~1~ Molly's Birthday
Molly turned 9 this month. Which is just so hard to believe. :-0
We celebrated by eating at Shogun restaurant. She had never been, and she was so impressed to see them "cook in front of you."
Molly is such a gift.
I know Stephen and everyone who knows her agrees... she is funny, smart, creative, a social bug, and artistic. ;-) She loves her friends, playing with her siblings (and being an awesome big sister), riding her bike, and reading. I love how birthdays give us a chance to highlight the ways our kids are special and unique, and I love how the extra attention and love can really bring them out and make them shine.
We hosted a successful birthday party and made my (not) famous strawberry compote cupcakes.
She got this book as well.
In other completely unrelated news, to keep Annabel distracted when she was teething recently, I made a folder on my desktop of pictures from when our cats were kittens. She is completely mesmerized by these, so my trick is working.
Do these not make you so happy? lol
Kittens turning into cats= turn a bad day around for any toddler ;-)
~3~ Valentine's Day
I'm really excited about Valentine's Day this year... I posted about it on Tuesday, so go check out my post... Getting Ready for Valentine's Day I have written several cray cray posts this month so if you're in the mood for something more heartwarming, check it.
Oh and that reminds me that there is a fun instagram challenge going on for February hosted by Our Pretty Little Girls author Beth, and Wife Mommy Me author Stephanie-- Check out all the details here. Or just check out the hashtag, #14daysoflovephoto2017
~4~ Lent Coming
In light of the fact that I am now writing about our cats and posting photos of them, I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging this Spring. #😂 I feel like I may need a Lenten break from blogging. I'm feeling it is time. It is not because I can't make time to scramble together a few thoughts here and there in the little snatches of time I can find. It's simply because of what blogging (and the whole social media game) does to my soul. Break=needed, please and thank you.
I hope you all have a restful and fruitful Lent. I'm sure you'll be fine... as long as you don't give up great TV, disney movies, blueberries, popularity, or cupcakes. ;-)
Speaking of blogging, that sort of leads me to something else I have been thinking about recently, which is... my writing journey. I was talking to a friend recently about the idea of her starting a blog. Sounds easy, no? When I started, I had a tiny, tiny readership. I kept with it because I had friends and family that I knew were reading. How did I know? If I occasionally put out a little call for comments, I would get confirmation that people were there, and people were reading. It was fun in those days, even though I was reaching only a few. To people still trying to grow (which I am!), I encourage you to try just a handful of things:
- submit articles far and wide
- find an editor
- find tech-savvy friends
- know thyself
I have submitted articles to many places.... and guess what?! Many of those places rejected my pieces. A few accepted them. One source asked me to submit. To call yourself a writer, you should do this and also take classes on writing, if you can. 😉 Christina Katz is fun to work with and I know she will be pleased to help you.
You don't want to go backwards by starting out in a sea of confusion, trying to get help only from blogging advice Pins on Pinterest . You've got to get tangible support from people who really do have the credentials they say that they do! Ask someone who is one step ahead of you to mentor you! Find someone to help with all of the pieces to the puzzle that you struggle with- it will be worth it!
There are no hard and fast rules (none, really!) but the thing I can almost 80% guarantee is that persistence pays off, but you need to know your audience, and who might identify with you the most. This means saying yes to some and no to others (in reach and follow). If you are nowhere near where you want to be in terms of reach, blog design, or achievements (and I'm not "there" yet by any means, either), just keep going. Over time- sometimes long, sometimes short- you will see growth, you will see improvement, and you will see achievement. Just don't give up!
The 95% and 5% rule...
When listening to the "Sounds of the Trail" podcast recently, one of the guests interviewed was asked, "How do you cope with all of the difficulties of the trail- cold weather, being wet, blisters or sore feet, sore muscles, hard climbs?" And his answer was flawless, "The good of being out here is 95% of my experience. The views, the beauty, being out in nature, becoming one with the earth, the people, the community.... and the bad is 5% of the experience."
I would compare motherhood and having kids/ staying home to this analogy. If I could just erase the witching hour, changing diapers in the car on cold days, and illness, etc. my life would seriously be blissful. So much of it is pure bliss and so much fun for me. Mothering, homemaking, crafting, reading to my kids, cooking, baking, enjoying our family time and togetherness, even cleaning sometimes. It isn't just that I'm focusing on the good (although that's a huge piece to the puzzle), but it really is good most of the time.
I made this Slow Cooker Cauliflower Cheese soup this week, and it was so hearty and delicious. Highly recommend.
I had never cooked with leeks before but seriously.... why didn't anyone tell me leeks are beautiful?!
Speaking of leeks, a couple of nights ago on my walk, I was about a block away from home and took a picture of a tree, because it looked like leeks. (yes I did). So then right after I took it, I looked closer and our cat was sitting in the very tree I had just photographed. I didn't notice him until *after* I took the picture.
What can I say? Our cat likes the smell of leeks. Or something.
Linking up with Kelly