Monday, June 11, 2007

It's a Story ... about a girl named GiBee!

How awesome is this??? A Carnival about how every one's blogs began! Because seriously ... I do have an inquiring mind ... and ... I wanna know!

How about you?

Thought so.

Here are the questions our lovely hostess with the mostess, Chilihead at the one and only Don't Try This At Home blog, has provided for us, which is a conglomeration of questions formed by Amanda, Shalee and Shannon ... Thanks, girls!

So, without further delay, grab yourself a red velvet cupcake and some iced tea, sit back, kick your feet up, and learn a little bit more about me ... as if you don't know enough already! Then, cruise on over to Chilihead's blog, and check out the rest of the bloggers participating in this carnival!

How did you start blogging?
Several years ago, I began doing research on the Internet for other women with infertility (2002?), in the hopes of finding a common thread, and a lot of advice and support. While I found all of that, I was pressed to find one single Born-Again Christian woman fighting infertility. The road of bitterness, resentment, and anger flows deep in the infertility world, and it was difficult to stay positive. By July 2004, I felt the pull to start my own blog. I did, but I am most certain that I too, had many negative, bitter, and angry emotions flying around on my blog. It was called Infertile Meanderings. Then, in October, I had my first born child. He totally changed my world around! God was so good, and faithful to us, and I felt another pull ... to change the name of my blog and move on. Upon the encouragement of Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer, Kim from Hiraeth, and Lauren from A Humble Heart (Created for His Glory), I began a new "mom" blog called Kisses of Sunshine in February of 2006! All-in-all, I've been reading blogs for about 5 years, and having my own personal blog for about 3 years.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?
Ho, ho, hoooo! Heck no. I never started a blog to "have a big following." In fact, I started to blog so that I would have my own creative outlet, venting forum, etc. Then, it turned into a "mom" blog. I think I began getting comments and "followers" simply by falling in love with a host of blogs and leaving comments on them, or by participating in something like this! I also made a blogroll, but most important of all, I left comments on other blogs. Did I mention I love getting comments from y'all???

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
My initial goal was and continues to be, to encourage other women battling with infertility (both primary and secondary), and to encourage moms and women while showing God's love, joy, kindness, mercy, and light. Huh! That sounds like a mission statement! I think I'll stick that somewhere on my template! I also pray each time I write a post that God will use it somehow ... in some small, and maybe insignificant way, to encourage, bring hope, and place a smile on some one's face and heart. I don't know if I have been "successful," but it's an on-going, never-ending goal of mine.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
No. It hasn't. In fact, if anything, my daily blogging, along with your comments and private emails, continues to challenge my heart's desire, and I feel more dedicated to bless the socks of y'all!

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
It is very important to be careful in how you write, because a written word is "flat," so to say. You don't see my facial expressions, or hear my emphasis or tone, and one simple written word can be taken the wrong way, and can become hurtful. I think my heart would break if I knew that ever happened! Each time I post, I think ... "Go gently, young woman..." Okay ... so I'm stretching the "young" part a bit, but gentleness is the key to many a written word.

Do you make money with your blog?
I haven't yet. Actually, I have a free blog, so I don't feel the need to place ads on my blog at this time. Also, I'm very careful about what I represent ... so having "unknown" ads pop up on my blog is quite scary. You can probably tell that I don't know a whole lot about placing ads on my blog! Maybe if I understood it better, I might change my mind.

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
Yes, the majority of my extended family knows that I blog. Both of my sister-in-laws read my blog on occasion. Some of my immediate family isn't really what I would call, "tech savvy." As for my parents, well, I keep forgetting to email my link to them, and I haven't really given my sister the link because she's so stinking busy with her life right now, that I don't think she'd have a free moment to read it. I might be wrong, though. Okay. Now I feel bad. I'll be emailing them my link later on. Thanks a lot! (lol)

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?

Just two? Well, first, I'd say ... don't be afraid to blog. It can be fun, liberating, and shucks ... every gal needs a creative outlet here or there!!! It may seem intimidating, but there are so many great tools that can help, as well as your fellow bloggers!

Second, I'd say ... be honest, be yourself, don't exaggerate, be gentle. I honestly thing that a person's personality can change over the course of blogging. If you don't allow that to happen to yourself, you should be good to go!

Whew! That was thought provoking. I hope you enjoyed it, along with the cupcake and tea! I really appreciate that you took the time to read all this, and I'd love it if you would leave me a comment so I know you stopped by! Thanks, and have a blessed day... oh, and ... enjoy a couple pictures of Hunter eating a red velvet cupcake!

Oh, and don't forget to write your own post and put a link to it on the Mister Linky at Chilihead's place!


Peach said...

Leave it to you, my sweet friend, to make eating cupcakes so fun! Even someone like me, who needs to stay away from wheat enjoyed these! Hunter sure enjoyed his share, too.

I am so glad our paths crossed and can't wait to continue to watch precious Hunter grow along with you.

Peach said...

It's still me. I just need to change my blogger default to my new gmail account!

Shalee said...

Oh the cupcakes are gorgeous! Too bad they're virtual, but I really want one now...

And yesireebob on the comments. I always look forward to the comments that others will leave or that I can leave at a blog. It's a unique way to get to know someone who lives... oh about 1500 miles from me. And the joy of actually meeting/talking a fellow blogger who I have grown to love is like icing on the cupcake! (I love that I can hear your voice in my head now when I read you. It cracks me up because it's so much softer than what I imagined it to be! And yet, it aids me in understanding you all the more. I love it!)

Sunydazy said...

I've seen your blog before and love the design!
I love Bluebird Blogs!
I've enjoyed getting acquainted with you more today. How awesome that God sent you a son! I've never had to deal with infertility so I don't know how difficult that is (though I can imagine how angry and hurt one must feel).
I have dealt with losing pregnancies kids are pretty spread apart because I have several in heaven.
You must be a gentle and sweet shines through on your blog.
Nice to make your acquaintance!

Kelli said...

I"m just flat out glad you decided to blog. You bring a smile to me :)

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I loved reading your reason for starting. When infertility was your focus, I'm sure that you were definitely a kiss of sunshine!

"Be gentle." Very good advice. Not just for blogging either.

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

As a fellow TTC alum, I was drawn to your blog. I too left the WebMD and MSN boards due to the negativity and non-welcoming attitude of how my beliefs played into my struggle. I hadn't thought about it intentionally but I would want to share in your wish to encourage those who have struggled or are struggling with infertility.

Keep up the great work...and (as a "victim" of it in memes), I LOVE your nosy, I mean friendly personality! *wink*

Susanne said...

Gibee: I'm so glad you blog. You being a blog buddy before I ever blogged. You have been an absolute blessing to me!

Kelly said...

I actually started reading through your blog archives because you mentioned infertility. My sister and brother-in-law are currently struggling with infertility and I keep trying to seek out information to help them. I'm also seeking information on what to say to them and not to say to them. I know so many statements can seem innocent enough but can be unintentionally hurtful. I guess that's where your "Be Gentle" advice comes into play.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your blogging story and all your other stories as well.


Oh, and, I read your story while eating M&Ms and drinking water. There were no cupcakes in my house :)

Barbara H. said...

Wow, cupcakes, thank you! I am wary of ads that I wouldn't want to endorse, too. And, like you, I hope my blog is a blessing to people. I don't think to pray over every post, though -- I should!

Anonymous said...


4andcounting said...

I think our boys are distant kin, somehow. I'm going to post a picture on my blog and you can see for yourself. I love red velvet cake too.

chilihead said...

I know you won't take this the wrong way: I can't see red velvet *anything* without thinking of the armadillo cake in Steel Magnolias. ;)

Thanks for welcoming us into your blog history! You are truly an A+ hostess!

momrn2 said...

You are always a blessing and encouragement to me! So glad we "met"!!

Sandy said...

How fun to read your story. And a great one it is! I'm glad I stumbled across your site, it's brought many smiles to my face :)
Thank you for sharing your life.

For Reluctant Entertainers

Sincerely Anna said...

Hunter is adorable! So cute! I loved reading your story. I can relate with you about infertility - the loneliness and struggle to stay positive and trusting that God was in control. It's such a hard time for women, especially when they go to church where little babies and large families are so celebrated (which is of course a great thing!) When I was going through infertility there were 15 women who were pregnant (for a church of about 150 families). Even among close Christian friends I received lots of unwanted advice and opinions about infertility treatments. Sorry this is long- what I'm trying to say is that I'm glad this is one of the focuses of your's needed.

Susanne said...

BTW, I tagged you for a meme today! Come and get it if you'd like.

Heather Smith said...

I for one am VERY glad you started to blog! Great stuff found here!

Org Junkie said...

Oh the cupcakes look delicious! Very nice post, I enjoyed reading it, that is after I wiped all the drool off the screen :)

You are the sweetest!

aggiejenn said...

Those cupcakes are making me hungry!!! :-)

Jan said...

Thanks for sharing. You are one of my daily reads, and you always either make me laugh or give me somehting to think about.

Jen said...

interesting to read
keep blogging youre awesome

Jen said...

oh and slideshow is lovely :)

Judy said...

Great slideshow. I want a cupcake! Now!

I'm glad you started blogging, and think it's a great way to touch the lives of others. Definitely give your sister your link. My sister is very busy, too, but once in a while she drops in.

I also like sunshine! LOL!

Barb said...

I don't get over here as often as I'd like to, GiBee, but when I do, I always enjoy it. You DO bless us.

And your advice to new bloggers is great, especially about being yourself and being gentle.

It was a pleasure to read your story.

Jana (sidetrack'd) said...

Thanks for sharing your bloggy story. I've only recently become a regular reader, and I really enjoy your blog.

Katrina said...

I loved reading the story behind Kisses of Sunshine! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

WendyDarling said...

Wonderful blog!! :-) And your "little blessing" is just precious. :-)