Last Days of Summer, and Thoughts on Blogging

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After a good long break from blogging (by far the longest I’ve taken in years), I’ve decided to continue creating and sharing through this space. I admit that I wavered significantly and daily, feeling torn between a desire for complete and total anonymity and privacy, to a strong desire to create — to share my thoughts and feelings through words, through photography, through the ups and downs of parenthood and life. Ultimately, the decision was an emotional one that came to me one lazy afternoon as a cool breeze flowed through our open living room windows while I teared up over past posts. They were posts from a couple of years ago that revealed the beauty and growth of my boys, the joy I found in growing our own food and feeding our friends and their children in addition to our own. They were the posts that documented the sweet and funny things my children say and think, things so fleeting and otherwise ordinary that they had completely left my memory until I re-read them. They were meaningful beyond measure to me, and I realized I am not yet ready to stop collecting them.

I know this way of documenting will come to an end someday, but I don’t want to regret not doing this for a little longer. I still enjoy this, I still find so much value in it.

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One of the reasons for my long break is hard to discuss, but necessary for me to express if I am to move on and represent myself accurately and wholly on this blog. It is a tricky and sensitive thing, to blog about my life. On more than a few occasions, people I know in my real life have become offended or taken issue with things I’ve posted. I’ve had one friend (with whom I’ve finally made amends) tell me flat out that this blog had ruined our friendship, and another who had taken certain posts to be messages directed toward her parenting (I assured her, and now you, that they were not, and never will be), and yet another expressed how hard it was to watch me form new friendships from afar and see the proof online. I have struggled with sharing this piece of the puzzle over the years because if the people I have offended or hurt are still reading, I do not want to hurt them or make them uncomfortable. But the air needs to be cleared, the truth be told. These details make blogging harder than they appear.

Blogging may look like one thing on your end, especially if you do not know me or interact with me in real life, but on my end, it looks like this: I’m sometimes left to pick up the pieces and smooth over drama that I’ve never intended to cause. I want to reiterate that what I share here is about me, about my family, about what I believe in, and has no underlying ill intentions serving to make you feel worse about yourself, your family, or what you believe in. There are many ways to live well, many good things in which to believe, and I strongly feel that we mothers and fathers should trust our intuition about what’s right for our families, regardless of what others may or may not be doing.

But the extra drama and misunderstandings beg the question; is it worth it?

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In conjunction with that, and on the flip side, I have found so many mothers (and Earth mothers) from whom I draw inspiration and energy. They are people I have never met in real life, but exude beauty and purpose and love through their online presence; their thoughts, photography, and beliefs have rocked me to my core and have helped me solidify my own. That is my goal, too. I want to reach you, I want to inspire you. I want you to see the beauty in everyday things, even when the going gets rough.

As I tentatively start blogging again, these questions recirculate, constantly shifting my feelings and attitudes about having an online presence at all. But for now, I think the good outweighs the bad, the worthiness trumps the risk. When I remember why I have been doing this for so many years, the answer becomes clear. I love this. I am excited to be back, to be overflowing with ideas again.

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Thank you for all of your kind, encouraging comments, emails, and phone calls. Thank you  for being patient and understanding while I figured this whole thing out. Though I decided to completely break away for that time, not responding to comments, I come back overwhelmed by the love you’ve shown me and excited to reconnect.

I’m back. We’re back*. With love, not judgement.

*Thank you a million times over to Andrew, who worked so hard to update and redesign this space. I am so proud of this man, and so lucky to have him! 

54 thoughts on “Last Days of Summer, and Thoughts on Blogging”
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    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry to worry you! Thank you, Lilly- I missed you too. And I just hopped over to your blog and owe you a big congratulations! So happy for you and your family!

  1. Three minutes ago I mentioned to my husband how much I missed you blogging whilst opening feedly…and here you are! Welcome back! I am so grateful for your sharing your thoughts and life, to whatever extent feels comfortable and right for you. We overlap on some of our parenting philosophy and some we don’t. It’s just different circumstances. Really it’s your care and thoughtfulness in your decisions that I find inspiring in staying true to my own. Really thrilled you have decided to create in this format again. Best to your whole family!

  2. It looks like the boys have grown years since your last post! Wow! Such handsome guys. And I love the new redesign. Great job Andrew! Welcome back!

    1. The ochre colored pants with faces on them are from a company called Tiny Cottons — Oliver is wearing the fleece sweatpant version, but they are also available in leggings. You can find them here:

      http://ladida.com/brand/Tiny-Cottons/

      or here:

      http://milkbots.com/collections/tiny-cottons/products/tiny-cottons-faces-fleece-sweatpant

      Milo is wearing the bird print pants from Moi. They run large (he is wearing a size 5/6!) and are thinner:

      http://www.thumbeline.com/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?manufacturer%5B%5D=228

  3. Do what fills you up! What makes you feel good. You are such an intelligent and intuitive person–you write from your heart and with common sense. If we spent our lives always moderating everything that we said and did, thinking about the million different ways we could come across, we’d become shells of ourselves. I’m always excited to see what you write, even if I rarely comment 😉 Sending lots of love to you all and the boys.

  4. I’ve checked back every few days and just audibly gasped when I saw you’d returned. Such great news! It is a treat and an inspiration to have a window into the beautiful life you’ve created.

  5. Yeah, boy-eeeeeeee!!!! Happy to see your return. I got rid of all but Instagram because I felt like everything else was too much of a distraction for me. I enjoy your photos, style, and wit! I hope this is a good space for you moving foward. xo

  6. Woohoo!!! So thrilled to see a new post pop up. Selfishly, mainly, but I’m also relieved to hear that you’re all healthy and enjoying life. I also have to thank you again for all the inspiration for enjoying a summer in St. Louis. We’re gone now but spent many fantastic days exploring every nook and cranny at MOBOT and elsewhere.

  7. Welcome back! I have been randomly typing “Crumbbums” into my search engine over the course of the summer to see if you would return. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you have continued to blog. We live in different countries and are unlikely ever to meet in person, we parent in very different ways and we most probably have very different opinions on all manner of things however I really enjoy viewing the world from your perspective and it often gives me food for thought on mine. I could also do with some lessons on how to write a shorter sentence and this is why I read blogs rather than write them! So glad you’re back. Photos of the children look wonderful as always. Much love. Lx

  8. I have missed your voice. I’m so glad you have decided to continue blogging. I look forward to your insights and photos. We are quite different, but I appreciate your thoughtful perspective on life, motherhood, family, and friends.

  9. So glad you are back at it Lauren. I feel like, knowing you from years ago, you have changed and grown tremendously and yet stayed the same in so many ways. But, isn’t that life? We change and evolve our ideas of ourselves, constantly evaluating and deciding and then redeciding? Drama and chaos are part of life, but ultimately you have to make decisions for you. Some are right and you know it to your core, some are a version of something else, but that’s what reflecting is for. No one is perfect, but you have created a space and a place for people to feel like we are not alone and allow us to reflect and smile and grow! I love your blog and I miss you! You have a gift and I am so glad you are back to sharing it! Plus, I love watching your kids grow up! Sending you love!

  10. Welcome back, Lauren! Great to see you and the kids again. And I agree with Cat – you have to be yourself and express yourself and hopefully you’re friends will understand that.

  11. I can understand why you needed to give this thought; it really makes sense. But happy you are back! I think your blog is beautiful!

  12. So happy to see you are blogging again. As a reader, cook, educator, mom to two young boys, and St. Louis fan (moved last year after eight years there!), I gain insight into lots of topics from your great writing and beautiful photos. Seeing others create can be so inspiring and a good reminder to do what makes us feel fulfilled. Welcome back!

  13. I’m so glad you’re back. I had only just recently found your blog and have found it so inspirational. I don’t know how to explain it, but your blog is particularly refreshing and inspirational when it comes to child rearing, style, life… the whole thing. Thank you, and welcome back!

  14. So happy to “see” you again Lauren! It’s refreshing and comforting to see your words and your thoughts and your pictures. Welcome back! (And great re-design Andrew!)

  15. What a great surprise! Having checked back every week over the summer, always hoping for your return, it was actually through Hither&Thither that I only just found out you’re back. How nice to see that everything is connected. I missed your honest writing, beautiful pictures and lovely ideas. Thank you also for telling us the reasons behind your break from blogging. I so look forward to reading more from you. All the best to you and your family!

  16. Lauren!! I don’t comment often, but I’ve been a loyal readers since I stumbled on this post: http://www.crumbbums.com/?p=8620. My son is between the ages of your Oliver and Emil, and also attends a Montessori school. Anyway, I just wanted to join the chorus welcoming you back. It’s great to “see” you again!

  17. Don’t you find it dangerous and reckless to allow your kids to run around without shoes on or climb on high structures? Shoes, socks, and safety were always emphasized when I was growing up.

    1. Oh, “Joe,” we’re so glad you’re home safe and sound. I don’t think you realize how we are all on pins and needles till we know you are…

      And yes, I think I’ve heard some stories about these things you emphasize… 🙂

  18. Decided to check in and was ecstatic that you are back!
    My son may be a teenager but reading your posts not only reminds me of when he was younger but that no matter what age our children are, they need our love and support.
    Listen to that inner voice and trust your instincts.
    I too agree with what Cat said.
    Love your redesigned blog… Kudos to Andrew.

  19. So happy I get to continue following you on here, Lauren. I echo what everyone else has said—including about the lovely redesign. I often struggle to figure out my own goals for blogging, and I can really understand the need for more reflection. xo

  20. Such a treat to visit your blog this morning and see that you have started blogging again! I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to navigate the real life situations that you have shared. All I can say is how much I appreciate this beautiful space you have created. Thank you for your honesty and sharing so much with this online community. Welcome back!

  21. I’m so glad you are back blogging and that you and your family are well. I don’t know you, but it crossed my mind that maybe something happened. I’m so glad that it was not a lapse due to a real family crisis. Not being a blogger, I would never guess that there would be any drama, especially associated with your posts. To me, you just present your life and style of doing things in a completely nonjudgemental way. You just seem to have a “light touch” all around and seem like a genuinely kind, caring person. I have to admit I also like to check out your style posts and marvel at how stylish and pulled together you always are for a mom of three kids. I would love to see a post on your morning routine and any health and wellness rituals you have. You always look radiant and content. I also love your book recommendations. Best wishes to you from Brooklyn!

    1. I’m sorry to have worried you! And thank you so much for your kind words about my writing. I will work on a post about my morning routine. Thank you for stopping by!

  22. On a whim, I couldn’t tell you how, I remembered to check your space. It’s too few and too far between, these checks. The pictures and the BIGNESS have me tearing up in my office. Milo the Leaper reading on a park bench, just like my Bean in her tree. I still treasure and value your friendship, though long separated. Those times were special to all of us.

    That being said, as a lapsed-but-not-giving-up writer/blogger, I hear you. These spaces can be scary and crazy and yet so incredibly valuable to their people. Keep writing and creating and speaking and picture taking and sharing. xo

    1. Allison, you brought tears to my eyes with your comment! I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you still check in. Those times were very special, weren’t they? I will always remember them fondly. Thank you for the encouragement, and give your lovely girl a big hello from all of us!

  23. Yay! I’m am so very glad to see (and read) the news: you’re back. Warmest welcome to you! As a mother of two littles, I’ve always appreciated and found connection in your authentic voice. There are only a few blogs I really look forward to reading and yours has always been at the top the list. May we all be courageous enough to allow others their voice. Thank you for sharing and may we all as women, as mothers, lift each other up and celebrate one another. This life is too short not to! xx

  24. Oh Lauren, I am so glad you are back! I have drawn so much inspiration and insight from reading your blog over the years. I pop in less these days, but when I do, my heart is filled with all good things. I love and appreciate you from afar, and hope one day our paths might cross in real life. Until then, I will keep eagerly reading your honest, heartfelt words. xx

  25. I have been surprised and delighted each time a new post of yours has popped up in my feed since you’ve been back. Thank you for coming back to your blog – it is really wonderful to enjoy your words and photos again!
    My family and I had a lovely trip to St Louis this summer. We loved the City Museum and the Science Center and we enjoyed a yummy dinner at Bailey’s Range. Thanks so much for the recommendations – we are looking forward to a return trip!

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