i’m not sure what to say

I’ve had a serious case of writer’s block. This is probably not the correct term to use as I’m not really a writer, but really just a rambler of thought streams and master of the brain dump. I started out the year with strong intentions, but this space feels so remote to me now that I forget it even exists for weeks on end.

I used to read blogs a lot. Not a lot of blogs, but several of them almost daily. Now I read maybe two or three, and only occasionally, when I remember that they are still around. I still love the format so much, but other platforms feel more accessible now – easier to access for a moment here or there on my phone. When I was younger I could sit at the computer and catch up on blogs daily. Now I sit a lot for work, and want to be far, far away from the computer when I sign off for the day. Reading anything in long form on my phone feels draining – sometimes I’ll skim an article or two that way, but my patience with it is short. Plus my eyes are old.

As the girls got older, I stopped blogging so much about them – filling the space here with photos from my garden walks and general ramblings in my brain. With the closure of most places (including the garden), those pictures have disappeared for an entire season, and I’m having trouble figuring out what to replace them with.

I’ve wondered if it’s worth it to continue paying monthly for this space. I’ve told myself many times now that I’ll get re-energized when we launch into bigger house projects, and I’ll blog daily or at least weekly about them. But none of that has come to fruition yet, so I wonder if it ever really will. I’m debating a summer project of catching up on the girls’ photo albums, doing a lot of photo file sorting, and cataloging this blog in some tangible way and then closing up shop. Most of the things that I loved about it in the earlier days still exist (perhaps even deeper now) on other platforms like Instagram. I’m incredibly grateful for those online relationships that have blossomed into real friendships – too many to even count. I’ve met so many of you in person, or we text or email often. I know that friendships will continue long past this space regardless if it’s around or not.

So maybe I’ll just ask you this question – are you still here? Why do you stop by? What’s your favorite thing to read about? Do we connect somewhere else now, or could we if I leave this spot? I’d love to hear from you, and know your thoughts. If you’ve read here for a long time, then we’ve both gotten quite a bit older in the meantime! What was the connection in the beginning? And what has changed over time?

Regardless of your answers (or silence – either is fine), I’ve loved being here so much, and I really, really appreciate you being here as well.

all photos from quarantine, spring 2020

19 Responses to i’m not sure what to say

  1. Well friend, (and yes, though we’ve never met, I refer to you as “my friend in St.Louis”), I do still stop by, though usually when you prompt the check-in from Instagram. I used to follow quite a few blogs and most have migrated over to Instagram exclusively, though I am so grateful for the few who’ve kept the blogs as I am a re-reader.
    I think I found your blog through YHL. I definitely came for the photos…I had young children and I devoured inspiration from bloggers. While I still adore your photos, I stayed for the writing. And, since I taught Creative Writing for 10 years, I would very much argue that you are, indeed, a writer. If you do decide to close up the blog, I would strongly encourage you to have it printed and bound in book form. Not to sell, but to keep for you and your family. You have a collection of essays that reflect your life. I’d always planned to write, and I’ve struggled to make the time for it, but I’ve always made time for reading. So, thank you for allowing me to be a reader.

    • thirdstoryies

      I really appreciate your words, and love connecting with you over our many shared interests. Regardless of where this leads, I definitely need to get things organized and printed in some format. There is so much here that I’d love the girls to have when they are older.

  2. I always love your posts, but I’m having all these same feelings. If you end up archiving your blog in a hard format (printed? Bound?) I’d love to know what you end up doing.

  3. I threw a mental tantrum when you just said you’re not really a writer. You are 100% a writer. Most everything is in electronic format these days so that’s not even a distinguishing factor.

    If cost is a factor, I would donate. If you bound some of your blog into a book, I would buy it and put in on my shelf, bringing it down to remember a trip you took that I would like to follow, or a book, or a recipe, or a project.

    Yes, we can connect in other ways, and if this is the end then I would put more energy into those. But the blog would surely be missed!

    • thirdstoryies

      Thank you. I think I’m existing in a continual mental tantrum these days, I just didn’t have the right name for it! Still giving it some thought, but I appreciate your friendship and encouragement so much.

  4. I completely agree. You are a writer. Period.
    You have left an amazing trail for your children. Is it enough? That’s for you to decide.
    I, for one, am excited to see more renos, more gardens and more STL.
    However you cook it up, we are here.

    • thirdstoryies

      There are definitely more renos to come – maybe that’s the writer’s block issue. So many roadblocks, I’ve just lost some steam. Thanks for always being my best cheerleader.

  5. I’m not sure how I found you but I’m glad I did. I think I initially enjoyed the house stuff, and the travel, but mostly I enjoy the little glimpses into another life. I find bits of inspiration and little morsels of beauty to carry away with me.
    I’d be sad to see you go, but I suppose if Insta is the preferred platform, I’ll add you to the rotation there! Is it thirdstoryies over there?

    • thirdstoryies

      It is @thirdstoryies – are the latest follow request? The name started with an “h” so I wondered if that was you. Thank you so much for your note, I really appreciate it.

  6. Ashley Moseley

    I initially started following a few years ago after I was looking for Christmas card inspiration (you certainly provided that!) and then saw that you were renovating your bathroom and loved the search for and selection of pegs!

    And then I kept following because you always write so beautifully and you always make me really think about life, personal views, and about how I treat other people, which I appreciate. Also, I LOVE the garden posts, so I was always here for that! Inspires me to LIVE and dig in to life.

    I think I looked you up on Insta once, but didn’t request to follow since it was private. I thought if you had it private you did not necessarily want blog readers following there. (But if you do, I would love to follow for your beautiful thought-provoking words!)

    • thirdstoryies

      Oh, please do! I generally accept most requests unless I really have no clue who the person is or they are selling something.

      And if you follow me there you’ll see me constantly commenting on the closure of the garden to the public and me desperately looking for a fill in! 🙂

  7. I don’t recall how I found your blog but it has to be over 8 years ago now. I have always enjoyed seeing your aesthetic and appreciate your dedication to urban living, social justice, historic preservation and intentional design. When the kids were small I really appreciated your children’s literature recommendations for my nephew. I’ve missed you in this space and will request on Instagram.

  8. And today I finally “found” a moment t to click over from IG. Daily blog roles were such fun days! Pre-kid days for me with the girls bathroom on Apt Therapy sending me over, and sticking for a while before I figured out you’re in StL! I am a big fan of however you choose to share. I enjoy reading, seeing and even thinking through your lense. I’m still hoping that someday we’ll be friends that meet for a beverage… but grateful for what we do share!

  9. I don’t remember how I found your blog, but at the time I lived in St. Louis and it was fun to hear from voices elsewhere in the city. I think I once ran into you at Left Bank Books and was embarrassed to be an internet fangirl, so didn’t say anything! I moved across the country 5 years ago but still enjoy seeing your posts pop up in my feed reader to remind me of a city I love. (And I like seeing your house projects & Christmas cards). Keep writing, or posting, somewhere. I’ll follow you to IG if you transfer there!

    • thirdstoryies

      I wish you would have said hello – but I get it. I have loved running into people around town though who come up to say hi. Thanks for reading all these years. I am on IG, @thirdstoryies – it’s a private account, but I approve most except for accounts selling something.

      At the very least I’m going to try and catch up on some of the house stuff here over the summer as we’ll still be mostly quarantined, and clean up the archives some and figure out how to keep a hard copy. Maybe that will be enough to get me motivated again.

      And good point – I do love writing and sharing around the holidays, so I hadn’t considered that. Food for thought.

  10. I’ve been reading your blog for about three years. I found it through a different house blog. My favorite part of your writing is how you talk about your efforts in instilling a sense of social justice and the importance of diversity in your two girls. I have two young boys that I am trying to raise with that same sense of purpose. Also, my husband and I are both lawyers. Work/life balance is difficult and takes effort. You do a good job of finding that. Your blog is inspiring and a bright spot on the internet. Thank you.

  11. I came to your blog through YHL years ago and stayed for the beautiful stories of your home and family. If you don’t mind having an internet stranger as a follower I’d love to follow you on Instagram! Your Christmas cards are amazing – I could never make anything like it but seeing them made me happy. 😃 Thank you for so generously sharing your creativity and hard work and love of your family and community with us here.

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