wearing my heart on my screen

wearing my heart on my screen 1Sometimes I wish I could open up my heart and just lay it out right here on the screen.

Even with a million disclaimers, it's hard to say things exactly right.

There are lots of issues I am passionate about (birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, education, adoption, philanthropy, real foods, good books), but I care more about you than about any issue. How do I convey that?

I want to express the benefits of breastfeeding, without making you feel bad if you didn't.

I want to talk about whole foods, while still conveying that I would share a frozen pizza with your family in a heartbeat.

I know that you have a story. You have reasons. You are still learning and growing. So am I (believe me - SO AM I). You have things to teach me. And I have things to share with you.

I hope someday we have an opportunity to meet in-person. When we do, you'll see that...

  • wearing my heart on my screen 2I'm not shy, but I'm also not all-sanguine.
  • I tend to think before I speak.
  • As a result, I often think of the perfect thing to say...after a conversation has ended.
  • I usually have a baby on my hip or a preschooler tugging on my hand.
  • I refuse to gossip.
  • But I like to compliment people behind their backs.
  • I smile frequently.
  • I'm casual - in dress and personality.
  • I'd much rather hang out with you at the park or on one of our front porches...
  • than be at a big party with loud music and high heels.
  • I like to ask questions (and listen to answers).
  • I love God, Tim, and my kids - fiercely.
  • I'm not perfect.

Which bloggers have you met "in real life"? Were they about the same as you expected? Do you think blogs are an accurate reflection of the people writing them?

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35 comments on “wearing my heart on my screen”

  1. Stephanie I love that so often I read your posts and think "yes that"! Every post is so well said. I do hope one day we meet in real life. I love the part about being a fan of whole foods but being happy to share a frozen pizza with a friend. So me!

    There are many things about which I am passionate or would like to learn more but I'm hesitant to write about. I don't ever want to offend anyone who is just doing what's best for their family. However, I love getting to chat with others who are like minded and ask questions. Although I have many passions and interests I have little judgement for others who may differ. I fear that will be the hard part for me to convey in blogging.

    Recently I met many wonderful bloggers at Relevant but 2 that stick out to me were Laura from 10millionmiles.com and Michelle from So I Married A Mennonite. Both lovely women who I felt blessed to spend time with and get to know in person.

    1. How fun that you attended Relevant! I read some tweets and posts about it...and it sounded like a one-of-a-kind conference. Did you enjoy it? What would you say were the 5 best and worst things about your experience?

  2. I've never met a blogger in real life that I didn't know pre-blogging. I hope to meet you when you come up the west coast though! :)

    I honestly hate offending people. I have some strong opinions, but it's so hard for me to put myself out there because I just hate making people feel like I'm judging them. I literally will cry if someone is offended by a post of mine (and there was actually one recently.... as hard as I tried to be real but NOT judgmental, I guess I came across as judgmental). I just want everyone to get along. I want everyone to feel loved, not judged. I hope I come across that way on my blog AND in real life.

  3. I've only ever met one person I met through blogging in real life. It was fun and she was a bit different in real life, but mostly her voice. I had a certain image in my mind and when she sounded different it was a bit weird! But after getting over that it was like we'd been friends for a long time!
    I'm actually going to meet a local blogger tomorrow to see about collaboration on a community blog!! But I've not really "known" her online either so I have no expectations!

  4. This was such a thoughtful post! I struggle with wanting to be "real" in my blog, and wanting to retain some privacy. And I want my blog to be a place where I reflect on the positive, so I afraid that I'm running the risk of only blogging about the good in my life while neglecting to also convey my struggles. Finding the right balance in my blogging is something that I'm still trying to figure out.

    I've never met another blogger, other than the people whom I already knew "in real life," but there's so many amazing women I've come to know through blogging who I'd love to finally meet someday. Just reading your bullet list above made me think that if you & I were ever to meet in person, that we'd get along very well! You come across in your blogging as someone so very welcoming, generous, and fun.

  5. I love this post and this peek into your heart. I also think that photo of your little one coloring is precious.
    I have not met any "big-time" bloggers (like yourself) in real life, but I would love to meet you and others. I get the sense that the bloggers I read are genuine, accurate reflections of the people writing them. That's what draws me in. If I didn't feel they were genuine, I probably would stop reading. I think there is definitely opportunity for bloggers to "fake" it and come off looking like something they are not. But there are also plenty of opportunities for people to do that in "real" life too.

  6. First off, great post. I tend to feel like I'm such a horrible mom after I read the amazing things you are doing (not your fault at all... just my insecurity)

    The only blogger I really know IRL if Jenny @mamanash. She's true blue Jen on her blog too.

    I have very little filter and it's brought some complications with my blog. My feelings are on my sleeve most of the time which is true to who I am

    I have no clue how I come off on my blog. The intention is to just be me, tell all the world about my family (they are my everything) and lay my heart out there.

    I've been told by those who read it and know me, that it's like having a conversation with me in person. So, I'm guessing that means I am the same.

    I do hope to meet all the bloggers I heart. I'd love to host (If my house was larger). Intice them all with our lovely MN weather, in Jan :). Or the MOA. People come to see it often.

  7. I rarely blog these days, but it was always such a pleasant surprise when you would pop over and leave such sweet comments on my little ol' blog. Well if you ever make it to the San Bernardino area, stop by and I have plenty of frozen pizza that we could pop in the microwave!! I also make some great homemade Mexican food when I am feeling especially motivated. But seriously, this was a nice post, and feels real. Your "blog-persona" does sometimes seem super perfect. Thanks for sharing that you don't have it all figured out. It makes the readers out there (like me) whose worlds are pretty upside-down and inside-out, be able to relate to you more. But I am sincere when I say my door is open if you pass through. Just shoot me an email.

  8. I've never met a blogger in person, but I hope to meet a few of them someday....you included. :) Blogging is a bit like having lots of pen pals. I feel like most bloggers are trying to be true to themselves on their blogs, so you get snippets of their lives and thoughts that over time create a pretty good picture of them.

  9. I SO look forward to meeting you if/when your family makes it to the pacific northwest! I haven't met any bloggers yet...but i'd love to!

    And no...still no word on vocation work yet...but we're in the beginning stages of planting a church!

  10. I love this. I've actually been going back and forth for weeks as to whether or not I should write an apology for my last post. I wrote about the decision my husband and I made to have kids before he finished school, and I'm worried that I could have possibly offended people who haven't chosen the same as we did. I'm always worrying that I'm going to step on someone's toes just because I want to share what I think or believe. Funny, because I rarely feel offended myself from reading the opinion of someone else.

    And, oddly enough, I had a dream the other night that I met you. And you really are a nice person! :) I'd been thinking about you and your family this week as I was buying a book. It's a cute little story about an old lady who travels around in a trailer for her home. My son's borrowed it from the library about ten times in the last year, and I finally found a great price online. It's out of print, but you should see if your library has it.

    http://www.betterworldbooks.com/someplace-else-id-0689802730.aspx

    Your online personality IS a real person. That's what makes your blog so great. So even if we never meet IRL, we can still be blog friends.

    1. I just went over and read your last post. It was fantastic (In fact, I liked it so much that I tweeted it a few minutes ago).

      Also - that book looks wonderful. I just added it to my ever-growing library list.

      Sweet dreams!

  11. I think you do a fantastic job of sharing what's important to you without being judgmental here. I love reading even though we don't always share the same opinions because you are heartfelt, honest, and genuine in your writing (and more importantly in your caring for people). I feel sure you are the same IRL even though we've never met.

    I have had the pleasure of meeting several fellow triplet mommy bloggers IRL after "knowing" them online for a couple of years, and their personalities matched with my expectations completely.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, MaryBeth!

      I have had the same experience as you. I met quite a few bloggers at BlogHer '08 and they were all almost exactly how I imagined they would be. :)

  12. I have yet to meet another blogger IRL. However, for the first time ever, I met a blog reader of mine the other day and it made me think. "Am I the same in real life as I am on my blog?" I know I am, but sometimes I don't think I show it. I tend to feel very open on my blog and have no problem speaking freely on there (of course within reason). I like to make people think, to challenge (in a nice way). In real life though, I tend to just observe quietly. I don't bring up a lot of stuff at moms group, or with friends because for the most part, I know they have different beliefs than me and I don't want to offend them. So many who read my blog may be unaware of how I feel. But, ultimately, I really hope and pray I am the same way that I am in real life!

  13. This is a great post! You seem very real on your blog. I would love to meet you in real life!
    I try to be real & honest on my blog. I sure hope I don't come across wrong. But, it is hard to tell, only seeing it from my own eyes!

    1. You strike me as being very authentic on your blog, Erin. I see you as a strong & creative woman who is deeply committed to your family and to your faith.

  14. I always try to be as real as can be on my blog...but sometimes people will say "your life sounds so perfect". I don't want to come across like that! I just choose to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative. This is a great post...and I haven't met any bloggers I didn't know before...all my blogger best buds are far far far far far away. :(

    1. The way I see it - there's nothing wrong with focusing on the positive (I tend to the do that on my blog...and in life). :)

  15. Hmm, I haven't met many bloggers in real life that I didn't know from pre-blogging. One day, Stephanie, I would love to meet you.
    I try to be real on my blog. That being said, I also don't want to gripe or vent about something and end up offending. I tend to be very lighthearted on my blog which, honestly, is the way I am 90% of the time. So I guess that makes sense.

    1. I'd like to meet you too! We should plan an informal Tucson blogger get-together before our family hits the open road.

  16. I have said it before, but you blog with such sincerity and passion, there is no question as to whether or not you are as genuine in real life as you are in the blogosphere. When you post, you post your opinions in such a gentle and loving way. While we do things differently in some areas, I have never felt offended or put off by anything you have shared. This is your space to share what you choose. To be blunt...if someone doesn't like what they are reading then they don't need to continue visiting that site right? I appreciate being able to visit blogs that are honest and challenging.

    I have yet to meet any of the people that have become new friends within the blogosphere, such as yourself. There are quite a few people that visit your blog that I do know in real life and they are fantastic! Wouldn't it be nice if we could all sit together, have a cup of tea/coffee and just be? Ahhh...one day...maybe one day!

    1. That sounds lovely. Do you prefer tea or coffee? I will drink either if the weather is cold, but my warm drink of choice is caramel apple cider. Mmmm.

  17. I so wish we could meet in person, I think we could get along very well :-) Hopefully my porch would be done by then LOL

    But I understand I love lots on thing and try really* try * to share what I love without being "in your face"sorta speak. I value other people choices and pray that they will respect mine.

    I meet some blogger in real life and they are friend and same genuineness that I read on their blog I saw in real life!

  18. I haven't had the honor of meeting anyone in person yet, but I hope that changes one day, when I get to meet you and your lovely family.

    Nell

  19. I have never met a fellow blogger (that is, one who blogs REGULARLY) in real life... although some friends from college now blog but... they have changed so much (from what I can tell from their blog) that now they seem complete strangers to me.
    I try to be "me" on my blog, but I am cautious about how much I put out there, because I'd like to maintain some privacy (sometimes!), and I don't enjoy offending people just b/c I might think differently. So I tend to be a little more careful what I WRITE than what I might say in real life. Also, my facial expressions are hard to convey in a blog post and people tell me I have VERY revealing facial expressions! ha ha!!
    I agree with comment above that sometimes I don't know what I think about something until I blog about it. But sometimes when I try to blog about something, I realize I don't quite know how to SAY what I think about something - like it sounds perfect in my head but the words don't type out right (darn computer! haha).

  20. Great post to make me think, Stephanie!

    When I first started my blog I hid what I really thought because I didn't want to offend anyone and I didn't want anyone to think less of me if they didn't agree. But over the many, many months of writing I've learned that my best writing is when I don't make things lukewarm and that's also when I got the best reception from my readers even if they didn't agree. It's best if I just put myself out there. I still hold many things to myself that I deem private or not appropriate for public disclosure, but for the most part who I am on my blog is who I am in person.

    Have you found that you didn't really know how you felt about something until you wrote about it and posted it on your blog? That's how I feel. It's made me a better person through self discovery.

  21. I don't think I've ever met a fellow blogger IRL! I am also concerned about how I seem based on my writing-I've got a lot of strong opinions, but it doesn't mean I like people less or think they're less worthy in the eyes of God if they disagree! But I'm always afraid people think I'm judging them rather than trying to make the best call about the idea I'm discussing. It's a tough balance, and I'm still not very good at it , online or IRL. Honestly, I have trouble making friends & I think it's cause I can't keep my opinions to myself & people don't realize I like people who disagree with me too!

  22. I love this post... I just did a similar one, and I *may* have thoughts like, "I wish I did this.. instead."

    :)

    In person, you are exactly like you are on your blog. And I love that.

    I am trying, really trying, to make sure that my "real voice" comes through on my blog :)

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