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The Influence Network

I think it was this past fall that I was looking at Instagram and seeing all these awesome photos of women at a conference called Influence. They all looked like they were having so much fun so I was, of course, intrigued. A quick google search revealed a wonderful concept for a conference. Bloggers and business owners were coming together to make their online life mean something. To spread the word about how Jesus was working in them and through them.

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I wanted to know more so I read all about the conference. I also heard that there would be something called The Influence Network and I instantly knew I wanted to join.

I have been blogging for more than six years and throughout those years I have learned so much about the online community. But now that I have been on this new journey of faith – I want to be inspired by like-minded women. So when The Influence Network launched in the new year I quickly became a member.

To be honest I haven’t really delved into what this group can offer me. It’s a lack of time that has me failing to participate like I should. There is a great forum for support and classes offered by wonderful, experienced bloggers.

There is also the conference. Most people who read my blog know how much trouble I had at my first and only blogging conference. Because of this I have been VERY hesitant to go to another one. But this September the second Influence conference will be held. It is a smaller conference and the focus is on faith and how that affects your online life. It sounds right up my alley. No judgment. No cliques. No brands. Just new friends to make and amazing speakers and support. I really truly hope I can make it.

I want to make a difference on my blog and I believe I do in small ways. But nothing I do is small in the eyes of the Lord. It is all big to Him.

So today I am linking up with other members of The Influence Network! If you’re here for the first time, welcome! If you comment and let me know you’ve visited I will certainly try to visit your blog in return!

Three things about me:

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1. I love traveling. I have been many places. Mexico, Greek Isles, Tahiti and Bora Bora, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Dublin as well as traveling all over the states. I have more traveling planned but my two kiddos make it a little tough right now. My husband and I have promised each other that we will go to Italy for our 10 year anniversary. Only three years to go! :)

2. I have a degree in journalism and have been working on my first novel for what seems like forever. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever complete it and send it off to try to find a literary agent. I don’t want my time writing to be wasted. It has always been my biggest dream to publish a novel.

3. I am passionate about international, special needs adoption even though I can’t, myself, adopt. My medical history won’t allow for that. But I will always try my best to shine a light on this crisis.

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Yummy Pinwheels: Hey, That’s Pin-tastic!

I pin a lot of things but rarely do them. I’m hoping to change that. Especially in the kitchen! It may come as a shock to some but I have never really made an appetizer to take to a party before. But I found this recipe on Pinterest and it looked delicious so I went ahead and tried it even though I’m usually a little spazzy in the kitchen.

Verdict? Super easy to make. A little messy but oh so creamy and yummy.

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A party favorite, I think. I’m so glad I tried these and now I’m linking up with Hey, That’s Pin-tastic for the first time! Hopefully I can keep up with trying new recipes.

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New Year Blog Swap – Welcome Erin!

I’d like to welcome Erin to my blog today for a New Year Blog Swap! That’s right – we’re swapping blogs today so you can find me over at her place! I’m talking about one important goal I have this year. I hope you enjoy Erin’s post below.

I was so excited to see that Steph from http://agrandelife.net decided to host a New Years Blog Swap. What a great idea to write a post for someone else’s blog and have someone write for mine. I know some of my readers get tired of hearing my stories, so this is a wonderful way to hear someone else’s point of view.  I was glad to be partnered up with Molly from A Day in Mollywood. I had not discovered her blog yet and since we have been partnered up, I have found a new mommy blogger that I adore! I hope you, all of her readers, enjoy my post!

I chose to write about whether or not I make New Years Resolutions. Why or Why Not?

When I think of New Years I think of celebrations with friends and family. I think of champagne and I most certainly think of Prince. I mean what’s a New Year’s celebration without everyone singing along to Prince, “So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999“. Okay maybe I am dating myself here a bit. I remember growing up thinking I would never make it to 1999. It seemed so far away and man I would be so old when it was finally 1999.  Well it’s been over a decade since we hit the millennium and I’m still kicking (thank goodness) and I am old (but not that old) and my views on New Year’s resolutions have not changed. I don’t believe in them. Never have, never will.

Now I am not saying that I don’t believe in making changes to better yourself as a person and if some people need the 1st day of a new calendar year than so be it. But I don’t believe that when the clock strikes midnight at the end of each year everyone’s brains shift in a new direction. They may start off with the right goals and the right idea but at some point during the first week or month, a lot of people just give up and feel like they have failed. Not that there’s anything wrong with failing, I fail every single day of my life. But you can’t put yourself in a position to all of the sudden change and set yourself up for failure. You can’t change your entire life around the moment the ball drops in Times Square at midnight. Hey I am not saying that it doesn’t work – just not for me. Some people find use this day to start fresh and it works for them – just not me.

Shoot, I have wanted to lose weight for years. I have come up with a million excuses and reasons on why I can’t diet or lose weight. Then one day it just clicked in my head and I started to make some changes (small ones like joining the gym and starting Weight Watchers) but it was (and still is) a slow process.  For some people that may happen on January 1st but for 99% of the world it will happen on a different day that you will have no control over. It may take some event in your life for you to realize you need to make the change but for me it’s usually not January 1st.

That being said, I still like to set goals for myself for the new year. Nothing drastic, just little things that I hope will improve my life and those that are surrounding me each and every day. I don’t call them resolutions, I call them goals.Here’s a few things that I have come up with for this year.

1. Try to have more sit down family dinners. I know that this won’t always include my husband because of his work, but the kids and I can do a better job at eating our meals together.

2. More time at the gym. I have been working hard (excluding these last three weeks) and I would still love to run my first 5k in 2013.

3. Find a babysitter so I can spend some more time with my husband. We are like ships passing in the night. He works long hours and has a long commute so we never ever have time to go out without the kids. We have a lot of different interests so when we do go out its usually with our friends. We just need more “us time”.

4. Appreciate the small things in life. I am a worrier. I can’t help it. If my husband is 5 minutes late I think that he’s been murdered at the train station. If I have a headache, I assume its a tumor. It’s just the way I am. So by stressing myself out so much I miss the small things in life. I am going to try and let go of that stuff and focus on the positive.

5.  Expand my blog. I need to find new ways to grow. I’ve done pretty well getting myself out there over the last 5 months, but I know I can do more. It’s just a struggle between the gym, grocery shopping and keeping up with the kids and house. I won’t neglect the boys to get a post out. I will stick to writing them at night or when they are in school or napping. I just need to refresh my mind and focus on any new opportunities that may come my way. I have found so many new friends because of Erin the Irish Mama and I am looking forward to seeing what happens to the blog in 2013.

So there you have it. My goals – not my resolutions. These are not vices that I’m giving up nor are they major life changing things. These are 5 small steps that I want to try and achieve this year. And if I only get to 2 of the 5, I won’t consider myself a failure. I will still consider myself lucky to have everything in my life and the opportunity to improve upon myself.

Happy 2013 to you all.  Thanks for letting me crash Molly’s blog!

XOXO

Erin

Feel free to stalk me, I am everywhere!

 

What daily tasks take up my energy?

Continuing on with NaBloPoMo . . .

NaBloPoMo January 2013

Today’s prompt is – What daily tasks take up the most of your energy?

I don’t feel as if I’m a very energetic person to begin with, which is unfortunate because I really need a lot of energy to keep up with two rowdy boys! But on the days when the boys are in daycare it takes up more of my energy. From the time I wake up I’m in a rush to get them off to preschool, get to work on time and then get on the road to pick them up. Then I have to get home and quickly get dinner on the table. It’s more stressful than a day when Naaman isn’t working. And stress can really drain you of your energy. I’m always worried – will I get to daycare on time to pick them up so they’re not the last ones there? I have a 30-45 minute commute, which just sucks. Traffic jams and mean drivers definitely drain me of my energy too. So I’d say daycare days are when I plop down in bed at the end of the day completely exhausted.

 

January 2013 Blog Challenge

You may have heard of this before. NaBloPoMo is where you post something every day for a month. The theme for January is energy and I thought, why not? In October I participated in a blog challenge and it worked out well for me to write every day. So I’m doing it again. It helps keep the blog momentum going. They will provide writing prompts and I’ll provide you with my thoughts. I hope you enjoy this little look-see into my brain!

NaBloPoMo January 2013

Today’s prompt is – From where do you draw your energy?

Ummmm, is it okay if I say caffeine and sugar? On a more serious note – I’m not entirely sure where my energy comes from. My exercise challenge last October did amazing things for my energy level. But I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t exercised since. Yep, that’s right. Nothing. I’m not sure why I stopped because it made me feel great to release those endorphins. I’ve gotten off track, that’s for sure. I’d like to hop back on the saddle but I’m afraid it might be a bit too “trendy” to start exercising in January. Does that sound like a valid excuse? No? Well, the treadmill might be calling my name. I’m so exhausted all the time. How I get the energy to make it through every day is beyond me.

Brain Dump

I feel like I’ve got so much in my head and the only way to get it out is a brain dump. Sorry if you hate these. But by gosh, they help me clear my brain.

1. Potty training Brigham – let’s just say it’s not going all that well. We put him in undies the other day to try it and he had no interest at all. In fact, when I told him it was time to try to sit on the potty he ran and hid under the dining room table. I guess I’m frustrated because Landon was already potty trained at 27 months. I know I need to stop comparing because each child is different. But darn it! I’m tired of diapers. So ready to be done with them.

2. Naaman took me to the Nutcracker ballet on Saturday at the new performing arts center in Kansas City. It was such a lovely night out. I danced for eighteen years and I always end up missing it when I see the ballerinas twirling on stage. I really enjoyed it though so thanks honey!

3. Our Christmas cards are almost to our house (yay, UPS tracking!). I can’t wait to address them and get them out to our loved ones. Each year I take a lot of time deciding what design and photo we’re going to use. It’s a small way to say, “Hey, I was thinking of you.” I love receiving them in the mail too. It has become one of my favorite things about the holidays!

4. Naaman put Christmas lights on our house for the first time. I love them. In fact, I wanted to go crazy and put some reindeer in the yard and he said no. But next year . . . watch out. We’ll be the brightest house on the block, of this I’m sure.

5. Naaman has to work on Christmas this year. It sucks. Really bad. But we’re used to it since he is in the medical field. We’ll be doing our family Christmas on Christmas Eve. The kids won’t know any better anyway.

6. I wish I was one of those bloggers who planned out their blog posts month-to-month. I’d probably be more successful/have more readers. They say consistency wins. But I think I’m lucky to come up with three posts a week. Some weeks I just have nothing to say. Or it’s a busy week and I don’t have time. Either way, I wish I blogged more and was more strategic about it.

7. I am currently reading Unglued by Lisa TerKeurst. I think I need this badly, especially after what happened last week. By the way, THANK YOU for all of your supportive comments. It really means the world to have such a supportive community. I know I can come here and write something hard and you guys will make me feel better about it. It’s awesome. Anyway, Landon and I are fine. He forgave me and I promised to try harder. I’ve been squeezing him extra tight the past week and reminding him how special he is to me. He’s truly the sweetest boy you’ll ever meet. So caring and compassionate. I’m a lucky mama.

8. I love peppermint mochas. I have too many of them during the winter season.

9. Landon was sick a couple weeks ago and now Brigham has it. Isn’t seeing your kids sick the worst thing ever?

 

Okay, that’s all I can think of right now. I feel better.

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Six Years

I’ve been blogging for six years today! What started as a seriously ridiculous post six years ago is now a very important part of my life.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you may have noticed that there has been a shift in my writing. Sometimes I write about faith and God and finding my spirituality. I’d venture to guess that not everybody likes this change. I want you to know that I realize not everyone shares the same beliefs as me. I understand if you skip over those posts and don’t comment. I’m not here to preach or convert. I’m just here to tell my story. And God is now a part of my story. I hope you understand that and will continue to read my blog because I love all my readers and don’t want to lose anyone. From where I sit, I’m just being myself. Writing what I want and what I feel makes me authentic.

Six years ago I had no idea who I was or what I wanted out of life. Although it is still unclear some days, I am comfortable with who I am. I’ve comfortable with how I write my story here in this space.

What a blessing it is to be able to scroll back through my posts and see how far I’ve come.

This blog has allowed me to try different things and challenge myself. Even if they didn’t work out how I thought they would. It allows me to write down thoughts on Brigham and Landon and keep track since they are growing up so fast.

It allows me to share my struggles with depression and anxiety in the hope that I’ll help someone else. Most recently, I received an email from a sweet reader struggling with postpartum depression. She wondered where she should turn next and I felt like, if I didn’t have this blog, I wouldn’t have been able to be a support to her.

When I get down about my blog not being as “popular” as other blogs, I keep coming back to this thought that I found on Facebook . . .


Seems about right, yes? So happy six years of blogging to me! Let’s see if I can make it to seven! :)

 

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Women Connect ’12

Today I’m linking up with Becky of From Mrs. to Mama. She is doing something on her blog to help connect women and I thought, why not? Isn’t that what blogging is all about anyway?

So if you’re new here I’m Molly. I turn 34 next week (holy crap, really?). I’m a boy mama through and through with Landon, my sweet 4-year-old and Brigham, my sassy 2 1/2 year old. They definitely keep me on my toes. I love them so much that I can’t find words to accurately describe it.

I work full-time and I’m just trying to manage my life without tripping over tonka trucks or getting dirt on my dress. I have struggled with depression for all of my adult life and I share about it every once in awhile on my blog.

In a week I will celebrate my sixth blogging anniversary. Can you believe that? I have been blogging for six years!!! It has been both an amazing and rocky road. I’ve almost quit multiple times, just frustrated by the competitiveness of it sometimes. But it’s my sweet readers that keep bringing me back.

If you’d like to know more about me you can read my about me page.

I hope you’ll stick around. Leave a comment if you’d like me to visit you back!

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What God has placed on my heart

I’ve had something pressing on me since early April. Something that has changed me in the deepest crevices of my soul. Information that has been both eye-opening and devastating. It’s as if I’m a ball of play-doh and God picked me up and started molding me into a different shape.

One word that sometimes keeps me up at night . . .

ADOPTION

In early April I came upon a website that changed my life. It is called Reece’s Rainbow and it is a site that is dedicated to helping orphans with Down Syndrome and other special needs find a family.

As is often the case, I found this website because I was looking at another website who just happened to have a blog button with a little boy’s picture on it. It simply said, “Save Langley.” I know I shouldn’t have clicked on it. Obviously something that says that will have a sad story on the other side. But something within told me to click. And my thoughts have never been the same.

Langley is a five-year-old boy with down syndrome. He was abandoned at birth just because he had an extra chromosome. He has lived in an orphanage in Russia all of his life. He has not received the love and care he deserves. And the second I saw him I fell in love with him. His blonde hair reminded me of my boys.

I spent some time looking around at all the beautiful faces of these children on the website. Some newborns. Some preschoolers. Some teenagers who have been trapped in a crib for most of their lives. For most of these orphaned children in Eastern Europe, being down syndrome in an orphanage means that you only have a certain amount of time to be adopted. When they turn five-years-old they are transferred to an adult mental institution.

When they arrive their hair is shaved and they are put in a crib for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t matter that they were possibly learning and developing in their baby houses (what the orphanages are often called). They are taken from the only home and only people they have ever known. And they are put there to lead a desolate, lonely life, confined to a crib with no real love or affection shown to them. No hope of ever being adopted.

God knows why, but I did some research. Some of these mental institutions are the definition of hell and are not much better than a concentration camp. They don’t have enough help. They rarely feed the children. And if they are fed it is through a bottle even if they are teenagers. I found the story of a little girl who was 9-years-old and weighed 13 pounds.

They are never picked up. Never held. Never kissed. There are no toys or services or therapy. It is eerily quiet because the babies and kids have learned over time that their cries mean nothing. They can cry but no one will come. Some of these children are blind, deaf, completely unable to move. They are bedridden. Their diapers are not changed and they are not bathed so sores and rashes develop. Because of the lack of attention the children develop self-soothing behaviors such as beating their heads against the crib or biting or sucking on their hands.

It is deplorable and when I thought of it, which was often, I would end up in a puddle of my own tears. Thinking of Langley’s situation made me sick to my stomach. It got to the point where I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t stop crying. I became very depressed. So much so that I think the depression was one culprit to me losing my job. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it and my thoughts were consumed with those children. The ones I couldn’t help. I was deep in prayer every night asking God to bring these babies a family and keep them safe from harm.

I read the requirements for adoption. Many of them saying that mental illness excludes you from applying to adopt. Well, that instantly left me out and it was like a dagger to the heart. It honestly makes me feel like an unfit mother. What would be so bad about having me as a mother? I could make a beautiful home for Langley or any other child. If someone would let me I would immediately hop on a plane and go save two or three or four of these hurting and neglected children. I could make a home for them and their future would be bright. But unfortunately my history with mental illness makes me ineligible to adopt.

I was finally able to get control of my emotions. I stopped looking at the website so much, which was completely unhealthy for me and I tried to focus on the positive. That there is an organization like Reece’s Rainbow out there and they are helping immensely in the fight to bring these babies home to their forever families. I donated money and that also helped me feel better. It’s the least I could do.

I have thought long and hard as to why God would let me see these children. He knows that I cannot adopt. So why in the world would He let me see these children? The ones I cannot help?

Why would He put adoption on my heart when there is most likely no chance I could ever adopt them. There is nothing I can do about their pain and suffering? For awhile I thought I would do an auction on my blog to help raise money. But I thought . . . I’m not big enough. I’m not popular enough. I thought there is no way my little blog can make a difference.

But God has pushed me. He finally said once and for all, you’re a writer so WRITE ABOUT IT. Get it out. Let others know, no matter how few will read this.

I hear you, God. I hear you.

I am writing this today for one reason and one reason only. That you would share this blog post with others. If all who read this today decide to share on facebook or twitter or better yet, with their friends and family, maybe we can soften someone’s heart to the idea of adoption. It is the holidays. Let’s not forget those children who will wake up with no family or presents on Christmas morning.

So that is what I ask of you today. It’s the only thing I can do besides pray. I ask you to take one minute of your time and share this story and the Reece’s Rainbow website with everyone you can. I ask you to look through the faces and donate to a child who captures your heart. Right now, if you donate $35 to someone’s Angel Tree fund you will get a special ornament in return.

 

I would move mountains to help these kids if I could. But the only mountain I have to shout from is this little blog. So won’t you please help me shine a light on these precious children?

 

P.S. A family has since come forward and committed to adopting precious Langley.

 

The Road to My Writer Roots

Today I’m being featured on the lovely Erin Margolin’s site, The Road to My Writer Roots. I’m telling the story of how I became a writer and how from painful experiences I came to love the written word.

Won’t you please join me there and comment on my story?

Thanks so much and have a fantastic Friday!

31 days

31 Days of Jillian Michaels’ Shred

There’s a big link-up going on right now over at The Nester. It’s called 31 Days and you can pick your own topic and write about it each day. I’ve decided to do the 30-day shred and write about my experience doing the program each day. I’ve tried the 30-day shred twice before and only ever made it to Day #7. Let’s hope I can follow through this time!

I will start tonight and write a quick post for 31 days telling you about my progress.

I may write something else on any given day since there are other things that might come to mind. And these short posts might go up at night, I don’t know yet. But make sure to stay tuned! I’m still in Operation Get-Pants-to-Fit and what better way to take care of myself. Doing this on the blog will make me more accountable.

Here we go, Jillian. I’m ready for you.

Follow my progress:
Day 1 – 123.5 lbs
Day 2 – 122.8 lbs
Day 3 – 122.8 lbs
Day 4 – 122.2 lbs
Day 5 – 121.4 lbs
Day 6 – 122 lbs
Day 7 – 123 lbs
Day 8 – 123 lbs
Day 9 – 123.4 lbs
Day 10 – 123.4 lbs
Day 11 – 123 lbs
Day 12 – 121.6 lbs
Day 13 – 122 lbs
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16 – 122 lbs
Day 17 – 121.6 lbs
Day 18 – 121.6 lbs
Day 19
Day 20-22
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25
Day 26
Day 27-29
Day 30

 

Technical Difficulties

If you tried to come to my website last week you may have had some issues. My blog was hacked and it made it freeze or have a huge red warning come up on your screen.

When I heard about it from a few of my readers I was so upset. But no worries, I hired someone to quickly fix it and everything is a-okay and safe for you now.

I did want to mention that we posted our family photos last Thursday when all of this was happening. If you missed the post I’d love for you to click on over! I just love how they turned out and I think a lot of people missed it.

Sorry for the inconvenience and see you tomorrow!

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Fall Family Photo Shoot 2012

Landon is four and Brigham is two and I knew that it was time for a family photo shoot to mark their age. We chose to have Megan take our photos on the first day of fall.  She is a long-time blogging buddy of mine (seriously, I can’t remember how long ago I started reading!). We both have two boys that are close in age and she just so happens to have a budding photography business. What better reason to meet in person?!

She was just as sweet and genuine as I imagined and the boys really warmed up to her. Apparently Landon asked her if she could come home with us :)

What Megan probably doesn’t know is that she has been integral in my journey to strengthen my faith in God. I read her blog, a woman who truly believes in Jesus, and I want to be more like her. Someone that praises Him each day.

Isn’t blogging amazing? I’ve made real connections with awesome people. It just means the world to me.

So thanks, Megan, for encouraging me AND for taking such beautiful photos of our family.

Oh, how blessed I am to have this life and this family.

When it comes to Pinterest, I’m screwed

A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post that really resonated with me. Allison writes O My Family and truly captured how I feel about pinterest. I mean, finally, someone said it! And now I’m piggy-backing on this smart, funny girl’s post.

The general gist is what pinterest has done to blogging. People who are crafty and create beautiful stuff – they get pinned. Some get lucky and pin something special and get TONS of traffic coming to their website.

But me – I get left out of all that traffic because, well, I’m the least crafty person you’ll ever meet.

When pinterest first came about I was all over that shit. I was pinning like a mad woman. I had grand plans to decorate my entire house in chevron. You know, create a laundry room complete with a chaise lounge for spur of the moment relaxation (seriously?) and an organized station in which to make homemade detergent and dryer sheets.

I was suddenly reading how everyone was getting so much traffic from their projects. And I gotta say . . . I was jealous. I started thinking of ways I could incorporate this new-found goldmine into my blog. For awhile I did a series called “That’s Pinteresting.” It didn’t amount to much.

I came up with a couple of things I thought could be pinnable. But my skin crawled as I pinned them myself, hoping others would as well. It wasn’t genuine. It was all for personal gain.

You see, I realized, pinterest just isn’t my thing.

You know what is my thing? Writing. Writing this blog. Writing with my heart splattered all over your screen. That’s me. I want to write meaningful posts that strike a chord with other bloggers. Posts that make them want to come back and check in on this little life I’m living.

This is not to say that if you like pinning or have had things pinned that you’re not a meaningful blogger. I understand that a beautiful photo shoot or a scrumptious blueberry muffin or a handsome outfit can make you tick, just like a beautiful piece of writing makes me tick.

But I hate that what I write gets lost in the shuffle sometimes. I wish that more of my deep-thought posts could get some more recognition. These days, I’m lucky if a post that I pour out of my heart breaks 250 views.

Is this what it has come down to? Stats and number of pins?

I guess it just makes me sad.

My life is messy and unorganized but in a way, it’s beautiful too. My non-decorated house means we’re getting out of debt so that we can save more money for our sons’ college fund and pay off our mortgage sooner. The unused craft supplies mean that we went for a bike ride instead of staying inside.

My life is not pinnable.

But it’s good anyway.

And I believe my writing is too.

 

BlogHer – One Year Later

This time last year I was really struggling. My depression and anger were raging. My medicines weren’t right. My anxiety was through the roof. And in a couple weeks I was supposed to fly across the country to the largest blogging conference in the world where I essentially knew no one.

Due to all the personal issues I ended up having a lot of trouble coping while there.

Now a year later, as I watch blogs and twitter and facebook and instagram blow up with anticipation of BlogHer 12, I’m left feeling incredibly sad. I didn’t think not attending would matter that much to me. Turns out it does. A lot.

A year later I’m doing much better. There were long agonizing months to get me where I am mentally. Taking medicines that made me physically ill and emotionally worse. But my medicines and regular doctors appointments have finally stabilized me. I can say with certainty that I am no longer suicidal as I was while at the conference.

I probably would have had a good shot at having fun at the conference this year. There are still so many people I would have liked to see and hug again. There are new online friends that I would have loved to meet too.

I would have liked the chance to say, “Hi. This is the real Molly. I’m actually a lot of fun if you get to know me.”

But there are no business cards to hand out this year. There are no shopping sprees to buy sparkly things to wear. There are no, Oh my God I can’t wait to meet you in person conversations on twitter.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so happy for every single blogger that has the chance to go this year. The BlogHer conference is an amazing experience. If that’s you, I hope you have the time of your life.

I just wish I could have the time of my life with you.

But just because I’m not going doesn’t mean I can’t hand out my own little piece of advice . . .

Blogging is so important to me. I don’t have the words to say what having this space has meant to me over the past five years. I don’t care how sponsorless and small I am. This means something to me. This small community that I (and you) have created speaks to my heart. Every time someone engages with me through a comment, short or long, I am ever so grateful. Whether it’s on a “look at what I did last week” post or something much more dark and deep. My readers have been through it all with me.

When I came back from the conference last year I made the difficult decision to be open and honest about what happened to me. I bit my lip and hit publish. I was utterly shocked at the outpouring of love and support. Shocked at the amount of people who reached out. Who gave me a little minute of their time to tell me that it’s okay that the conference didn’t go as planned. That there would be a “next time.”

They gave me hope that I would get better. They gave me hope that I could still trust that this blog does good things. For me. For other people.

A while ago I received a handwritten note from a woman who reads my blog. I read it with tears in my eyes. I was so thankful that someone could relate. I helped them see that being real, being imperfect, being vunerable, is okay.

It’s okay to be real, imperfect and vunerable at the conference too.

That’s what I hope everyone gets out of BlogHer 12. I hope you come together as a community. I hope, above all else, that you are YOU and that everyone is accepting of differences. I hope you hug and squeal for a little bit when you meet someone you’ve adored online. And then I hope you take the time to give yourselves a pat on the back. To understand the importance of your daily words.

Because hey. We’re all really doing something important here. No matter what kind of blog we have.

This blogging thing. This platform of millions of blogs all rolled up into one big powerful community.

I’m so proud to be a part of it.

Don’t ever let someone make you feel like what you’re doing is small potatoes. You’re a BIG DEAL.

From the bottom of my heart, friends, have fun at the conference.

Have fun blogging no matter who or where you are.

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Boy Mom BlogHop

It’s time for the MOB Society’s Second Annual Boy Mom BlogHop! I participated last year and thought I’d do it again this year as it’s a great way to find other moms of boys in the blogosphere. If you’re here for the first time, welcome! I’m glad you stopped by!

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These are my two little rascals. Landon is almost four and Brigham is two. They bring me more joy than I could have ever imagined. When I was a little girl I always said I wanted boys because I had three sisters, and well, that’s a lot of estrogen in one household.

Looks like I got my wish with my sons. I feel so blessed to have been given the job of raising two sons. I want to raise them up to be Godly men. We started going to church for the first time last fall. I wanted to give them a good foundation in Christianity. Landon goes to a pre-Sunday school and learns a little bit about God and Jesus. It’s amazing how he uses what little information he learns. One time it rained and Landon said, “God makes it rain so the flowers and grass and trees can grow.”

Brigham turned two in May and is exhibiting all normal behavior for a two-year-old. Running around like a chicken with his head cut off. I have trouble wrangling him as he has perfected his “get away” moves. His temper has reared it’s head the last two months. He wants it his way or he gets pretty upset. He is loud and silly and a bundle of energy. He likes to drive his brother crazy by taking toys away from him.

Landon is so smart. His thirst for knowledge astounds me. He asks so many questions a day and is always wondering why things are the way they are. He can count in Spanish and is beginning to sound out words in books. This is a recent development. He will grab a book and say he wants to read it himself. I realize that learning to read can’t be too far off. Each stage presents new highlights and challenges in my motherhood journey.

Even as my boys get older they still love cuddles from their mama. I get lots of kisses and hugs and “I love you-s” every day.

It is the light of my life that I get to see them grow and learn and seek right in front of my eyes.

Are you a mom of boys? Go link up! The MOB Society is a great community.

Blog Redesign!

Well, folks. It was time for a little blog makeover. I had the last design for two years and I was really getting antsy for something shiny and new. So what do you think?

Personally, I love it! I like the colors and that the header is less busy than my last design. I have been in a blog funk for a few months and I think this is just what I needed. It’s like when you haven’t had your hair cut and colored in a long time. Then you finally get it done and you’re like, “wow, I should never have gone that long without it!”

I have also changed blog frameworks (from Thesis to Genesis for all you blog nerds out there) and I can’t wait to see the freedom it will allow me in really making this space my own.

I still have to tweak some things on the sidebars but I was so excited about my new look that I had to post today.

For anyone wondering I worked with Courtney and she was wonderful! Thanks for the new and pretty design, Courtney!

Blogger’s Block

Whoa. It’s been over a week since I have posted. I feel very unmotivated to blog. I could tell you it’s due to my recent job loss. But the truth is I just haven’t been “feelin’ it” for awhile now.

Every time I think about blogging I let out an audible sigh and ignore the thought. It makes me tired to think of pulling up my dashboard, writing, editing and scheduling a post. I’m hoping it’s just a phase. But over the last few months I’ve lost my blogging mojo. I’ve also lost a bunch of readers and my blog stats have really suffered due to less content.

I don’t comment much anymore either. It just seems like so much work with not a lot of return. I used to comment like a mad woman and hope that a friend would be made in the process and they would visit me too. But now I just don’t have much energy to deal with that part of blogging.

I have “friended” a lot of bloggers on Facebook that I have read over the years. I still keep up with them there and on Instagram (my favorite social media outlet ever). I’m @adayinmollywood on IG if anyone wants to follow me over there.

I also have a facebook page for my blog and you can “like” my page for snippets of life and random thoughts here and there.

This is also prime blog conference season. What does that mean? It means every blogger that’s going to one of these is talking about it. The parties, the sessions, the awards, the speakers. Basically all about the fun I won’t be having because I’m not going to any conferences this summer. It’s totally depressing me. I know it didn’t go very well last year but I was really hopeful that I would get a second chance. That I would get to see my friends again and be redeemed.

Instead, I feel like I’ve fallen wayyyyy off the radar (as if I was ever on it). At this time last year I was so excited to go to BlogHer. I had just won a Voice of the Year award and I finally felt validated for all my hard work as a blogger and writer.

Now I just feel stupid for ever having felt like that.

Like I said, I hope this is just a phase. I have been blogging for five and a half years and it would be a shame to throw in the towel now. I know I could do link ups and post random photos. But I have trouble getting motivated to participate.

I don’t want to quit but the blogger’s block just seems to get worse and worse as time goes on. Will my inspiration and happiness that came from blogging ever come back?

Better yet, will you stick around to see if I can work my way through these feelings? I have before. Maybe I can again.

 

 

25 Facts About Me

My best friend did this on her blog and so I thought I would join in. Feel free to participate on your blog too! Here are some lovely little randoms about yours truly.

1. I am deathly afraid of spiders. Sometimes I shake my clothes out in the morning to make sure there isn’t one in there.

2. I am addicted to coffee. For serious. One morning the Keurig wouldn’t work and I was on the verge of an all out breakdown.

3. I don’t really care about make-up. I know some people love it but if I had a clear face I probably wouldn’t even wear any.

4. I’ve realized just how unflexible I’ve become. I used to be a human gumby. Jumping and doing the splits. I tried to do a backstand the other day to impress Landon and my arms couldn’t even push me up into position. Pathetic.

5. I love riding roller coasters. I love that feeling  you get in your tummy when you go down big hills. My favorite roller coaster of all time was the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal Studios. Talk about a thrill.

6. Just three years ago I swore I would never use text messaging. Now my thumbs are hard at work each day.

7. I listen to KLove about 95% of the time now. It’s the Christian radio station and it gives me so much hope.

8. I use post-it notes at work. A lot.

9. Reading books makes me feel good about myself. Watching mindless TV does not.

10. My favorite foods are cheesecake and cheetos and french fries. After 33 years of eating like shit it’s finally starting to catch  up with me.

11. My most unfavorite chore is laundry. I don’t like folding clothes and hanging them up.

12. I was so excited to finally have a playroom for the boys. But they don’t even use it that much.

13. I have never taken out the trash since Naaman and I got married.

14. Sonic is probably my favorite fast food restaurant. And guess what? They brought back corndogs. I’d like to think my blog post on the matter helped.

15. It has been nearly five years since Naaman and I have been on a vacation alone together. We are really starting to get the itch to go somewhere to reconnect. Five years is much too long.

16. I chew my nails and cuticles. It’s a habit I’ve never been able to break.

17. I love snow skiing although I rarely get to go. I can ski blue and black hills and not fall on my ass.

18. I miss playing the French horn. I was damn good at it. First chair in the state of Missouri TWICE. Now I doubt I could even play one note.

19. I just finished watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and became obsessed with it. Next I tried to watch Vampire Diaries and had to turn it off. The acting was utterly horrifying after watching such a good series.

20. I can’t stand drinking water. I have to force myself.

21. I used to dress like a slut in college. Now that I look back, I’m just sickened at what my wardrobe was.

22. The breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding war really gets my blood boiling. As a mother who bottle fed one baby and breastfed the other, I know for certain that it does not matter how you get them fed (with the exception of third world countries w/o clean water). It’s all about LOVING your children. Boob or bottle. Can’t we all just get along?

23. I hold pencils and pens wrong. My thumb sticks out when I write.

24. If I had a boatload of money I would give some of it to a no-kill animal shelter. I have a big heart for animals.

25. I once called one of those 1-800 numbers to speak to a pychic. They said someone important would come into my life whose name started with the letter “F”. Still waiting for that . . .

 And there you have it! 25 random factoids about me :)

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Find a New Friend on Kelly’s Korner

I don’t do many link-ups but I thought this one from Kelly’s Korner would be fun to try. She is doing a “find a new friend” link up where you post your name and the city you live in. This way, you can meet new blog friends in your area! I am especially excited about this because I would really like to help plan a big Kansas City Blogger Meet-Up. I’ve seen other areas of the country do them and it looks like so much fun. For those new to my blog we do have a KC Blog Facebook page and have regular dinners every month. They are super fun so email me at molly@adayinmollywood.com if you’d like to hear more about it! I think you can click the link and ask to join.

Now a little about me and my fam . . .

I’m Molly. I have two boys. Landon is *almost* four and Brigham just turned two. I live in the Kansas City area and I work full-time for an international non-profit organization. My husband is an RN who is moving up the ranks at a wonderful hospital system.

We enjoy weekends the most when we can be together as a family of four. Summer is my absolute favorite season and I can’t wait for swimming and popcicles and Fourth of July (my fave holiday)!

I have been blogging for more than five years and enjoy the connections and friends I’ve made throughout my blogging journey. Blogging has definitely been a motivator in starting and finishing my novel, which I hope to be done writing by the end of the summer.

If you want to know more about me you can visit my about me page.

Thanks for stopping by, friends! Please leave a comment so I can visit you too!