Friends! Crickets have been chirping on the blog lately. And to be honest, I’m not really a fan of crickets. Taking a week off from my blog was not planned! Summer officially took over at my house and I have been literally on the go non-stop for the past two weeks. All good things! Just things that have kept me so busy I haven’t had time to brush my teeth, let alone post. ;)
Last weekend I spent four days in Atlanta for the Haven Blog Conference (a blog conference for people in the home decor/DIY niche.) Bloggers from all over attend and it’s such a fun (and exhausting in the best way!) conference.
Left to right: Brittany/Kris/Tamara/Randi/Bree/Kelley/Haneen/Me/Shauna/Jen
I met the above group of girls last year on Instagram and we all became fast friends. We had been looking forward to this conference for so long to finally get to hang out in person! We have all grown so close because of our shared love for decorating and blogging and are each others biggest support group. Therapists for free! These girls are even more beautiful on the inside than they are on the outside. They are so talented and if you haven’t seen their blogs and homes yet, check the links above! Aside from talented they are also kind and genuine. I’m so grateful to call them friends. We all had a blast and tears were shed both in laughter during our time together and sadness when the conference ended. I may have started some of that. I’m a cryer. :)
A lot of the time at Haven is spent in class. So much information to absorb! It was a little overwhelming to me at times. So I tried to be a good student and take notes.
While I love learning all I can about how to be a better blogger, the best part of the conference for me is spending time with friends. So much fun catching up with Abby and Sarah! Abby just shared a post on my organized mudroom if you want to check it out. :) Love these two.
A few of us snuck away one night for dinner at Cheesecake Factory and a quick trip to Anthropologie. Always a good time at Anthro! So fun to be there with friends who love it as much as I do. :)
Our last night together was a special dinner we all dressed up for. My friends all looked so beautiful! We were all wishing we had throw pillows in each of our dress fabrics. You can tell how this group thinks.
I had my “twin” as so many people call us show me how she always looks so good in pictures. I call this “the Brittany” and am working on mastering it. Body slightly tilted, legs together, one foot right behind the other, hand on hip. I still look a bit awkward.. it’s a work in progress. ;) Love this girl.
Two other favorites! No introduction is needed for Chris and Rhoda. They are two of the founders of Haven and I have admired both of them and their blogs for years. Two of the most wonderful, sincere women! I have loved getting to know them better the past few years and feel lucky to call them friends.
I also got to spend some time with Samantha, another close friend of mine. If you check out her blog you’ll quickly see why the two of us get along so well. :) We were laughing trying to get a good picture together. In the first picture we took she thought she looked fat and in the second one I thought I did so we opted for a side view. Third times a charm.. ha! Tip for the day: If all else fails turn to the side. Where was Brittany when we needed her?
Last one of the group! In almost every picture Shauna and I (the shorties) had to squat in the front. After 4 days of group picture taking it was clear our thighs were getting a major workout.
This conference was just what I needed in so many ways. Aside from a fun weekend away with the girls and a break from being “mom” (love my kids but summer was starting to wear me out!) it was such a great time to reflect on my blog. Where it has been and where it is going. I love so many things about blogging. Connecting with all of you, creative projects, the photography, the writing, having a place where I get to just be me and share all the things that I love – home decor, organizing, fashion, favorite things and family. But there are other things about blogging that I struggle with. The business and technical side of blogging does not come easily to me! It never has.
When I was going though all of our photos and saw this picture of us working on our blogs in the hotel room one night I laughed out loud! I don’t even remember someone taking this, but the look on my face says it all! I look like I want to escape! :) I don’t like to keep track of page views, I don’t like to work hard to grow on this or that form of social media (I just want social media to be fun), and I think SEO is for the birds! I know these things are important, but if I’m being honest, I’ve found that when I try to focus too much on those things, a little piece of the love I have for blogging dies inside of me.
The closing speakers this year were John and Sherry from Young House Love. Wildly popular bloggers who as most of you know I’m sure, burned out and took a sudden halt/break from blogging a year ago. Their talk resonated with me so much. They said “remember why you started.” I started blogging almost 8 years ago for the exact reasons I mentioned above. Connecting with all of you, creative projects, the photography, the writing, having a place where I get to just be me and share all of the things that I love – home decor, organizing, fashion, favorite things and family. I remember someone telling me once that to grow my blog I should narrow it down to just one topic, but I knew I could never do that! Sure, I might get more page views or Facebook likes. But I wouldn’t love blogging because my blog wouldn’t be a true reflection of me and what I was loving/doing at the moment. It wouldn’t be from the heart. And I would have quit long ago.
John and Sherry also talked about balance and how important it is to have a life outside of blogging (or any job for that matter). I think these reasons are exactly why I’ve been able to keep blogging for so long. I work hard to take breaks when I feel overwhelmed and to prioritize my family. I’m lucky that blogging is flexible that way. It isn’t easy. Especially when you love your job so much and there is always so much more you could be doing! Sometimes I can’t post as often as I’d like, I have to take breaks on social media I don’t want to take, e-mails and comments I want to respond to get left un-anwered, and every once in a while.. crickets.
I am learning and always a work in progress. But this I know – blogging brings me the most joy when I remember why I stared and focus on that. So I plan to continue to blog from the heart about the things that are fun and inspiring to me at the moment. I hope you’ll all stay along for the ride. :)
I returned home from Haven to 3 kids and a husband who were pretty happy to see me. My husband did a great job holding down the fort. (The first day I was gone he sent a text saying “we’ve played 10 board games, watched a movie and are now at Sea World.. what next?”) Ha! My kids said they had fun with dad but that they ate A LOT of pancakes .. “like for every meal mom.” I had to laugh. It’s his go to meal. Bless my sweet husband! He really is so supportive of this blog because he knows how much happiness it brings me. He was tired to say the least when I got home and even mentioned “you do a lot in a day that often goes unnoticed.”
That was all I needed to hear. :)
My sweet little boy I think missed me the most. The two of us are usually glued at the hip. He said “mom.. I only cried and showed I was missing you on the outside two times, but I was missing you on the inside all the time you were gone.” I don’t remember what was said after that. I had melted into a puddle on the floor.
I got home and didn’t even have time to unpack because the next day I was hosting a swimming party for all of the Young Women in our church (girls ages 12-18). Kole as always was a huge help with the party prep. ;)
Hosting parties can be a lot of work, but I’m always so happy when our home and pool are full of people.
The next day I let my kids have friends over so things were hopping at my house for two days straight.
Now the parties are all winding down and I’m SO behind on sleep.
Remember my organized playroom?
Here is what it currently looks like…
The rest of my house isn’t much better. But my kids are happy.
And after a crazy but wonderful week, so am I.
And that’s what matters most.
65 thoughts on “When Summer Takes Over (and thoughts on blogging)”
Love this post, Erin! I kept thinking about teaching as I read: it’s easy to get caught up in the “business” side of test scores and the newest trend, when what really matters is the kids. So thanks for the reminder to focus on the part of my job I love and although as a teacher (like a blogger) you’re never “done” you have to have a balanced life and family always comes first! It’s easy to forget hose things at the beginning of a new school year. Thanks for your honesty, as usual, and don’t worry: I don’t mind a few crickets and they won’t keep me from coming back! ❤️❤️
So true Jennie! The same thing applies to most jobs. It’s like that quote.. “they may forget what you said or did, but they will never forget the way you made them feel..” Truly the most important thing at the end of the day. My mom and I have talked about that a lot when it comes to teaching! Thank you so much for your sweet words! Happy back to school! Wishing you a wonderful school year. :) xo
I like your blog just the way it is, and always have. I’ve been a faithful reader forever. I don’t like when blogs become to professional and fancy and they lose the down-home touch. Some blogs seem to care more about numbers of readers then just living life and sharing that life. Keep up the great work. I, too, struggle with the techy side of things and recently had to put together a PowerPoint and I almost had a heart attack over it :) Thanks for many years of great reading.
Thank you so much Kelly! I am laughing! I’d be the same way preparing a PowerPoint. :) It means so much to me that you have been reading for so long! Thank you! xo
hey Erin! I just wanted to share… I know what you mean on the crickets on the blogging front… I am also a blogger and in my mind I’d love to quit my real job and just blog, well in real life I want that too! lol But I have crickets on my blog a lot, I welcome them bc I just cannot blog all the time the way I want too. And I’ve never been able to block myself into a niche and only talk about one thing ALL THE TIME. sounds boring to me so I am with you, blog about what you love and we get the real you and us regular readers know that you’re a wife and mom first so we know the blog takes a backseat at times and us regular readers are ok with that!!! And that’s what the subscribe button is for, I get emails to tell me when you’re up to something over here… and to be frank, we all can tell when someone stops blogging from the heart and starts blogging for the coins…we don’t mind a sponsored post here and there but as long as we can still hear Erin in there we’re fine with that! and yes for some reason I started speaking for all of us but I know you know what I mean… hey the coffee is kicking in now lol Have a great weekend!!
Aria! I love you. :) Such a sweet comment and I feel the same way you do.. about all of it! Thank you so much for being so sincere and such a huge support to me! Your kind words mean so much. xo
Sounds like busy but fun couple of weeks. Love hearing about Your fun filled days. School will start soon and you’ll get back in the swing of blogging again. Enjoy the last days of having them home.
Oh my gosh, Erin, that comment that Kole made to you just melted me, too. How touching that he was able to articulate that to you as well. So beautiful! I’m glad you were able to get away and have a fun and educational girls’ time. And even happier that it helped your family appreciate all that you do when you are home. So glad your husband told you that, too. Fun pool parties. I’m so glad you are sticking with blogging on your terms. If you aren’t yourself, it shows and I so enjoy you just the way you are. Even when you need a bit of a break. :) Have an awesome weekend!
Erin! What a great post! I just love reading your stories and now that we’ve met in person (which I am so grateful for, I just love you!), I can hear your voice speaking as I read! I love that you stay true to what you love on here and clearly that’s why you’re the amazing success that you are – you are an inspiration to me! Tam xoxo
Great post and I love that you keep it real! ..I have been wanting to start a blog for years, and keep putting it off due to the lack of techy skills.. but I’m determined to do it!
I love blogs, I love learning from them, feeling like you connect with the blogger, and watch their talent be shared with their readers. .. thank you !!!!
You should start one Heidi! I think you would be amazing at it! xo
Good for you, Erin! I’m new to blogging and started while working a full time job and quickly realized that it is exhausting. Trying to take care of your family (I only have one child – a teenager with the schedule of 3 children) a lawyer husband who works crazy long hours (whaaaa), a new home to decorate, a full time job and a blog was just too much to handle. While I think I can take on the world, I just couldn’t and hate to admit that. I have since cut back to part time (from home) and hope to give my blog the attention it deserves. It is so comforting to see that it can still be done, and well; while making sure your family comes first – all while enjoying what you do :). Thanks for the real talk and inspiration :)
Oh my word Dawn! I was overwhelmed just reading that! That is a lot on your plate for sure! I’m so glad you cut back. It’s so important to do that when you just have too much on your plate. Good luck with your blog and thank you for your sweet comment! xo
Oh my goodness I couldn’t love you more! Lol! So glad y’all learned “the Brittany”! Hahaha. I had THE best time with you AGAIN and I can’t wait until next time! Enjoy your last days of Summer!
I’m going to get there at some point Brittany! Ha ha.. ;) I always love time spent with you cutie! So grateful to have you in my life! xo
Sounds like you had a fabulous time at Haven. I was sorry to miss it yet again. One of these days. I think there is a lot to be said for what Young House Love went through. I have personally seen it in many blogs I follow (many I used to). When you get away from being true to yourself, the whole vibe of your blog is off.
I agree Lauren! It happens to all of us at times. It’s a lot of work to stay true to yourself in this on-line world, but so worth it! I hope you can come to Haven next year! I’d love to meet you in person. :) xo
Love all you write about, but you already know that! 😊 Your authentic, beautiful self comes through on your blog and I that’s what I love most about reading!!! Looks like a great time at Haven! Can’t wait until next year! Get some sleep, friend! xoxo
Thanks so much cutie! You know how much your opinion means to me. :) Can’t wait for next year! And for lots of phone call therapy sessions in-between. ;)
Erin I absolutely loved this post! So real and honest and it is definitely something I find very refreshing in your blog! Thank you for sharing your journey, family and life :) It has been fun following your blog and I feel I get to know you a little more all the time! Enjoy the rest of your summer with your kids and husband and remember to take time for you!
What a sweet comment Darcy! Thank you so much! That means a lot to me. Enjoy your summer too cutie. :) xo
Glad you had such a good time at Haven! Love your blog and that’s a little bit random sometimes. :)
Thank you so much Kristen! That means a lot. :) xo
Your messy playroom is still more organized than ours! LOL I’ve got to get to work on that!
No worries Tracy! I have rooms that are a lot worse too! Baby steps. :) xo
I’m a long time reader, really enjoy your posts, especially fashion Friday as we have very similar body shapes. One issue, the new ads you have are covering your photos. Maybe reformat ? I had a hard time reading tonight. Not trying to be critical, just thought you might not realize.
Hi Julia! Thank you so much! I’ll look into that! I’m so glad you let me know. Ads shouldn’t be covering the pictures! xo
Maybe because I’m reading on a mobile device instead of my laptop? Either way, no biggie. Keep posting your favorite lounge wear, I’ve purchased many of your recs and you know how to lounge. I’ve been on a search for the perfect lounge pants since the velour suits went out of style…I’m still looking. I purchased. The make and model joggers but the waist fit tight, which was weird.
Oh bummer those didn’t fit right in the waist Julia! I’ll definitely share any new lounge clothes I get. I’m all about comfy clothes. ;) xo
What a fun few days you had at Haven! And hosting summer parties and kiddos…that’s what summer is for! Your comments are exactly why I love to follow you! Your blog reflects all the pieces of you that bring you joy. When you’re gone, we miss you! But I always respect a blogger’s choice to take a break or choose family or prioritize their lives. You shouldn’t be tied to the computer to the detriment of your family and friends. We as readers need to remember that bloggers provide an inspirational outlet for us to enjoy. You’re not there to serve us and don’t owe us anything. When we begin to view it that way, it takes the joy out of reading too! I could go on…probably shouldn’t…😉! Just want to encourage you (and others if you share with them!). Xoxo
PS – that comment from your little guy about missing you…SWOON! I’d have been dead in a heap on the floor!
Oh my word.. I know, right!? I melted!! xo
Absolutely loved your kind words Nikki! Thank you so much! It truly means so much to me that you miss me when I’m gone but also understand! I can’t ask for better than that. ;) You made my night with those kind words. Connecting with genuine people like you is a huge part of why I love blogging so much. Thank you so much for the support and encouragement. It means so much to me! xo
Erin, I love this! I can’t imagine your blog being anything other than what it already is! It is such a fun and happy place to come to and I always get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside after I read your posts. Does that sound sappy?? haha! You’ve been doing it right all along! That’s why I love you, your authenticity and heart are shown in your words, your photos, your home and your sweet family. Love you to the moon and back and miss you already!
Love that I’m texting you and answering your blog comment at the same time. I just can’t get enough of you Shauna! Ha! But seriously.. couldn’t love you more! And for the record, I adore warm and fuzzy and feel the same way when I read your blog. That made me smile. :) xo
And I thought I loved you before…. This was such an incredible post! It’s hard to pick a favorite line, but you got me at, “therapists for free”!!! Please know how touching it is to see your mommy, wife, and party host side. You are truly amazing and I feel lucky to call you my friend! xoxo
Thank you so much Jen! What a kind thing to say. Made me miss you all over again! I feel the same way about you sweet friend and can’t wait for our next party! Love you to pieces! xo
Great post Erin! Just shows how many sides that you have to your life. I used to follow many more blogs and slowly started to gravitate away from those that were “all business”. While I love the eye candy of a beautiful home blog, it’s not worth reading if I don’t feel a connection to the blogger. You have never lost your touch on how to share all the important pieces with your readers. My favorite part of this post is the shot of your son playing in the playroom. My youngest is the same age and this looks so much like my home- except with better photography and that killer toy closet! I also loved the shot of you and Sam who I’ve also followed all through her move and home renovation. Thank you for being real and never worry about the crickets. Your true readers are out living life too and we’ll all be back!
So sweet of you Audrey! Thank you! I have stopped reading a lot of the blogs I used to read for that same reason too. I’m so touched that you still enjoy mine! And I love that the picture of Kole reminded you of your son! They are at such a fun age right now. I wish I could freeze Kole. It’s hard to watch your youngest grow up, isn’t it!? Thank you so much for your kind words Audrey. They honestly made me so happy. :) xo
So bittersweet watching them grow up. My youngest is off to kindergarten in a couple weeks (he’s turning 6 on Monday but needed a little extra time last year). He’s very independent and mostly excited about it. I feel as if it’s my last time to do everything- the first day of school sign, special breakfast, interview for his scrapbook. My 3 older boys are sooo over all of this, but my mama heart needs to soak it in one last time.
Oh it’s so hard when it’s your last Audrey! Soak it in for sure! I bawled last year when Kole started Kindergarten. Not a little sob, I was full on bawling! My husband took me to breakfast just to calm me down. It was a rough morning. I hope yours is better! xo
Oh, this is just why I love your blog! You keep it real, you share what’s in your heart and that shows in your posts. A long time ago, most blogs were just like that, but nowadays I think most blogs are to focused on how to get the most money/klicks/whatever and not blogging straight from the heart. I don’t care for it, I want to read blogs that feels true. Like yours!
What a sweet thing to say Johanna! I’ve seen that happen a lot too. I’m so supportive of people making money with their blogs, but I hate it when their blogs change and they lose their voice! It makes me so happy you still enjoy mine. Thank you for your kind words! xo
How sweet is Kole?! I would have been in a puddle on the floor as well! My 4 year old told me that he cried for me at school the other day. Made me so sad!
Oh my word Joanna! So heartbreaking. Little boys miss their moms! xo
I’m so glad you had such a great time at Haven, and I’m SO SO glad you are the kind of blogger you are. I enjoy your blog so much, Erin. I think it brings back happy memories of when my children were young, and I was “that” mom who always had a house-full of kids or a car-full driving them to swim lessons, soccer, or the park to run off some of that energy. I think the thing that really draws me to your blog is that you seem so real. Yes, you have a “dream house,” wear the cutest clothes and have super-cute kiddoes, but you almost always respond to a comment. You are quite unique in that area….most bloggers who have a large following, don’t pay much attention to us little people. My sweet grandmother would have said “they have gotten too big for their britches!” I do understand the time and effort that goes into a blog; even when you are not using it as a money-making business, it’s time-consuming. So, when I say that I appreciate you for the kind of blogger and sweet person you are, I am being completely honest. Now that I’ve said that, I truly do not expect you to respond to every comment I make. You are a very busy young mom with your family as top priority….that’s as it should be in my book.
Carol! I just love you! I always have. :) Your kind words mean so much to me. It makes me so happy that my blog brings back happy memories for you. And the comment your grandma would have made cracks me up! Sounds like something my grandma would have said too. :) Thank you for always stopping by and for leaving the sweetest comments. They always make me so happy. Warm hugs right back! :) xo
Erin, yours is one of my favorite blogs. I love that it’s not a “professional” blog—not that it isn’t done well, as a professional blog should be, but I like that it’s an honest reflection of your life and is full of your passions: your family, your house, fashion, and organizing! :) Sometimes (not always), blogs that people run for a business can reek of desperation, with tons of sponsored posts, urging readers to share posts and follow on social media, that kind of thing … things that are all OK, but in moderation. Everything you do with your blog is very natural. The sponsored posts are spread out AND they are brands/products you love and actually use. So, thank you for having such an honest and wonderful blog. I wouldn’t want you to change a thing, unless you reallllly want to… ;) Hope you have a great week!
Amy your sweet comment made my day! Thank you so much. It means so much to me that you feel that way! Thank you for your kind words! Especially nice to hear on a Monday morning. ;) xo
Love this Erin! And love what that cute Kole said-I would have been a puddle also! What a sweetie!
Thank you Sarah! :) xo
I love your blog — it radiates gratitude, kindness, love of your family, sense of humor — not to mention such beautiful posts and ideas on decor and yes even cooking!!
Becky! What a kind comment! Thank you. That honestly means so much to me! Your comment just made my night. Even cooking huh? ;) You are the best. :) xo
Well, I must have been hiding under a rock because I am just now seeing this. Erin, you and your blog are perfect, and, you have inspired me to start digging a little deeper and getting a little more personal. The things that make me happy and bring me joy. Yes, selfies in class are absolutely the sign of a good student! HAHA Oh how I love you and this weekend we had together. Can’t wait for next time xoxo
Thanks so much sweet Kelley! I agree.. our selfies were a must. ;) I had so much fun with you! And I absolutely love my little notepad and E tray. Thank you for being so thoughtful! Excited for next time for sure. :) xo
I also like your blog just as it is, Erin! I laughed when I saw your picture with the others looking at your laptops trying to learn all the technical stuff about blogging. I would look like you if I was a blogger too! Part of the fun would be sucked out of me too if I had to keep track of views, writing only about certain topics, etc. There’s nothing wrong with learning and growing in the areas of our weakness, just don’t overwhelm me with it or I might die.
Changing the subject, have your shared photos of your pool changing room/outdoor bathroom? Your playroom looks just fine with toys out of place. It’s all contained in the room so that’s just amazing! It’s always so fun and educational to read your blog and see pictures of your home, decor, family, fashion. We’re looking into the idea of having a pool, and I hope you’ll get a chance to share infos on your pool build.
Ha ha..too funny Debbie! Sounds like we both feel the pain of all things technical! :) I haven’t shared pics of my outdoor bathroom yet but I plan to soon! Try typing “pool” into the search bar of my blog. I wrote several posts about it when we were building! Thank you for your sweet words about my blog! So happy you like it. :) xo
Erin! LOVED this post so much! Love what Kole told you when you came home! Precious! I would’ve been a puddle too! Loved the fun pics of everyone having fun in the pool! Keep doing what you’re doing! Xo
Thank you so much Haneen! Oh my word.. I know.. he can say the sweetest things! I had to get that one recorded. :) I had so much fun with you cutie! Can’t wait until our next trip! xo
Love this post so much and couldn’t agree more. With everything you said.
So grateful for your friendship and your solid, amazing, down to earth, lovely head on your shoulders! You’re the best! Best mom, wife and decorator! Love you!
Sam! You are the sweetest! Thank you so much my beautiful friend. Your kind words mean so much to me and I think the same of you! I look up to you so much. And I love you to pieces! xo
Hi Erin! I am so glad you had a great time at Haven! I am SO mad that I didn’t get to talk to you. :( Next year, we have got to have lunch together or something. :)
We are a lot alike in our blogging philosophy. I just have to blog about what I love, or else I stop enjoying my blog.
Anyway, hope things are going well!
Hi cute Traci! So fun to hear from you! Oh my word.. I loved Haven! Such a fun conference and you all did an amazing job putting it together (again!). I was bummed I didn’t get to talk to you much either! It’s such a whirl wind trying to pack everything in. Next year for sure! I would seriously love that. :) Thanks for your sweet comment and enjoy your weekend! xo
Erin! I must be the worst friend ever!!! I read this before but just realized I never commented after clicking over from my site. I can’t get over how much I am missing you right now and all of the warm and fuzzy feelings from Haven are rushing right back. I had so much fun and learned so much from you while there and on the subject of your blog…yours is my absolute fav for so many reasons!! I love how you are able to meld tips on design and organizing with personal things…something I need to get much better at (yikes!). Until next time sweet friend:) Xoxo
Oh Bree.. you are the sweetest! Thank you so much and don’t EVER worry about not commenting. We all have so much going on! I know you love me. :) Happy almost Fall cutie! Love you too. ;) xo