making time

When the kids go back to school all the stay-at-home-moms are peppered with the same question, “So what are you going to do with all your time now that the kids are back in school?”

It’s asked cheerily, conversationally, and I usually answer “Oh, I have plenty.” But I feel my heart start to race and my eyelid twitch as I refrain from saying, “Are you kidding me?” and naming off the lists and lists of what I do and all the things I can’t seem to find time for.

I could become one of those obnoxious people who rant on and on, “I am soooooo busy!” (as if it’s a bragging point), but I am trying to be less so.

I’ve heard of moms who need something to fill their time; I believe in the phenomenon, but I can’t imagine how? Maybe they don’t sleep? They must be a thousand times more efficient than me.

Here’s my truth: I always have plenty to do (and a huge backlist of things other people want me to do). If I want my own creative pursuits I have to make them a priority.

For me, this blog hovers near the top of my ‘creative’ list. Why am I still here? Primarily because my missionary sons insist I keep it going. Nothing else makes them feel quite as connected and I always feel guilty when a week goes by and I don’t have a post or two to send their way. And the rest of the family LOVES this little record of their life. Every one of them eagerly looks for new posts and they also spend a lot of time reading the archives. It’s made us better, happier people. I think we all try to live up to the kinder, cooler version of our family.

A few people have encouraged me to try to ‘further my career’ by writing with a different style. The more I think about that concept the worse I feel. I don’t want to seek popularity. I don’t want to write simply to garner shares and likes on Facebook. In fact I feel like the drive for notoriety is the curse of our generation. And so I’ve decided this: I’m going to write and photograph and film things that are helpful or happy– hopefully both. And I’m not going to worry about credit or bylines. Think of a soaring cathedral, a lush garden or even a beloved movie— it doesn’t matter who made it, just that it brings joy. And of course all the best, most beautiful creations come from God.

And now I’m wondering why I’m putting this all out there. Maybe I’m asking you to keep me honest? And justifying why I put so much time into this blog? Or maybe just so people will stop asking me, “So what are you going to do with all your time now that the kids are back in school?”





  1. jen

    September 5, 2014

    I know I read because you’ve raised your kids so well and you inspire me to be a better mom.

    • julie

      September 6, 2014

      This. You’re intentional and real, and I appreciate you. The corn story endeared you to me forever. 🙂 Thanks for writing.

  2. Kit

    September 5, 2014

    Just include me with your missionary sons as one who needs this weekly update :). I’m so thankful you write and take pictures and make movies. They ALL are helpful and happy to me. Love you

  3. Kayci

    September 5, 2014

    I too am glad you share with everyone these things done mostly for your family. Your perspective and experience in life have been a great help to me. Thank you for putting so much time in to your blog and sharing some of your many talents.

  4. Michelle

    September 6, 2014

    This blog is a treasure. You are a treasure. The love of family you exude here is priceless. Your photography is breathtaking (and my kids agree). I’ll have to tell you what my daughter said the other day.

    And I love this line: “I feel like the drive for notoriety is the curse of our generation.” A.MEN.

  5. Kathleen

    September 6, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoy your posts and photos….I second what all of the things said in the previous comments !

  6. alisha

    September 7, 2014

    Thanks for all the time you spend on your blog. I love it! It is very uplifting and fun.

  7. BonnieJean

    September 9, 2014

    I came upon your blog via Segullah some time ago, and I’m so glad! Your parenting and gospel insights have given me much to reflect on. And speaking of creative outlets, I’ve always wondered what happened to the screenplay/movie script that you were that still in the works?

  8. Heather

    September 17, 2014

    I love your parenting style. I always come away encouraged and empowered when I read your blog – to be a better mom, to continue to work towards a unified family. That’s why it’s my number one favorite! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

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