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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Sunday
Jan122014

Act Three

I don't know if it's writer's block or a slow retreat from personal blogging, but I'm having a hard time writing here. Maybe because I'm trying to redefine this space in my head? For the longest time I had Things To Say. I was a newlywed, trying to find my way in New York City, a recovering Mormon still pissed at the church, mad about this thing or that thing. I also spent years passive-aggressively blogging at Serge's ex-girlfriend who I now adore more than many of my childhood friends. Like, it's three-in-the-morning-are-you-there-I-need-to-talk, is how I feel about her. She's fantastic. So I was right to be jealous of her for all those years, is what I'm saying. That's right, I have found some way to vindicate being an asshole for the duration of that scenario - her fabulousness justified my jealousy and shitty behavior. She and Serge have also reconnected. I mean, just Facebook friends and stuff, but it makes me feel good. I caused a lot of unnecessary bad feelings for those two and I'm glad to see it evaporate.

Despite being labeled a "mommyblogger" I've never really viewed this space as such. I write about my kids occasionally but not in any significant way. This space has always been more about me... And my marriage. Maybe that's why I'm struggling. As our marriage approaches the ten year mark I'm having a difficult time defining it as well. Maybe it isn't the marriage I'm having trouble defining, but me.

Go ahead, whisper "mid-life crisis" or "pregnancy hormones" through your judgmental lips if you like. But it doesn't feel like that. I'm not ruling it out, I mean, can we ever really know what we're experiencing while we're experiencing it? Usually it takes the 20/20 perspective hindsight affords us. That thought freezes me up when it comes to making heavy duty decisions. How can you make a decision when you know damn well that you aren't seeing the big picture, that you're flapping around in act three and there are two more acts to go before this play is over...

I don't know.

33 weeks. That's what we're rolling up on over here. And when I say "rolling" I mean it. Mama be rotund. I feel big as hell but I've actually gained less weight with this guy than Violet and Henry. I'm totally jonesing to go to the gym, though. Or just walk down the street without my bones creaking beneath the forty extra pounds I'm sporting these days. I've got my eye on 37 weeks, which occurs the first week of February, I think. They say you're full term then and my midwife says if I go into labor at any point after that we're all good to welcome the little dude to the world right here at home, in the same ancient parsonage that has likely been witness to more than a few births.

We've started hypnobirthing classes, which NO, it isn't Serge waving a gold pocketwatch in front of me telling me I'm getting verrrry sleeeepy, but it is similar in that you can convince your mind of lots of things and those things can have an actual physiological result on your body. And it's not even convincing your mind of an untruth, more like disabusing yourself of the notions society has fed us about childbirth for the last fifty years or so.

More on that later. I found it all very Zen and seems to tie into a lot of Buddhist truths I've learned over the past couple years. Also, if I can reprogram my brain from Mormon doctrine I can certainly re-learn childbirth as it's meant to happen. Right? RIGHT? Dammit. Someone in Colorado ship me some weed already.

Hey. Yo. Let's do a roll call. We haven't done one in a couple years or so. Who are you? How long have you been hanging around? Why? What's your story? How do you feel about the whole personal blogging thing?

Reader Comments (72)

I've been reading for so long I feel like I've known you forever.
I love reading about your marriage and your struggle at times to make it work. I'm divorced and remarried, and I love seeing how some people can make it work, while others (me) can't, and then we find out it's because there was this whole other person out there that was meant for us.
I don't blog anymore. Not because I don't want to, oh, I have shit to say, but because I've not found a space to call my own.
I'm working on that.
I am a mom, step-mom, corporate lackey that loves her job, I knit and I spin my own yarn, I love zombie and jeeps and nail polish and I have a million things going on in my head at any given time, so yeah, a blog might be a very good thing.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoseann

I've been reading your blog for a few years now & have read everything in your archives. Really enjoy your writing & miss you when you're not here. I've been married for 29 years & live in NC. One son who just turned 24 & is engaged to marry a nice girl. It took my husband & I a very long time to learn how to be married to each other but it feels like we finally got it right. Very much looking forward to "meeting" your new baby & seeing Violet & Henry grow. Please don't stop blogging. You're very good at it.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTrish

I have been reading you for a few years now and have also read all of your archives. I started reading your blog after Katie shared a link to yours in the months after her Henry died. I absolutely adore your blog and have missed it a lot in the past few months, but that is no kind of guilt trip. I assumed your infrequent posts were because of pregnancy, which can be the ultimate motivation-killer, at least at times.

I am originally from the northeast and now live in Kansas. I have a PhD in history from a very hoity-toity university in the northeast, but I also enjoy cursing like a sailor. I met my husband in grad school and we have 3 daughters: one in middle school and two in elementary school. I spend a lot of time working in my yard and I play violin and cook very well and spend more time than I should online reading all kinds of stories, both important and unimportant. I don't blog, even though part of me really wants to, but I am afraid that if I did, I would never get any of my work done. I'm a professor and the lecture prep and grading does need to get done! So does research and publication. I've just had my first book accepted for publication and it will be out sometime in the summer or early fall. I NEVER thought it would happen and am so relieved that it will.

I have a very good marriage -- almost 17 years in -- and lucked into a mostly drama-free situation with my in-laws...which is extra good, since there's not much drama in my family either. I love the people my girls are becoming (except when I don't!) and although I thoroughly enjoyed their baby time, I have never had any doubts about being "done" after three. I really like getting a little baby time with my friends' babies, but have no interest in going back to those days myself.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Please don't stop blogging. I have missed your writing tremendously.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I blog .... mostly because I made the personal decision that swallowing anger, or snark or that biting vitriolic comment was quite literally making me sick. And I needed to "write it out", as I've come to call it. It is just an extension of my FB page called "I Am You" and it came to life during my bout with breast cancer this past May. I have some followers, but I don't care who reads it. I very rarely re-read the posts myself. All I know for sure, is that if I didn't empty the thoughts swirling around in my head, I wouldn't be able to sleep some nights, or I would rip someone a new "body part" for a very minor reason. Keep on....it's YOUR blog. ♥

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdiane j wulf

I've been around since before Violet came along. Someone linked to one of your posts on an online community I'm a part of. Before I knew it, I was deep into the story of how you met Serge. I love how honest you are with the ups and downs of your marriage. It's so nice to know that you can be REAL. I'm so happy with where you've landed. Please keep blogging, and please keep being totally YOU.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDala

I've been reading since you lived in Utah! I still make that awesome Indian coconut curry chicken in the crockpot that you posted many moons ago.
I only read a few blogs now and yours is one. It sounds so cliche, but I think it's because you're REAL. You make mistakes, you have an introspection that I think many bloggers lack. I can't wait to read about the birth, I wish you the best!

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCristin

I can't remember the first time. But I have been reading, and watching for quite a long time. You were a chapter in my thesis project about cam girls and internet apparations as women's self-portriature for an art history master's degree (I defended that about 6 years ago, so that dates us a bit). I am currently editing the project for publication. The title has always been "I am not who I was then, now."
Living in Florida, raising two boys, I have watched your saga unfold, as I always have, in front of my screen, knowing that the things that I am seeing are mediated, but always feeling connected to your struggle for authenticity in your presentation and your writing. You have continously appeared as a woman who is evolving and changing, and the journey has been perilous and delightful.
Don't be afraid of what will come next. You are marking out the territory for so many eyes that watch, so many bodies that are folded and looking here, moving in this community as yet not fixed by history or claim. You are in flux, as we all are, worried who is watching, wondering what will become of us in the next moments. My hope is always that you will keep flickering and striving, into the next very great thing.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkatherine

@Katherine - Well shit. That comment is spectacular. The sentiment and the actual wording. As a lover of words, I salute you. Thank you.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheGirlWho

I just starting reading a few days ago. I went back and read a few posts from the past. I'm a graphic designer turned stay at home mother of a very rambunctious 4 year girl and a 14 month old boy whose starting to get into everything. I desperately want to move to the Virginia countryside from San Diego to be closer to family and live a slower lifestyle. My husband loves San Diego and is very reluctant to move. This is causing a huge strain on our marriage. Your honesty about marriage is refreshing and makes me feel less alone. In a world of Facebook, seeing all the "my life is so great" or "I have the best husband" posts made me feel like I was a failing by the struggles in my marriage. So thank you for your honesty and I look forward to reading more.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

I closed the door on DadCentric after eight years. My separation from my wife had a bit to do with my decision to stop with the personal blogging, but really, after writing about life as a dad for so long, I felt like I'd said everything I wanted or needed to say. And I'm happier for it.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I'm watching you...

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPotato Farts

@Potato Farts - I'm so glad! It makes me feel a bit of the old zing when writing here. I'll take motivation where I can get it.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheGirlWho

I started reading your blog because of Katie's at some time around Henry's overdose. I was also a reader at the time of your house fire, contributing to the donations to help you guys rebuild. I've been married for 10 years as well, and feel like you shed a lot of light on things that I think but question if I've over reacting or not. Please don't stop blogging.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I've been here since Brooklyn. Long enough that when I read you are BFF with Serge's ex I almost fell off my chair. So that pretty much makes it a lifetime ago, right? Remember when you shut down the blog...hated that. I love your authenticity. I think you are doing a pretty damn good job in act 3. All my best.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

Im lindsey. From indianapolis. I find marriage and parenthood extremely difficult. Which somehow led me to you. Attracted to your honesty about both.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlindsey

Here for roll call! Been reading since Brooklyn, since you used to call Serge "The Surge", I remember the feud with Serge's ex and glad you love each other now! How awesome is that! I became pregnant when you were expecting Violet, but have related to your blogging in many other ways. I appreciate you and your writing so much. I love Serge's writing too. I send hugs and virtual weed. xx

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

Hi, I've read every post since you were featured in City Weekly in SLC (maybe 8 or 9 years). I love how funny & down to earth you are. I've really missed reading about what's going on in your head the last few months. Love from SLC! Kristal

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristal

I've been around for a little over a year. I was pulled into your blog via your precious love story. You are actually bookmarked on my sidebar on chapter 12 of your love story. So I always click on chapter 12 and then I have to navigate to your homepage from there. I like you. I think your writing is absolutely astounding. This isn't a "mommy blog", it's far too complex to fit into that category. In all honesty, you are somewhat polarizing, which may sound bad and frankly maybe it is but I actually fear commenting on your posts. It's an incredible juxtaposition from my initial thoughts on reading your blog, which were "wow, what a romantic woman, what a believer in love and how brave she is taking huge romantic leaps". It's polarizing because you speak the truth and that's scary. There is something uncomfortable about all this honesty and what seems to be unhappiness. I came here because I wanted to believe in this crazy love story and I still do, it just isn't wrapped in this pretty little package that it originally was. It's real life, what you write is real and a lot of the time that's hard to stomach. Your blog isn't an escape, it's real and I have a love/hate with it. I do have to say that out of all the blogs that come into my bloglovin feed, yours is always the first I click on.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Quam

Been reading a long long time, since the "Surge" and days of his ex. Which, I would love to hear the new chapter on that! I'm also at 10 years of marriage, and am no longer young, but not quite old. What is this place?

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterphancy

I wandered in about 5 minutes ago, from your "7 things I did to save my marriage" article. I'm 36 weeks with my first and had been crying and googling things like "pregnant feel like marriage is falling apart" and "how can i save my marriage." Thanks for providing some hope - and actual actionable advice - when I desperately needed it.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjenny

I've been here since you we're a glint in your daddy's eyeball and I'll be here til they (you) throw me in the ground. I think your an amazing, beautiful, most talented writer. Love you. Mama

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermama

I've been reading your blog for years. I found it when I was reading a lot about how people free themselves from religion, and I was so fascinated by your story I went back to the beginning and read everything. I have no children and don't really have even a passing interest in them so if you were just a "mommyblogger" I wouldn't still be here. Having said that, I read all your parenting posts and Serge's and I love seeing pictures and hearing stories about your kids! I read a few other blogs but never followed one for as long as yours. You sort of feel like an old friend I like to catch up with and find out how you're doing. So please don't stop blogging! I'd miss you.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

I have been reading your blog for years now and now on Babble as well. I have enjoyed your stories: drew inspiration from your magnificent falling in love saga and felt challenged a time or two by the big questions you weren't afraid to raise. Others have said it, too, but it's been fun catching up with your life like you would with an old friend. I would love to read more. That said, though, I REALLY appreciated this post and can really relate to it. I have reached similar conclusions in my yoga that you have through Buddhism. The attachment--and the no longer needing it. Maybe you're just hitting the pause button or maybe this is an outlet/interaction that no longer serves you. As you say, time will tell. If the latter, please let me thank you for the great laughs and thought-provoking reads, from your early antics and passion to your later wisdom and growing peace. You've added to my days and I wish you and your family a happy and meaningful life together. Thank you.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereo

I've been lurking for a long time. Such a long time in fact that I've lived in three different countries since I found your blog through the Marah website and am now considering switching to country number four. I've gotten drunk with Serge a bunch of times in a bunch of European cities, and it's always been kinda cool to be able to look in on what's going on behind closed doors, even during the bad times.

I also took part in your Great Experiment a few years back which I thought was a great idea, and I've been secretly hoping it might make a comeback one day :-)

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDamien

My name is Sarah. I live in Radford, VA. I went to Radford Univ found a good job and never left. I have been with my guy for 10 years. We met the first weekend of college...haha. We have actually just decided we want to have kids not charts or anything just pulled the goalie (whoa way way TMI).

I love your writing. Believe it or not I feel a little bit like you are my escape (I usually read while at work) so I was so happy to see this blog post. Im sure it can sometimes be hard to write here but I am always glad you do. I came here a few months before you gave birth to Henry. I am more of a lurker than a comment poster.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I've been reading your blog for about 2 years now. I'm a working mum in ireland. I think I stumbled across it via rock star diaries (which is pretty ironic as the blogs are so different!) as they had the link with Mormonism in common. I read your entire archive in one weekend and it brought me up to just before Henry was born. We also named our daughter violet, suggested by my partner but agreed to by me because I loved the name when I read it here. I like the way your blog is totally honest, I like the way it's not an airbrushed to perfection version of your life. I like that some days it's a mummyblog, some days about food....some days funny engagement photos, some days about relationships, some days just a moan or a rant. Multifaceted just like all of us humans.
Please don't stop blogging because I will miss you!

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDublin-gal

I don't comment, ever, but it seems churlish and borderline creepy not to respond when you're so unflinchingly honest and open. If I were you, I'd wonder who was reading too.

I'm nearly 40, and live in FL with husband of almost 11 years and our sons (4 & 8). I stumbled upon your story last year and have dipped into the archives quite a bit to get the arc. I've also read and enjoyed Serge's work. In fact, I'm drawn to the opportunity to hear both sides of the story of your marriage. I also left the ultra-conservative church in which I was raised and am still negotiating the tension between my values and my family's while trying maintain the relationships. I only read one other blog on any regular basis, another with parallels to my own story. As my kids have gotten older, I am also searching for my next act, and I'm interested in writing. The parallels--marriage, kids, searching--keep me tuning in.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

I'm a mom of one 2.5 year old and I blog here and there about my life. I used to be more committed, but I'm not anymore, and I too am not sure why.

I love your fresh and frank point of view. I cried through your posts about the fire. But the one that sticks with me, the one that gets me in the gut is a post where you posted a picture of your "old self" and said I used to be this girl and wondered where she'd gone.

I think about that a lot. I would miss you if you stopped writing.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Hi, I'm Sarah, from Minneapolis. I am a relatively new reader, but read your entire archive in a few sittings...maybe a year ago now? I have never commented before. I hope you keep blogging; I think many people feel invested in your family and want to continue to share in your incredibly honest and authentic portrayal of "30-something married with children" life. But if you're just not feeling it anymore, I'm betting everybody who reads you gets it. I'm not a blogger, and can't imagine what that would be like to have so many complete strangers say they feel invested your life. What a weird thing.

I continue to read because I feel like I relate to you...we are the same age, have littles around the same age, both married musicians who have had to completely re-learn how to do life as husbands and fathers after so much time on the road and in the bars (and have absolutely nailed the "fathers" part). Coming up in a conservative town that did not take kindly to free-spirited young women, moving to the big city, breaking from religion, blah blah blah all the way down to planning a homebirth and hypnobirthing. All relatable.

I truly hope you get to the place you are wanting to be, or at least figure out what that place might look like. But I will say that pregnancy pretty much stole my mind and replaced it with an alien creature for about 9 months each time, so maybe cut yourself some slack until that gorgeous little ball of love breaks free. I hope we get to "meet" him soon.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Greetings from Philadelphia. I have been reading for year and have admired your honesty. I hope you keep blogging because I like your perspective and pictures. Thanks to you and your hubby for sticking it out in your marriage and sharing the ins and outs. It's been very helpful to me. Hang tight in these last few weeks. You have a lot of people pulling for you.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKrystn

I started reading during Brooklyn. I live in Austin with my husband and fur babies. I keep coming back because I appreciate that you and I are opposites in a lot of ways. Sometimes I come here after big news stories break to read your opinion. I think you are super smart and I enjoy knowing mine is not the only way.

We've been trying to have kids for about two years. I miscarried in October. It was hard to think of or be around babies when that happened, but I was able to heal by reading about your kiddos and pregnancy in small doses. I'm now doing much better and looking forward to trying again. I don't know if I could have done it without you, really. Though you didn't know anything about it, I appreciate you being there for me so I could ease my way through a pretty shitty experience.

I also work for the festival in Austin that you came down for to see Serge. It is a little silly, but it makes me happy that you guys were here and loving each other at the event I work on. it makes busting my butt worth it.

I'm excited about #3! I hope the last few weeks go well for you.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Monica, I've followed your life journey for years, loved your writing and laughed, cried and been intrigued by you and Serge and your whole story. YES, I made that sweet coconut chicken dish too! I'm amazed & delighted that you are now friends with Caroline. Isn't it amazing & funny what time brings? When I first started reading The Girl Who I thought my life couldn't get any better. Long marriage, great kids, job I loved, etc. Then in the last four years everything turned dark.
One of our adult children inexplicably committed suicide, which badly affected our marriage, but it did finally bind us all closely together, us and our surviving kids and their wonderful partners. There's also been accidents and illnesses in immediate and extended family and we've walked through immense avenues of pain and distress. Now my husband is ill and his mobility is severely affected. Through all of this I've loved reading your posts and looking at your great photos (your kids are going to be so grateful one day that you've kept this amazing photo log of their lives!) I think of you as a friend whom I love and admire, and your refreshing honesty is like a sprinkle of rain on a humid day. You'll get through this dry patch... of course you will. I don't blog ... yet. Maybe one day. Meantime, like you, I've had inspiration and insight from some of the Buddhist teachings, especially on ego and detachment. Life is still good, just well, not every minute. I wish you & Serge good fortune, good health, love & happiness and continued learning and growing in this crazy world of ours!

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCathlene

Long time reader but this might be my first time commenting. Can't remember exactly how I ended up here, I think it was a link from some other blogger at least 5 years ago. After reading your "Mormon to married in Manhattan" story I was fascinated & kept coming back. My life is quite different - I live on the other side of the world (Auckland, New Zealand), married just over 12 years but no kids (not really by choice, carrying a lot of bitterness on that particular issue), working full time as an accountant. I guess my visits here are partly voyeuristic, it's a fascinating glimpse into another person's life, but I also love your writing style & your honesty. I always dreamed of being a writer & have toyed with the idea of blogging but never actually started anything, mostly because I just can't figure out how I would find the time to make it worthwhile. I certainly miss you when you don't blog here as regularly but I also totally understand how in the midst of raising a family, maintaining your marriage & working for a living it must be tough to find the time & space to blog here. I hope you find the right balance that works for you.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBecs

Hello! I'm Jennifer, 26 year old unmarried ( but in a long term relationship with my kiddo's dad) mom of a 2 year old and a 4 year old living in Anchorage, Alaska. I love your blog, I started following you on Babble a few years ago after my oldest was born and have allways enjoyed and respected your writing from kids to relationships to religion ( I'm the daughter of recovering catholics, one if which whose father was raised Mormon but got the ax after falling in love with my Catholic grandmother). I hope you keep writing, we don't have internet at my house so when I'm out somewhere and have wifi your blog is always a page I check and save to read later.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I have been reading your blog for about 4 years now I am not sure if I found you via the English website Mumsnet, or via Katie Granju.
I live in Kent in the UK. I am married with 2 teenagers.
I like reading your work, although I rarely go on Babble as I find it very difficult to navigate.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSaffron

Waving hi from St. Petersburg, FL. Working mother of two boys ages 4 and 1; editor by day, exhausted homemaker by night.
Wish I could blog with even as much frequency as you do, that's how little I blog. Love how honest you are, like I'm chatting with a girlfriend.
Also jealous of your location. My family has a cabin in the woods in PA and I love to get back there every year in the summer. Winter is a WHOLE other story, obviously. But I 'know' your atmosphere and picture it all the time.
Don't stop writing :-)

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Hey Girl. I found you over 2 years ago through another mommy blog. I think it was after your house fire. Then, like the obsessive fool that I am, after reading and loving your romantic whirlwind love story I read your entire blog in about 3 days. Like reading it in my bed as my boyfriend (now husband) snored next to me. Sometimes I feel like you're my younger sister, I'm 39, and I want to give you advice (or tell you everything you're doing wrong and how I think you should have handle things). I'm from the burbs of Chicao, moved to LA a month after graduating college, since, like you, I grew up with the tv always on. Some of our stories are similar, I have 2 younger brothers, moved to a city where I knew 1 person, love/hate reality shows...but mostly we're different. Lived the life as a PA/assistant/researcher and personal assistant to the stars, then after 9/11 five of my good friends left LA, and I soon moved back to Chicago. Like you I was a producer, but for a 4 hour radio show. Then I worked in news radio...and now I'm a publicist for my familys brush company. I got married last year and now we're trying to procreate. I used to think that we could be BFFs, but then reality sunk in because as you blogged less, I got less interested. Facebook isn't the same. Your blog is like letting strangers read your diary.

I love seeing and hearing about V & H!!! They are truly beautiful. But I get anxious when I read about your marital unhappiness. Especially lately as Serge has been writing loving odes proclaiming you to be the best thing that's ever happened to him, and it seems so one-sided. See what I mean?? It's like I'm talking about a soap opera. But maybe I'll sound the same after I've been married for 9 years.
P.S. I've been writing this while sitting in traffic on the highway in downtown Chicago, so please ignore the errors, we have a lot of typos.
P.P.S. I was confused about Serges ex, I thought you quit writing for a mommy site because she got a gig there.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

I'm Sara! I've emailed you before (sometimes with the courage fueled by wine...) gushing about how great you are. I still think you are. I started reading your blog during the days of the Surge and his ex drama. I dont know how long ago, but I know its many many years ago.

I think you're fantastic. I am an unmarried 27 year old social worker living in Florida (i.e very little in common with you on the surface) but I've always found myself being drawn to your blog because your voice resonates with something in my guts. I hope you keep writing and won't get away from the blogging, but after reading so long, I just really hope the best for you and your family....in a non-creepy, I-dont-know-you-in-real-life sorta way.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara

I’m Charity been reading for about 3 years. Been married 3 years but with my husband for 13. We have a 6 month old. Which is also why I find it hard to write. I’m busy and tired when I get off work. And when I think something will make a good blog post, I forget to jot it down. How do you handle that? Do you always have a note book handy?

I stick around because I like the way you write. I feel like you really try to invite us in to your life. Your writing feels real. It’s what I strive to have my writing feel like. But I can’t seem to shake the feeling that friends and family will judge me.

PS: Please post about hypnobirthing! We’re thinking about our 2nd baby and I’d really like to go as natural as possible. My sister-in-law told me about hypnobirthing but she was drunk and made it sound super mystical. So that was that.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercharity

I think i have been reading your blog for a couple of years now. I cant remember how i stumbled upon you but i am so glad i did! Im Belinda from Newcastle in Australia. I am 40yrs old with a hubby and two kids, a girl aged 9 and a boy aged 6. We are currently taking a year off and travelling around Australia in our van. I think blogging is a great way to keep in touch with family/friends and to make new friends too. I am currently blogging about my trip on my website and i really enjoy it. I enjoy reading your blog and seeing photos of your kids and the amazing place you live in, as its so different to my home in Australia. Keep up the great work and I look forward to hearing all about your new baby when he arrives!

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

I originally found your website after you left a comment on my blog back in 2006, which I no longer write on as a result of it making all kinds of issues in this lovely Utah culture. (your comment:"Hi there.. Am a former Utahn who made the great escape to Manhattan and am pleased I’ve discovered a couple Utah bloggers (besides Dooce) tonight.. “Drowning in Jello” and “Sex and Salt Lake City”… and you.. Very cool!")

I've loved your blog over the years. This is the first time I've left a comment on your site, but I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for writing your life and thoughts for the world to read. It truly has made an impact in my life. You wrote something about finding Buddhism many, many years ago, comparing it to the Utah lifestyle and belief systems which I grew up in as well. I investigated it for myself, and it has changed my life. I owe it to you. Without you writing that post, in the way you did all those years ago, which made it so simple, so real, and resonated with me so clearly, my life wouldn't be the same - or I may not even be here at all. I became a new person with a new outlook on life, which has not only done wonders for me, but for my family and my future, and those I interact with in my life. Words do have power. And your personality and unique way of story telling is nothing less than awesome. I appreciate you taking the time to write and share and hope you continue to do so. Always write your truth - the real, honest, blunt truth - as it is - and I'll always be a reader.

I'm happy you found Zen. That's what I've progressed to as well and have been teaching to others recently through books, websites, meditation groups, podcasts etc. The ripple effect you created has gone farther than you realize. Not only with me, but others as well.

Thank you.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShaun

I'm Jacqueline from Minneapolis. I've been with you since Violet was a tiny baby. I cheered when Henry arrived. I thought the move to Penna. was probably a good thing. I worried about you after the fire. I was rooting for you when you had marriage confusion. (I'll never forget the "fuego" video.) And now, though I miss you, I understand completely if you don't feel like writing. You have a lot going on. Give yourself a break. Thank you kindly for all you and Serge have written before now. I've truly enjoyed it. Hugs to the fam!

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

still here as well :) best

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteranajo

Rachel - been reading off and on since you got married and I read your archive then. I have enjoyed watching you evolve as a human being. You have had an interesting life thus far and I hope for more happiness for your family.

I have an overly saturated blog roll that I regularly purge but I can't ever seem to delete you from the list. I sometimes have to take a break but then I just pick it right back up where I left off.

You are Serge are both incredibly talented writers. You need to get some books published!!
Also, my birthday is March 9 and early March is a wonderful time to give birth. Congrats on #3!!

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I've been reading your blog for a few years now and I have to say that you bring such a refreshing voice to the blogs I check out. I appreciate that you are such an open person when it comes to sharing your experiences, emotions, and life challenges alongside the joy you experience everyday.

I don't have any babes of my own yet and I am constantly finding myself relating to your experiences and personal struggles. I have always viewed your space here as so much more than a mommy blog. I hope you find the space you need to continue to enjoy writing, living and loving your family- here or offline.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

I'm Andee and I've been around for about 2 years now. I occassionally comment (not often, because I don't really know if you read these). I have read everything that you have written here (as I went back and started from the beginning and ready this ole blog here like a book). Yes, I had a lot of time on my hands, what are you trying to say? :-) Mother of 3, currently separated from my husband. I like your writing, and I like that you write the real stuff, not just "oh, life is grand, my kids are grand, my hubby is grand, isn't everything GRAND!" Please don't stop writing here.

I don't know you in "real life" but if I did, I think that we would be those 3 AM morning people. But I enjoy reading what you write.

You are a good person, worthy of love and happiness. Don't ever forget it.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndee

I am a mom of six from the midwest, and have been reading along on your journey for many years. I have never posted in the comments, but felt a little pull here. I hope beyond hope that you continue to share your writing, you are real and relatable, but mostly, inspirational. To go back and read all of the things you have shared would certainly bring you so much peace. I hope you don't feel pressure to entertain us, or say something big and oh so important, that is an awful pressure to express yourself under. I used to read 6-8 blogs on and off, and after years am now down to just two. I tired of the same recycled garbage, and need to say something big and important. It all became very sad and predictable. You are the breath of fresh air clique I think we all need more of. You are in a cool position in that you touch other people's lives so much just by living yours.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

Hi there! I've been following for a few years. You and Serge are both such great writers that I find myself returning to this site again and again.
I hope you keep writing publicly. Best wishes for a smooth labor & delivery. Can't wait to see another cute kid!
Stacey

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterstacey

I've been reading your blog since before Violet came along. I think Dooce linked to you one time after I'd been reading her blog a few years, and I liked your writing, so I kept reading and have been here ever since. I've told friends of mine when recommending your blog, that if you lived nearby, I'm sure we'd be friends. I very much enjoy reading yours and Serge's writings and feel like I know you two personally. Please don't go! You've been through this phase before, and I'm sure it will happen again, and every time, you've come back and had lots to write about. Take a break if you need to, but I would be super sad not to see you here any more. My 2 cents.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

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