We Made It!

No, I’m not talking about my husband and me. (But, yes, we did make it to 17 years of marriage this past week!). I’m actually referring to ALL of us. We made it through 2020. That feels like a real accomplishment, right?! I don’t think any of us could have anticipated how 2020 would turn out, but we made it to the end and it does feel good to leave last year behind and take steps forward.

This year, I hope to bring more content to this little ol’ blog. You may not know this, but I used to have a pretty popular blog back in the day. I was sponsored by big name brands and had no clue what that actually meant. There are many times in my life when I look back and realize that I had missed something big. Well, blogging was one of those things. I used to share printables, schedules, crafts, recipes, and so much more. I had a lot of followers, but, one day, I just up and quit. Not a wise decision… Then started a YouTube channel a few years later. But, I decided to ditch that as well. Will this be one of those decisions I look back upon and regret? Possibly. But it was the right thing to do right now and I have peace about that decision, so I’m going to run with it.

When I left YouTube a few months ago, I knew that I needed a break, but I am also the type of person who likes to be productive and have a thing that I do on the side that is just for me and something that I enjoy. Since YouTube, I have been randomly updating my Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/acommonlife I hope to do more of that this year, too. This week, I sat down and planned out some things I’d like to share on this blog now that I’m not longer filming, editing, uploading videos every week. I love planning and I have some things to share that you are going to enjoy!

And I love writing. I am incredibly out of practice, so cut me some slack while I ease back into it. When I was blogging almost daily, it was nothing for me to put together a post in minutes. That is no longer the case. But that’s ok. I enjoy this and I will do my best to keep up with it and share my wisdom from over a decade of homeschooling and fifteen years of parenting. Saying that makes me feel old. And I’m turning 40 in a few months, so that doesn’t help either.

So, let’s make this a great year! I wish you many blessings, true peace, and much joy.


Closing a Chapter

For the past four years, I have been sharing our homeschool journey on YouTube, but I’ve decided to move on and focus more on family. At the beginning, I thought that sharing videos would helps others; and I think it did… for a while.

But, soon, life became incredibly hectic. Gregory’s health was rapidly declining, and just surviving was taking up all of my energy. I took a month long break back in 2019, but that wasn’t quite enough. Once I began vlogging again, I just couldn’t find the joy that I had found in previous years. I decided to finish out the year and see how it goes.

By December of 2019, I was exhausted and I was very ready for a break. I planned to take a small break at the beginning of 2020, but, well, you know what happened in 2020. My short break ended up lasting seven months, but I came back right at the start of our 2020-21 homeschool year and gave it the ol’ college try.

I quickly realized that YouTube had become flooded with other homeschool accounts. When I started making videos back in 2016, there weren’t that many homeschoolers, but now… wow. It is amazing how many people have jumped on the bandwagon recently. I felt that, at this time, I didn’t have enough to offer. And, frankly, I didn’t want to put forth the time and effort for such a small return of investment.

It takes a lot of time to produce a video. And I would rather use my time for other things.

So, here I am, back on the old blog and attempting to write again like I used to many moons ago. I was one of those Mommy Bloggers before Mommy-Blogging was a thing. I actually blogged before I was a mom. I’ve basically always had some form of outlet online since 2003. Typing that date makes me feel *very* old, but, hey, it’s true.

No guarantees, but I hope to post on here somewhat regularly. I guess we’ll both see how it goes.

All the Best,

Authenticity on Social Media

Unattainably clean homes, perfect flatlays, and family photoshoots with children in matching clothes have taken over social media these days. If you’re anything like me, these photos make you feel like you’re not measuring up. If my home is messy or my mood is bad, I feel like I am failing. And, frankly, I’ve gotten to the point where I am sick of it. I am tired of feeling less than because my son has an Autism meltdown and our plans are derailed or my perfectly clean home is messy in ten minutes or because I need a big chunk of alone time. Aspiring to perfection is a ridiculously impossible ideal.

So, over on Instagram, I encouraged everyone to use the hashtag #reallifetoday to share what is going on in their world without filter or cleaning up messes. The response was amazing. It was so much fun to see people sharing real life, not posed photos in the perfect lighting with filters.

We’ve gotten to the point where people can’t tell the different between a filtered photo and a real, authentic one. No one has perfect skin or flawless hair all the time. Remember the days of people editing their thigh gap? Well, now we don’t even know to know how to edit; we can just pop on a filter and call it a day.

But, sadly, we are also filtering our lives. We are only sharing the good, the pretty, the “inspiring.” When, in all honestly, I would find it much more inspirational to hear how someone is fighting a current battle, not just the end result. We show before and afters, but we don’t always share in the inbetweens. And we are in the inbetween more than anywhere else.

I encourage you to share your inbetweens, your messes, your reality. I think if we all were to share the reality of our lives, we wouldn’t feel so isolated from one another. If your reality is that perfectly decorated home, more power to you. If you home was clean about five minutes ago but now it looks like a hurricane hit, I feel you. I’ve been in both places. If we are sharing online, let’s share it all: the good, the bad, and the inbetween.