The hardest part about writing again is coming up with a title.

by Beth Anne on September 26, 2013

This past summer passed lazy & quick, a contradiction that I’m still trying to reconcile as the leaves begin to turn outside our front living room.

In June, I sat with Madeleine L’Engle in my lap & determined that I would live more intentionally. I didn’t know what it looked like at the time; I thought it might look like an office nook with a small window where I would write but reality turned into long days at the swimming pool & a new job & a broken air conditioner.

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I stretch my arms above my head. I can reach behind me & tap my coworker, but her ear buds are in & her fingers fly across the keyboard. Her dog sits with his head on my lap & I scratch his ears – we’re good buddies & it’s a welcome distraction.  The greatest adjustment has been the constant companionship. Being elbows away from my coworkers creates an environment of collaboration & brainstorming, but I am also “peopled-out” by the end of the week.

No, I don’t want to go out to dinner. I really don’t want to take a spin class. A concert sounds like my own personal hell. I just want my book & a hot cup of coffee, please.

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We lie side-by-side in the dark. It’s hot but not uncomfortable, just the kind where you lie on top of the mattress & say “God bless ceiling fans” at the end of your prayers. It’s on the days that hit 90 where I think about selling a kidney to pay for a new unit (& new kitchen floor & new windows) but truthfully, it’s not that bad. It’s no different than the summer I spent in the Appalachian mountains in a cabin or tent, surrounded by the quiet.

Sometimes I think I like the hot nights where I barely dare to breathe in case I start to sweat. It reminds me of  cricket noises bouncing off the lake, before marriage & bills & cell phones that could add a filter to any part of life.

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It’s early morning & we’re facing the sun; I flip the visor down & hand Harry a cheese stick. He’s growing so fast that by the time we’re on the road, he’s hungry again. “Mommy, when do I go to PreK?” he asks. I sigh because we have this conversation every morning – not a sigh of exasperation for him, but a sigh of frustration that my answer won’t change & I know it will hurt his feelings. He’s been in a strange situation at daycare, that despite his October birthday he has been moving up with the kids that will go to kindergarten next fall. So while all of his friends are now moving up to PreK, we’ve decided to have him spend an extra six months in Preschool. It’s a solid move – he’s too immature to sit through lessons.  ”We’ll talk about it after Christmas, buddy,” I tell him. His little mouth drops & I explain again that he needs to be four, that there needs to be a seat in the class, that he needs to be able to do his letters. “I just want my old friends back,” he whispers.

I don’t like to see him hurt, even when it’s over who he plays with on the playground.

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I sweep the cobwebs from Harrison’s playhouse as Doug mows the grass. As Sara Bareilles says, “the winter’s light feels different on my skin -it doesn’t seem to strike as far below the surface.” As always, I can feel the shift in the days & sunlight. I tilt my face up to sky but this year, I’m not afraid. Being more settled means my heels are dug in a little deeper than last year.  I don’t even notice the sunset these days.

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I open my blog. I’m not sure how to do this anymore. There are so many times that I think I’m over the blogging world, but I’m not over blogging. I’m not over the writing & connecting & telling stories that make me laugh & cry & wonder what the hell is happening in this universe. But oh man, am I over the Facebook pages & top 100 lists & Pinterest roundups because in the end, I just want to talk to you.

To live intentionally & still publicly open my heart.

I’m so glad you are still here. Thank you for that.

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

C-behr September 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I’ve missed you!
:)

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Beth Anne September 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Thank you! I feel all warm & fuzzy that there’s someone still here. It felt good to write again :)

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Krystina September 26, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Welcome back! Reading my favorite blogs hasn’t been the same without your posts.

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Beth Anne September 26, 2013 at 9:39 pm

:) One of the nicest things anyone could say. Thank you!

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angela September 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I like to see your ampersands back in the blogosphere :)

xo

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R. Emmylou Dooly September 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Welcome back. Sure have missed me. <3 HUGS

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R. Emmylou Dooly September 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Um – I mean sure have missed you. I must be feeling ego-centric right now. :-)

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Angel Wypiszynski September 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Hi! Thank you. :)

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Doris September 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I’m so happy to hear all is well with you and so glad you aren’t over the blogging thing :-) I love reading your blog.

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Becky H. September 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I’m excited to see a post. I have missed your words!

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Sarah C. September 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Enjoyed your post – so get the a/c thing. Ugh. Hoping that is now replaced and all good? We need to plan a get together. I bed Harrison & Dylan would have a great time playing. :)

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Maija September 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm

It made me smile when your new post came into my inbox :)

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Kimmee September 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm

So glad you’re back, BA! We missed you and have been wondering if you’re okay! :)

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Kristen September 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm

I got so excited when I saw your tweet that I came here to read even though I’m two seconds from drifting off into a cough-syrup-hazy sleep (damn cold). Thanks for coming back and filling us in! That’s the worst about the AC. Our house is 100 years old so we only have a window unit in the bedroom and fans everywhere else and I know exactly what you mean about not even wanting to breathe, but at the same time feeling kind of “one with nature” about it. And speaking of nature I’m so glad to hear the SAD isn’t getting to you much this year!!! You deserve a fall of feeling settled and not dreading the sunset. I’m sorry Harry’s missing his friends. We’ll have the same thing happen next year when my son’s friends all move to kindergarten and he stays in preK for one more year. It’s hard but that extra time to mature and grow will be worth it in the end. Anyway, so happy you’re back and still enjoying writing!!! Have a great weekend.

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jess liv September 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm

This. Keep doing this.

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Colie October 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

please!!!

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KellyGreen September 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Wow…beautiful writing! And I’m soooo feeling you on this: “But oh man, am I over the Facebook pages & top 100 lists & Pinterest roundups because in the end, I just want to talk to you.”

I started a hiatus from FB recently, and am going on 2 weeks. I feel so much lighter, more free – I can’t quite pinpoint why.

Anywho, love the new style. Please please please keep writing :)

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Lauren September 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Can’t believe I’ve been reading for over two years.. I still remember sitting in my university dorm & emailing you when I felt so lost.
Welcome back, BA <3

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Suzanne September 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Yay yay yay yay yay!!!!!!!!!!

This is perfection.

So happy to read your words again in this lovely space.

Welcome back, friend.

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Suzanne September 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm

P.S. “To live intentionally & still publicly open my heart” = exactly where I am with all this. Thank you for defining it so clearly. I needed this. :)

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Jennifer September 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Worth the wait!!!

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Crystina September 27, 2013 at 12:15 am

Yay! Great writing as always – so glad you’re back! I’m also trying to spend more time living life & less online, but I still read my blogs so I’m thrilled you’re back! Wish I could meet you in person someday – I’ve been reading your blog for several years so you feel like a friend. :)

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Heather September 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

You write, I’ll read. =) Glad to see a post from you, have been missing your addition to the blogospere.

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Camille September 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

I’m always so excited to see a new post from you. I miss you when you go away.

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Daniela September 27, 2013 at 4:14 am

Great post, as always, makes me feel better on the days that everything is just crazy and feels like my head is constantly buzzing with all the juggling of life, marriage, Faith, chores, work and just trying to keep sane. Thank you for being the breath of fresh air I sometimes need. :-)

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Kimberly September 27, 2013 at 6:12 am

This post flows so beautifully…I just can’t get the picture of you and your “swoobs” (sweaty boobs) out of my head.
You did that intentionally didn’t you.
Welcome back sista.

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Katye September 27, 2013 at 7:00 am

I have only 6 blogs that I read regularly and they are all saved in my bookmarks. I’ve been checking almost every day for a new post and it made me smile to finally see one from you. It never occurred to me to delete you from the lineup because I knew it would be worth it just to wait and see. Thanks for coming back :)

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Andrea September 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

Welcome back. You’ve been missed :)

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Genie September 27, 2013 at 9:19 am

Yay. Missed you.

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shay September 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see your blog header pop up on my reader when I click the “next” button. You’ve been missed =).

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Kella September 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

My heart sang a little when I clicked on my shortcut for your page and saw a new post. You’ve been missed!

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Erin September 27, 2013 at 9:51 am

Enjoyed this post and the glimpse into your world right now.

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Kristen September 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

Missed you! My heart goes out to you on your pre-k situation… we had the opposite problem this year. My son moved up to pre-K and all of his friends stayed in preschool (he’s been the oldest in his class until this year because they never had room for him in the next class up). It breaks my heart that he misses his friends. He’s slowly making new ones though. I’m sure Harry will too.

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Brandy September 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

Love you, Aids face. :P

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Tonya Martin September 27, 2013 at 10:33 am

I’ve been missing you! Glad you are back.
PS- Tell Harrison that Finley misses him too…

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Emily September 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

Glad you’re back :) I missed reading your writing.

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Neatha September 27, 2013 at 11:05 am

You don’t realize it but I relate to you with the depression and our sons are the same age with October birthdays. I’m glad you decided to write again tho :) Sometimes it keeps me going on my right path.

Neatha

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Jessica September 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

You say it’s not a comeback, but I’m pretty happy to see your words on my screen. I know things have been rough lately but I’m glad you’re back on-screen. :) p.s. I feel old because I am now in Sunday School with Elise. :)

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davis ann September 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

i’ve missed you! and your stories and witty lines. glad to have you back :) don’t stop!

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Megan B September 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

Man, you are such a great writer. I hear ya about the blogging. Talk away. :)

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Hannah Ervin September 27, 2013 at 11:58 am

Good blogging is like a conversation between friends and you do that oh so well. Welcome back!

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Jami September 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm

This made me so happy to read today!!!!

<3 <3 <3

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Delia September 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Welcome back. Oh, the preschool thing is so hard! My little guy moved up to the 4yo class early but left his friends behind. It was a good decision, but I know his misses playing with some of the other kids.

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Christina September 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

You may not remember this, but long long long ago, back in the days of McFatty Monday and blue nursery walls gone awry, I mentioned to you something about keeping some things “closer to the vest” drawing a little mystery to yourself, putting it out there but not ALL of it… and for the first time since that time, it’s like you’ve figured it out. Nothing controversial being posted, no shit stirring, no immaturity, no nonsense, just very poetic well painted time stamps of where you’ve been, what you’re doing, and most importantly a clear understanding of why it is actually better than being here. I speak for your other readers and myself when I say, ” we miss you. We hope you miss us. But most importantly, we are all elated to see the bond that you have with your family now, after 2.5 years of hell and 1.5 years of growing up and sorting it out, that like a cat you’ve landed on your feet.”

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Arnebya September 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

We are absolutely still here (as I imagine crossing a picket line. No, I don’t know why either). This is beautiful in its simplicity but also in all that it says underneath. That level of comfort is hard to explain. That level of this is where I am now is not easy to convey but you did it. And it makes sense. The words are what you want to give and get; the words are all there is. All the social media that keeps us from the truly social aspect of our blogs, the real connection (sure, there may be connection but it feels tentative out there, not real and intimate like a blog), simply finds its place elsewhere sometimes.

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Lauren September 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I’ve missed your writing! I follow you on Twitter, but it’s just not the same :)

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Jennifer September 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Oh BA, this post was just GORGEOUS. So beautiful. I don’t mean to sound creepy and stalkerish, but I can’t help myself. So perfect. Welcome back, I hope for a while.

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Stefanie September 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Glad you’re back– Missed you.

A lot of my fav bloggers have taken a step back this summer– while I’ve missed their writing, it’s been kind of refreshing to see so many “living intentionally.”

The beauty of your writing will always keep me coming back for more, regardless of how long the wait might be. xoxo.

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Marie September 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Our babies were born 2 weeks apart. I’ve read your blog since we were pregnant and have always found comfort and warmth from reading of someone going through similar life circumstances. I was so happy to see your post. Thank you for sharing!

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Laura Case September 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I feel the crazy need to post the welcome back Kotter theme song or something. Welcome back!

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Kersten September 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I didn’t read the other 49 comments, but will say, “I missed you too.” I miss the way you make me laugh. The way your word pull my heart strings. The way you make the everyday into something really special. Welcome home. If you ever need a title e-mail me and I’ll whip up my most cleaver. A small exchange for all the inspiration you have given me.

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Desiree September 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

So nice to have you back. I love your writing style in this post.

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Rebecca September 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm

You write beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

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Sarah K. September 28, 2013 at 12:08 am

Glad you’re doing well. We lived without central air conditioning for four years in our 100 year old house. Four hot, miserable, Georgia summers that even the air units we forked out for as a temporary thing didn’t help. I feel for ya lady, I really do. I would fill the tub with cold water and lay in it during the hotter nights. We didn’t have kids then though, I don’t know if I could have got through it with kids in the mix.

My kiddo is also one of the October birthday kids so he is stuck in the 3 year old class at pre-school. I worried about how he would feel to be in a slightly younger class but I’ve talked to several moms with older kids that went through it, and they say the kids wind up happier in the end when they do start school. Something to do with them being more mature and advanced from it. We’ll see.

If you don’t want to do the FB, social media stuff, then don’t. Write to write. Plenty of people love to read what you have to say here, I know I do.

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Adrianne September 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

I have missed your postings!!!

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Liz September 28, 2013 at 10:41 am

As I have said before, yours was the first blog I have ever read and I am so glad you back. I feel like blogs are so much more fun and interesting to read when the writer is not so busy promoting herself that everything gets jumbled. Keep doing what you are doing! I feel like my old friend is back!!!

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Inara September 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm

So glad to see you again. Love your writing. And I totally had the same summer, lazy, but over too quickly.

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The Mommy September 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Glad you’re back. And I understand – I don’t do all of the social media stuff, so I really, truly, completely appreciate a blog (or even just a blog POST) that’s just about…stuff. Like this one. Good one!

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Leigh Ann September 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Amen on the lists and roundups and contests. I’ve seen bloggers who swore they never would, begging for votes and clicks.

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Laurie September 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm

WELCOME BACK!!! I have missed this blog! One of my all time fav blogs, blog land is not the same with out BA!!

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Amy September 29, 2013 at 12:04 am

Amen. All of it.

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Rachel Gurevich September 29, 2013 at 12:46 am

I can’t remember if I ever commented here, but in any case, I’m a long time reader. And I’m SO glad you’re back, and so glad to be reading YOU. And that includes whatever parts of you you’d like to blog about. I’ll read. :)

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Jackie September 29, 2013 at 1:07 am

I’m glad you’re back! I’ve missed reading you :) Hope you’re well!

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Ariel September 29, 2013 at 10:35 am

Beautiful. Not sure why exactly, but this post totally struck a chord with me and I started crying. Welcome back.

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Lindsay September 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I’m so glad you’re still writing. I love reading your words.

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Lindsay September 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Your words have been greatly missed BA. I am so happy your back!

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Jennifer September 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

Welcome back! I’ve missed you! Congrats on the new job. Glad to hear that you’re happy and healthy.

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Cari September 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm

No title needed… Your words say it all!!! You just made my Monday better!

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Natalie September 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Oh how I’ve missed you. Glad you’re back and I’m ready for more. Keep talking to us, friend, we’re listening.

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KeAnne October 1, 2013 at 10:22 am

Welcome back! Missed you :-)

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Sara October 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Hello Friend! I love you!

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Erin B October 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm

B, you have such a way with words and I’m sure you hear this all the time but you are truly talented. I really enjoy reading your blog!

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Beth Anne October 3, 2013 at 9:07 am

Thank you!!! I am so undeserving of the compliment, but it also warms my heart a ton.

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Raquel October 3, 2013 at 9:12 am

Welcome Back, I’ve missed you and your writing !

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Beth Anne October 3, 2013 at 9:21 am

So happy to be back! :)

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Mandy October 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Well said… All of it! Especially regarding blogging and what it “can” be. I’m over it too! Glad to see you’re back. :)

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Tabitha October 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

So glad to see your words again. I can’t speak for everyone… but please, DEAR GOD, never do a Pinterest round up… Ok?

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madorie October 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

Happy to see you back! You’re lucky you can keep Harry back. In NYC if you don’t send your Fall Baby to Kindergarten the year they turn 5, the they can’t go to K at all, they have to go to 1st grade the year they turn six. Yowzer.

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Sarah October 11, 2013 at 11:29 am

I’m late to the party but I’m glad to see you back!

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Caroline October 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

Um, since I know you read them, WTH Allegiant? That’s how the series ended?!

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Beth Anne October 26, 2013 at 7:08 am

RIGHT?!

I had a solid 12 hours of wanting to kick something, then I realized that my biggest beef with the book was how poorly executed & disjointed the entire thing felt.

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Dawn October 28, 2013 at 10:04 am

This is the type of blogging that made me love blogging. I don’t care about Facebook pages. (That’s not how I use Facebook anyway.) I’m only interested in someone sharing something Pinteresty if it’s really a glimpse into their world through something by which Pinterest inspired them. It’s the real-ness that draws me in. This was like that first refreshing breath of cool air that fills me up after the never-ending Florida summer. Thank you for that.

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Kelly November 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I’m late, but welcome back! I’ve been checking your blog to see if you’d written. We’ve missed you BA!

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Beth Anne November 6, 2013 at 8:27 am

Thanks, lady!!

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