Dear Beginning Blogger, Learn

Dear Beginning Blogger,

It’s time for another tidbit of wisdom and encouragement from me to you.  Today’s message? LEARN.

Little by little, I’m writing to you with all the things I wish I’d known in those first months of blogging.

Step one: just focus on writing. Get comfortable with words and discover your voice.

Step two: just be awesome on social media. Engage in conversations and not just infomercials for your blog.

Step three: learn.  This blogging thing isn’t easy. There are a lot of different things to learn and you don’t have to do it alone.

It’s not just writing. It’s figuring out all the technical “hosting things”, the fiddly bits of HTML and CSS, and the incomprehensible logic of when to post what to where. It’s all the statistics you slept through in college. It’s the unspoken etiquette on Pinterest and Twitter.

It’s enough to keep you up at night. All night. Every night.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Changes (i owe you awesome)

If you’re a long-time friend, you’ve likely noticed a few changes on my blog over the past six weeks.  I’m not done, but I wanted to give you an idea of where I’ve come from and where I’m heading.

No matter if you’re a long-time friend, a brand new one, a casual acquaintance, or a total stranger, I want you to know

I owe you awesome.

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In which I start breaking rules…

Today, I break the rules.

So I have this big idea that is only half defined.

How big? At the moment it’s covering the wall of my bedroom in those giant flip-chart post-it sheets. Most of them are filled with TINY handwriting. Most of the handwriting is mine, but some of the drawings belong to my husband. He’s listened as my heart spilled out onto paper and tried to sketch in the details as I talked.

It’s messy.

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In which I shut the door…

Last night, the following announcement was made in my house.

I AM GOING UPSTAIRS AND LOCKING MYSELF IN MY BEDROOM. FOR THE NEXT HOUR, PLEASE DO NOT KNOCK ON THE DOOR OR SHOUT THROUGH THE KEYHOLE. NOT EVEN IF YOU NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM. THE ONLY REASON TO ASK ME TO OPEN THE DOOR WOULD BE FOR A FIRE… OR LARGE AMOUNTS OF HUMAN BLOOD.

With that, I ran up the stairs leaving my children in the more than capable hands of my husband. I closed (and locked) the bedroom door and slipped into my PJ’s. With a quick hit to the “writing playlist” and a deep sigh of satisfaction, I finally began to write.

Finally. As in… it’s been months since I even tried to write in peace.

Y’all. It lasted less than three minutes. That’s when my husband started texting me. I am NOT kidding. Granted, it was for a good cause. After almost a year, he finally sold the extra truck that’s been sitting in our driveway. He got his asking price.

(So the next time I lock the family out of my bedroom, the exception list will include fire, human blood, and large sums of cash.) [Read more…]

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MOMtor Monday – Families

Today is my MOMtor Monday at Mothering From Scratch.  Yeah!

Kathy and Melinda asked me to write this piece several months ago, and I immediately started stressing about it. I wrote and re-wrote the post endlessly in my head.  Writing about family issues isn’t easy, and I did NOT want to upset anyone in the process.  (Been there, done that.)

I finally submitted the post a few weeks back, and I’ve been on pins and needles ever since.  In full disclosure, I woke up at 4am this morning thinking about it.  I woke up from a nightmare and just couldn’t go back to sleep.  In my dream, every woman I’m related to was calling me and demanding to know if she was Edwina or Auntie Awesome Blossom.

Go check it out:  how to keep the peace with difficult relatives

Then leave me a comment telling me I’m amazing… because I am really really really insecure today.

the universe does not revolve around me

 

 

 

 

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MOMtor Monday – the blessing of a strong willed child

It’s my MOMtor Monday at Mothering From Scratch!

Go check it out!  the blessings of parenting a strong willed child

momtor monday strong willed

(Oh, and if you haven’t gotten the ultimate homemaking bundle yet… go grab it while you can. It’s worth it.)

To be honest, the timing could have been a little better.  Guest posts get written and submitted long before they are published (in this case about two weeks).  When I wrote the post, it was easy to see the blessings from raising two strong willed boys.  This morning… not so much.

Today was one of THOSE mornings.   It was the kind of morning that has me scrambling for my yelling journal because I have some things to write down.

This morning, we needed grace… like candy.   It was loud and messy and chaotic, even for a Monday morning.  It was everything my guest post was not. I felt like a fraud.

I strive for authenticity on my blog… for honesty even when it’s uncomfortable.  Raising strong willed boys isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.  It gets messy.  

It’s been a long time since I first locked horns with my son in a two-day long battle over peas.   That’s when I first learned the importance of picking my battles.

It’s been an even longer time since the whole hot dog incident that humbled me and taught me to see divine lessons in messy places.

But as I looked back at those stories (and the countless others too messy or too trivial to share) I began to see the bigger picture.

I could see how God uses those moments to draw me closer to Him and to help me grow.  I saw how the breakthrough moments leave my boys with teachable hearts… and how the lesson God has so recently engraved on MY heart is so easily taught in that moment.

I can see God’s wisdom in giving me boys who are every bit as strong willed as I am.

With that perspective, I’m able to see the blessing once again.

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Minute Friday – Friend

Here we are, back at Five Minute Friday!  Today is the day I write for the sake of writing.  After a long week of sick kids, a sick husband, post Easter candy craziness, a smart phone that is no longer smart, and some pure idiocy… it feels good to write.  It feels good to settle, however briefly, back into the routine of writing and blogging.

The truth is that I miss this.  On the days that I am silent, a small part of me shrivels inside. A tiny part of me knows that other stuff was deemed more important and resents being such a low priority. A part of me knows that when my life is so busy and hectic that I can’t hear my writing voice then things are very wrong indeed.

And so I keep a promise. I write.

Today’s writing prompt is… FRIEND.

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Five Minute Friday – Paint

Here we are, back at Five Minute Friday!  Today is the day I write for the sake of writing.  I love this day.

Today’s writing prompt is… PAINT.

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Five Minute Friday – Writer

Here we are, back at Five Minute Friday!  Today is the day I write for the sake of writing.  I love this day.

Today’s writing prompt is in celebration of Lisa-Jo Baker’s book SURPRISED BY MOTHERHOOD.  It launched on April 1st and promptly sold out on Amazon.  I wrote about it on Tuesday, remember?

Since I have an extra copy, I thought I’d give it away.  Scroll down past Five Minute Friday and get the details.

Today’s writing prompt is… WRITER.

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Cat in the Hat please come back

A few days behind schedule (thanks to a massive cold), but I’m finishing up my series on writing prompts for grown ups.  Today’s prompt is “Would you like the Cat in the Hat to come to your house?”

The pin is from a blog called First Grade Fever.  The minute I saw the blog, You know how kindergarten and first grade rooms can be amazing spaces with every inch of wall space decorated in an explosion of color and chaos?  The blog looks just like that.   It looks like they’re hatching baby chickens in honor of spring right now.

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