A year and 8 months ago, I started this crazy blog. I had no idea if anyone would be interested in reading, but here we are, 200 posts and over 20,000 pageviews later.
I can easily recall the evening I started this blog. Unlike other friends with blogs, I didn't have one particular thing I was interested in focusing on, so I promised to combine all of my interests into one blog, and the rest is history. At first, I thought I might find a niche, but I never really did. I think of the blog as an online interactive journal, where I share thoughts and ideas, and that is what I have stuck with. In an average month, Lola and Zoe gets about 1,400 pageviews, and in an average day, about 40 pageviews. It seems pretty good for a rookie, her fiance, and a couple of cats :)
The blog started off as just another way for us to keep in touch with family and friends, but it has expanded to include recipes, book reviews, and lots of musings on life. I doubt it will ever be profitable in a monetary sense, but our little corner of the web brings me great joy as a hobby, so I know I'll keep it up. Blogging has also brought about unknown opportunities that I didn't expect (free early releases of books, discounts on clothes, etc.) Those small perks bring me a lot of happiness, but my motivation to blog is definitely an intrinsic one.
It may sound silly, but blogging definitely makes me feel like I'm never truly on my own. Being able to share our trials, challenges, joys, and celebrations makes me feel so much more "in touch" with not just friends and family, but with people collectively. Strangers have sent me nice emails, and I've even been able to give some advice. I'm always trying to think of new ways to keep the blog relevant and interesting, and some ideas are more successful than others, but in the end I know the blog represents me, and us, and that is what I think is neat about it: it's a place where I can express myself. This is who I am, what I believe in, and what I'm going through. Our lives are not always perfect, but they are ours, and one of the very enjoyable aspects of this is being able to record and document life, to look back and say "look where we've come from" (because lets face it, it's not always as easy to say where you're going!)
And really, we've come a long way. Since the beginning in February 2011, we've blogged through being graduate students finding ourselves in a newish relationship, to an unemployed couple living with my parents, to moving hundreds of miles away to the desert and living together, to both having teaching careers and planning to spend the rest of our lives together.
In a way, it seems like not long ago that I was sitting on this same couch, only in my apartment in Lake Charles, writing about the meal I'd just cooked with my best friend turned boyfriend. There is something about the memory (about all memories associated with graduate school) that feels so carefree. It was such a wonderful and happy time, and our lives have completely changed since then. But all of the unknowns about what we'd do, who we'd become as a couple, if we'd make a place for ourselves out in the world, if we'd find friends in that new place: all of it worked out. In some ways, I feel that I haven't just built a blog over the last year and eight months, but that I've built a life. And I've been coming here to write it all down.
Thank you for reading, for letting me share it with you. We'll be building our lives for the rest of our lives, of course. A life is something that always needs a new shape, but having people to share with--it makes all the change a little easier. I don't always know where I'm headed, but I know who I'm taking with me.
Thanks for being along for the ride,
<3 Stacy, Brendan, LOLA & ZOE