The week in between Christmas and New Years can be especially difficult during a deployment. We miss our spouses terribly. Knowing we are not alone while experiencing a deployment can be the key to getting through each day.
Recently, I stumbled upon a "Military Spouse Holiday Blog Swap" sponsored by Wife of on a Roller Coaster's blog, "Riding the Roller Coaster".
Soon I was clicking through story after story and found myself laughing and encouraged by this group of military spouses.
Today the author of the blog (who writes anonymously) joins us for an interview on how she came up with idea and more:
Wendy: What was the inspiration for the Holiday blog swap?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: Last year during the holidays I stumbled across a blog swap that was organized by a popular blog about motherhood. I had never heard of a blog swap before, but the concept fascinated me as I spent half my day reading the special holiday stories of a bunch of moms. I started thinking about how fun it would be to bring together some military spouses for a blog swap of our own, especially considering how unique our lifestyles are and therefore how unique some of our holidays are.
Wendy: How does the blog swap work?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: A blog swap is essentially a Secret Santa but instead of picking names out of a hat to exchange gifts, we exchanged blogs. After gathering up some of my mil spouse friends, I randomly matched everyone up so that each participant was both a guest and a host for another blogger. On swap day (which was December 14), we posted our guests' posts on our blogs and then everyone linked up on my blog to give readers a way to find us all.
Wendy: How many bloggers participated and how did you pick the participants?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: We had 28 participants: 26 independent bloggers plus Blue Star Families and the Homefront United Network. Some of the participants are ladies I've gotten to know through our blogs and Facebook, some I've had the chance to meet in person, some write blogs I've been reading since I first started blogging, and some are friends of friends. I hope that if we get the opportunity to do it all over again next year we can gather up even more friends!
Wendy: What most surprises you about the military spouse blogging community?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: When people ask me about my favorite aspects of blogging, one answer always remains the same: community. I was shocked to discover so many other military spouses hanging out in the blogosphere when I started blogging almost 2 years ago. And I'm still pleasantly surprised by the amount of friendship and support we're able to offer each other despite the fact that most of us have never met. For people who live such transient lifestyles, it's nice to know that we have one community, one group of friends that will always be there regardless of geography.
Wendy: What do you hope this blog hop will accomplish?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: The blog hop was a fun way to bring some military spouses together for the holidays and share stories about how the military affects not only our lives in general, but the more specific events like the holiday season. I hope that the readers who visited us were introduced to some more friends in our vast mil spouse blogging community and that our stories inspired them to share their own. And of course I'd love it if our stories are helpful to other military spouses. For instance, a non-blogging friend of mine is in the midst of her first deployment, and she's struggling with spending the holidays without her husband. She told me how glad she was to realize she wasn't alone in trying to make the best of the holidays as a military family. Hopefully that message was conveyed to other spouses as well.
To visit the 2011 Military Spouse Blog Swap on Wife on the Roller Coaster's blog, hop on over to:
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