my blogging breakthrough

When I went to title this, I originally wrote breaththrough, which might be telling.

Taking a deep breath and going through!

So, the other night while I once again couldn’t sleep (after my last pregnancy I have a hard time falling asleep without the intervention of either melatonin or benedryll in some form. it’s very annoying, and something I’m trying to work on. but, then I have late nights), I had a breakthrough.

I’m laying there in bed, writing blog post after blog post mentally, and I came to a realization about something that has been holding my writing back: I have been taught that I mustn’t get too big for my britches.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I cannot think of a time where someone told me that outright. My parents certainly did not. But, it is an insidious thought that seems to permeate our culture here in the upper Midwest. Anytime anyone starts getting successful, there is always a time of abated breath until they mess up, then people knowingly nod, convinced of their rightness that it was too good to be true.

And let me ask you this, how many big name bloggers do you know of that come from Minnesota (that aren’t from the Twin Cities) or the Dakotas? I literally cannot think of any.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know of lots of women who blog, but they aren’t big names. They are small little family blogs. Why?

Are we not taught to write? Are we not just as good of writers as some of those who have made it big? Sure, we aren’t centered in cultural meccas, but we are no different than the millions of other people who make up America’s Heartland. Why is becoming a name on the Internet looked at askance?

I certainly don’t run around telling all the people I know about my blog. In fact, while I sometimes link to a post here or there from my old blog, it’s mostly life updates or birth stories (who doesn’t love a good ‘she got cut open and out popped a baby’ story?).

Certainly, there are those from the generations who just have no idea why we would want to write something and post it so a stranger can comment on it. They look at me skeptically when I mention that I have a Twitter account and actually know how to use it. It’s almost a point of pride to have no connection to anyone online.

Then, there is our generation. The one of the oversharing. Who constantly get mocked and ridiculed for the dumb stuff we feel the need to say.

How can you win? Who really cares about what I have to say, with the exception of my mom and my husband?

But, here I am, putting my name out here. Do I want to be a big name blogger? Oh, the human side of me says ‘yes please!’, but from the reading I’ve done, I’m not sure it’s worth it. So, I guess for now I will just write, and see what happens.

I have some ideas of topics to keep me posting regularly, which is really all that matters about a blog. Having something to say and saying it, and posting it.

So, here I am. Posting my flag on my little corner of the Internet (you better believe that flag is one magnificent piece of purple-ness). Stay tuned to see what I do with my kingdom.

monday mumblings

Here I am, watching the last few minutes of the morning tick off, once again sitting in the glow of the sunshine flowing in from the open door. One little girl is sleeping peacefully in the room next to me, and two little boys are outside adventuring their way up and down the yard. I have drank my daily allotment of coffee, and sip on water between jumps to go check on the progress of 4 little legs and 4 little arms fighting their way against lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

There are big possibilities facing the Vander Ley family. We are dreaming, and taking steps, and wondering when we will hit the brick wall that will tell us to stop. After all, we are children of farmers. There is always a limit to where you can dream, where you can go.

Or is that big blue sky there for us to grab?

There is nothing like vague pronouncements on a blog to make things really real. But, until they are truly, in our hand real, we hold them close to our hearts and our family, stepping forward and proclaiming when we find our firm yes.

For instance, this:


Our first little goat herd. 10 little doelings, small and sweet. Ready to become the mamas to our first crop of what we hope will become our future.

This is what we had hoped for our boys. Something we could do all together. We like each other, and if we could spend our time together as a family, that would be our dream. And so here we are:


A husband using his talents and skills to build what we need, stretching himself beyond what he knows to go for his dreams. 2 little boys running, and chasing, making a bit of nuisances of themselves, riling the goats up. And having the best time.


A little girl watching, taking it all in, counting the days until she can be in there with her brothers.

DSC_0335And me, documenting it, and hopping fences into situations where I don’t really know what to do, but willing to learn!

And that is us this Monday. Keeping on keeping on, washing the clothes, cooking the meals, working the jobs, but dreaming. Hoping what will be. Because after all, what is this life without a little dream?

thoughts on a Friday

the sun is shining, the temperature is above 40 and my soul is rejoicing. my desk is positioned just right that I can open our door and have the sun shine on me through the storm door.

if I could only get my children to stop closing it on me constantly, it would be awesome!

speaking of my children, those sleep-interrupting darlings, here they are, in all their messy faced, adorableness:


Lucy felt she needed to help herself to the rest of mommy’s coffee

(aided and abetted by her next oldest brother, who commonly steals my coffee and drinks it down as fast as he can)


this pretty much sums up Will in one small photo essay: the yarn around his head, those baby blues mesmerizing you into giving him whatever he wants, and snacking, always snacking


and the original goof, Drew. love his spunkiness.

this weekend will include a trip to town (which, if you’re from SD, you know involves an hour drive each way, running around to as many stores as possible in the shortest amount of time possible because 3 kids are not for the faint of heart, and feeling your BP rise in conjunction with the debits from your bank account), spending time with my awesome husband since it’s his weekend off, and enjoying some sun. love that sun!!

my opening salvo

Here I am, brand new site, just filled with white space, waiting to be filled with black words.

That’s a lot of pressure!

I have written and rewritten this post in my mind over and over again. While walking, while driving, while showering, I have combined witty and poignant and beautiful words to create a masterpiece. But, now I am sitting here, and I have just the normal kind of words.

Sometimes those are the most honest words.

This is my space to show you my world. It is no flying carpet, but it is my shooting rainbow slide (two staples of my childhood right there!).

Here I am, here are my words, thoughts, and pictures. I’m a little cynical, a little sassy, a little sentimental. Sometimes people don’t get that I’m joking when I am. I am totally in favor of creating a sarcasm font, so you understand something is sarcasm the way you understand an italicized title is a book or a movie.  I read a lot of books, have a lot of guilty pleasures, and love my family.

Wait with abated breath for more forthcoming wisdom, wit, and adorable pictures of my progeny!