April 13, 2012

Alivia Designs

I had a blog the year I lived in Vermont. It was an I’m-fresh-out-of-college-and-I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-I-am-doing-living-in-rural-Vermont-but-I-think-I-love-it-although-I-couldn’t-tell-you-why blog. I wrote frequently and fervently. I am pretty sure I had fewer than three readers (three friends from college). This was before google friends connect and google reader and bloglovin’ and... This blog I had was for myself and solely myself. I don’t think I ever received a single comment and it didn’t ever occur to me that there was even a mechanism to comment. Maybe there wasn’t, it was livejournal, afterall. I shut that blog down after I moved out of Vermont. The story had come to a definite end and I didn’t want or need to have the blog hanging around the internet. Honestly, it meant too much to me for me to leave it up without my daily care.

I started a couple of blogs during law school, but never followed through. They were mostly ways to keep up with my friends and did not have a whole lot to do with writing or the reasons why I write.

When I finally started blogging again, years after I shut down my first blog, the blogging world had changed. It was a thing. There were comments. There was the counting of readers. There were headers. And buttons. And internal links. Oh my. I counted myself lucky to just be a writer and not a blogger (I could never in a million years build myself a blog with readers and buttons), chose the most simple theme I could find, and began to write. I wrote about how much I hated the grocery store and how much I loved dessert. Then I wrote about how much I loved the sun on my carrel in the library and about how alive I felt in the State House. But it wasn’t anything close to the way I wrote about Vermont. I still didn’t have anyone reading, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of knowing I was writing in public. I wrote at the edge of life, nowhere near the core. And I lived at my edges, no where near my core.

Until I hit rock bottom.

I don’t remember the exact time I scrolled down Alivia’s blog. I know Nicole had been telling me all summer that her cousin was in Africa and blogging about it. I don’t know that I ever even scrolled through Alivia’s Africa blog. That summer it just rained and I cried (about things like lost relationships, cancer, love, careers, friendship, fear, and broken elderly hips). Early fall, I hit rock bottom. So I started to write the way I wrote in Vermont. At the core. On my blog. And sometime early that fall, I found my way to Alivia’s blog.

She had a header, and buttons, and links. And she had writing. She had real writing. She had it all and I fell in love with it all. I read her blog for months and months, while I pieced my life back together. I kept her blog open as I tried to make a header and find a background color other than default. Her blog was a real blog depicting a real person through real writing. And it was pretty. *Swoon* Alivia and her blog made me want it all: the header, the buttons, the links, the writing, the photos, the sharing, the *gulp* design. And I’ve tried my best. I have. But as I’ve confessed before, I’m a pretty terrible blogger. I write. I write on a blog. But that is about as far as I can go. Alivia, though? She’s got it down. She’s got it all down.

These past few days, she has worked her magic on my blog. The me from fall 2009 would be giddydelighted that her favorite blogger designed her blog. The me now is giddydelighted that her favorite blogger designed her blog. One more time not in third person? I am so very, very thrilled that Alivia designed my blog. Gorgeous, fabulous, I love it. Everything about it. The header, the buttons, the design. I just love it. All of it.

Alivia, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am someone who writes on a blog. It has always been you who brings me a step closer to being a blogger.


  1. Emily, I'm terrible at blog designing, so I totally know what you mean! But I absolutely love how it looks right now!
    And I've always loved reading your blog regardless of how it looks :)
    <3 Kiersten

    1. It is so complicated and takes a form of creativity and vision I just don't have! I'm so glad you like it and that you'd read even if it wasn't this lovely. Thank you!

  2. First, I love the new design. Alivia did a fantastic job. Second, I can relate to this post. Alivia's blog was the VERY FIRST blog I ever found. I was looking for music to listen to in a computer lab one day in high school and I stumbled upon it. Her writing, posts, everything. It inspired me and helped me through some things. Her blog also led me to yours, so I'm glad that she started her blog, continued it, and now redesigned yours!

    1. I think one of my favorite things about blogging is we can help each other without even realizing it. And I think Alivia has impacted even more people than she realizes. I'm so glad she continues to share her life and journeys with everyone. Thank you for the thoughtful comment. And I'm glad you like Alivia's design work!