Friday, September 23, 2011

I don't read other people's blogs. Well, ok, there are a select few belonging to friends that I keep up with. But, for the most part, I steer clear of the blog world.
It's simple.
Other people's blogs make me feel inadequate. It's like subjecting myself to a daily "Christmas Letter" filled perfectly behaved children, sunny afternoons brimming with fun educational activities, nutritious and beautiful homemade dinners, and photos of angelic offspring with winsome smiles dancing across squeaky clean faces.

The truth is, I just can't compete with that.

I read someone else's blog amid the familiar sounds of banshee screaming and tap shoes tapping on the kitchen counter. I glance up from a screen full of pictures of polished kids to see the face of a three year old caked with snot and mud, and a one year old whose siblings obviously left a plate of fudge low enough for her to find it and bathe in it. I stop halfway through a recipe that a fellow mother and blogger lovingly prepared for her grateful brood to toss a frozen pizza into the oven and tell my kids to just eat around the bruises in the apples and that I don't care if the chips fell on the bathroom floor because even still we ARE NOT wasting them.

So, I quit. I just don't read them.

But yesterday, as I was vacuuming the floor for the third time in two hours (because, somehow, "keep the food in the kitchen" and "keep the play doh in the schoolroom" seem to be two very difficult concepts to grasp), I started thinking. This is actually one of the best times to think. Because no one really wants to yell over the vacuum to talk to me, and I can hardly hear them yelling at each other with that delicious and soothing vacuum hum in my ears. And this is what I thought.

Post. Processing.

You fellow photo moms will totally get this. Remember when you first realized that you loved this photography thing? And remember trying to get the color, clarity, and vibrance you saw in other people's photos? Remember getting so frustrated because you just couldn't quite get there? Your pictures always came out dull. Flat. Soft. Just somehow missing the electric quality you saw and loved in the pictures you tried to copy?
And do you remember the moment when someone was finally kind enough to put you out of your misery and reveal the secret that changed your life and your perspective?
You know what it is.....
Post processing.
WHAT?!? Those pictures didn't come out of the camera like that? Hallelujah! I may not be hopeless after all!
In some way it was comforting to know that there was more to creating that amazing image than just snapping the picture.

Maybe it's the same with blogs.

Maybe it's the same with LIFE.

Maybe that blogger mom's children aren't always clean and smiling and quoting Shakespeare. Maybe she only made dinner once this week but just made darn sure to post about that gorgeous spread and take pictures to prove it. Maybe, just maybe, she too is typing her post sitting in an unmade bed with baby boogers on her shirt, kids fighting next to her, boxed macaroni and cheese overcooking on the stove, and a toddler stuck to the kitchen floor in a pool of kool aid (with artificial colors and preservatives) that got spilled as soon as she sat down to type.

Maybe, like me, all of that is pretty much typical of about 99% of her life. But when she writes she is able to see things differently. When she really takes the time to consider her life and her family and her blessings, the way things look....changes.

Post processing.

Those pictures you see....the ones that take your breath away....are rarely straight out of the camera. Sure, the beauty is there in the original version. But it may be harder to find.
It's almost always post processing that brings out the gorgeous tones, sharpens the image, and makes that subtle beauty clear to the beholder.

So maybe all those superwoman blogger moms aren't out there trying to make the rest of us feel like throwing in the towel. Maybe they have just learned the value of looking back on difficult days and exhausting nights and turning them into art. Of peering through the lens of life and capturing everything, but choosing to interpret it all as beauty through a secret magic we would all do well to learn.

Post processing.


  1. I LOVED this post girl .... I too feel quite inadequate blogging .... I used to try SO hard to make my blog seem as "Special" as those super mom blogs.... but then i pushed that aside and sort of like your new revelation (BEAUTIFUL PHOTO and PROCESSING btw ... fellow photographer here) .... I started just finding things during my homeschool week that interested ME ... and made my own little "MEMES" that fit my life.... and if i get them done YAY for me .... (being up at midnight to post LOL) and if i dont .. then I must be sleeping in my pj's after running like a wild woman to get the house somewhat clean LOL ... with my one ACTIVE child who right now is attacking mommys pantry LOL of canned goods .... LOL so all in all .. this big epistle is to say YOU DO A FABULOUS JOB! I LOVE YOUR BLOG .... never feel like YOUR posts are any less important .... because they are important to me :) they matter to YOU .... and they are VERY relevant to what us "normal" mommas go through! HUGS

  2. thanks so much for the wonderfully encouraging comment amy. that's exactly what i want to do...create posts that mean something to me, and hopefully someday mean something to my children. and if they bless or challenge others along the way that's just a welcome bonus!

  3. Amen to that :) ..... I think in the long run .... of course like you said .. its an added bonus if we can encourage others ... but i find blogging sometimes helps me to write out things im feeling or maybe things im working on in one place :) like an open ended journal :) So just continue writing when you feel your heart and mind open to it! :) and the rest will follow suit!

  4. Love this post. Living the real stuff is what should be remembered!