Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stating the obvious

As the title of the post indicates, I've got something obvious to say...and I bet that you can guess what it is!  Yep, I've been M.I.A. from the blog for a long time.  (Again).  While such absences used to bother me, I've fallen into my groove of letting the blog be what it will be - here when I want it, and with (some of you) waiting for me while I'm gone.

The other part of the "stating the obvious" is a bad pun about - States!

Back in March of 2008, my (relatively) new boyfriend, Justin, was headed up to Cornell from Bucknell for an admitted students weekend.  I decided to ride along with him and spend the weekend with my Aunt Mary, Uncle Tom, and cousins Rachel, Jacob, and Sarah, who live between the two locations.  While Justin was up at Cornell, we somehow got the idea to trace the map of the United States on their then-unfinished drywall in the living room (they were in the middle of an expansion).  We don't remember exactly how this came about, but it was a combination of their interest in geography, the presence of a big blank wall, and the awesome fact that 9-year-old Sarah happened to own an overhead projector (her pretend schoolroom was the best ever).  Justin came back to pick me up and was amazed at our "free-hand" drawing skills.

The map lived on the wall for a while, then was painted over in primer and paint, but our "someday we should paint that" promises lingered.  So, a few weeks, ago, Anna and I went down for a visit and to paint the map.  The whole family was involved:

I should note that my photography skills have not improved at all during my blog absence.

Sarah's first blog appearance. (!)

From the time we first traced the map to painting it, Justin decided to attend Cornell (although he went to that initial visit assuming he wouldn't be going there), put 5 years into his studies, and went from my new boyfriend to fiance', husband, and father of our daughter!  If you could see the map in person though, I think you'd agree it was worth the wait.  Here's the best full picture I have of it (I had a better one from Sarah, but apparently deleted it accidentally).

My favorite part is how Hawaii curves over the outlet.  It makes me smile every time I look at it!  The whole things is going to look even more charming once they put their furniture back in the room.

So sometime during the course of painting (I think I was in the midwest - Missouri, perhaps?) we somehow started talking about the blog, and my aunt said that she has enjoyed reading it, and mentioned that she identified with some of the things I've said about keeping house, making a home, etc.  Something about this conversation really struck me.  She is someone who I respect and look up to for her ability to have a warm, welcoming home that has been a nest for three great kids and a place of respite for visitors (she's my mom's sister, after all - they've got the genetic pre-disposition to such awesomeness), and yet she's finding some encouragement in reading the things I've written.  I guess it boils down to the comfort that women find in knowing that others are in a similar situation - or the ability to say "me too" - even if it's just the frustration at never getting that last load of laundry put away (until the company comes).

Some of the back-story here is that part of my lack of posts recently have been that once the home renovations were "finished," I felt like I was stretching a bit to find things to write about (it felt a bit weird to share minute details about the house with the entire Internet, Justin and I aren't comfortable with having tons of information about Anna online, and it seemed that anything I wanted to write about keeping house or making a home wouldn't interest everyone, or - worse - come off as though I was a know-it-all).  However, comments like my Aunt Mary's and some others (again, from people I respect as having it together - both on the home-front and otherwise) about enjoying the things I wrote gave me some encouragement.  I certainly don't know it all (in fact, I'm solidly in the know-a-little category) about making our house a home or keeping it clean and comfortable.  But as I become more comfortable in my stay-at-home mom shoes and embrace this vocation, I'm reading more and learning more, and am becoming excited about sharing it.  Ultimately, I'm just writing about what is important to me.  I don't promise that what I'll write will be interesting to everyone.  Some of you may stick around just because you like me (but not necessarily the things I like), and others may share my interests in making a house a home and using the home as the tangible way of showing love for family.  I hope that from time to time the things I share will be helpful or encouraging, and that you have the opportunity to say "me too."


Although, as I mentioned above, I plan to keep the Anna information relatively light (due to our insecurities about an extensive online presence before she reaches the ripe old age of 2), I know that seeing her is what readers REALLY want.  This picture is just too cute to not oblige :)


So in addition to thanking my Aunt Mary for giving me the inspiration to pick up the pen keyboard again, I also want to thank my dear friend, Deanne, whose entrance to the blog-o-sphere gave me the final inspiration to finally write this "I'm back" post that's been floating around in my head for two weeks.  If you're interested in reading something much funnier and better written that what I've got to offer, check her out here:


  1. Welcome back! And thanks for the link, though I'm afraid you have falsely advertised my blog. It is neither funnier nor better written. (But I appreciate the compliment!)

  2. Love your posts Emily! Keep 'em coming! You are a bit better than me at keeping up on your blog hehe. BTW LOVE the map!