Thursday, February 27, 2014

reader q & a

You know what I always find funny? When people complain about full inboxes. Yes, let me feel sorry for you who is so e-popular that you just can't get to all those emails in between bouts of complaining about your full inbox.

Harsh? Maybe. Probably. I just think complaints should be saved for actual issues like ... this winter that so clearly has a death wish for all of mankind or Juan Pablo.

So ... I will never complain about a full inbox (and really ... with gmail's insane storage space ... I don't think I'll ever technically have a full inbox .... ever) but I do feel terrible about some emails that I can't always get to or I don't adequately respond to because I get a little distracted in the face of Theo gnawing off my back-of-the-knee hair that I've missed while shaving for the past zillion years of my life.

So I thought I'd respond to a few of the frequently flown questions (or maybe asked just once or twice ... but let me pretend) in a post.

With recycled photos ...



I asked for questions over on Facebook earlier today so I added a few of those in addition to the emailed q's ...

Q: How do you make collages? (examples here and here)
A: Picasa! I just take screen shots of all the different products/photos, and then hit "create collage". I usually use PicMonkey to add text but Picasa has an add text option as well.

Q: I'd love to hear how you managed having a long distance relationship with Simon, what the ups and downs of that were and how you handled any doubt there may have been, how you got over any anxiety - if you had it.
A: Hmm. I kind of wish Simon would answer this but I'll try my best! (And here's the story of how we met - in case you're just tuning in) We might have been a bit of an anomaly but we talked on the phone pretty much every night for hours and hours (I remember complaining about not getting enough sleep because I had a "commute" and oh, how my baby wrangling self would love to slap some sense into big important commuter Grace today). We also emailed a lot. A LOT. And wrote letters. I was quick to broach doubts or issues (especially after the Valentine's Day debacle) and Simon always talked me down from my crazy but ultimately I think being long distance was really good for our relationship because we fleshed out the majority of the big issues pretty early on. We had no choice but to talk about matters of our faith, nfp, staying at home with the (potential) kids, long-term career goals, and beyond. We saw each other every three weeks (when I reminded Simon of this he said, "wow - we must've really loved each other!" - ha) which helped but because we started the relationship by dating long distance we really didn't know anything different. It should probably be noted that two months after we got engaged I packed up my things, found an apartment a few blocks from Simon's in Kansas City and said, "hasta la never again!" to long distance. We managed the long distance but we were ready to be done with it when the time came. I think being as honest and transparent as possible is imperative to the success of long distance dating but I'm not an expert and I do think God had a big hand in our story and that we were really lucky to find each other. This is creeping into rejected Hallmark flick synopsis territory so I'll stop here.

Q: I have a 2.5 year old and a 16 month old and I'm due with our third this fall and my oldest will be 3 and the middle child will be just about 2 and I am very nervous about handling 3 kids 3 and under. I am a stay at home mom and just wondering if you have any advice or what to expect?
A: Congrats!! I wrote a post on surviving three under three here ... and all I can say is to set your expectations really low and that it does get so much easier as they get older. Don't let the naysayers get you down! And for what it's worth here's a post on surviving two under two ... in addition to not being a relationship expert - I'm not a parenting expert and make lots of mistakes. Lots of mistakes!

Q: What's the name of the acne system you blogged about a few months ago?
A: Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Acne Kit. I can't say enough good things about this stuff (everything I've tried - I've loved). Here's my referral link that will give you $10 off your first order but ... no pressure. Ever.

Q: How do you find time to blog regularly?
A: I really try to keep the blogging to afternoon nap time (usually 1:30 - 4:30 or 5) but I'll admit that I sometimes get up early and stay up late to answer emails and very occasionally work on posts (I'm terrible about scheduling posts in advance though ... and almost never ever do it). Sometimes Julia won't nap but she'll stay in her room singing songs about Jesus' muscles (no, no - I don't worry about her ever) and yesterday Theo refused to nap because (classic mom excuse!!) he is cutting some crazy molars and I don't think I cut his morning nap short enough so I had to write the posts in little four minute bursts of one-handed productivity. I should probably post less than I do and work more on meal planning, house cleaning, and other sexy things but I really enjoy the daily outlet for now.

Q: What are some home decor blogs you follow/are inspired by?
A: I only read Little Green Notebook (love her) but am hopeful Rachel will start a little decor series on her blog and I'm not giving up hope that Simon's sister will resurrect her blog because it was my absolute favorite favorite.

Q: What kind of camera do you use?
A: Mostly my iPhone (and it shows .... sadly) but we have a Canon Rebel T1i and this lens. One of these days I'm going to buckle down and walk myself through some tutorials. And make a really nice dinner. And and and and AND.

Q: Do you have a set number of kids in mind? Do you have a limit?
A: We don't! I've talked a little about this here though.

And this is far too long as it is. Also ... duty calls ...

... and that car makes a lot of noise so I'm going to negotiate it out of his hands and into the basement storage room. Forever.

I'll answer more in a few weeks -- (so pretty please comment with the inevitable crickets with any questions!! or email!!) if anyone is still reading the blog at all after this riveting river of a post.


27 comments:

  1. That car looks like an annoyingly noisy dump truck that we had that sang, "In and out, in and out, that's what dump trucks are about!" (Unfortunately I know the whole song but I'll spare you.) ;)

    I love reading about your days with your kids and can't wait to (virtually) meet your 4th!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha. that's the SAME CAR.

      and of course .... the kids love it :)

      Thanks Heather!!

      Delete
    2. Haha I KNEW IT. I don't know where ours went... ;)

      Delete
  2. Can we do a Q&A for Simon? Such as, "Why won't you let Grace post 'Simon Says' anymore?"

    Also - how is your whole family so funny? That is a real question. No idea what the real answer is.

    How interesting that people ask if you're Mormon! I guess thinking about it you really don't say Catholic much, so maybe I just knew that because of Catholic brain waves or something!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Um, just take the batteries out of the car! We have that same one and I bought it used, and never knew it could make noise. We always take the batteries out of toys before the kids get them or else my sanity would be even more questionable than it is.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have that car too, but it no longer makes any noise (I'd forgotten that it once did until you mentioned it), so maybe there's hope for you? I'm sure my boys must have broken ours somehow. Perhaps you could whack it really hard on something? Or find batteries to remove? Something!

    Loved the Q&A! And I'm so glad someone asked that collage question. I'll need to look deeper into Picasa now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great Q & A. I do collages on Picasa and add text in Picmonkey too! I can't figure out the text in Picasa. Scheduling posts is a great idea but I'm super bad at doing it too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. AH! (Sorry, actually screaming here.) I've been reading for a while but must be a Terrible! stalker, because I just read the story of how you and Simon met via your link and, AH!, DC/Alexandria! I live in Old Town Alexandria - isn't it just the best? What part of town did you live in?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ok, first, I just want to say AMEN to your first paragraph. I feel like it is the WORST humble brag when people talk about "SO MANY NEW EMAILS! Sigh. I promise to respond." No one needs to know you have 777777777 emails. Just take care of them. Then tweet "Love emptying the inbox" or something like that. Sorry, I just get so annoyed with small/big bloggers who act like emails are the bane of their existence. Like, if you can't handle that your JOB is to answer readers and they are the ones clicking things to pay for your life, you should email them back. SORRY RANT OVER!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Word. I have 7,777,777 emails…but they are all for coupons, BOGOs, sign this petition, or enhance my man parts. I get excited about emails from, you know, people who read my lil bloggy.

      Delete
  8. Ellen caught me giving away some of her more annoying toys. I had them out on the porch for a poor, unknowing soul to pick up. She was super pissed that her "friend stole all her toys!" Hard knock life.

    Now a question: Tons of articles on spank/no spank going around these days. Where do that Pattons weigh in?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Would love to hear you talk about being Catholic more and how you integrate it into your daily and family life!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'll be looking for Julia's single on iTunes real soon -- can't wait to hear about Jesus' muslces!

    ReplyDelete
  11. How do you find the motivation to workout? I have one and I have zero motivation (time, energy, I'm just lazy)...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha - I go really, really crazy if I don't exercise -- and that might just be my personality. Some people need to socialize or read or clean but I really need to move a little bit every day or my mood gets pretty ugly. I've found out the hard way :)

      I don't do much -- sometimes just 50 quick jumping jacks outside or 10 minutes of a workout video but something is better than nothing in my opinion and experience :)

      Delete
  12. My question is how do have a full vase on top of your table? My boys would knock that off in seconds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha. Sebastian has spilled it a few times so I guess it's dumb to have it up there but sometimes it's nice to have something pretty to look at because things are pretty decor-bare around here!

      Delete
  13. I have been reading your blog for a few months now and love it. I live in the Kansas City area and after this year will have two under two. Thank you for the laughs and entertainment! Also, I am now a ThreadUp addict.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just recently found your blog & have been loving it so far :) I do have a question... I wont be surprised if you don't want to answer this one, but I'd love to hear tips regarding how you guys handle money on a resident's salary with the kiddos. My husband is a resident also (peds!) & I work too, but every time I think about having kids I have a mini-panic about the money... we're already paying so much for his student loans! Kids are expensive! I know so many people do it on even less, but, if you have any tips/reassurances that'd be awesome

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah! If you want to email me (people have emailed about this before!) I can give you a more detailed answer but I think people think kids are more expensive than they actually are (with varying factors, of course!). But the panic attack is totally understandable!! Kids don't cost nothing - obviously :)

      Delete
  15. I just want you to know how much I love your long distance relationship story. My husband and I dated long distance all throughout college. When I tell people that, I think they write us off as weird. Glad to know we aren't alone in the world. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love your long distance story, too! My fiance and I started long distance & dated ld for about a year and a half and I totally agree that it made things stronger for us - we had to talk about issues and also it helped us avoid the sort of non-committal trap that I see a lot these days, the "I'll text you this weekend to see what you're up to" instead of "we're hanging out this weekend." trap! If we wanted to see each other, we had to be upfront and get all of that silliness out of the way and I'm grateful for that! But was extra grateful when we eventually ended up in the same city! thanks for answering reader Q's! Liz

    ReplyDelete
  17. Loved this post!!! Even though I am one of your biggest stalkers this is always a treat! You and Simone give me hope for my Catholic match! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The Mormon question made me laugh :) Totally true though that I always wonder when I meet people with big families whether they are fellow Catholic NFPers or Mormon.

    I'm always a fan of Q&A posts. I'm so glad that you shared Paula's Choice a while back because it has been a miracle worker for crazy pregnancy skin (even Stephen noticed and is in awe). It's the best stuff ever and I'm sure I'll keep using it post-pregnancy when I need it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've been reading for a while and your blog never ceases to make me laugh. Seriously lady, love it. My only question is how do you guys keep producing such hilarious and attractive kiddos? #gapbabymodels

    ReplyDelete

If you're having trouble commenting - I'm so sorry! Please feel free to drop me a line over on the Facebook page or send me a quick email OR I'm a total Gram rat if you want to catch me over there. Thank you!!