Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why I Haven't Been Blogging

I have been a little quiet on the blog front lately.  This is mostly due to the fact that I get consumed by whatever project I am working on, and in the past six weeks, I've been working on getting our new home unpacked, organized, and decorated.  I wish I were a more temperate person who methodically worked on projects bit by bit, a little each day or week, until they are done--but that's just not my nature.  I get obsessed and can't relax until the job is FINISHED and off my list.  I always tell myself that as soon as this project is done, I will start being a more balanced and temperate person...but the problem is, as soon as one project ends, another begins, so I find myself constantly in a state of obsession over some project or another.  Is anyone else like this?  Does anyone have any advice for me on how to temper this tendency?

You wouldn't think that getting our little home organized and decorated would take six weeks, but we have never lived in a house before, so we had some furniture to buy and work spaces to figure out...and everything takes so stinkin' long.  You get a couch, and then you need to find an area get an area rug, and then you need to find throw pillows to tie it all together.  You get some frames for a gallery wall, and then you need to get some photos get the photos printed, and then you need to hang the frames.  (Why does hanging pictures take so long??)  All of the decorating and organizing feels rather superficial at times, but it needs to be done.  I am decorationally challenged, so this has not been an easy task for me, but we are almost done with it all (just a few more pictures to get up on the walls!), and it feels good.  I cannot tell you how much we LOVE living in a house, and the home we are renting is perfect for us.  At least five times a day, I think about how grateful I am that we found this place and that we are lucky enough to have a home.  Perhaps I will post a few photos of our little home soon...if I can convince myself to take the time to upload photos.

Which leads to my next rant/question.  Another reason why I've been quiet on the blog front lately is that blogging takes a lot of time.  First you have to write the posts, and then you have to upload all of the photos from your camera or phone, edit them, add them to the post...what seems like it should take twenty minutes ends up taking an hour (or longer).  And if you want to turn your blog into a book for your family and future posterity to enjoy, that takes even more time.  I have been working on my second blog book, and I am amazed by how much time it takes.  I did the book for 2011 last year, I am working on the book for 2008 and 2009 this year--but I still have 2010, 2012, and 2013 to go!  Has anyone else run into this problem?  I've noticed that a lot of my friends have stopped blogging in recent months and years, and I wonder if this is why.  It's just a lot to keep up with!  Do people even read blogs anymore with all of the other options of social media that are, in a lot of ways, much quicker and easier?  (Speaking of, if you have Instagram and want to see far too many photos of Noah, let me know--I update there every couple of days because it's quick and easy.)  Sometimes I wonder if I should stop blogging all together, but I think I would miss the writing aspect of it, and I know our families like to know the details of what's going on with I'm not sure what to do.  Friends, do you have any advice on this?

And speaking of Noah, there's another reason why I haven't been blogging this summer: Being a mom is really busy!  I am constantly surprised by the energy it takes to care for a toddler and run a say nothing of the additional responsibilities of editing for Power of Moms and volunteering at our church and in our community.  I just got asked to help with the teenage girls at our church, and I really love it (I have the opportunity to teach again!), but I can already tell it's going to be busy with weekly lessons and activities.  I feel like I am always tired these days, which makes me feel like a sissy because I only have one kid for crying out loud, and I am a stay-at-home-mom, and I actually get more sleep now than I ever did while I was teaching.  So why am I so tired??  Can someone explain this to me?  How do women with lots of children function??  As I've mentioned on this blog a few times, Ryan and I are hoping to add another baby to our family in the near future, and I've started fertility treatments again, and I constantly wonder how I will keep up when there is another little one (and hopefully several more eventually!) running around the house.  There is nothing I want more, and yet it's a bit mind-boggling to consider it happening.

And finally, full admission, another reason why this blog has been pretty quiet lately is that Ryan and I have gotten a tad addicted to an old BBC show called "Larkrise to Candleford."  We don't have TV, so throughout our marriage, we've never had any "shows" that we  consistently watch together like a lot of couples do. But a friend recommended "Larkrise" to us because we like Downton Abbey, and we've been watching an episode several nights a week on the internet, and it is really fun.  I think it is more the relaxation and togetherness that we crave than the show itself.  There is something so nice about crashing at the end of the day and snuggling up together to watch something completely mindless.  In the past, my idea of togetherness was to clean the kitchen or work on one of my projects.  (Fun, right??)  I have a hard time sitting down to do something like watch TV, but now I totally understand why people love it.  I've realized that it is probably really healthy and good for couples to have a favorite show that they share. (Ryan is in full support of this realization, as he would much prefer to snuggle and watch something fun than clean the house! That poor man puts up with a lot from his worker wife!)

So that was the very long explanation of some of the reasons why I have not been blogging this summer!  I hope to catch up a bit over the next week or so.  Who knows if I will keep up this blog long-term, but I will at least finish 2013 (so I can have a complete blog book, right?  Ahhh!).

Thanks for reading my rant.  I know all of this is totally "first-world problems," and I feel a little sheepish even asking for advice--but all of you wise women out there, I would REALLY appreciate if you could leave a comment and give me some input on balancing projects, running a household, volunteering, blogging, motherhood, and life.  xoxo


  1. You have hit a time in parenting that is rough! Fun at times, but rough!! I learned the hard way how unprepared I was for an active attitude filled toddler. Plus, bringing another child in your home isn't the easiest thing. Doing infertility stuff takes a lot of emotional toll and if you are like me it was overwhelming and hard to put my feelings into words. It's normal to want or even need to take a break from blogging. That's why I started a new blog. I needed to start fresh with the person I've become in the last few years. Let me say though that I will MISS reading your blog tremendously so please keep writing!! Your blog is my favorite. It does feel like everyone is done with blogs though. I've found my new love for them again maybe because I'm alone a lot and need the companionship even if I'm the only reading it.

  2. PS if that wasn't long enough, here's some more. Download the blogger app. You can load photos so easy and then edit the rest on whatever device you want. I agree, loading them from your camera takes way too long! Also, I would love to be added to your Instagram!!

  3. I'd love to see some pictures of your house, Rach! That is exciting to be in a home. I have a hard enough time organizing and decorating our little apartment. I am decorationally-challenged as well :) I love reading your blog, by the way.

  4. In our family, my method of getting things done is to ponder and consider the problem (i.e. procrastinate) until there is just BARELY enough time to get it done. Then I drop everything and focus on it and do nothing else. I also do this with hobbies: I'll spend every spare second working on a quilt for months and months... then I'll spend three weeks reading and not even touch the sewing machine. I wish I could moderate and work on things daily, especially the things that don't get done as they should, like scripture study and Portuguese practice.
    This is contrasted by my husband, who excels at pacing himself and breaking projects into small pieces. For example, when he was studying for the Foreign Service Exam, he came home from work and studied for an hour or two every night. For like 3 months! Every day! And then he passed the test. I would have done it for like 2 days, felt like I was doing awesome, then procrastinated doing it ever again until the day before the test. I probably wouldn't have passed.
    And thanks for the note about Lark Rise to Candleford. I've been meaning to watch it-- and now I will!

  5. So, being a perfectionist, I still have so much to work on myself. Probably the biggest thing to have helped is lowering my expectations. Then lowering them again. And then lowering them even more. Really. I know it's easier said than done, but I think it is so important to take a step back and go with "good enough" for a lot of things. My motivation for a lot of things has been to maintain "happy wife and happy mom" status. If I start getting too stressed out with the kids or Spencer because I am trying to get things done, I stop. And with blog books, for me it's enough to have them printed out. I don't do any special formatting at all. I do the "snapshot" version. And you know what?! The kids love them! They could not care less what they look like. All they want to see is pictures of them staring back. Soon enough, you begin to realize that "good enough" is actually "great!" and even better than for what you were shooting because not only did you get done what you wanted, but there was no weeping, wailing, or gnashing of teeth.

    Life is always a great balancing act and God, thankfully and mercifully, gives us things in stages. If you had asked me seven years ago if I thought I could have done all that was needed, honestly, I probably would have said "yes," but that's because I was incredibly naive and thought I had things figured out. Now I know the answer is yes because God has been with me every step of the way and given things to me as I needed them to help me progress.

    Sorry this is so long! In my defense, you did open the flood gates. :) I hope you are settling in well. I know you have family in Twin Falls, but we have some really good friends there. I'll tell them to watch out for you!

  6. Don't quite kids LOVE my blog books and sit and read them and ask me to read to them from them. I just save time by not editing which I regret when I reread them but at least it's something.

    We just started watching LarkRise but we only let ourselves watch it when we exercise and it's harder to get into when you are watching it so sporadically.

    I am glad you are enjoying your house!

  7. Rach, I LOVE your blog and it inspires me to be better (you have a gift) so I hope you keep blogging. I have no advice and would like answers to the same questions you have. I just don't decorate or buy furniture and it keeps my life simple. haha. I take forever thinking about what I want and still have a hard time spending money. Look what those tight years in dental school did to me! We love ya and Noah bug. Put your projects to the side and come play with us!

  8. seems like you have some good feedback already, but I will add mine for what it is worth. I totally still read blogs. They are my favorite. I understand the perks of Instagram being quick and easy but I don't really feel like things are recorded there so much as they are mentioned and then forgotten about. I don't know about you but I actually go back every now and then and read through old posts of mine (or search them to find out what the heck we were doing at a particular time). And I love it. Paul does too.

    But seriously, do whatever YOU feel like doing. If you don't want to write, don't feel pressure to. For me, I write because I don't journal so the blog is as good as I have got (although I feel SO cliché saying that). If you journal consistently, then blogging does seem like a bit more of a chore. But it shouldn't be a chore and if that is what it has become, then why bother, right? Who needs one more chore?

    But I love it and I know that it has touched others too. I only did 2 blog books and they were both the years before Clara was born so I feel your pain. Those things take FOREVER. I've been meaning to do the others but... we shall see.

    I agree that blogging isn't as popular as it once was and I don't get nearly as many updates as I used to. But I still love it for ME, you know? Because I like the writing part of it as much as recording stuff for others, so I think our approach is similar.

  9. Don't quit blogging! Please! I love your writings. Just don't feel pressure to do it all the time. I have 2 blogs for that reason. My "social" one, and the one about my family. The family one is the one I want my family/posterity to read.

  10. Oh, and I really want to see pictures of your house! Even if they're iPhone pictures! ;)

  11. Oh Rachel, I related with far too much of what you had to say.
    Please don't stop blogging. You are such a talented writer and I love reading what you post. Blogging is a pain and time consuming and even if I don't have time to do it for awhile I always make myself go back to it because, for me, its our family history and I think its important to record our experiences and pictures. Plus, your blog is far too entertaining for people like me. :)
    I feel the same way about being a mom right now. I'm so exhausted and yet some days I feel like all we did was get dressed and eat. For one thing I think being a mom is more emotionally draining than everything I did combined before I had a child. Also, I think 1 child is actually really hard because you are their entertainment most of the time. When my sister had #3 I remember asking her if she felt super overwhelmed and busy and she said it was actually easier than having two (for her) because her kids were getting older and she was in a good routine as a mom so things just flowed. That gave me hope. :)
    P.S. I'm so excited for you guys to be starting your career and living in a house and all that jazz. What a great time of life!

  12. Ditto what everyone has said! I'm a "Type A checklist" person too and have had to let go of a lot of things so I don't go crazy. I keep blogging, however, for myself and(only 1-2x a month vs. 4-5 a few years ago) because it's the easiest way to record family memories. My blog books are full of errors because I had to give up on perfectionism just to get them done, but my kids LOVE looking at them. And you will too. Don't give up!

  13. You're doing great Rachel! I'm super impressed it only took you six weeks to decorate your house. Those kind of decisions take me FOREVER to make! And now it's done-- what a nice thing to not have crowding your brain!

    And I thought it was funny that you meantioned Larkrise to Candleford, because I watched the whole show-- yep, all seasons-- while I was sick and wanting to die. I also watched all of Downton Abbey. But last pregnancy I watched 50 hours of a Korean TV drama (that was fabulous and which you can't find easily in the states). So I guess I've just dedicated my crazy TV watching spurts to first trimesters.

    Anyway, it's always ok to drop a few less important things to help yourself feel less crazy! Love ya!

  14. I think that some people have mentioned this before, but it is important to learn to say "No." And I don't mean to things that are unimportant. It's easy to say "No" to things that are unimportant. But for me to feel balanced, I have to let myself only do what's necessary on the important things, and then move on to something else important. If not, I get so focused on doing everything just right and complete that I accomplish not much. I'm such a perfectionist!

    So, being able to say, "This is important, and I'm going to work on it for _____ minutes" allows you to get something important done. And then after _____ minutes, say no to it and move on.

    Of course, sometimes this is impossible to do (or it seems that way). But it's a process!

  15. Hi Rachel-
    Okay- first step just stop worrying! I know- easier said than done, right! However,there is no reason to worry about how you will adjust to 2 or more kids when right now you only have one. When that time comes, you will figure it out- guaranteed- so don't waste your time or emotional strength worrying about it. I had a wise nurse practioner when the kids were small that said your second child will never have the same experiences as your first- and it's OK!
    Blogging- I love your blogs, but if it is time to tone it down for awhile that is fine too- do you want to be so busy capturing memories that you are too busy to make them? Just do what you need to do. -and yes- you're going to have to let go of some of the perfectionism, sorry, but you will learn that kids are great for that. (You just can't be perfect anymore- and when they are older, they will be sure to let you know that!) So think about this- what makes you happy, what makes your family happy, what makes God happy. (it's not your job to keep all of us happy by your blogging!)Think about the difference between feeling guilty for not doing something (ugh, I really should have volunteered because I haven't yet) to what makes you sad- (I'm sad I haven't volunteered because this is really meaningful to me)- and get rid of the guilt stuff! And work on changing the stuff that is really meaningful to you.

    Okay that was probably a lot of randomness! And I think it makes me sound old! I have confidence you will make the right choices!

  16. You cannot stop blogging! I dont read many blogs anymore since instagram has kind of taken over my need for that but I do read and LOVE your words of wisdom and reality on many subjects close to my heart. So I guess if you decide to quit, we will have to become email pen pals :)

    I also have an awesome article on being overwhelmed as a mother of one and its changed my whole perspective on being able to handle more children when they come. Ill send it to you!

  17. I agree. Don't stop blogging, if at all possible. There isn't another social media resource that lets you share your heart so much. And I love that you're watching Lark Rise. Such a fun show. Thanks for all you do for Power of Moms, too. Love ya'!


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