1 Aug

Last week, we went on vacation. Actually, let me clarify. We took our kids away from our house for an extended period of time. It was not a vacation. Ahem.

We went to Kansas City, because my little brother lives there and I love him a lot and I don’t get to see him enough. We spent the first two nights at The Great Wolf Lodge. It’s basically a hotel that looks like it should be in the Rocky Mountains, not on the outskirts of Kansas City. It has cedar trim everywhere, dead, taxidermied animals on the walls and a giant clocktower with singing forest animals in the lobby. Oh! And did I mention it has a giant water park inside and a pool outside? It’s pretty awesome.

The kids had a blast. I’m so proud of Nolan. He started the vacation off only wanting to swim with his lifejacket and not wanting to go down the big slides. By the end of vacation he had gone down two of the big slides with his daddy, was going down the smaller slides by himself with no lifejacket, was jumping the pool with his lifejacket on and off, holding his breath without holding his nose, and paddling back to the side by himself. He was so brave and swims like a little fish. He also won over 2,300 tickets (2,300!!!) at an arcade game and had a whole trash bag full of tickets to spend. He got himself a green stuffed snake which cost about 1,000 tickets. He used another 1,000 tickets to get a pink one for his sister. He is the sweetest little boy and best big brother that I know. I am so damn proud of that kid.

Tessa ran around like the mad-baby she is, alternatively wanting nothing to do with the water and then wanting to jump in head-first. She weighs a lot and I had to carry her a lot. My back hurts. My hips hurt. She has the strongest personality of anyone I’ve ever met, ever, and she is a handful. She learned to scream “NAAAOOOOOOOO!” on vacation and for the first time ever, we considered leaving a restaurant in the middle of dinner because of her behavior. She also slept for an hour (ONE HOUR) out of each of the 4-hour car rides and screamed “Mommy!!! Mommy!!! Down!!!” for the rest of the time. But she was also tired and not napping and sleeping according to her regular schedule, so I suppose I should give her a break. She’s also really freaking cute and will randomly come up to us and give us kisses, so she knows how to redeem herself. She also kissed her little cousin approximately 4,321 times and yelled “I wudge you!!!!” into his poor little face in 10-second intervals.

After our stay at the Lodge, Hubs and I passed out we moved on to downtown KC, and stayed at a hotel couple of blocks away from his house. My cousin, her husband, and their baby joined us. We spent the weekend laughing, swimming, eating, drinking $25.00 pitchers of margaritas, and laughing some more. It was awesome. Plus, I got to spend lots of time with my brother’s girlfriend who I LOVE and I’m trying to figure out a way to convince her to stay with him, even though he is a butt.

HOWEVER. (I can’t believe I’m about to admit this to the internet.) Sometimes we forget that Nolan’s ears are ever present and listening VERY closely. He called his dad a “dishmaid” after he heard someone call someone else a douchebag. And while playing catch with Hubs, my brother, and my cousin’s husband in the pool, he threw the ball, and yelled “Catch this, beeetches” in a very distinct Mexican accent. After we died laughing punished him, we all made a much better effort to control our mouths. Although I’m afraid it might be too late.

I unplugged for this vacation. I didn’t check Twitter, I didn’t read blogs. I didn’t work.

I thought it was going to be hard. It was glorious.

For the past couple months, I’ve been trying to increase my readership here. I had dreams of these awesome writing jobs coming my way once I have a big following, or once I attract the attention of one of those parenting websites.  I’ve tried to comment more on other blogs, to increase my presence on Twitter, and to write things here that will attract comments. It hasn’t worked. My readership is as small as ever. No writing jobs have come my way.

Now, I understand that it takes time to build up that kind of following. And before last week, I was willing to put the time in. But what I realized was that I was spending  A LOT of time following the lives of people who, while greatly entertaining, were not worth time away from my life. I was trying to foster relationships with people online who, while I felt a connection with and felt like we could be good friends, already have their online friends and weren’t interested in being mine. It’s not worth it. AT ALL.

I have made an amazing friend through blogging. I have connected even more with one of my oldest friends. I started this blog for me- to chronicle my life as a mom and to help me process the loss of my brother. I don’t want to lose sight of that. I want this space to be a place I’m proud of, that fully represents who I am.

I found out a very old friend of mine found my blog last week and read through the whole thing. And while he may have laughing out loud in front of his computer screen, he sent me a very sweet message saying he enjoyed reading it. It reminded me that if I let this place represent who I am, then all the people in my real life who I have never told about this blog will like it. Because they love me. And if they were to find it, I will have nothing to be embarrassed about.

So, I will build my freelance career the old-school way. I’ll comment on and read the blogs I already love and follow along on Twitter when I can. I won’t worry anymore about my stats or the number of comments I’m getting.

I will focus on my life. It’s more than enough.


6 Responses to “Unplugged”

  1. Life of a Doctor's Wife August 2, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    I love your writing, I love your honesty. And I think it’s crazy that more people aren’t reading your blog. You’ll grow your audience – I have faith. And your writing career is going to take off, too. You have what it takes. Hang in there.

    (And thank you for the shout out. I am SO GLAD I met you through blogging.)

  2. Heather August 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    I love your blog, and I also love how it’s reconnected us in a unique way given the fact we’ve been friends for –gulp– 25 years!?!? Craziness.

    Your life is pretty awesome. So thanks for sharing it here and letting me be part of it!

  3. newteacherwife August 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    I’m glad you guys could get away for a little bit, even if the kids made it a little hectic at times. Sounds like it was fun!

    And don’t worry. The readers will come. Just takes a little time. 🙂

  4. CathiC August 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    I really enjoy your blog – it’s honest, witty, and full of imagery. Most of all it’s REAL. You have a knack for telling a story and drawing the reader in. The readers will find you and they’ll stay. Keep writing for you and staying true to yourself. That’s what makes this space so powerful.

  5. Jenn August 11, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    That is a really GREAT way to go about it! The posts that I love the most from you are the raw, uncensored, heartfelt entries. You have an incredible talent and I have no doubt that you will be able to build a career on that.

    I stopped blogging for awhile, and then when I started a new one I decided that I was not going to worry about the BS. I would write what I wanted/needed to and when I wanted/needed to and let the rest work itself out. xoxo

    • Kristina August 11, 2011 at 9:31 am #

      I didn’t realize you started a new blog!!! I was just thinking a couple of days ago that I hadn’t read anything from you in a while and was missing it! I just subscribed to the new one- can’t wait to read!

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