a little patch of fall (and seriously the longest post ever!)

September 27, 2012

fallThe 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. ย 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 ย 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.

91 comments on “a little patch of fall (and seriously the longest post ever!)”

  • heather5018 says:

    Yes, yes, yes. You said so many things I’ve been feeling.

  • deirdre says:

    So wise and well said. I love the idea of heart-checks. Thank you for sharing, thank you, thank you.

  • arman says:

    Hi.. greetings from LA. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love reading your blog. Never leave a comment before but this post itches me to say something.
    I blog myself so I know exactly how you feel.

    I agree that the story in the blog is edited. Well, it’s not really edited, it’s just that we don’t expose all that happened in our family.
    We should have privacy also, shouldn’t we? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway, I like reading blog like yours. Eventhough it looks like ‘too good to be true’ but that’s actually what I’m looking for when I’m reading others’ blogs.
    I reads blog to be inspired, to be motivated, to feel happy.
    If I wants to read something sad/depressed, I’d rather to continue working. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Reading blogs are intermezzo between headaches and meetings at work. ๐Ÿ˜€

    The same thing with what I write on my own blog. Eventhough sometimes I also wrote problems that I was facing at that time, but mostly I wrote about happiness that we have in our family.
    I like to read my old postings in my spare time just to remember all those good memories again. And it never fails to put a smile on my face.
    The last thing I need is to be reminded about the horrible memories in my past. I don’t need that.

    Well, so that’s what I think. Sorry if my English is not good. Eventhough I have lived in LA for almost 5 years now, but I’m still struggling with English language. ๐Ÿ˜€
    (Reading blogs in English is also my alternative to improve my language… :D)

    Keep blogging. I’m sure a lot of people enjoy your blog and you know, it’s a blessing to make other people happy!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I read your blog on a regular basis, and I think you, your family, crafts, ideas, etc. are great – it is a good mix of life’s good, bad and ugly. Keep up the great (blog) work.

  • Danni says:

    I really appreciate this post and have totally had similar thoughts on my mind!! Seems like a lot of us have! Nick says and jokes with me all the time about how blogs are totally staged and fake. The instagram photo I posted the other day of my workroom, I cut off the floor part which is covered with boxes and is a total mess ๐Ÿ˜‰ But anyway, great advice about reading blogs with discernment! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hannah says:

    One of my favourite things about your blog is the honesty with which you blog about the frustrations of motherhood as well as the pretty, lovely things. As a Christian, I also enjoy seeing stylish people with lovely homes who share my love for Christ and who remind me that the pretty shoes are gorgeous but not the be all end all of our existence. Thank you!

  • Denae says:

    Thank you, thank you and thank you. You put into words what so many people need to hear. I am very glad to know how down to earth you are & what a good head you have on your shoulders. We need more of that in our society.

  • Becky says:

    Ruby, I love you! You are always refreshing in your posts, because of lovely things made and shared, messy rooms, celebrations, spats with the hubby, and the list can go on and on, show your transparency. Those my friend, are the reasons why I love your blog! I don’t read any others with consistency, only yours, because I love all that you have to share. Thank you for the reminder of heart checks too! I needed to be reminded of those needing to be done constantly, on my side <3

  • beth says:

    I love your blog. It encouraged me to start a blog. I felt like I shouldn’t start one if it wasn’t going to be incredible but you’re so real I decided I can blog because I want to and that’s all that really matters. Keep on keeping on, I say. At least until you feel like God is telling you to stop. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ann says:

    Ruby, thank you so much for your refreshing honesty! You inspire me!

  • Carey Beth says:

    I agree with every single comment above — I love your blog and the honesty that comes with it. If it becomes a burden or something that takes up too much of your time, take a break. I guarantee that no one will hold it against you, and no one will stop reading your blog either! It is just too sweet to the soul. Like honey!

  • margaret says:

    i love your blog, i think it shows the perfect balance of happy/creative/beautiful and “real”….the fact is people visit blogs (just like they used to read magazines) for fantasy. nobody wants a debbie downer all the time. but your “real” aspect is very much appreciated. it’s a humble gesture on your part–you don’t have to share that part of your life! it’s natural to want to share the good, but less natural to share the “real” with a world of anonymous strangers! it’s a brave thing to do ๐Ÿ˜‰ i used to work at big fancy NYC magazines and they never want to put any realness in—everything you ever read in fashion, travel, and beauty magazines is always GREAT, because they don’t want to put in reality. they want to sell stuff, and even if you can’t afford to buy it (ie vogue magazine or conde nast traveler), you will buy the magazine to imagine you could buy the stuff! that’s why blogs fill a need that magazines have never addressed. people want to see things that are more accessible and possible, but at the same time they want to be entertained, and dazzled. if reality was all we wanted, we could just look in the mirror, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • your blog is delightful. just sayin’


  • Rebekah says:

    I understand all of this. For me, my blog is a way to authentically capture the beauty of my life. Good and Bad. I enjoy the outlet it provides but I also feel the same in that sometimes it feels so “look at me!”

    I have always appreciated your blog. You seem authentic and down to earth. I have always seen the beauty but felt as though it wasn’t “only sunshine” and that you acknowledge that.

    I also only have one blog I strongly dislike…which makes me curious about yours… haha


  • Anne says:

    Jon Acuff of “Stuff Christians Like” and “Quitter” addressed this topic in this blog entry:


    My favorite quote is the following:
    โ€œHate mail signed by no one is from nobody.โ€

  • Erin says:

    Good reminder about the heart checks.
    God bless xx

  • Ellyn says:

    Aw Ruby, you are adorable and so is your family. You inspire a lot of folks out there (seriously, whenever I see a crocheted bow hair clip I always think ‘Cakies knock-off!’) just by doing what you love: being a mom, being crafty, making your house a home. xo

  • kristen says:

    I am a new follower of yours, and this post made me more excited that I am following it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a super small blog myself and sometimes struggle with most of the things you mentioned. So thank you for being honest and yes, it is good to have those heart checks. Just had one!

  • Liz says:

    I have always loved your blog! It reminds me that we are all human, trying to make it in the world, with mistakes and lessons learned. It truly is a breath of fresh air and in life we cannot please everyone, although I struggle with that one everyday and reading your blog reminds me that as a mother I am not the only one who loses my patience or that I cannot keep the house as tidy. I am lucky that I get 2 hot meals out on the table everyday!!

    You helped me when I was struggling with being a stay at home mom for the first time 4 years ago, I felt a connection with you immediately and if it werent for your posts about daily life I think I would have lost it a long time ago!! So thank you to you, Ben and the girls for being human and sharing it with the rest of us!

    Nowadays People hide behind their computer screens and are so quick to judge and point fingers it is a shame because we should becoming together as a community to help lift each other up and help one another through our daily struggles.

  • Jessica says:

    Hello! So. Yours was the first ever blog that I read (but I have never yet left a comment…until now). I connected with it first because you had three cute little girls (at that time) that looked a wee bit like my two cute little Dutch/Chinese/Australian girls (hola from Brisbane, Queensland!). Secondly, I dug your style. And still do. I love looking at pretty things, as much as you obviously love making/snapping/experiencing pretty things. Since starting my own blog/business I have had to question my posts, or the posts that I read, quite a bit. I was listening to a Mark Driscoll sermon recently about us being made in the image of God, and that our little bents- whether we appreciate beauty in fashion, architecture, music etc- are a part of that. God made us with the ability to appreciate beauty- it’s not a bad thing. As Christians, I think it is good to be appreciative so long as we are also compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others, which I think you are. Just the fact that an anonymous comment left on your site has you checking your own motivations and responding, says that you are entirely sensitive to those that come in contact with your work. I think there will always be a disparity for me, between the things I find beautiful and worthy of sharing, and the stark realities of the rest of the world. Sometimes I feel flippant and shallow and ashamed because I am facebooking an outfit that I would kill to have, and there are kids the same age as my own going without food. God made the beautiful things, and endorsed our appreciation of them, but there is also a lot of crap that entered the world that means it’s not a perfect place- hence, the disparity. Also, if you are anything like me, I find the picture I put out of myself on things like my personal facebook, generally looks better because I a) don’t talk in-depth about my marriage/relationships, especially not if they are experiencing problems as I don’t think that’s appropriate, and b) Don’t generally vent frustration at the time (of something. Toilet training for example), but more after-the-fact and with humor. That’s just how I was brought up, to deal, not to complain, to be respectful, to build other people up rather than tear them down. Conversely though, this has the adverse affect of sometimes making my life look like it is perfect, or that I am happy more than others, and this doesn’t build them up at all! ANYWAY, that was not the comment I thought I’d ever leave on Cakies ๐Ÿ˜‰ But hey, I think you are inspiring and very real, and I hope you continue to be blessed as much as you are a blessing. x

  • KatieJ says:

    I hear that. I live blogging for much of the same reasons. Keep on blogging and don’t be afaird of the messy side of things.

  • pam says:

    i look forward to reading your blog everyday. it brightens my day. i’ve been reading since you had 2 and then 3 and now 4 girls. i’m impressed with how you handle everything.

  • Stacy says:

    i was just talking about this with my husband last night… asking him/myself why do i feel the need to blog, and making sure i am putting the important things in my life first, etc. i love that you call these feelings heart checks – i need them often too! i think you do a great job at showing you are only human, and every time you write posts like this it reminds me to take an inner look at myself too, so thank you for that! i am glad you aren’t going away! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jodi says:

    You definitely didn’t lose me at hello ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really glad you wrote that out and shared your heart. A lot of what you wrote has been on my heart as well, so it was good to read it from someone else’s perspective. I think your blog holds a very good balance of inspiration, truth and real life, thank you for that. I know you didn’t post this looking for applause but I am very encouraged by you and love your humility and honesty.

  • claire says:

    I love your blog! It is inspiring to see all you do, and yet so nice to know you’re not perfect either ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you have a genuine heart, and I see God being glorified through your blog. And that’s what is most important! Please keep bloggin your fabulous and not so fabulous parts of life! Favorite blog in my feed for sure! And what precious babies you have! Our first is turning one in october, and i can’t wait to have a houseful of more ๐Ÿ™‚

  • sister <3 <3 I love you

  • natalie says:

    You have said the very words that I was thinking when struggling with the blog world. I too thought that blogging seemed like a very prideful way to show everyone how good they are at parenting, crafting, cooking, decorating, etc, etc and I starting feeling jealous of these women who seemed to have this perfect family and succeeded in every endeavour they put their hands to. I had my own blog, which I started when I was going through a personal issue, and it helped me keep my mind off the grief I was feeling. But I when I could see how I started following many blogs and coveting their lives, i knew that God was pulling at my heart to do something about it.

    So I stopped blogging and ceased reading any blogs except yours. I love how you are so honest about your home life and what God is teaching you in your life. I love that when you craft with your kids its not the most perfect looking craft in the world.

    Keep blogging and keep being exactly who you are.

  • kristin says:

    i’ve been reading cakies for a couple years now, and i plan to continue for as long as you’re around! you have a great blog here. i love the balance of crafts, sewing, life, and home that you show. as a little blogger myself, i KNOW that you’re not showing everything in your life. that’s perfectly fine. it’s your prerogative. and it is fun to show your crafts to people that understand, you know? very few people in my “real life” care about my sewing. they don’t know about fabrics or patterns or the new technique i learned…so just sharing what i’ve made with an understanding community is so awesome and a reason i love to blog – not to say “look how great i am!” but more of a sharing of ideas, you know? it’s also fun to look back on my own creative journey. ANYWAY. keep it up, girl! don’t let the naysayers get you down. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nora says:

    I always appreciate your honesty. To see your love for your husband, but then to be so straightforward about your arguments is always so reassuring that every marriage has a bump or two.
    I really loved reading your thoughts here. I think it’s great that your blog has a little bit of everything…that’s how life is…thanks for sharing yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tina says:

    Loved every honest word Ruby! You said it so well. I found your blog a few years back and felt connected immediately. I believe we are the same age exactly, have 4 kids under 5/6 and I live in Northern California. It’s genuinely refreshing to find a blog that shares the real struggles in life. Yes, your blog is gorgeous as well and so so inspiring too! Thanks for “keeping it real”. You (and Soulemama) are what I drink my coffee to every day. Don’t stop being you!

  • Leire says:

    I like your blog. I really like it. I would miss Cakies if you stopped blogging.

    I seriously think you should only stop blogging if it feels like too much exposure for your family.

    I don’t have kids, I live in the city, in a flat, I am an engineer working full time, not good at DIY, not a blogger, I like everything in your house, I like how brave you were with your kids names, how true you were to yourself (I think this made me feel in love with your concept of life…)

    Why do I tell you this? Because even if our lifes are completely different I still learn so much from you…

    It’s good to keep it real, but it’s healthy to blog the best and nicest things.

    How could anyone think your life is all roses with 4 young kids?…:) Come on!! We have to keep the positive energy flowing around and that’s how I read my blogs everyday.

    You are doing just fine ๐Ÿ™‚ go on Ruby!

  • Natalie says:

    i agree whole-heartedly with everything you have said here. i really do regard you as one of my favorite bloggers because you are so honest, open, yet fill your blog with so much positive (and your girls are too cute!). keep on doing what you’re doing. <3

  • lieve says:

    Another dilemma, at least for me: I blog because I feel like it, but how about the privacy of the children? My eldest can read now, starts to discover the internet… How will she feel when she discovers mum writes about her, there’s plenty pictures of her online… I don’t know how to think about that, and what to do, honestly. Greetings from Belgium – yes, you’re being read everywhere – because your blog is really nice!

    • mycakies says:

      I agree. There is a balance re: privacy when it comes to the kids. There has been one post that I have deleted from the past , so it won’t be there to find one day. When I write and include my kids, I try to think of the things they would be proud of reading one day. Life with children is silly and funny and they do and say the most hilarious things. I want them to be able to have an insight into what was going on in our lives during that time. I’m also not one to post a lot of pictures of them without clothes on. I think the one of Glow on her birthday might be the only one, but other than that. I try to limit that. Not sure if I might have more than that one, but I think I have consciously kept that to a minimum. I have a few other thoughts on this, maybe I will share it in a post.

      Thank you for your reading even from far away Belgium! xoxo

      • lieve says:

        I also definitely only show a selected part of life – I don’t feel like sharing the messy side, with children crying for no reason, daughter talking back, arguing with the husband, being too tired to do anything but watching tv. But even if you show only the ‘sunny’ side, the question remains: do I have the right to do so? I can decide to blog about myself, but they don’t ask for it… Really a difficult issue to me!

  • D says:

    I love reading your blog and I like what you wrote above and agree with it. You come across as very normal, natural, kind but also human. Living in London, most of the blogs I read are American and it is so nice to see that most Americans are not these stereotypes that so much of the worlds media portrays them as. You are a good online ambassador for your country! Saying that I am really sad that one of my other favourite bloggers, Frecklewonder, is hanging up her blogging boots :).

  • D says:

    Woops that was meant to be a :(.

  • Alex says:

    I love how you mention the tough parts of your week. We see your lovely pictures showing happiness and contentment, but you then hit home and say you’ve been cranky all week, or you’ve had a tiff with your husband. You don’t pretend to live a perfect life. You can’t share your whole life and I think you do a really good job of showing a balance.

  • Sandi says:

    True words – thanks for sharing them with us, makes me feel more human. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mary Katharine says:

    Wowsers. You really summed up how I feel about most blogs at the moment. Instead of reading them with joy as I used to, I now only covet their things. And much like a magazine I feel worse after reading it, because of all the things I can’t have (her hair, her body, her clothes). So I have had to edit the blogs I read to ones with an overall positive message to me. I want to become a better christian by seeing the beautiful lives other people lead-because we all have so much to teach each other. Thank you for your positive blog, its family centeredness, and godly message.

  • marie says:

    Hello Ruby!
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and each day I “have” to see what the post of the day is :).
    I don’t have a blog and am extremely impressed by bloggers… you guys put so much effort and work into your posts, and you shouldnโ€™t care about the grumpy people out there!
    Yes, of course you’ll always have people who don’t like what you write, but as you say; nobody asks them to read your blog! so p*ss off and pass your way!

    What is the added value to negative comments? I donno, but I surely admire you!
    so thumbs up and a big applause for you!

    xxx from rainy Belgium ๐Ÿ™‚ where we dream of a little sunshine ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jenny D. says:

    Very well said! We move around a lot due to my husbands work and so I have a blog for family and friends. It isn’t private, yet, but I’m not out to get more readers, followers, or make any sort of money. I actually made it comment free to avoid the whole ego-feeding dilemma. If they have something to say, they know how to get in touch with me!

  • sarah says:

    I have been a reader of yours since you just had the two little ones, and posts like this are the no. 1 reason that I’ve been reading for so long. I think of you as one of the most “humble bloggers,” not afraid to share the messy along with the perfect, and really open about the realities of the many beautiful blogs out there that almost capitalize on reader envy. I agree that reading blogs can be really dangerous – the lives presented are just so picture-perfect, it can leave you feeling pretty bad about your life. So I have always appreciated your frank honesty when it comes to the inner workings of blogger life. I also appreciate the reader thank-you, and wish more bloggers did it. Thank you for writing!

  • Charis says:

    I like these kinds of posts on any blog, but yours is the only one where they feel genuine and therefore, rather unnecessary! By the way, I love love love your weekly round up posts. Nearly all the other blogs I read basically put up lazy of ‘This is the expensive thing I want to buy this week!’ posts. Yours are full of reflection and thankfulness and that’s lovely.

  • Katie says:

    I absolutely adore you, your family, your blog. It is the first one I check each day and have done so for over a year now. I have scrolled back through time to read every single post. I have fallen in love with your family. I love to see how the girls grow. I am super inspired by the birthday breakfasts in bed and the way you choose to keep Christmas gifts meaningful and completely in check. I will remember these things when it is my time to be a mother. Your blog is good because you are honest, because you share life in a real way. Keep up the good work! xoxo

  • Emily O. says:

    I love this. Thank you for being so open and honest. You’re an inspiration, really, God has given you a gift (writing, blogging, inspiring others, etc.)! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tang says:

    Great to see you back! I read your blog everyday and love hearing about your adventures.

  • Heather says:

    I think it’s always good to really examine the things that we do and realign our hearts and minds with why we began or thought it was a good idea in the first place. That will never be a waste of time. My main point of doing this is homeschooling- every year, I reexamine if it is best to continue in it. We didn’t start out homeschooling, but came to a point when it was definately best for us.

    I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing your ideas, life and girls. I don’t, however, have a blog…bc I know that it would be incredibly hard in a lot of ways. I also don’t really want to share the lives of my girls. I admire the thought you give to it all. I really do think you do a great job of reminding us that you are a regular family with messes, struggles and arguements. But it is like life- we don’t want to be fake- but we do want to put on a smile and put one foot in front of the other every day. If we wallow in the ugly, that will be all we see. So thank you for being a bright, colorful, happy spot in my day!!

  • cinthya says:

    Rubyellen! One of the main reasons I’ve continued to read your blog over the years is because I think you’re genuine and you keep it real. I’m so glad for you and the successes you’ve had because of it. keep it up! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nikki says:

    One of the reasons I love your blog is that it is an honest blog. Oh I love looking at your beautiful clean floors and bright walls and your lovely children laying in the hammock with nary a toy or speck of dirt in site. It’s something I fantasize about! It inspires me! But I love your posts where you show the “behind-the-scenes” – tiny cut-up papers under the table, messy bedrooms, laundry, etc. I don’t think you’ve ever given the impression that you’re perfect or that your family is or that your home is. You give us the impression that it’s real.
    I have a little blog that I like to think is sort of like your blog: mostly about my family (our four little kids!), sometimes about cooking, sometimes about sewing or whatever. I worry sometimes that people might think I’m trying to be perfect because I like to bake bread from scratch or sew the kids clothes sometimes, sometimes people say things like that. But I’m just trying to do things that make me happy (like baking bread for some reason!) and just trying to keep a little record of what happens in our day-to-day, those little things that I could so easily forget. I hope when I blog about projects I’ve done or yogurt I made or whatever that people don’t think I’m trying to “show-off”. I worry about that a lot.
    Your post today was great because I have just recently had a “heart check” about WHY I blog, and this just hit it home.
    Thanks Ruby, I really do love your blog, everything about it!!

  • Michelle says:

    This is why I come back here! Unfortunately, it seems most bloggers’ goal is to present their “perfect” inspirational lifestyle. You’re one of the few bloggers (only bloggers?) who seems to care about how reading your blog makes your readers feel. Thanks from Canada.

  • Carla says:

    I am a fairly new reader and I just wanted to say that I love your blog and I think you do a beautiful job at finding balance. As a blogger myself I know how hard it can be to find that balance. I love your suggestion of heart checks, I plan to do them more often. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your beautiful, inspiring life with us.

  • Melissa says:

    Your blog is an amazing source of inspiration for me! I’m about to become a mom for the first time (our baby girl is due on Monday) and of the hundreds of blogs in my reader, yours is always one of the first I go to. Your creativity and positivity always brighten my day! Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your lives with all of us!

  • Mona says:

    Hey Girl,
    I read the WHOLE post and my opinion is, DON’T CHANGE A THING. I love your blog, it’s my favorite, and I feel you do the best job of presenting a balanced picture of your life. I never read the comments, so not sure what happened, but don’t worry. BTW…my youngest was down in your area this weekend and said it was Hot!! Hopefully the weather will turn soon. Take care.

  • Ash says:

    I’ve been following you for years and found that you do a great job at balancing faith, family, DIYSโ€”everything about your life! You remind me that grace is attainable in every role you serve. You’re a great mom, wife and daughter in Christ.

    It was so good to read your thoughts on blogging things though!

  • Christine says:

    this was great but unnecessary, you are such a humble, honest blogger. you do a great job of showing all sides of your life.. I started reading when you were pregnant with Soul and I was pregnant with my first. then when I got pregnant with my second, you were pregnant with Glow ๐Ÿ™‚ I admit that even though you are so real and honest, I still get jealous…especially when I saw your closet in the Levi’s commercial!!!! lol keep doing what you do..you’ve inspired me to make so much cool stuff for my kids so thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Deborah says:

    Beautifully said. Your blog is an inspiring one for me and thatโ€™s why I come here every day. I sat down at my computer actually to email you, but this post was so perfect and coincidental, I have to share here in the comments.

    I know you homeschool your girls and you probably donโ€™t need any help in the art lessons area, but I have to share this fall lesson with you because of your walks and the leaves changing and what True said about wanting to see a leaf change. Iโ€™m a contributor for an online childrenโ€™s magazine and I contribute an art lesson every other week. This weekโ€™s lesson was โ€œFall of the Leafโ€ and it couldnโ€™t coincide with your this any better. I can see your girls loving this project, as did mine. http://www.classic-play.com/art-school-fall-of-the-leaf/

    Hope you enjoy, and thank you for always being so honest in your posts!

  • Misty says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart! I appreciate your honesty. I love reading your blog because you share the ways you are striving to grow in your faith, and in that, I feel like we have something in common! So thank you! Because as much as I love your creativeness and reading about your family, I really like the way you make me feel less alone in the daily trials! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi! It’s funny that you’ve addressed this idea of who we can make others to be. I had found your ‘tent’ idea on Pinterest and then checked out your blog. I was immediately drawn to you and your blog and when I continued to read found that you are a Christian too. I lost your blog name, but your blog kept popping into my head, so today I searched ‘tents’ on Pinterest and found you again! It is refreshing to read your struggles.
    Thank you,
    Ashley Henderson

  • jane says:

    i love you, i love your family, i love your blog… which for me is a way to keep up with you when i can’t see you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    let’s play soon! (or maybe later?) before/after this baby comes? we miss the girls!

  • Kristy says:

    A great and brave post. Well said!

  • s.! morrison says:

    I heart your blog and decided it was time to say so! I love that you talk about Jesus/ fashion/ kids/ husband/ family and your blog is always life-giving and encouraging! love!!!

  • bethany says:

    I appreciate you sharing. I have never thought your life was perfect; but I have always enjoyed that you are very strive to enjoy your girls, love your husband and serve the Lord. That is such an encouragement to me…especially as a Mom.

  • Anastasia says:

    I have been reading your blog for three years now. It is so funy how you find somebody, read a couple of their posts, next thing you know on the day when this blogger is in labor you refresh their instagram and blog, every five seconds to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. I blog myslef, don’t have many followers, and sometimes I catch myself wanting more, but I try really hard not to blog or comment to bring more people in, I just want to do it for me. I also know what you are talking about when you say that as a christian you sometimes ask yourself why you are here – I ask myself all that all the time! Am I trying to get attention, or is blogging just waste of time… And I still don’t think it is and here is why…. As a wife in my early twenties, all I am exposed to about having children is how much of a burden it is, how hard it is, and how I really shoukdn’t want it. Yet I feel like yes it is hard, but it shiuld be a joy and it can be made for fun if you think and see things the right way. You and a few other bloggers that I reed, infuse my life with a thread of an idea that children are a joy – a hard work, all bunch of yelling, dirty diapers and all kinds of problems – but are all worth it and are a joy, realm for creativity, and inspiration. Everyone’s life is hard, we all know it, but I think you are trying to make it a little more fun for your kids, romantic for your husband, creative for yourself – not everyone does that, and that is why I read your blog. It is nothing big, not something you should feel proud of, it is something that God helps you do that is different from all the mass media mess that we all are subjected to. I think what you have is love for your husband and kids and that inspires people like me to love my husband, to really want kids despite of all the hardships.
    A long coment for a long post…

  • Tammia says:

    Thanks for this. I really identify with many of the things you shared. I also think you do a wonderful job of sharing “real life” and “pretty life.” Not necessarily one and the same, so how to portray the two can be a struggle. I love all the beauty you share but also the real honest “what-you-think” moments, too. Thank you.

  • YES! I finished my first novel!!! LOL. This is my first time visiting your blog.. I guess it was the Universe directing me exactly where I needed to go, because I needed to read your msg. How inspirational. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  • Doesn’t it feel good to just put it all out there, sometimes?
    Thank you for sharing your heart, with all of us!

  • Leslie says:

    I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I don’t leave comments often. But with this I had to! Although I do read blogs that are all very much more edited with their life one of the things that I love about your blog is the fact that you let the seams show a bit more. I have two boys that are 14 months apart and hearing you speak about the good and the challenges of having kids close together make me feel normal. Yes of course it is such a blessing but sometimes it is hard and most of the time my house is a mess. And I like you say that. Also being a believer as well I love that you are honest about your relationship with the Lord. I think you do a good job at displaying a bit of real life while still inspiring me to make pretty things and enjoy your life. Basically I want to say thank you for your blog as it has served many purposes in my life.

  • Jessica G. says:

    One of the reasons I read your blog is you do add a dose of refreshing honesty every once in a while. And I have two little ones of my own and my life is by no means all clean house and crafty times with my kids. But still, I sure do love coming on here and seeing your kids adorable smiling faces or the outtake pictures you sometimes post. Seeing the adorable backpack you threw together or even the idea of having a hammock inside your house…I am trying to convince my hubby we need one too! All I want to say is keep doing what you are doing. You are raising happy kids and are documenting your life for all to see. I certainly enjoy being along for the ride.

  • Sarah W says:

    I love reading your blog! As others have said, one of the things I appreciate about you is that you show both the great and the not so great, like saying that you and Ben had a fight right before a picture was taken, etc. I admire your ability to balance the good/not so good. As a Christian myself, I also appreciate how your faith shines through in what you do.

    Also, as others have said, I find myself struggling with my love for beauty, and desire to create a home that is pleasing to me and my family, while at the same time keeping the right perspective, knowing, for instance, that some people don’t have a home, and how do I balance that? It’s a question I’ve wanted to ask some bloggers who I think have it down, you being one of them, (although I’m sure you’d all say you still haven’t figured it out completely), and maybe this is as good a time as any. How do you deal with that? Thanks for your great blog! Keep up it up, lots of us love it!

    • mycakies says:

      I totally agree with your thoughts and questions. I think the same thing. I think for us, we really are your average family. I have to admit we live in an embarrassingly larger home, but that’s because the area we could afford was lower in price, but bigger in size. It’s a tract home and in a just starting to get developed area of southern california, so homes were much cheaper in our area. all the homes we liked that were smaller and in a safer area, were out of our budget. i know doesn’t make sense right? it’s california!

      we go through and purge often and donate things. sometimes when we have parties or holidays and the girls get gifts, we only let them pick a couple things and take the rest and donate (don’t tell our family!). sounds harsh? they just get tons of stuff from relatives and friends that it is so unnecessary and we try to tell the girls about the people out there who aren’t as fortunate. christmas time we also adopt a family and we all delivery presents together. we aren’t super radical or anything, but we do what we can to teach the girls that we don’t need much and should give more. i am sure there is more we can do and if there is something that works for your family, i would love to hear about it!

  • Nataliya says:

    This is just so beautiful! I just recently started blogging regularly and keep having thoughts like you mentioned. It is so amazing of you to be so honest and share these with us. I will be pinning this post of yours for when perspective is needed. Yes it is easy to be carried with the flow, to judge etc. and we all need to be reminded. I read many many inspiring blogs and really think my life has gotten better because of them. Living an inspired life is just so important in everything that we do.

  • heather says:

    i can honestly say that you are very genuine! meeting you and spending time with you i know that your true self shows through in all of your posts. you are a mom that loves your girls and ben. thank you for sharing your creative self.


  • Missbean says:

    I figure… it’s ok to post negative things, so long as
    a) they were something you learnt from
    b) you’re respectful, and re-read it once you cool down a bit. Just so, you know, you don’t die 1000 deaths of embaressment in a weeks time.

    I mean, our ability to put the negative stuff away is what seperates us from whiny teenagers who write about how mean our parents are, because we never get what we want.

    I think if you write about the good stuff because that’s what you WANT to write about, it’s because that’s what you want to remember, right? I mean, that’s why I write about the good stuff, it’s what I want to remember.

    When my daughter’s father and I broke up, I was suprised by some friends who wrote “WHY ARE YOU BREAKING IT? Your life looks so beautiful on the blog!”

    Sometimes I write the bad stuff. More like stupid and/or embaressing things I’ve done, or expressed fustration with things I cannot change, or am scared of changing…

  • Abby says:

    With what we see and what we don’t, your heavenly father is proud of you. Keep it up! You have an awesome mission in raising those girls and you are doing a great job at it!!

  • Kate says:

    Dear Ruby, I’ve been reading your blog for many months now. I enjoy all the stories, craft ideas, and seeing how you are working so hard to put God first and serve your family (which no one does perfectly, but it seems like you’re doing an awesome job with so many littles so young and even more importantly, your heart is in the right place). I also really appreciate your honesty. I have a lot of similar thoughts concerning why blog and participate regularly in social media. I think that a lot of it can come from the “me, me, me” mentality (and usually shows when it does), but it can also be used to encourage others through your personal story, build others up by showing real examples, and provide a platform and level of influence to shine for Christ that He might use for his glory. I hope you continue to blog! I think a lot of the questions you raised in this post are ones that Christians should consider, so thanks so much for sharing!

  • Rachael says:

    I love your honesty!

    And all so true about blogging and commenters!

    You should see my house right now haha

    and you should see me right now haha,

    I am not as honest on my blog as you about my house etc but I’ll try from now on because I admire what you have said!

    Rachael xo

  • I pretty much already commented a little about my thoughts on this n your fly swatter post, but just letting you know that I did read this. I don’t get many comments on my blog these days as I did a couple years ago, but I blog because I enjoy doing so. I know people read it and I am the type of person who says my thoughts to all the blogs I read instead of keeping it to myself, because I think that is the right thing to do rather than being all sneaky and voyeur about it. I think it is great that you are willing to share your struggles here. Not many people want to reveal that they even have struggles. It is commendable and admirable, as we are to humble ourselves before God and confess our sins to others. . .so I applaud those able to do so too.

  • Meg says:

    I personally love the long posts with lots of writing. There is something about writing for a long time that reveals your true feelings and as a reader, i can sense your train of thought and its really honest. One of the things i love most about your blog is it’s honesty. You have never claimed that you have this perfect life thats totally organised and all your children are perfectly dressed with amazing manners 24/7. While you never claim this, the mere fact that you are looking after and teaching 4 young girls, and homeschooling two of them is so inspiring. As an eighteen year old, I find women like you to be so motivating.

  • Emeline says:

    Ruby, Thanks for being real- it is appreciated. I have been reading your blog for six months and this is my first comment to your blog or any blog ever- you struck a chord with your honesty.

  • Hey Ruby,

    Firstly, I’m a huge fan of your blog! I often share your posts with my husband and say, “She’s the coolest!” My husband and I had our first little boy three months ago and plan to have loads of babies..and to homeschool. I find your blog so inspiring and I love the way you portray motherhood. Mom’s who are at home get a bad rap sometimes, and you definitely prove stay-at-home mama’s can be beautiful, intelligent and wicked creative. But, it’s so refreshing to have you be honest about the highs and lows of it all. I smiled when I read the part of you yelling at your girls. As a reader and I first time mom, I want to know it’s okay to lose your temper, to not be perfect. It’s important.

    Well, I just wanted to encourage you and thank you for sharing your life with us. It takes courage to put yourself out there..especially when including imperfections.

    <3 Corazon

  • erinlucy says:

    thank you so much for this ruby. I was the one who commented last week on instagram on the picture of your gorgeous house and asked how you did it with 4 kids at home. I love that you are so open and honest about what it is really like for you at home some days. It’s hard to find a blog that is as honest and reading those kind of posts from you are always such a breath of fresh air and weight off my shoulders. It’s the reason I keep coming back to your blog after deleting so many others from my reader that i realised were just making me feel bad. It’s hard to read a beautiful blog and not compare what you see to your own messy life but I need to remember like you said, that i’m only seeing a tiny piece of that blogger’s life. thank you thank you thank you for that reminder. I read somewhere that comparison is the thief of joy. I try to remind myself of that whenever i feel those jealousy feelings emerging.

  • olivia says:

    yes, I agree.. a few months ago I stopped blogging. I began to question a lot, I had recieved some negative comments and it kind of made me question why I was blogging. In the beginning, it was for me then it sort of became like a job and it wasn’t as fun anymore to keep with “the joneses”… but now with a fresh outlook that I plan to maintain, blog for me and blog about what I love not necessarily what I think other will love and or what will bring more followers.. thanks for your heart to heart!!!

  • Jackie says:

    Thank you so much for this post. After being a blog reader/stalker for many years, I finally decided to carve out my own little space in the blogosphere. As a Christian myself, so much of what you said really resonated with me. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, it is important to remember what our focus should be. Thank you for your honesty!

  • Bethany says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I look up to you as a blogger who wants to shine Jesus’ light and is focused on eternal things. :0)

  • meghan says:

    I want to leave a really long comment about how awesome this post was and go on and on about it , but I’m at work and I can’t. So, It blessed me today and genuinely touched my heart and helped me in my quest for discernment/blogging balance etc.

    I am thankful God used you to remind me that things (even blogging things) are about his Kingdom. Here, and later. And everything.. even creating is something eternal. That is our purpose.

    Hello from your newest follower via bloglovin:) Thank you for putting your words out there.

  • Sarah says:

    Honest, beautiful post. Thanks so much! I read your blog with zeal! It always brings a big smile to my face ๐Ÿ˜€ You have the funkiest style. I love your dedication to your family and God. Blessings x

  • Megan Lane says:

    I am with you on all this I have contemplated giving up reading blogs altogether because of the timesuco they can be and the comparing they cause. Really appreciate how real you are

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi there, I was really inspired by your blog post today. I only discovered you/this blog a few months ago and it has been soo much fun reading along. I don’t have any kids yet and I was surprised how much I looked forward to your updates about the kids and your kid-filled life!

    I also want to encourage you that I knew that you were a Christian before I read it anywhere. Your love and passion for living abundant life (to me that means embracing the triumphs, the failures, the heartache and the joys) are really evident and although I would be sad if you quit, I trust that you will listen to God and only do this as long as it continues to bring life to you and your family! You are right, time is precious and life is short and I pray that you hear God more and more clearly!

  • Bar says:

    Your blog is beautiful, I love every bit. Keep doing what you’re doing. Judging from all of these comments, you have created a wonderful community for yourself. Be proud! You are a strong role model for your girls, with your big heart and creative passion…they are lucky to have you. xo

  • Shannon says:


    I only recently discovered your blog, and was struck by it’s honestly, gentleness, and creativity. This post, in particular, articulates so much of how I feel about blogging: using discernment, balance, and genuineness, to ward off narcissism, covetousness, and flat out discontentment. It gives a new/fresh perspective of this little cyber world, that can offer so much good, but too often becomes a giant competition. Thank you for your sharing your heart! This is truly something I will enjoy digesting.

    God bless you in all your endeavors and your walk of faith!

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