Saturday, January 5

Give and Take

One of the more astounding discoveries in my life has everything to do with this blogging habit I picked up about 10 months ago. Specifically, that discovery is the rich friendships which develop with folks you only know by their written word. When I opened my blog page in March of 2007, it was with the sole intention of keeping in touch with my family and friends back in the U.S. You know, the ones we left behind when we moved to Holland more than 2 years ago. That is still the primary motivator behind what I choose to write and share here. BUT along the way this other thing happened. These OTHER PEOPLE began showing up here at this page and making comments, sharing stories, building relationships. I was swept away.

I have loads of very philosophical thought regarding why it works the way it does and why this blogging thing is happening in the first place and so successful in the second place, and I will happily share my theory with you sometime over a glass, while sitting by a cozy fire. Or, okay, it could be on a warm beach with ocean waves tickling our toes--I am not all that particular about the venue. But today I want to focus on the fun.

This kind of fun.

The kind of fun which consists of people you don't know who say the craziest, nicest, things about you on their own blog pages. Things that, when you read them sitting at your desk cause you to giggle endlessly, then cry out "NO WAY! SHE REALLY SAID THAT?" and then you just plain cry a little. Because in the run up of all things cool, blogging friends top the list. At least mine do. And they say the nicest things.

Leslie, who runs the show over at My Mommy's Place was handed an award recently--a virtual internet/blogging award--which then she handed to me. It looks like this:

And she said this about me:

If this woman isn’t reading your blog, you’re missing out. Because Jenn doesn’t just read your blog, she becomes a fan of your blog. I imagine her sitting at her computer, wearing my t-shirt with a giant Leslie’s #1 foam finger, doing back flips and turning cartwheels in support of me. She gets excited about my ideas and efforts and celebrates my success with as much enthusiasm as she would her own. Don’t we all need a friend like that? The amazing thing is, she gives that much to every blog she visits. I guess that’s why, if you’re quiet, you can probably hear a chorus of us singing her praises right now. She leaves thoughtful and encouraging comments everywhere she goes. And I never feel as if she’s doing it just to promote herself. She’s genuine. I feel lucky to know her. Meeting Jenn in Holland face to face is on my list of things to do before I die. And meeting Jenn ranks higher on the list than meeting Oprah Winfrey. She’s that awesome.

You can read the full post here. And you should read it, and not that post only, but her whole blog. Every word. I promise, it's worth the time in her archives. Leslie is witty, honest, and completely hilarious. I have been a die hard fan of hers for, like months now, and I think everyone should join the club.

So, the point (and I do have one) to this post is motivated by my desire to hand some of that love and kindness back around to those who have been so very, very, very good to me in this bloggy world. My hope is that those who receive this award will pass it on to those who have been very, very, very good to them as well.

It's a big kiss, of the chaste platonic kind, from me to you with the underlying 'thanks' message implied. I really do appreciate your support and your friendship and yes, your comments. So I hand this out, presenting to these blogs in list form only, but if you want to hear me wax poetic as to the reasons behind my choices I can do that too. We can schedule that chat for a later date. Maybe in Jamaica?

The award looks like this:


And it goes (in no particular order) to:

Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting
Soccer Mom in Denial
The Ambassador Returns
Fourier Analyst
The View From Here
Anno's Place
The Ice Box
Rocking Chair Ruminations
Not That Different
The Freelance Cynic
Blooming Idiot
Goofball's World
Virtual Sprite
My Mommy's Place
Wiping Up Snot
Don't Call Me Mummy
Have The T-Shirt
When I Finally Decided to Get It
The Road Lester Traveled
Blog Ness Monster
The Green Fingered Photographer
Return of the White Robin
Words from a Wordsmith
Dream Weavers Web
Anneke's Art
Loesjes Double Dutch (sadly, no longer blogging here)
Whee! All the Way Home
Quarter Rest
The Potty Diaries
The Verge
Mariposa's Tales
Adventures In Waitressing
Greeble Monkey
Rebecca James
'Twas Brillig

There you have it. I suppose this is my blogroll really (you know you were wondering who I read!) So, my friends, you can hand it on to a few, or a million, that's your choice as recipient. But I hope you understand from me to you it is heartfelt and sincere!



  1. Dankie mevrouw, dankie!

    You're so nice... so here is a big chaste and platonic MWAH!, right back at you!

  2. Thanks so much, Jenn! You made my morning!

    Mwah right back to you! :-*

  3. Thanks Jenn, you have no idea how much that has brightened my chicken poxy day! And just to continue the trend; MWAH back to you too!

  4. What a wonderful way to start my morning. Thank you so much!!!! I'm going to echo what Leslie said about you. Mwah!

  5. And big Mwah! back atcha!

    thanks for keeping me current on all things Dutch :)

  6. Awe, Jenn, what a great start to my morning! And yes, Leslie was RIGHT ON! Mwah to you, my friend!

  7. Aw thank you! I'm so touched. That was beautiful what you wrote.

  8. MWAH! back atcha! Now to spread the MWAHs ... hmmm. What a great feeling to start this day. Thanks, Jenn, you have made my day.

  9. Jenn congtatulations on your award. Thank you for the thoughtful recognition of my blog. I appreciate your Mwah and your support. This blogging is a fun and interesting phenomenon.

    A chat in Jamaica sounds grand on this cold January morning

  10. You are so sweet!

    And congrats to you! Leslie was dead on with everythiing she said. You are so wonderful!

  11. Thank you Jenn. I feel the same way about blogging. I've met and had the opportunity to read the thoughts of some amazing people. It makes me feel lucky. Especially to have met you.

  12. Well, I think we can agree that Leslie is a very astute person ... and that she's right! So thank you VERY MUCH for the MWAH! (although I will admit I'm just a teensy-weensy bit disappointed at the chaste lack of tongue). I am posting it now and will certainly treasure it forever! Whether I share it with anyone else is still under consideration, since I think I'd simply have to send it on to everyone on my blogroll. But since that does include you, I'll leap right in here now and send yours back: MWAH!!! Thanks again, sweetie! You're the best!

  13. Oh, and Jamaica sounds good. But so does Yucatan or San Francisco or just about anywhere there's someplace cozy and/or warm with an ample supply of good tequila and/or red wine. You'll let us all know when you've made all the arrangements?

  14. Hi Jen! I just woke up and my day here at the office is just starting...and I have to say, you just made my day start so right. ;)

    I agree with everything you said here about blogging and what it does to people...well, at least to us!

    Thanks for having me here...and here's a big...


    back to you!

  15. A desert hug to you. Thank you darling.

    PS - you gave it to everyone I would've give it too!!

  16. You're so sweet. I came here the first time, drawn by your blog title. I stayed because I love your stories.

    Plus, you always give such great language and culture lessons, and lord knows, I'm sorely lacking in my Dutch lessons!

  17. Awww, that's so sweet! Thanks so much!!! :)

  18. Thanks so much! I've been kissed!

    You're just a sweetheart Jenn!

  19. Aw, thanks Jenn. That was just what I needed! Mwah!

  20. Yup - Leslie is a sweetie. I too enjoy her blog and am the lucky recipient of comments from her as well. In fact, Leslie was the VERY FIRST PERSON to comment on my blog!

    Love you both!!!

  21. Awww, thanks Jenn! I'm so glad I found your blog, I heart it!

  22. Oh Jenn...... Thank You SO Much !!!!! You certainly made my day. MWAH back to you too!

  23. MWAH! You are just a peach! Thank you for including me in such a grand list of great souls.

    Leslie was spot on with all that she said, and I know so many are seconding all that she wrote.

    You have made my day bright--but then, your blog has often brought sunshine to my day.

  24. If you aren't feeling too chafed already (between the dutch new year's & those three kisses from each person you met on the street on new year's eve and all the previous MWAH action) ... MWAH! MWAH! MWAH! from me, too!

    I'm ready for that chat anytime. Jamaica sounds great, but anyplace with a supply of red wine would work just as well...

    The blogosphere would not be the same without you.

  25. Hey Jenn... I've gone SINGULAR! Just letting you know ;-)

    Thanks again for my Mwah! Dahling!!!

  26. a big thanks and (chaste, platonic) MWAH right back at you! thank you, thank you - that was a great way to end my day :)

  27. Oh yes, I'm in on Singular Saturday too--thanks for inspiring this special day's event--always gives me pause to see just what is Singular in my week to date!

  28. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! And right back atcha, babe! With tongue! ;)

  29. Aw! Thank you so much! (I'm not much of an articulate person, that's why I draw in the first place) so I won;t be saying something very eloquent, but thank you! In het Nederlands kan ik het allemaal veel beter zeggen; ontzettend bedankt voor een geweldige award! Je krijgt natuurlijk ook nog wat terug van mij, ik moet alleen nog even bedenken wat dan precies... :D

    Mwah back at you!

  30. Oh, I forgot to say that I've added you to my links. (hadn't done that yet *shame*)

  31. And as a thank you to you (and shameless selfpromotion ;) ) Here it is:

  32. Just what I needed... here's one back Mwah...

  33. :)

    yes. i've had a blog up since june, and blogging has done the same for me.

  34. Aw, Jenn. Thank you! You are a sweetie. Not just for this, but also for the magnificent package I received in the mail yesterday!!! It really brightened my day. Thank you so very much. You certainly didn't have to do that, but I'm so touched that you did. And it came with perfect timing. I really needed a pick-me-up!

  35. Feels like a nice, wet one actually. MWAH right back at ya.

  36. Jenn I am so sorry I was away so long to miss this. I truly appreciate it and you bet your butt it will be on my blog as soon as I get my computer back.

    HUGS bunches.