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  • My life as a wife, mother, and child of God. I can tell a good joke, but only at my own expense. I can tell ya how to parent, but only by first failing. And I can tell you how to get to Heaven, but you gotta get there on your own.

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May 26, 2010



I can't agree more about the 'rat race.' I only read blogs for about 2 days before I started my own, so I had no idea about anything. I also didn't know blogging 'etiquette.' I did get caught up in it at first, but am so thankful I let that pass. It is not the most important thing in life, in fact, no 'things' are important! I find that if I remind myself of the blessings around me, I am at peace with whatever happens in my life and 'blog.'


If anyone had tried to warn me of these realities, I would have ignored them. There was no hope for me. To blog is to dream. It's made me pay attention to food in a way that has completely changed my life. I wish it was less time-consuming, but whaddya gonna do?

10,000 visitors a day??!! Who gets that?


Great post Amanda. 10,000 visitors a I don't even get that in a year.

crayon wrangler

Great post! I am going to tweet this to all my followers and hopefully gain another 20 followers who will sign up to follow my blog and someone will offer me a book deal. (I kid, I kid!)
Seriously though...wonderfully written truths here!


This is great insightful post. I appreciate that you posted this since I am trying to build up my reader base. I try to keep the reason I am doing it in the front of my mind every day. And that reason is because I love to write and share my life.


Your certainly right about these things, this was very interesting to read. I think i would wish someone had told me how much you really would care when no one comments your posts. haha, i'm cheesy like that. And the whole time thing- that was a big one and still is for me! I thought I would have plenty of time to keep it up...haha nope!


I love this post. It's so true. Granted, i only write about food, but even with that small outlet, I look back and I'm so glad I started. Just from the standpoint of making new friends, finding a new community, and forcing me to get out of my comfort zone in cooking, baking, and even just being outgoing. I can definitely relate :)

bridget {bake at 350}

I'm so glad you blog!!! You're right...I went in totally not knowing what I was doing. I asked my cousin..."so, do you think anyone would read a blog about decorating cookies?" I didn't even know there WERE food blogs!!! Duh.

To answer your questions:
Have you ever paid for a new background? YES
Hosted a contest that offered a prize paid for from your own pocket? YES
Ever updated your picture editing program or got a new camera or a cell phone with better internet access or bought a fancy linky system or joined a community that offered an upgraded membership for just a small fee? YES

I think the biggest struggle for me is TIME. If I had all day to do nothing but blog stuff, it wouldn't be enough time. Time to bake, photograph, write, edit, upload, post, tweet, read, comment, answer emails, etc, etc.

{I still LOVE it, though!} :)


You hit the nail on the head girl! I've just recently run into somewhat of a BEYOND busy streak in life right now and my poor blog has gotten neglected because of it...which of course makes me feel guilty because if I don't post, someone's gonna STOP FOLLOWING ME! :::GASP:::

And 10K a day? Holy moly I think I'd fall off my rocker if I saw that number!

I, personally, don't get worked up over no comments, only because (lately) I haven't had time to comment myself. But it does feel good to know that people are out there who are in the same boat as you, or at least think the same way you do. Misery loves company! :-)

Blog-ville, despite the time has been totally awesome for me though. There are just SO many wonderful people out there who I never would have had a chance to "meet" without our measly little bloggies. :-)


And I am so glad that you would do it all over again because what would my blog world be without Amanda and her amazing baked goods!

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

I'm relatively new to being part of the food blogging community but not to putting recipes online as my first website, built in 1995, was a food I've been blogging for either 15 years..or 1 year and I've seen all that you speak of and my thoughts are...if you're doing it for the money or fame, than you're likely to have your heart broken!

I see peers get distraught over stats and visitors and wish I could tell them how I feel, really. If those are your impetus...maybe it's time to quit.

I love to cook. Period. Learning to love the photography part but what a huge and difficult skillset to learn because I love to cook so I try to keep it all in focus.

I, my friends, and my family still love to get together for a good meal..never mind the slight interruption of 'Hold on...I have to get a photo first' but sometimes the end result is meant for greater things than Food Gawker!

One thing you mention of interest is the time and cost investment. I'm a professional web developer; having owned my own company for 15 years.

I find it interesting that so many find having to spend money for their 'business' distasteful and wonder why? I don't know of any other business without startup is free and can only get you so far and growing means investments; both economically and with your own labor but those usually produce greater results so they are well worth it.

Long term though and/or bottom line...most bloggers must just love what they do and I do. I've made great friendships and some amazing food that would never have happened without being a part of this community so like you; would not change a thing!


I'm glad you'd do it all over again because I think the world of you! AND I bought more cookie cutters today--mini fruits!!! Yeah for your recipe!
I do love the friends I've made blogging and hope I can be an encouragement to them and a grateful reader!

Kristin Smith

I completely understand! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to basically process after having a miscarriage. I didn't even know what blogging was until I heard about Angie Smith's blog and saw how she was walking in faith after losing their daughter. I was inspired and thought maybe I could do the same.

Today I have 8 followers...all of whom I love!! :) And I am thrilled when I get a comment or 2...!!

When I first heard of another blogger and the big..big bucks that were being racked in by each click I was a bit angry. It didn't seem right to me that someone could make up to a 6 figure salary for blogging.

But who am I to judge right?? Maybe it is jealousy that I don't have the capacity...but would I want it? Would I change myself, my writing to appease the masses? I would hope not...but is it worth the temptation?

So today I blog because my family likes to read my posts and see my kiddos. I think my biggest fan is my I write for him - hopefully I make him proud.

I agree that the friendships are worth the time...and when you have only a handful of "followers" you have the time to spend reading their blogs too...and so that I another reason I enjoy it myself!

I do so enjoy your posts....your honesty and sincerity. Thank you for just being you! :)

Blessings friend!

Queen Mommy

Honestly, the reason I first started a blog was for our faraway family and friends (as well as documentation for myself.). And, that's the reason I keep it going. Even though I don't post everyday, or sometimes not even every week. For all of the reasons you stated and more, I *try* not to let the "blog-think" make me less PRESENT with my family because I never want to forget this moment, these moments, with them. And, knowing me, I could allow myself to get far too caught up in it all. So, my blog will never be a top mommy blog, and that's okay. I've still met some truly lovely people through my blog, and that is a blessing in itself!

Diane {}

I'm with Bridget, I'm glad you blog. Advise I wish I knew before beginning,wish someone would have told me sooner to blog on wordpress and self host :) switching just seems intimidating at this point.

annalea @ our hartbeat

great post!

this is so timely. i just had to stop and think hard about my motivations last night. i came to the following conclusions

a) i love blogging, but it can easily overwhelm my life if i am not careful

b) i am not ready for the responsibility of a crazy large readership and am loving the community of readers on my blog

c) i have learned a ton about myself - like how much i still need to grow :) and it makes me laugh that people want to read about that

d) i want to try harder to get out of the rat race and just continue to be me.


Amen, Sista!
I wouldn't give it up, either! But at the same time, I think like a Blogger now. "oh, that would be a funny story to post." or "what am I going to post about today?" totally get it!


Another great post - so glad I have you to put my thoughts into words for me!!! :)I think the biggest thing that has suprised me from blogging is the guilt I feel when I don't blog and the saddness I feel when noone - not even my mom - comments (although mom almost always does!) lol

I have learned to accept that there are times I won't blog for weeks at a time - other times when I will blog daily. Life happens and I need to keep all things in perspective -- I am sure glad I met you through the blogs and the other friends I've made! Praise God for that!!!


what a timely post for me! you know a few days (week or so?) i posted about why do you blog? why do you follow blogs (how do you choose which ones you follow)? commenting etiquette, etc. and i just kept thinking while i was asking these questions to a blogging community that was not responding (my fault, for not keeping up on my blog or theirs) AMANDA AMANDA are my role model in so many ways. your values, focus, perspective...keeping God and your family at the forefront...i wanted to send you an e-mail and ask if i could interview you on these things and post your answers on my blog. not because i have a lot of readers, but for me! and i guess i could have done this in an email but somehow it felt like it deserved its own post. but then i got too busy to even find your email address to ask you...and i knew you had addressed many of my questions in your own blog posts just since i've been following you. anyway, thank you for sharing these experiences and reflections. so much to learn from them and i agree i would do it all again...i will continue to look to you for inspiration and if i can get it together and make my questions succinct, i'd love to interview you more specifically in the future...will also link back to this post...thanks again for being you.


Thank you for this post Amanda. I'm new to writing a blog but I've been reading for years. I needed this as a reminder to keep myself in check. I appreciate your honesty.

Janmary, N Ireland

So glad no-one told us ..... Or we might never have started!

Great post (as always!)


Yeah. For me, it's all about the relationships I've established through blogging.
I don't look at my stats anymore.
I don't make money from advertising, or anything else.
I'm not a 'big blog' and I don't care.

I am blessed by the friends I've made. I am delighted that God would use anything I have to say to encourage the heart of another mom. And besides all that, HE speaks to ME when I write. Often times it is in writing a post that God helps to clear my head so I can understand what's going on in this heart of mine.

Thanks for getting me to reflect on these thoughts. Love you!


So, when is it you are going to be speaking and where? :)

Great thoughts. So much of that post I can relate too. The funny thing about blogging is how it sucks in people around you too. Doug is always telling me "get a picture of that! It will make a great post." It makes me laugh. And family starts to call if I haven't blogged in a while to make sure everything is okay. :)

I have to say though, I don't know how I'm going to do it with four and school next year, but like you I'm going to keep on. :)

Hope you all are getting some warm weather up there.


I'm with you Amanda - I have been blogging for almost 3 years & highly recommend it to anyone & everyone.
BUT...I blog for me...and for my family. I blog so that we have a record of our lives. I do not care if I have 2 readers or 10,000. I don't make any money off of my blog-(but I'd like to!) but for me, it's not about the money - it's about my kids being able to look at the hard cover bound books that I make FROM my blog - and will have a record - with my words - of our lives together.
And maybe, just maybe...they'll have a sense of who I was when I'm long gone.
the AWESOMESAUCE connections I have made along the way - those are icing on the cake!!


This is all so true! I just started my blog and am still getting it off the ground. I find myself thinking about all these things and then stop to wonder WHY? Aren't I doing this for my own enjoyment? But I can't help it!!


You hit the nail on the head, and I'm just getting started on having TWO blogs of my own, one for family, one for me. Can you imagine keeping up? I must be crazy, but it is sure fun and reflective.

This was a great post. Fun to read and reflect upon too!


Hi Amanda,

This is Source Blogger. I enjoyed the candidness and honesty of your article.

I wrote on these topics daily.

Thank you for sharing your blogging experience.

I "stumbled" your article too by the way.

Your friend,

Source Blogger

The Lumberjack's Wife

I really needed to hear this post today! Thanks!

I think just the emotional up and down is what surprises me the most. I started this as just a way to write about our lives and now it has become a little more than that to me.

Following and commenting other blogs has become overwhelming to me, and keeping up with blogging. I am hoping to be better at "blogging time management."


You speak the truth Sista! I started a blog for many of the various reason already expressed above, and it has been very rewarding for me. I mean, who doesn't love staying up way too late just so you can get that post done, or having your kids "Hold on one sec so I can grab the camera?" :)

I wouldn't change it for the world.


I am much like Karen@SurvivingMotherhood. I choose not to use advertisers, nor sponsors, etc. My first blog was to keep my sisters and extended families up to date on our life after my husband and I got married, left the city and moved to the country 2 years ago. Later came the cookie business blog and then the baking blog. I am forever grateful to the many wonderful giving, caring, talented people I have had the pleasure to meet through this medium. No matter what amount of time I have put into creating and maintaining my blog, I always get back a thousand fold from fellow bloggers etc. and that is priceless to me.

Renee of Kudos Kookies

When I first started my blog, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was looking for a fun way to document my cookie business, if for nobody else but me(and a few customers who might be interested in the design process). I soon came to realize that it is (can be) so much more then I'd ever imagined. All you need is the time and willingness to devote countless hours to nurture it's growth with love and devotion. My blog is my fledgeling. Someday, I'd love to gain more followers and avid readers but for now, it's still my baby and I'm happy keeping it under my wing for a little bit longer.

Denise @ Creative Kitchen

How true! I started first blogging when my third child was diagnosed at 2 weeks old with a birth defect that required major surgery (Craniosynostosis - premature closing of the skull plates). It was a scary time, and the blog was very therapuetic and a way to keep family & friends informed.

This past summer when I discovered the food blogging community, I started blogging about my passion - cooking!! I love it!! I love that I have an easy place to go to for my recipes. It makes me more disciplined in writing down my creations since I know I will post about them. It led me to a more full understanding of Twitter & how to use it to "meet" like-minded people.

I find that having my own food blog feeds my inspiration in the kitchen. I find myself giving myself permission to spend more time reading through other cooking & baking blogs which leads me to great ideas to spark my creativity.

Thanks for sharing these great insights!


Insightful, really, keep it up! :-)


I'm pretty much relishing having an unknown blog. I don't publicize, promote, advertise or attempt to make any money from it whatsoever. I love the freedom of just being able to write (my first love) and photograph (a new love) all my greatest loves (the hubs and kiddos). It's immensely fun and I'm glad there's no blog standards to drag me down.

Back in college, a friend and I hosted a fairly popular online journal and it was SO much fun--at first. We had tons of readers, made some great online relationships, and learned a LOT! But, the pressure to update so frequently, then the appearance of some "haters" finally led me to just close the domain and move on.

Now, I'm unknown and drama-free and wouldn't have it any other way. I'm finding that I'm not reading many "big" blogs anymore (yours excluded, of course!). With all the advertising, the compensation from sponsors, etc., I'm not so sure that what I'm reading is actually authentic. I like honest, insightful blogs, not ones that are getting paid to write.

Amanda Rettke

You need to send me your blog address... I would love to visit you!!


Um.. how completely rewarding it is, how you make friends with people you might never meet but will feel incredibly blessed to "know" and be a small part of their life. It helps me to view the everyday in a different way, it adds more positivity, and it also helps me to look back on my day and see the ways (big or small) the Lord has blessed my life.
You, my dear, are one of those counted blessings! My blogging profits are not monetary. ;)


Beautifully written my dear.

I think I could have written this post as well, but I wouldn't have done it justice as you've done. I've only been blogging for about a year, but I've gone through all these steps all ready! I do have to say though that the introspection has been overwhelming. What I've discovered about myself and others and nature is just amazing.

Dana-from chaos to Grace

What's funny is, I started blogging because God was doing a lot in my life and it allowed me to share Christ with people on a much bigger scale! I don't have that big of a following and I understand that. I'm not going to appeal to the average person and I'm OK with that.

My goal is not to make money, gain friends and popularity, or change what I write to appeal to others. God brings the ones to my blog that need it.

My blog is for me and finding myself in Christ and how He is changing my world around me. Through it, I've seen people saved and I've seen lives transformed. I've seen people come back to God through my blog, so if that's all I ever get from it, I'm a pretty rich woman!


I was with blogher at one point; your estimate of 10,000 visitors to make money is about spot on :D

I've been trying to bring the fun back and even neglect to check stats some days...

which reminds me....

excellent post my dear.


It's such a crazy addiction, right!! I love your new pic by the way.


I love this post! Sooo true. You always have such great insight. And I feel so blessed to have gotten to know you over the past couple of months! You're a great bloggy friend!


Well, I'm not in it for the money or the fame, although I can get just as egotistical as the next person (ya know, why hasn't anyone came by today? 1 comment is all I have? blah, blah blah) But I do hope that one day my kids look back and enjoy how life has been documented through my fingertips and my computer :)


I am really new to blogging my blog is only 2 months old and this is really helpful. Just like with any other business/hobby it takes a lot of time (and I am sure I don't even know and understand half of it) but it does allow the mothers the flexibility that is so needed in any kind of workspace today. Even if you spend over 40 hours a week and make 100$ it is most likely the same you would make after you have send your kids to daycare/preschool and went to work full time. There are lots of negatives and who knows if I will be saying the same thing 5 years for now but it gives you some sort of hobby/sanity in the crazy world of stay at home mommydom too.


Everything you say is so true. As a blogger who has blogged for while but never really gone anywhere with it, I can still say that getting my thoughts down and recording my baking adventures is a plus. I really don't think anyone reads my blog since there are almost never any comments- but that is ok, because it is something I do for myself more than anything. I envy the "big" bloggers who have taken it to heights I would love to get to , but I'm not sure I have the talent to go that far. I get total enjoyment out of reading other blogs and getting inspiration on life, kids, baking and anything else. I know , maybe I need to open up more on my blog and I hope to do that in the near future. I always feel like I have nothing interesting to say- especially after reading other people's stuff. So in the meantime, I will continue enjoying it at the level I'm on and hopefully get the self-confidence to move to another level. Thanks for the post!


A really interesting post and the comments are great too. I think it's really about what you want your blog to achieve. If it's a creative outlet or somewhere to engage with like-minded people then the statistics aren't that relevant - just a bit of an ego boost. If the blog is to promote a business then the time you invest is justified in the ROI (or not!) My reason for blogging was to see if I could actually pull off writing about something I was deeply interested in (cooking and food). It's boosted my confidence and brought me into a world of food blogs which I absolutely love. I really enjoy reading other people's food blogs - that was what inspired me in the first place - so that is not a chore (more a guilty pleasure). I would never comment on a blog in a calculated way to drive traffic. I guess that means that thousands may not come flocking to my blog site - but if even one person likes what I've written I'll be really happy. Tips a) I've found Wordpress brilliant. b) it's good to have a plan of topics written down when your feeling really inspired, to have a guide for when you are not. Cheers

Love and Lollipops

Hi there!

I just found your blog the other day and have so enjoyed this post. I really had a giggle (at myself), because I have just started blogging this year and already feel and experience what you have written about!!

I have to remind myself that anything that takes time away from God and my family is not a blessing! This is lesson I am still learning , 'cause I'm just loving Blogville!

Hope you might pop over sometime,
Kindest regards,

He & Me + 3

You are spot on. It does suck all the time you have and more. I was so addicted at first. i just can't be anymore or I would never be off the computer. There are so many blogs i follow but I guess not really, because I don't have time to visit them all. LOL
Sorry I have been MIA lately...but you probably didn't notice...miss big time. LOL I kid.
Missed being here.

Jessica (j-wood photography)

Great post! It's nice to hear the truth and honesty. It seems like everyone and their mom (and probably cat, too) have a blog.

For me, I just use it to post pictures/ramble. I'm not to the point where it's a big part of my life and I don't plan on letting it be. I'm not looking to make money or become some internet star.

I say to each their own and do what you want.


great post. i HAVE made great connections and friends I wouldn't have made otherwise. and I love it.

I think the "issue" is when it takes away from other things... if you're constantly shooing your kids away b/c you HAVE to get that blog post up before the sun goes down. i think we've all done it but does it happen everyday?

I'm a full time working mom and my work involves, well, work. I don't have a desk job that I can half work/half surf, so my computer time is limited to an hour in the morning when my son is sleeping and daughter is entertaining herself. but soon the day will come when my son doesn't take a morning nap and then that will really cut into computer time.

hubs and i spend time together in the evening... each on our own laptop. yes, we talk and watch movies, but it's much less interactive.

You do have connections with "big" bloggers and i think all of us "small" blogs try to make connections but when the big bloggers are so big, it's hard to get noticed. it's like trying to get that cute boys attention at school, but he's surrounded by 500 girls that are way prettier than you.

I was recently asked to take over another blog started by 2 gals. I reluctantly said yes and got 3 other gals to jump on board and luckily they are taking up most of the work.

I just feel like I can't keep up. I feel like I can't keep up with all the tweets and facebooks and cool posts and great photography. not that I still don't do my best, but for awhile I felt like i was trying too hard with no return.... and THAT WAS STRESSFUL. the stress it caused me was NOT worth obsessive amounts of time I put into it.

so, i recently decided to just do my thing. I will continue to blog and tweet and everything like that, but I'm not going to spend hours hosting giveaways or trying to make friends with all the "big" bloggers... cuz they probably won't notice me anyway. besides, most big bloggers are too busy upping the ante on their own blog to even visit or comment on blogs anyway. it's all about them (and i don't mean that in a mean way at all... they are doing what they need to do to continue to drive traffic).

I LOVE blogging and will continue it, but sometimes the stress is more the harder i try. and frankly, i don't want to blink and all of a sudden my kids are graduating college and i missed it b/c I was busy trying to do giveaways. i love my readers and i love the blogs i read too.

sorry for the novel. i'm in the process of writing a post similar to this as well, but with a little different spin.

Becki D

Awesome post! Nice "reality check" as well as encouragement to keep trucking. Let's keep blogging fun!


So proud of you for sharing your thoughts.

Unplanned Cooking

I love your honesty, and I see why I had to scroll past all those comments to tell you I did :)!

 Janna @ Mommy's Piggy TALES

Amanda, it's great to find someone who I can consistently relate to like you. I love blogging but like anything it has it's cons.

Like a typical crazy blogger I just started a SECOND blog called Mommy's Piggy TALES. I'm hoping we can avoid the "rat race" with this one.

It's really just about moms recording THEIR youth once a wk for 15 wks in a post or vlog and linking up with their group of 10 ladies.

I think recording short memories of your life is one of the best gifts you can give to your children.

Even your 2 blogs are a gift to your children. It's kind of like a handbook of life that you are compiling for them. My dad died at 11 and I would have loved to have a blog of his to read and get to know him better even though he is now gone.

I'm glad you chose to blog, and I think your kids will be too.


This is an excellent post. And so, so, so true. I started blogging over four years ago and ended up convicted to take a break -- that I was looking too much at the numbers and not the content.

So I started back up this spring. I had blogged off and on in those months of break, but now real blogging. And I've been blessed. I agree. When you blog you look at life completely different. And it honestly makes me a better mom, a better wife and a better friend.

Thank you for this post. I love your blog. And, btw, I'll be following...:)



I love blogging! I started over 2 years ago and do it just for myself. I'm not trying to compete with the big girls or make money. I just wanted to write (and my family can keep up with our lives a thousand miles away).

I've found that when I come across a blog that doesn't flitter my flutter....I can just keep on moving. No one gets their feelings hurt.
Let's face it, everyone doesn't like the same style/genre of writing. That's one of the many "yays" of blogging!


So true...

I find myself looking at almost every event in my day through the lens of "how can I blog about this?"

Yes, it sucks too much time away (balance is very important)

And yes, it is crazy in the way it resembles a popularity contest/rat race.

And no, I've never made one penny doing it.

Would I start doing it again if I knew then what I know now?

Yes, definitely

Susan Evans

I love it! Everything you said was true. I just started a blog in May, and it has slowly taken over my life. I see my experiences through the lense of blogging instead of enjoying the moment for what it is. The funny thing is, I never wanted a blog in the first place, but everyone told me I needed a blog so that people would come to my website. But is that really necessary? As much as I love writing, I just want to live my life now. But I can't abandon my blog because--oddly--it's so much fun. But it's exhausting.

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