On my last post, Mallorie commented:
“Can I gush how I really love your blog?! It’s probably the most real thing I’ve ever read online. It has been a huge source of encouragement and ideas for me as a mom of young kiddos, for the last 4 years.”
This comment means a great deal to me because lately I’ve been feeling weird about blogging. A few readers have asked me to post an updated home tour, now that the work on our house is done, but I’ve been reluctant. When I started blogging in 2008, home tours were all the rage among “mommy bloggers,” and I played along even though I didn’t really want to be a “mommy blogger” (though of course, I realize that I am). I guess I saw myself as more of a “lifestyle” blogger, but even that isn’t accurate because this blog is really an online scrapbook with benefits. I love that it helps, inspires, or encourages others, and it allows me to be part of a group of like-minded people with whom I’ve developed lasting friendships. However, its most important function has become to act as a record of our family life.
My problem with blogging (and Pinterest and Facebook and everything of that ilk) has always been that it allows people to present a sanitized, carefully choreographed and stylized version of their lives, and I hate that. It’s fake and insincere, and it makes other people feel bad. For example, I remember looking at a picture someone posted of the inside of their medicine cabinet, and all their personal care products were housed in clear glass bottles with cork stoppers and Pinteresty labels, and all I could think was, “Where’s the mangled toothpaste tube with gunk caked all over the cap? Where are the sticky mouthwash bottle rings?” (Also, why do we post photos of our medicine cabinets on the internet? This is a phenomenon I do not completely understand).
Is this how people really live? Maybe, for awhile, until it becomes terribly impractical to continue transferring all their products into cutesy-matchy glass bottles, and they decide it’s not worth it. But hey, it makes a great photo for the internets, right?
Let’s face facts – blogging has changed. It’s less about sharing your life, and more about jockeying for rank and building your “brand.” Over the years, my blog has (often inexplicably, to me) grown in popularity, and advertisers have shown some interest (though not a lot, obviously, because how often do I encourage you to buy more stuff?) I’ve been given some pretty cool opportunities, and I’m genuinely thankful, but I don’t want to be a narcissistic, “look at me!” blogger. People tell me to promote myself more, but truth be told, I don’t care if my blog is “big,” and I don’t want to be a person who thinks she’s special just because she writes about her life on the internet.
So what. So do a lot of people.
However…I do enjoy writing about my life, and this blog has really become part of me. I’ve toyed with the idea of closing it down sooo many times over the years, and you know what? I just can’t pull that trigger. I’m the girl (well….I say “girl”) who tells people to want what they have. It’s what I do, and I think it’s a message worth repeating.
The point I’m making, in this very roundabout and verbose way, is that the future direction of this blog will just be me writing about our life, when I feel like I actually have something worth saying. If you still want to read it, I’d like to share it with you. I know that for some people this will be disappointing, and I’ll get a few emails complaining about how I’m not as “helpful” as I used to be, but that’s OK. Those of you who genuinely care about us will stick around, and that’s what matters to me. Because see, I don’t want to be a “brand.” I want to be myself.
To that end, I’m sharing some pictures of our home because I think it’s fun to see how other people organize/paint/decorate, and my goal with this blog has always been to write something I would enjoy reading myself. However, it’s important to me that you understand that my house is not always clean. In fact, it’s often horribly, nerve-wrackingly messy. I took pictures of rooms as I cleaned them last week, but my photos aren’t staged or styled. This is how we actually live. Also, I won’t tell you the names of paint colors (unless you really want to know) or where the furniture and accessories came from because, to be very frank, I think that kind of thing is pretentious and not at all important. Also, probably 90% of everything we own came from garage sales or secondhand stores, so the best way to describe our style would be “thrift store practical.” I hope that when you look at these pictures, you learn a little bit about what IS important to us. You’ll learn that we love our children, and we love each other, and while we like things to be generally clean and orderly, we don’t care about perfection. However we’ve put our heart and soul (and a lot of physical labor!) into this house, and it means a lot to us. I have a recurring dream about driving by and seeing other people’s kids playing in our yard, and I always wake up in a panic. This house is ours. I genuinely believe that it was meant for us, and that it was given to us by God, so when we had growing pains we didn’t move – we remodeled!