Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Remember Me?...

Tap, tap.  Is this thing on?...

Remember that time I moved back to the US from Australia right before Christmas, and then fell off the face of the earth blogger?  Yeah... oops...

I'm actually quite disappointed in myself for letting that happen.  It's not that I forgot about blogging or documenting this major transition in our lives.  In fact, I thought about blogging quite often... but I guess I just never really got any further than that.  I had plenty of "mentally composed posts" floating around in my brain over the past nearly three months... important moments in our lives that I don't want to forget like our last day in Australia, stepping foot on American soil for the first time in a year and a half, Christmas, New Years, moving back to Houston, forgetting how to drive on the "right side" of the road, things I miss about Australia, things that now overwhelm me about America, a few fun weekend trips we've taken, and the many other interesting experiences in this process of repatriating... but I guess I dropped the ball. 

If I'm being honest, it started out that I was avoiding blogging because everything was just a bit too overwhelming, and I didn't want anything else added to my plate.  At that time, it sounded stressful to me, instead of fun, like it had before. But then it kind of turned into me being sad about leaving Australia- in denial, really.  And I think somehow I thought that blogging about it would make it more real.  It's actually still pretty hard for me to read all of the expat blogs I had been such a loyal reader of just a couple months ago (Sorry to some of my faves- Jen and Jenna).  I guess having to leave Australia much sooner and more quickly than we anticipated... and essentially having to leave my expat identity (and all the wonderful experiences I had) behind made it somewhat painful to read about others doing the fun expat things I used to do.  Yeah, serious denial.  So I just avoided it all together.   Makes sense, right?... (totally doesn't...)  And the longer I avoided blogging, the harder and more overwhelming it seemed to start up again. 

But here I am.  I want to continue blogging and documenting our lives.  I want to remember what it was like to move back to the US after living abroad.  And I want to record the experiences we have in our "new again" home in Houston.  So this is my first effort at putting a stop to the avoidance, denial, and procrastination.  It will surely take me a while to get caught up, but that will be my goal.  So please bear with me over the next several weeks as I try to get back into my groove.  And I hope you won't mind some seriously outdated recaps while I attempt to get caught up. 

And because no post is complete without a photo, here's one of my last views of Gladstone as we said goodbye for the last time. 

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Snail Mail Collective {September}

A fun surprise all the way from South Korea arrived in the mail for me today!  My partner for the September Snail Mail Collective was Amber from "The English Travelers," and the theme for this month was "Back To School."  I had a great time getting to know Amber through the emails we exchanged and through her blog.  Amber and her husband are American expats currently living and teaching in South Korea.  They've had some amazing adventures so far- I loved looking through their travel photos! 

Amber did a great job finding fun gifts from her country that fit with the theme.  As a teacher, I always LOVE stationery and office/school supplies, so everything in this package was a hit with me- especially the panda notebook and the cute socks!  I also love that everything was so unique and different than anything I would be able to find here- or anywhere else I've ever visited. 


Thanks so much, Amber, for all the fun "Back To School" loot!  I love it all! 

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Positive Impacts of Social Media In My Life

Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.
I like to think I'm only mildly addicted to social media.  There have got to be heaps of people who waste spend more time with these things than me, right?  Either way, I use social media, I love it, and I don't plan on cutting myself off from it anytime soon.  The social media I use includes: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and of course, blogging.  Here's a little on how each has impacted my life... and for now, I'll focus on the positive impacts.  :-) 
Facebook: I think I was a Junior in college when Facebook first started to become popular... back in the day when you had to have a ".edu" email address, so it was strictly for college kids only.  To be completely honest, I wish it would have stayed that way... but that's a story for another day.  I guess I wouldn't categorize myself as a very "active" Facebook user.  But that's not to say that I don't waste a ridiculous amount of time on FB (my husband can assure you that I do)... it's just that I'm more of a"lurker" if you will. I don't post a whole lot about myself... pictures a few times a month, status updates maybe once or twice a month.  I use it mostly just to keep in touch with people and to see what is going on in people's lives.  Sometimes I learn more about their lives than I'd like to, but I'm not a shy user of the "hide/block from my news feed" option, so that's easy to fix :-) 
How It Has Impacted My Life: Because I have lived far away from my family and closest friends basically since I was 18, FB has been priceless for me and a very positive addition to my life I'd say.  It lets me stay (and feel!) connected to those that I love and care about, even when I'm hundreds or thousands of miles away. 
Instagram: It took me a while to jump on the Instagram bandwagon, but I LOVE it!  SUCH an easy way to get a look into what's going on in other people's daily lives.  And I love that it's mostly just pictures, so you (usually) don't have to deal with all the ridiculous political dramas, etc. that people seem to love to start over on FB.  Even my mom, dad, and 84 year old grandmother now have Instagram accounts, which I was a little nervous about, but I LOVE it actually!  It's an easy way for them to keep track of what's going on with their children who live across the country and world. 
How It Has Impacted My Life: Probably corny and cliché, but I really find it to be true that Instagram really helps me focus on and appreciate the little, but beautiful and meaningful things and events in daily life. 
Once of my recent favorite Instagrams
Blogging: I only started this little blog of mine about 11 months ago.  However, for about 2 or 3 years leading up to that, I was slowly becoming a blog-reading addict.  I had a growing list of blogs that I kept up with in my Reader- mainly DIY, Cooking, Lifestyle, and even some Mommy Blogs (I love these ones more than is probably normal for someone who doesn't have kids herself).  Whatever.  Since I started out just reading blogs, I think I had a really great opportunity to see what blogging is all about, the community that it can build, the connections that you can make, and the value of documenting your life.  I had wanted to start a blog for quite a while, but honestly, until we moved abroad I felt like I didn't have anything interesting (or blog-worthy) enough to write about.  So with our move to Australia, I was so excited to finally start my own blog.  There were two main purposes I had in mind when I began this blog:
1.) Stay in touch with family and friends and share about our new life on the other side of the world 
2.) Document, for myself and my husband, the many adventures we would have as we lived and travelled abroad.
However, like most any blogger will tell you, I didn't anticipate fully that blogging would also become something that would help me feel connected to a greater community. 
How It Has Impacted My Life: After moving here, I quickly found a handful of "expat blogs" that I followed along with, and that number has grown!  I still keep up with my other blogs, but at this time in my life, these other expat blogs are the ones I identify with the most- for obvious reasons.  I mentioned recently, that it really was only about 3-4 months ago that I started to feel like I had started to form a group of friends here in Australia that I saw regularly and really identified with.  So until that time, I really relied a lot on my "expat blog friends."  It was so helpful to be able to connect with people who were going through the same things as me.  It actually helped me feel really proud and excited to be an expat! 
I do hope that this blog stays with me through the years... even after we move back home.  Blogging has been a real gift for me this year, and I hope to continue this new hobby for years to come! 
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