What Is REAL?

mimi 2

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a really long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." The Velveteen Rabbit is an ache-y book for me. I haven't read it in years and this morning felt a stirring to dig it out of the still-unpacked box of books in the boys' room … Read More

Take It Easy–You’re a Normal Mom.

normal mom

Is this normal? That's a question we ask each other a lot as Moms. Ex: My kid just drank from the toilet. Is that normal? Yes. (But not a great idea.) Or, My kids want to eat three breakfasts. Is this normal? Yes. (But expensive.) And maybe, especially, this question: Sometimes I don't ENJOY being a mom. Is this normal? I posted this question on my Facebook page yesterday and received and overwhelming and very encouraging YES. Yes, it IS normal. Check out HOW normal: the post reached almost … Read More

How to Use Google Analytics to Better Your Blog

How to use google analytics and how to know when to stop.

Let me confess something up front: I don't like analytics. I try to avoid Google Analytics whenever possible unless I need to report stats for a sponsor. Everything about it overwhelms (and, depending on the month, depresses) me. So I really can't teach you anything about Analytics. I don't know enough myself. What I can do is help you understand what to do with them and give some resources to start. I'm also going to encourage you to STOP looking at analytics and stats. Keep reading to find out … Read More

Where (and Why) to Guest Post

You may not realize the value in guest posting if you think blogging is ONLY about pageviews.

  We have talked all month about growing your blog (and are about to talk about measuring & responding to that growth). In thinking of pageviews and growth, WHY would you want to post your amazing content on someone else's site? So.Many. Reasons. But I will give you five reasons to guest post and then some tips on how to snag them and where to post. Five Reasons to Guest Post 1. Reach a New Audience. This one is pretty obvious. You will be hitting a demographic that you aren't … Read More

Mom, the Tooth Fairy Is YOU

tooth fairy letter

Warning: This post is about the Tooth Fairy and may contain spoiler alerts. Such as: the Tooth Fairy is not real. Oh, shoot! I may have just spoiled it. If you thought the Tooth Fairy was real and are now devastated, you can head over to this support group. For those of you still reading, I'd love to know how you handle the tooth fairy with your kids. This week, my oldest child lost his very first tooth. I felt like there should be a medal awarded, or perhaps a glass of consolatory wine since … Read More

How to Create an Email List

how to create an email list

You probably thought that I forgot all about email lists after I asked you to subscribe to some earlier this month. But actually, I wanted to give you some time to actually GET those emails so you might be thinking about what you like/don't like about them as you think about your own email list. Today we are going to look at how to create an email list. Even if you already have one, I hope these tips will help you optimize what you have and I will share links all about the different services you … Read More

Schedule Your Shares

small steps day 26

We are in the home stretch of our 31 Small Steps to Grow Your Blog! Today I want to talk a little about HOW to share your posts. Or how to make sure you don't FORGET to share your posts. It's a lot of work to write a blog, edit photos, answer comments, and all the other things. Sometimes it's hard to share your own content enough or in the right ways/times to optimize exposure. Today, we are talking all about scheduling. Maybe you already use schedulers, maybe you don't. I'd love to hear … Read More

Love Yourself, Link Yourself.

small steps 25

I am tired, y'all. I think I said this same thing yesterday, but 31 days of straight blogging (while blogging other content and having Large Family Things) has worn me thin. At the same time, I feel like I have learned along the way and I LOVE hearing how you guys are following along with this series. So thanks for all the comments and tweets and emails and Facebook conversations about this. I get all nerdy about blogging sometimes. Okay, ALL the time. NERD ALERT! Remember, I went to Nature … Read More

Tender Feet and Freshly Mown Grass

feet

My feet have grown soft from misuse. Not so long ago they were worn rough and calloused, signs of feet that MOVE. Signs of barefoot walking and derby skating. Signs of connection: heel to earth, toes to dirt. My boys run over gravel without a thought. They are unflinching barefoot runners, used to the scoldings of strangers, "Where are your shoes?!" Now I pick my way over the driveway to the car, sensitive to every twig and acorn husk. There is little grace in my barefoot step. I am unsure … Read More

Grow Local Roots

small steps day 24

Anyone tired of growing their blog yet? This month has been energizing and also kind of exhausting for me. Even though these steps are supposed to be small, thirty one is a LOT. Yawn. Today's task is (hopefully) a very small one to give you a little break after tackling the giant beast that is SEO yesterday. Unless you are blogging literally in the middle of nowhere, you might be surprised to find a blogging group in your state or region. Houston is a giant city, so I'm lucky to have a … Read More

Should Christians Mourn?

A biblical perspective on grief and a take on the question: should christians mourn?

It is a strange thing indeed to grieve corporately. I have written about this before with regards to 9/11, but now that Rob's family is grieving corporately in a more intimate setting, I experiencing this in new ways. The other day I flitted in and out of the kitchen while there was a patio discussion (with cigars and wine) about Lynn's funeral. There were some tears, as expected, but also laughter and hope. Because of Lynn's faith, the sadness shores right up alongside the joy sometimes. Which … Read More