Well I am knee-deep, or really waist-deep in my research for my thesis. I am researching….go figure, blogging.

More specifically mom blogs, or mommy blogs. (Apparently, the camp is split between hating the term mommy blogging or embracing it.) Not sure where I stand.

I am a blogger, but I am not a mommy blogger. I do not have children to blog about. And fortunately for me, my operational definition is a woman who sometimes blogs about her children/family. I added family to include women who might blog about trying to become pregnant or those struggling with infertility. They are still mom bloggers because perhaps they would like to be moms. Or like me, I write about my family..but it doesn’t include children (at least not for a few years. Sorry mom.)

It’s my paper and I’ll do what I want.

Anywho, I currently have 62…yes SIXTY TWO, articles/books/blog entries/news articles whatever on the topic. Well not really on the topic. Hardly anything academic is written on mom blogs. What I have are articles about blogging, online communities, and the like.

I am reading, sifting, organizing, and thinking. Lots of thinking.

More than anything else, I keep thinking about the community and relationships that come from these blogs. I am just amazed at the support that flows from these little pages online. I read others’ stories and am so moved by the outpouring of love and support for whatever is happening on these blogs. A sick baby in NICU? Blog about it and if people read it, you will get support. Infertility issues? Blog and you will get prayers. A cranky baby? Other moms will reassure you that it is only a phase and you are, indeed, a good parent who just has a cranky kid.

It is amazing.

The more I think, the more I want to focus on the community and support found on these mom blogs. I want to know more. I want to understand it and make sense of it. More importantly, I want to convince other people that the messages and communication on these blogs IS important. These women may talk about dirty diapers and recipes, but there is a purpose and a reason. Their voices matter too.

I think I am so drawn to this because I see myself in some of them. And I feel like maybe if I validate their voices, I validate my own somehow as well.

Independence Day

We had big plans for the weekend. First off, we headed to Tyler’s hometown of Greenwood for Freedom Fest. He had a booth. (It rained all morning, so we didn’t get there until around 3…but we had a great afternoon).
We had BBQ, funnel cakes, and heard some great live music.
Then there were fireworks. There was so much smoke because it was so humid outside. The smoke just hung in the air. See?
Then on the actual 4th, we slept in, went shopping, and got some fireworks. Exhibit A: my pyro husband is so excited to light things on fire.
We had some beautiful fountains. There were also people all around us setting off beautiful displays. And the weather was AWESOME. It was a perfect night.
Tyler does not practice proper fireworks safety. He shoots bottle rockets from his hands.
I love sparklers. Like, I must have sparklers every 4th of July or I cry (just ask my mom about that one year….). I got some really long ones that changed colors and they were so fun!

We had a wonderful weekend being together and are so thankful for the freedoms given to us by our country and our God. We are so blessed here and I am so thankful.

Visit from the Cousins

My three cousins, Caitlyn, Gavin, and Luke came to visit me last week.

When they first got here, they let their car sitting wear off by blowing bubbles outside.
Then we went to Chuck E Cheese for dinner and fun. Luke just LOVED Chuck E.
We also went to the Gentry Drive Through Safari. It was fun…lots of animals and an awesome petting zoo area.
I got to pet a kangaroo!Then we went to the Springdale Aquatic Park. This place was awesome with a big pool, wading pool, and splash area as well as slides and basketball goals and fun stuff. But it started storming, so we left.We came home, showered and went for dinner.

They are too fun and I just love them! I’m so thankful for these little boogers!

{Last} Sunday Funday

Last Sunday, we loaded up the trucks and trailers with toys and headed to Ty’s grandpa’s farm in Oklahoma.

It was so fun! It was a hot, but beautiful day.

I got to drive the RZR, and I managed to get it all the way up the mountain and down without wrecking it! ha
Everybody rode along,(Ty’s uncle on the 4wheeler, his mom in the red/white, JJ his mechanic and friend closest in the green, and Ty farthest in the green. Grandpa and I were in the RZR.)

and then the boys jumped their bikes for a while. Too fun!
And to top it off, Grandpa gave me bunches of fresh goodies from his huge garden! We are stocked up on squash, green peppers, and jalepenos!