This blog.

I feel like I'm in a comfortable spot, blog-wise. When I started writing on this blog (consistently about a year ago) I didn't really know what I wanted it to be. A place for my thoughts, I guess. A place to document some of our day to day. Was I just jumping on a bandwagon? I didn't really know.

I had been introduced to nieniedialogues shortly after her plane crash and I became engrossed in her life. She was lovely and feminine and inspiring in many many ways. But more than that, she seemed genuine and adored her four little kids. I felt a sort of sisterhood with this person I had never met, a person who's life had been suddenly altered and I cried for her a few times. Why? Because I knew this girl, her kids, her husband, her life, her loves, her tree house even... and she was just waking up to a very different reality. Thousands were (and still are) touched by her life, her outlook, her story. Her simple, happy life was a light to the world.

I loved what her blog was and wanted one of my own. I didn't really care about being an inspiration, but I wanted to capture my life like she captured hers. The first post I wrote on this blog last year wasn't genuine (don't bother looking for it, it isn't posted). I wrote it carefully, enlarging just the right words and coloring a few. It was more about show than reality and it absolutely wasn't a good sample of who I am and what I really think. I was articulate and cute. When I finished, I proudly showed it to Kevin and asked what he thought. He was honest. He said it wasn't me, he liked it, it was cute and funny, but it wasn't me. This hurt my feelings, but I knew he was right.

I took a few days, and then I wrote again. I wrote knowing that Kevin would read it (I'd make him) and my mom would read it (my one follower in those days) and one day my boys would read it. If it wasn't genuine, it would be of no worth to anyone. Now I always read my posts to Kevin to get his seal of approval. The only question I ask is, "is it me?" It became something that was real and meaningful to me. I started loving the creative outlet it provided and I was happy that I was actually taking the time to write about my life and my boys. It was also fun to begin to connect with others and take an interest in their lives as well. I felt (and still do) so lucky to live in a time where it is easy to stay in touch with old friends and meet people who I can relate to, all without leaving the home.

But...I went through a time when I felt I was living my life in blog posts waiting to happen. I had a few more readers and I wanted to be not only honest but entertaining. I'd think about what I'd say in my post a lot during the day. Kevin became concerned with this little obsession, and I insisted he was wrong, of course. But he was right. It was on my mind too much. My mood was dictated by the number of comments I received on a post. I said it didn't matter, but it did. I checked sitemeter 10 times a day at least. I tweaked my header and sidebar, and colors again and again. Awful. awful. awful. Don't get me wrong...I wasn't neglecting my family or failing to appreciate my kids, it was just something I thought about a lot. A whole lot.

Honestly though, I wasn't too worried about it, because that's the way I am. I get a bit obsessed with something and I wonder if I should just let it go, but soon it finds it's proper place in my life. It's like ABBA. I was introduced to ABBA while in high school and suddenly it was all I wanted to listen to, my ABBA gold CD. Dancing Queen and S.O.S again and again. But I knew it was only a matter of time. I wasn't always going to want to listen to ABBA forever. And soon it became just sometimes. I knew that would be the case with this blog or else I would have stopped writing back in November. I knew that given a little time, I would have a healthier relationship with my computer and I'd be glad that I stuck it out. I do, and I am.

Being home over Christmas gave me a little time off, and after that I gradually stopped wondering about who was on or what they thought. Sometime mid-January my blog subscribers went from 35 to 34. Was it something I said? I really wondered about this and wondered if my lack of effort to please and entertain would result in the loss of readers. I'd see a post only get one or two comments and wonder about it. But always I'd ask myself, "was it me? Is it what I wanted to say?" and answer yes. So I'd stop worrying.

I read back over my past posts and I love it. I'm different in subtle ways, but I'm glad I captured who I was a year ago. My boys are growing up, and I'm grateful for every day I wrote about them, my love for them, my efforts, my aggravations even. Even in my more obsessive days, all my posts passed the "genuine" test and to put a positive spin on that negative aspect of my blogging journey, at least it motivated me to post more often, right?

I don't want to be the next nienie or cjane or pioneer woman. I just want to write a few words for myself...that remind me of this happy life of mine, that entertain me, make Kevin think I'm witty and that will continue to entertain us for years to come. Otherwise, why do it? I've thought of going private (though not too seriously), and maybe someday I will. Right now I like the people who stop in. I love hearing what you have to say and reading about your lives and I don't want to put up any walls. You give great advice and support and you keep me motivated. I feel like I'm only better by having you around.

So, this post isn't to announce any changes or say anything shocking. I'll probably still post about as often, and I'll probably sound about the same. It just feels better to me.

that's all.


  1. Well I love your blog, and I think you know that by now. I understand the "obsession" too, but I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing. I have literally written blog posts in my sleep. I will go to bed thinking about something, and then in my dreams I am writing it down (no kidding) and by morning it's there in my head all ready for me to type it out. This doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Again, I don't see it as a bad thing at all. I've been wanting to write my life history for years and I just never quite do it...I lack the motivation or whatever, or don't know who I am even writing it for...but when I blog, I write it for my children, and my grandchildren. Oh how I WISH I had a blog when my boys were growing up! I envy that you do...your children are going to love the memories. Blogs are so much more real than baby books or scrapbooks. Natalie, you have a natural entertaining way of writing...your posterity will KNOW YOU. To me, it's worth all the time we put into it.

  2. I love your blog and reading what your family is doing. I am also in that place at the moment, with being a little bit too obsessed with the blogging thing, but like you, I am a bit like that with things anyway. I try to be as real as I can but being quite an open person I wonder how much information is too much on a blog. I do hope that you leave your blog open for a long time to come!

    I also wanted to thank you for answering my USA schooling question, it really helped me, and even though there are a few differences there weren't quite as many as I thought!

  3. That's really funny Natalie. I often think about people posting comments on my blog, but it rarely ever happens. And by that I mean that I don't say anything interesting enough for people to want to comment...so usually it's you and one other person that say stuff.

    I often find myself wanting to be whitty (sp) and say something people will be drawn to, but I'm just not whitty. So, in the end, we say what we say. I'm glad that you're doing this blog. It helps Grace and I to keep up with your cute boys and wish we were there to play with them!

  4. I think we can all relate...at least I know I can. I just want to tell you that I love your blog...I find it very genuine and often pretty funny.

  5. Private!!!! Don't threaten things like that. What would I do? .... Probably the dishes :) j/k I love your blog and find it very uplifting. Even when you are having a bad day, it still comes off as a good day to be a Professional Mommy. The weather can throw anything at you and you still come out on top. Even if it means a drive to Wendy's in your flip flops for a frosty (been there). Keep up the great work. You also help me to blog more often, too. I blog for the sake of "journal-ing" and I think if a mother of 4 can do it, than me, a mother of one and one on the way can too. Thanks again.

  6. Love your blog! I think everyone goes through the comment phase. I always worry about offending people or what not....but the best part is it's your space your little place in the world to write what is going on in your world and what is important to you.

  7. I just wanted to say for the record, I look forward to your posts daily! I usually start to comment, and then get distracted and forget, or Dean closes my browser window (grrrr...). So thats my excuse for not commenting, and don't ever let yourself make up other reasons or get paranoid that you said something weird, haha.

    I go through phases with my blog too. Styles and approaches, etc. I thought I was the only one! :) Discovering Seriously So Blessed really ruined blogging for me for awhile, I got too worried about what others would think. And yet I blog for social as well as journaling reasons... its always evolving.

    PS you should try Google Analytics. Just another way to obsess about your stats!

  8. I really love this post. I really do. I can relate on many levels, so thank you for articulating those feelings that, I believe, can be common among our demographic of bloggers. I have sincerely enjoyed reading what you have to say for the few months I've been hanging around! (Oh, and I've been out of town this week...have to catch up!)

  9. can definitely relate....my husband has even said to me "you're blogging in your head right now, aren't you" I can also tend to be a bit OCD-ish too ( though never with ABBA) until things level off and find balance in my life. I think if you can really articulate WHY you blog, it is helpful too! Documentation, amazing community and love of writing and photography are my reasons. You ARE wonderful, and you ARE witty Natalie! I love reading about your life and only wish you were closer so we could be "in person" pals

  10. I've been thinking about this post over the weekend, and I realized there is an explanation for the obsession, of sorts, with maintaining a blog. First, those who blog are in some way trying to preserve a snapshot of their lives. If I maintained any other form of memory preservation, I'd probably ponder and plan just as much about the next thing I wanted to write, or how to word a series of captions for a group of pictures. It's just that if it were for a memory book on the coffee table, it wouldn't be labeled as "obsessive." There is an element of instant gratification with putting it out there to a network of people who will offer immediate feedback and accolades, though. I think that's why extra energy put into blogging can be viewed as negative, because it looks like we're obsessing over pleasing others. I think that as long as the motivation is genuine, and is primarily for pure-intended individual gratification (self-expression, family memories, etc.), it's all good.

  11. Quite honestly, I think most of the time your blog is one of the better ones. I don't read many (though I have sampled a TON), but I always come back to yours. It's simple. It's real. You don't have a bunch of "frou frou" details that take away from what I'm interested in--your story. I never would have found yours if you hadn't found mine...but I'm glad you did.

    And don't you dare go private without inviting me. ;)


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