Now . . . by no stretch of the imagination am I saying that stopping by More Than Mommies OR visiting our featured blogger today is a waste of time but Sunday is a day where we should indulge in at least one thing for ourselves! So . . . let's consider visiting us and Lori at The Next Step an INDULGENCE! (But I'd still indulge in at least one more thing, if I were you!)
Good Morning, Lori! What's in your cup this morning?
COFFEE! COFFEE! COFFEE! Specifically, iced coffee with a smidge of milk and vanilla. I have to make it a pitcher at a time and put it in the fridge for the week. I've found that with the kids, my hot coffee always ends up getting cold - and there are only so many times you can microwave coffee before it gets gross - so I skip a step, throw in ice, and I'm happy.
Our readers would love to hear how you would introduce yourself to others?
Depends on who I am introducing myself to - if it's a stranger out in public somewhere, it's usually, "Hi, I'm Lori" - but the opening to introduce oneself to a stranger out in public is few and far between in New England (when I lived in Virginia every stranger was just your next best friend you hadn't met yet). If it's clear the person has kids, or I have one of mine with me, my name is usually followed by the names and ages of my kids - at which point the person inevitably gets "that look" on their face when they find out I have a 5yo AND twins who are almost three. "That look" that says, "God love you, I don't know how you do it."
I KNOW that look!!! It's the same one I get on a daily basis when I tell people I have a 7yo, 6yo and 3yo twin boys!!! I learned a response for "Better you than me" right away . . . I simply say, "Absolutely!!"
Tell us . . . why did you pick the blog title, "The Next Step"?
When I started blogging it was when my oldest was 2 and I went back to work in an office and needed an outlet. I was determined NOT to be a "mommy blogger" - 2 years into motherhood and I was still fighting it kicking and screaming every step of the way. I started to think about what I was before I was married, who I was becoming as I learned how to live with another adult and be responsible for including them in my life and decisions I made, and the struggle I went through becoming a mom. Every step in my life had been great, but the transitions were a challenge for me. To me, security is knowing what is coming next. Of course that is not realistic, so I have to face each next step in my life head on and deal with the challenges they may bring. So, instead focusing on just the mom thing and including "mom" in the title, I wanted to focus on the whole of who I was. Thus, "The Next Step" was born. And promptly abandoned for 2 years when I had the twins. I resurrected it after moving from VA to MA and finding myself in need of another outlet as I faced this next step in my life. (The trigger was trying to promote a fundraiser for a friend fighting breast cancer, but I've kept up with it this time and really gotten into it.)
Focusing on the WHOLE of who you are is almost EXACTLY what Christine and I wanted to do when we started More Than Mommies!! I think moms in general need to remember that just because they are a mom doesn't mean they aren't still ALSO the person they were before becoming a mom. It's all still there!
Tell our readers what post you would like them to read when they visit today. What's the one post they shouldn't miss?
Oh wow, one post? I don't know if I can chose just one - just like in the thought process for naming the blog, there are so many sides of me that picking just one is hard. Same reason I was a "Liberal Arts Major" at Virginia Tech - I couldn't pick just one thing so this major allowed me to focus on three different areas of study. I love some posts for the humor, I love some posts for the emotional weight they took off my shoulders in writing them, and I almost love each new one more than the last. But if I *had* to choose, I might pick "Zen Moment" - it was early on in my resurrection of the blog, it was during a particularly challenging time, and it was the result of actually having a moment of true peace that I can hold on to and go back to when I need to be centered again. Plus it has a good dose of "who I am" and "where I came from" thrown in.
Right now we see your blog as a place to learn about you and your family. As a mother or 3 year old twins myself, I can relate to needing a place that is your own . . . even if it is on the internet! :) Tell our readers a little bit about what got you back into blogging and where you see your blog headed in the next year!
I have a dear friend back in Virginia who was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer. The *really* bad kind that is aggressive and recurring. I was floundering trying to find a way to help, and finding that posting "thinking about you" on her Facebook page was just not cutting it for me. I have another friend who's husband is fighting cancer and she posted a link to a Chip-In page to help someone else find the money for house cleaning and lawn maintenance, so I did the same for my friend. I started a Chip-In page for her and one of the options was to put a widget on a web page. I was stumped as to which web site would post it for me and then I remembered - I had a blog!! To date, "Help Jenna Fight Cancer!" is still my #1 most viewed blog post. I focused on raising money for her for a while, and as she went through chemo, and blogged about her experience, I started filling in the days between her treatments with other stuff about me and my family.
Then, it became free therapy. I just created a Facebook page for the blog last month and I am having SO much fun with it. Facebook has been my lifeline to my friends - when I had the twins and I was bowed under with exhaustion, or up at 4am and logging on to do a "roll call" of who else was up with babies at the time - and when I moved and desperately needed to stay in touch with my friends. Now I have friends whom I've never met and treasure my interactions with them. I don't really have a vision for my blog - it's always just been my "free therapy" and I get some serious validation when people comment or "like" the FB page. I love having people tell me I am funny, and I love being "discovered" - even if it is because I practically spammed Abbey at "Life Well Blogged" with my submissions for their online book series. (plug: I have three posts coming out in the latest book: "Holly Daze"). So I guess my vision is just to reach more people and if they can laugh at my exasperation, great! I love to make other people laugh and feel better about their own lives if only for a few moments.
Finally, at More Than Mommies we know that being a Mommy is rewarding and exciting on it’s on but we also know that there is more to every Mommy than her Mommy duties. What do you do during your "me" time? In other words, what makes you "More than a Mommy"?
In the 8 1/2 minutes a day that I have "me time," I write in the blog and try not to be too hard on The Hubs when he is the source of my exasperation, I paint and have a page on my blog with photos of my paintings (that I don't update as often as I actually finish paintings), and I yap with my friends on Facebook. And I have an intimate relationship with my DVR. I seriously do NOT know how the previous generation of moms survived without a DVR.
Thanks so much, Lori! It's been great having you here at More Than Mommies today! We wish you the best of luck and can't wait to read more entertaining and heartfelt words from you!