Friday, March 6, 2015

Good things come to those who blog

There has not been much to write about lately. Life is moving along quickly and yet we have settled into the comfort of a familiar routine. After so many years of changes—I recently realized that the last time I lived in one place for this long was in high school—it is a welcome relief to hold still.

Not that our days are boring. Frank and I are enjoying delving deep into our little community and putting down roots that will grow deep. I give thanks for the knowledge that this is where we are going to stay—Chicago is our home now, despite my endless complaints about the winters, and this is where we will raise all our children and live til we grow old. There is such comfort in that thought. I realize how rare it is nowadays for someone to grow up in the same place they were born, much less in the same place that one of their parents grew up—but if there is one thing I got out of reading Wendell Berry (whose works I love), it's that people in the modern world suffer from not knowing their roots. I hope to give our kids that rootedness, and give it to myself too as we stay here in this city that is both so familiar and yet constantly offering unexpected new finds.

I find myself this evening (written a week ago) with some rare time to blog as I don't have any work to do, Frank is at a church meeting, and the baby is sleeping. I've been thinking about stopping blogging altogether, because the older I get the less I want to share of my personal life. It's a funny thing—I started this blog as a 19-year-old college girl who wanted to be a mommy blogger someday. Now that I am a mommy blogger, I question why I ever started—why not write down these memories just for myself and my family? But I miss the community of blogging—you guys reading—and I am so grateful for the bloggers whose writings and ideas I love, so I will try to continue writing.

The biggest thing going on lately is our involvement with our church. I feel so lucky to have found the church community we have. When I lived in Virginia, Frank and I attended an amazing parish with a dynamic, gifted pastor who we came to know and love dearly. Right before Frank moved to Chicago, that pastor was called away from that church, as happens frequently for Catholic priests. I remember Frank said at the time, "This actually makes it a lot easier to leave." That experience has made me realize how quickly and easily a beloved church community can change—so I cherish all the more the one we have now, knowing it may not last long. Frank has joined the parish's newly-founded Knights of Columbus Council, while I am enjoying running our small mothers' group and helping out in other ways. Last week our parish hosted a fun Catholic trivia night for which Frank planned out the questions (and I was supposed to keep score but ended up wrangling a grumpy baby instead). The parish is growing incredibly under our pastor's strong leadership, and every Sunday there are more and more families with little babies filling up the pews. It's a glorious thing.

Is anyone going to the Catholic Women Blogging Conference at Notre Dame tomorrow? I'm driving out with my dear friend Giedre (check out her blog for some cute pictures of Frankie last week!) and so looking forward to meeting and reconnecting with this community of women who have inspired me in so many ways. Hopefully this will kick-start me to being a better blogger myself!

Finally, Frankie is now officially over ten months old ... which means I can start planning his first birthday party! I've been thinking about it forever but Frank insisted we couldn't start planning til it was two months away. Last weekend I started trying to talk about his birthday party and Frank just replied with "What? Hmm? Did you say something?" which cracked me up. But now it's time! I feel this great inner tension between having a super-casual, backyard-barbecue, burgers-and-beer party for adults and jazzing up the "first birthday" aspect with a cute theme and baby-friendly activities. I think we will try to combine the best of both worlds by doing a backyard barbecue that ALSO has a cute (but very low-scale) theme. I already started a Pinterest board of ideas—woohoo! Considering my experience with first birthday parties is exactly nil, I would appreciate any suggestions or ideas you might have!


  1. I feel similarly about blogging; I enjoy the community and I enjoy having an outlet, but I struggle with wanting to maintain privacy. I also have been trying to cut down on my own personal screen time, so reading blogs and writing on my blog has taken a hit. My conclusion lately is to just blog when I feel like it, and not put pressure on myself to write regularly. I just write for myself and keep it mostly light. :)

    And as for baby birthday parties, I'm in the relaxed BBQ camp myself. I'm not much of a party planner or into themes and such, but I do love to bake so I put extra effort into the cake. Your first baby's first birthday is always a big deal, it will be memorable no matter what you do!

  2. I totally understand how you feel. There's a good balance between sharing too much or nothing at all on a blog (or a vlog in my case). It's kind of weird. But like you and Ellen, I really love the community. :)

    The Starving Inspired

  3. Per usual, I feel ya! I'm constantly evaluating whether or not I should continue blogging because I don't ever want it to feel like a chore. If it is serving a positive purpose in my life without giving up our precious privacy, then I keep at it...but I allow myself to take breaks and not concern myself with "losing readership" if my real life demands more of me than blogging would allow at any given point. I have a strong feeling that I'd be at the same point you are if my family and I were at the point of "settling" into a real-life community. The more involvement and connections I have in real life, the less I tend to blog about anything beyond vacations or family milestones I want to preserve for posterity. Whenever we move around and I find my social life a bit lacking or slow to develop, I find myself blogging more because I need a creative outlet and a community of mothers and wives I can interact with that help me stay sane. ;) We've moved around so much that I find the blog and the community I've found from it to be a constant that I otherwise would lack.

    Sorry for rambling - but the toddler is napping and my husband is in the city with a friend so I'm finding myself with some rare time to do thing I normally can't (like comment on blogs!). For what it's worth, I really enjoy reading your blog and am grateful to have met you through the blogosphere!

    P.S. Gabriel's 1st bday party was definitely a cook-out at a local park. Very low-key. But I love the idea of cute party themes! Can't wait to see what you all do!