I had only read about 2 other blogs when I started this one back in 2006. One was a crazy humor sort of style that Aaron really liked called enraged baboon, and the other was written by my friend Rae of Journey Mama. I started it because I had some silly things to say about breasts, specifically, a form of making peace with the ones I was dealt and it seemed that a blog was the type of forum to use for random silliness. (I still get more random google traffic from that first post than any other since then by the way. Something about how I mention Halle Berry on Oprah and the word breasts in the same paragraph. It's a mystery to me why that would bring so many searches. Apparently there are people out there who really liked that episode of Oprah?)

I had no idea in 2006 that there was a blogging community. I had no idea that I would meet people over the internet that I feel just as close to as my real life friends. I didn't even know that was possible.

But this community changed me, for the better. There were women here on the internet who taught me. From their example I was able to find my way through the the maze that was my life and marriage to the place I began, only now there was joy in that place, and peace, and contentment.

And then this blog became the platform for The Charis Project. It became the place where ideas grew and children were cared for and I learned that the internet is an amazing place, full of kind, compassionate, giving people. It's because of this blog that we were able to do so much so quickly.

You're probably wondering why I'm taking this little trip down memory lane today. What this blog hasn't been is very focused. I haven't really decided or figured out why I'm writing. You know, besides that I love writing, and I want to tell the story. Truthfully, for me it's been exactly what a journal is, a place to record memories, thoughts, and heartaches. Only here it's had the added bonus of feedback from others, and a community to help me find my way through it.

I've been thinking recently however that I want more focus. I want to have a guide to what I write here. There is more to say. I have lots more to say. But without some sort of overarching concept, theme, some guiding purpose, much like life in general, I don't think it's as good as it could be.

So I'm asking you for your help, your opinion actually. Could you take a second and tell me what you really like about this blog, and what you don't like? Could you tell me your favorite posts? Your least favorite? The things that make you stare blankly at your screen before clicking away?

I care enough about this community, about what goes on here to try and make it better. I'd love it if you helped me out.



  1. Melody Faith8:33 AM

    Carrien,  I like your honesty in this blog.  Some of your perceived failures, your ability to capture certain moods.  Finding out about the Charis Project is what first brought me here.  I'm curious about how you do it all.  I also like your expressions on faith.  There isn't much here that is shallow.  Just real. This probably doesn't help you much in terms of focus :)

  2. Owlhaven10:11 AM

    What I like is hearing stories from your heart, real moments that have touched or challenged you or made you think  hard.  Love your insights!

  3. Maybe not. :) But thank-you. It is

  4. Nathaniel & Jessica Moos9:23 AM

    i agree with owlhaven... i also really love seeing and hearing about your family. i have been following the charis project and praying for this as well.  oh, and the thankful list, etc are fun and often a nice quick read for when i'm busy but still want to read.  i've been reading your blog for over 4 years now and am sorry i don't comment more, i think i need to try to comment more often and stop lurking! 

  5. bigsalad3:32 PM

    I agree with the previous commenter -- I really enjoy your insights and the hashing through the "real moments" that so many of us go through but don't neccessarily have the beautiful clarity of thought that you have.

    I also love your thoughtful posts on womanhood and feminism.  That always hits the spot.

    It will be interesting to see what you glean from this.

  6. I love to hear that people are praying for The Charis Project. Thank-you.
    It's so good to remember some days.

    Thanks for unlurking today and helping me out.

  7. I'm interested to see what I glean from this too. :)

    I feel a bit overwhelmed actually. You guys make it sound like I have
    thoughts like that regularly... I know better.

  8. I enjoy your honesty and your heart in your posts. I'm pretty terrible about getting in touch with the things that make me feel certain emotions. Probably because I'm a coward. Even though I haven't been reading your blog for a long, long time (so I hope it's okay that I'm even giving my input here), I like that you "keep it real." You're not afraid to post real moments, real thoughts, real emotions. Not everything has to be "oh, look at my brood perfectly coiffed and ready for a photo shoot." You've totally mastered that and it rocks. 

  9. I love the posts like today's where you write about not being a perfect parent. Sometimes, we readers see all these wonderful things bloggers do and we wonder why we can't be as fab as they are. Then we see that you are a person too, and here's how you handled something I sometimes do, too. And I'm reminded that I can be great, also! :) I don't know many other mothers so I don't share lots of parenting stories or get advice from people going through the same things. You are one of those I do get advice from by reading your stories.

    I also love hearing about the Charis project.

    I enjoy your annual birthday posts for the kids.

    I'm not too into the religious posts, but that's okay. It's totally a part of who you are and I can easily skip if I'm not interested. (Do you find it weird that I support Charis and read your blog even though I'm not Christian?)

    I LOVED the post about breasts (hadn't read it before) and the one the other day about modesty. It was so refreshing :) I even talked to my husband and friend about it (and considering buying some more revealing clothes just to wear around the house--I don't dress real modestly, but I'm more on the conservative side having been embarrassed since I started growing breasts as a 6th grader and just in the past few years started wearing things that actually fit me properly instead of baggy).

  10. bigsalad3:11 PM

    After I posted my comment the other day, I remembered what made me want to read your blog in the first place.  (I'm pretty sure I've been reading since 2006 or early 2007, btw . . . wow.)  It was a post on wishing that you had a "house dress", one with big pockets, and I thought, "Yo.  Me too."  That made me put you on my "Favorites" and I've been coming back ever since.

    A lot of what you write resonates with me bigtime.

    Are you familiar with the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indictor?  Because if you are, I think you are an INFJ.  Possibly and INFP.  I'd love to know if I'm right.

  11. Man, I still want a house dress.

    I always get a different result on meyers briggs tests. But If remember
    correctly it's often INFJ or INFP.

    I should take it again, just for you. :)

  12. bigsalad1:53 PM

    Yes please!
    (I'm an ENFP)

    My closest female friends have always been INFJ/INFP/INTJ and my husband is an INTJ.  Goodness gracious, how I love the MBTI -- I've come to understand myself, others, and LIFE so much more because of it.  It really moves me into contemplation mode.

  13. bigsalad2:21 PM

    btw, before this whole disqus-thing, my handle was "a. borealis" from  My real name is Shawna.

  14. :)

    I'm very honored to still be on your list.


  15. Well that's odd. I went and took it again just for you and today it came out
    ISTJ. 44 for introverted, 1 for sensing, 1 for thinking and 11 for Judging

    That's a new result. I wonder if people's personalities change as they get
    older, try new things, mature somewhat. Because every few years I try again
    and I rarely get the same result twice. :)


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