Right now, though, I'm grateful. I'm grateful for the opportunity blogging has afforded me to have a writing medium that feels safe. I'm grateful for the little bits of extra money I make here and there which help with things like Christmas shopping and Detroit Edison* bills. I'm grateful for the people I've met, both virtually and in real life. I'm grateful for the opportunity to try new things. I'm grateful that sometimes I get to share those things with you all, in the form of giveaways. These days, blogging and social media are integral to advertising, communication, and information exchange, and I'm glad to be getting in on some of the fun and action!
Here are some of the coolest things I've experienced as a direct result of blogging, in no particular order:
- Meeting and interviewing Jeff Kinney. This was so cool, and something that would have never happened in Alysia's non-blogging world. Giving my kids the chance to meet one of their favorite authors and ride in his tour bus was totally phenomenal, and I hope it's an experience that they will always remember.
- Behind the scenes look at the Michigan dairy industry. So far I've had the opportunity to attend two special blogger events that involved touring Michigan dairy farms and finding out more about how milk gets from the cow to your table. I've toured Goma Dairy Farm in Marlette, and Horning Dairy Farm in Manchester, as well as the Michigan Dairy milk processing plant in Livonia. Talking with real farmers (and plant workers) and seeing how hard they work really gave me a new perspective and appreciation for the dairy products my family takes for granted.
- Lego KidsFest. Since Connor is a huge fan of anything to do with Legos, he was really excited to attend the Lego KidsFest in Novi last fall. Because he already wanted to go to this event, it was particularly awesome that I was unexpectedly given the chance to attend** for free, as a blogger. In exchange, I snapped some photos and wrote a blog post. Not bad at all.
- Gardner White Blog for a Grand. I entered a blogger contest that a local furniture chain was hosting, and won the grand prize of a $1000 gift certificate for the store! This was really exciting because it meant that Chris and I got to use the gift certificate to purchase our first (non-hand-me-down) mattress!
- Sesame Street Live, Disney On Ice, and Monster Jam. These are three shows that I will have the pleasure of attending with my children during the next month, in exchange for a little blogging and social media promotion. If you're interested in winning tickets to Disney On Ice at the Palace of Auburn Hills, click HERE. If you're interested in winning tickets to Monster Jam at Detroit's Ford Field, click HERE. (Sorry, but the two Sesame Street Live giveaways that I hosted have ended).
- Castaway Bay. Our family was invited to a blogger event at Castaway Bay resort and indoor water park in Sandusky, Ohio.Since we were already in the neighborhood, we were also invited to a blogger event at a nearby family fun center, Ghostly Manor. We made a whole weekend out of it, and had a wonderful time. I'll be sharing more about our weekend by means of a couple blog posts and a super fun related announcement...very soon. Be patient!
If you are a blogger, I'd love to know what cool opportunities you've been given as a result of blogging!
*Detroit Edison = electricity
**Connor & Mattie tagged along to the Lego KidsFest, as well as a few friends.