Things are not always as they seem. In cyberspace, it’s called Virtual Reality. For instance, take this blog. I intend to share lovely pictures, recipes, ideas and true stories on Through Her Looking Glass. But what’s going on behind the scenes? (Trust me, a lot! Ha.)
What’s it like just beyond the camera lens?
Several close to me recently said, “If they only knew….”
“They”, is you! They’re talking about you. And the gist is, “if you only knew what was going on behind the scenes, it would blow your mind.”
The about page of this blog says I value authenticity. I do, and I’m guessing you do too. So I’m going to fill you in some on what goes on behind the scenes here.
Jon returned from his three week missions trip to Nepal just days before this blog launched in November. Since launch day, we’ve had two major surgeries in our family, one car wreck (totaled), a separate minor fender bender, two bouts of flu and a myriad of other smaller crises. I’ve blogged humorously about some of it. But truthfully, some chapters aren’t funny. Not a bit.
Sandwiched between the cooking, writing, researching and shutter clicks, I’m juggling a few hats. (Like you.) I’m dish washing, diaper changing, laundry folding, nose wiping, story reading, carpooling, vacuuming, cleaning and squeezing in rounds of Uncle Wiggily. I’m also wife, mom, “nurse” and friend. Lots of juggling, like most of you. And to say I juggle my roles seamlessly and effortlessly would be untrue. The learning curve is high, I’m still grasping the ebb and flow. No sent Christmas cards this year. (First time for everything.) Christmas Eve came, and unopened boxes of Christmas decorations returned to the basement. Other things slipped through the cracks.
Photo credit: Designs by Linda Nee
By now you likely know we have boys. You might not know that our youngest, Hudson (4), has Down syndrome. It’s difficult to compress into words quite how Hudson’s arrival has affected our family. He simultaneously brings us incredible joy and overwhelming responsibility. And consequently, we’re no longer the people we were. We’re changed individually, and collectively as a family.
Volumes could be written about Hudson’s triumphs and developmental challenges, his sweet heart, what he’s taught our family, our joys and frustrations in helping him drink, walk, talk, hear and communicate. (Maybe another day.)
We all walk this tightrope between authenticity and aspiration. They go hand in hand. Authenticity without aspiration can leave us wallowing in the depths of despair. Aspiration without authenticity can be disingenuous. In posting only the lovely and beautiful here, I risk being disingenuous and leading you to believe a lie: that my life is always lovely, rosy, fun… even calm. Ha. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want to be honest here. Not in Jerry Springer fashion, but genuine. And while my life is far from perfect or even ideal, I’m committed to continue seeking and recognizing the joyful, beautiful (and funny!) moments I’ve been given in this wonderful life.
Things are not always as they seem. Virtual Reality. I think we see this reflected most today in social media. We put our best foot forward, and that can be positive. But there’s often more to the story. There’s a lot of broken out there. (And in here.) Just before Christmas, dear friends posted of their daughter’s hospitalization for depression. I admire their transparency, the earnest plea for prayers, the honesty. It was a gift to be aware of their needs, and able to support them.
I’ve often been asked why I write this blog. Maybe you’re wondering too? Why bake, cook and set up photo shoots on my kitchen counter? Why share humorous stories? Why?
For me, it’s a creative outlet. Ideas and thoughts swirl, jostling each other, crowding my remaining gray cells. This blog provides a venue (and reason) to organize my jumbled mind. It’s a place to salvage tiny bits and pieces from the chaos around me, and work towards composing something of beauty. For me, it’s like putting together a puzzle or weaving a tapestry. It’s an opportunity to finally write. I’ve always wanted to, but never pursued it or given myself permission. Until now.
Why blog? I love life! There’s much that makes my heart sing and soar. Sharing from my life experiences and learning journey brings joy. Humor is important to me. “We laugh, so we do not cry.”
Why blog? Here’s some transparency: our family needs additional income. I always thought I’d return to work earlier to help out, but Hudson’s developmental challenges and frequent illness make that impossible. Writing allows me to work from home, to be there for him and our other boys.
If you’ve wondered how bloggers earn income, wonder no more. Blogs draw readers, followers, and eventually advertisers. It’s the advertising and other writing opportunities that often provides income for bloggers. Here are several ways you can help, if you’re willing:
- If you regularly enjoy this blog, please subscribe in the side bar.
- Please visit the site and comment when you can. (Comments raise the site in internet search engines, helping others discover it more easily.)
- And lastly, if you enjoy this blog, please share it with friends and family. Sharing and “liking” through social media helps the readership grow.
Thanks to so many for your behind the scenes deep kindness and support. You are an invaluable part of this evolving journey. I sincerely hope that Through Her Looking Glass will be an oasis for you…a place to just relax and be. ( I smile to think you might even laugh at a crazy story.) So many fun stories, destinations and recipes ahead for Through Her Looking Glass in 2015. Can’t wait to share them with you. Thanks for joining me on this voyage of discovery…
Very well written my friend. You are an inspiration to us all!
I enjoyed this read so much. Thank you for your transparency and being real for the rest of us that do think: ‘wow, she has it all together’…
I look forward to more of that ‘reality’…
Janet Finnamore says
I love your little blog, you make me smile!
Love this post, Allie, and the gorgeous picture of Hudson. There’s more genuine beauty in joy found amongst everyday kaos than there is in polished fantasy.
I love your honesty. Thank you for sharing.
Dennis Amsden says
I had a pic of Hudson on my phone for quite a while (until my phone died) that was taken at E & C’s campsite, at SoulFest. It always made me smile. He really had fun watching himself on the camera. I’ll have to get a new pic the next time I see him!
Barbara Child says
Love your honesty and willingness to share! You say things so beautifully!
This is my favorite post yet. This one captures the Allie that I know and love – you are a genuine, loving, spirited woman who, even when times are tough, sees the bright spots of life.
Aunt Pinkie says
You are doing such a good job, Allie- I so look forward to your blog!
Cindi B says
Loved your post. While dealing with reality, some lose the ability to see the humor and beauty. You obviously have not. Love you for it!
[email protected] says
Love this line… “Not in Jerry Springer fashion”. 🙂
Kate R. says
Favorite post yet 🙂 <3
Try favorite blog post to date! Echoing what Rebekah said, that this captures the essence of YOU! Your kindness, sense of humor and loving heart are a tremendous blessing!
Allie, this post lived up to the meaning of your name (“truthful”). Loved it…love you…proud of you.
Nancy Hammett says
Enjoy reading your post. Love you’ll
Allie you ARE such an inspiration! I have enjoyed it all to date! I can’t wait for what is to come in Through Her Looking Glass!
nancy mcmahan says
You provide my morning smile. Looking forward to your 2015 posts and more morning smiles for me.
I love ‘REAL.” Thanks for being REAL, Allie. 🙂
You have the gift of seeing the present – as a present. It makes you special, my friend.
I love hearing about your world and being just one of the recipients of your many gifts.
Enjoying your blog, Allie. I didn’t get to know you much during our time in NH, but I’ve been enjoying this way to get to know you a little more.
Thank you for always keeping it real Allie. The Allie we know and love beautifully balances authenticity and aspiration…and we are all blessed because of it. Thank you for sharing the heart and the hope behind your blog. I am the happy beneficiary of your hard work and inspiration. Xoxo
Angie Brooks says
Between work and school I am not on the computer (for fun anyway) nearly as much as I used to be and I’ve missed several of your posts, I’ll have to go back and catch up! I especially enjoyed this one, and even if you say you don’t have it “all together” I think it’s extremely impressive that you do all that you do for your family and church and still are able to keep this blog going for your growing list of readers. Keep up the good work!!
Betsy Sauer says
Allie, I am so glad Aunt Pinkie mentioned your blog in her weekly letter. You have done a wonderful job!! I love reading it and feeling slightly more in touch with my distant cousins!! xxoo
I am new to reading blogs, so it is fascinating knowing the behind scenes view. I always love when they do that with television and movies; to see the behind the scenes before the finish product. The sugared pecans were on my list of projects for the holiday but never made. I am looking forward to new creative things to try in the coming year.
Love this particular gift, dearest Allie, and love you! I’m SO proud of you! Thank you for persevering!
P.S. I had to chuckle about your putting away Christmas decorations that just didn’t make it “out and up” in time! This is the first year we did not decorate our tree–only lights…not even a tree-top angel!
Allie Taylor says
I’m humbled, grateful, even teary…. to be surrounded by so many supportive, encouraging friends. Thanks for the beautiful gift of hope. Happy, happy New Year’s Eve!
Sallie Eisengrein says
you have such a gift of writing! You are blessing!
Aunt Margie says
I LOVE BEING A FLY ON YOUR WALL, THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY (SURGERIES , CAR WRECKS, AND LOST TIME); I LOVE YOUR COLORFUL STORIES; YOUR RECIPES HAVE LANDED HAPPILY ON MY TABLE; YOUR JOIE DE VIVRE, DESPITE LUMPS AND BUMPS, REFLECTS YOUR OPTIMISM; GOD SHINES THROUGH YOU AND IMPACTS ME! THANK YOU! HAPPY NEW YEAR WITH SO MUCH LOVE!
Thoroughly enjoyed this post… not that that’s uncommon! Happy New Year!
Linda Jenkins says
Allie, I’ve always seen and been drawn to the honesty and sincerity that make you the special person you are. I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, for I don’t think you truly understand how much your human side impacts and inspires me. You’ve taught me how healthy it is to let those tears flow, how unhealthy it is to hide my sorrow, most importantly, how important it is to be and to keep it real. Thank you, my dear friend. You’ll never know how many bumps and bruises you’ve soothed and healed. Thank you for helping my heart to sing once again.
You always know how to make me cry… Love you dear friend.
Love it, Allie!
I hope it isn’t too long before I’m able to visit you again. I love how real you are, Allie. That is how I try to live my life. I gave up on the picture perfect image long ago. Christ accepts us in our mess and long before we are ready for Him. You are such a great example of how we are to emulate Christ to others in our lives. Thank you! Romans 5:8
Allie Taylor says
Thanks for the kind words…would love a visit Maggie! XO