Friday, December 14, 2012


** I apologize in advance for extreme emotions, mushiness, and over-sharing**

This past Friday, I was shocked, saddened, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the horrible shooting in Connecticut. As a human being, an American, a parent, I was horrified. When I was finally able to remove my eyes from the screen, I saw my beautiful little girl, playing with her toys. I thought about my first-grader, the smartest, sweetest little boy I've ever known, and how I wanted to run to the school and hold him forever. I remembered my husband, the cutest, most loyal, honorable and responsible guy I've ever known, and I thought "What the hell am I doing?" And I realized that I have given too much of my life, their time, to blogging.
I love book blogging. I think, if you've read my reviews or ever talked to me about books, that's apparent. Blogging has given me something to feel good about, when as a stay-at-home mom, I often felt lonely and lost. Many of you have become my friends, my best friends, my only "real" friends. (I live in a town of "mean girl" cliquey moms, and well, I don't really deal with bullshit that well.) Blogging is something that I don't see myself giving up for a long time.
But here's the deal: I've made blogging a priority in my life. That's just wrong, you guys. This is a hobby. Yes, a passionate hobby, but my life, my family's life shouldn't revolve around it. I can't tell you how many times I've put my husband and kids off while I finish a book, or post. My children will only be mine for so long. Spending time with them, loving them, should be my first priority...not a blog.
I'm going back to running this blog like I started it. I won't push myself to read until 2am (unless the book is just that awesome), only to cause myself to be groggy in the mornings, run late, be snippy, get sick from lack of sleep, an all too-common occurence. My family deserves the best of me.
As of now, I'm slowing down. All of my blog tour dates or any commitments will be fulfilled. Authors, if I have told you I will review your book, I will certainly do that, the turn-around just won't be as speedy. I'm going to do the best I can to only accept or request books that truly excite me.
I'm writing this post not for attention, or as a grand gesture, but because I often don't believe things until I see them, read them. If I write this post, it's as good as a contract. A contract with myself, and my family. My kids will likely never see this post, or ever know I sat here crying and typing as I hear them sleeping beside me, but my promise is here nonetheless. To Eric, who actually does read my blog and admires my passion, rolls his eyes at my love for hot rock stars, and thinks I'm a bit crazy, I'm sorry. After fifteen years together, nearly half our lives, I can honestly say that I love you more at this very moment than I ever have. I promise that I will spend less time on the computer and more time loving you, Wyatt and Delaney.


  1. I get what you are saying, read the books you are interested in, on your own schedule, not the schedule of a release date but on a schedule of your life, today was sad and some of my friends went to eat lunch at school with their kids just to give them that hug that they needed to have.

  2. Peace and love my blogging friend. As I sit here and read and can relate to everything you just said, being a SAHM of 4 under the age of 10, I too, am grieving over the massive loss, and I am in shock. No words can describe the pain and loss. How can we feel happy, how can we think about the holidays without feeling for these families. Living in a similar small town on the coast of New England, I can only hold on to the faith and belief that this tragedy will make a difference in everyone's lives... *hugs*

  3. *hugs*

    I think it's really easy to get caught up in blogging (and, frankly, the online world). And it's easy because the people (and books) are amazing.

    But you're right: we can't let blogging be our first priority. Real life should always win.

  4. **HUGS** Andrea.

    I have slowed down on my blogging dramatically lately too. I found I was doing the same thing - leaving my husband alone so I could get a post done. I had given up almost every other hobby or interest I had before blogging.

    I don't think I could ever give it up, because like your said, you're all my friends now. Closer to me than my IRL friends and I would miss everyone but it needs to be put in perspective in relation to spending time with our loved ones.

    I just don't know what to say about the shootings. It's just so incredibly tragic but I hope it does bring us all closer to the ones who are most important to us.


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  6. I don't even know what to say about the shooting. There's no way to make any sense of it.

    I totally agree with everything in this post. It's funny how addicting blogging can get, and if you have a situation with mean-girl moms in your town, it's a perfect way to connect with friends who share the same passion. But, as you said, there is that danger of letting the books and the posts consume your life so you're giving the best part of you to the blog and not your family. You're right, you only have your children with you for so long. And when they hit the teenage years, they want nothing to do with you for a while (I have 2 kids)! So the age your kids are at now is a precious time! You can kiss and hug and love on them and they still actually like it! Lol!

    I think if you step back and do what you're proposing, Andrea, you'll actually enjoy reading more, too. I find when I'm on constant deadlines I don't enjoy the read as much because I have that pressure nagging in the back of my mind. Co-blogging with Jasprit is the perfect situation for me because I don't have all the pressure just on me.

    I'm taking time off as well starting Monday to the New Year. I already had this planned and it's a good idea every now and then.

    Hugs, Andrea! You are one of my favorite bloggers out there. :)

  7. Gosh, I didn't realize that was so long! Sorry for the novella! :)

  8. Aww, Andrea, I was feeling the same thing, except for with my writing. While I have deadlines & obligations, I've started pushing myself so much that I don't take the time to play with my kids & often leave Mike to tuck them into bed without me. Sometimes they'll come to tell me a story about school & I snap & tell them "I've got to just get this scene down" then I forget to ask them. I'm going to work to find a better balance & I wish you the best in finding one, too.

    And talking to you yesterday made me feel better when I was alone at my house & needed someone to virtually hug.

  9. Good for you, Andrea! Sometimes it's hard to balance everything, and computer can become all-consuming. It's great that you're going to take a step back, not just for your family, but for you. Know that we will miss you and will look forward to your posts and to interacting with you. Enjoy your family. I know I'm going to step back and take my youngest to see Santa today! :)

  10. Very well said Andrea. I have always strived to keep blogging as a hobby as well and I do know that there are times when I feel like I'm rushing to keep up with my "schedule" and it takes all the enjoyment out of it. Family needs to definitely come first. You are awesome, I'm so happy to have "met" you, do what you gotta go, girl!

  11. For some reason it almost always takes a horrific event or shocking event to make you realize how fragile life can be. I totally understand what your talking about. My heart goes to all the families in CT. I hope your holiday is blessed with lots of love, laughter and happiness.

  12. Andrea, I completely understand. You took the words right out of my mouth. I try to keep my blog as just a hobby, but I find myself working on it more than I should.

    Wonderful post. And don't ever apologize for being human and having feelings that you want to express.

  13. Andrea I agree with you so much on your post! I know I started out the same way, now I sit in front of my laptop and Kindle all day and half the night! My kids are grown, but my hubby sure gets the short end of my time and I know he would love to throw my kindle against the wall lol! ( just kidding, he's a sweet man!) You do what you have to do for yourself and your beautiful kids, cause in the end it's family first and it's their smiles that will make you truly happy! <3

  14. Very well said. I have actually been trying to slow down too, and after what happened it made me sad to realize that I too put off my family for my blog sometimes. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to spend as much time with them as I can. Beautiful post. You said it all perfectly.

  15. Well said. I'm relatively new to blogging, but I am a firm believer that blogging is a hobby and not a job. It's what I do to take away the stress I get from working not add to it. It's fun but should not consume your life. I may not be a Mom yet, so I can't really relate. But you should spend as much time as you can with your kids while they are young. I'm young enough to really remember the age where parents just were not cool and my sister is there right now. You are one of my very favorite bloggers and I wish you all the best with your family.

  16. Wise words, Andrea. I think we all can use some perspective. After something like this happens, the best we can do for these grieving families is pray, pray, pray some more, and be thankful and enjoy what God has already given us. We'll all still read whatever you have to say, whether it comes several times a week, or once, because we love you :)

  17. Good for you. It's horrible that it takes a tragedy to make us gain perspective on what is really important to us, but it's good to be reminded that our family and our loved ones are what really matters most when blogging sometimes consumes us.

    I hope you find a balance that works, enjoy staying up until 2 a.m. to read books just because you can't put them down and not because you feel obligated to finish. And I totally agree that sometimes you just have to write it in a post to make your decision stick.

    Best of luck with your new goal.

  18. I totally understand what you are saying. Blogging was supposed to be a hobby but then I feel guilty about commitments and I end up staying home sometimes on weekends to finish things I promised when I should be spending time with friends and family. I've been trying to cut down and not post everyday and trying not to feel like I need 4 reviews every week. I've been posing just one or two. It is hard to find a balance because I love reading and blogging and all my friends blogs that I love to visit. I don't even have kids so I can only imagine that would make scheduling even more difficult. But yes real life and family should come first and I wish you luck with finding a balance that keeps you and your family happy! :-D Much love!

  19. What a great post, Andrea. It is crazy how much blogging can take up our lives. I think it's great you are reorganizing you priorities. I wish you the best !

  20. I could not agree with you more. I used to blog non stop and when a family emergency came about, I fulfilled my commitments as quickly as possible and closed up shop. I am sorry that I did not take the approach that you are taking beforehand instead.
    I now blog as I want to, when I want to and read what and when I want to. It is another whole experience. I love it so much more and my priorities at home come first.
    There are not word to express my sorrow over the recent news events. Hopefully, as wives and mothers, we will all cherish what we have more than ever.
    I appreciate your post, Andrea.

  21. It's so easy to get wrapped up in blogging, losing hours of sleep and wasting precious time with those you love. It's important to spend time with the ones you love now because unfortunately you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, next week or the week after that. I hope you're able to achieve your new goal :)

  22. YES. THIS. Absolutely. I've been feeling, before this horrible tragedy, about how much of my time I devote to this and it's been making me feel guilty. But after? Even more so. I just love blogging but it IS just a hobby and I need to not get SO caught up in it all.

    Thanks for sharing!

  23. I don't mind blogs that don't post everyday, I don't either! It's easy to get wrapped up in this world of blogging and reading that you shut out other things. Andrea, don't worry about anything, we'll still be here! Go spend more time with your family because that's where your life is, and blogging is just another part of it.

  24. A beautifully written post Andrea & so very true!

    It's so easy to get bogged down with our blog commitments where it actually becomes a chore rather than a hobby and something we do for love rather than obligation. Trying to find the balance can be hard but like you, I am taking a step back and only doing what I really want to do on my blog and reading what I truly want to read.

    Friday was tragic, watching the news was heart wrenching and it certainly puts things into perspective.

    Thinking of you xx

  25. This was such a beautiful post, made my heartless self all teary-eyed.
    It is hard sometimes to draw the line from hobby to obsessive, I've crossed it a couple of times :(
    I wish I didn't have to work and that I could homeschool my girls and spend more time with them and not have the added stress and mood swings caused by work. My oldest is in kindergarten and I hate to think that this could have happened in her school.
    I just realized a couple of weeks ago that I CAN'T have a review up every day and that I don't have to post every day.
    Great post :)

  26. My husband and brother in law grew up in Newtown. Sadly he recognized a last name on the list. Waiting now for good news. They went to school there, learned to drive on those same streets, ate at the same restaurants they then worked in as first jobs after school, their church is the one on the news, they just dont know what to say or do. the depression felt in this area is palpable.
    I have a 13 year old, my neighbor has a child ready for Nursery School, the elementary school at the end of my street, I see these cute kids and I feel scared.
    Newtown is a town anyone would of wanted to grow up in. It knew of outside tragedy but felt blessed it never touched them. always ready to help other I cant even get my words right.
    i saw parents rush to get their kids home early from the chool on my street and I was in tears to see them hug and kiss and not let go of the kids aged k-7th grade on the walk home by my house. there was no laughing and running down the sidewalk, no waving at my doggy that sat on the porch waggin their tails as the kids walked by, it was sad silence.
    i dont know the answers, i dont. no one really does. I am praying for peace for their families. heading up their next week. its gonna be sad and hard. i am glad we can support old friends. you rock.
    Thank you for your awesome post. thank you.

  27. Such a heartbreaking story. I have been sad and distracted since I first heard the news.

    I think a lot of bloggers want their blogs to be the best they can be, but it's also easy to let it drive you crazy. My comments have been stressing me out lately. I used to be able to respond to each one, but sometimes real life gets in the way, and I can't do that, and I feel horrible.

    I'm also a mom. Overall, blogging has been a very positive thing for me. But lately I'm trying to cut myself some slack. I figure that I am the only one who reads my blog every day, so I should stop worrying so much.

  28. I think this has hit everyone hard and I've seen some similar posts. I actually cut back on blogging a year ago to spend more time focusing on family, but I know that sometimes I just need to sit back and remember what's important cause it's easy to let it suck up your time. I think I'll be assessing things a bit as well, but I have so many posts already scheduled (for ages in the future) that it's likely it won't be too obvious. I think I will stick to booking only two tours a month though because that is something that really eats up my time.
    I think we've all been hugging our kids just a bit closer these last couple days...

  29. My heart breaks every time I think of those families. We are all so blessed to have ours with us. I have been thinking about cutting back, especially on so many tours. I have a lot scheduled for January, but after that, I am going to slow down and spend more time with family. I pull a lot of 2:00 a.m.'s also. I don't mind if it is something I love though. Off to hug my little men again.

  30. Agree. A slice of perspective is better than regrets.

  31. Well said. I'm doing similar though it wasn't started by Friday's events. I just need to read because I want to not to meet a deadline.

    AND I am so worried about where these school shootings are going. One of my students was reading an article about TX peeps wanting to arm teachers and he was HOPEFUL that is would happen so we could protect them. It's so sad. As a teacher, this whole thing just terrifies me. We were locked down right after the shooting Friday for fear of copy cat crimes. It's just all kinds of wrong.



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