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#IAMENOUGH

This past weekend’s blogging conference was amazing. Seeing as it was my first time doing something like this, I spent much of the time feeling nervous and unsure of myself, especially when speaking with other bloggers who were more established than I am. However, I also pushed myself to be brave and make connections and be proud to tell them about who I am and what I write about (even if I only spoke to like, 5 people). I left the conference feeling more sure of where I am in life right now and the direction in which (I think) I am headed.

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I realized that I write because it is my way of processing my experiences. I am able to express things I have seen and heard and felt using words that come from a very real place. I also write so that my girls will hopefully one day be inspired by my words and our stories. It’s a gift I can give them that they (and maybe their own families one day) will have long after I am gone.

BlogHer taught me that my story is important.

That I need to remember the joy in what I do.

That my story can be a light for those in darkness.

That you can create community through your readers.

That my words have value.

And that I am enough. 



5 Tips on How to Prepare for BlogHer14. (By Someone Who Has Never Attended)

I am a BlogHer Conference virgin, and this weekend will be my first time.

I purchased my ticket three days ago. Cuttin’ it close, I know. But I really only decided that I wanted to take my blog to the next level recently (as in, a day before I purchased my ticket), and in doing some research happened to stumble across the BlogHer website. There seems to be quite a few veteran attendees graciously sharing their advice on what to pack, how to get the most out of the conference, tips and tricks on how to survive if you don’t know anyone, and even how to stay healthy while attending. I’ve read some really good posts that have eased my nervousness and fueled my excitement.

For all the conference newbies, I’d like to share my own tips on how to prepare if you’re a conference virgin and have no idea what you are doing. (Disclaimer: Seeing as though the conference hasn’t taken place yet, I have no idea if these will help at all. This is just what I’m doing to survive the weekend.)

1. PRINT BUSINESS CARDS.

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At first I thought it was weird to have a business card made for a blog, especially if you’re like me and are just starting. But think about it, if I’m going to make connections this weekend, how are people going to remember who I am? I’d like to think I’ll make such an impression that they’ll just remember my name and blog address amongst the hundreds of others they will come across, but in reality, I probably won’t have the courage to speak to anyone. I’m thinking of just scattering them on some random tables when no one is looking. Or stick them on the back of bathroom stall doors.

2. COME UP WITH AN ELEVATOR PITCH.

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Honestly, I had no idea what an elevator pitch was before reading about them on BlogHer. I guess this is what you will tell people your blog is about. I’m just going to recite my tagline: Inviting remarkable experiences into my life and recording them. I hope this is enough! If not, I’ll give one of those, “You should read it and find out!” responses. I’m sure that’ll bring on the site traffic, right?

3. PRACTICE TAKING SELFIES.

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Because apparently there’s a #selfiebration going on at #blogher14 and you can win a MacBook Air (!!!) and other prizes as well. And because I’m really not a selfie kinda gal I had to practice with my daughter. (Does that make it an us-ie?)

4. PRAY TO GOD THAT SOMEONE WILL WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND

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Never underestimate the power of prayer. I prayed about my anxieties of not knowing anyone at the conference. Then I went to church with some people and my friend introduced me to a fellow blogger.

Who happens to be attending the conference! 

Thank you, God.

5. FIND INSPIRATION ON HOW TO BE BRAVE

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Stepping out of my comfort zone makes me nervous. It also gets me excited. I’ve been reading a new book that has inspired me to do that which makes me uncomfortable. And in doing these things I find myself growing and changing into a better version of myself.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this conference has to offer. I wonder if fellow bloggers are as friendly as veterans say they are, if the parties will be off the hook (Run DMC, people!), and if I’ll really need an extra bag for all the swag.

If anything, I know it’ll be an adventure. And I’m always up for that.

 

 



The Golden Hour

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Dylann wanted to take a picture of Devynn sleeping.

There is an eerie sort of calm that has just come over my house at this moment. Both my girls just happen to be napping. At the same time. Finally, some time to myself! My first instinct is to pick up my purse and head over to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Oh, wait. The girls would have to come with me, huh? Forgive me, I’m still somewhat new to this whole mom-of-two thing. Today was the first time I took both girls out by myself. We took a short trip to the library for a Learn and Play class we signed up for this summer. It was our first time, and I was excited for Dylann to get the chance to be around other kids for once. (Is it normal that 2 of her dolls are named after her 20-something year old cousins? That’s her crew nowadays.) The whole “getting ready” process took a total of 2 hours. That included changing and feeding both of them, packing our things, taking a shower (people without kids take this for granted), making coffee, and getting everything and everyone loaded into the car. We arrived at the library 30 minutes early, which was good because just getting them out of the car and into the sling and stroller took a while. But we got to the door with 10 minutes to spare! The class was great and my one-month-old slept the whole time, which made our time there much easier. We sang songs and played and danced. We even made a paper turtle. When we got home, both girls were just as exhausted as I was from our little field trip. It’s no wonder they both knocked out. I thought about the things I could do during this golden hour – fold the laundry, watch TV, sleep, do the dishes that have been sitting in the sink for 2 days. But instead, I choose to write. I write because it gives me a chance to collect my thoughts. I write because nowadays, more than ever, I feel the need to be creative. I write because I want to remember. And as I write I wonder if my house will ever be clean again (it’ll just get dirty again tomorrow), if I should just give up on folding laundry altogether and start a “clean clothes” pile on the floor of our guest room (our laundry piles are endless), and whether or not I should clean up the toys strewn about the dining room turned play area (she’s going to throw a fit when she realizes her Doc McStuffins doctor bag is put away). I also start to wonder if it is normal to miss my kids when they are sleeping. While I type the conclusion of this post, Dylann is already up and calling for her baby sister. Devynn answers back with a loud cry. And just like that the golden hour is over.



Just Begin

 

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I recently came across a blog that was offering a micro course on How to Start a Blog with Purpose. I have no idea how I found the blog. The origin was one of those links that led to other links that led to a whole group of links, etc. I definitely think it was divine intervention, though, because I have been sitting on this blog for a while now, wanting to post all the time but never really taking the time to do so after I finished with the Letting Go series.

While I was in college (about 14 years ago…SERIOUSLY?! I am old.) I started a blog because I loved writing, I had a lot to say, and I was experiencing so many cool things that I wanted to remember. Your readers consisted of your main group of friends, and it was basically an online diary. I wrote about road trips with friends, the perils of Hell Week (the week before finals), and finding God in the everyday. Blogging was somewhat new, though not too popular at the time. Presently, blogging is a whole different ball game – an entirely different world. There is so many blogs out there that are inspirational and beautiful and amazing, and I guess when I think about my own blog I feel as though I’ll never be any of those things. I want to continue blogging, but I fear that I cannot keep up with the current blog world and what’s expected of a good blog nowadays. But this course has really reminded me that my message to the world is unique, because of my own unique experiences. It has also made me come to realize that my fear of not being good enough is preventing me from doing something I really want to do, and that is to write about my life in the hopes of inspiring others.

A lot of my inspiration has come from reading other blogs. They have helped me

organize my home and my classroom

heal from my miscarriages

be a better keeper of memories

be a better teacher

figure out the kind of mom I want to be

and much, much more.

So right now, I’m just going to keep writing, mainly for myself but also in the off chance that someone out there might be inspired by my story. Cheers, to the good life!