Reintroduction

desert-dry-path-track

I’ve been blogging for almost nine years, though the last two didn’t have the regularity of the prior years. Since many readers have left and I’m still feeling my way back into a regular writing practice, I feel like I’m back at the beginning blogging. I’m not. When I began blogging, I was a married, 35 year old stay at home mom of two kids under 3. Now, I’m a married, 43 year old quasi school librarian witha 3rd grader and 6th grader. A lot has changed, and I’m thinking it has for you, too.

Here’s some more about me. I love all colors, though I’m drawn to the color yellow most often. Dusty rose is a second runner up. I reada ton, though right now I’m focused on quality over quantity. I don’t play favorites. Favorite movie, favorite book, favorite food…those are all impossible declarations for me because I go through phases. I also don’t reread or rewatch often, which in my mind is arequirement forsomething to be a favorite. I loved the moviesThe Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, DogFight, and Contact. I loved the books Persuasion, Eleanor and Park, Love in the Time of Cholera, and the DarkFever series.

I despise root beer. My least favorite phrase on earth is “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission.” That’s a quote attributed toRear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, and I hate it. I hate it, hate it, hate it! People who say they live by that quote fancy themselves mavericks, rebels, and boundary pushing thought leaders. Really, they’re entitled asshats. I have yet to meet one person who has used that phrase to excuse behavior that benefited anyone other than themselves.

In real life I’ve been described as bubbly, quirky, rational, and opinionated. It’s hard for me to trust my instincts. I write well, but suck and computers and get overwhelmed with technology. I think most bloggers are annoying. I once went to a conference, looked around the room, and decided I disliked almost everyone there just on principle. I’m insecure. I will always be that awkward, shy girl you knew in high school. Tangentially related: I’m super bummed that high school never ends. I wish someone would have warned me.

I left the practice of law because I lacked work-life balance. I find myself in the same position now. I want to be a better wife and mother. I feel stretched too thin. I’m trying to cut things out, rework our schedule. I wantto be that woman who practices yoga regularly and drinks green tea before her morning hike. I keep trying.

Which brings me tothe lastthing about me. I’m cautiously optimistic.

How about you?

p.s. I haven’t written here for so long that my spam comment plugin is in overdrive. That should improve as I write more. I’m taking comments out of spam as I get them, so don’t let that discourage you from commenting. I’ve deleted an old plugin, switched to something new, and am trying a new comment plugin. Let’s see if that works! I’d love to hear fromyou.

 

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Comments

  1. Yay. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    Me – I am a single, no kids, inner city, coffee drinking reader. I think all reading is good reading (even though some books are better than others).

    I am pro libraries and love reading book reviews but the idea of a real life book club gives me hives.

    I rarely comment on blogs but I guess if I want the bloggers I read to continue I better let them know someone is listening/reading.

    Hope all is good with you. All is good here (Fitzroy, Australia).

  2. Hello! Glad you’re emerging back! 🙂 I’m a 41 year old mom of 4 boys (6th, 4th, KG, and PK-4). We live in Indiana. I have no idea how I found your blog. We started homeschooling them 3 years ago. I am a teacher at heart and LOVE our Mondays, we go to our “Away” school and I’m a science teacher there. I love being back in the classroom, I love adult interaction….but I also love not being overwhelmed with standards, grading and class prep every day (which would be if I was teaching full time). Small classes of VERY motivated kids who do the work b/c parents and I are working together–the best combo ever. This has been my first year doing it and is been great. I love to do things with my kids but also having lazy days where we just read & the younger two play. I love that my older two love reading. I’m hating teaching my KG reading and dreading doing it again next year. I love to read (esp. the Kids fiction), so I’ve loved how you cover that in your blog. 🙂 I also enjoy cooking, traveling and photography…but the last don’t happen much right now. I hate that I am the worst at putting things down, not away, and my kids seem to take after me. And we have a room a day chore list, so my house is never clean (as I type around a clutterly mess). I, too, struggle with balance, and this year did NO work in our church to focus on school. And it was lovely. But guilt/desire to help serve will drive me back to it next year. But only ONE thing. Really. 🙂 And I’ll end my way too long post now, but I’ve loved reading you awhile, appreciate your honestly and felt I HAD to leave the feed reader to comment. (Its lots of work, you know!)

    • Hahah!! You must use feedly and, yes, it’s a ton of work to leave a comment. Thank you. 🙂 I’m going to have to give up faith formation after this year. It’s too much when combined with the library. I forget that I do service there since it’s become so much like a job to me, in a good way! I always wanted to homeschool but never felt I had the support for that.

  3. Jeez…9 years ago I was 29, barely married, 1 dog, no kids, just starting to regret buying the condo we bought in our first year of marriage. Our house was full of booze and books and TV and movies and music. We had more than enough money, so we spent it on stupid stuff all the time. My sister was still married to her ex and my niece was only 3. Today, I’m 38, married for over 10 years, living in a real house, 2 dogs, and a 3-year-old of my own. There’s no more booze in my house, but it’s still filled with books and TV and movies and music, though we read a lot more now than we do the other things…and there are lots of toys around here too, now that I think about it. My job is the same – I am the Director of Educational Programs for a company that manages professionals associations, so I spend a lot of time on conference planning, certification program administration, and online learning initiatives. Money is a lot tighter despite the fact that I make more money than I used to and most of our expenses are lower – preschool tuition is a kick in the teeth, and my husband didn’t work for 2 years while staying home with our daughter, so he’s still struggling career-wise to reach the level he was before he stopped working. We never go anywhere because money is too tight – dinner out (or in) about once a week is as much as we can muster, and that’s more than a lot of people, so I think we’re doing all right. My student loans will be paid off in July, and we’ll then commit that same amount of money to my daughter’s college fund each month, which will feel awesome. My sister is getting married to a WAY better guy than her ex 2 weeks from Saturday, and my niece will be in EIGHTH GRADE next year which both boggles my mind and makes me proud and excited to know her as she gets older.

    I am a reader, to my very bones – so is my husband. I generally read about 100 books a year without trying too hard. And I think our daughter will be too. She’s not introverted like we are, I don’t think – she’s not shy and seems to love talking to people – but her first word at 11 months was book, she loves to be read to, and to flip through books on her own. It’s her favorite thing after sugar and TV, which seems appropriate for a 3yo. I can’t pick favorites of anything either, but some books I’ve loved are The Thirteenth Tale, Between Georgia, Shine Shine Shine, and The Killing Moon. I also adore comic books; I just read the first 5 issues of Paper Girls and think it is badass and bananas in all the best possible ways. TV shows that I basically never stop watching (because I just start them over and watch them when I need comfort) are Gilmore Girls and The West Wing; I think David Simon is one of the most amazing media creators alive today and The Wire and Treme are basically flawless shows; I cannot wait for the Twin Peaks reboot. It would be hard to say I love any movies more than Mary Poppins or Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

    I like people, but I am incredibly socially awkward. I’m great at talking about myself in response to questions, and terrible at asking other people about themselves. That’s not intentional, and I do care what other people have to say, I’m just…not great at initiating conversation. Even so, I’m extremely empathetic – I cry for other people, even imaginary people, at the drop of a hat. I’ve only recently started trying to see that as a strength instead of a weakness. I am, as I age, increasingly impassioned by causes of social justice – I hate being able to see the intolerance, hatred and inequities in our society, and I hate even more when others brush them off or seem completely unaware of them. Honeysuckle is my very favorite of all flower smells, so don’t anyone dare tell me it’s a weed. I still feel like a 5-year-old when I see fireworks or lightning bugs. I have a deep sense of connection to Virginia, my lifelong home, and the South in general, but it’s a love-hate relationship because of the utter hateful bullshit that is spewed (and sometimes codified into law, inexplicably). I have the palate of a child – my favorite foods are pizza and grilled cheese and chocolate and ice cream. I have really struggled with making time for exercise in my life since kids, because everything else just feels more important or more interesting, so I’m not motivated to find time for it. As a result, I weigh more right now than I ever have in my life. And I’m not happy about it, exactly, but I also don’t seem to care all THAT much.

    And I love root beer. And licorice. But I hate fish & seafood and raw onions, and while I will eat other raw veggies I don’t really like them that much – I’d prefer them cooked.

    • Best comment ever. I’ve never seen a lightning bug and honeysuckle smells like bug spray to me, but other than that, we’re destined to be great friends. 😉 It’s weird to think back on your life 9 years ago, right? I did it last night and couldn’t believe everything that has happened since then.

  4. Welcome back! I am so excited to have you regularly blogging again. I love your outlook on life and sense of humor. and as a fellow mother of two boys (now teenagers !) I enjoy hearing about your sons’ adventures. Hopefully now that you have returned we can bring back the book club!

  5. I’m so happy you are writing again and would love to see the book club make a return. Wishing you and your family the best, always.

  6. I love reading your blog. Your sense of humor brightens my day. I enjoy, love, appreciate, look forward to your honesty about life. I’m 52, married to a wonderful husband and father who happens to love his career too. We have a 24 yro engaged son, a 20 college junior son and a 16 year old sophomore daughter. I’ve figured out along the way that to have “balance” we tend to put our passions on hold to pour more into our priorities. Then moodiness sets in and makes our priorities [family] miserable. So I threw the idea of having balance out and just enjoyed each week at a time. Sometimes that means exhaustion but most weeks it makes my heart sing. As long as my weekly endeavors are God pleasing then things tend to stay on an even keel. And if they aren’t. ….. then I have to figure out how to let go or get out of that which is not meant for me.

    I loved the time you wrote about your walks. I was dealing, I still am, with RA. At the time I didn’t know what was wrong with me but you got me out the door and walking myself. Doing it I realized what a commitment it was to walk, take pictures AND write about it. If the pancake french fry lady can do it so can I. The walk part. I can’t remember to take the pictures.

    Thank you so much for writing.

  7. Oh hi!
    Found you years ago via the William Morris project, and I stuck around because book reviews, awesome and honest talk about self-image, self-care, the Catholic church, and BOOKS.
    I’m 27, newlywed-ish, and figuring out how to be a pastor married to a pastor. We’re city people in a small town, and as much as that is driving me CRAZY it’s been pretty great to slow down.
    I make things(quilts, clothes), grow things(veggies!! and some flowers) and cook things-and I think all of those things are in my genetic code and have been ingrained in me on top of that- I’m a product of the South so there’s the double whammy of generations of women who pride themselves on their gardens and an imperative I have felt strongly of late to eat things grown locally… and we won’t even get into the pull I feel to feed people good things in every situation(a product of a community that celebrates and mourns with church potlucks).
    Books?
    Yes please. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and This Organic Life are 2 recent reads which made my granola heart happy, and I will hopefully finish my re-reads of Narnia and Harry Potter over the summer. Lately it’s been more about trying to balance lots of heavy theology by reading potato chip literature(salty and delicious, to be sure, but can become a little mindless). I’m always up for a good recommendation.

    I’m not a fan of the phrase either, and I’ll take a good, spicy ginger ale/ginger beer before root beer any day. I find that the only case in which we need to ask forgiveness instead of permission is in cleaning out church closets. Because if you ask permission to throw things out, it’ll never happen.

  8. I used to read your blog first thing, every morning. So happy you are returning to blogging. I have been working part time since my youngest started kindergarten, a couple of years ago. It started with one day a week, and now I am up to 3-4 days a week. They are not full 8 hour days, but I am exhausted when I get home. I am now a believer that work/life balance is bologna. The work started out being good for me, but I am reaching a point where I am trying to reevaluate what my priorities need to be.

  9. Based on the other comments here I believe I’m skewing the demographics a bit when I say I’m in my twenties, live on the east coast, am unmarried, have no children, and am not Catholic. I found your blog through Lifehacker (I think?) when I came for a post about removing permanent marker from couch cushions (definitely the gateway article). That was… at least six years ago by my guess. I stayed because your voice is great. Very real, so funny, so relatable. I loved the William Morris posts and the Stuff Mikey/Nico Says posts equally.

    I love to read and annually donate money to fanfiction archives. I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life. I majored in English but work in accounting. Bright light makes me sneeze. I’m still on the fence about children. Socializing is hard but my friends are wonderful. Potato pancakes with sour cream are my favorite food. Keyboard shortcuts are my life.

    I’ve missed reading your blog while you’ve been away. Self censorship is the worst, and if you find out how to get over it please make an instructional post so I can follow the steps. I’m looking forward to whatever you’ve got in store, rare or frequent, welcome back.

  10. Based on the other comments here I believe I’m skewing the demographics a bit when I say I’m in my twenties, live on the east coast, am unmarried, have no children, and am not Catholic. I found your blog through Lifehacker (I think?) when I came for a post about removing permanent marker from couch cushions (definitely the gateway article). That was… at least six years ago by my guess. I stayed because your voice is great. Very real, so funny, so relatable. I loved the William Morris posts and the Stuff Mikey/Nico Says posts equally.

    I love to read and annually donate money to fanfiction archives. I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life. I majored in English but work in accounting. Bright light makes me sneeze. I’m still on the fence about children. Socializing is hard but my friends are wonderful. Potato pancakes with sour cream are my favorite food. Keyboard shortcuts are my life.

    I’ve missed reading your blog while you’ve been away. Self censorship is the worst, and if you find out how to get over it please make an instructional post so I can follow the steps. I’m looking forward to whatever you’ve got in store, rare or frequent, welcome back.

  11. Happy to have you back as well! I found you via the couch/sharpie incident when it was posted on Apartment Therapy. I loved your writing and your two sons (I want two JUST LIKE THEM) and reading about them and your walks and what the boys say got me through law school 🙂

    I am now graduated from law school, and left litigation to do corporate work and love the job, the team, and actually have some balance so am very grateful for that.

    I won one of the book giveaways a while back (Deborah Harkness) and wouldn’t have found A time of witches or the dark spirits series without your blog, so thanks for that!

    One day, I hope to write YA fiction, after serving as a judge so that I can tell people what’s fair, so there. In the meantime, I’m thinking I may start a blog about my travels and all of the food I eat and make. hmmmm….

  12. I’m a 38 year old lover of books mostly YA or non-fiction. Weird combo. 9 years ago I wasn’t married and worked at my first “real” job. Since, I’ve gotten married, and I have a 6 year old boy, and a 14 month old baby girl. I’ve changed organizations twice, but I’m still doing the same type of work (database management for a fundraising department.)

    My husband has changed jobs 3 times, and we bought a bowling alley. I still am flabbergasted that we did that, and it’s such a crazy/cool thing to say. I’m proud of him. I’m amazed he puts up with me.

    I spend more time reading on ways to simplify or organize than actually doing the work that would make my life easier. My children are smarter than I am. I love sweets, but I need to eat crunchy things while I’m working. d Yellow and dusty rose are probably my least favorite colors. I like purple and green. I love your fashion style, even when you say you don’t have one. I love your house. I’m proud of you for continuing to reach out to do what you love.

  13. I’m just coming back to my own blog after having let it drift a while. I’d not given much thought to how life is different to when I first started. For one my husband is retired, too, and I’ve found other social outlets (craft groups, WI) to which I try to contribute. Also, I’ve been working on my domestic skills – mainly housekeeping habits – and I took up running again. I discovered that when I made exercise my top priority and housekeeping my second, I didn’t have much energy left for anything else – not even mental energy. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I still read a lot. I keep a list on my blog of all the books I’ve read so far this year. It looks like I average 10 books a month. I’m not sure that’s normal, but it’s normal for me.

  14. Hi!
    Nine years ago I was college… Wow. Sine then I’ve gotten married, have a seven year old and an almost two year old. I’m not sure weather to feel old or young. At any rate I’m a socially awkward never before commenter who found your blog several years ago because of William Morris. I stayed because I love your reviews of books and you watch interesting TV shows. Your kids are also adorable. I’m really glad your back because I’ve missed hearing your voice. Even though we have almost nothing in common (not Catholic, I stay at home, I think a dog in a rainbow dress is adorable and not a source of embarrassment) I really like hearing what you have to say.

  15. Hi Jules! It’s really good to have you back. I’ve no smart phone and don’t use Instagram so for me you really were off the grid. I’ve missed your recaps on your day-to-day life.

  16. Hi Jules. I’m so happy to see you posting more regularly again. I’ve always read your blog for your wonderful voice and perspective.
    I am 40 and I live in Austin, TX. In the time that I’ve “known” you I have gotten married and had two children (now 4.5 and 2 yo). I’ve been working at the same small independent girls’ school, but in a variety of jobs. You know I’m always there for the books – as a former librarian and an inveterate reader I just can’t keep my mouth shut when it comes to reading.
    Our lives may be different, but I truly always, always take pleasure in reading about what’s going on in your life and with your family, and what you’re thinking about. Whether your writing about food, work, your boys, books, or life in general I’ve enjoyed reading about it and feeling a part of it.

    • You’re not losing your mind regarding disappearing comments. There’s something going on, and I have some people working on it for me. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience!

  17. I haven’t been a faithful commenter but I haven’t left! I think I first stumbled across your blog in 2010 and I am so grateful that I did. I remembered that you love Dusty Rose because it was my favorite Mary Kay nail polish color when I was 13. I’m a real attorney now but I will always look at you as proof that a JD doesn’t mean I have to keep doing it if I find I hate it. And my favorite post that you wrote was the one about the mushroom brush.

  18. So glad your posting again! I found your blog via the William Morris project years ago and enjoy reading what you have to say! I live in Southern Ca with my family of four. Nine years ago I had a one year old little girl and was figuring out how to be and enjoy being a stay at home mom after leaving a career I loved as an elementary school teacher. Now I’m a 37 year old mom of 2 wonderful girls 10 and 7. This fall I will venture back into the classroom full time at my girls’ school. They go to a small private school and I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I look forward to reading your posts!

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