Thursday, April 24, 2008

Three Years Blogging And A Give Away

Honestly, I can't believe it has been 3 years! Blogging is a part of my life, surfing blogs is a huge distraction :o) and I have learned so much from fellow bloggers, from recipes to sewing tutorials to photographic techniques, that I can't imagine living without blogs! And, that's not including all the friendships I have developed and some I have met in real life and others I hope to over the coming year.

Four years ago I took a quilting class at Quilter's Corner, my local quilting store. At the time, my son had just turned 3 and my girls were about 19 months old. I was done nursing babies and could leave for longer periods of time and I was restless, needing some type of "outlet". Quilting was something I had dabbled in over the years but had not learned the actual techniques so a class sounded like fun. In addition, I had hoped to meet some other gals locally to make friends. That didn't exactly happen, but almost...

Theresa with her finished pieced top of sampler blocks made in class - November 2004.

I didn't meet someone who lived near me, but I did meet Amy. I noticed her right away and felt that we were supposed to meet. Previously I shared a little of this story and have linked to her blog. Amy is "sparkly", intelligent and has a great sense of humor. She has also known deep grief. And though our griefs are different, I instantly felt safe with her. One day in class she shared with us that the Sacramento Bee was featuring an article about blogs and she was interviewed. HUH?! What's a BLOG? She explained to me what a web log was and I was interested.

Our teacher Barb is at the design wall helping Amy determine the best color for the background of her quilt.

Blogging sounded like fun, but I didn't have time at the moment. It appealed to my creative side. At the same time I began the quilt class, I also bought my first digital camera. Things were lining up.

Here is Amy's quilt top pieced together and hanging on the design wall.

Guess what else Amy does? She knits! Knitting is something I had done since kindergarten off and on with varying levels of success. In the early 90s I was quite gung ho and took a lot of knitting classes even some with famous knitters like Alice Starmore, but my long bout with Pseudotumor Cerebrei and the chronic severe migraines it left in its path, left my knitting bag in the closet. Amy reminded me how much I loved it. My pregnancies gave me some migraine relief and I was having longer stretches of pain relief and able to use my eyes to concentrate more on close up work and so I got out the needles and started knitting again.

The best Hubby in the world - my Valentine's gift - my friend Laura watched the kids and Tim and I went to the quilting store and pinned my top to the batting and backing. That's true love.

Another view of my top while I was piecing it together.

At the time I started blogging, my friend Laura had little lambs.

And she tenderly cared for my little lambs. Here she is with D. She came once a week, generally Mondays and played with the kids to give them and me a break. Sometimes we went to see her small "farm" in the middle of the city, like the day pictured here.

This is J playing peek a boo with Laura. See that bright yellow? That's Laura's kitchen! She was that vibrant and alive - you saw her colorful clothes. She was a unique individual. She loved me for who I was and in spite of who I was and we loved her right back!

At the time I started blogging, we lived in a "gated community"! There were baby gates everywhere!

And there were babies everywhere! LOL The girls had just turned 2 years old. This is J petting the neighbor's kitten and A behind.

And D was 3 and, well... not much has changed! He's grown at least a foot but he's the same goofy boy! :o)

And when I had started blogging, Hubby was the same age I am now (this is on his birthday) and we both looked a lot younger and had less gray.

And when I started blogging, I had no idea that I would be writing this post today. There was no inkling of what may emerge in words and friendships and projects.

During that time I began knitting prayer shawls as a ministry. I turned forty. And in these three years, the first two recipients died of Ovarian Cancer. Then Laura was taken Home with Uterine Cancer. Though I have grieved deeply, I have also had many moments of joy. I joined the Christian Artisans Group where I have made incredible friendships. And I have made friends with many of you who have visited here and whose blogs I visit. My blog has been a place to share family news and photos with Grandma as well as my growing interest in photography. Interestingly, my blog has also been a way to learn more about some people I know in real life, as we have been able to "chat" back and forth through the cyber lines.

Though my first blog entries were simple and somewhat stilted, I have begun to find my voice. I am beginning to express myself and though it may sound cliche, I feel that my blog has been a gift to help me grow. So, THANK YOU Amy! I believe God put us together for a reason - our meeting was an Ephesians 3:20 gift! Thank you Lord, that you work in marvelous and mysterious ways!

Who knows how much longer I will blog, but for now, I am having fun and I hope you are too! Now, for the fun part!

A few gifts need a new home! :o) I'm sorry, I don't have pictures because if I waited, I might never get this post up!

I will draw names. Your name will be entered into the "pot" by leaving a comment here on THIS post through Wednesday, April 30, 2008. Please indicate in your comments whether or not you want to be entered for the knitting prizes because if I draw the name of a non-knitter, I will re-draw.

Your name can be entered a second time if you comment and you have never commented on my blog before. And the third way to enter is if you mention and link to my blogiversary give away on your blog (but you need to let me know that you did so!). Winners will be announced approximately May 1st.

My blog is now open to all commenters except anonymous, so it accepts Word Press and other IDs. If for some reason you cannot comment, my email address is up near my profile to the right.

PRIZE 1: In honor of all the healthy eating changes I have made lately, I am giving a copy of a small cookbook that I have found so helpful, Beth Holland's Bread For Life Volume I. So far I have made at least 6 recipes from this book and they have all been good!

PRIZE 2: For the knitters out there, 3 skeins of Knit Picks Memories Sock Yarn in the Yukon colorway which is navy, medium blue, medium gray and light gray. Each skein is 100% Merino wool and 220 yards. Three skeins will make BIG socks, lace or ?

Prize 3: This is also for knitters. Crystal Palace Kid Merino in colorway "Circus 9803" which is a rainbow variegated yarn. Two balls, which are approximately 240 yards each. This would make a colorful and bright scarf.

Prize 4: Choose 10 of my Photo Cards, some of which can be seen at the provided link.

Prize 5: Choose one of my photographs for an 8x10 or 8x12 enlargement OR 2 5x7 photographs. If it works with the photo, I will be happy to customize it with a Scripture, poem or other appropriate text, or you can have it as it, ready for framing and/or matting.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who take the time to comment, encourage and share your lives with me. I still struggle to keep up with answering comments, but I do always read them and they mean so much. I go back and look at your blogs too! That's always a joy. In your comments to this post, if there is anything you would like to see me write about, share or photograph in future blog posts, please let me know. Thanks for being part of these last three years. God bless you all!


Woven ~N~ Spun said...

Happy Bog-a-versary. I am so glad I've gotten to know you *as much as one can in cyber land*. You have truly touched my heart and life in so many ways. Here's to many more years of you sharing your talent and life with us.

bookwoman said...

Happy Blogiversary, Theresa! And, oh my goodness, is that your *first* quilt? I'm in awe.

Wool Winder said...

A nice look back at the last three years. I haven't "known" you that long, but in the time I've been reading your blog, I've been encouraged by your words, photography and your sincere love of God.

You know I'd love to win any of the knitting prizes ;)


Heather said...

Don't sign me up to win anything... but Happy Blog-iversary!!! :) :) --Faithful Reader Heather :)

sherriknits said...

Theresa...I remember how fun it was to see the comments on my blogiversary, I hope you are equally as blessed.

Goodness sakes! I see why you needed time to post, what a fun look back at your journey!

Don't underestimate your ability to communicate! I see my blog as a gift, also, in personal growth.. but often I am in such a rush that I feel like I scratch the surface, but you are always so reflective and do such a great job of communicating.

I'm glad I found your blog, have really enjoyed getting to know you and see all the wonderful things you do.

Blessings to you!

Donna B said...

Happy blogiversary! I enjoyed reading about how it all started! It really almost brought me to tears somehow. Blogs are a blessing, and so is knowing you.

Heather said...

Yaaaay you're back! I'm very new to your blog, but sign me up for the contest :o) Remaining in prayer for you and yours,

Carissa said...

Happy blogiversary!I'm very impressed with the quilt, it looks lovely!

Theresa said...

Happy Blogging Theresa! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry while reading your post. (ah yes, hormones). Here's to many more years of everything!

Scrabblequeen said...

I'm so glad Amy got to you too! I enjoy your blog, and was happy to get the chance to meet you. What lovely, thoughtful prizes you have selected. Happy Blogiversary!

Tabitha said...

Happy Blogiversary Theresa. Gorgeous quilt

Tina at Take Heart said...

Theresa, I always love reading your blog! I always find something that is uplifting. And your photography is gorgeous. Your are so talented and a blessing to many.

Happy blogging anniversary...

Dorothy said...

Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your journey with us. I especially love your photographs. You are so talented!

ikkinlala said...

Happy blogiversary! Your quilt looks great, and those lambs are so cute.

(I'd love to enter for the knitting prizes.)

SNOWBIRD said...

Congratulations Stitches of Grace on your anniversary in "blogger land". What a wonderful way to commenurate by a drawing. I would love to participate. I enjoy reading your blog as it is family friendly and Christian based. The quilt is just lovely! May God bless you and your family!

SNOWBIRD said...

Commemorate! spelling....
Sorry about the spelling in the previous post....Sometimes my fingers spin ahead of the brain.

Anonymous said...

Happy blogiversary, my dear Theresa.
Thanks for all the pix and stories to make them come alive.

And how fun to have a give away as well.

If you think that a beginner could make either socks or a scarf, enter me into it all.

If not, keep it for someone who can do the yarn justice. :-)

Thanks so much, Theresa, for sharing your life with us. I enjoy what's going on in your life - present and past.

Phro5gg said...

5gg@aol.comCongrats on 3 years of blogging!

Love the quilt top. What a great first quilt! I am amazed that you find time to do all that you do.

Teresa said...

Hi Theresa!

Happy blogiversary! I'm so thankful we found each other this past year through Amy. It's been fun getting to know you and realize how much we two
T(h)eresa's have in common!

The one thing we don't have in common though is knitting. :o( But we certainly have our healthy cooking in common. :o)

Have fun with your give-a-way!

Dkswife said...

Wow! What a contest!



Marci said...

Theresa, I love reading your blog, but I wish you would do more on your Journey to Wholeness one. =) I check it every day. I would love to be part of the giveaway. I do knit, so I would love any prize that you have. God bless you and Happy Blogiversary!!! My second one is coming up. Come on over to my blog. I have a name my lambs contest going on this week. =) God bless. I will post on my blog about your give away.

Lady_MSnow said...

Happy Blog a versary! I don't think I have posted before. I followed the link from Marci. Anyway, the quilt is gorgeous.

Sharri said...

Neat site. This is my first visit-Marci gave me a heads up! So, this is my first comment too!
I am unfortunately a "non-knitter" :0)

Happy Blogaversary!

IrishEyes said...

Happy Blogiversary, Theresa! Thanks for inviting me to look at your blog. I really enjoyed your great photos of the games. It was such fun to run into you there. Your rose photos are incredible! God has given you many wonderful talents. I'm so glad you met Amy which gave me a chance to meet you. Blessings to you and your sweet family.

IrishEyes said...

Happy Blogiversary, Theresa! Thanks for inviting me to look at your blog. I really enjoyed your great photos of the games. It was such fun to run into you there. Your rose photos are incredible! God has given you many wonderful talents. I'm so glad you met Amy which gave me a chance to meet you. Blessings to you and your sweet family.

Beth C said...

Congratulations on your blog-a-versary! While I found you while looking for local knitting lbogs, I do love reading about all the other interesting things you post, too. Keep up the great work -- in all areas of your life. :)