Lately I’ve been quiet on this blog. Most of it has been due to the continual sickness in our house and moving. But I’ve also been thinking a lot about a few posts that I read by Angie Smith and Jen Wilkin and what it means for me. For my family. For my kids. For this blog. I’ve been quiet because I wasn’t sure what changes I was going to make to honor what I feel like God has been trying to teach me. But, I think that right now, I finally have the confidence to make some decisions and move forward.
Motherhood is hard. I’m always second guessing myself and my actions. I want to do the exact right thing at the exact right moment for each of my kids to give them the best life possible. I’m working on realizing that the best life possible doesn’t mean a life free of pain or hurt or strife. The best life possible means one where they grow up knowing that they are loved and cherished, by us and by God. They feel safe in our home to try new things and fail on occasion to learn what they’re good at and what God made them for. They grow confident in themselves and their abilities to be able to lead a successful and independent life. And, most importantly, they grow closer to God with each passing day and develop a long lasting relationship with the Creator of the Universe.
These posts that I’ve mentioned have caused me to question why I write here and what I write here. I’m a words person. A memories person. A picture person. I recently found some of my old quote books from middle and high school and I loved sitting and reading through them and remembering the things that I felt during those years. I have handmade scrapbooks for every year from 6-12th grades upstairs that are anywhere from 1″ thick to two scrapbooks each 3″ thick covering Senior Year.
Because of my love of memories and my love of words, I started this blog. I started it because I wanted a place that I could record our family’s memories and go back and remember and relive them years later. I wanted a place that my kids could turn to for real, “in the trenches” thoughts on things from getting your kids to sleep and ideas of things to do with your kids. I’ve wanted to create a space that was free for me to write from my heart and connect with other people, hopefully helping myself (and them) grow and become better people.
I think all of those things are good things. And I don’t feel like this blog has been a disservice to any of those goals. But I do feel like that sometimes I’m a little more open about things that aren’t necessarily mine to tell and that I need to clearly elaborate, in writing, just what this season of life means to me, with all of it’s merit and fun and love and not just share the struggles of this time period. So, I’m trying to change some things in my “real life” and in my “blog life” to reflect how I want my children’s world to look like.
After reading Angie’s post, I’ve put down the camera more to take less pictures. I know that seems kind of counter-intuitive for a memories girl like me, but I don’t want my kids to feel like they’re “a prop” in my life. On Sunday morning, when the kids were opening Easter baskets and James tried on his new sunglasses for the first time and grinned from ear to ear, I didn’t pull out my phone and try to get him to recreate the smile for the camera or continue smiling once he was done with his shades. I simply sat and watched him and basked in his happiness. I’m sure over time I’ll forget that moment, I’ll forget his dimples and how grown up he looked with sunglasses on. But hopefully I lodged a tiny piece of recognition in his little brain that I care about him and was present in the moment instead of trying to preserve it for the future.
Tonight, I just sat and watched Charlotte in the tub playing instead of reading a book on my phone or checking Twitter. I listened to her create a whole story about her Ariel and her Mom and her Dad that involved her Mom calling them to eat lunch and calling Ariel “Sweetie” and Ariel eating her lunch under the sea. And I noticed that like Jen said, she turned around to look at me a couple times in her story. And when she saw me watching her and not looking at a phone or trying to pose a picture so that I could remember this second, her grin was huge. It made me realize that most times when I hold up a camera to capture something, Charlotte’s eyes immediately look off to the side. And made me kind of sick to realize that saying, “Look at Mommy!” when taking a picture is almost always replaced these days by, “Look at the phone!”
This is a lot of words to say that, while I will still be sharing our lives here on the blog, I am probably moving to a less daily recap of our lives format (there will still be some of that though like the Easter post that I have planned!) and instead to an overview on my life and what I’m learning and things that I think will help others. This will probably range towards more design posts based on the remainder of building our house and moving in, to products that I really love and want to share, to things that I’m learning from God and as a Mom.
As my kids get older, less of their stories are mine to tell and I’ve decided to start real, live, paper notebooks for each child with personal handwritten things that I want them to know and remember and learn. (Totally stole that idea from Courtney at Lil Light O Mine!) I’m not sure exactly what direction these changes will take me, but I’m excited about the possibilities. If you have any thoughts on how we can best honor our children online I’d love to hear them. This is just how I’m feeling led right now, not how I feel everyone should be, but I hope that you’ll continue this journey with me. Thanks for providing me with a safe place to talk.