I sold out to the blog world and this is what happened.

Testing....Testing...is this thing on?

Whew. Now that we got that out of the way, I'm raring to go. Let me tell you a little bit about why I was gone for so long. 

My blog well ran dry ya'll...and I lost control of my direction.

See, one of the things that no one tells you about when you start a blog, is that if you really want to make it a career or life, then you have to not only write, but you have to build your brand. Now, as someone that got into this because I love to write, this was news to me. In fact, when I started this space (formerly known as Random Blog Drama) I had no idea that there was even a career path devoted to this sort of thing, I was a little fish in a very big pond, and instead of actually being confident in myself and keeping it fun, I sold myself out for some moolah, and free stuff...Because in my mind, that stuff was validation. Even though it wasn't. It was just static. It was just noise. And it became a burden. A very heavy one at that.

Suddenly I was consumed with the need to be a  "successful" blogger, and somehow... the writing, the part that I actually and genuinely loved...fell to the wayside  to a sea of review blogging, news programs and sponsored posts.And while I'm very thankful for those opportunities, they were very short lived, because just like my pre-baby jeans it just didn't fit.

None of those supposed "validations" made my heart sing like writing always had.

I let people get in my ear. I allowed myself to listen to the whispers of those around me questioning why I spent so much time on something that didn't generate profit. I began to care about what people thought about me. I started to let people take this place that I had created, and run me out of it. I became a coward in my own home, and I began dreading the ticking of the clock and the worry that I had ruined the passion I loved most.

Blogging is a weird career. To make money at it, you basically have to 1) be willing to pimp out your children, family, home and personal business to your readers to achieve celebrity. 2) Be an extremely talented writer and a social media phenomenon, or 3) Create your blog as a brand that can branch out into other areas such as books and other major online publications.

I know that I'm no Ernest Hemingway. I type how I talk, my grammar blows and my punctuation makes 1st graders look like Einstein. I use way too many commas (more is more right?), overuse the italicize feature,  and I ramble on and on and on and on...my college English professors are hiding their heads in the sand right about now

But the bottom line is that I love to write, and hopefully through the words vomited in this blog, you can feel the words landing on this paper, telling the stories of my heart (and of my clumsiness).

I sold my soul to the moving machine of the blog world.

And I failed.

But I'm still here.



Sometimes I think that we all need a vacation from a vacation.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE getting out of dodge and seeing the sights, but no one is ever truly happy on vacation. At least most of the time.

You don't believe me? Then take a trip to "the happiest place on earth" and glimpse at parents' facial expressions. Vacations are tense ya'll. 

So this weekend we went on a long weekend trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee. Now I love it there. My hubs does too. If it's cheesy and chintzy, we are in. That is totally our bag. We love visiting touristy places while doing things familiar from our childhoods. Hell, they still sell the exact same faux leather kids wallets and let me tell you, you can't just find a good fake leather kids wallet with the 1980's smokey mountain logo. Other places in the world just don't do that, but in Gatlinburg they do.

Oh and also I've never heard so many compliments as we got on our Bass Pro shop hats. Literally everyone thought my boys were some kind of avid fishermen, but in reality they were a guilt purchase since we go in the store and look at the fish for free all the time. 

Theo officially wins the "photogenic award" for this trip. Although little sister and brother weren't too far behind.

Oh and my new baby obsession? Bonnets. Little Bo Peep style. That girl was made to wear a bonnet. I'm just sayin".

At one point during our trip Minnie Sue and I ventured off alone, somehow ending up in a whirlwind of some Asian tour group. These little old ladies kept wanting their picture taken with "the little dolly". To them I think they really thought they were witnessing a Little House episode or something. Asian tour groups seem to be my crowd lately. 

Basically the whole weekend went by in a blur, and I feel like I need a week to recoup. I'm also super thankful for my own personal space as well as rooms not covered in knotty pine paneling, because well sanity. 

No thanks needed, but here's a little gem I found on the camera while preparing this all star photo dump for ya'll. 

I can't wait to use those words" remember that one time that Elliot fell asleep at the dinner table"? 

Parenting is the silliest. 


Feeling a little hippy dippy.

Sometimes all you want to do is dance around barefoot and wear flower crowns, while embracing the world with love and rainbows.

There's a little flower child in all of us.


Under Pressure, Bowie style.

Sometimes you have those friends who kick you out of your writing slump and use a writing challenge to get you back into the groove of things. My friend Brittany did just that when she instituted the first month of writing prompts. Seeing as how my posts have been dwindling lately, I chose the prompt "Do you ever feel pressure to be perfect and have it all together, when really you don't"?

I don't know Brittany, do you have the ability to read minds? 

Because you just read mine so hard. 

A big part of this blogging "business" is creating an online persona... a life that people want to read about. People don't want to see average or even normal. They want to see exceptionally dressed Pinterest mood boards coming to life. They don't want authentic, they want to see how you decorated your space with the same black and white Ikea Ikat pillow that everyone has (I have it too). They want to see a glimpse of perfection, not mom cuts in yoga pants. The internets is a harsh place folks, and a big part of me is afraid of that.

I know what you're thinking, "when you put yourself out there in cyberspace, you are allowing everyone to have an opinion in your life" and I totally agree, but when did it all become so serious? When did we all become so judgy? Why can we all just be real, instead of Modcloth posed mannequins dressed from head to toe in Free People?

I started this space before I really knew the business of blogging. I came here to vent my thoughts and laugh at myself. I invited you all to laugh with me, and you did. I share this blog because hopefully we can all commiserate as parents and people who have no idea what we are doing. I had no idea that there was such an "in crowd" and "cool mom blog club" that I had to kiss ass to join. I had no idea that these things existed and I think you can tell that in my earlier posts. I was naive and free.

I was just Free to be me.

 And then to make matters worse I see really successful bloggers (success that I can only dream of)  curating everything in their lives just so,  and I barely have time to brush my teeth or even dress my kids in actual clothes for the day. Getting caught up in that Instagram scroll can really make you feel like you're not ever good enough.

But then I take a break and a step back from all of the noise and Etsy trends and I go to the park with my kids, and meet people. People like you and me, people who just want to laugh at the fact that my underwear is pulled up higher than my shorts, over my tank top. People who pretend that they aren't staring at the Christmas print on them while they pretend to be interested in whatever I'm ditzily chatting about, instead of calling me out on it. Only when I look down in the car and realize why the quick lower glances were happening, and I burst into ridiculous laughter, and long to share those moments here.

Curate that,  Instagram. 

I've neglected this space, because I failed to acknowledge what I was really feeling. I was feeling hurt and inadequate. I was feeling the gross pressure of trying to be someone else...someone too cool to even wear granny panties with Christmas prints in the middle of July.

And that ain't me folks.

So follow my imperfect shenanigans and black and white Ikea pillow on Instagram.

Or don't.

No pressure.

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