You never know

(Trudy photobomb)

(I found this little list today, made earlier this summer.  Friends to knit for.  Dear Bonnie, Sarah won’t be forgotten.  There are reminders of her everywhere.  I continue to think of her everyday.)

This morning, as I stood at the stove cooking eggs with Silas (the “helper”), Gabe and the girls worked to do a combination of making paper snowflakes and boats made from wood scraps.  It was all so sweet, and messy.

But, the day ended up being one of those that had me on the verge of tears more than once.  I barely squeezed some lunch in around 3:30 p.m.  I kept thinking to myself with maybe a touch of self-pity, “The mom has to at least sleep and eat sometimes!”  Poor, poor me.  My youngest three are at the end of an illness, and they are just super needy and emotional right now.  It will pass, but today–I just gave myself one little goal:  Use a quiet and kind voice, no matter what.  And I did it.  I think that quiet, sometimes grave voice actually frightens my oldest son!  I’m going to master it.

What’s funny is that I put up that slightly humorous blog post (given my day to day reality), totally expecting people to tell me how to improve my blog and make it more “helpful.”  Haaaaaaa!  I am out of my mind.  I’m not sure exactly what caused me to believe that I need to start blogging in a different way somehow than I have for all these years, or that I am in a position to do so.  I guess I’ve been suffering from some dissatisfaction.  I need to learn to go with the flow, and accept the whole concept of “seasons.”  And I’m not talking about falling leaves.

Thanks for reigning me in, and reminding me that it’s okay to just be me.  I escaped to my computer here and there throughout the day and read all of your really sweet comments, and they were the happiest part of the day (and probably helped me use my nice voice.)

I have never been able to achieve anything here that isn’t pretty much in the moment, part of our real life.  I’ve read that successful bloggers schedule their posts weeks in advance even.  I type them up in the moments before I hit publish.  And who am I kidding about being more focused?  There can’t be too narrow of a focus here, because that wouldn’t be representative of my life.  The truth is that I’m not super focused on anything but my faith and family.  And my family pulls my attention in dozens of different directions every day.  And with that, I guess you just never know what I’ll end up blogging about next.  (Okay, it’ll probably be knitting.  But still.  Things could always get a little crazy here.  You never know!)

p.s.  The baby sweater is Wee Liesl.  It just needs buttons and it’s finished!


  1. Ginny,
    I love the way your blog posts are- sharing what you are inspired to at the time. They are wonderful. Real. Funny. Inspiring. A joy to read.


  2. Thank goodness everyone reigned you in! Your blog is perfect and so very helpful just the way it is. This mom of 5 loves your open, honest, ‘unfocused’ blog :).

  3. Well, it makes me feel better that at least one other blogger just types up posts and hits publish. Every now and then I manage to get ahead, but most times I’m just writing and publishing.

    And you know, I don’t think it’s necessarily realistic to expect much more with a houseful and homeschooled kid (and hey, I only have four!)

  4. I am going to go against the grain here and say that I adore how Gabe’s toes are all curled up on themselves — and how Bea’s leg is over his.

  5. The sweater is gorgeous! I am a very novice knitter, only doing simple hats, baby blankets, and dishcloths. And, yes, your photos and blog are perfect as it reflects you, your family and faith. Blessings upon this day!

  6. I love coming to your blog. I think that the realness inspires me that my own blog can be as simple as I want it to be. You are an inspiration to so many. THank you

  7. Just wanted to tell you I read your blog daily because I enjoy your honest account of day to day life with children. My children are in their twenties, I’m not Catholic, and homeschooling was something I considered and rejected FAST, but it’s always interesting to read about other people’s lives, particularly when the writing and the photographs are compelling. Thank you for continuing!

  8. Oh Ginny…. I struggle with the same in my space. I haven’t had the same energy to give to it after my mom’s accident. I’m slowly getting back to it, which has caused me to think a lot about what it “should” be. And then somehow… I just decided not to care. To let it be a random recording of our days just the way it always has been. I love that swinging be here feels like visiting a friend….. I don’t want you to change a thing 🙂

  9. I love your blog just the way it is. It is perfect in it’s unique way…
    HAve a lovely day!

  10. Ah–I meant to comment but am glad others echoed what I would have said. I so love your blog just as it is! In fact, I like your blog far more than all the others I read, precisely because others have a theme for every post and try to tie up things up very neatly at the end. This does two things–when you have only themed posts (of course having some is great), there is no room for the funny stories or silly anecdotes that I enjoy so much on your blog. It takes the humor and levity out of the writing. It also ends up sounding inauthentic and hollow, because life isn’t neat and tidy and happy all the time, as you so well know. Why should blog posts be? I love the beauty you find through your camera, your funny happy sad hard stories and the way you that by sharing these stories, you validate the fact that all emotions are normal, your creative ideas and activities, your cute kids, your incredible knitting, and so much else. I come here for my daily dose of beauty, and a story and thoughts that are not my own (that’s enough of a gift–to provide a break from my own life for a moment!). Just be you in this space; I feel so lucky to get to go along for the ride.

  11. I am a 72 year old Grammie who reads your blog everyday and loves it. Your pictures of your beautiful family are lovely and I love how you and your Hubby work so hard at having a simple loving Christian home. I know that it has been a difficult year for you but you have love support and God so I know you will be alright.Blessings and hugs to you and your family. Sandra

  12. I haven’t read all the comments but let me just add that your blog is also my favorite. I like it just the way it is. Don’t forget to feed yourself. And thanks again for making time to share with us out here.

  13. Melissa Wakeman says:

    You have and always will be my favorite blog to read. So at night after tucking my own little boys into bed, I always breathe and then look forward to checking in at Small Things.
    It brings me comfort and warmth and a feeling of friendship. Even though I rarely comment, I wanted tou to know how much I love reading your blog and watching your children grow. All your beautiful pictures, even in the mess or chaos you think it is are real, warm, and just beautiful. I would not change a thing. And thank you for being a little light, comfort and smile at the end of my every day.

  14. I had planned on commenting on your post yesterday and then the day got away from me. Originally, I was trying to think of how to answer and what I’d like to see more of. Of course there are things that I think I’d like, like how to get all the schoolwork done with a toddler and needy infant, but then as I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t want you to change things up. I’m so glad to hear you’ll keep on doing things in your own way! I come to your blog daily for inspiration and encouragement. And it never fails – I love it every day no matter what you post. I love seeing what you create on your needles snd what you’re reading. You are a constant reminder for me of the mother I try to be. Thank you for all you do without knowing you do it 🙂

    • I was thinking about my comment and thought I should clarify. I never meant to imply that you have a needy infant :-). I am the one who does….and this morning so far has been like yours the other day. I’m not one to cry at all and yet today it’s not even light out yet and I’ve been close to tears several times. Thanks for brightening my day always!!

  15. You write from the heart Ginny and that is what makes your blog special. If you feel like changing it up sometimes, who is to tell you no? The Lord gives us many trials and tribulations to master and life is what happens in between each and every one of them. Your photos are precious gems even if you do not think so. Whether they are of your children or seemingly mundane everyday objects, they are all worthy of being included in your postings. I used the photo you took in one of your family’s State Park visits recently as my desktop wallpaper. It showed a gravel road in healty green grass and foliage meandering off to the right before being lost in the woods. If you and your family get to visit that one again, please take a similar photo of that gravel road in all its Autumnal splendor. Best wishes for the rest of your week.

  16. Gorgeous cuddle pictures!!!

  17. Elizabeth P says:

    Ginny, I love your blog exactly as it is, and that is why I continue to read it long after many of the others I used to follow have fallen off my list. Your children are gorgeous, you are authentic and true, and I continue to feel that God leads me to your blog as a means of leading me home to the Catholic church (something I continue to wrestle with, due to my own internal and family struggles, but anyway, I think you are a positive part of it).

  18. Ginny, your kids are very blessed to have you as a mom and to enjoy all the special things around your home. Your blog makes me want little ones again to let them do special things that yours are doing inside and outside. Oh what fun!!! Sadly, mine have grown passed that stage. Thanks for sharing from your heart!

  19. So glad that you have decided to leave your blog just as it is. Personally I would much rather read a blog that is “real life” than one glossed over to make life look pretty when we know that it just isn’t like that. There are hard days and I think that your willingness to share the nitty gritting is a blessing to those of us reading your blog.

  20. So glad you are going to just keep on being you. Sometimes I want to shut my FB page off as I have in the past. I always come back because I need to get to your blog. I often read it on my tiny IPOD during my breaks at work.

  21. Oh! sweet Ginny. We are all here because we love to hear your amazing voice. Please don’t stop being authentically you. Sometimes we torture ourselves with comparison- it is especially easy in Blogland because we are all just representations of a real life. I would love to be able to put myself out there as you do… but I agonize (in an introvert way) about every word! You are doing a beautiful job especially through a difficult year.
    hugs to you.

  22. This is why I love your blog (and therefore you, even though I don’t really know you, of course). Keep on keeping on, Ginny! xx

  23. Thank you for this post. I hope that another thing that is taken from it is a reminder of the family’s needs and that the funds for the Harkin family as noted in your column each day, has seemed to have leveled at about $83,000. Praying for that to reach the $100,000 ! Barry

  24. Hi there,

    I didn’t comment on your last post asking for input, because all I could think of to say was that I love your blog just the way it is and I didn’t want or need you to change anything and I didn’t think that was what you wanted to hear. I’m so glad others chimed in with that same message.

    I’m also always in awe of bloggers who plan and post weeks or months (!!) in advance. I try to schedule things a few days out, but that’s really only so I have time to go back and fix all my typos and then have it publish crazy early in the morning for my east coast readers! I kind of love knowing these are fresh from your fingers.

  25. Oh, I love it! I could just hug you!! 🙂 I really needed the quiet, gentle voice reminder today!!

  26. Well said! And well survived! We are also getting over being sick – but it is mostly me. Thank God the kids escaped relatively unscathed with just sore throats and sniffles. It is that time of year however and I am bracing for what winter brings more profoundly to young children – illness.

  27. Dearest Ginny,
    I love your blog JUST THE WAY IT IS!!! I do hope that you don’t decide to change it! It is honest, raw and REAL!
    My heart is with you as you go through these seasons….an NO, not the falling leaves 😉 My children are 17, 14, and 12. They are constantly changing and this ol’ momma just can not keep up with changing with them.
    I cry with you, I laugh with you, and I am inspired by you!
    Blessings to you and yours!

  28. Ginny,

    I love your blog just the way it is. I don’t comment often, but I’ve been reading for years, and read every post. I think I found your blog googling “catholic homeschool moms” or something of the sort.

    I never met Sarah Harkins, but I very much enjoyed her blog and her work. I anxiously awaited her shop to open to buy clay rosaries for my daughter and niece last year. I will forever cherish them. I think of her often, and pray for her and her family.

    I think I enjoy your blog so much, because besides my inability to knit, we are a lot alike.

  29. Ahh I am one of those bloggers that thinks about some of my posts in advance. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I write them ahead of time……….unless we are going to be away. It is only for one post a week when I rotate what I write about. I found that if I didn’t do that my focus was lost and I would spend ages trying to work out what to write. I guess we all find a way that works for each of us, otherwise we wouldn’t be the individuals that we are!

  30. Kathleen L. says:

    In this crazy out of control world we are living in, the only thing we all need to do is to focus more on what you are doing!

    ( “The truth is that I’m not super focused on anything but my faith and family”)

    Those are our most important duties!!! Keep doing what you do best! My children have grown up with you and love all your posts!!
    You have our prayers and support!

  31. I am following your blog with love and what I am trying to say is that when I am reading your posts they making me stronger and they also motivating me a lot.

    Happy Tuesday and keep yourself strong, you are very brave!!! Liuba x

  32. I think your blog is just right the way it is and honestly, I love that you don’t schedule blog posts and just write in the moment. It is so real that way. I get a lot of encouragement and joy from reading your blog.

  33. I love your blog, because it is beautifully “you” – homeschool mom, knitter, woman of faith…thank you for sharing your life with us! I am always encouraged by you! *hugs* 🙂

  34. I wanted to comment yesterday but didn’t get the chance.

    I think your blog is more focused than you realize. It just happens to be focused on all the topics you care about, so it probably seems like a lot. But the view from over here is pretty consistent.

    I have three kids under the age of five, so I think what I enjoy best about your blog is the feeling that I’m listening to an older sister who has had a few more years of learning her way into motherhood. That and the knitting and the bees and faith and family.

  35. I visit your blog because it’s your family and your faith that are at the heart of it! Plus I like you 🙂 your genuine honesty and kind heart make me feel as the the world is right, even though it’s not.

    I hope today is a better day!

  36. I had every intention of getting back to that post and leaving a comment but it was just that kind of day. With one little homeschooler, a plethora of health issues, but a generally pretty quiet life, calm and quiet time still alludes me. So, I just want to say I love what you blog about. It gives me great comfort to know I am not the only one who struggles with family tension, a messy house (which is all relative, my dear), issues with children growing up in this wretched world, and finding time to just not be needed. I am sorry that I cannot give you great hope that by the time the children are 25, 22, 18, and 12 that they will not need you. I’m afraid they will, or at least mine do (maybe I did it all wrong, and am still doing it wrong).

    In terms of blogging, you’re doing right. Carry on.

  37. That little cardigan is BEAUTIFUL!

    And I am so thrilled we are to be treated to ‘more of the same’ from your blog. It is a lovely gift to see your photographs and read about what you are pondering in the moment.

    May Christ strengthen you in all the tasks of your day. God bless.

  38. Ginny, I love your blog, your picture and thoughts. It is always a happy part of my week to read your posts. I’m amazed that you blog so well with so many things and little people to manage. Keep it up you are doing a great job and you mean a lot to all of us, and of course I love your knitting.

  39. I write mine and publish, very rarely do I save a post….maybe that would make me better?? Anyways, glad you found the scary…er…nice voice that is in command. I used to breathe deeply and count in my head. Hope your day improves!!

  40. The most I can write a post in advance is maybe a few hours before? I’m not that much of a planner OR that organized! I hope you can find some peace in your day today. And yes – that quiet voice is very effective sometimes. God bless.

  41. Dear Ginny i love your blog just the way it is – you are so real and inspiring! In many ways our lives couldn’t be more different but that’s what i love about reading about your life and seeing your lovely pictures of your beauftiful family! it is refreshing in this day and age to see a family staying true to their beliefs and you are a daily inspiration!

  42. oh…(not enough sleep sadly for me so not focusing in well) … hard to see the list for a sweater for Sarah; we keep them all in prayer daily.

  43. I hope today is better! This blogging community is wonderful. I have been having a few of those self-pitying days myself lately. Baby is teething. 4 year old is fighting a cold/allergies. They have been extra needy and I keep finding myself thinking “I need some momma time!”. Yesterday I tried to knit at least one row on my socks every hour and that helped! I like the idea of a quiet, kind tone. I think I need to begin practicing that!

  44. yay! yes! that’s it, just be ‘you’… love those pictures. oh dear, you do need to eat. praying for you. (HUGS) and hang in there!

  45. You are such a dear and I hope today is a better day. Hugs to you.

I love to hear from you!