Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why I Love To Blog! PLUS, A Little L-O-V-E For The Midwest . . .

Well, well, well. I've never done this before, and I have some mixed feelings about it, but here we go.  Lately, I've received some really sweet comments, e-mails, and "real-live" verbal conversations about the ol' blog-a-roo.  It really brightens my day. . . even when the person is practically a complete stranger.  :)  I wanted to write a little thank you to everyone who reads this blog. . . even if you've never met me, never commented, never whatever.  I appreciate it, and some of those comments . . . e-mails . . . conversations have really meant a lot.  Seriously. 

Like I've said before, I blog for me.  I'd keep on blogging even if I never received any feedback at all.  I view this as my journal, and I prefer to call it that since I've pretty much stopped writing in my paper journal.  And I am a more consistent journal writer now that I blog. My kids already love looking back at all the pictures, and I think someday they might like to read what I had to say too.  Maybe?  I try to write the good and the bad, but mostly the good.  I try to write about the big events, and the little, sweet conversations and moments.  I try to write about exciting things and things that are hard for me.  I try to write, not just the family happenings, but what I'm feeling.  Hopes, dreams, goals, frustrations, thoughts, happinesses.  

A close second to my purpose in blogging would be to keep family and close friends informed on our lives. . . you know, if they're interested.  hehe. I started this blog all the way back in 2007, because my friend - Haley M. - kept telling me I should. . . and I admired her blog.  Back then, I viewed it as an easy way to keep my extended family, many of whom live far away, up to date on the happenings of my little family.  It still does serve that purpose, but over time the bigger purpose became my own personal journal . . . that I happen to let anyone in the world read.  hehe.  (I just recently realized there was a "stats" tab that lets you see how many people visit your blog, when, from where in the world, etc.  Interesting!) 

Just a clarification:  I've never considered myself an especially talented writer. . . or even interesting, clever, funny, or insightful.  But I try.  And I enjoy it.  Also, although I know the rules of grammar - I am an English Major after all - I try to write in my own "voice" when I blog.  Even if that means run on sentences, or incomplete sentences, or words that don't technically exist.  You get the idea.

Blogging can be so personal, and so impersonal at the same time.  It can seem so self centered, and so giving at the same time.  It can be funny, and serious, and sometimes sad.  It can teach you new things in a fun way. . . like just wait 'til I show you a picture of a cute onesie project my mom and I have been creating - all thanks to a blog.  :)  Although I don't think blogging should take the place of actual phone calls or real conversations, I do wish all my close friends and family blogged, because it's a really easy way to keep informed (because part of my purpose in this thank you is to encourage some of my peeps to start their own blog :). 

So yeah, I'm a fan of the "blogging world" and love to check it out when I have a spare second.  So, if you don't blog already - start!  And for the rest of you - 
Why do you like to blog?       

Back to my main point:  Thank you!  I really, sincerely appreciate your positive feedback.  Yippee!  :)

Scenes from Marquette:

Now on to the second part of this nice, long journal entry.

Ethan and I have been talking a lot about where we would like to live when he graduates this August.  It is a blessing and a curse that Physical Therapists are in high demand in pretty much any area of the country.  It's really up to us. And the starting salary seems to be pretty consistent no matter where we're looking.  (Weird, huh?)  I grew up in the mid-west, mostly Indiana then Michigan when I was 15, and L-O-V-E-D it.  I love the down to earth vibe of the Midwest. And call me crazy (Chuck! my f-i-l :), but I think the Midwest is beautiful. . . even Indiana.  hehe.  I love the green and experiencing all four seasons.  I love the beauty of farmland.  I love the wide open spaces and the thick woods.  I love Midwest thunderstorms.  I love the beauty of Lake Superior, and all the Great Lakes (Great Times!  hehe :).  I love the thick pine tree forests. I love the rocky shores.  I love canoeing the Wabash, hiking in hilly Southern Indiana, cliff jumping into Lake Superior, bonfires on the beach, playing hide-and-seek in corn fields, the smell of pines, the Michigan sand dunes, and the list could go on. 

I see the beauty in other places I've lived or visited too - the majestic mountains of Idaho and Utah, the palm trees and perfect weather of Southern California, visiting the luscious South, the dry desert of the Southwest, the peaceful beaches of the Caribbean, etc, etc, etc.  (Some of these places are a little too brown and grey for me though. . . did I already mention how much I love the GREEN here?)  So yeah, my heart will always be with the Midwest, no matter where I am living.  And much of that has to do with family.  Oh, I love my family.  However, I think it'd be super fun to live else where and try somewhere new.  Ethan and I both find it very appealing to live in a place that neither of us has lived before.  Ethan moved to Marquette from Colorado when he was eight, so he mostly grew up in the Midwest too.  He's also lived in a few other Western states, New Zealand, Australia, and has visited many, many other places.  As a family, we've only lived in Michigan - the Upper Peninsula, and our two year stint down sate.  We would love to try something new. . . New England, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado?     

So, why don't we just pick a spot and go for it, you ask?  Because I'm pretty sure Ethan will try to get a job here in Marquette.  Why?  Because sweet, little Anna has prayed EVERY DAY this past year, "Please help daddy find a job in Marquette."  Man, kids can be so influential.  hehe. Yes, I know she'll adjust and be happy where ever we live, but being close to her big, extended family means so much to her right now. . . and Benjamin too. . . and probably Caleb too if he could tell us.  And we have a lot of family in the Marquette area right now (even though my in-laws have been saying for years that they're going to move :).  I loved growing up near my big, extended family, and have so many great memories of regular family get togethers as a child.  We love living close to our family here in Marquette, and feel like it's such a blessing to live by them - that they all get to be a regular, influential part of our lives and more importantly, our children's lives. 

SO, the plan right now is for Ethan to hopefully get his first job in the Marquette area, which he seems to think will probably work out.  (Just over a month ago, he went around to all the PT clinics in the area and handed in a resume, and had some positive feedback - always hiring - from a couple places!)  Then after some years of experience for Ethan, and when the kids are old enough to think it'd be cool to move away from their extended family :), we could then do the whole, "move somewhere we've never lived before" thing.

And although there are a few things I'd change about Marquette to make it perfect, like knocking two months off the winters here, and making it closer to a major city (although I think the remoteness is part of the appeal too), there are so many things I love about living here:  our family, our friends . . . some since high school, our Church family, the Lake, NMU, the size, the bike paths, the beautiful outdoors, our old neighborhood, the beautiful beaches, the hospital (where all three babies were born), 3rd street, the library . . . oh the library, the look, the vibe, the people.  I l-o-v-e MARQUETTE.  And although I've lived here for a little over eight years, cumulatively, I could live here a little longer.  Especially if it makes Anna happy.  :)
We'll keep you posted on that.   

Scenes from Indiana:

So, what do you love about your neck of the woods? 

P.S. All of these pictures are from google images. 


Becky said...

I love this post, probably cuz of my love for the midwest, too. :) there are definitely positives I have come to learn about living in Utah, but I hope to someday get back to the midwest. The thing I miss most (besides the beauty you talked about) is the missionary work. I do know there's tons here to do, but it's very different and I miss people not knowing anything about our religion and being able to be an example and teach. On the flip side, I love walking to church, checking out LDS books at the library all the time, being close to so many temples, etc. That's the beauty, you can find great things about wherever you are, huh? :)
Thanks for your post! Miss ya!

Ange said...

Thanks Becky! When Ethan and I were deciding where to live before we got married, that was definitely a factor. . . strengthening the Stakes of Zion, and sharing the gospel. There were just too many Mormons in Utah. hehe.

But it's true, no matter where you live, it's important to see the beauty and the positives. And yeah, it'd be awesome to live closer to a Temple . . . although the ward bus trips to Chicago are pretty fun. :)

Kelly said...

It's true, there are great things about every place you live. asked about our new city. We're moving to Minneapolis which is definitely closer to you, or maybe you could give it a shot too :)

Ange said...

HERMANA!!! You'll be in the mid-west too! Yay! :) AND Ethan and I were planning a little get away to Minneapolis this fall because it's a) It's close enough to dive in one day. b) It has a temple and c) I've never been. Unfortunately we won't have our kiddies with us, but I WANT TO SEE YOU and meet your sweet fmaily! :)

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