Thursday, January 01, 2009

Commenting on comments and my first big give away!

I love them. I need them. I wouldn't blog without them. They make my days sunnier and give me purpose. No, not my children, but the above longings do apply to my two sweet daughters. I am actually talking about comments. Blog comments specifically (especially the nice ones). I often hop from blog to blog and wonder how come some blogs get lots of comments and not on others. What makes a post most comment-able?

One thing about me is that if I like a blog and stay there for more than 10 seconds, I will leave a comment. My husband commented (no pun intended) that he thought it was strange when strangers commented on my blog. I confessed that I comment on strangers blogs all the time. And he thought I was strange. I comment because I want the person to know that what they are doing means something to me. If I laughed or if I cried, or if I was encouraged, I think the author should know that little ol' me enjoyed it. I hope people would do the same for me, although many don't. (I see you Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Grand Prairie, Alberta and I am anxiously waiting for you to comment some day.)

I love getting comments and I've developed a little bit of a following of commenters I know I can depend on. They are with me through long mommy ramblings and funny posts with pictures -- everybody loves pictures. Sometime people come out of the wood work, so to speak, and specific post got tons and tons of comments. I'm no pioneer woman, but I think 13 comments is tons and tons. Okay. Call be desperate, but I take what I can get. I did a little research and thought I would share what topics in 2008 got the most comments on Paradise.

I knew in 2008 that I was going to have to show some humility; let you see the real me. You loved hearing about Alaythia (my life guarding alter ego), my saggy skin post pregnancy, frightening hair trials, my insurance issues, and I let you all know I don't have perfect grammar (you were deceived for so long).

Apparently thought provoking surveys are also popular because I received many comments on what to do with my books, what I should do when I have to go the bathroom really, really bad, what my children should call adults, and whether or not I should delve into the world of leggings. Thanks for all your help. What would I do without you? I'd be over loaded with books, my kids would be calling you all by your first names (gasp!), and I would never wear leggings again. I don't want to live in that world.

If only I could be really funny every day, I think I could be PW and get 3, 000+ comments a day. My 2 funny posts for the year were a big hit. Read this one and this one and you'll never look at barley or butt cracks the same way again. I'm setting my sights higher for 2009 and I will attempt to do 3 hilarious posts. Stay tuned and keep the comments coming.

In reviewing other sites and doing extensive research, I've discovered what I am lacking. What will take the commenters to the next level (more than 13)? That's right. A. HUGE. GIVE. AWAY. Hold on to your mouse because I am doing my first give away! Since my idea of tons of comments is 13, then you can expect my idea of a HUGE give away may not be that huge. It is a $10 gift certificate to It could be yours for a comment here on this post (maybe also check out my last post about marriage -- it is feeling lonely and just a bit self-conscious). Comment about your favorite post from the 2008 and you could be the winner.

* One entry per person (let's here from you Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Alberta).

* Deadline for commenting to win the prize on this post is Sunday afternoon-ish-sometime.

* Winner to be selected Sunday night (1/4/09) by asking my husband to randomly pick a number. He may not be a blogger, but you can trust him with this weighty responsibility.

* The gift certificate will be awarded electronically, so go ahead and comment even if you are on the other side of the world (if you Amazon can get to you, so can I). I love hearing from my international blogging friends.


Stacy said...

I'll come out of the woodwork...and I get to be first! I enjoy your site a lot and use your links to other sites...thanks for introducing me to PW!

My favorite post was something about the trials and learning of Emma or the development milestones of Mandy, since she and my 4th are similar ages.

I love give-aways and have a huge wish list at Amazon. Thanks!

Cathy said...

I look forward to every post that you and your sister share with us. Both of you are very talented writers, for sure! That being said, I'm going to pick a more recent post...Christmas can do it! I loved seeing your girls posed so perfectly, yet I KNOW from the experience of trying to do this with our two, that it can be impossible to get those perfect pictures that you have pictured in your head. So, I loved that you captured the process. It made me smile, it made me laugh. It made me miss my little ones.

Shawna said...

Hi Alysun! I was reading your blog for a while before I felt comfortable enough to leave a comment. I read somewhere in your blog how you thrive on them and encourage them from any reader, so I felt comfy and started to comment. I read your blog every post and it warms my heart and I truly enjoy it. I really feel fortunate that you reach out to the web and share your stories and that I get to be a part of them.

As for my favorite of 2008, I was going to say the one on Marriage, but that I see was Jan 1 2009, so I looked for another! I was reading it and was interrupted by a sick baby so I didn't get to comment yet, but it was a post with some heavy thought and it took some time to absorb. I really enjoyed it and it made me do some searching of my own, and I like that.

On to my favorite of 2008....The would have to be "Accomplishment" when you caught Emma folding her clothes. So many times I find myself reading your blog and thinking "the grass is so much greener", the blackberries, the bike rides, the love that so freely flows from you for your husband, your humor, all of it seem so wonderful. This post in particular was different because you exposed yourself in a different light, showing your powerful vulnerability as a mom, filled with doubt, who has a temper and wonders what good is coming out of what she is doing. I cried.

The way you write allows the reader to be there, watching you watch Emma folding her clothes and truly experience your pride pouring out both for her and for you as a Mom.

Keep on writing, 100s of comments or not, your blog is the highlight of many of my days!

Annie said...

I really like the butt crack post. hilarious! You know even though I am a LOYAL reader...I make minimal comments. Haven't read the marriage post yet but I am looking forward to it.

Kellie said...

I always love getting comments, if I get 3 I consider myself lucky! I know i have a lot more readers then posters and that several are family members that aren't so hip to dip with the wonders of blogging and have no idea how to leave a comment. I'm actually considering blogging a post about how to post a comment just for that reason. I love comments!

Grace said...

When I first found your blog ( or I guess you found me!) you were trying out new hair ideas online including blue and purple. I knew right then I'd found a good one! I also love hearing your view on life, rasing your girls ( to which I can relate!) and just being thankful and content for what God has blessed you with. You are my most faithful commentor on my lonely blog even though I know of several others who frequently visit there. Thanks for making me feel noticed!

Ratzlaff Reflections said...

You are so funny! I'm not entering the contest because it is late and I can't think of my very favorite post, but I just had to make a comment about comments.

So, a couple of days ago I THINK I was reading Lindsay's blog and she commented about weight gain over the holidays and you commented in her comments and I SHOULD have commented because I was thinking that it is nice to know that I am not the only one who has to lose a few ASAP. Whew! That was a big ol run-on. Anyway, yes, I have comment problems. I know I should comment, and I don't always, but I AM reading!! I'm so glad you post!

Oh, and by the way, my mother-in-law is a regular reader of your blog, too! And, she has NEVER commented on my blog!

Kari said...

I think my favorite was dieing the carpet with the weed sprayer. Very much the Alysun and Andrea that I remember. I adore your writing and love that our little girls have very similar experiences of living on the farm. It is nice to read about the things we learn as mommies and how God uses that to shape us. Thanks for being so reflective and honest and using your gift of writing to bless others.

bunchofbull-ers! said...

I am a faithful reader (the one it shows from SC or GA, though I don't live there!? For some reason it always shows me from either SC or GA when blogs have a traffic feed!!) All that to say I am sorry for not commenting when I read!

I enjoy your writing, photography and your honesty about life in general!

Blessing to you in 2009!!


Melanie said...

Favorite... hmmm... if I went and read through them all, I might choose a different one, but the one that comes to mind is the one where Emma wanted Mandy to be dressed like her. I laughed and laughed at that one, because when I saw the picture at the top of that blog post, my first thought was - wow! those are two very different outfits! Who would have guessed they "matched"?!?

Andee said...

I posted, I did. It was beautiful. I eloquently expressed the pride I feel as your older sister when I read of your hard work and your heart here on the page. I am very sad that it disappeared into cyberspace. I was in such a nice mood this morning. Sigh.
I have two favorite blog posts: #1 is the Butt Crack. It's still funny, and I think of you every time I see one. (Don't you feel special?)
#2 is the one where you told your readers to read my Christmas blog. That was nice.
Here is to a 2009 with 13 comments a day! Love you!

Choco Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Choco Girl said...

Most of your posts are funny, thought provoking, etc. One that really got to me this year and was relevant because of where I was in life was Alaythia. I believe that God used this to make me think (which at the time unfortunately, I didn't listen..but His grace is sufficient in my weakness..don't want to take that scripture out of context of course) but the part about God telling you to break up with your great boyfriend because He had something better for you. Well I know that that's what I had been feeling God telling me but true April style I-think-I-can-make-this-work, I didn't at the time..but as you now know we are not together. Anyways, that message was continual, God never gave up. He used this entry to get me to think. I was actually thinking of it the other day and I wanted to try to find it. I'm so glad you brought it back up again.
Your blogs inspire me to try to be a better, honest writer and also take pictures of more than myself but of life around me(only when I get a digital camera one of these days)

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

I always enjoy your home renovation entries:-) They inspire me to paint my walls something other than eggshell white. Someday, eh? You are a wonderful blogger- especially since you post more in 3 months than I do in a year. (How's that for brown-nosing?)

The Brothers said...

Ooooo! Give aways! Goody! So, my favorite post was the Christmas card one when you were trying to get a good shot of both girls. Hilarious - and worth it! They're so cute.
We have waaaay to little femininity around here. Everyone in our house is male except me. Yes, even the critters. So, I need a reminder that tea parties and dresses tights still exist somewhere :)

Jess said...

Hi Alysun. I stumbled across your blog some time ago and have been a faithful stalker/reader ever since. I actually went to school with Jayne so I know your in-laws, and my daughter Sydney was born right before Emma (our families were in the waiting room together). Totally random, I know. Your blog is wonderful and is one of my favorites.

Sara said...

Way to go, Alysun, you've already beaten your 13+ comments goal! I'm impressed! Maybe I'll have to do a give away someday too. The maximum comments I've ever received is 9 and that was the post announcing that we were having a boy so it's not like I can recreate something like that very often! ;o) You have way more commenters and readers than I do (I've always been jealous of how many people vote in your polls compared to mine!), but then your blog is more interesting too. Unless people adore my daughter, they probably won't find a whole lot to hold their interest on my blog. =)

Anyway, I don't think I could narrow down a favorite post on your blog, but I'll list several that come to mind. I've especially enjoyed the ones about farming (brings back lots of memories for me!), the ones about Emma's fashion issues (so hilarious!), and the several showing your room makeovers/projects (I really like the living room one with the floating bookshelf idea). Good enough to get me entered in the giveaway? Hope so!

Sara said...

P.S. PW may get thousands of comments a post, but there is NO WAY she can possibly read them all. At least this way, we know that you read our comments, appreciate, and enjoy them. =)

Lindsay said...

I left a comment this morning but it didn't go through. I would have been #10 so hopefully your hubby picks #19 instead :)

When I first started my blog you were my most faithful (and only!) commentor. I agree with you, I don't think I would blog without the comments. Even a couple are nice and let me know someone is reading and cares. And just for the record, don't feel bad about not getting 300 comments. You wouldn't have the time to read them all anyway! :)

I love your blog and all you write about. I appreciate that you are so honest and genuine with your writing. A totally random post that came to mind was the one when Mandy was sick and you happened to hold her over ths sink as she barfed. I think that one is something all mom's can relate to. Being so thankful that you don't have to clean up the barf is something you don't really get 'til you've been there :)

I can think of sooooo many other favorites, but I'll leave it at that. You are inspiring!

Andee said...

That's so weird, Lindsay, because my lost post would have made me #10. Maybe we were posting at the same time as Melanie and she beat us. Weird.

Laura said...

I check your blog everyday and still feel we only live 90 miles away from each other. But I always forget that even though I know what is going on in your world, you have no idea what I'm doing. So...I'm going to Salt Lake City next week! My favorite post of 2008 was your father's day post.

Mel said...

Greetings from Pennsylvania!

It was wonderful seeing you and your family at the beach - great time. And it's funny - I felt like I knew you a bit already from reading your blog.

So one of my favorites was "The baby keeper" - reading about you trying to keep Mandy from licking the bathroom floor in McDonalds...still cracks me up.

And I really loved reading your blog when I was helped me to smile on some really hard days. Thanks, Alysun!

Leah said...

Hi! I found your site through your cousin Sara's blog. I meant to just check it out once or twice but I've become addicted! I love reading about your family's experiences. I think my favorite recent post was about Emma folding her clothes. What a sweet surprise for a mother. :) I never commented before because I thought it was weird to comment on a stranger's blog...but now I know your feelings on that I'll be happy to comment more.

lori said...

I found your blog, just tonight, through tawny's blog...

i spent some time poking around here and love it! I enjoyed the christmas photo post...i have two of my own and know the drill well! my fave pic was your oldest pulling on the arm of your youngest!

i will stop by again, i follow you now! come by and visit sometime!

Janelle Rispler said...

Although not specific, I love all the posts about life on the farm. Living in the country in an old farm house has been a long-time dream of mine. It is fun to see what your life looks like with cows and combines; a huge lush grassy lawn and iced tea on the back deck; and even the long-summers without Jeff and the creaky floors of a vintage home. I know it's not always glorious, but I can see how you consider your life paradise. Thanks for blogging.

Linds and Manda said...

My favorite post? There are many. I have spent many a day laughing to myself long after I have left the computer. The one that comes to mind is "Alaythia (my life guarding alter ego)". Maybe because I remember Alaythia and you so eloquently put it to words.

As I read today's post I sat and pondered why I don't comment as much as I would like, and no doubt you would like me to. As I was pondering a little three year old came up beside me and with a cute grin said, "mommy can I help you write a letter". These days I have opted to stay away from the computer a little more because it's not the getaway for me like it used to be. When I do get a chance to get away for a few minutes the time seems to go by so quickly. The Exec Assistant multi-tasker I used to be seems to have vanished somewhere and I am not as good at writing on the computer and answering my son at the same time. It ends up looking something like this..."Alysun, great post, yes just a second I will come and wipe your bum. I really like the pictures you posted of the girls. Please put down that marker and stop drawing on your sister. Well, I better run. Hope you have a great day. Yes, I am watching Lightning McQueen go fast. Love mommy." :)

I'm guessing to this pressing problem of not being able to multi-task as a mother I could spend a little more time trying. Just what you to know my heart is there and I always enjoy reading your blog. :)