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How do you start a blog?

Many women ask me this question: “How do I start a blog?” and I always give them the same answer: I took The Blog Class with our real life friends Emily and Ryan of Jones Design Company.

If you know you want to start a blog, stop reading this post and click here to see the re-launch of The Blog Class with Emily and Ryan.

If you are familiar with blogging, you could start a blog pretty easily with a template and a free account. These free resources are great for people who want to use their blog as a sort of online journal that they can share with others.

But what if you need more than that?

What if you need someone to explain everything to you in a way that you actually understand it?

The Blog Class includes 40 cheerful, inspiring instructional videos that you can view over and over at your convenience.

What if you need shopping carts and customizable everything?

If you plan to sell something from your blog, or promote your book or homemade products, you need a customizable template (which comes with the Blog Class! It’s the Canvas theme, which normally costs $100; it’s the same one I use). This way you can add your own graphics and info for your business, and make changes to whatever you’d like to change as time goes on.

What if you want to save tons of time and avoid mistakes that many newcomers make?

For example:

What size photo can you add to a blog?

Why does the size of the photos matter?

How do I adjust the size of my photos?

How do I avoid spam comments? (I’ve had like 13,000 spam comments in just two years that were blocked because Ryan helped me find the right spam blocker!)

How do I make sure I don’t pick up viruses?

And here is the big one:

What if you need lots of encouragement?

Emily and Ryan are some of the most encouraging and generous people I know. They will put 150 % of their effort into helping you succeed, and they will encourage you and cheer you on.

Emily and Ryan truly encouraged me. I don’t think I ever would have started my blog without this class.

If you are stuck anywhere in the process and you really need things to come together for your blog, take this class! It is totally worth the money. Check out their info page here. It’s time to get started because you have something beautiful to offer and you need to get it out there! Good Luck!


Please share this post with anyone you know who is thinking about starting a blog!




P.S. Do you have any questions for me about blogging? Feel free to ask me anything you’d like in the “Reply” section and I will get back to you.

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What I Learned about Blogging

To conclude my 31-day writing challenge (a bit late, I know … I was supposed to conclude on Halloween) I thought I’d write a bit about what I have learned about blogging in the past month.

First of all, I love writing and sharing my stories. I love the process of sitting down and typing my thoughts. That is a good thing.

It is good to push myself to achieve more, try something new, and continue learning and growing.

However, trying to type and publish something every day can result in quantity without quality. It is difficult to come up with great graphics, photos, and writing content every single day, especially if blogging is something that gets put off until after the kiddos are in bed. The result is something more like a journal entry than a contribution to society. It is more about what is going on in my head than what you might benefit from as a reader.

Blogging every day takes a lot of time and dedication. It takes away from other things I could be doing with my time … like preparing for baby #5. Or sleeping.

This writing challenge was so good for me. I had something that was my own. A goal that was for my own enrichment.

It was also a challenge in my marriage. Andy and I bickered a lot this month about how I was spending my time. He was concerned that I was not getting enough sleep, which was a very valid concern.

Blogging requires discipline and organization. It requires planning and tact. I am not gifted in these areas. But they are areas in which I  have a strong desire to improve.

Ultimately, I like it. I like blogging, so I will continue to try to do it well. But I must remember to love God, my husband, and my family first.

Thank you for being a part of this series: 31 final days of my 5th pregnancy! More updates on baby #5 are to come! Subscribe by email if you would like to receive pics and updates. My due date is November 9. Just a few more days. Unless I have another post-due pregnancy! 

I truly cherish your prayers and support. Thank you, my friends. Keep in touch!



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10 things i want (to do)


1. Get more sleep

For the past 10 years, my sweet husband has been asking me to get to bed earlier. I’ve been telling him that I’m just a night owl and I will never go to bed earlier than midnight. But this year, which happens to be a year when I am reading through the whole Bible, I finally agree with him. My mind is changed. I want to get more sleep. I have a new respect for God’s design: sunset and sunrise. I believe there is a reason why the sun sets earlier in the winter flu season and later in the summer when there is beautiful weather. God knows that his creation needs lots of rest. This year I am choosing to believe that God’s design–sunset and sunrise–is a perfect indicator of when I should rest, even though I don’t fully understand why he designed it that way. Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to break my bad habits and get to bed earlier. Like 10 p.m. Any suggestions?

2. Wake up with the sunrise

A handful of times, I have woken up with the sunrise. One time was when I was on APU’s Walkabout with the RA staff, and we had 48 hours of solitude in the mountains of Yosemite. I had fallen asleep the moment the sun went down because there was nothing else to do and I was all by myself in a sleeping bag in the woods with only a tarp, flashlight, Bible, bear whistle, and water pump. That next morning I woke up with the sunrise, ready for a new day. In the wilderness, it is absolutely the natural way to sleep: sunset to sunrise. I loved it. It may sound weird, but one of my goals is to wake up with the sunrise every morning. I believe that somehow, if it’s truly God’s design, it will benefit my family and me.

3. Be ready to give freely

The act of giving is something that keeps my heart soft. I want to be ready to give whenever a person needs help. I want to keep dollar bills in my car so I am ready to hand them to people who stand on the side of the road asking for money. It would be great if I could stop wondering if they are going to use the money for alcohol or drugs. Because every time I judge a person who is begging on the side of the road, and wonder if they make more money per hour than my husband, Jesus challenges me: Is your heart soft toward the poor? I know that giving to the poor is good for my spirit. I want to be ready to give instead of being quick to protect my wallet.

4. Plan more date nights

Date nights? Somehow they don’t happen. I’d really like to spend more time with just Andy.

5. Keep the house tidy

I keep my house clean (except for dusting–I hate dusting.) I vacuum every few days, my girls clean the bathroom once or twice a week, stuff like that … but I have a lot of clutter. That is what I want to do: delete the clutter. This is something that has to happen before the holidays. To start, we are having a garage sale this Saturday. I’m really looking forward to getting rid of stuff! Not looking forward to getting up with the sunrise.

6. Prioritize my time

Remind me to never start a blog, self publish a book, open an Etsy shop (more to come on that), and start homeschooling in the same year ever again. Actually, all of these things have been a huge blessing after years of feeling like I’d lost my identity in motherhood. I can also say that reading through the Bible has helped me achieve these goals as it has helped me to think clearly. But I need to prioritize my time. It is easy to get distracted by the fun stuff, like writing this post, and neglect the final edit of my book.

7. Stop yelling at the kids

As I was writing this list, my daughter chimed in: “Write down, ‘Stop yelling at your kids.'” “Do I really yell a lot?” I asked. “Yes, ” she insisted. It’s probably true. See #1, #4, #6, #9 and #10 for reasons why I yell a lot. According to my daughter, this is definitely something I need to work on. Please forgive me!

8. Go to fun places more often

We actually just went to the Graber Olive House (amazingly delicious olives)


and Logan’s Candies (amazing handmade candy canes)


with the homeschool co-op. So I’m feeling better about this one. But I want to be more intentional about doing fun things with my family. It’s so easy to say no to the extra stuff when I am feeling worn out.



9. Stop obsessing over my blog

This blog is so much fun. I love reading comments and hearing people’s reactions to what I share. But I don’t want to care too much about how many FB shares each post gets. And I don’t want to become narcissistic. Which is a word that originally came from the Greek mythological character of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.


Do I post too many pictures of myself?


Most bloggers have to have a healthy narcissism or they wouldn’t have a blog.

10. Get to ballet class

I finally went back to ballet class after missing a few months due to a broken toe. Ballet is like therapy, exercise, and “me time” all rolled into one. When I was in high school, I went to ballet class every day except Sundays. Now I go once a week–if I’m lucky. It keeps me sane. I come home in such a great mood! I think that’s why Andy and the kids always encourage me to go …



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