Carrie at Reading to Know tagged me for this meme about blogging which makes me realize that I’ve got another meme tag that’s over three months old. Must. Do. Better.

All bloggers like to analyze and talk about blogging, right?

Here are the rules:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

You know what, Carrie? You’re getting way more than you ever asked for here because I’m going for #5: breaking the rules. I was extremely late turning in my interview to Lauren for BloggedIn, so I’m going to post it here. Hopefully it will answer the question of how blogging has affected me.

Without further ado, here are my answers to Lauren’s interview questions:

1. How long have you been blogging?

I started steadily blogging in May 2006.  I had started a blog in the fall of 2005, but posted about three times and abandoned it.

Any advice to beginners?

Be aware that blogging can be addictive.  It’s easy to get caught up in it and let it take up too much of your time.  Leave comments and bookmark sites you enjoy. Your mom and your best friend my be your only readers when you begin, but with time more people may visit your site, therefore decide how much personal information you’re comfortable with using.

2. What are the good things blogging has brought to your life?

New friends; an opportunity to write; a place to display photography; an interactive personal and creative outlet; a home-based business opportunity, Barefoot Blog Designs.

3. What would you consider the pitfalls?

It can hog too much of your time, if you let it.  Things always take longer than you think they will.

4. Tell us about your blog name. Ever think of changing it? If so, to what? Why?

Yes, I have thought about it; it would be nice to have one of those cool and creative sort of names, but I would hate to start over since my blog name and URL match, etc.

I actually did change my profile name.  I started as “Mommy Dearest,” which had been a joke between my mother and me.  I eventually realized that while it was a personal joke with fond memories for me, it SCARED SOME PEOPLE, which really isn’t a good thing, ya know?

5. Knowing what you know now, was starting a blog a good thing for you? Why or why not?

Yes and no.  I find it personally fulfilling and I’ve found a way as a SAHM to earn an income from it (designing, not blogging), but I’m sure it eats up time that I might have spent with my family or cleaning.  Okay, so I actually don’t regret any time I might have spent cleaning.

6. How do you think blogging, bloggers, or the blogosphere has changed since you started?

It’s interesting to see mommy bloggers that started around the same time as I did who have really made a name for themselves in the blogosphere.  I always wonder how the decision to blog has impacted their lives and families, both for better or worse.

I also see that mommy bloggers are wielding some influence in market research, which is really cool.  I think it’s great that companies let us run promotions and giveaways for their products.

8. Ultimately, what would you like your blog to accomplish for you or others?

Goal #1:
I wish my mom had blogged; she was very wise and witty, and her daily input and advice in my life was more important to me than I’d ever realized.  That’s what prompted me to blog: I wanted my children to have access to their mother’s words and images, the details of our lives recorded.

Goal #2:
Once my kids and I attended an early morning event with our homeschool group. Amazingly, we were on time, my hair and makeup were done, and all the kids were wearing shoes.  That was the day that I realized that a homeschooling mother with a large family has the power to inspire and encourage women who don’t think they can do it – whether “it” is continuing to homeschool, have more children, or simply get through the remainder of the day – simply by having a smile on her face and the remote appearance of having her act together, if only for the moment.

Notice I said “the appearance” of having my act together?  Any “togetherness” that I seem to have is merely an illusion. I think it’s important to keep it real.  I love the verse: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” 1 Corinthians 10:13.  In other words, no matter how big and bad they may seem, our circumstances aren’t unique – other people are going through the same trials.  I hope that visitors to my blog find the real me – faults and all – because sometimes it’s easy to believe everyone else homeschools/cooks/cleans better than you, and that their kids are perfectly behaved.

Goal #3:
Have fun and make friends!

Who are you really –

1. Name something or a few things that bug you and expound. We want your unfettered opinion(s). Shouldn’t be blog related.

Restaurants that don’t serve sweet tea, especially in the South, where they should know better.

2. Tell us about one of your best childhood memories.

My great-aunts lived in an old house with an attic that was partially finished.  My cousin, sister, and I used it as our newspaper office.  We sold ads to my dad and grandfather’s piano company, and hand-printed and distributed copies of our newspaper.

3. Describe your perfect day.

Sleep late; bacon, mushroom, tomato, and cheese omelet; leisurely mountain hike with the family; biscuits and sausage gravy for lunch; read aloud to the kids; naptime; quiet time to read to myself; dinner date and a movie with hubby.

During the course of this day I would take lots of pictures – in manual mode with perfect exposure – and eat lots of chocolate without gaining weight.

4. Do you have hobby that you love? Tell us all about it, make us love it too.

Photography.  I have a new DSLR camera and I’m trying to learn everything I can from both sides: the actual taking of the photograph and the post processing.

I love to capture a perfect expression on one of my children’s faces, those that define their personalities.  I want to become more than just what I call a “mom photographer” – one who takes pictures of everything her family does, but without artistic value or interest to the shots.

Working on post-processing enhancements in Lightroom (a new program for me) and Photoshop completes the process and is so much fun!  I love taking a throw-away shot and transforming it into a keeper.  I live in Photoshop.

I’ve started a photoblog because my regular blog was in danger of becoming one, and I’ve posted some tutorials there. Wordless Wednesday is my favorite meme.

5. Tell us the best or the worst thing about being you.

Because I have a large family, people assume I’m really organized and on top of things, which couldn’t be any further from the truth.  It makes me feel like a fraud when people say, “I don’t know how you do it!”  Do what? I’m barely hanging in there most days.

I also have trouble saying no and sometimes overextend myself.

I have the cutest, cleverest kids in the world and a husband who makes me feel adored and is a wonderful father.

6. What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you? We want all the details.

After giving birth to eight children of my own and studying to become a childbirth educator or birth doula, I passed out after attending one of my best friend’s births.  Apparently it has to do with something called a vagal response and could happen to me again. Great.

Personal – (please answer them all)

Vital Statistics –

How old are you? 42
Married? yes
Children? 8
If so, homeschool, private, or public? homeschool
Favorite season? fall
Favorite past time? photography
Favorite color? apple green
Favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice (A & E), While You Were Sleeping
Favorite song? Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison (it’s my phone ringtone, too)
What kind of car do you drive? In reality – 15-passenger van; in my dreams – apple green VW beetle
Mac or PC? Mac
Dog or Cat? dog
Salt or Pepper? Salt
Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla ice cream, chocolate everything else
Diet Coke, Sweet Tea or Evian? Sweet tea!
Steak, Chicken or Shrimp? chicken

If you finished this, congratulations! You know a lot more about me than you probably ever wanted or intended. If you noticed that #7 is missing, you’re very observant. Lauren asked for my unfettered opinion about blog-related things that bug me, and I realized that my answers would be quite unpopular, so I took the liberty of removing them here. I know, politically correct of me. That’s once.

I tag:

Robin (Pensieve)

Dianne (Bunny Trails)


Andrea (Sgt and Mrs Hub)

Antique Mommy

Remember, you only have to write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively, not answer all of my interview questions.

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