I’m always a little hesitant to speak too highly of my favorite internet addictions, because they are just that, and I never want to be responsible for sucking someone else into the timewasting world of online fascinations. With that in mind, at least a couple of these will be of beneficial quality rather than just entertainment. Not to mention, if you read my blog, then it’s a fair bet you already have a pretty rich internet life anyway.
1. iVillage. I stumbled onto iVillage through a baby name messageboard there when I was expecting Romilly, and discovered a whole world of new moms and moms-to-be there. What an incredible source of encouragement, advice, and increasingly friendship the women I have ‘met’ on these ‘boards’ have been to me since then.
2. Girl talk. I have referred you to this blog about biblical womanhood several times before, but I really can’t say enough about it. Carolyn Mahaney, wife of pastor CJ Mahaney, writes this blog with her three grown daughters, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore and Janelle Bradshaw. Their combined wisdom is a constant source of encouragement and conviction to me. God bless you, ladies!
3. The Baby Name Wizard. Anyone who knows me (and probably a few people who don’t) knows that I have had a lifelong love of baby names. Having my own babies to name has only intensified this love. When it comes to names, the Baby Name Wizard, Laura Wattenberg, wrote the book. I was given my first copy of her book when I was pregnant with Romilly, but passed that one on to a friend in Scotland (who named her first daughter Lois and is now, I’m certain, coming up with an equally distinctive and surprising choice for her second child). I think the copy I have now is my dear friend Megan’s, on loan from when we were deliberating over Bea’s name. (I will get my own copy again, Meg, but the new edition is coming out soon, so maybe we should both just wait for that!)
But, oh yes, the website. The website is not (much to my pleasant surprise) a rehashing of the book in a slightly different format. It offers a fascinating blog (with such discussions that follow in the comments that it really ought to have a messageboard to go with it!) as well as the NameVoyager, a tool for tracing the popularity of a name or group of names through history. And though it is not hosted on her website, it is worth mentioning Laura Wattenberg’s other internet project Nymbler. This allows you to put in some favorite names or names of your own children, then it offers other names you may like based on your taste. It is spookily accurate and fun for the whole family whether there is a real baby to name or not (trust me on that!)
4. IMDb. How did we ever live without the Internet Movie Database? Life must have been so full of the frustration of watching a TV show, recognizing one of the actors playing a small one-time role, and never ever figuring out what other show or movie he was from. I can’t imagine. We have even missed having a laptop computer because it means we now have to pause what we’re watching (or wait until a commercial break) to find out who someone is. But what it is even better for than finding out what an actor has previously been in, is when one of us (let’s just say me) immediately thinks we know who an actor is and can have the satisfaction of proving it. Like the time I immediately recognized Ellen Greene, who played the mousy almost-elderly mother of serial killer Sylar in the show Heroes and who appeared in about two scenes total, as the blond bombshell Audrey (I) from 1986 movie musical Little Shop of Horrors, which I had seen only once about 20 years ago. It was a fine moment, and we’ve had many like it thanks to IMDb.
5. FlyLady. I can’t say I agree with everything on this website, but nothing else has ever motivated me to change my messy, disorderly ways like FlyLady has. She offers a babystep appoach to taking contral of your home and ultimately many other aspects of your life as well. Each day I get way too many several e-mails reminding me to change over my dishwasher first thing in the morning, to swish and swipe my bathroom, to set a timer and declutter a room for just 15 minutes a day, and to shine my kitchen sink before bed. And it really does work. If I do it. If, if, if.
So there you have them, in no particular order, and they might even be different tomorrow if you asked me again. Check out what his Top 5 are, too. Some of them might surprise you!
Thanks to Megan for suggesting this topic idea for us (and for your copy of Wizard. I will give it back, I promise.)