Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blogoliscious Update

I started blogging back in 2007 after falling in love with The Pioneer Woman's blog, seems like forever ago.

History (in case you have never read my blog): I was a follower of Ree's in the early days and have benefited from her kindness and generosity many times. I first met her in person in Little Rock at her cookbook signing, in her re-cap of that evening she listed my blog with a notation that I was her "old Internet friend". Of course she did not mean old as in ancient because everyone knows we are spring chickens. People still click over from her site to mine, years later. She has sent me numerous P-Dub shirts and a signed cookbook for me to give away at our first Arkansas Women Bloggers meet-up last year. I adore her and am sure many women out there started blogging because of her.

In the beginning, I did not know how to do this blog thing so I just wrote about what I know- kids, park life, marriage, gardening, community involvement, my relationship with God (even though I am more interested in living my faith than writing about it), chickens, pigs, and goats, yes, it gets a little diverse. I was always concerned about getting more followers, posting every single day and carrying my camera with me at all times so I would not miss that hilarious thing that I just had to blog about.

Over the years I have found my own style and have sometimes been consistent and at other times, not so much. It seems that my kids want to eat, want me to play guns and Legos with them, oh and I have to educate them, no pressure there, ha! And, let's not even get started on the mess in my house.  I finally took a breath and realized I am not a failure if I do not blog every day or my Google Analytics are not what I hoped for. Instead of blogging for my readers, for higher numbers or more recognition,  I started thinking of it more as a love letter to my children, one they can look back on and see their childhood while knowing who their mom truly was through her words.

I have met so many wonderful, inspiring women through blogging, some I have never met in person: Strawberry Cake, Huckleberry Prairie, Fire Wife Katie, and more. Then there are the ones I have met in person and am blessed to call  them friend: Fawn, Julie, Beth.

A couple of weekends ago I spoke at our state's homeschool conference (yes, times are tough, they were desperate, I chat for cheap) and I had dropped off a form at the homeschool alliance booth so they could make me an educator card (gets me a discount in many places teachers get a discount and visible proof when I am in Walmart in the morning with my kids that they are homeschooled and not playing hookie). I was walking off and the lady at the booth yelled, "are you a blogger?" I turned around and boldly said "yes, I am The Park Wife". She proceeded to jump up so fast her chair almost fell backwards and attacked me with the warmest, kindest hug. Yes, I have a new blog friend in real life, Jill from Team Wait.

My jail shirt, trying to be the rebel homeschool mom, no denim here. And, yes I was helping out at the booth that says "Expert" behind us. One of best friends, Jennifer, and I went to the conference together. After signing in, they told me what booth they had me scheduled to help with. We walked over, Jenn looked at the sign and started rolling laughing...and so did I. Needless to say, I am not an expert at much, but I was able to encourage some new homeschool moms.

Back to blogging. Blogging is about balance. I like to write, to document our life, but I know that my real life community, the people I actually interact with face-to-face on a regular basis, is where I need to focus. I want to leave this place better than I found it and it takes time and energy, the two things that are in short supply. I blame my Dr. Pepper addiction on that. So, when I don't post regularly, know I am still around, just busy with our boys, farmers market, and the other bazillion things. And, that I will be here when I can.

Thanks for hanging with me!
The Park Wife


Julie said...

Hey Stphanie! I love how you put this. I have been mulling over my own thoughts about why I blog. I have clearly lost direction which is likely why I have found it so difficult to blog over the last six or eight months. I still have a love and passion for it I just need to find new direction for it. I am so looking forward to the conference and really getting to know you and Fawn and Beth and the others. Your blog is fun and interesting and from what I know of you it is TRUE to who you are!


Amber said...

Homeschoolers conference? Please let me know more info on this. We are thinking about homeschooling our son. I need help!!! What curriculum do you use?

I love your blog. Everytime I read it, I am inspired. Thank you!

~Amber (the seasonal park wife)

Strawberry CAKE said...

Awe man girl you are so beeUteeFUL! thanks for the shout out. I feel blessed to call you friend and can't wait till we meet someday. It's gonna be a barrel of giggles.

Brett and Jill said...

Thanks for the shout out! It was so great to meet you in real life.

Bethany Stephens said...

Sweetie, I adore you and you inspire me! I love blogging as a connection to the souls of those we were meant to befriend, but might not have otherwise stumbled upon. Smooches!

SweetMissMagnolia said...

love pioneer woman don't we??? LOL and park wife too ;) I am going to take a new direction with my bloggings I think....put more of everyday life/challenges in them....haven't been over here in a while--then tried to post and kept having problems with BLOGGER....glad it's finally letting me post again......

Fire Wife Katie said...

Well said, I love your concept of blogging for your children! I've been thinking about why I blog too - that blogging should stem from life, not life from blogging. It's hard to figure out a good balance. I had to take a step back this spring when I found myself getting so caught up in ads and numbers and scheduling posts... it just became too much of an intruder into real life!! The posts I enjoy reading the most are the ones that aren't forced, and I think you've got that down pretty well. :)

And thanks so much for the mention!!