The past couple days have been a lot cooler, so we have been spending more time outside. We’ve been taking lots of walks. I definitely think I coop my girls in too much. I rarely leave the house because it is rather stressful for me to get them all in the car, buckled, out of the car, and repeat that whole thing again to go home, so I just never leave. I probably stopped leaving the house when I had Brave. Okay, I make myself sound like a recluse, but I rarely do adventure out alone sans Ben. Lately though, with the girls growing and learning, I think they need to be out more, so once the cooler weather hit, we went out. Okay, only twice so far, but my goal is to get out more.
It’s so nice and we even found a little patch of leaves on the ground that reminded us that the season has indeed change, despite the warmth we still feel in Southern California. True even said, “Mommy, I wish I could see a leaf fall.” I saw one red leaf that was dangling off a branch, pretty much ready to fall off, pulled it off and said, “Look True! It’s falling.” That made her day.
It’s a couple hours away from the computer, emails, instagram, and just breathing fresh (smoggy) air and chatting with my girls. We don’t live anywhere particularly schnazzy. There is no cool downtown for us to walk to. We live in the suburbs where we have Target and Applebees down the street, so our options are pretty limited. We pretty much just walk to the park. I have been brainstorming through little walks we can take and though the weather is supposed to spike back over the 100’s this weekend, once it cools down, we will be out again.
Other than that, Ben and I are finally well again and life is trekking on. I have been thinking a lot about blogging and how it has evolved, particularly for me and my family. I remember the day in 2007 when I discovered my first blog, Soulemama, and I was in awe and so wanted to be part of that whole community. I felt it was a place that I could unleash my nerdy, crafty self. I remember that beginning well and how I opened up my etsy shop. I spent many days slaving away making little flower felt clips, then crowns, then dollhouse pillows, and making new friends along the way. I was just so excited to have this community and make a little bit to help out the family.
Now, here we are today and I am extremely humbled and grateful to all of you who keep checking in. I’ve had so much fun with all of it and all the opportunities that have come as a result of it. Honestly, I really don’t deserve any of it (there are so much more creative and engaging blogs out there), but I am thankful for it. God is good (and even if there were no opportunities and I only had one blogger reader, God is still good). Right now though, I blog with a heavy heart. I love blogging, I really do, but it definitely takes striking a balance. I’m not just an inspiration blog that curates ideas from all over the place, nor am I strictly a DIY/decor/party blog. Nope. I’m a mom who blogs about things that go on in our house. Sometimes we make stuff, sometimes we cook stuff, sometimes we celebrate, and the list of things I blog about go on. It really is a tiny slice of my life.
I think I struggle because I look at other blogs and say, “I want that.” “Why didn’t I think of that first?!” “Dang. Why can’t I live there?!” Oh my string of thoughts filled with discontentment can go on and on. I’ve always said blogging is wonderful, but also dangerous. Bloggers can portray somewhat glamourous lifestyles, don’t they? What you see online is a sliver of that actual person’s life. When you see my super clean room with a cool hammock hanging in it, you don’t see the long hallway upstairs that has piles of laundry. When you see me smiling with my kids, you don’t see the yelling that happened 10 minutes later when we all piled back in the car. Blogging is indeed edited. With knowing my own struggles with discontentment, I never want someone to look at me and think she’s got it together and be envious of anything you see here. I don’t have it together and struggle with discontentment myself.
Not only is blogging edited, but it can also be narcissistic. Yes, it’s sharing and inspiring, but you have to have a certain level of confidence in what you do to share it. That’s a form of self-exulting. I mean if you didn’t think something you made was good, you wouldn’t share it right? Then throw in the comments where everyone tells you how great it is and how great you are for thinking of it. Well, um, yeah, that feeds your ego right there. I appreciate the positive comments. I admit it is nice, but with comments you have to also examine your heart about them and make sure you don’t just want them for the praise of others. I struggle with that too.
I guess these are blogging thoughts I have been thinking about. Along with how much to share and what not to share. I consider myself pretty open as I have shared my meltdowns, normal house messes, riffs with Ben, to just other ruminations of my heart. I don’t have it all together and I want you all to know that. I am not ashamed of that nor do I want to pretend that I am the best mom, wife, and most creative person ever. I am far from it.
I definitely have to find my balance in blogging and blog reading too. I love it because it really is just such a great way to connect and share ideas with others. It allows me to document certain aspects of my life and it really is just something I genuinely enjoy doing. It is also a blessing that I have been able to contribute to our family financially. Not saying it’s something where Ben can quit his day job or anything, but it helps. Despite all the good things, blogging makes me have to do heart checks all the time. Why do I do what I do and what is my end goal? I am Christian and want to live eternally minded and I think blogging can easily get caught up in the here and now, so I need to examine myself and reasons I do what I do all the time. Sometimes I easily get caught up in it and lose my focus. Heart checks… so needed for me often.
Also, I have received numerous emails asking how do I grow my blog? Is the money sufficient? Or, I am not getting readers and comments, what am I doing wrong? My answer is this… blog because you love it regardless if you have 1 or 1 million readers. If it just becomes about numbers, don’t do it. It takes out the fun and it just isn’t worth it. I never exactly set out to make blogging a job for me, sure I thought it would be nice, but I kind of just blogged and went with whatever came.
I already had these things on my heart, when a recent comment (I don’t moderate my comments before they show up) first put me on the defensive, but then made me really examine what I put out here. First of all, I know I can’t please everyone and I am not out to do so, if you don’t like my blog, don’t read it. Simple as that. There is only one blog I seriously can’t stand, so I don’t read it. The great thing is that they are millions of blogs, so there is something for everyone. Find one that inspires you in a positive way and stick with it. Fill your life with things that resonate well with you. If something is crap to you, then don’t put it in your life. If that’s me, I am cool if you stop reading. Really. Do something better with your time than read Cakies. Your time is precious.
Second, the comment made me think of what I was putting out here. Like I said earlier, blogs are edited. Though I think I do a decent job (correct me politely, if I am wrong) of trying to show a balance of what our life is like. In our home, it isn’t rainbows and roses all the time, but if I was talking about all the negative stuff often, well I would just be a Debbie Downer and be downright complaining. I don’t want to do that either. Blogging requires a balance of what feels right for me (my family) and you. It is really easy to judge blogs. I am quite a judgmental person myself. I am sure it’s a struggle most of us have, but be careful of how you judge others because it really isn’t good for you. We aren’t the standard for truth, so who are we to judge others.
Gosh this blog heart to heart is really quite long. Too long and I probably lost your interest at hello, but if you’re still hanging in there… thanks. My main thing is thanks for joining along, no this is not where I am going to say goodbye or anything, but I am thankful for you and your decisions to pop in here. I am humbled and grateful to have your friendship (it really does feel like I am meeting an old friend when I meet a blog reader) and am so thankful to God for allowing me this joy in blogging. I really have so much fun with it and brainstorming things to make and share. Not because I want you all to think I am great, but because I really think good ideas are meant to be shared! Not saying all my ideas are grand, but they’re decent and work well for us, so maybe it will for you too. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it.
I also want to encourage you to keep reading blogs discerningly. Fill your blog reading with blogs that encourage you in your personal mission. Know bloggers don’t have it all together and most of us just want to spread good things around.
Oh and I do want to address leaving comments, if you have some constructive criticism to share, feel free. I don’t moderate my comments before they show up, but also it is appreciated to not be anonymous. If you say something politely with a genuine intention to help or engage in a thoughtful discussion, there is no need to hide. You can also email. It will hurt at first because I am a prideful person, and criticism does come with a sting, but I will think about it and use it to check my heart. Readers don’t see all of a bloggers life, so again judging will happen much more easily sometimes, and not every criticism will be accurate (so you must be prepared to also admit you may be wrong), but every person has room for improvement and heart checks are always needed. I will admit that.
Well, that’s my novel for the day. I guess this makes up for my lack of blogging this week. Thanks for listening friends! I feel a lot better.