Me, bragging but not bragging

The whole blogging thing really puts me in a weird position because the basic idea is that I show people my life. The very idea is egotistical. Like most women I want to show you my life and impress you. But I also don’t want to be one of those people who is obnoxious with this perfect veneer who makes you feel super depressed about your own life. It’s been a real quandry for me.

There are a few blogs that cause me to dry heave with their perfection. There is no mention of husband/wife tension, super messy closets, the dog who keeps pooping on the living room carpet, crappy dinners involving ramen and paper dishes and a mantel that is not decorated cutely. I like to keep it more real. My husband drives me crazy a lot, 50% of our closets are scary (especially the master closet! What a total nightmare. It’s the dumping ground for everything we don’t want people to see.), our dog occassionally poops on the stairs (!?!), and I have been known to feed my kids really sad dinners. Last Sunday I completely forgot to even make dinner (we’d been grazing all day) so I just gave the kids string cheese and put them in bed (there was some teeth-brushing as well, so don’t go calling the bad-Mom cops just yet) and my mantel has the same candlesticks it always has. The only Christmasification I’ve done is to add stockings. Big whoop. I also haven’t developed a super cute way to display my Christmas cards. Instead they are scattered in various piles around my kitchen which is in massive disarray. (Athough there are also no pictures anywhere on my blog showing me not looking gorgeous. I’m pretty vain, so there never will be either.

This is my problem: how real do I make my life for you readers? I think anyone who knows me in real life can attest to this blog being pretty true. There is definite editing, though. If take a picture of my kids I shove the basketful of unfolded laundry out of the background. And if I snap a picture of something, I do wipe the dust off of the table first. I don’t want to humiliate myself, after all (although I usually just dust that one little spot where I’m taking the picture).

But I am good at things. I’m not a one-trick pony. I can bake and cook and sew and craft and paint and refinish and write and knit and do nice makeup and make soap and play the harp. And I have six kids on top of it all. I would like to brag about those things. But I don’t want to be

that blog

The one you hate but you read anyway because you just can’t help it. I’m not that blog, right?

It’s a good thing I don’t care more about photography because then you’d really see it all. Half the time I just don’t feel like taking pictures of the stuff I’ve done and I still don’t get f-stops and white balance anyway. The other half of the time I think of all the time it takes to do the picture, edit/resize it, upload it then put it on the blog. BOOOORING. No self-respecting blogger is going to post bad pictures, though, so instead I just skip it altogether.

Let’s talk about the last two weeks. Much busier than normal. I managed to

–Sew four skirts for me and my three daughters.

(People, learn to sew! Aside from cooking, it will make the most difference in your life.) Then we got our pictures done and I spent a while photoshopping our bags and shadows and swapping York’s head because the boy is incapable of smiling. What is it with teenage boys?

–Make 30 bars of soap. And I didn’t take a picture of a single one.

–Bake about 6 dozen cookies for various parties and such. Which isn’t really that many when you think about it.

–Spent several hours cutting out snowflakes which has to be one of the most relaxing, zen things I’ve ever done. Those I did take a picture of.

There’s about a zillion tutorials out there so I’m not going to do one. Here’s a tut that I like that has lots of details. This site is also super cool because you can cut out virtual snowflakes and see what they look like. It’s handy when you’re trying to wrap your mind around design concepts. It’s also guaranteed to occupy your kids for quite a while. The important thing to understand about snowflake-making is that most of the paper is going to be cut away. You will end up with really weird things that look like this before they are unfolded.

Oh, and use some nice sharp scissors. After I took these pictures I used my 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby and got some super sharp and pointy little scissors. My latest snowflakes have been way more detailed.

–Made several jars of foot creme. It’s really thick and moisturizing. It was a real S.O.B. to make but I think the creme will be great to put on rough body parts. These will mostly be for gifts. Also for gifts?

–20 tubes of lip salve. I need to do labels today. So not in the mood but I need to get this stuff mailed out pronto.

–Supervise the annual “making of the Gingerbread houses”. One of my least favorite parts of motherhood.

–Later today I will also be making some body lotion. The place where I get my supplies is seriously backordered which means I’ll have to craft lotion from the things I already have. Could be a little iffy. Again, it will require more label-making. Ugh.

So you see I have been a busy little beaver. I could turn each of these activities into a gorgeous blog post. Part of me thinks I should do that because if some people hate it they can just not read my blog any more. I need to step it up and be a big girl blogger. I am a force to be reckoned with, you know. But part of me thinks it’s obnoxious and braggy and it is a lot of extra work (is that wisdom talking or just laziness?)

Between all my craftiness and mothering I will just have my little existential crisis about the dichotomy of blogging over here in the corner.

14 thoughts on “Me, bragging but not bragging

  1. I love you and I love this post.

    You are not one of those braggy blogs. I call them catalog blogs. They look like everyone lives the life of a calalog. I can only handle so much of them.

    I'm glad to know that while I'm busy crafting like crazy this last week before Christmas, you will be too.

  2. Nice snowflakes! My mom always makes amazing ones too, and we laugh at the contrast between hers and the rest of ours (we have huge windows, so we cut hundreds of them).

  3. "There are also no pictures anywhere on my blog showing me not looking gorgeous. I'm pretty vain, so there never will be either."

    THAT is why I read your blog, the wit and the honesty.

  4. I'm sure some blogs, maybe many blogs, are unreal. But then again, perhaps some just focus on different things. For example, a recovering cancer patient is probably going to focus on the positive because they know what it's like to face death. I believe whatever we focus on, grows.

  5. I like what Stephanie said.

    This post is why I read your blog. Reality is beautiful.

    And BTW, do yourself a favor and unsubscribe from those blogs who are written by people under the illusion that we can't see through them. You will feel cleansed.

  6. I also don't like the blogs that are ALL snark. It's such a tricky balance.

    I would love to see the outcomes of all your projects, but I agree that documenting stuff can take nearly as long as the original project, and just isn't worth it sometimes.

  7. I should either be working on Christmas projects or sleeping, but instead I'm going to answer your Christmas survey:

    have more than one Christmas tree?

    My family always had two but we have one. My oldest daughter and I always disagree about which kind to get so we've started taking turns choosing the tree. My year it's always a fragile one with lots of open space.

    put mostly presents in the kids' stockings or mostly candy?

    Sometimes presents. This year candy only, except I might put the kids' new slippers in the stockings (which is funny). And we've always had an apple, an orange, and some nuts, and this year I've decided to forgo all that for the same reason you gave.

    give Santa credit for the most awesome present your child receives or do you bask in the glory?

    Santa gets quite a bit of the credit but I get some too.

    have your big dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

    We often have a dinner with family sometime in the week near Christmas but not on Christmas Eve or day. My mom does a smorgasbord on Christmas and we feast on Irish cheese and pickled herring and smoked salmon and it's the best I eat all year.

    give your children Christmas pajamas?

    I love the idea but have never gotten it together.

    open any presents on Christmas Eve?

    I forgot about that tradition. Sometimes we've done that.

    give money to the Salvation Army bell-ringers?

    Yes.

    make children take turns opening presents or is it a big free-for-all?

    Turns.

    go to church at Christmas if it's not normally something you do?

    Always church. I actually like it when Christmas is on a Sunday because we all get to go home right after Sacrament Meeting, and the talks are so good and everyone's so merry.

    feel relieved when Christmas is over?

    I SHOULD feel relieved since Christmas prep is always so intimidating to me, but instead what usually happens is that I finally catch the Christmas spirit ON Christmas and have all these great ideas for things to make and do and cook and bake, but it's too late.

    I guess sometimes that works out, though–this year my kids' biggest gift is something I wanted to do last year but ran out of time, so this fall I actually remembered in time to make it happen. I wanted Dean to help me build a play kitchen, but in the end I found a commercial one I liked, but it only came in pink, so right now Dean is painting it red (to be more like the crazy-expensive but very cute Pottery Barn one).

    Merry Christmas! 🙂

  8. I love your blog – a good mix of that you are very awesome and a good mix of just life – the good/bad/ugly/real. I wouldn't come here if I didn't.

    I am totally trying those snowflakes but I am not making soap or lipgloss or any of that other stuff.

    xoxo,t

  9. Nothing is more daunting to me than having to take really nice-looking, well framed and lit, artsitic pictures of my endeavors for my blog. I'm with you–sometimes I just skip pictures all together.

  10. I love your blog. Funny, real, educational, etc. Keep it up! You can't hide what you are- a super-talented individual. So don't feel like you have to "tone-it-down" for the rest of us.

  11. I love your blog too!! You are probably my favorite to read, no joke! I laugh every time I come here, and I love your six kids… Yes, I have to mention six kids in every comment of mine. And I have no idea how you do it all. I'm assuming things get easier when they can feed themselves?

  12. I love your blog, the funny thing is, when you say you have messy closets, I of course assume you are exaggerating. Same with you laundry, not the dog pooping on the stairs though, that one I totally believe. I've never felt your blog was braggy. You're honest and funny and heartfelt. You are good at many things, and we love to glean from that.

    Heck, if I were good at anything I would put it on my blog too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *