Friday, Feb 27
This blog recently received a major overhaul. My two main goals for my new blog were:
The site had to look and feel like my home, welcoming and cozy.
The site had to be a place where I would feel creative and inspired.
Thanks to Bonnie, Ben, and Kate, I reached my goals and then some. This process has been one of discovery, so by way of Seven Quick Takes, I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned so far about blogs, bloggers, and blogging. I still have so much to learn and that’s part of why blogging is so fun for me! Here goes…
blog- (noun) a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.
For some reason, I remember the first time I ever heard about a blog. The Hubs called me over to our desk top computer to show me our friend’s blog. “Oh, a website about himself?” I asked. The Hubs explained to me that a blog was a place where our friend could share stories, teach people things, and document life events. I remember thinking, “Nobody’s gonna read that!” Boy, was I wrong! When our oldest child was about three years old, I discovered a blogger named Danielle Bean. Ever heard of her? Her blog lead me to Rachel Balducci and Elizabeth Foss who lead me to Dawn. Somewhere along the way, I bumped into The Nester and she lead me to Emily. And, as one quickly discovers while reading blogs, one leads to another and another and another and before you know it, dinner hasn’t been cooked and no one has any clean underwear and the toddler has been watching Thomas the Train for two hours, but your head is full of all kinds of wonderful ideas. You’ve learned about how other people decorate their houses, what books they like to read to their children, and that some of their struggles are your struggles too.
catholic blog- (noun) a Web site on which a catholic writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences through a catholic lens.
I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through some really difficult lonely days at home with a preschooler, a four year old, a toddler and a newborn without the community of catholic bloggers that continually pointed toward the light. Some would do it by making me laugh about the ins and outs and ups and downs of being a mom of so many little ones and others would doing by making me cry about the beauty of my vocation. There were countless instances where I would find just the boost I needed from women I had never met. On days when I couldn’t get out of the house because someone was sick, or when I thought perhaps I’d never make it to 6pm, these beautiful catholic women were sitting somewhere, writing something meaningful, and I was every so grateful for their wisdom and insights. They were catholic mothers and wives and we were in this together.
Bloggers can be some pretty inspiring people.
All you have to do is search “blog” on Pinterest and you’ll find out pretty quickly that there are some incredibly industrious and creative people out there with a broad spectrum of ideas and viewpoints. The sheer volume of, for lack of a better word, stuff that is at our fingertips because bloggers all over the world have published posts about whatever it is that drives them, well, it can be overwhelming. But once you hone in on the bloggers who you connect with on some level you can almost create, for better or worse, a little sphere of influence. Over the years of reading blogs (or avoiding them) I have learned to just stick with the writers and crafters, homeschoolers and schoolers, decorators and DIYers who inspire me, and by inspire I mean simply this: whatever content they are offering helps me down a path towards joy in my vocation.
Bloggers can become your friends, but you don’t always want your friends to read your blog.
There’s a man at our parish who, every.single.time. I see him says, and I quote, “Hey! It’s Sometimes Mary Always Martha!” Cue eye roll. I mean seriously. How on earth did this guy hear about my blog? So I asked him, “Mike! How did you hear about THAT?!” “Oh, we are both friends with someone on Facebook who liked your page!” Oh those friends of friends Facebook connections. But you know what I’m talking about, whether you’re a blogger or whether you read your friend’s blog. It can be a little awkward sometimes. Someone read a post about the new dining room table you are so excited about. They see you at the awards assembly at school and to start a conversation they say, “Your new table is lovely!” I’m telling you, when this happens, the first thing that comes to mind is, “I wonder how many posts she’s actually read?” I have nothing to hide, but still. It’s just a little unsettling when the people you interact with on a regular basis through church or school reveal in some way that not only do they know you blog, but they actually read it.
But I’ll take the awkwardness of this sort of exchange any day of the week if it means that with this crazy “I have a blog” situation, I get to meet and interact with some pretty incredible bloggers through Facebook Groups, emails, comment boxes, or conferences. It’s a unique connection we all have, one that I never expected to find when I started blogging.
Bloggers can sometimes make you crazy.
I have gone through phases when I have stopped reading blogs altogether. It’s difficult to pinpoint the times when I’ve done this. It’s just one of those things. Sometimes your life is so full of activity, worry, stress, or good stuff, that reading about somebody else’s good stuff, stress, worry, or activity is too much. I took a break for way too long once. I suppose I had convinced myself that just focusing on my home life and all its demands would be best without any exterior influence. It was probably a good idea for awhile. On the other hand, reading what others are going through can take you out of yourself. Reading about another person’s reality can be just what I need to snap me out of wallowing in my own stuff — another blogging bonus.
Blogging helps people.
When you blog, you give yourself a voice. You say to your readers, “This is what I think. This is what I enjoy. This is what is important to me.” Some humans just need that. It’s frustrating for me when I get into conversations with folks about blogging sometimes. There can be a negative attitude towards people who blog. “How on earth do you have the time? What are you children doing while you sit there and write? Does your house really look like that all the time?” I make time to blog because I love it. You don’t see what I see from my desk top. I see the children playing and fighting and having a snack or playing right outside the office window. And of course my house doesn’t look like this all the time. I’m a human being. I am a creative person. I need order. It helps me to blog! It helps me be a better wife and a better mom. The second it doesn’t, then I’ll take a break or throw the whole thing out the window. For now, today, right this second, it’s working. Now excuse me while I go break up a fight before we find ourselves on the way to the ER. Then again, maybe I won’t break up the fight. A trip to the ER would make a great blog post! Kidding. Kidding!!!!
Blogging enables me to share my time and talent from the quiet (or not-so-quiet) of my home.
And that leads me to my last take. I am so grateful for this outlet. It brings me joy and satisfaction knowing that some of the things I share here might help someone out there. Whether it’s something silly like how fun it can be to re-arrange furniture, or an idea about how to live out the catholic faith in your home with your family, I hope I’m helping and inspiring, just like all those blogs I read when my kids were so little and I was so overwhelmed. I get to stay here in my cozy little abode and offer my thoughts and ideas without walking away from the life I love to live as a stay at home mom. What a gift!
Kelly, thank you for hosting!
Don’t forget! There’s a giveaway going on right now! It’ll be over tonight (Friday, February 27th) at 10pm Eastern. Details here.
Oh, and one last thing: I don’t know who this girl is, but I LOVE her shirt!