superdumb supervillain: Scholarship Essay, Send Me to BlogHer!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Scholarship Essay, Send Me to BlogHer!

I've been blogging since I was pregnant with Jasper. My blog started as a way to share pictures of the kids with far-flung family and friends but snowballed into a showcase for all the baby goods that I hadn't known about when I was expecting Roo. It's amazing how much stuff was introduced within three and a half years! Much of it I couldn't justify buying since I already had Roo's hand-me-downs, but I was fascinated with the burgeoning baby products realm, especially with the advent of Etsy and the handmade revival. I loved how the internet brought crafts back into our homes. And I loved entering contests on blogs. The odds seemed reasonable, the prizes often unique or handcrafted, the bloggers amazingly friendly. I made so many friends online by entering giveaways and, eventually, by hosting my own giveaways.

I never expected blogging to be more than a casual hobby but it has become part of my life. While I was pregnant, my blog friends doled out advice and suggestions on how to deal with sibling interactions, since I am an only child. Bloggers offered expertise on technical matters, like HTML and statistics and contacting companies, as well as girl talk about shopping and entertainment. I have several bloggy friends who I visit every day online and hope to meet in person at BlogHer '09. They have become a lifeline for me, offering friendship and comraderie that I can count on. Their support is not just virtual, either…

This sense of real life community extends beyond the nebulous realm of the internet and into real life. Two of the companies I have been lucky enough to work with, Flor and Graco, have stepped up and helped me out in ways that go above and beyond mere marketing. When a friend's husband took his own life a few months ago, leaving her with two small girls and another due in June, I asked Lindsay at Graco for help, letting her know that I would probably not be able to blog about the sensitive issue. She graciously provided a Quattro Travel System featuring infant carrier and stroller without question. My friend was so moved by the generous donation, she thinks it looks like something a movie star would have! It is so special for her to have something new and beautiful for the baby, since they had already given away all of the older girls' baby gear and will have to rely on second-hand things for her.

I work with a volunteer group locally and one of the projects we undertook this year was refurbishing and supplying several libraries. The one that I worked at is only a few blocks from my home but a world away. It's a pre-K through 8th grade school run by the archdiocese of Wichita to serve a mainly low income African American population. The school has never had their own dedicated library, so when they moved into a new building with the space for one it was a big deal! We gutted the old room and repainted, got new furniture, computers, smartboards, even artwork to hang on their walls. Gina at Flor procured almost $1000 worth of multi-colored carpet tiles for the project and they truly are the icing on the cake. They use some as a permanent area rug and others as carpet squares for children to sit on. One of the most amazing things was getting the whole student body into the library to watch the historic Presidential Inauguration. I was so touched that Flor was part of that experience for me.

I never expected blogging to become such a big part of my life but I hope that by attending BlogHer '09 I can keep the momentum growing. I want to meet my bloggy pals, of course, but I also want to learn more about the mechanics of blogging. Thanks to 3 P's in a Pod, What's That Smelland Protect-a-Bed for this opportunity. I bought my registration before they sold out but the cost of flying to Chicago and staying in a hotel is pretty iffy for us, budget-wise. If I won this scholarship, I couldn't possibly fink out…


Hey! If you'd like to sponsor my trip to BlogHer '09, opportunities are still available. Just let me know what you have in mind!

5 comments:

  1. I too have been amazed at the outpouring of support and friendships I have made through blogging!

    Thank you for entering and good luck!

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  2. Awesome about your work in the library Naomi!
    I wish I had a little extra $ I could donate to your fund!!!
    Thank you for being so kind and cool and answering my silly blog questions! I really hope you win, you deserve it! :)

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  3. And she does it all with two rambunctious kids!
    I sure hope you win the scholarship!

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  4. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and to enter our BlogHer contest. We've met so many amazing people throughout the blogosphere, it's exciting to be able to help a few of them with their trip to BlogHer.

    Good luck!

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  5. That's such a sweet post, and I completely relate to everything you wrote about blogging. I'm glad we've become blog friends, and you've been so supportive of other bloggers too.

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