I have been meaning to tell you something: I got a job. I'm like, a business woman now, y'all. Clearly this makes me eligible for business woman specials:
I didn't plan to get a job as homeschooling and napping and drinking La Croix in the suburbs takes up such a large portion of my life these days, but this past summer I met Karen Stubbs, the woman behind the Birds on a Wire ministry, and I, along with my friend Katie, offered to help her run her social media during her annual conference in exchange for free tickets. You know how much I like the bartering system and you know I love a good ladies' conference.
Let me tell you: I had SO. MUCH. FUN. It felt good to create content for another person and run around like crazy trying to make good Instagram Stories for her much beloved event. It felt good to stretch the conference muscles I hadn't used at all in 2.5 years. It felt good using social media to promote content that wasn't MINE and was, instead, a ministry that I love and support. When the conference was over, I was abuzz with creative energy again. It put wind in my sails.
So afterward, Katie and I asked her if she'd like to hire us (we are ballsy like that). We quickly formed a digital content and social media consulting company called Canary Cardinal, and much to our delight, Birds on a Wire became our very first client!
I am cracking up! I HAVE A JOB! I OWN A BUSINESS! I AM A BUSINESS WOMAN!
This job is great. It takes up more hours than I care to admit but I am learning so much, and my boss is incredibly gracious as I'm flying by the seat of my pants most days. I get to go on tour with her in the spring (Houston, Cincinnati, and Peoria I'm coming at you!), and I'm just really, really happy to have an outlet for my creativity and very specialized skill set.
What's funny is that when I first officially started working for BOAW at the beginning of this month, I thought that it would, effectively and once and for all, kill this blog-- that I wouldn't have enough hours in the day to consider doing both her work and my own hobbies, but I've found that, for me, creativity begats creativity. I get to run the social media strategy for my client, but at the same time I'm learning so much on the job about this weird world that it's firming up what I do and do not like about blogging and podcasting and Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest and all that. I actually feel so fueled that I want to put energy toward my own personal projects now. Isn't that curious?
That said, I'm not making any official announcements or anything, but I do want to be able to write here freely (I refuse to believe the "good 'ole days" of off the cuff blogging are dead). Instead of this being a lifestyle blog, I'd like this to be a very casual online journal of sorts where I do write about work and my family and clothes (duh!). However, (and this is the new news) I am finally inspired to start a very niche blog in a new realm, an idea I've started and stopped annually for literally five years now. I have two projects that I refer to as my opuses (But, ugh, let's never use "opus" in plural again; that was weird.). It's nearly time to light at least one of them on fire. I'm not getting any younger, you know.
I think 2018 will look very different than my 2017. And for that, I'm grateful.
So you may notice that this post looks a little different than it did originally and that's because I deleted it and the subsequent Instagram and FB posts that went along with it.
You know, I like to think that I’m pretty wise when it comes to what I post about my kids online. I share my challenges in motherhood, I share the funny things, and I share what's happened to us and what we are doing. I had not yet shared my kids' Big Feelings and things they pour out to me from their heart in private, in the very safe spot I wrote about having for them. I confess I’m still navigating what writing about my children looks like as they get older. I don’t have it figured out, this balance of what to share and what not to share. But my children's confessions are their own, and they are not for public consumption. I made a huge misstep today. By writing about something one of my children told me in confidence, I suddenly made the safe conversation spot unsafe for them for the future. I’m figuring out motherhood as I go but because I do write about my family, I need to be more cognizant of what’s precious for JUST us versus what’s okay to share among this wonderful and weird community we have together on social media. Most days I’m winging motherhood (can’t you tell?) and lots of times I make mistakes. This one is one that I can, thankfully, correct.
I stand by what I write and what I originally posted was thoughtful and had the purpose of sharing wisdom with my mom tribe. I will figure out how to say what I want to say in a way that respects the privacy of my children and walks this very fine line well.
SOME THOUGHTS FROM CHRIS:
As we create massive amounts of data on the internet, we should consider the future. The internet doesn't forget [examples: first tweet, fb timelines, archive.org, criminal mugshots]. When our children become the topic of conversation, we are creating for them an unrequested public record. How will they respond to this? We can't know, but we can make some educated guesses. How would I respond to knowing that my childhood crushes or private conversations with my parents were recorded for the world to see? A clue as to answer this, we can ask ourselves how we feel when reading in Luke 8: 16-17 that "nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light." While the immediate context of this is with respect to final judgment, consider what it means for anybody to have instant access to past conversations you've held in confidence. We should not confuse guilt with embarrassment, but we should be grateful that everything is not public.
Therefore, although Indiana's original post was a nice post, it could ultimately truncate the very thing for which it is appreciative: open and honest conversation between a child and parent. We are both amazed that our oldest child is now seven. Where has the time gone? I recently had a conversation with a fellow father friend of mine and remember him getting teary as he discussed having a child on the cusp of his teenage years. We should treasure these conversations. While our children are young, I hope that we can lay a foundation of trustworthiness for the future. In doing so so, we may still be able to to discuss the issues of life when they are far past young crushes.
To be clear, I am not saying we should censor ourselves to try to be friends with our children. Nor am I saying everything is off limits. For the former, we must acknowledge that our role is to protect and guide our children rather than to be chummy with them. For the latter, we must draw lines around what is fair game for public consumption and what should be held in confidence. In order to answer this, we should consider the original content and forum. This can't possibly cover all situations, but I believe this provides a good starting point for considering what to share.
One final consideration for OUR hearts as parents is to resist the temptation to view life as a series of tweetable / IG moments. I'm not a luddite. Far from it. In my work, I'm focused on helping companies adopt the latest networking technologies to advance and improve the world we live in. At the same time, I maintain a relatively low profile online out of a considered eccentricity. I spend considerable time thinking about the consequences of everything that we, as a society, are building. Melvin Kranzberg, a historian of technology wrote six laws of technology. The first is that technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral. As we continue to adopt new technologies, we should consider the legacy we are leaving for our children and future generations. As we use them, we should do so in the context of pursuing the summum bonum.
Hi! How was your 2017? Did you find that your future was so bright that you had to wear shades?
I mean, I had to wear shades, but that's mainly because my under eye area has been looking rough since insomnia is trying to become my BFF again. Ugh.
Want to know how my 2017 was? This is my blog, so you know I’m going to tell you anyway. In a word: Meh. I'm totally good with saying goodbye to 2017. I'm ready for a new year, but not because of new year’s resolutions or anything like that.
If we're connected on Instagram perhaps you saw my diatribe about my Old Year's Resolutions last Friday. If you missed it, don't you worry. I saved it for posterity's sake on my blog's Facebook page (That old thing? You still have that? ... YES.)
My new year's resolution at the top of this year was to THRIVE. I wanted to get better at everything, which, in retrospect, was a pretty big and pretty vague resolution.
I think a better approach for me is to complete smaller, specific, daily tasks-- tasks that help me reach a larger goal, but aren't as ambiguous and ambitious as "do everything better".
That means that my 2018 new year's resolution is not going to be to start blogging regularly again. Mainly because that's been a part of my NYR's every year for the last three years and I have failed that so spectacularly.
And instead of wasting a perfectly fine December, from here on out, I'm just going to do the best I can to complete one small daily task. Last Friday my task was to post to my blog's Facebook. I DID IT! And Saturday my goal was to take some photos with my real camera instead of my phone. I DID THAT, TOO! See?
And my goal for today was to log in to my long neglected blog and post an outfit photo. BAM:
Date: 3 Dec 2017 // Occassion: lunch date
Sweater: Madewell via Poshmark // Shades: Target // Pants: Texas Thrift // Shoes: Adidas via Poshmark
YOU GUYS! I AM OWNING DECEMBER! Also, I still own these pants! (Those old things? You still have those? ... YES.) The are old! I'll have to look to confirm, but I think they may be one of the oldest things in my closet. First of all, I've owned them since Jude was a baby and he is SEVEN YEARS OLD NOW. (Their first blog appearance is here in 2011). Secondly these pants are legit from the 80's. The fit is totally strange, like Black Mirror / San Junipero kind of strange. How can something be both too small and too large at the same time? They are really tight in the gut and butt, but they’re way loose in the thigh and knees. Or maybe I’m just not wearing them right. I even tight rolled them because everything old is new again (P.S. tight rolling leather pants is probably a fashion faux pas).
When I think about my start as a personal style blogger ten years ago, I almost laugh out loud. I do not know how to style myself at all. I never have! I just like to try new things and wear old things differently. However, these pants have been giving me style conundrums for six years now. Maybe, like new year's resolutions, I should stop forcing it and just give them up.
Or maybe these pants are more like my blog. I can't get to them often, but man, I can't imagine giving them up completely. So here I am, trying again, but a little more casually this time.
If there's been a theme to my 2017 so far, it's been getting back to what's authentically me. Today I'm the Same Here podcast talking about my follies with trend chasing and trying to curate my wardrobe and life to perfection. If you've missed my voice, take a listen:
Super high fives to Rachel for having me as a guest. It was a pleasure and made me realize how much I miss podcasting!
My kids love dressing up. We have two full hampers of costumes that my kids are allowed to wear pretty much anytime except for at the dinner table.
My girls also love princesses. If you knew me in college, you may be privy to the fact that I had an embarrassing amount of belongings emblazoned with the word "princess" and I did the Disney College Program for a semester and a summer. Despite this, I didn't actively encourage my girls to be all about princesses. I swear I tried to steer them toward being really into inventors and missionaries and really cool literary figures, but nonetheless princess love just happened.
And I'm okay with that. We talk about how princesses are kind and helpful and how they do the right thing and stick up for those who can't stick up for themselves. I also tell them that princesses love naps and that they try really hard not to complain.
So when Little Adventures reached out to Caroline and Lucy to see if they'd like to try some of their dress up clothes, the girls were alllll about it. I let them look through the website and they immediately locked onto the huge array of princess dresses. Lucy chose a Little Mermaid day dress and Caroline chose a Sleeping Beauty day dress.
Little Adventures was started by two moms who wanted machine washable, soft (not scratchy) costumes for their kids. That seems like such a simple idea, but it's just not done this way, usually. I don't dare wash any of the old Halloween costumes the kids play in for fear that they'll just fall apart in the washing machine. This is so not the case with these. The girls have had these for three weeks and wear them all day, about three days a week. They've worn them to school, to church, and (today) to the YMCA. Caroline got food on her collar (Thin Mint cookie, to be exact) and milk on her skirt and Lucy got marker and juice on hers.
I threw them in the washing machine, on delicate, and they came out as good as new!
I'm a big fan and think these would be excellent gifts to all your favorite kids in your life.
Little Adventures would like to give one Indiana/Elsewhere reader a $30 gift certificate to use online (note: most of the outfits are $30). If princesses aren't your kids' thing, they also have super heroes, knights, and ninjas.
I'm hosting the giveaway on Instagram, so head over there to enter! It's not one of those weirdly long loop things, and you don't have to tag anyone to enter. Just follow @littleadverturesdressups and leave a comment on the Lucy / Caroline dress up photo (same as above) on my account under @indianaadams. I'll announce the winner Tuesday, March 7th (so enter by midnight, March 6th).
In the meantime, if you need to get your hot little hands on some of these adorable, washable, comfortable, well made dress up clothes, new customers can enjoy 15% off your first purchase with promo code lapromo-ia.
Disclaimer: Little Adventures is not a paid sponsor of Indiana/Elsewhere but my girls were each given the outfits featured in this post in exchange for our honest test run. We loved them so much and knew you would too, so we asked to pair up for a giveaway so we could share the love. Thanks for checking out a woman-owned company that we adore!
Little Adventures: Website | Instagram | Facebook
I have no idea how I ever shopped before Amazon. Amazon Prime basically saved Christmas day for this family!
Here are my five most recent Amazon purchases:
1. INSTANT POT // When I first started hearing rumblings of how awesome Instant Pots were I thought, "That's silly. I have a crock pot and a rice cooker, no need for a combined appliance." But then I read I could do wings in less than 30 minutes and a rack of ribs in 20 minutes, I had to have it. I use my slow cooker about twice a week, and I often forget to plug it in or turn it on. By the time I realize it, I have to cave and order a pizza. I thought an Instant Pot would be a better solution. An Instant Pot is an electronic pressure cooker that can also saute, be a slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and a few other things. It's freaking frightening to use at first, but after your first couple of recipes, you'll get the hang of it.
2. PALEO COOKING WITH YOUR INSTANT POT // Are you a cookbook person or an "I get recipes off the Internet person"? Although I love AllRecipes and we subscribe to eMeals, I do appreciate an informative cookbook when I'm getting into something new. I don't do a Paleo diet, but I eat a lot of protein and limit my sugar and carb intake (I do a modified Ketogenic diet), so Paleo resources are usually a good fit for me. I am loving this book so far, and plan to try their Texas chili recipe tonight. (Praying I don't cause an explosion).
3. SPOTBOT // We got an Amazon gift card from Chris' dad for Christmas, and I really wanted to buy ourselves something exciting, but twice since Christmas, Noodles has had an accident in our formal dining room (otherwise known as my laundry folding room). We used to have a Green Machine for cleaning up these kind of messes, but ours broke right before we left Texas. I was going to replace it until I discovered The Spotbot. You can use the hose or just sit it on top of the mess, and I think it's the best thing for cleaning up yucky dog stuff from white rugs. (I have no idea what possessed me to buy a white rug... for a dining room... while we have three messy kids... and a dog... I really need to have better people in my life advising me on rug choices). I love this thing. Let the record show that in the last 12 months I have purchased a Roomba, Shark steam mop, Shark wand, and now this Spotbot. I have a thing for floor cleaners, apparently. I can't stop, won't stop until I get my grubby hands on an iRobot Braava and a Dyson Eye. I may scrap this blog and just become a vacuum / mop review blog. Is that okay with y'all?
4. B.BANG 5 PACK OF SPORTS BRAS // Five sports bras for $36? Um, yes, please. Zip front sports bras are my jam because it's 1000x nicer to take a sweaty sports bra off via a front zip versus an overhead wrestling thing (I always feel like a bird stuck in a plastic six pack ring when I'm trying to wiggle off a sports bra overhead). These are a little low cut and you really have to pull them out front to zip it up easily, but they are very thick, very supportive, and hold up really well in the wash. I workout four days a week (dance class and HIIT) and haven't had any issues with the zippers at all. They come in bright, fun colors as well as white, black, and grey, which you can purchase individually or different multipacks.
5. OSMO NUMBERS // Osmo gifted Jude with Osmo Coding and Caroline with Osmo Creative Set, and we've been such fans ever since. We purchased Osmo Numbers as a fun game that Jude can do during his "break" in our homeschool day. Sneaky mommy. Little does he know it's reinforcing his math facts and helping him get better and faster at addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Osmo Numbers is by far his favorite Osmo set.
I've been skimming some "blogger strategy guides" just to see what you with-it youngins who keep weblogs are doing these days and apparently I'm big time dropping the ball content-wise here. Apparently I need to do more lists with catchy titles like "62 crafts you can do with your preschooler today!" Apparently, if I turn my blog content into a bunch of lists, my readers will Pin the stuffing out of it and I'll become a millionaire and companies like Blue Apron will buy me private islands and cars and stuff.
Guys. I cannot. And I am a list lover! I just tried to write "50 reasons why blogging is still cool" and I felt this weird gurgling in my stomach, similar to whenever I see an Issue of Real Simple smugly shaming me from its high shelf at the grocery store checkout.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels gurgly and anxious while reading the cover of Real Simple. Let me explain:
NINETY NINE affordable ideas for home organization?! First, I don't even think KonMari has 99 methods for home organization (She's got 99 problems, but clutter ain't one). An article pointing out almost 100 ways that I've probably failed at Adulting makes me NOT want to buy the magazine. Plus, I can't trust this cover. Who only has two spools of thread and those two spools are yellow and orange and not say, black and white?
Also! Don't give me a list of 35 books to read in a summer. I'm lucky if I can get through two given the fact that the kids aren't in school and my leisure reading time is narrowed down to the scant alone time I get when I'm on the toilet. I don't think I could read 35 books in a summer even if I were Mark Watney stuck on Mars all alone, bored out of my mind, with a Martian summer twice as long as an Earth summer. Even then I still feel like I would not have enough time for 35 books.
Stress-free summer, it says... while suggesting I could throw three outdoor parties when it's 100º outside and everyone is sweaty and cranky and my metal outdoor furniture could brand a person's behind if they even think about plopping down on it. Stress-free summer, it says... while asking me if my HOUSE is making me FAT. Is it?! Is my house making me fat???! I never wondered this before until NOW. And now I'm stressed about THAT. Thanks. Stress-free summer, it says... as I try to implement 67 ideas to make EVERY day more fun. I don't know about you, but this sounds like the opposite of stress-free. If they really wanted to promote a stress-free summer, the headlines would be thus:
- "Three totally believable lies you can use to get out of work to enjoy a beach day"
- "What kind of wine goes best with take out?" and
- "67 things to add to your Netflix and Amazon Prime queue"
And woof. Did you check that lower right corner? "17 expert tricks to look great in pictures". I think two would suffice: "NO DUCK FACE" and "STOP DOING THE SORORITY SQUAT". Thank you, editors. I expect to see that in the newest issue.
Peep that title. This is THE ULTIMATE LIFE HANDBOOK (no offense, Holy Bible). 1001 ways to live better EVERY DAY. Do I need to do all 1001 of these daily or just try one a day for 2.75 years? Does the article come with a multipage supplemental checklist for these 1001 ways so I can mark them off once I've done it? 1001 seems so daunting! That's four figures, man! I would have been down with something basic like 10 or maybe even something in the low three digits, but 1001? No way, no how. It's like that time my freshman year of college that I walked into second semester pre-med biology, looked at the syllabus and immediately nope nope noped my way straight to the registrar to drop that class and change my major. I'm not that girl. I can't carry that workload.
So anyway... Indiana/Elsewhere is likely going to be weird diatribes like this one and outfit photos if I can teach my six year old how to snap a photo of me without cutting off my shoes and the top of my head. I'll do little lists occasionally, but please call me out on my ish if I start posting "101 essentials you need for your wardrobe immediately" for the repins.
For you Pinterest addicts, I made you this: