Fortunately I have an awesome hip and with it boss who's right on top of this blog business. She told me how to do subscriptions so it's not so much work to try to keep up with our friends' and family members' blogs.
When you log into your gmail, click Reader at the top. You can add subscriptions that way by typing in the blog addresses. On the left side, all of the blogs you subscribe to should show up, and you can click show "updated" or "all." Obviously for new ones you'd want to click "updated." When you first add the subscriptions, they should all be "updates" because the reader doesn't know you've read them already.
So I went through and just scanned all the way down through each blog so that it knows that I've read them and takes them off of the "updates" portion. I hope that makes sense. You all can play with it, but that's a nice way to just have your subscriptions shown to you when you log into your gmail.