Before I get to much into the inner turmoil that is my life right now…to the point that I had my first full on Anxiety Attack two days ago, lets talk about alphabet soup.
Who knew Alphabet Soup is the most underrated dinner in the world. Turns out if you put alphabet noodles in soup your kids will fight over setting the table and laugh and smile all the way through dinner…it’s like magic.
Other news from the day.
Charlotte has decided to set a trend of having one small braid on one side and the rest of your hair pulled into a pony tail on the other side (I am pretty sure I remember a similar trend in the late-eighties/early-nineties, so it makes sense that it is about time for it to come back)
She is such a trend setter. That lovely crib full of toys is her idea of cleaning up the play room. She threw everything into the baby crib and was on her way to put it in her bedroom when I snapped this pic.)
And this is how I found her at naptime. I love it that she has her baby tucked in next to her. You can’t see it but the baby has a bottle by her mouth too. So cute. It does my heart good to see sweet things like this from my Char Char, because she sometimes isn’t so cute when she is awake.
Trever has decided that only he can throw his dirty diapers out the back door and starts yelling before I am even done changing him because he is worried I am going to do it and not let him.
…and is it just me or his eyes exactly the color of his shirt today. (He is even more my twin then I thought. My eyes change color with what I wear too.)
Thatcher forgot to bring his math homework home on Mon and Tues of this week so he had quite the stack of homework tonight, which is unfortunate because Thursdays are already notorious for meltdowns.
I did everything in my power to try and advert a major melt down to the point that I even let him pick a few Halloween candies to eat while he did his work….and I’m not exactly proud of it…but I may have pretty much given him the answers for an entire worksheet…..
Conner had practice for the musical today after school, When he got home he was good to quickly come in and start his math homework. When I checked on him this is what I got.
“Mom, you have know idea what I am going through right now.”
Apparently it is really hard to think of items around the house that have numbers with a decimal in them.
He also wasn’t super thrilled to have to practice two days worth of trombone time because he didn’t do it yesterday.
Being nine is super hard. Almost as hard as being seven.
After dinner we set the clocks (the ones Thatcher can see) up an hour so we could co-erce him into going to bed early. He has been super tired and waking up way to early since day light savings time.
We were hurrying to have family scriptures and prayers before getting him to bed, and then something really awesome happened during scriptures.
Conner isn’t typically in-tune or aware to needs of others around him. He loves his siblings but it is pretty rare for him to show genuine emotion or give them any kind of physical attention and it is even more rare for him to notice their needs and do something about it.
Trever was having a hard time being happy during scripture time and definitely didn’t want to sit still. He was annoying Charlotte and it was making it hard for everyone to hear dad reading the scriptures. Then all of the sudden Conner said he had an idea and he picked Trever up and started doing the “I went to the barber shop to get all of my hair cut off….” little song thing with Trever. (He has seen me do it to Trever and knows that it makes him really happy.)
Because we were trying to hurry and get kids in bed, my first reaction was to tell him to stop, but then it hit me that this was basically the first time Conner had taken initiative to try and make Trever happy without us having to point it out or ask him to help.
It was making Trever so happy to. Sim and I (we were sitting across the room from each other) exchange a knowing look of “this is more important then reading the last two verses of the page of scripture we were trying to finish.” Conner was actually laughing and engaged with playing with his baby brother and it was making the whole family smile and happy. Of course Thatcher and Charlotte wanted to get in on the action and Conner was nervous when Thatcher wanted a turn with Trever, he didn’t think he was strong enough, so he went and got pillows to put under him. It was really sweet and made my mommy heart so happy.
And now everyone is asleep and Dad went to b-ball so here I am alone with my thoughts and a computer screen.
I’m feeling pretty nervous about finally opening up to what’s been causing me some serious inner turmoil the last few weeks/months. A lot of what I’ve been going through and feeling is really personal and it’s a scary thing to put it out there. I think I feel extra nervous about it because I’m pretty sure the only people who read these Thursday Night Posts are my family members and friends and I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer…
So I’ve put off talking about it for a few weeks, but everything seems to have come to a head this week with a really scary panic attack two nights ago and I think it is time that I owned up to what has been making me feel like I might lose my mind.
So, here is the thing about blogs. THEY.TAKE.ALOT.OF.WORK. We’re talking hours and hours and hours…if you want it to be successful that is.
There’s always something more you could be doing. Always.
Always, Always, Always.
I started Real Life Dinner because I had an experience that made me feel like “this” is what God wanted me to do. That “The Blog” would be a way that I could bless my family and bless others.
From the get go I knew that if I ever started making any money off of the blog I wanted to use part of it to help young people who had a desire to serve as missionaries for my church, but because of lack of funds, would not be able to afford to go on a mission.
It costs $400.00 a month to support a missionary and there are many young people, especially in Third World Countries, who would never be able to afford to serve a mission without donations from other members of the church.
I served as a missionary for my church for 18 months in Sacramento California and it was an experience of epic proportions. Amazing, hard, fulfilling, exhausting, soul-stretching, self-reflecting, heart-breaking, testimony building, and just an overall incredible experience.
Because I had reassuring feelings that this (the blog and helping missionaries) is what God wanted me to do, I had faith that He would make me capable of everything I needed to do and know in order to run a blog. I was really hoping it also meant that He would make it easy for me.
Not so much.
Have you seen that quote going around Facebook, “Faith can move mountains, but don’t be surprised when God hands you a shovel.”
That basically sums up my life.
This experience of starting a blog and trying to grow it has stretched me in ways I could never have anticipated.
The fact that I am tech-illiterate hasn’t really helped matters. There have been days that I have literally had to scream into a pillow to keep from pulling my hair out. Things that take me two weeks to figure out most likely take the average blogger about 20 minutes to figure out. Seriously I’m that amazing!
It’s basically a miracle that I’ve even gotten the blog to this point. When I stop and think about that, I can definitely see that God has had His hand in everything so far. But it’s hard to keep that perspective when I start feeling like I’m drowning and will never be able to have time or make time to do all the things that need to be done to grow a blog.
My competitive nature drew me into becoming part of a bunch of Food Blogger Facebook Groups In hopes that I could learn more of what I can do to grow the blog.
Well, I have learned a lot of what I could be doing to grow the blog, but instead of moving me to action, it has overwhelmed me to the point that I don’t even know where to start so I just sit and stare at the screen and do nothing because it’s all too overwhelming.
All of the people in the groups seem so confident and know what they are doing and have all these awesome things they’ve figured out that help them grow their Pinterest following or get more ‘shares’ on Facebook. I want those things too, but most of the time what they are saying either goes over my head or takes a huge chunk of time that I just can’t cut out of my crazy life.
Over the last few weeks, the feelings of overwhelmment (I’m making that a word) have gotten so bad I literally have almost become paralyzed when it comes to blog stuff. I’ve even lost my appetite (which is what drives me to create new recipes) and that has literally never happened to me before. It scares me.
I know I need to start doing videos, I know I need to pin more and make more posts on my other social media pages, I know I need to title my posts better so they have better SEO ranking, I know I need a better camera and better lenses to take better pictures so people will be more likely to pin my images, I know I need to go back through all my old post and take better pics and go through them to make sure they are SEO optimized. I know I need to focus on newsletters (something I have never even done yet, because…guess what? I can’t figure it out.) I know I need to finish writing my e-book…the list goes on and on.
Thinking about all of these things I know I need to do, that I see all the other bloggers in my groups doing, is not good for me.
It all came to a head the other night and I realized how completely overwhelmed I am by it all when I was talking to my husband and started having a full on panic attack. It scared me so bad. For the last two days since I still feel an unnatural amount of anxiety and like I could slip back into that panic attack at any moment…not a good feeling.
After lots of self-reflection and prayer today I have realized/decided that this is not what God wants me to be feeling. I am a competitive person and I will always feel like I need to keep up with those I see running ahead of me. It can be a good thing sometimes, but right now it’s definitely not.
I’ve decided to cut out almost all of the blogging groups I’m a part of so that my Facebook feed will not be flashing “Why aren’t doing that” or “hey, you should do that too” signs in my face all day long.
When I started the blog, I loved everything about it. It was fun! I want it to be fun again and I know that for the competitive spirit in me that means that I need to take a step back, a huge step, from caring about what anyone else is doing and go back to doing what works for me, even if it’s not the most effective way to grow a blog. I have faith that this little blog will grow with the effort I am able to give, if it is meant to be.
It feels good to have made this decision….It seems so clear now. Why was I being such a basket-case about it. Ahhh, life!
Thanks for listening and thanks for being my extra special supporters who actually read these Thursday Night Posts.
I love you guys!
Keep it Real!