the why and the how.

There was a time in my life (not so long ago) when I blogged both to mark the passage of time and to pass the marking of time. Taking pictures of our day to share here kept me present in the moment, while giving my moments an immediate purpose. During those baby and toddler years the “payoff” of motherhood seemed so far away. Sure, there were daily victories, smiles, coos, and warm sticky hugs, but the big payoffs – happy, independent children with praise on their lips for their parents – seemed like light years away. Blogging, for me, became a way to freeze moments in my day and celebrate them. Sharing those moments allowed me to connect with other young mothers who felt my same struggles, grandparents who were there to encourage our journey, and non parents who could see the humor in the silly moments with me. I became hooked on blogging not only for what I was sharing, but for what you were sharing with me.

These days, our kids are home less. Our family is home less. Sarah is in school 7 hours a day, which still seems unfathomable. Ephraim is gone 4 hours each day and we’re running around for much of the remaining three. The fact that I don’t pick my camera up as much as I used to is both a function of time and purpose. I don’t feel the same need to fill the space in our long days at home – simply because we don’t have many long days at home. And when we do, I’m enjoying them – not trying to busy them away by grabbing my camera and documenting every moment.

Sometimes that makes me sad.

But often, it’s thrilling.

As much as I loved being the mother of very young children, I’m relishing this season too. I feel like we’re finally getting to the stage in life that I fantasized about for so long. My kids can dress themselves, feed themselves, play by themselves, but still hold my hand in public and kiss me without reservation. And that’s pretty darn amazing. It came quickly, but only when I wasn’t paying attention. Because when I was paying attention it seemed to creep like the slowest moving sloth.

Lest this sound like a “Dear John” letter to the blog world, let me get on with the work of sharing pictures that have made me smile lately…

I’m certainly not here saying “goodbye”, I’m just musing a bit on the why and the how of this whole blog thing. And the ways it’s changed/changing for me. I’m sticking around though. Cause how else would I remember that for my 4 and 6 year old, everything’s better on a stick.

It’s the little things.

Right?

A.K.January 23, 2012 - 7:33 pm

It’s crazy to think back 5 years ago when I sat at my computer- I blogged about my wedding details while longingly gazing at your blog and Amy S’s blog about cloth diapering, homemade baby food, playdates and all things babies. I couldn’t wait for that time in my life! Praise God it’s here! Thanks for sharing that time in your life- I know it was an outlet for you but also a way for “future” mommies to learn tricks of the trade!!! Here’s to a new phase in your life 🙂

Heather MayberryJanuary 23, 2012 - 9:13 pm

Started to get sad there! Your space here has helped me and I’m sure others feel the same. It has been amazing watching your children grow and learn and find their own place in this world. Congrats on motherhood and life so far. Your family is going to do and be so much more. Thanks for sharing with us along the way!

jodieJanuary 23, 2012 - 9:51 pm

Oh Erin this is so perfect. I feel like I have to keep apologizing for not blogging as often anymore and what you said is exactly right. When I had three kids under three blogging kept me sane. It totally filled the gaps and helped me feel connected to the rest of the world. Now I’m more excited to just BE with my kids and so often forget to even have the camera with me.

Stephanie @ La Dolce VitaJanuary 24, 2012 - 7:25 am

I go through phases of the same myself. Now that my oldest is 14, he rarely wants to be the subject of my photos. So when he does indulge me, I grab that camera. It’s funny – I would grab my camera and photograph the small everyday moments long before DSLRs and long before I even knew what a blog, let alone have someone telling me to capture these moments. I think today’s moms are lucky in that there is so much information on the internet that they get all this great advice on documenting these moments. But do keep grabbing that camera Erin. It may be less often, but these moments too are fleeting. I swear it was yesterday my little one would wait by the door for her brother to get off the kindergarten bus, and now he is in high school! We absolutely love your blog, and enjoying seeing your adorable family grow up. xoxo

AnnieJanuary 24, 2012 - 9:16 am

Erin,
I too have been following your blog since before kids tucking away bits of wisdom and advice and envisioning what it would be like to have little ones to care for. I seem to have the opposite problem though and get so caught up in enjoying the moments with them that they are over all too soon and I realize I forgot to grab a few snapshots to remember the occasion. This is definitely something I need to work on. Thank you for sharing your life and your lovely kiddos with us.
=)

kristinJanuary 24, 2012 - 9:48 am

Maybe you should have another baby? 😉

Amy SargeantJanuary 24, 2012 - 10:51 am

Thank you Erin. I have felt my own blog changing for these very reasons and have had small pangs of guilt and sadness but it is also a stage, just as the “home all the time” days were a stage. It’s nice to hear your thoughts and feelings on it too.

CarrieJanuary 24, 2012 - 11:02 am

I was afraid this was your goodbye letter, but so glad it’s not 🙂 Makes sense on the changes and glad you are fully embracing the here and now. I’ll still look forward to all of your posts, even if there are more spread out (with the busy, growing kids and the BUSY, GROWING business – go you!).

CrissyJanuary 24, 2012 - 12:06 pm

Ohmygosh – you had me scared there for a minute! Glad you’re going to stick around…I love your updates!

Carrie DavisJanuary 24, 2012 - 12:12 pm

This is perfect. You expressed what I have been feeling for a while so well!

KarlyJanuary 24, 2012 - 6:19 pm

It really is about the little things – and you have taught me to be more aware of that. To take time for the details. To not wish away long days at home with kids but so enjoy them, make them special, remember them, and put effort into the details. I have loved watching your kids grow – but I have also loved learning how to be a better mother by watching you raise yours. So, thankyou.

CheriJanuary 25, 2012 - 6:14 am

You had better stick around. I’m a grandma who came to your blog somehow wanting to learn more about photography. Then, I met and have come to enjoy your whole family thru your wonderful gift of writing. I have laughed with you, cried with you, prayed with and for you, and travelled with you. Your family is beautiful. Thanks for sharing so much with us.

JanineJanuary 25, 2012 - 1:33 pm

I think it’s important for every blogger to ask the whys and the hows every once in awhile. It keeps us human. It keeps us sane. I really enjoyed this post. It is my first visit here. Thanks for your thoughts.

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