What is the Meaning of Life & What Color are My Toes Painted?

Answers PART I

You guys asked some great questions last week. I’m going to tackle the blogging questions today and will work on the personal questions later.

Because I’ve got to paint my toes to figure out the meaning of life (two personal questions I received).

A French Pedicure is my favorite.

Yes, I am that glamorous.  I'm also answering your questions in paragraph form.  Because I like to complicate things.

A complicated, fancy girl with a french pedicure trying to figure out the meaning of life.

The end.

A few technical blogging questions popped up in the midst of all those inquiring minds.  I’ll just admit right now that I am the LEAST qualified person to give technical advice.  I think this has been my greatest blogging challenge.  I need a manual.  It’s been trial and error.  Lots of error.

And, I’ve emailed perfect bloggy strangers and they have been helpful.  And I probably gave them a good laugh.  Because ignorance of my magnitude is funny.  And so, I hope this also answers the question about my plans to move my blog.  I’d love to move it to Word Press one day.  But my fears are real and I come from a long line of over-reactors.

I stumbled into blogging less than a year ago. I had read very few mom blogs at the time and was looking for a writing outlet.  I invited extended friends and family to read my little stories.  I don’t regret this, but if I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have actually sent an invitation.  So, it’s not anonymous, but the majority of my local friends don’t know about my blog.  And no one has ever said, “Hey, aren’t you THAT family?”  Although plenty of people have thought it.  I’m sure.

And when extended friends and family do bring up the blog?  It’s actually embarrassing.  Last week at my hubby’s family reunion, I had second and third cousins by marriage bringing up my Rear View. 


I find that I’m much more comfortable with perfect strangers knowing about my White Trash moments than my neighbors.  But, my hubby and kids and parents enjoy the stories and we like to laugh at ourselves. (My mother-in-law doesn’t have the Internet, but has her daughter read my posts to her).  Good thing, huh?  Because being nekid at VBS is hilarious.  Once your back home.

My kids even say occasionally, “That would be great on your blog, Mom!”  And of course, I can’t use it because tape recorded toots are just tacky.  Plain and simple.

As for “off-limit topics?”  I have many.  I don’t like to vent or rant about other people on my blog.  I try to keep it positive and only exploit those who live with me.  (Although the family reunion was fertile soil for some brilliant posts.  You’ll just have to trust me on that one).  I also don’t use my kids’ names or give our exact location. I don’t cuss (in real life either, all those years living with a Pastor, I guess).   And I do keep some things to myself.  I think they call it privacy and we need just a dab of it.  I do give out my email address and gladly accept gifts.  Thanks for asking :D  I also answer every email sent my way.

I loved the question, “How do you write funny stuff? Can you come make my life funny?”  I don’t think my life is any funnier than anyone else’s.  I think it’s just perspective.  Because believe me, in those moments, I am not laughing.  The line between hysteria and hysterical is very fine, my friends! 

I love order and organization and so does my blog.  When I first began, I would sit down, jot down whatever I could think of and hit publish.  I discovered two things right away:  I wasn’t very funny and I had a lot of typos.  I keep a little file on my computer and a notepad in my purse and I write down EVERYTHING that makes me laugh, even if it’s just one line.  I have dozens and dozens of ideas that may or may not become posts. I write a post and then let it simmer for a day or two.  I reread it and add a few things and edit it.  This works for me.

My passion is writing, so that makes that part of blogging easy for me.  I truly enjoy it and I feel such relief when I get a story on paper. 

The goals I have for my blog are evolving.  I’m still relatively new to all of this but I’d love to attend a blogging conference and meet other addicted dedicated bloggers.  I think a Texas Bloggy get-together would be a blast!  (And I’ll get right on that after I catch up on laundry.  So, it could be a year or four). Sure, I would love to make some money.  Is that bad?  I don’t have goals to get rich, but I got my first check from BlogHer Ads the other day and it made me smile.  Widely.  And if I only made .29 cents (TOTAL), I’d keep blogging. I’d also like to publish my blog in book form on Blurb.  I haven’t started yet, but a few family members have put in their orders. I love that I have some subscribers and it’s such an honor to see those numbers grow.  I always have a number in my mind and when I reach it, I feel like I’ve met a small goal.  Then I raise it a few. . .  

As for reading other blogs, I try to read what’s on my blogroll daily.  I subscribe to almost 100 blogs and follow them on Bloglines.  As I get to know blogs and want to share them, I add them to my blogroll. 

I used to spend a lot more time leaving comments.  This is the main reason my blog has grown some. Now, I spend the majority of my time writing.  During the day, in between mothering, I blog hop, read and leave a smattering of comments and I do most of my writing at night.  

Bloglines has helped me manage my time a little better in reading blogs, but I do not have a handle on the time management end of blogging!  I know I will never catch up!


I'll tackle part two in the near future!

Don't forget to enter my fun vintage apron giveaway here!


Katie said...

Kristen, I don't always get to comment but I want to tell you that the positive attitude you have intentionally infused into your blog is one reason why I will always remain subscribed. I can always count on you to put a smile on my face.

I laugh at a lot of the chaos that happens in our house, which happens daily with so many kids, and I'm glad to know that someone else says it's perspective. Unlike most of my friends and neighbors who I think consider me brain damaged ;-)

LifeatTheCircus said...

You really do an excellent job. Keep up the great work. I truly enjoy reading you and your comments always make my day!

Chel said...

Hi Kristen,

I am like a week old in blogland, so talk about green!

Therefore, I want to thank you for explaining some of your "process" when you blog. I learned probably more than you realized you were teaching!

I have you on my blogroll and will be keeping up with you as much as possible. I am "Decorator Deficient" so I love what I can learn from you in that dept. too.

Oh yeah, I live in Georgia now, but I'm from Texas, too. :-) I'm not sure where you live, but I grew up in South Texas.

Keep rolling!

World's Greatest Mommy said...

Okay, I'll just say that even if your other posts weren't amazing...which they are...I'd love you just for Thursdays. They are so much fun.

I've never gotten such joy out of my own humiliation. And some of my best posts have been my 'Fro posts.

So thanks! You're an inspiration.

The Apron Queen said...

Wow. You blog like I do. I am perfectly comfortable sharing huge chunks of my personal life online to strangers. But no one at work knows I blog. And I don't really bring it up with neighbors & friends. My husband is the civilian equivalent of a manager over 30+ soldiers. I socialize with them & their families occassionally. None of them know I blog though. It's too personal. I don't want them to know the details of their supervisor's life. Yet, I'm OK with strangers knowing it all. Weird. Also, my family in FL & the Midwest know I blog and they read sporadically & randomly. The knowledge that they might be reading keeps me clean & keeps me positive. Mostly anyway. :)

But one thing I don't do is french pedicures. Dang, you're high falooting.

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

Threeundertwo said...

WOO HOO! You're contemplating the meaning of life?! That was my question.

I'm hanging on your every word. Can't wait to find out.

You are a real inspiration to this newbie blogger!

Mrs. Querido said...

I just love coming to your blog for posts that inspire me in my faith, posts that make me roll on the floor laughing and everything that falls in between the two. You are a blessing!

happyathome said...

I'm there with ya sista! Sounds so familiar, and I am not sure if I will ever have time management with blogging!

Anonymous said...

I would buy your book! I think what separates you from other bloggers is your positive outlook and spirit. It's not ranting for the sake of ranting (such as myself). It's unusual and refreshing!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

Thanks for sharing about the blogging side of your life. I always find it fascinating how other people fit in blogging and manage it amidst all of life's other responsibilities.

Happy Mommy said...

I love sharing my life! And I love comments! I needed to know about Bloglines... I just add the blogs I have to my favorites and boy is that long.

Have a great day!

gina said...

Nice job with those. You manage to make even the most mundane info seem interesting. I want to go get a french pedi now.

Toni said...

Thanks for letting us know some of your secrets! I always enjoy reading your blog!

Joanna said...

I love reading your blog it's great! I need to do a lot more typing and rereading before I publish it. I am also one of those bloggers who write about IT all. I do get personal, I do leave some things off topic but not many. Now looking back a little, I am wanting to change the line of my blog and wished that I wouldn't have brought things like that up.

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Thanks...that was helpful. I need more bloggy, techie tips. I am quite clueless, with much of the blog world. So any little tidbit about blogging is always helpful. Apparently I am clueless about pedicures also...what is a french pedicure. I really need to get out more! :)

Lisa J said...

Your attitude and morals are why I keep reading your blog as well. It is nice to have that in common with someone and to see there are people in this world that is such a positive person. Life is difficult at its best, so why not enjoy the moment ( now or later!) and find the joy in it. Here's to many more years of reading about THAT family.

Memarie Lane said...

I'm jealous you've got family reading your blog. My immediate family reads it, but my cousins and aunts and suchc don't. My mom always tels them, "you have GOT to read Marie's blog!" And they always say they don't have time for that sort of thing. It feels like a slap in the face when they do that, because it makes me feel like they aren't interested in getting to know me. I mean if someone that's never heard of my doesn't want to read my blog, I don't really care, but if you're related to me and see me on a regular basis, wouldn't you be just a little curious?

blessedwith5 said...

Hi Kristen - great blog today!

You are an award winner - go to my blog and get it!

Rae said...

You are one of those industrious & committed bloggers that make us greenies quake in our boots!

Thanks for keeping it up.

Mom of TWO Princesses said...

Thank you for sharing your answers! I've loved your blog from day one. It's funny & inspiring. Keep up the great job!

Beachy Mimi said...

Thanks for all the tips. I love your blog!

Suzie said...

I have some of the same blog rules as you. I dont write mean things about people and I try not to vent about people other than the ones who live in my house and that is only done with lots of love. I love your blog. I'll keep reading as long as you keep writing.

P.S. He loves you... said...

Texas Party in the works?!
Hey if laundry's all that's keeping you from planning then just bring with, I sure allot of us know how to wash/dry/fold but putting away well that's another story, guessing you have that problem too?!

Ok then bring a couch...lol!

Valarie said...

Very informative post!! I loved it, and who knew we would both love french pedicures?

Pregnantly Plump said...

That's great that your family is so supportive of the blog. My father-in-law is definitely the biggest fan of our blog. He loves reading about his grandson, seeing the pics and watching the videos. It's such a great way for us to keep our family up-to-date on Little Elvis, since we live so far away.

ahorne said...

That was quite the tackle! :)
Yep, perspective is what it's all about - I totally agree. In the midst of angst and chaos, there is life, and memories, and yes, even humor. Thanks for sharing.

Mama Zen said...

I've been trying to move to Word Press. You're not overreacting!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Yes. I also love your positive outlook. Keep it up!

Rena said...

Thanks for all of the insight!

Kris said...

Hi, Kristen.

This was my first visit to your blog and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I actually created my blog for friends and family to keep up to date with our life, since I am so terrible at sending out "the Christmas letter" or pictures for that matter. But, as I am cruising around blog world more, I realize that I cannot use the kiddos names and such.

I liked what you shared on this post. I will be back again. Feel free to check out my blog.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Great answers! And I appreciate all the helpful advice you have given me in the last couple of months.

Maddy said...

Maybe I should go for Bloglines then as my google reader seems to have gone beserk!