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Five ٥ 5 cinco 五 fünf ★ cinq V

High five, everyone –it’s my blogoversary!

Year-by-year highlights of my blogging and personal lives:

In 2007 I joined the blogging world via a Peggy Orenstein book and the Barren Bi+ches Book Club. My brother-in-law was near death from Guillain-Barre Syndrome and my children were 6 and 4. I had just taken up yoga .Back then we did memes, gave each other lots of awards and left lots of comments.

By 2008 I had run my Chakra series, and survived Tessa’s first surgery. During my second blogging year I spoke at BlogHer, sharing a panel with Melissa and Pamela. My nephews dealt with the unexpected death of their father.

Year 3, which started in 2009 , brought Roger’s accident. On the blogging front I declared myself a writer and I became active on Twitter and Facebook.

In 2010 I got brave enough to undergo (and document) LASIK. Roger’s mom was diagnosed with cancer. At BlogHer10 I was giddy at being named one of Parenting magazine’s Top 10 Must-Read Moms.

In 2011 my children experienced death up close and personal with the passing of their beloved Grandma Marshmallow. In somewhat related news I began eating ayurvedically. I announced that I was going to give birth to a book on open adoption, having signed a contract with a publishing company.

I have spent most of 2012 writing said book. Diverting my wordstream has left less for this blog, for Twitter and other social media. I’ll speak at BlogHer12 at the workshop, My Blog No Longer Fits Me! with some of my dear bloggy friends.

And today I begin my 6th blogging year by asking for presents.

For my birthday, I ask that you tell me about a connection that blogging has brought you. Peggy Orenstein was a conduit for me into the ALI community and to blogging, and therefore to many of you. Is there a blogger who has introduced you to a person or idea, a meme, bloghop, or way of seeing the world that has changed you in a profound and/or positive way? Do share! No gift wrapping necessary.

Here’s some 5 music to accompany your commenting effort.

Image: arztsamui /

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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48 Responses

  1. I think Mel’s Show & Tell did the most for me finding my way around blogworld. It was a way for people who were usually mired in the stresses of reproduction to step back and write about something entirely different, and show off their personality a little more.

    Congratulations on 5 years!

  2. Feliz cinco de blogo! 🙂

    What a great post to celebrate your 5th blogoversary!

    Since we only really connected and got to know each other over the past 18 months or so, I loved getting an overall view of your blogging experience. I can’t wait to meet you in person and speak with you as part of our panel at BlogHer in August!

    I am so proud of you for your book and am so excited to read it and participate in the book tour after it is published! I am grateful that the book tour you hosted for Mel’s Life From Scratch brought us together and than your Perfect Moment Mondays and eventually my Time Warp Tuesdays blog hops helped to develop our relationship more.

    So as for a blogger that really influenced me a profound and positive way… There have been a number of them over the years and you have definitely been one of them.

    The one that has probably had the most profound impact on me is our dear Stirrup Queen Mel as she is the person who helped me to see that I am truly a writer (as you discovered in 2009, it took me a bit longer) and she has given me just enough validation over the years to allow me to believe that I am capable of possibly getting published someday and realizing that either way the time I spend writing and sharing my thoughts on my blog as a “wounded healer” is important and worthwhile.

    Congrats again on reaching this milestone my dear bloggy friend! I look forward to many more years of following you and your writing! xoxo

    1. Love that! Cinco de Blogo! Hehe — you have me laughing here.

      I am so excited to do bloggy stuff with you at BlogHer, my 5-year Cinco de Blogo twin!

  3. I remember googling infertility and blogs and donor eggs back in 2007 as I was contemplating starting up my own space. There were a few lone voices, and then I happened across Mel and Stirrup Queens and found my people and the rest is history.

    I loved the book tours. Engaging in the Barren Bitches tours reminded me to, um, read. And really got me back into the zone of responding to words on paper, both analytically and emotionally. And I loved it (and kind of miss it). I think, and I could be wrong, Lori, but I think it was a Barren Bitches book tour that brought us together. And I will never forget when you told me that you read me (also an adult adoptee) to help you be a better mom. Whoa.

    I’m not sure if you know, but those words put me in check. They reminded me: a.) words matter. They really, really matter. b.) to stop bitching so much. Life is good. It is sometime hard. Sometimes frustrating, but life is good and c.) to be open and aware and respectful of all of the voices in this community (because maybe I was giving adoption a little bit of a short shrift at that point). Your comment helped the voice on my blog grow up. And hopefully gain some depth along the way.

    So, to answer your question, my friend. You! I learned it by watching you, alright!?!

    1. I think you boiled the blogging experience down to the two most important words: “Words matter.”

      I am so honored by this comment. And once again, very grateful to Mel for Show and Tell and the Book Brigade and introducing me to YOU (blog-wise and in-person-wise).

  4. Wow- great journey! I love how you and your blog have evolved… reminds me of my super secret history – I started blogging in 2004– yep 2004 but was anonymous- JoAnn brought me out of the closet just a mere 18 months ago. Nuts. I am so glad I met ya!

    1. Well then. Even though you are older than I am in bloggy years, I am your blogging grandmother. Because *I* am responsible (indirectly) for bringing JoAnn out of the closet!

  5. Happy Anniversary!

    Blogging for me has touched so many areas of my life: adoption, food, photography, parenting, special needs parenting and now weight loss. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have blogs to turn to for help!

    Keep on writting!!

  6. I’m going to say Mel, too … it was the LFCA, really, that taught me how valuable not just a blog was, but a blogging community … a community of writers and thinkers. I love the number 5 … it’s my birth-day, but it’s just always seemed like a beautiful number. There’s the ee cummings poem about the number 5 which always captivated me. 🙂

    Happy 5 … and here’s to many more, variations included! (Love Dave Brubeck.)

  7. YAY!!! 5 years is awesome! Congratulations!!!

    I’ve connected with many women via the blogosphere, but I have to say, that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Mel. I don’t even remember how I stumbled across her, but once I did, and started sifting through the pages in her ‘rooms’, I finally felt at home. For once, in my disastrous RPL life, I found women who could relate…and that brought me so much peace.

    And of course, she brought me to you. My dear friend who has guided me along this adoption journey of mine. I hear your words often and they are calming; always bringing me back to my heart so that I don’t react and rather choose more thoughtful and ‘mindful’, as you say, avenues more often. It’s work, but you’ve demonstrated how beautifully it can unfold for all of us.

    Really, you both have served such great purpose in my journey.

    Thank you for that. What an amazing honour to celebrate with you!!!

  8. Mazel tov on 5 incredible years! This has been a wonderful post as someone who is still relatively new to your blog, but not necessarily to your name in the blogosphere since I started blogging 3 years ago. It’s neat to see what the Wild West early days of blogging were like – and yet, it’s amazing that that’s only 5 years ago! 🙂

    It’s neat to see how your blogging journey has unfolded and I’m so excited by your publishing ventures – it certainly keeps me inspired and motivated. You’ve got a lot to be proud of: as mom, as writer, as Goddess 🙂

    And now for your gift!

    There are so many blogs and bloggers who have been conduits. First and foremost, I always credit Gil at The Hardest Quest for introducing me to the ALI blogosphere – she’s my tornado in Kansas moment. Mel’s ALI Blogroll, as I said on many occasions, has been my technicolor entrance to Oz. Recently I’ve been reading Danielle LaPorte’s blog – she’s been a guide for the journey down the Yellow Brick Road, forcing me to confront the challenges along the way. In fact… writing about this has given me a great idea for a future post, so stay tuned next week! 🙂

    And here’s a bonus gift for your anniversary – a neat mashup I was introduced with a mix of Brubeck’s Take Five with Radiohead’s 15 Step to give you: Five Step. Enjoy and happy blogoversary!


    1. Ooooh….Goddess. I’ll have to notify the people I live with of my new title. RIght before I pick up dirty undies off the floor.

      Thanks for the links — going to check them out. And the video is awesome! Love the dancer of the mashup. Nice treat for me 🙂

  9. The blogging adventure has brought many gifts to my life, but the one I value the most is the friendship of strong, intelligent, and motivated women like you.

    Happy 5th Blogiversary! Love the links to early stories. Looking forward to the next 5!

  10. Mile High Five, Lori! I always enjoy reading your words and what reading them does for me. Makes me: Think. Reflect. Question. Inquire. Appreciate. Five words. Appropriate.

    As for your present. If I had a nickel for every person I’ve met via social media and blogging, I’d be rich. Including you. I AM rich.

  11. Is it just me or does it seem longer than 5 years. It’s awesome to see all you’ve accomplished during that short time. XO

    1. Sometimes it definitely DOES seem longer! Especially if we start talking about being sponsored at the Olympics, meeting Jerry Seinfeld, winning giant pumpkin-growing contests, going on The Marriage Ref and getting your own column in a major newspaper.

      Oh, wait. That’s YOU 🙂

  12. Lori, have you ever thought about how many lives you have impacted through your five years of writing meaningful blog posts? Last week when I was in my doctor’s office, I saw an assistant that I’ve known for years, but haven’t seen for quite awhile. I’ve been staying well :). Just as I was commenting that it has been a long time, she said that in a sense that it really wasn’t. Apparently, she has been following my story as well my husband said that our dentist and her staff said the other day they are reading my blog too. Most interestingly after I wrote a blog post about my gay bio brother not wanting to meet me and how, “When we hate those who are different from us, our words and actions can deeply hurt family members as well,” I got a new Twitter friend. The Mayor of Portland is openly gay and is now following me. It wouldn’t be any big deal but I don’t even live near his county, community or the area where he is the elected official.

    You have certainly touched my life by your writing and your friendship.

    1. JoAnne, thank you for this, for the reminder that words and connections make a difference.

      I don’t know the Mayor of Portland but I think he shows good judgment about whom he follows on Twitter!

      I’m glad blogging brought us together.

  13. Happy blogoversary to you, happy blogoversary to you, happy blogoversary dear Lori, happy blogoversary to yooooooooooooooou.

    I am still grateful to Peggy Orenstein every day for bringing us together.

    I’ve found most of my people either through comments on someone else’s blog (I see what they wrote in the comment section and click over) or because they asked to be on the blogroll. So instead, I will give a shout out to some of the first people I read: Vee, Serenity, Bea, Kir, Tertia, and Julie (and Emilie and Lisa P who are gone too soon).

  14. Five years! You have accomplished so much in that time. I loved reading your posts, some of which I had not read. Like the one about Roger’s go-kart accident! Yikes. I’m so glad he’s OK.

    The only blog I read until 2010 was Ayelet Waldman’s and I loved it because she was so open about the struggles of parenting, marriage, her struggles with her mental health. I never knew that there were people out there willing to be honest that life was not a garden party all the time, which is the only thing I ever heard from those around me at the time. I wish I had dug around and found more blogs: she even linked to Chez Miscarriage and I am so sorry I never read it before it disappeared.

    I wrote a post that I thought no one would ever read after discovering Stirrup Queens (seriously, a pivotal moment in my life, like for so many other bloggers) and Mel featured it in the Round-Up, which, I’m still so honored by that. I found your blog shortly after and remember reading the post about the women in the meadow and being blown away. You invited me to participate in Perfect Moments and I remember telling Darcy about it: that this amazing blogger invited me to participate: I was floored.

    You are one of my favorite bloggers because you encourage independent thinking in a kind and gentle way. And your writing kicks ass. The blogosphere is much richer for this wonderful spot.

    1. That invitation? One of my best ideas ever!

      Your last sentence is something I want to cross-stitch (Kristin??) and post above my bed. Because it’s the most meaningful thing you could have said.

  15. Holy shit, this reminds me, I’ve been blogging (actively) for 5 years too. Seems like such a short time ago. And here you and Mel are all writers with books and stuff and I still have my piddly little blog. *sigh*

    Wait, this is about YOU. Happy blogaversary!!!

    The Barren Bitches Tour, yes, and Peggy Orenstein (how I hated her for getting pregnant on her own!). I’ve made connections with people that have turned into REAL real life friends.

    And every once in a while, I’ll get an email from someone who tells me that something I wrote helps them through a rough time. Those emails are why I keep on blogging.

    Anyway. Happy 5 years!! May the next five be even better!


    1. We are in the same graduating class! Except that bloggers never graduate 🙂

      I know you have touched many with your grande amazing blog, Serenity.

      Here’s to our 10th!

  16. WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing those wonderful links, I bet it was hard to chose those key ones out of ALL of the posts you’ve written in your five years!
    I cannot even begin to tell anyone what a gift blogging has been for me. I have met some of the most amazing people through blogging and social media and feel that it’s really my niche. Opportunities have been amazing and I LOVE our community!!!!

    1. It was weird to review all the ground I’ve traveled, and remember who I’ve traveled with! Just for you, Tara:

      Make new friends, but keep the old
      One is silver and the other gold.

  17. Happy belated blogoversary, Lori! You have provided inspiration, education, and support to people all over the world through your writing, you have so much to be proud of. I feel lucky to be a fan!

  18. Happy happy blogoversary!

    Like so many have said, Mel was my conduit to everything.

    Oddly, even though I have so little interest in making new friends in real life, blogging’s greatest gift has been to introduce me to several people that I ended up meeting and knowing and befriending in person. You’re at the top of that list, clearly.

    And now I will foretell the next 5 years of your blog.

    6th year of blogging: Your book is published and becomes a bestseller.

    7th year: Success of your book leads to lucrative contract with major publisher for another book. You’re able to quit your day job and write full time.

    8th year: Book #2 published. Becomes an even bigger bestseller than the first.

    9th year: Tessa learns to drive. Overnight, all of your hair turns gray.

    10th year: To celebrate your 10th blogoversary, using royalties from your wildly successful books, your family and my family travel to Budapest and take a photo all together in front of a certain bridge.

  19. I think it’s pretty fantastic that you have a virtual yearbook on your blog!  You can look back, even though your memory may not serve you, and read what happened a year ago this week.  It’s a glorious thing – and it’s brought you so much more than just the yearbook..  AN ACTUAL REAL BOOK!  So exciting!  My posts aren’t so personal through Monkey Toes or Sugar Loco, but it has allowed me some pretty fantastic opportunities and some pretty wonderful friends (like YOU).

  20. how did I miss this? probably because my reader has been shut for days…

    happy happy 5th!!!!! quite an accomplishment!

    hmm. connections.

    mel, of course, with her octopus like ability to juggle and feature different writers and perspectives with kindness and inclusion.

    you, of course, providing a window into open adoption as I slowly, quietly peered in before opening the door and stepping through. your compassion shines through your writing as you share your experience and wisdom. yet what I appreciate even more is your friendship and support. thank you.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention pamela jeanne too. she linked to one of my earliest posts, the One I Had To Write when I started blogging in Dec. 2007 (it was my open letter to expecting mamas; you know, the one that said it’s not you, it’s me…). that link generated a lot of interest and emboldened me to stretch out into the blogosphere more actively. after that came blogher 2008, where I met all three of you…


  21. Happy (slightly belated) blogoversary, Lori — I will be coming to five years in the fall too (eek!). (LOVE Dave Brubeck too, btw!) I read over your highlights, many of which I can remember from the time — it is hard to believe so much time has passed so quickly.

    Like so many of us, I have to credit Mel for encourating me to start blogging, & her book tours, because they made me want to jump in & join the conversation. Also Pamela Jeanne, who was one of the only women I could find who was blogging about what it was like to be living childless/free after infertility.

    Here’s to the next five (& many more after that…!)!

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