Tag Archives: Blogging

Same Vision/Different Address: What “Writing in Pencil” is All About

So, I started this “Team Nilsen” blog nearly four years ago.  January 12, 2011 – to be exact.  My first post boasted a solid 161 words.  I titled it “The First Amendment Says I Can” and it went something like this:

“It’s official…. We are adopting and I am blogging. I’m pretty sure being a blogger is a pre-req for becoming an adoptive Mom. Blog addresses are now by-lines. I never knew there was a whole world of people, regular ordinary people dying to get their thoughts out in cyber-space. I suppose it’s cheap therapy. I can only hope the crime rate is falling because instead of manifesting private, sordid thoughts into road rage, people are actually laying them out for the whole world — or really no one at all — to see.”

A lot has changed since that day.  I am indeed an adoptive Mom.  I might even consider myself a blogger.  Not a very scheduled, disciplined one, but a pseudo-blogger nevertheless.  Writing turned out to be VERY cheap therapy.  Although I did invest in the expensive kind as well and both have reaped many benefits.  I’m not entirely sure about the crime rate, but I am an optimist so – there’s that.  “Team Nilsen” has taken on a voice of its own. And much to my amazement, a few people even read these thoughts.  All in all — good stuff.

So, if this blog is FINALLY gaining momentum –  why start another one?

I’ll give you two reasons:  Holly & Christina.

The 3 Muskateers

The 3 musketeers

I met both of these beloved friends when I moved to Colorado Springs and joined the local MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) group at First Presbyterian Church.  Though I loved my little cherubs who were 5 & 3 at the time, the mind-numbing, isolating days at home alone – just the three of us – threatened to do me in.  Enter MOPS. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about hanging out with a bunch of over-tired, stressed out mothers-of-littles, but I figured it was worth a shot.

I honestly don’t think it’s a gross over-statement to say the decision I made to enter that church, at that time, with those moms changed my life.  So many of the women in that MOPS group continue to be among my dearest friends, even today.

Then, when Holly, Christina & I were tasked with planning program for a church women’s retreat, our fraternal love blossomed exponentially.  The night we drove through snow and sleet donning pink spandex and other uber-classy ’80s athletic gear in the name of all things humiliating and funny, I knew we had stumbled upon something special.  (Side note:  Turns out filming a “mockumentary” in the locker room at 24-Hour-Fitness is frowned upon. Who knew?) The gut busting laughter I experience with these two is unprecedented.

Since those relatively care-free days tooling around town filming ridiculous program footage, we have lived a lot of real life (and death) together.  We have added some members to our families and, tragically, lost loved ones as well.  Perhaps this collective weathering is precisely what makes our friendship that much more special.

Our kids are outgrowing their clothes faster than we think necessary, and through it all, our love for each other and for writing continues to grow.  Each of these lovely ladies pens a personal blog of her own.  They are deep, funny, prolific writers and you would be blessed to follow along.  However, even though we’re all “queens” of our own cyber-addresses we couldn’t shake the feeling that it could be OH. SO. FUN. to try our hand at something together!

I mean, we’ve enjoyed working together in the past.  We respect each other immensely and feed off each other’s creativity.  What would it be like to try to create a collective voice?  To craft a space where three women wonder and write about life and faith and all their beautiful idiosyncrasies?  Is it possible to concoct a sort of online conversation where we can agree and disagree and agree to disagree?  Who knows?!  But we thought we’d give it a try…

Enter:  Writing in Pencil

This title was actually the name of Holly’s amazing blog (which is still alive and well), but she was kind enough to share the concept with us.  We love the phrase because it seems to capture exactly what we’ve learned about life.  On our homepage you will find the following explanation:

“We are a band of sisters who ‘write in pencil’ because we believe that in the midst of all things – joy, difficulty and even tragedy – the story of life encountering faith is one worth telling. We are typical girls with atypical stats. For starters, our families are made up of 3 moms, 2 dads, 9 kids and 6 baby daddies! We’re not going to lie, we love Jesus and we even love His church. We dedicate this little plot of land to telling the story God’s put on our hearts. Come what may, we write, erase, rewrite and repeat because “in his heart a man plans his steps, but the Lord determines his course.” (Proverbs 6:19)”

Not to mention, we are related (by blood or by love) to some awesome folks!  Christina’s husband, Marvin, free-handed a super cool “Writing in Pencil” banner.  We bribed my sister, Katie (of Katie Brase Photography) with – well, not much – but she snapped some sweet photos out of the goodness of her heart.  And Holly’s beau, Tony, is our IT guy extraordinaire.

This website is still VERY much a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?  But we are enjoying the process and the journey.  So, if you have a minute or three — why don’t you pop over and join our little tribe?!  We would be honored to hear from you.  We invite you to engage with us.

Perhaps, together, we could weave a beautiful tapestry as we write in pencil and string along some words of love.

Join the conversation!

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Whatever. Just keep writing, just keep writing… (#DoryIsMyHero)