtful package in the mail today.

I love and miss her.

To my SIL's aunt from Denver, CO
who visits our blog and has commented enough
that she doesn't have to tell me anymore that she's related to my SIL.
I know who she is just by her name and picture.
I'm glad she enjoys AI, am flattered that she reads our blog,
and I very much appreciate her comments.

To my brothers-in-law who I know read our blog.
I'll lump them together since all of them
are rather sporadic in their commenting, but even sporadically, I'm always happy to see a comment from them when they feel so inclined.
I'm glad they read and care to keep up with our craziness.

To my cousin-in-law who always seems to
genuinely consider every words she reads on here and shares,
not only Idol thoughts with me,
but also her sincere feelings and views on our posts,
which I totally appreciate.

To my FIL, who seems to go in streaks
(maybe corresponding to theater gigs?)
in his blog reading and commenting,
but when he does, he's always good for a comment or three
expressing his admiration and love for us.

To my old college roommate and the
Matron of Honor at our wedding,
who is, and always has been, the voice of reason and frank honesty.
And who I miss very much.
It's been way too long since we've been together.

To my favorite bloggy friend who I met through this crazy hobby,
bonding over our shared knack for going completely over-the-top insane
in our pursuit of finding lost items, not because of the item itself,
but because of the principle, people! The principle!

I loooooooooooove her blog posts. She is hilarious and an excellent writer.
And, who, through emails, trusted me enough to reveal her true name to me as well as genuine friendship.

Now our daughters are penpals. And we are, too.

I think she's awesome. And there is no price for awesomeness.

To my friend who gives me international hits on our blog!
Though we met in AZ and got together again in DE,
she has since lived abroad in several countries.
We managed to see each other in UT this past summer
(which was AWESOME consider they've been living half a world away)
and I'm so so so glad she's finally blogging!
I wish she had started back in the Dubai,
but at least we're hearing about their adventures in Nepal and now Qatar.
We miss them like crazy.

To my cousin-in-law who I met through blogging
and got to know even better through blogging and who,
when I got to meet her this past summer,

already felt like a friend.

I appreciate her comments and our occasional chats.
And I'm so excited for her baby girl to arrive!

To my old college roommate who found our blog
through the other college roommate I already mentioned.
Those two were instant buds when fate put them together
as roommates freshman year in the dorms.
They were down the hall from me.
The next year, we lived in the same apartment complex
in different apartments at first (with a total open-door policy between our two apartments that was OFTEN used).
She was always making homemade cookies.
Which, to me, was a novelty. And one that I loved.
We all wised up and eventually moved in together after that.
And THAT was awesome.
She has graduated from blog stalker to
commenter (several times, I know!) and I'm so glad.

To my MIL, who makes the effort to comment
because she knows how much we appreciate it.
I love that we can talk about everything from books to movies to American Idol. My husband's side of the family is not big on the phone,
so blogging has been a great way to keep in touch.
And I'm glad she reads ours.

To my good friend in New Mexico who found us through my SIL's blog and for some reason kept reading. I'm so glad he did.
He, too, has become a friend and confidant.
I always enjoy the sense of humor and genuineness
that come through in his comments, which I appreciate even more
because of our email exchanges.

To my only SIL who lives in our time zone,
who comments when she can get on the computer . . .

even if she doesn't always read the whole post! ;)
I'm glad I got to meet her (twice!) this past year,
even if we had to drive to FL and UT to do it!

To yet another cousin-in-law who I've gotten to know through blogging
and then a bit through a family reunion.
And who I think looks like Scarlet Johanson or Jessica Biel!
She has a cute baby and another on the way.
And I know she's not big into commenting,
but I'm glad she reads and grateful for the comments when they come.

To another girlfriend from medical school who caught the blogging bug, too.
And who found us and commented,
leading us back to her blog
where we can keep up
on her adventures with her 4 cute kids
and their new beautiful house!

To my SIL with whom I have always felt a special connection
even before I met her.
We share common interests and have very similar tastes
on things like books and movies and writing.
And while we could talk for hours just on those topics,
we can also talk about anything and everything
in a frank, candid, FUN way, too.
I always feel like I can be myself with her
and I'm grateful for any bonding we can squeeze in,
whether in person or on the phone.

To our hippie friends down the street with their dreads, bare feet, and patchouli. We hit the proverbial jackpot in our friendship with them.
They are an incredible family of 9 and we are SO stinkin' lucky
to have them
not only as neighbors, but also as friends.
They are so good to us and we have a special friendship
with them
for which we're very grateful.
It's one of those cool friendships where the kids enjoy the kids
AND the adults and vice versa.
Just so cool.

To my husband who also co-authors this blog.
He is my best friend.
I could write several libraries worth of books about my love for him,
but for this post,
suffice it to say,
I love that he comments on my posts.
And I just plain old love him.

To our good friend who used to live here and then moved to CA.
We're glad they're closer in TN now,
though we miss having her here for book club, GNOs, American Idol,
dinners out, movies, playdates, and the like.
I'm so glad she's good at keeping touch!

To my SIL whose older two kids are the same age as ours.
She's not on the computer much, but when she is,
she occasionally comments and it's nice to hear from her.
And our kids are so glad that her kids are our cute cousins!

To my beautiful daughter who I love and admire.
I know she is my child but I am the one often looking up to her.
She is a blogger herself and I love that she reads
and comments on our blog, too.

To my friend and Google colleague of many, many years.
I'm so glad we have our researcher forum
and other means of staying in touch.
When we're not talking food, jobs, mental health practices,
music, and spirituality, we are talking AI. He's a regular on our AI blog,
but I'm giving him a shout out here just the same.

To our other teenage friend down the street in the other direction.
She came over just this week along with our mutual hippie friends
and serenaded us with a song she co-wrote with them
and the song was about us and was very, very cool.
I'm glad she blogs and comments, too.

To our friend who lives 10 minutes down the street
and who is in our ward, our homeschool group, and our book club.
She is always up for talking and is also super funny.
She's gone from blog stalker to commenter and I'm glad.
I'm also glad we're friends.

To a girl I knew in MA growing up
and then lived next door to me in college
but who I've really gotten to know better more recently.
We exchange book ideas and talk about other things as well.
I'm currently enjoying a great read because of her.
I'm glad we've connected in this techy world.

To someone who, as far as we're concerned, is family.
Some people are related by blood or marriage,
and some, though not related in any of those ways,
are so much a part of the family
that it doesn't matter that it's not "official,"
because they simply ARE family.
He is probably our most faithful reader
and he even managed to figure out how to post once!
And we love him very much.

To my bloggy friend who lives in Switzerland and Portugal.
Oh, how tempting it is to go visit!
We've been able to share a lot together about very personal things
and it's nice to find others in this crazy world and know you're not alone.

To my handsome son who I love very much.
He is pretty computer savvy and recently got
his own instant messenger handle
and Blogger handle and has started to post comments.
I love to get sweet emails and chats from him and
I am so excited that he, too, is commenting on our blogs!

To our friend from college and Mark's old college roommate.
We've been able to see them several times
since college as they have lived in the East, too.
We're so glad we got to see them before they left for Europe.
We miss them while they're there and look forward to when they return!

It's always nice to hear from them and we're so glad we're friends.

To the husband of my friend who lives 10 minutes down the street.
He is our friend, too, and is always up for a political discussion
or some venting or for sharing thoughts on AI.
I'm glad he reads our blog and comments
and I'm glad he doesn't do that while driving!

To our friend and NaNoWriMo buddy
who I have LOVED getting to know better through
meeting up at our local coffee shop to talk or write
and support each other through the craziness is that is NaNoWriMo.
I'm glad she took up blogging and I'm glad she reads and comments
(even if it's been as 3 different people so far)
and I'm glad we're friends.

To a girl who lives close by but who I haven't seen in a while.
But when we do see each other, even if it's sitting by each other
at the local Memorial Day parade,
things are right back to normal because she is just that down to earth
and no nonsense and I like that.

To a friend in Texas who I met online.
We have several key things in common -- she also homeschools,
she, too, enjoys friendship without drama,
and she, too, is married to her best friend.
I appreciate her openness and kindness and
I'm glad she reads our blog and emails
while she patiently waits for me to rejoin Facebook.


There are also several people who either haven't commented in a while
(I went back about a year's worth of comments)
or have commented once
or something like that.
So, here is a quick shout out to . . .

A happy wife with a happy life.

A girl who used to live here and is happily awaiting the birth of her 7th child.

A former friend.

Mark's best friend growing up who even came to visit us this past year
and has always been a faithful friend and a lot of fun.

A girl who used to live here and with whom I always suspected
we had similar views. We were right.

A girl from MA who also lived in Portugal and Cape Verde like me.

A friend who used to live here and was always kind to me
and even took the time from packing to spend some time talking with me
at a local park before she and her family moved away.

A homeschooling mom, friend, and FMHer from Tucson
who I'm glad to "know."

My friend who lives an hour north of us and
recently welcomed a baby girl to their family.
We miss them and are so glad we're friends.

Another girl who lives close by who also
recently welcomed a baby girl to their family.

Various homeschool families and other kind people who have found our blog
by chance and have taken the time to leave a nice comment or two.

Every now and then, I check our nifty Stat Counter
and look up what keywords bring people to our blog.
Sometimes it's "sushi pizza"
and sometimes it's "Dad Parkinson's"
and sometimes it's "homeschooling"
or something about food or books or music or some other topic.
It's nice to get to know some of these people through this hobby.

I do not wish the spammers who try to leave junk on our blog
a Happy Valentine's Day. Bah on them!

As for the rest,
hopefully you all know who you are and
hopefully I haven't left anyone out!
I really hope I haven't left anyone out.
If I have left someone out, please let me know
and I'll write you a paragraph.

You should know, too, that I had a list I was working off of
and I had written the entire post and somehow
more than half of it disappeared. ARGH.
Argh, argh, argh.
I hate it when that happens.
So, someone may have inadvertently been missed because of that.
But I hope not.

There is one more Valentine I'd like to give on this post.

This one is to a former reader of our blog.
I could call my parents and immediately they would
get on their computer and look at what we'd written and posted.
He loved to see pictures and video of his grandchildren on here
and he also loved to see pictures of us and hear about our adventures.
We could literally hear his smile through the phone.
And he always, always expressed his love for us.

He's been on my mind a lot these days.
I don't know if it's because we're coming up
on what would've been his 75th birthday,
or because this always seems to happen around this time of year,
or if it's because our friends who live 10 minutes down the road
are saying their goodbyes to his dad and waiting for him to pass
and if knowing that and talking to them reminds me
of going through all of that heartache.
But my father has been on my mind.
And I miss him very much.

When I was a little girl, he always got me flowers for Valentine's Day.
There's something special about a little girl getting flowers from her Daddy.

Whatever it is, I miss him.
Happy Valentine's Day, Daddy.


Every time my email lets me know I've got a comment, I get excited.
When I see it's from one of you, I get really excited.
When I find out about someone else who reads our blog because they comment, well, that is icing on the cake that is our blog.

And the cherry on top?
Getting an awesome package in the mail from someone
based on something they read on here.
I just love that.

But mostly, I just really enjoy hearing from all of you.

Happy Valentine's Day
to all who enable me
in my blogging hobby!


Lindsay said... caught me. That is really neat, though!! Happy V-Day!


Boiled Chicken Dinner said...

I love you, I love you, I love youuuuu. Why do we not live closer? Adore your guts...Happy Valentine's Day. What a great blog...secretly I love when people give shout outs:) and I LOVE the AI recaps. Give love. From a past stalker I am glad I AM OUT!!!

the emily said...

So sweet--and time consuming! You are one devoted blogger! Happy Valentines to you and your readers and your family and everyone. Have a great day!

bythelbs said...

That is quite the list! I'm so, so grateful to be on it. xoxo

Jillo said...

Wow! What a great post. Thanks for the shout-out and it was super fun to try and figure out who you were talking about.

kristenhcubed said...

Oh, my! That must have taken you hours! What a sweet thing to do. Thank you. And Happy Valentine's Day back. I'm so glad our paths crossed all those years ago, and glad they crossed again. It's nice to have such a wonderful friend to travel with. <3

Peg said...

Sweet - I am surprised I am on your list but very happy.
Happy V-day to you also!

Jimmy said...

That is a comprehensive list--more thoughtfulness in that post than I've expressed in a lifetime.

When are you guys coming to NM?

J Fo said...

Sweet! (As is sweet of you and sweet I'm on the list.) I think that we are long past due for a crazy long phone call! Lots of books, movies, etc to talk about. Miss you!

Anonymous said...

I love you! I hope you had a great valentine's day. I was telling my dad all about you the other day and he was so grateful that I had you as a friend. I am also so grateful that I met you. -Kelly xo

Robynne said...

WOW, what a post Stacy!!! I'm glad there are so many people who love you and enjoy keeping up with you!!! Happy Valentine's Day (a little late!) - thanks for thinking of me!! :D :D :D

Dr. Mark said...

I think I figured out who I am in this post. Two Valentines this year--I win the prize! I love you, too!

April (Thorup) Oaks said...

How in the world is it possible for someone to write such a long post and still keep me wanting to read every word? This was a really fun post. I loved it!!

Shawn said...

Thanks for the shout out, even if I'm only identified by my relationship to someone else and our geographic proximity! Seriously, though, that was a nice thing to do. I'm really glad to call you guys friends and for the close geographic proximity.

I also liked what you said about your dad. Valentine's Day will never be the same for me. As a general rule, we don't celebrate Valentine's day, chosing instead to show our affection at times that are not predetermined. But now I think I will likely buy flowers every Valentine's Day. And for completely different reasons.

Chelle said...

Woweee. Now there is a blogger who loves her readers for sure! Happy Valentine's Day back to you, and I'm glad you blog too. I love getting in on your life through the things you share on your blog.

What sweet memories of your dad. I know you miss him terribly, and I imagine he wants to send you those flowers and give you a squeeze more than anything else.

terahreu said...

You're awesome! Sorry I have been such an absent commenter. I am committing right now. I finally have a quiet Sabbath Friday afternoon. It also doesn't help you are a day or two ahead of me and I crave your AI recaps. It is like dangling chicken in front of your pup, cruel.

Love you guys too! Hoping to live in a country that is enticing enough for you guys to visit!

Boquinha said...

Thanks so much, everyone. It was really fun to write, to be honest.

Jimmy, we would love to visit with you guys!

Well, you know, Shawn, I could've identified you buy other means besides geography, but I thought this would be better. ;) Seriously, we're glad we're friends, too. Thanks for the comment -- what a thought about Valentine's Day. Ugh. You know, I feel like you've joined some kind of club that I am also in. And the qualifications for being members of this club pretty much suck. The service was lovely. If you ever want to talk, I'm a good listener.

Lena said...

haha! I'm finally on here! What a cool post! A happy (facebook) belated Valentine's (facebook)Day to you too- maybe (facebook)I should just get (facebook)ahead and say Happy (facebook)Easter! ;)

Did ya get the subliminal message? ha!

Boquinha said...

I'm not sure, Lena. I'm thinking you wanted me to get chocolate? :P Heheheh. I might get back on there for a bit and see what I think again. Now I'm recognizing that I've missed the chance this year to get birthday wishes on Facebook. Oh well. I got them from people who didn't need an app to remember and that's even better! But seriously, I might pop on soon. I'll be sure to let you know! :P

And, er, by "buy" in my comment to Shawn, I meant, of course, "by." Urgh.