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The Dirt on Heather

This was a hard page for me to write.  You see, one of the first rules of being “social” that I teach my kids is to ask a lot of questions.

This means that I’m almost always the “Question Asker” when I’m meeting someone for the first time…and this is why this page feels so awkward.

I don’t want to build a relationship with my laptop.

I want to build a relationship with you.  But instead of us talking back and forth, I’ve got to guess what you may want to know, and then blabber out the answers.

It’s a tough gig, this “mind reading” thing.  I’ll do my best to “Professor X” my way through your questions… *fingers to temple*

How It All Started…

My professional background is in social work and political science.  After graduating from Taylor University in 2000, I got my license and started counseling foster kids.  It was a life-changing experience for  me.

That said, God had a new adventure for me in 2005 when I stopped working to stay home with our oldest child, Lauren.  I enjoyed approximately 18 months of “Homemaking Bliss” before we figured out that I needed to go back to work.

I started researching work-at-home jobs and settled on writing about babies online, since my 2nd (Elena) had just been born and I realized I had forgotten everything there was to know about baby-care.

I started my first baby blog as a way to self-educate, and then created my second baby blog (this website) as a way of remembering when my third (Bella) was born.  (Note to self: no more babies…)

Since then, I’ve been so blessed to see God take this little “job” of mine and turn it into something that encourages over 4 million parents every year and financially supports a few “want to work at home” moms like myself.

If you’d like to see a pretty list of all the 100+ articles I’ve written for this website, click here for my author’s list.

Getting Personal:
Do I Match the Blogging Mom Stereotype?

Taylor family snapshot!

So I guess this is the part of the “About Me” page where I take all your glowing visions of me and dash them all on the sharp rocks of reality.

As I’ve been out in the blogging world for 7 years, I’ve come to learn the standard “Blogging Mom Stereotypes”.

Here are the typical stereotypes of most Mom Bloggers:

  1. Photography – they are whizzes with a lens.
  2. They are crafty, doing DIY projects with their kids daily.
  3. Homeschooling – with or without the denim jumper.
  4. They gush about their spouse.
  5. Their home photos look ahhh-mazing.  Like they don’t have kids.
  6. They are always talking about coffee.
  7. They love “walks on the beach”.
  8. They are Christians.

Let’s see how I do…. *nailbiting*

The Amazing Photographer Test:  FAIL

 Terrible.  I’m just terrible at taking photographs.  Even picmonkey can’t help me.  Which is why I have a special section in my budget called “StockPhotos”.

The Crafty Test:  FAIL

I’m not a very good “Craft” mom. (It’s one of my introvert confessions.)

If I do a craft with my kids, it’s an event. I am not going to expend the energy to hunt down supplies. If my Craft Queen Bella wants to do a craft with me, it’s going to come from a box set.

Unfortunately, a single afternoon of crafts does not a blogging mom make.  It’s an “F” for the Crafty Stereotype.

The Homeschooling Test:  PASS FAIL

Shoot! I had this one! *sigh*

Despite arguing vehemently for years that “I’d never homeschool my children,” Cameron and I came to the realization that we weren’t going to be able to move out of our craptastic school district.  That prompted some panicked research and the discovery of the book that changed all my assumptions about homeschooling.

Last year we decided that it was time to hand over the reigns of our children’s education as we moved out of our old school district. The first day, I was a little weepy.

Then something magical happened.

I cleaned the living room, walked into the kitchen, and then walked back into the living room. Stunned.  IT WAS STILL CLEAN!!! Whaaaa?? And now I’m totally hooked on outsourced education.

The Sappy Spouse Test:  FAIL

I believe this is the part of the page where I gush and gush about my schmuckems and talk him up so high that you can’t help but look at your OWN man and get angry that your man isn’t as sensitive and AWESOME as my darling little “Boo Boo Bear”.

Sadly, I’m going to fail on the sappy spouse test.  Not because I don’t absolutely love my husband (I totally do), but because he’s not the standard that all other husbands should be measured against. 

There are a lot of great men out there. None of them are perfect, but many are really awesome. It’s true that there really is no such thing as a Darcy, Wentworth, or Bates.  Peeta doesn’t exist in the real world.

Your man can be romantic and thoughtful and a great helper.  I think Cameron is all of those things.  But he’s also going to have moments of selfishness, pride, and laziness.  (Those qualities don’t sell books quite as well.)  And, what’s worse, I will also have moments of selfishness, pride, and laziness.  Two selfish people interacting sometimes.  Two lazy people.  Two prideful people.  It can create some sparks, that’s for sure.

Still, we’ve made a commitment to work things out every stinkin’ time until we both croak.  (Which, we’ve decided, is going to be right after sex on our 75th wedding anniversary – not much of a present for the offspring that finds us…but heck, we’ll be dead.  She can use her inheritance for counseling.)

It’s not easy, this marriage-thing, but it is rewarding.  God has been abundantly gracious in our marriage – to challenge and chip away old assumptions and build up new understanding of the words grace, love, forgiveness, and mercy. 

Of course, Cameron also gets bonus points because he also helped me make some cute babies.  That definitely counts for something. *fist bump*  

The Designer Home Test:  FAIL

I can remember the days when I hosted some pretty awesome parties, with freshly baked bread, amazing centerpieces, and fancy hors d oeuvres. My house was immaculately clean and everything had a place. 

And then I had kids.

Now I’ve learned to entertain in a slightly different way. It’s also why you won’t see a lot of pictures of my home on this website. The laundry piles keep obscuring all the shots. 

The Coffee Addict:  PASS

Woo hoo! My first pass!  I do like coffee.  But before you get impressed, I have to confess something:  I like cheap coffee. With about 3 tablespoons of my favorite zero-calories-no-carbs-but-still-tastes-exactly-like-sugar Monk Fruit dumped in.

Does that still count?

The Beach-Loving Outdoorsmom: FAIL

Not a fan of water.  Not a fan of sand.  Or being hot. Or being half naked in public. Or dragging 20 tons of toys somewhere just to forget half when we leave.

Still, since I live less than five miles from Lake Michigan, we end up at the beach a lot.  Mostly because…

  • Our extended families live in land locked states (IA and TN) so it’s a family hosting requirement.
  • My kids don’t agree with my “Beach Views” and love going.  By going to the beach several times in the summer, I get to remind them when they’re teenagers that I SACRIFICED FOR THEM.

 The Christian Test: PASS

This is one test I’m very proud to pass.  I was raised going to church with my parents in the cornfields of Iowa.  (Not literally in the cornfields…that would be freaky-deaky cultish. I meant figuratively.)

My personal faith took a leap forward when I started my own personal walk with Christ at the age of 17. But my faith really exploded when we started listening to Mike Bullmore’s sermons at CrossWay Community Church.  (I highly recommend downloading the podcast!)

That’s when I really started to understand the true awesomeness of the Gospel.  That Christ was more than a golden ticket to heaven. That he also helps me have an abundant life now by helping me overcome the habits and tendencies that can derail my life and keep me stuck in self-absorbed patterns.

Through studying His Word and applying it, he works from within my heart, transforming me into something much better.  I’ve seen God do things in my life that I KNEW were impossible.  And yet, they’ve been done.  He constantly tests my faith, and then surprises me with his faithfulness, which only deepens and grows my love and commitment to himself.

I’m humbled and awe-inspired at what he has done in my life, and what he’s still doing.  (I love talking about this, so if you have questions or thoughts contact me and we can talk about it!)

That said, I do have to warn you. 

I’m a pretty open person.

I will occasionally use words like “crappy” and “butt” and other potentially not-stereotypical Christian words. My apologies if that doesn’t fit the normal “Christian” vision in your brain. Feel free to substitute the words “unfortunately bad” and “posterior” when necessary – or if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, pick your choice of cuss words.  

Whatever speaks your language.

Let’s not get hung up on semantics, I’m more interested in talking and connecting with you. 

And There You Have It

So the final “Blogging Mom Approval Grade” is:

  • 6 Fails
  • 2 Passes

I know what you’re thinking.

She’s still blogging? What a rebel!

Yes, it’s hard not to be impressed by my deep dedication and perseverance in this whole blogging venture, considering my failing blogger grade.

I do what I must.

*chin up, looking bravely into the distance* 

*eagle cries*

Pssst! If you’re interested in reading more of my strange unique writing style, click here to see my blogroll. 🙂

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