What It All Means to Me

I haven’t written a heartfelt post in a while and Emelia inspired me to share my thoughts on this…

I started this blog in October of 2014. Prior to that I’d tried my hat at a few other forums and blogs but this one has been my biggest success. (I consider it a success because a) you’re here reading it and b) I very much enjoy writing it.) I’m not sure what I expected when I launched into this world, but I formed an online friendship with Chelsea pretty quickly and from there my internet friends really picked up and expanded.

I think there’s a somewhat popular opinion out there that traditional blogging is dead. Unless you pay $1,000 for good pictures or spend all your time pushing new skin care products (a.k.a. “influencing”), your place in this world is fading. Like Emelia, I 100% disagree with that.

I think that if you’ve been doing this for a few years you know that readership dips in the summer. You know that less people visit on holiday weekends and January is reserved for self-improvement and ‘goals’ posts. You pick up on the patterns of this world and you go with them or carve your own path. I love that this environment nurtures BOTH options.

Here are some other things I love about blogging:

Ohio is not a typical target for natural disasters or attacks (fingers crossed) so it’s hard to imagine the terror or devastation or hope that people feel when faced with wildfires or bombings or floods. Reading this post from Carolann about the Hawaii false missile alert or seeing IG stories from Ashten during the CA wildfires was so eye-opening. I cried real tears for these girls, even though I’ve never been in a situation like that or experienced these events first hand. Even on a smaller scale, reading about postpartum depression or flight anxiety or adoption or weight struggles is easier to understand and empathize with because of bloggers’ vulnerability. I’m more informed about city life and the struggles of homelessness, gerrymandering, and even commuting because people choose to write about it. When I was growing up our closest neighbors were cows so it’s a benefit to see the world through the eyes of people with different experiences.

I could go on and on about the friendships I’ve formed with other ladies in the blog world. I often catch myself telling local family and friends, “Well a friend of mine did xyz…” and I’m 100% talking about a blog friend. (K knows most of you all by name and he definitely knows your pets’ names.) I participate in snail-mail exchanges and book challenges and film challenges with my friends. I send and receive care packages. We collaborate on posts. We swap book recommendations and even physical books sometimes! If I stopped blogging I feel like the biggest loss I’d suffer would be the amount of friends I have. I really truly hope to meet some of them in person some day because I feel like we’ve fostered such a unique and special friendship through our writing.

While there’s always the risk of comparing lives or feeling jealous rage over perfectly edited IG photos, I think this community is a healthy place for inspiration. I constantly feel inspired to clean out my closet, cook a new dinner recipe for K, treat myself to a bubble bath and a glass of wine, or just take a walk on a pretty day. The ladies that I follow are constantly reminding me to enjoy life and be kind to myself (and others) and keep my environment healthy and productive and personal. That message gets lost or muddled in the fast-paced world outside our blogs. I honestly find that keeping close to and reading the words of other bloggers helps me to stay grounded and focused. They spread encouragement and acceptance and change, and in return I find myself doing the same.

It’s probably the most superficial reason for blogging, but I love the recommendations that come out of this environment. Speaking specifically about the bloggers I choose to follow, I think all the women are genuine and honest in their reviews. I find so many incredible books and movies, make-up products and shoes, clothing sales and Amazon steals from this community. It’s incredibly helpful come Christmas or birthdays or a treat yo’ self day.

I’m not an influencer. I made my very first sponsored post a few weeks ago and I didn’t get any money- they simply sent me a canvas to review. (It was awesome and I loved the whole experience, by the way.) I’m not a sales person so you’ll never see something here that I don’t love. I love to talk about my dogs and life and marriage and travel and books so that’s actually what you’ll see here 95% of the time.

So no, I don’t believe traditional blogging is dead and I’ll be around this space for as long as it’s fun and rewarding and therapeutic. I hate when blog-friends fade away, but I understand. I see my blog as a relationship with friends across the globe and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m grateful that you spend time here and I hope you get as much out of the blog world as I have and do. ❤︎

IMUO (in my unpopular opinion)…

The wind is changing and I can feel fall in the air. Monday it was dreary and rainy and dark and cloudy all day. Be still, my heart…. ❤︎ And with that, let’s move on to my first post of unpopular opinion.

unpopular-opinions

Summer is the absolute worst.
Sorry, but it is. I hate getting sunburned. I hate that my thighs stick together (obviously summer’s fault, not my love for food). I hate the frizzy hair (if I straighten it) or the flat hair (if I curl it) that happens as soon as I leave the house. I. Hate. Sweating. If I had a private pool my opinion would be different. But I don’t. And, therefore, summer sucks. I miss the snow.

I’m not a Beyonce fan.
She drives me insane. While I don’t know her personally, she seems like she thinks she’s very important. I don’t jive well with people like that. Plus, she went on a vegan kick once and then wore leather leggings… What?!
I don’t know. She might be a lovely, humble woman. I really have no idea.

Hakuna Matata seems backward to me.
I know that Disney lovers live by this phrase, but I honestly believe the point of The Lion King was to show that “hakuna matata” doesn’t always work. If Simba hadn’t listened to Nala and he’d dismissed his responsibilities then Pride Rock would’ve gone to the dogs hyenas. Being laid back has it’s perks, but I’m not a fan of “hakuna matata.” Sometimes sh*t gets real and you have to show up and fight your uncle.

(I’ve put a lot of thought into that thought.)

I don’t care about any ball sports.
None. Baseball, basketball, football- they all bore me. And Ohio’s got some pretty good ones with the Cavs and OSU. I’ll sit through a game for the sake of other people in the room, but I actually don’t care. (Obviously I’d watch NASCAR all day, every day given the opportunity.)

Rushing through books makes me sad.
True fact: It took me over a year to read the last Harry Potter book. I found out where Deathly Hallows pt.1 ended and read up to that point in line at the theater. And then finished the book months later. I HATE closing the door on my favorite friends. I actually read books that I hate a lot faster than I read the good ones.

I hate the phrase, “Live your best life.”
I can’t tell you why I hate this phrase, but I really, really do. I am all about doing the things that make you happy and following your dreams… but this phrase makes me roll my eyes. Ha.

That about sums it up for my first round of Unpopular Opinions. It took a while to remember/write these down, so I’m not sure when the second installment will happen…

Do you agree with me on any of these? What unpopular opinions do you have?

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Open Letters Link-Up

I’m linking up with Julie today with some open letters. Sadly, it’s the last time  😦

Dear Women,
Happy Equality Day! (I had no idea today was Women’s Equality Day when I wrote Wednesday’s post.) Keep fighting the fight. Climbing the ladders. Having the babies. Marrying men (or women) who see you as equal.  (Or don’t do any other those things- it’s your choice!) Yay for women and men!

WomensEquality

. . .

Dear Mama Bunny,
I don’t know how you got away with nesting in our backyard, but I’m very grateful that you moved your family under the cover of night last weekend. We discovered your babes last Thursday and kept the dogs away, but I wasn’t sure how long I could hold them off. Glad you sensed the danger and skedaddled!

. . .

Dear Husband,
I wanted to make a FB post or share a million IG pictures of you on Thursday night, but I knew you wouldn’t like that. Instead, I just want to publicly tell you how much I absolutely love you for calling me at work on Thursday and asking me to come home and help with the rabbits. A lesser man would’ve continued to mow and just forgotten about the furry family. You worried about them all weekend and helped me check up on them and keep the mutts from nosing around their home. I love you so much and I’m grateful every single day for you ❤︎

. . .

Dear Husband again,
I love being married to someone who buys us concert tickets for a show that happens on a work-night in a city two hours away. We don’t get much sleep when you spontaneously make those purchases, but I’d gladly trade sleep for nights out with you.

. . .

Dear Ben Rector,
You concert was worth the road trip + lack of sleep. You and Colony House didn’t disappoint. Maybe next time come to Ohio on a weekend…? That’d be great.

BenRectorConcert

. . .

Dear Sports Night,
We were really holding out that you’d be as good as The West Wing or The Newsroom. You’re not… That laugh tract is totally unbearable. I guess we’ll be skipping that Aaron Sorkin production and moving on to the next one.

. . .

Have a great weekend, friends!

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A Hopeful Hood

Open Letters

Hi ya 🙂 I’m trying something new today & linking up with Julie from A Hopeful Hood for a few short Open Letters!

. . .

Dear Baby Brother,
Thanks for visiting home so frequently this month. You’re helping Mom, Dad, and I live in our state of denial about your college graduation and upcoming wedding.

no

. . .

Dear Make-Up,
Thank you for providing coverage when I blush. I am a blushing fool: when I’m overwhelmed or when I’m anger or when I’m in a conversation with someone new… It’s so annoying. But you- you darling blend of cream and paste- you cover up those burning pink cheeks and make me look like a normal, calm, functioning adult. So thanks.

. . .

Dear AMC,
Thank you for playing old episodes of The Rifleman on Saturday mornings. It’s my adult version of Saturday morning cartoons and I’m so obsessed. It reminds me of John Wayne movies that my dad and I watch/ed together.

. . .

Dear Legs,
I feel like I owe you a love letter… I’ve put you through so much these last three weeks with 5am workouts and jogging on a treadmill. Honestly, I didn’t have much faith in you (shin splints, weak ankles, tight calves) but you’ve been the real MVP these last few weeks and I’m proud to call you my legs.

. . .

Dear Stomach,
You could learn a thing or two from my legs. See how my calves are shaping up and slimming down? Feel free to follow suit.

. . .

Dear Jo (the bachelorette),
How do you not get a bad vibe from Drunk Canada and Douche-y Realtor? This is my first time really watching The Bachelorette so maybe you’re supposed to keep the guys that you feel would make the absolute worst husbands/friends/humans…? I’m not 100% sure how this works.

wtf

. . .

Dear GOP,
Four months ago y’all were like, “No Tr*mp. We don’t support Tr*mp!” but now that he’s the only red fish flopping on the beach you’re all like, “We need to rally behind this monster man!” Nothing says politics like flip-floppers. Have some self respect.

. . .

Thanks for hosting the link-up, Robyn & Julie!

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A Hopeful Hood