I hardly know how to begin. You've all been waiting for an official last post for so long, you've probably given up on us. For that, I wish to apologize.
Maggie and I had all sorts of plans for our "grand finale", so to speak. We were going to gather everyone for a huge photo shoot, record final thoughts from all of our friends, and go out with an incredibly involved and amazing post.
Unfortunately, making these plans a reality was much more involved than either of us realized. Getting everyone together at the same time (and getting everyone to cooperate) was a near impossibility. The days turned to weeks, which turned into months. And now, here we are, all the way into April, when originally we were going to finish our blog in August. :(
Last week, Maggie and I talked things over and decided that perhaps we were a bit too ambitious. It seemed like our best option was to end this blog the way we started, with just the two of us. And really, that's perfectly fine with me. :)
Before we get into the rest of the post, I thought it would be noteworthy to share some of our accomplishments through this amazing adventure we've shared together. Maggie has agreed to step in and take over this part.
Hey all! Maggie here. So, yeah, I think we've done a pretty awesome job overall these past years...aside from these awkward MIA months this year. But hey, nobody's perfect, right? ;)
So here are a few of our stats to celebrate. In the past four years (and a little more), we have:
-published 239 posts
-collected 118,162 pageviews
-gained 130 followers
-gathered 144 likes on our Facebook page
-enjoyed readers from countries all over the world, such as the USA (of course), Russia, the UK, Canada, France, Ukraine, Germany, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Australia, the Philippines, China, New Zealand, and more! :)
-made some incredible online friends, especially fellow doll bloggers like us :)
I'm not really the sentimental type, as all of you probably know by now, but I just want to say that you guys have been awesome. It's been great to get to know all of you, and we'll miss you. We won't completely disappear, though. Mama plans to have us guest post every once in a while on her blog, so you won't get rid of us that easily. ;) Mama's blog is too nice, anyway. I think she needs a sarcastic guest ranter every once in a while, don't you? ;)
Okay, back to you, Tess.
Thank you, Maggie. :)
Last week, shortly after we made the decision to end with a simple, "just the two of us" post, Mama took us with her to Grandmama's house. The weather has been lovely and mild this past month, so everything was beautiful and green.
Of course, Mama had us pose for a photo shoot first thing. :}
I loved these pretty, purple hydrangeas. They reminded me of one of our earliest blog photo shoots.
Once we were free from photos, we spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful nature around us.
Just look at the colors of that sky!
I love the way the sun peeked through the trees at this time of day. It gave everything a warm, glowing light.
Of course, spending time with Maggie doesn't usually lead to relaxation and reflection. She soon found a tree she wanted to climb. I was so worried she would fall!
After that, she wanted to explore the woodshed. I was a little concerned about that plan, too. It was so dark. And what if there were spiders? :(
Thankfully, Maggie didn't mind a calmer activity after that. It was so peaceful sitting by Grandpapa's pond.
The peace didn't last for long, however. There was another tree Maggie wanted to climb. This one didn't look quite as scary. Maggie convinced me to come up, too. I didn't climb as high as she did, though. Climbing trees in a dress is not all that easy. Plus, I'm not overly fond of heights, especially when I'm sitting on a narrow tree branch. :}
I have to admit, the view was quite lovely.
Maggie told me that the view was even better from her vantage point, but I decided I'd take her word for it.
After our adventures in the tree, we took a long walk together. As we did, we talked about our blog and how much fun we'd had.
"Can you believe it's been over four years since we began?" I asked her.
Maggie shook her head. "It seems like yesterday."
"I know." I twisted a strand of hair in my hand. "In some ways, it's a relief to wrap things up. I've been feeling so guilty about being behind on posts. But part of me wonders what I'll do with myself when I don't have the blog anymore."
Maggie's face held an almost tender expression. "You'll have plenty to do. Spending time with your sisters and the rest of us, writing your stories, watching movies, watching Mama's girls grow up." She grinned. "Besides, with a friend like me, things should never be boring."
I laughed. "I suppose that's true." An unspoken fear I'd buried in my stuffing over and over again resurfaced, chasing my laughter away. "I guess sharing a blog together has helped me feel closer to you. I mean, I know I'm not into any of the action movies you and Rachel enjoy so much. Sometimes I feel like we don't have much in common."
"We've never really had the same interests, but our friendship is based on more than that. You know that, Tess."
I felt embarrassed. "I know. I just hope we can find things to do together once our blog is done."
"Of course we will! Look how much fun we had today." She gave me a mischievous grin. "And I'm still determined to get you to watch 'The Avengers'. I keep telling you, Thor is basically Mr. Darcy with awesome fighting skills and better hair. Not that he's anything to Iron Man."
"Only if you agree to watch a Jane Austen movie with me. Maybe they'll grow on you." I was surprised at my courage.
Maggie made a face. "We'll see. It's not like we have to watch movies together. I've got Rachel and you've got Emma for that." She threw an arm across my shoulders as we kept walking. "Don't worry, Tess. Rachel is fun and all, and she's a great friend. But you and I go way back. No one can ever replace you. Who else puts up with mean old me like you do?"
I gave her half a smile, trying to decide if this conversation was reassuring or not.
"Besides," Maggie continued, growing serious, "you know me better than anyone, and you still like me anyway. I can't tell you how much that means to me."
I swallowed. It almost looked like she might tear up.
But then my unsentimental, matter-of-fact, say-it-like-it-is friend cleared her throat, blinked a few times and shot a grin my way. "You ready to explore more of the yard?"
"Sure." I smiled back. Maggie would never gush about our friendship, but I knew she'd always be there for me. And being around her made me feel brave. Maybe someday some of her boldness would rub off on me. Maybe. But she loved me in spite of my timidity, and that meant a lot. Maggie was and always would be my very best friend.
And now, dearest readers, it's time to leave you with one final goodbye and our endless gratitude. Even though you won't hear from us here on this blog anymore, as Maggie mentioned, we'll appear occasionally on Mama's blog. We'll be thinking of you often, even as we close the chapter on this adventure. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. :)