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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Doing It All. Who does???

A few weeks ago I opened up the blog for your questions....anything and everything was fair game. I didn't mean to let so much time lapse, but the questions really had me thinking about my life, how I manage it and how it's perceived by others, particularly the one that seemed to pop up most, "How do you do it all?! How do you manage so many projects, a job and home?!"

The idea that you somehow think I "do it all" makes me laugh at the ridiculousness, and a little sad, because obviously I've built a facade here that contributes to believing in unrealistic standards. I mean really, who is doing it all?! Martha Stewart, maybe. But she's got a friggin' staff!


There's no question that blogs (including my own) put their best face forward, almost a fantasy life. No piles of dirty laundry, no bagged-out eyes from sleep deprivation, no disappointed faces when mom doesn't come through.

Which really is no different than fashion magazines using highly retouched photos of impossibly thin models...they give us an unrealistic view of how our lives "should" look, and for me, induce piles of guilt for not meeting those standards. And me "doing it all," couldn't be further from the truth.

There is no such thing as balance between home, work, family, blog and self...because if one area is excelling, it's usually at the detriment of another. I think of it more as juggling, and I live in fear of all the balls dropping. TWSS (What? Just because this is a serious post I can't be my usual crass?)


If I examine that further, the fear comes from being revealed as a fraud or failure. Is this too honest for a blog post? Maybe. I guess I'm fueled by the brave, 'Things I'm Afraid to Tell You' movement that's swept the blogosphere. Obviously if you think I do it all, then there is a lot I've managed to keep from you.


Now, does this mean I think we should all start posting images of our toothpaste splattered sinks and reminder emails of forgotten appointments? No, we come to blogs for inspiration and ideas. I post projects because I love doing them, sharing them, and I hope that someone else will be inspired by it. I really, truly love every aspect of blogging....creating something, photographing it, writing a post that hopefully engages and entertains, and the interactions that come from it. I do struggle to keep perspective with it, and remind myself constantly that it's my hobby and meant to be fun.


So with more emotional dumping, I'll let you in on a few things about me and my life. And while it's extremely blessed, it's not extraordinarily charmed, nor balanced and well-rounded.

1. I'm a complete Type-A, control-freak, master list maker, can't be idle kind of person. Sounds fun, right? Want to hang out? (sarcasm font would be helpful here). I'm starting to realize that my inability to let dishes sit in the sink, clothes hampers remain full, or enjoy an afternoon of doing nothing, is hurting my quality of life. So while Mr. Sugarplum is rolling around the floor laughing with the kids, I'm in the other room folding sheets and towels. Sure these things need to be done, but the world won't stop if I don't do them right away. And actually, the world is passing me by while I do.


2. Yes I have a day job, but it comes with a hefty lunch break. That's five full hours per week, that I have without kids, to run errands, buy project supplies, blog, etc. I bet you could get a lot done with five hours to yourself, too.

3. This day job also gives me the freedom to work from home one day a week, and my kids are in school! This allows me to get my work done, but also do all the laundry and random house chores usually reserved for the weekend. As well as good daylight hours to photograph a project.


4. I have an amazing cleaning service that comes to my house twice a month. It's a bit of a financial stretch for us, but I'll make almost any sacrifice to keep it! For some reason, I have a hard time admitting I have this help. Even my mom doesn't know about it (until now). I swear I'm a better mom and wife because I don't hold resentments about scrubbing toilets though.

5. Since all the house crapola gets done during the week, my weekends are more open. The kid's activities and schedules occupy a lot of it, but they are getting older now and have no interest in being glued to my side all day. That leaves quite a few hours for my own fun stuff...which for me, is painting and glue-gunning and taking pictures.

6. Most of my projects are done in under an hour. Really. I jot down project ideas as I have them, and shop for materials during a lunch break, then I'm ready to go when I find myself with a free hour. And the big projects, like room makeovers...well, Babygirl's Room took me nine months to complete, and it's been 11 months since I started the Living Room. So I'm not exactly cranking it out.

7. I don't work out. Or watch much TV. Or have weekly Girl's Night. This isn't meant to be braggadocios. Quite the opposite, actually, as it illustrates how one-dimensional my life is. That leaves quite a few hours in the week as well. And since I'm kind of sleep-obsessed with my kids, they are in bed by 8:30 every weeknight. You do the math.

So have I helped to squash the myths that I do it all and manage to live a June Cleaver kind of life? I miss school loan payments, forget permission slips, have dead houseplants and dirty baseboards. I lose it with my kids, get boiling mad at my husband, and have thoughts of running away. We eat cereal for dinner sometimes, I duck my head when the PTA asks for volunteers, and I haven't spoken to my dad in years. I quietly suffered through the baby blues when my son was born, had to go on medication after my daughter came along, and I get lost in malls.


What you see here isn't always a true refection of my life, so please don't be fooled by the pretty pictures. I think it's important for you to know that while my life is good, it's not picture-perfect. I would hate for anyone to leave this blog feeling down on themselves, or resentful of me. We're all just doing the best we can, and hopefully encouraging each other along the way.


This is probably waaaay more than you bargained for on a Wednesday, and trust me, it scares the crap out of me to press 'Publish.' But don't worry, I will actually get to all the other questions, too!

91 comments:

  1. I just love you Cassie and love that you shared how you accomplish so much! You Rock!!! xoxox

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  2. Awesome post! I think we can see a little of ourselves in it...maybe a lot! Blogging is time consuming, but I love it, almost as much as I love crafting! Thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone in the crazy blog world of grace under fire!! I love your blog and your honesty and I'm glad you pushed "publish"!

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  3. Loved reading such an honest post. It is nice to know how you get it all done...and also how normal you are :)

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  4. Cassie this post just made me love you even more. I can tots relate about being type A. I can not sit down until dishes are put away and everything clean. I so appreciate your honesty. We do look to blogs for inspiration but is fun to get a peek in people's real lifes every now and then too. If for nothing else to make us feel better about our own lives. Love you girl. Oh and I finally got to the part in the book we were talking about- WTH!!

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  5. Keeping it real on Wednesday - well said!

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  6. Wow! Great post. Now I am not only inspired by your blog and projects, I am also inspired by your honesty. Thank you for sharing. You really are wonderful!

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  7. I love you even more now Cassie! Your post and honestly are so refreshing. I think you're perfectly normal, I'd think you were a freak if you did do it all :D

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  8. What a brave and refreshingly honest post! And I'm so glad someone else confessed to dirty baseboards. :)

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  9. Brave girl! This post is really honest and I think we can all relate to it. You articulated the whole balance/juggling thing really well. I appreciate you writing this and sharing yourself with us. We all have things we aren't proud of and don't want people to know, but you are awesome for pulling back the veil and letting people get a peek at the real stuff.

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  10. Elizabeth BehnfeldtJune 6, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    WONDERFUL POST. LOVE IT.

    You are an inspiration and now I feel like you and I could be friends even more! Ha! So much alike. It's great knowing that every mom and wife has similar struggles.

    AGAIN - WONDERFUL.

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  11. I love your admissions. Thanks. Makes me feel like I'm not the only one.

    I visit blogs for inspiration and pretty pictures. Life is so full of the mundane that I like to visit places that will inspire me to do something different or try something new. Plus pretty pictures will brighten anyone's day.

    I don't mine "real" posts about the hard stuff life gives out, but I have enough of my own. Ya know?!

    I like your blog. I come for the pretty pics!

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  12. You are sweeter than a marmalade sandwich! Loved this post. Thank you for answering our questions. I still think you're amazing - and admire your style, projects, jokes, and all of it. I don't know you from Adam, but this post brought tears to my eyes. I think it made me realize that I too "hide my secrets" even from my closest friends. Thank you and keep up the good work!

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  13. Beautiful and honest post! You put into words what many of us feel. You are an inspiration!

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  15. Best read of my morning. Makes me love your blog even more.

    My little blog is "my" short, daily escape. I feel it's self indulgent at times. But, it makes me smile. Plus I find I am more creative with my family, friends, home, and life in general - All that just from the inspiration I find from reading great blogs like yours!

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  16. Wow. I certainly needed this today. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE your little blog! You rock sweet girl. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Good for you! You know the saying, "the grass is always greener on the other side"...well, as most of us come to find out that is not necessarily true. We all have our own ups and downs, struggles, challenges, accomplishments and such. I am applauding all of those who are doing these kind of posts. It is about time we as women rally around each other and support one another regardless of our circumstances, financial report, clean/dirty house, etc. We are human, humans are NOT perfect! And, sometimes the faults are the things others love best about us.

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  18. Thank you for your courage. It's interesting to learn more about you, Cassie, but it's also refreshing to know you are human like the rest of us. Thank you for the inspiration...decorating or otherwise. :)

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  19. You are certainly doing a lot though! Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. Love keeping it real!

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  20. I loved the pure honesty of this post. Thank you for that :)

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  21. Great Post! Love to see the "real" side of bloggers lives too! You are great!!

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  22. Thank you for being so authentic. You and your blog are awesome!

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  23. This post was like a bug 'I know how you feel' hug! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  24. You are a gem! That certainly made me feel more normal! :)

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  25. So you know this post is just going to make people love you more!!
    Its so true that we all put our best foot forward- I mean really who wants to see a dirty house-we ALL have them.
    And I hired house cleaning help too years ago and it has truly made me a better/nicer woman- and my husband swears he would give up his lunch money to keep that.

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  26. Wow Cassie! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post! It's so nice to learn more about you, but it also made me feel a bit better knowing that you aren't "June Cleaver"! I think you are fantastic and I look forward to your blog every single day, but I was certainly one of those that was like "how does she do it all???" Thanks for your honesty. I have neglected my blog for two months because I felt like a big old loser because I have so many unfinished projects and piles of crap and was like 'what do I have to blog about? my house is a disaster." I (and my house) are a work in progress, maybe I should just focus on that because certainly everyone does not live the magazine cover life that we sometimes envision they do! Thank you again! xoxo!

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  27. I just wrote an awesome comment and it didn't go through... wop wop. But the gist of it was that you are awesome to write this post! All of us deal with balance, so it's very helpful to have insight from others like this. You rock! Thanks so much, LC : )

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  28. Aww I love you Cassie!! This was an excellent post and my favorite part is knowing you get boiling mad at your husband too. I still am mad at mine! Grrr. And I totally forgot to pay our HOA dues this year--like, just forgot. Pregnancy brain doesn't help but goodness! I hate when I do stupid stuff like that, and unfortunately it is quite often. Love you girl!

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  29. Great great post! Thank you for your honesty

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  30. I like you even more now. Thanks! :)

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  31. Loved your honesty, Cass! I am guilty of folding laundry in the other room, too and can basically relate to almost all of this. Life is hectic, not perfect, and quite a mess sometimes! All part of it. Love coming here to your blog everyday to see the prettiness and be inspired. Love you, girl.

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  32. Now I know why I love you so much; we must be twins separated at birth! I,too, am the type-A over-achiever who sometimes gets so caught up in the "keeping everything in order" syndrome that I miss the important things in life. My daughter is now grown and I so regret all the times I could have spent playing with her but instead had to make sure the house was in proper order. Kids grow up so fast. Take the time to join your husband and just play with the kids. The laundry and so forth can wait. The kids will be off to college in the blink of an eye; enjoy them while you can.

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  33. Wow, what an awesome post Cassie. Really, your transparency is so refreshing and so appreciated. I still think you're a rockstart b/c of your attitude and outlook on life. Everyone has parts of their life that they would rather keep swept under the rug, but I think your honesty here makes you even more interesting and that's why I love your blog! :)

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  34. Amen! Love your blog - it's one of my daily reads :) Thanks for "taking off the mask" for a moment. I think we all have had the experience of trying to keep all the plates spinning & praying none of them fall, ha!

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  35. And breathe. Thanks for sharing Cassie. I appreciate your honesty in this post and all your others. xoxo.

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  36. Awesome post! Yep, dirty baseboards here, too. I think they get cleaned maybe once a year. Ick. It's so great that you chose to answer in a transparent way rather than a beauty pageant politically correct way. Loved the post. And, it just makes you more relatable - as we can all see ourselves in it somewhere. Thanks for sharing!

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  37. SO true how when one excels, it's at the detriment of another. I'm still trying to accept that.

    my husband can't sit still and relax either, and always has to be doing something productive - it drives me nuts!

    ah ha! you shop during lunch hours and work from home one day - that helps piece it all together!

    thanks for sharing and bringing us all one step closer :)

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  38. This post just made my day, especially being a new working Mom. Thank you for sharing and doing all the fun stuff for us to enjoy!!

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  39. That paragraph after number 7 is sooo me! Thanks for sharing, and maybe I need to look into a cleaning service too.....

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  40. You don't work out?! Now, I kind of hate you! ;) Loved this post - it feels good to let your real self show doesn't it? I think you would stop being my friend if you saw my laundry room. I run a fairly tight ship but my laundry is always piled high! Thanks for keeping it real today!

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  41. Oh Cassie it just makes me love you more! Hugs to you and all us imperfect people blogging to make us happy and have SELF fullfilment.

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  42. You are so relatable. Thank you for sharing this with us. I appreciate your honesty!

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  43. You go girl! Thanks for being so honest and open with us! I definitely think there need to be more of that in the blogosphere! As if I didn't love you and your blog already, this just upped the ante by about a 1,000!

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  44. I just can't thank you enough for this post...

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  45. Loved this post! I can so relate. The balls are constantly being juggled (and crashing to the ground). ;)
    ~Kim @ Sand & Sisal

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  46. Thanks for your honesty! I think you're a pretty awesome mom and blogger!

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  47. Thank you for your honesty! Best post ever!

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  48. I love your blog and love it even more now! I think you are amazing and love that so many of us are type A's and always want everything perfect NOW :) Everyone has been really putting themselves out there lately and giving us more insight into their lives but I am SO scared to do this...maybe soon though ;)

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  49. Love every word of this. I've gotten similar comments from friends and it just makes me feel awful to think that putting my loves out there in blog form makes everything look so "perfect" that it might make other people feel bad. I have dirty baseboards and a toothpaste splattered sink too. Thanks for the brave and honest post. You're awesome. Not perfect, I'm sure, but awesome. I will surely keep showing up to read everyday.

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  50. That's my girl Cass. We all have our demons and dirty secrets :) Love that you shared this, I know I need to get on it too. I keep ducking out. It's seems like a big post project and that just seems daunting and scary.
    The main thing that sticks out here for me that you shared is no girl nights - wtf if I lived by you this would change!

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  51. I definitely love you more now! ;)
    Thanks for sharing.

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  52. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you. I agree, we come to blogs for inspiration...but I am always so grateful when another blogger does a post or two sharing some real behind-the-scenes glimpses at life. Loved this post!

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  53. So you are human;) Great post that we can all relate to. Thanks for sharing!

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  54. If I could, I would high five you right now! LOVE this! :)
    and so many things here apply to me as well! xx

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  55. Thank you for your honesty Cassie!!! We can all relate! I have the same issues...not being able to sleep until all the blankets are folded on the couch or dishwasher loaded etc. when I should be snuggling my Hubby in bed. I sometimes realize I've gone a whole night not talking or cuddling my daughter because I've been cleaning or yikes, blogging. Something always seems to give in my life as well...I know I need to live more but it's hard to let go of the type A! Thanks again for this post. So nice to know in so many little ways we are connected by the same thoughts and feelings and sometimes issues.
    xoxo, Sarah

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  56. God you are awesome. Really. I really enjoy what you write. You're funny and honest and I love it. Thanks for sharing! I really truly enjoy your blog the most :o)

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  57. I love your honesty! One of the reasons your blog is one of my favorites to read.

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  58. Cassie - this could not have com at a better time. Literally 2 nights ago a friend emailed me and 2 other friends that she was battling with the "doing it all" issue - work, mom, wife, volunteer, etc. I sent this to them all this morning and we all agreed it was awesome! Love the graphics as well :)

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  59. i think we can all relate! i eat cereal for dinner most nights. :) and i should work out more. and i don't even have a real day job. what do have to show for it? really not much... but i am happy with me and my faults! :)

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  60. WHAT?!?! You don't do it ALL??? That's it, I'm not following you anymore. (c: hehehehe...I love that you are brave enough to admit to all of this because I'm still pretending that everything is perfect (c: I'm pretty sure blogging and my little fantasy world keeps me sane some days and I'm grateful for something to aspire to! Love ya, Mrs. Sugarplum (c:

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  61. Thanks for being real, I love it! I love to see that another fellow blogger is not perfect and CAN'T do it all either(in a good way, you know) I'm very much like you and miss out on the kid's laughter because I'm getting that one last chore done. What a great reminder that we need to take a step back and not feel like we have to get it all done today, right?
    Love your blog.....Mrs. Sugarplum

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  62. loved this post, Cassie!

    I never comment but am always checking in on your blog for pretty inspiration + pops of color, and this post is exactly why I keep coming back - you come across so genuine + fun in your writing.

    thanks for taking a risk + laying it all (well, a little at least) out there!

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  63. Cassie,
    Thanks for being so honest. I can really relate to your need to get all of your work done before you can relax and have fun with your family. It really hit me when you wrote that life is passing you by and that sometimes the work can wait. I need to remember that! I too have had not really spoken with my dad for the last few years and we were so close while I was growing up. This makes me so sad, and my heart aches even though I know it is for the best. It always helps to know we're not alone so thank you for being so honest. Love your blog, and I look forward to your posts so much! xoxo Heidi

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  64. Cassie- Subscribe to your blog and read you everyday! Love you even more than I did yesterday after your post!!! You rock! What you wrote about today is real life...

    You are so real and refreshing... that's why I love ya!

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  65. This type of post is definitely always in our heads too! It's eerily similar to all of our own thoughts, so you are definitely not alone. I am also trying to not let my Type A get the best of me. Thank you for your honesty! :)

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  66. Thanks for posting this. I've had one of these posts in my Drafts folder for months now, but haven't mustered the gumption to publish it. If you don't mind, I'll make sure to include a link to your post in mine.

    Erin @ The Great Indoors

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  67. Thank you for being so authentic. We all have "stuff" and junk in our closets and sometimes we need to be reminded that everybody else does too!
    Cereal for dinner happens often at our home. Haven't spoke to my father in years either...

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  68. Love you even more. I have a cleaning crew that comes in twice a month as well, and no one knows except my hubby & kids and the friend who referred her. Why are we ashamed of this?.....It makes us happier and able to spend more time at soccer games, rugby games, etc...

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  69. This is *the best* Things I'm Afraid To Tell You post! I like your approach so much and really appreciate you writing it!

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  70. I read your blog daily and absolutely love it. I so enjoy trying your projects (you should have seen the look on my husband's face when I told him I was going to spray paint an elephant figurine gold). This post was beyond wonderful for me. I'm a working mom of two but I don't have a blog, so I am in awe of the time and effort you put into this and how amazing you are at it. Thanks for keeping it real!
    Meredith

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  71. You are amazing! I know that was hard to write, but you are so brave for putting it all out there. I don't even have kids yet, and I find it hard to balance my full time job, housework and projects, blogging and finding time to spend with family and friends...I can't imagine how much harder it's going to be when we do have a baby. It's so nice that through these blogs we can all relate and share and be inspired. I find that even blogging needs a balance as it is a time to sort of escape from the normal every day, so of course we want to see the pretty things too! Keep up what you are doing!! Love your blog!!

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  72. This so reminds me of Steven Furtick's quote: "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we're comparing our behind the scenes footage with everyone else's highlight reels."

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  73. Seriously you are amazing! I am also type A, but without kiddos, so I am crazy and use every bit of time I can get to complete projects or help friends, etc. Thanks so much for your honesty! That is why I love reading your blog each day!

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  74. Thank you, thank you for writing this!! It's very brave and great to read. I've cut down a lot on blogging because I just felt that my house and projects are just not good enough to share compared to the other stuff I see in blogland. So it's nice to read that even successful bloggers with pretty pictures have the same struggles in life as the rest of us. Oh, and I have a cleaning person come every other week also, and would give up a lot before giving up that service! It's a marriage saver!

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  75. Cassie - I love your post, and commend you for bravely clicking on "Publish". I hear you. Big Time.
    Thank you for your honesty.
    Honestly.

    Stacey

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  76. I've been following your blog for months, but never actually commented. This is mostly because I tend to sit back and let others do the talking :-) But I really wanted to share with you that I appreciate this post. It's honest and genuine, just a few more reasons why I love your blog! Keep on sista!

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  77. Thank you for being so honest and relatable in your answer to that question. This post is just as inspiring as (maybe even more so than) beautiful pictures and fabulously creative projects. It shows that just because we can't always "do it all" doesn't mean that we can't aspire to beauty and small pleasures in our homes and lives. Your posts always make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. This one also made me cry.

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  78. Awesome post Cassie! I love your honesty and your spirit!!

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  79. Great post, people are more fabulous with flaws anyway....

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  80. Thanks for sharing this, Cassie. I think you've totally nailed it. It's nice to know not everyone out there is living the perfect life and accomplishing it all at the same time. We are all normal and we can't do it all -- but sometimes it's certainly hard to keep that perspective with blog reading.

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  81. I just fell further in love w/ you, if that's even possible.

    This post made my day in all its honesty & humble-ness (or is the right word humility?). You're like the popular cheerleader who gets voted Miss Congeniality b/c you're so damn down-to-earth. Also, Most Successful b/c you're a go-getter. I hear ya on Type A--been known to not fall asleep until I've cleaned/tidied SOMETHING.

    Now excuse me as I fight (will throw punches, not shy about it) for my seat next to you at the popular girls table. =]

    xoxo

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  82. This was a beautiful post in the best way. I had to choke back the tears at the end. Not really sure why. I confess that *every day* I think of throwing in the towel. That I'm being selfish...etc., but so far I haven't come to point that tips me either way.

    I'm so glad you're not perfect and that you were willing to be so honest with us! hugs, Abby

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  83. Hollywood housewife, Laura tremaine suggested this post. It reminds me that as women we need to be more vulnerable and transparent with each other because like you said we're each doing the best we can. I have a 13 year old daughter and 3 1/2 year old twin boys and I frequently have thoughts of running away......glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for this beautiful post!

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  84. I think we just may be long lost sisters. So well said, and thank you for being brave enough to put it all out there. As bloggers we feel compelled to tell a pretty story to keep the inspiration afloat, but it's important to tell the real stories to keep reality afloat.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  85. Love this post, and your honesty. I really hate bloggers who do act like their life is perfect AND who act as if they're the most high and mighty because they have a popular blog...ugh.

    Anyways, thanks for keeping it real! Loved it.

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  86. Cassie, this was such a great post - I just saw the link to it in your recap today. I love your honesty and truly, I think you and your blog are so genuine and don't get the "my life is pefect" thing from you at all……you just come across as loving your life, even the messy parts, and your blog is so much fun and a joy to read!

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  87. Why don't you talk to your father?

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  88. Thank you for such an amazing post. I just found your blog today, and I am in love! From one creative working mommy to the next....you rock!

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  89. Oh man! I fell down the rabbit hole Friday night via Pinterest to your blog and decided that I had to read every post from the beginning. 5 days later I 'm all caught up! So I was totally excited to see this post. I had been wondering some of these questions myself because I am just like you and stalk, I mean obsess over other people's lives through their blogs. So I just wanted to say THANK YOU for being you, knowing who you are and willing to admit it publicly. I know that can be scary especially with how personal some of that was but from a now loyal follower of yours thank you for being you :-)

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Your comments are like crack, or popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. xoxo, cass

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