I was recently talking with Ben about a blogger whose blog I follow. I really respect her and appreciate her blog immensely, but the frequency with which she puts out quality blog posts about stuff they’ve done or made, and about the amazing things they do in their homeschool was making me feel like she must be some super woman. And then I remembered… we bloggers only show you the stuff that we choose to show you.

So, here’s my disclaimer:

You don’t see the bad attitudes, the melt-downs, the fussing (of both children and adults),

you don’t see our bad habits,

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you don’t see our messes,  our failures, our disrespect, our selfishness, our brokenness.

We do this partly because the daily and the mundane just doesn’t seem worthy of sharing, and partly because here on our blog we’ve chosen quite deliberately not to share mopey stuff. Sure, I’ve been tempted numerous times to have a moan about how hard it can be do be far from family, or the challenges of homeschooling, or whatever. And I might even write about that stuff sometime in the future, but I’ll work hard at it not being a rant or a complaining session. Because mopeyness encourages more mopeyness, and who wants to read a discouraging blog?

Ironically, on the other hand, a blog that always portrays only the good stuff could also be discouraging to the reader. They might think that they don’t do xyz like such and such a blogger does, so they must not be good parents, or homemakers, or that they’re not giving their children what they need, or whatever.

Also, we keep this blog alive for the main purpose of staying in touch with lots of people we love who are spread all over the world. We don’t really fit a blogging theme of “homeschool blog” or “theologically thoughtful blog” or whatever. We’re just sharing what we’ve been up to, some of the stuff we’re reading or thinking about or experiencing. Now that the weather is cooling down and we have a more structured daily life, we actually do fewer exciting things and you might see more thinky posts. If I get time to write them. :-)

While we’re on that topic, what kinds of things would you like us to write about? Anything you’re burning to know, or might find helpful? Let us know!

Changing things around

You’ll probably have noticed that I’ve been playing around with new blog designs. And you’ll probably also be relieved to know that I’m done now, and that this is what the site will look like for the foreseeable future! Is anyone having any trouble viewing things? If so, let me know in the comments.

Speaking of comments… we love getting them! It makes us feel in touch with you, our readers. It’s probably the closest thing I’ll get to sitting down and chatting over a cup of tea with most of you for a very long time.

In other ‘changing things around’ news… we’ve bought a house! We’ll be moving soon, and because of that there might be a little lull in posts for a few weeks. Promise I’ll post photos when I get the chance!

I’m in denial

Two days ago, I was sitting on my bed editing some photos in Picasa, having just cleared my camera memory stick of about 500 more photos and video clips. The total number of photos taken on our roadtrip so far were well over a thousand and I was doing well keeping up to date with deleting the bad ones, editing the ones that needed a bit of lightening or the like, even if I haven’t been the greatest at updating the blog.

The computer started being slow, and then having little freeze moments that it would resolve themselves and I’d carry on. Then it froze in such a way that I couldn’t do anything, so I put the computer beside me and lay down for a while to rest while I waited for it to un-freeze itself. As I was lying there I heard little knocking sounds, and I wondered if Esther had woken up, but then the knocking sounds got louder and more frequent and I realized that that horrid noise was coming from my laptop. I quickly switched it off, and then back on again, hoping for the best.

My high hopes didn’t last very long. I just got some black screen and then the thing started running some ‘check’ and then when it came to check the hard drive it flashed a bright red FAIL at me accompanied by shrill 1980’s computer game sounds. Not good.

I got Ben to check it out (being married to a computer dude has its perks) and he gave me this comforting report: “It’s fried.”

On there are all my photos, and they’re backed up all the way to the start of our roadtrip, which is great, but it looks like I’ve lost all our roadtrip photos! At least I have some photos uploaded to the blog (not high-resolution, though, unfortunately) up to the Hoyt reunion (which I hope to publish soon!) but everything since then, including some photos even of our Tschetter reunion this week are lost.

Which is why I am in denial. It just can’t be real… I sure hope that someone will be able to get our data off the fried hard drive. Arg! Technology is wonderful, when it works!

So, that little set-back has put a bit of a dampener on things, but I’m still working on getting that Hoyt reunion post out soon!

I met The Pioneer Woman!

I recently had the fun experience of going to a book signing. It was fun, because I got to head out by myself for an evening, and fun because I got to meet someone semi-famous. I say semi-famous because if you don’t frequent food blogs or watch food shows on TV, you’ve probably never heard of The Pioneer Woman. I’ve linked to a few of her recipes on my blog, and I’ve made quite a few of her recipes. They’re all delicious.

Anyway, so I got to ‘meet’ Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, at a book sigining in the Union Square Barnes and Noble, I got my recipe book signed, and I got photos to prove it!

The Pioneer Woman, contemplative and in discussion with the person in line in front of me.

I find it hilarious that the book in the background is called “If Looks Could Kill”, because in this photo it looks as if she’s telling me my bag doesn’t match my outfit or something.

In reality she was probably asking me about my accent.

And you have to have a posed shot too. I look dopey in it — maybe because the thought ‘would anyone notice if I just took her amazing camera and ran?’ crossed my mind for a millisecond at that point.

She, on the other hand, is looking really good for someone who’s just been signing about 300 people’s books. Oh wait, that’s why I’m looking dopey — I was towards the end of a loooong line of people and had read so much during my wait my eye got all lop-sided like that.

Yay! One of the perks of living in New York City is that you get to meet famous people, like, all the time, dude. Practically everyone is famous in NYC, or so my sister seems to think. So that means I’m famous too. Who wants my autograph?

We’re back!

The girls and I arrived safely back in New York City on Monday night after three flights over 26 hours. We had a fantastic time back in New Zealand reconnecting with friends and family and enjoying Jeremy and Lillian’s wedding, but we’re very happy to be home with Ben again!

I took over a thousand photos during the last 3 weeks, so I have a lot of photos to sort out and edit and turn into blog posts over the next few weeks. Jetlag has hit us pretty bad coming back here though, so it might take a little while. In the mean time I have a few pretty photos to share and some recipes in the draft blog post folder that will be coming out while I get back on track with life here.

It’s been 7 years

Today Ben and I celebrate 7 wonderful years of marriage. I can truly say that it gets better, deeper, and more beautiful to be married to Ben every single year. God has been so faithful and good to us by blessing our marriage, and we are thankful to Him for His enduring love.

Though… we are not celebrating our anniversary today. Today is the day that disappears off my calendar because of the wonder of air travel. I am somewhere up in the air between NYC and Christchurch, departing on the 14th, arriving on the 16th, but travelling only (!) 25 hours. It’s weird. But we’ll celebrate when I get back! I’m taking the girls to attend Jeremy and Lillian’s wedding and to visit with family for a bit. Ben unfortunately needs to stay because he doesn’t have enough leave days and because he’s stepping up into a new role at work that keeps him very busy.

While I’m away, I’m taking a break from regular blogging. Instead, I’m going to have a series of some of my favourite black and white pictures from the past year self-publish every day from tomorrow until the end of January. (You might recognise a number of the photos if you’re a regular here.) I will resume regular blogging again sometime in February.