03 Oct

The Shape of Things To Come

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

I’ve been blogging consistently for around 5 years now, and I thought that nothing would ever slow me down. I posted all the way through my first pregnancy, and started up again a few days after the birth. Bloggers come and go, but I thought I would be posting on an almost-daily basis for the rest of my life. That Wife had become an integral part of who I am. Others dropped their blogs completely, or took long month- or year-long breaks, but I assumed that would never be me.

Then I found out I was pregnant, and went back to school, and we moved across the country (in two parts) and I was so sick. Now I’m months behind in relation to things like categorizing receipts on Mint and answering emails and I haven’t photographed anything Jenna Cole related for months and I miss it so. Every day feels like a race and by the time I put T1 in bed the thought of sitting at my computer and drafting a post feels overwhelming. Instead I’ve been spending more time talking to That Husband when he gets home from work and reading (right now it’s Tomatoland, which is appalling and something you should definitely read).

All of the pictures I’ve been using for my posts lately have been on my phone because that’s just how my life is now.  I like this one because it encapsulates the things that have been keeping me so busy: T1, T2 (I’m sleeping around 9-10 hours/night on average), and the picture in the top left corner is something I finished hanging right before I took the picture. Now to tackle the rest of the home decorating, which is very slow going (though I’m not complaining, I love our hardwood floors and being out of an apartment).

Actually, Instagram has turned into a mini-blogging outlet of sorts for me. I’m user @thatwife if you want to see what we’re up to on a daily basis.

Oh, and I’ve been cooking/baking a lot. I pick up our CSA on Friday, menu plan that afternoon/evening, and then do my grocery shopping on Saturday morning. I like the routine. I’ve been tackling/adding recipes from/to our group Cook/Bake This! board. The next thing I need to figure out is some sort of lunch schedule for T1. I’ve been sending him in with leftovers, but when I don’t make dinner the night before (or we don’t have any leftovers left-over) it can be stressful. Anyone have any fantastic Pinterest boards related to packed lunches (bonus points if it’s a board with ideas for preschool lunches (and yes I know about and love Weelicious!))

As usual though, I miss the community when I’m not producing new content. Some of you are pregnant like me (hooray!), and some of you are regular commenters that I haven’t heard from in months. Where are you? What are you doing? What new blog did you find to fill your morning coffee time?

I’m not going to make any promises about what I will or won’t do in the future. Maybe T2′s arrival will mean the end of That Wife forever or at least for a long time (Molly’s posts have helped me realize how incredibly difficult this two-child-with-travelling-husband and no-proximal-family-support thing is going to be). Maybe I will need the outlet and start posting more than ever before. For now I’m not going to beat myself up, and post when it works for me. It’s much better for my stress levels if I don’t let it become a thing. Whatever it is, and however long it lasts, this is my life right now. It’s different than it was, and different than I anticipated but… I’m actually really loving how things are going for me.

I hope you’re feeling the same about your own situation (I mean that, I really do).

xoxoxo,

Jenna

50 Comments


  1. I’m a reader! I’ve been reading for a while now 1 year? 2 maybe. I rarely comment however.

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    Jenna Reply:

    I love your blog name :). Is your blog offline for good?

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  2. Well, your blog got me into blog reading- I don’t know if I’ll ever jump into being an actual blogger. For starters my work- home life is just sort of boring, second of all I don’t like reading what I write therefore I know there would be 1,000,000 mistakes and that would NOT be cool.

    Okay to the point. I will miss your blog- but best of luck to you TH, T1, and the future T2. Your post on your in home birth helped me to change the way we did water births at my work (that’s right I’m a midwife!) Similar blogs have helped me to be more sensitive to various topic about home births. Thank you for expanding my narrow mindedness.

    I wish you all the best.

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  3. Marissa C says:

    I miss you, I really do! Especially since you didn’t move back to Texas!

    That being said, I wouldn’t be too upset if you quit, for your sake alone. I recently found the Get Off My Internets forum and I cannot stomach how anyone can be a blogger with such awful people tearing apart your every move. I wouldn’t be able to stand all the public critique!

    Cute bump and be happy!

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    Jenna Reply:

    I was looking for pictures for this post and stumbled on one where I mentioned you – you gave T1 the onesie that said “I’m New Here” (one of my very favorites). I’m so excited to dress T2 in it in a few months!

    Get Off is an unfortunate side effect of being a blogger (they even criticized this post, how dare I feel busy and overwhelmed!)

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  4. Andrea Ferree says:

    Jenna, you sound so very happy which makes me so happy for you. I will certainly miss you (however long you’re gone) though. Love love love.

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  5. I hate to see you go, but I completely understand :) I, and many others, would love if you could continue to blog on a regular basis, but if you can’t, that’s alright too :) Your marriage, family, and sanity are more important!

    Good to hear an update from you :)

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  6. I miss your posts, Jenna, and I hope you don’t give up blogging , but I do understand how hard it is to juggle. Do everything as you are able and I will for sure be here!

    And, yes, I can relate to your time situation, in a different way. It’s been ages since I’ve done a photoshoot and I miss it so much, but my son takes priority right now.

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  7. I’m in the same boat, a toddler, full time job, and one on the way (that comes with daily nausea and vomiting). I used to be a 3-4 times a week blogger but have completely stopped writing since I’m exhausted and sick and don’t have much to say (my parenting has suffered since I’m so sick, my house is a disaster and my family lives on purely take out.

    I hope I can get back into it since it has been really fun for me, and I LOVE looking back on “the way things were” but I’m also thinking it might be time to say goodbye.

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    Jenna Reply:

    I hope you start feeling better soon! I have no idea how people manage the first trimester with a FT job. I managed to drag myself to class every day, but I could wear sweats and no makeup and no one cared.

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    Gigi Reply:

    I work from home 75% of the time, so I am sitting here with greasy hair, sweats, and a disgusting house. I was prescribed zofran so hopefully that will start helping soon. I truly don’t know how people (even with one kid) keep things together if both parents work outside the home.

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  8. I’m glad to hear that you’re alive and doing relatively well! I hope that the rest of your pregnancy continues to get getter!

    Don’t feel too badly – I pretty much have stopped blogging except for a monthly recipe exchange as I am just so busy with work. I don’t read nearly as many blogs as I used to as I just don’t have the time. There are a few blogs that I will make a point if reading (yours included) as I really like them but nothing compared to what it used to be. It’s funny how blogs take a back seat once life stats up and gets in the way… Haha

    Take care!

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  9. I love reading your blog, and I’ll be sad if you stop entirely! That being said, real life should ALWAYS come before online life, and so if stopping or slowing down is the best choice for you and your family right now, then I certainly understand and would fully support your decision. Keep in mind, though, that there’s no rule that says you have to blog every day if that doesn’t work for you — Inchmark (inchmark.squarespace.com) is one of my very favorite blogs, and she blogs once a month (or less!). All the best to you in the meantime!!

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    Jenna Reply:

    One unfortunate side effect of leaving the blog world – you miss out on the big events of all of your blog friends. I’m so happy to see you put up pictures of your dress shopping (those are my very favorite bride blogger posts!) I can’t WAIT to see your pictures!

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  10. Oh god, I hope my posts don’t come across as scary! It’s a lot with 2, yes. I wont lie. But it is also so very wonderful. My blog does suffer, though. I was always amazed how often you blogged after T1 was born. I was lucky if I had pants on most days after O was born ;) I will day it got easier with two after the 8-week mark, but doing it alone most days is hard. I say blog when you can, don’t when you can’t, and enjoy time with your littles.

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  11. I don’t remember the last time I commented, but I’m still here! I’ve actually been cutting back my internet time and/or switching to mobile usage (got a Kindle Fire for Christmas!), so I have been reading less blogs. I read a lot of real food/alternative health kind of blogs now, and some decorating/home blogs as well.
    I actually had a bonafide crayyyyyzy summer. I was due with our #2 around Labor Day, but he was born June 2 after a week in the hospital desperately trying to stop him. God is so good to us, though, in that the doctors were absolutely baffled as to why he was born – he was perfect, and nothing ever went wrong the entire 70+ day NICU stay. It was hard because the NICU hospital was an hour away from our home, so I lived in the Ronald McDonald House all summer and my husband helped his parents prepare and execute a move to Alaska. Now I’m trying to figure out how to balance two kids with all of my husband’s family now gone to various places around the country (we lived with his parents and all his siblings lived nearby when #1 was born). We’re now living in my husband’s parents’ house for a little while as they wait for the next step on getting rid of it, so we’re going to have to transition again sometime in the unknown future.

    Good to hear from you — one thing I miss is your Formspring.. have you given that up?

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    Jenna Reply:

    70 days in the NICU? Oh wow! I’m so glad everything is okay now. Sounds like you’ve had a summer of transition as well!

    Formspring unfrotunately became a place for people to spew hate. Really vile things, calling me a “bitch” and telling me to “abort my baby” and other such nonsense. The anonymity just wasn’t working, and so I decided to leave it behind.

    I guess I could change my settings to only accept questions from registered users?

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  12. I suspect some of your commenters may have left when you started blocking them on twitter for asking friendly questions.

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    Sandra Reply:

    That has admittedly put me off slightly. I’ve noticed little things going on on twitter that keep me from wanting to have discussions that might seem offensive even though I have read and commented for a few years now and participated in one TWLC thing. I genuinely think that reading “hate communities” has made Jenna a bit quick to assume that people who are simply curious about new things she says are actually the “pigs” she talks about not wanting to wrestle with.

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  13. I’m still here, I just don’t comment all that much.
    I hope you still blog but I completely understand how llife can just get in the way.

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  14. When I got pregnant (only 5 months now) I took a blogging break during that first tri. After blogging for almost 8 years, those 2-3 months were the first time i’ve taken that long of a break. I just couldn’t function enough to get on the computer, let alone write something coherent! It really made me step back and wonder what things will be like when I do have my baby. I love blogging, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have kept at it for so long, but I think life and other priorities do come up. I also started realizing that I treasure those bloggers who post things sporadically, rather than multiple times a week. I value what they have to say a lot more than those who are just machines at producing daily content.

    Long story not short, do what works for you. If you write once a month then i’m sure you’ll have readers who will appreciate it a heck of a lot more than if you wrote crappy stuff weekly.

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  15. I don’t comment much, but I’ve been reading your blog on a regular basis for almost four years now….it has always been a highlight of my day! I don’t blame you a bit for slowing down, though…you gotta do what feels right, and if you’re not feeling particularly inspired, then no reason to stress yourself out about not writing new posts. I do have to say, though, that I’d really miss you if you disappeared completely. I’d love to hear about how the move went, how you came to the decision that it was the right time for T2 (yay! So excited for you!), new recipes, activities in the Bay area, the new house, etc. I hope you have some time to sit down soon and write!

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    Jenna Reply:

    Of course I constantly find myself thinking “I should write a blog post about that”. It’s just part of who I am :)

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  16. A few years ago, I was jealous of bloggers. Even though I know blogs are just the shiny part of people’s lives, it’s hard to not forget that when you are looking at them daily. Now, with more and more bloggers coming out with how much blogging takes so much time, wears on their relationships, and that they aren’t even making that much profit.. my personal perspective has changed. I like documenting things in life, and even sharing them with friends and family. But I also can’t help but feel like blogging is a rat race that I have no interest in getting into.

    Do what is best for your family. That is something you will never regret.

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  17. I’m pretty disappointed that you aren’t blogging as much lately, and most of what you have been blogging is just fluff :(

    I found your blog when you were pregnant with T1. I was fascinated with the idea of a home birth, minimal prenatal care, and your overall view on motherhood. Over the years I have agreed with you a couple times and strongly strongly disagreed with you many times. The thing about your blog that keeps me coming back is that you make me think, even when I disagree with what you are saying/doing. I hope that some day you will be back to posting things that make me (and your other readers) think.

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  18. Good for you. I used to read a ton of blogs but I’ve taken a lot of out my reader. So many seem fake and full of overly styled photoshoots. I commend people who admit that they’d rather live their life rather than broadcast every last bit of it. You had a post a few months ago about how you were working on being a better listener and I think that stepping away from blogging is a good move. Even though you’re a blogger who interacts a lot with readers, it is still largely a one-way communication device. With T1, a baby on the way and life in a brand new city, it’s the perfect time to live more and blog less. That said, I’ll keep you in my reader and will look out for updates from you :)

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  19. I still read you Jenna! I’m glad you’re happy. :)

    However, please don’t disappear completely! I was hoping to find out things that you found great to do in the bay area now that you’re here! I understand family and real life should always be a priority but you have always been an inspiration.

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  20. Your blog got me into blog-reading! I do miss it, but I understand!

    I’m 2 weeks away from my due date with my baby boy!

    I’m glad you’re doing well and personally I hope you get back into blogging more! Just so that I can keep up with you. :)

    Good luck with everything!! :)

    Reply

    Jenna Reply:

    Only 2 weeks. WHAT?!?!?! So exciting.

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  21. You have to do what’s right for you. I’ve all but abandoned my blog and I think of it often, but never feeling super compelled to go back to it. I feel like it’s a phase that will pass, but I’m not concerned either way because it’s always something I can go back to if I want.

    I enjoy following you on Instagram! It’s amazing how quickly T1 is growing and I love still being able to see little glimpses of your life.

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  22. Give.it.up.

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    Katherine (aka Sparkles) Reply:

    Lol.
    (*~COUGH~*) take your own advice?

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    Jenna Reply:

    You’re cool. :)

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  23. Don’t know where you are in terms of monetizing your blog or planning to run it as a business in the future. If you do want to make it a business, most successful bloggers say you have to keep at it to keep your traffic up. But if you don’t care about that, do whatever will make you most happy. You don’t “owe” posts to anyone. And if you go away and then decide to come back, your most loyal readers will be waiting.

    I totally know this dilemma, and I’m sure most bloggers do. After Weddingbee, I felt like I should keep up regular posting at my personal blog. But then I was sick all the time and couldn’t manage to write. Which left me feeling guilty all the time for my perceived failings. Once I finally decided to take an indefinite break and just walk away, I felt an enormous weight off my shoulders. Have recently come back to it, but now it feels like it’s for me, on my terms, and not something I “should” be doing or should feel guilty over. Good luck figuring it all out!

    Reply

    Jenna Reply:

    Have you read this post? It’s awesome. http://www.frugal-mama.com/2012/09/why-i-am-dropping-the-business-side-of-blogging-my-truth-about-making-money-online/

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  24. Your blog used to be the one I checked first everyday. I miss it!

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  25. Hi Jenna,
    As you know pregnant too here. Doing pretty good other than sciatica (I have a history of it not pregnant so of course it’s flaring up) and discovering heartburn… But hey, I’m happy, I’ve been feeling the Lil’One for a month now and my husband has felt it thrice already :) I love having a pregnancy bump and so far I can still run which I am incredibly thankful for. Sometimes it’s hard physically but my mind still needs it enough that I try again until I get a good run. I actually finished a 5k in just under 27 minutes yesterday. Yeah!).
    I certainly have less time to blog, and spend less time on it. My google reader is just piling up. When I have time to read, I love to read runner’s blogs and Runner Mom’s blog. But between work and life I just don’t have the time to read as much. I try to blog from time to time, but even that is not regular.
    I have always felt that the really side of life, the one behind the screen is the most important one. So don’t fret. If you can post from time to time great, if not, you know there is twitter, facebook and more to keep in touch with people you care about for the time being. Sure your stats will probably take a hit and overall less people will come back, so what? It’s better to have a life well lived than well documented.

    Can’t really help on the toddler’s lunches. I don’t have to deal with one yet. However for myself I bought a stanley food jar (http://www.rei.com/product/808533/stanley-utility-vacuum-food-jar-18-fl-oz) to keep my food warm. That way I can take soup, stews and more to work without having to use the microwave which I really don’t care for. It does keep the food warm for several hours.

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    Jenna Reply:

    Isn’t the running extremely uncomfortable in regards to your bladder? That’s the problem for me. I’ve been losing steam the past few weeks.

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    Cécy Reply:

    I think for me it depends on the days and the baby’s position. There is definitely more pressure.
    I’m thinking about getting a pregnancy support belt which I’ve seen that a lot of other pregnant mama’s wear (at least those who ran till the end of pregnancy recommended it on their blogs).

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  26. It is so interesting to hear the perspective of people who seem to expect you to post and have ideas about the content you should be providing. Maybe I’m clueless, but to me a blog has always been a personal journal of sorts…one with an audience, but they’re here by choice, right?

    Blogging after having my second child has been sporadic at best. But I write because I need it sometimes to process. Other times I write because I think I have a voice that I would be tickled for more than a handful of people to hear. And sometimes, I write because I think that should anyone ever share a similar experience with something I have written down, that maybe, just maybe, I will touch another person with my writing. But no one is required to show up at my blog, not even me.

    Do what you need to do, Jenna.

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    Jenna Reply:

    No one is required to show up at my blog, not even me.

    So, so good M.

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  27. Jenna, I’d be so sorry to see you go, but like so many have said, you have to do what’s right for you :) I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and still remember the first time I read it… way back in the “That Girl” stage when I was looking for a hair do for my friends’ wedding. Ha! You inspired my hair for that event!

    But, I don’t know how anyone blogs through pregnancy. I didn’t post once, didn’t even tell anyone in blogland I was pregnant, and then didn’t even know how to come back, so I just introduced the baby and kept going.

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  28. I’ve been reading for a few years too, but faithfully attending to greader and blog reading is one of the things I had to let go when my baby was born. Life is all about him, work and enjoying every minute of his smallness. I don’t see anything wrong with sporadic blogging :)

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  29. I miss your blogging! I stopped by to see if you’d written about the changes in policy re: female missionaries. Then realized that I meant to comment on this post when you published it, which was more than a week ago, which might be just what happens when you have two kids. ; )

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    Jenna Reply:

    Such an interesting change, right? I’m happy they made the change (especially so girls don’t feel like their priority is to get married young) but I’m frustrated that the ages aren’t the same. I see no reason to set it up so that the boys go out first (and thus constantly maintain seniority over the girls, which they already “have” with the priesthood).

    Overall, a step in the right direction though.

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  30. I’m just catching up with my google reader now that my PhD exams are over and had to comment. I miss your blogging a lot, and of course as a doula, would love more details on the pregnancy, but I’m sure you’re busy and tired with the pregnancy and moving and managing getting T1 adjusted to a new place and school. There’s so many things I’m anxious to hear about: the new house, how T1 is liking school and if you’ve found a good midwife. Anyway, I miss reading you, but obviously real life comes first.

    Hope you’re doing well.

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  31. Toddler lunches: I don’t know if anyone else suggested it but how about checking out the website: 100 days of Real Food? Their lunch roundup is awesome as is their “nut allergy-free” snack list.

    http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/09/04/school-lunch-roundup-ii/
    http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/31/85-snacks-for-kids-and-adults/
    http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/22/an-elementary-school-snack-list-%E2%80%93-nut-free/
    http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/05/19/real-food-school-lunches-iii/

    Tons of totally awesome inspiration there!
    Lunch is the hardest thing for me to make… (Besides Salad-in-a-jar, tomato soup with grilled cheese/croutons, and the occasional tuna or pb and j sandwich I haven’t any ideas I use regularly).

    Recently I was very ill for quite a bit and experienced some losses in my family. So I just took an indefinite break from blogging, reading, just the internet in general (also most of my non-essential housework and commitments went out as well). Now I’m feeling a little better I’ starting to get back into the groove of things. And that means catching up with everyone…so glad I’m not the only one who is/has done this!

    Peace to all! Blessing for you and your family.

    Reply

    Jenna Reply:

    That nut-free snack list is awesome! Very helpful because his preschool is nut-free.

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  32. Yes, this is a reality I’m facing too. If you still check our blog, you’ll notice I haven’t posted since July. Four kids, huge move, house hunting, new school year, church responsibilities… I’m barely making it through the day! Going from one to two kids is brutal, at least in my experience. Be prepared for HUGE change to your life. I felt that when Maddie came along. After that, just keep piling on the kids because it’s all chaos at that point. ;) But fun chaos. I’m just sad that we won’t be (relatively) close to see your family of four!

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  33. I’m still reading your blog, have been since the beginning! :) I just catch up every now and then. Just my one baby makes my life quite full! I’ve really enjoyed following you on Instagram now, though. :)

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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