Embracing my blog as a gift for my children, and prompting others to do the same

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This weekend I was up in a manic state after having a huge light bulb go off in my head. Or as my girl Oprah would say, my “AH HA moment”.BorgetMomandMe7cLately I’ve been so bogged down with all the transitions I dealt with at the middle to end of last year—Having a baby, maternity leave, returning to work, quitting my full-time job, building a house and moving, then starting a freelance career. Amidst all this my blog (understandably) got pushed to the back burner.

I was busy enjoying my family, learning new skills (if shopping and decorating via Pinterest count as skills) and adjusting to my new life.

I kept blogging but it didn’t quite feel the same. Somewhere along the line I was losing sight of my mission, the reason behind this blog, and even forgetting what in the world I used to blog about. How in the world did I keep up with this thing for five years?

Not only that but my thoughts that Big T is my last baby really make me feel as some kind of failure. I mean what kind of Baby Making Machine has two kids? Do I change the name of my blog, or become a surrogate?

I’ve had to check myself before I wrecked myself a few times here over the years. This is me doing that yet again.

In some ways I’m a professional blogger, but I felt like I was beginning to observe more than I was doing, and in that process, trying to conform and neglecting who I was as a blogger.

This weekend I had a refreshing visit from a fellow blogging friend, Sista Laurel from Sistas in Zion. We talked about their book coming out this spring, how much their blog has grown, and how they have such a fantastic specific focus. During our discussion my mind went through different ideas of directions I could take my blog, giving it a new feel and breath of fresh air, but none of these fleeting ideas seemed like something I’d be able to maintain. In order to do that I need to be passionate about the topic.

It wasn’t until she had mentioned being at a genealogy conference that it struck me. So obvious, it’s really unbelievable that I could have even forgotten…

BorgetMomandMe4cMy blog is a journal. As are most to some degree, right? Sure. But my initial mission with developing this space was to leave behind a history lesson (if you will) for my kids, and their kids, and their kids… You get the idea.

When my daughter grows up, gets married and starts thinking about wanting to have kids I can bet you she will be asking herself many of the same questions I asked myself when I was debating the decision. It’s one thing for me to give old, wise advice, but it’s another thing for her to read my panicked, wishy washy thoughts firsthand.

When my son grows up and looks for a woman he wants to marry, I hope he’ll consider the wisdom I’ve written in his love letters.

When my great-grandchildren learn about Loving Day, racism, and early(ish) interracial marriages, they’ll read my first-hand concerns and probably gawk at how crazy it sounds because things will have changed so much.

BorgetMomandMe19aSame with breastfeeding in public. “People use to find that offensive? Say what?”

That’s what they’ll be saying.

I’ve read stories of dying parents creating videos and letters for their children to have as they grow up. I don’t want to wait for some tragedy to put me into gear.

Could I just type all this up in a personal diary and leave it off the Internet? Sure. But where’s the fun in that? Besides, another purpose with this blog is to inspire others to do the same.

Start a blog, pick up your camera, record some video, write a love letter! You will be so glad you preserved your memories, your thoughts, your LIFE for your posterity to have.

“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.”― James Baldwin

I want my kids to know where they came from. Not just distant heritage wise, but literally… From ME. I want them to know who I am. My opinions, passions, even my favorite books and TV shows.

“I could die tomorrow!” My dad would always say to me when he was trying to give me a guilt trip for not keeping in touch. “You should call you dad!” He’d lecture.

I’d always roll my eyes at his remark but now I realize how true this statement is. I could die tomorrow. My son wouldn’t remember me. My daughter… Just barely. I’ll be damned if they don’t know they have a pretty cool mom who loves them immensely.

So here I am. Back on the wagon for real this time. With a reinvigorated vision, passion, and purpose for this space.

What you’ll continue to see from me:
Photos (duh)
He says/ She says
Love letters
General diary entries/ personal stories from my perspective

What you’ll be seeing more of + what’s new from me:
Video diaries
Visual storytelling tutorials (requests welcome!)
Specific dates, and record-keeping tactics
Daily Instagrams
She says/ She says (introducing my daughter)
Writing and video prompts
Memory-preserving tips

Of course other random domestic diva tutorials, challenges, and rambles will make it in here because it’s all about the hodge podge. I’ll never be an expert fashion, cooking or DIY blogger though. What you’ll get is an experienced documentarian blogger. I want to put my journalism, storytelling, photography and video production skills to use to make a remarkable gift for my children.

I want my kids and their kids to have more than a locket to remember me by. I want them to know who they came from, know me, and in turn, have confidence in learning and knowing themselves.

And I want to inspire you to do the same.

You feel me?

Photos by the amazing Rebecca Loren Photography

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  1. Can I just say, I was inspired by your blog to start bloging! I’ve fallen of the bandwagon, temporarily, but I will certainely be getting back into it…and book mark this post as a reminder….lest I forget again. Kids are still a couple of years away, but I’m sure they would enjoy even these memories before they were a part of our daily lives.

    Thanks, and keep it up.

  2. Can I start off by saying how gorgeous those photos are??

    I figure I’ll just keep reading the blog no matter what you do. Lol! I just love your writing voice and always enjoy your posts, so you do your thing, and I’ll just keep reading. Sometimes you have to stop and readjust your blog, and generally I have found with my own, and others, that the readjustment is almost always for the better.

    And I can’t wait for the she said/she said posts! It sounds so cute!

    1. Thank you! I love love photographs but don’t get in them enough. These were very special to me.

      I agree with you, readjustments are usually for the better! Thank you so much for your continued support!

  3. You have basically summed up, so eloquently might I add, why I starting blogging a little over six months ago. I, too, wanted to document my family’s life so that my children would have something to refer back to in life while inspiring other mothers and/or fathers to do the same. You were definitely an inspiration when I made my decision to do so. I was so inspired by your 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series that I launched my own blog, Six Little Osos, with a similar version of it last summer. I also wanted to live life purposefully and blogging helps me to do so. Maintaining a blog is definitely no joke though, so I applaud you for having done so for so long. I write all this to say, thank you for reminding me of why I started in the first place and for inspiring me to continue on this journey. 🙂

  4. I feel ya! I started my blog as an extension to my hand-written journals I’ve kept since I was 7 years old and love digitally how it’s been able to transform. Love seeing how your blog continues to grow and change – you’re such an inspiration!

  5. I really want to do mommy and me photos now! Maybe I’ll treat myself for mother’s day.

    Weather you believe it or not- your blog has always been inspirational to me. Not matter how frequently (or infrequently) you post. I think your photo projects are thee best- I always keep photo project ideas in the back of my mind just in case we have number 2. I can’t sew but the dresses you used to do for Lil’ J makes me wish I knew how. I look forward to your tutorials!

    I’m glad you’ve recommitted yourself to this space- I’ll be here waiting with baited breathe. Ok, not exactly but you get my point 🙂

  6. My mom passed away from cancer when I was four years old. I had a stepmom soon after that so I didn’t remember my mom and didn’t miss her while growing up, but now that I have my own children, I miss her immensely. The saddest part is that I was the youngest of eight children so she was kid very busy kid raising other kids. I have no direct writings from her care about her time with me or anything we did together. The odds of this happening are very low so we shouldn’t all freak out about it, but I have a moleskin notebook for each of my children to write things to them throughout their lives so that they will always have something from me to show them how much I love them and about our relationship together since they were born. In many ways a blog is safer since it can’t burn more be ruined by a flood or get lost 🙂

  7. Wow, I was dictating this to Siri while my son was whining so ignore the crazy out of context sentences 🙂

  8. Hey Jennifer! Oh thanks so much for not giving up on your blog and allowing God to use your friend to inspire you to reinvent your passions and purposes to share your life to others via this amazing blog! Your blog is so inspiring to me and it’s funny because it’s like you are the one person that seems to know all of the creative ideas in my head except you are able to bring them forth through your blog. I want to desperately document all that I can for my now brand new family. I too want to leave a time capsule of amazing memories that they can look back on at anytime and thank God that He made us a family in the first place. You are my Internet she-hero. You have no idea how much your life has been a blessing to me and I’m so glad that my pregnancy journey lead to your blog. I love how down-to-earth you are and your Hugh value and esteem for family. I have enjoyed documenting our first son’s debut into the world. Everyone loved the pictures that I created and you don’t know this, but I always attributed the credit to you and referred them to your beautiful blog. I am most envious of your photography skills lol. Thank you so much for continuing to move forward with your blog and for deeply considering your family for it’s DNA. You are truly motivational and a extremely wonderful and oh so thoughtful wife and mother. Always remember God has uniquely made us to tell His story in every way that we can to be a light to others in a dark world. Sis your efforts through this blog have not at all been in vain. -Grace and peace to you;) Numbers 6:24-26

  9. Sounds fantastic! I love your blog. I definitely feel ya and you inspire me to do the same once my babies come along. 🙂

  10. I feel much the same. I started blogging over six years ago when I was early on in my first pregnancy. For the most part I wanted it to be an easy way for friends and family to check up on me during that time, but I quickly realized it was a great way to document things, record my thoughts, and remember all of the silly little details about the experience. When I looked at other blogs and saw them trail off after a handful of posts, I was always worried that mine would suffer the same fate, but now over six years and a second baby later, it’s still going strong. It’s got a bit less of the wide-eyed innocence these days since my older son has been dealing with some behavioral issues and the blog is my outlet, but I think it’s a great thing nonetheless. I reference it so much now that I have a second baby and I love looking back to see how far we’ve come. I’ve always thought that it would be a great thing for my kids to look back on someday, and it’s saddened me in recent months to realize that my older son may not have the interest in reading it someday. It’s pretty rare for so much of your life to be documented (for better or for worse, I suppose) and maybe all I’m doing is contributing to the “me-centered” culture that reality TV has spawned…but I really appreciate the fact that my blog exists anyway and will keep it up as long as I can. I’d hate to give my younger one the shaft with less of his life documented! Keep up the good work 🙂

  11. I am so excited! That is my absolute favorite part of your blog and MOST DEFINITELY something I am dying to learn. I can’t wait to see your tutorials! By the way, you are inspiring others because before we left to go let Dominic met his birth mom, I sat down and video taped a message to Dominic. I just wanted to record how I was feeling and that was totally because I saw your video love letters. I’m such a follower. 😉

  12. Love this! This is exactly what I have been doing with photos and stories (not so much videos, but I should) ever since my children were born. I love the idea of leaving them with the stories of our lives, because I really don’t have much of my family’s history. I’ve done some genealogy research but that doesn’t give us the stories and they are lost through the generations if they aren’t written down. I saw your 30 Things I want my Children to know prompts…I’ve been thinking about doing something like that for eons…I even have books for the grandparents to write down stories from their lives…but I think now is the time to do this! Thanks for putting it out there…it’s moving me along!

  13. I’ve been narrowing down my focus and I keep more weekly updates of our lives because I want my children to remember that we enjoy every little thing in life. Just like you I sometimes update what my daughter says. I’m getting more photos into my blog. I remember you once commented on my blog and you said that I wasn’t showing my daughter’s face, so much as changed on my blog since. I want to share more about my passion for photography.

    Hope you are doing well and you’ll stop by :).

  14. Lombard GSM w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim. W polskim ustępie oferujemy najrozmaitszy opcja telefonów komórkowych w interesujących opłatach. Proponujemy baterie, ładowarki, przewody, hartowne a strojne pokrowce a obudowy, ruchome pamięci, kreacyjną biżuterię do telefonów komórkowych.

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