I spent a couple of days last week in Salt Lake City for Alt Summit.
It was a fantastic trip, and I loved basically every minute of it (and I plan to bore you to tears next week with more details).
But one of the main things I kept thinking about was, "None of this is as important as my family."
I really love my blog - I love coming up with things to write about, I love you guys that read it, I love getting emails that say "What should I give my 2nd grade son to read?" I like making recipes easier, figuring out the simplest way to throw a fun party, and having a place to talk about books I really love.
I am more grateful than I can express that I can help support my family financially while Bart goes to school.
But at the end of the day, I don't want my blog or my job to be the most important part of my life.
It's tough because blogging is so FUN. I love what I do, and I could easily spend pretty much 24 hours a day doing it. And parenting little children is hard. My blog projects don't complain about what I made for breakfast or ask "Are you done yet? You're taking too lonnnnnnnnng." This blog doesn't wake me up the middle of the night because it threw its pacifier out of the crib.
But being a mom is more important to me, even if it's sometimes hard to remember that in the moment when I'd WAY rather go take some pictures of food than play more games of Memory. I don't want my children to remember me as always gunning to get back to my computer, or spending all our outings checking my email or Instagram.
Last night, Bart thought he heard a knock at at the door and went down to check it out. A minute later, I heard him come up and tell Ella to look out the window (we'd put her to bed over an hour earlier, but she was still awake thanks to the time-change fun).
I went to look too and it was snowing outside.
Ella's been asking for months if it was going to snow (I told her when we moved here, that it usually snowed two or three times per winter in North Carolina), and I was starting to think she wasn't going to see any this year.
Despite the fact it was long past her bedtime, we all pulled on our boots, coats and mittens, and went out into the snow.
The streetlights were on and the neighborhood was quiet.
I snapped a few photos, then put the camera away and we spent about half an hour building a tiny snowman, making tracks up and down the sidewalk, and writing Ella's name in the snow. We threw snowballs, and made smiley faces on the driveway.
Ella could hardly contain her excitement, crying "I KNEW it would snow!" and insisting it wasn't too cold to stay out longer (Bart and I were freeeeeeezing).
I thought, "This is what I want my life to be like." (Well, minus the cold. But you know what I mean).
Eventually we came in and warmed up by the fire, before tucking Ella back into bed (lest you think this was all too magical a night, it ended with her sobbing that she was still hungry - which was probably legitimate thanks to the time-change - and then complaining when I offered her some of what we had for dinner).
I want my girls (and Bart) to know they are the highlight of my life. That I love them more than my computer and my camera and Twitter.
Blogging is only a part of my life. They are my life.
Now, if I can only remember that next time both my children are sobbing at the same time for no apparent reason.
(And yes, I recognize the irony of writing a post about our evening in the snow as an example of living life instead of blogging about it. You win some, you lose some).