A Bee's Life: The Beagle Edition

My Introduction to the Weblog:
Until 2007, (like many of the Bees) the only internet related reading I did was news headlines and stories on the BBC.  I had no idea that such an expansive world of internet literature covering anything from cooking to politics existed.  Enter Etsy.  I believe I was searching the internet realm for information on Lupus when I came across an Etsy seller who was donating proceeds from her shop to the LFA.  I was immediately hooked.  From that point, I was introduced to the blog.  Many of the first blogs I started reading on a regular basis were by Etsy sellers.  I loved following other people's creative ventures, learning tidbits here and there about their lives, and diving further into the realm of the internet world as I was introduced to more and more new blogs to read.

Finding What I Wasn't Looking For: 
In late 2007/early 2008, Mr. Beagle and I began seriously discussing a marriage and a wedding.  Even though we didn't have an official engagement, I started browsing for wedding inspiration online.  I came across the Knot, but it just didn't seem to fit me.  One day, while randomly searching for wedding venues in Austin,  I came across the Weddingbee site.  Much like my experience with Etsy, I was immediately hooked.  I secretly followed the blogs of Cupcake, Lovebug, Onion, Tirimisu, Cookie, Jasmine (I could probably go on and on.....) and went through the archives with utter amazement at the weddings the bloggers produced.  I loved the details, the diy, and, most of all, the community that was so friendly, welcoming, and supportive.

Getting Up the Nerve to Apply:
After following Weddingbee for over a year, I finally joined the boards and participated by commenting.  Even though it was a little overwhelming to join such a large community, I felt a sense of belonging.  As I hit the 10 month mark of planning, I decided to apply to be a Bee.  This was one of the first goals I had set for myself in a while and it felt so good working toward it and ultimately achieving it.  Despite the considerable time and effort that blogging requires, it was worth gaining the new creatve outlet I had discovered.  About half way through starting my blog, my family found out my mom had relapsed with leukemia.  I started using the blog, and Weddingbee, as my escape from reality and the devestation I was going through.  I blogged my little heart out and finally, a month after submitting my application and waiting anxiously with anticipation, I got an email from Pengy stating I had been accepted to blog for Weddingbee.  The new generation of dogs had just come out and I chose the beagle in honor of my child aka my basset hound (who is often mistaken for a beagle).

Finding My Voice:
For the first two weeks or so after my acceptance, I waited patiently while my blog archives were posted.  I found that the period of transition from my exsting words to a live broadcast was the hardest.  I had butterflies whenever my posts would go up, hoping that my ideas would be accepted.... maybe even liked.  Then something happened after my first few weeks of live blogging.  The comments, although dear to me (we love reader comments!) seemed to matter less and less.  I think Mrs. Cheese really hit this point home, but I started blogging again for me: my wedding, my feelings, my experiences.  Through this, I hoped to inspire and connect to readers the same way past Bees had somehow found a connection with me. So now, everytime I sit down to write a post, I take this into consideration and I find that the words come much easier than before. 

How Weddingbee has Affected My Life:
It may sound a bit dramatic, but blogging has changed my life.  I have met so many wonderful friends through this site and I cannot imagine planning my wedding without the support I have received from Weddingbee.  Mr. Beagle & I have been down a rough road over the last few months and I can honestly say that blogging has gotten me through some of the tougher moments.  In addition to emotional support, I think my wedding has really taken the shape it has because of blogging.  It has helped me maintain a continual thread of creative thinking that I have used in creating the details that will be present on our wedding day (that is TWO MONTHS AWAY!!!)  I am constantly inspired by my fellow Bees' words, ideas, and projects.  I can't say thank you enough to all of the readers who have made Weddingbee what it is today and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

Tips for the Future Bees:
I think some of the recent posts on this topic have provided some good advice, but here's my two cents.  Blog for yourself.  If you blog for anyone else, it's not genuine and readers will see through your smoke screen.  That being said, I don't think a blog should be an open book about all the drama and tears that sometimes come along with weddings.  You don't want to become a Debbie Downer. :)  Choose your words carefully, think your thoughts through, and if it takes you two hours to write a post.... don't sweat it.  Keep in mind that blogging takes a lot of time and energy, but if you're wiling put in the effort, the rewards are well worth it.  I like to mix up my posts: one wordy, one inspiration, one diy... etc, etc.  It adds differentiation to the mix and keeps your readers interested.  Unfortunately, I'm no Cheese, who can hook anyone with her words alone.  If I think of post ideas when I don't have time to blog, I start mini-drafts in my blogger so that I can finish them later.  With all the going-ons of wedding planning there's no way I would remember posts otherwise.

A Bee's Afterlife:
Don't worry, you still have several months left of me. :)  I plan on sticking around for a while after the wedding to check on the other Bee's in the middle of their planning and of course to post my recaps.  Though after a wedding, your life goes on.  Your time once spent on planning transitions to time spent on your marriage and nesting, your career and travel, and babies... or, in my case, hopefully another hound (Mr. Beagle, please?!?!)!  You can follow me after my stint here ends at:  http://www.byelouise.blogspot.com/, my personal blog that was recently made over by the talented Mrs. Flamingo (and will get more attention when I'm not knee deep in wedding projects).

And as always, thanks for listening.

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