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getting personal

    First of all,  G O   S E A H A W K S !


    The excitement in this city, this household, this girl is out of control.  We love our Superbowl-bound football team!

    . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Ryan added a new feature to the blog last week – a link to every post on one page in chronological order {you can access it over there to the right on the ‘all posts’ image}.

    You know when you find an old box of notes and photos from high school and you don’t mean to but you end up sitting for hours reading through them all, reminiscing, smiling, maybe crying a little? That’s what happened when he showed me the new post archive page. I read those very first posts – back when my babies were babies, when I had no idea how blogging would impact my life – reminiscing, smiling, crying a little.

    It sort of put me in a funk.

    All last week, I was melancholy, contemplative, creatively dry. It may have been due to the weather because it was dreary, foggy, gray all week and any time you go days without seeing sunshine it makes you slightly crazy.

    But I think I was also deeply impacted by those first posts; by how simple they were, how unprofessional and unpolished and pure they were. I blogged because it seemed fun, because I needed a creative outlet, because it was new.  Most of all, what I noticed from those early blog posts is that they felt personal.

    I was really hard on myself all week. Have I lost that personal feeling here? Have I become too complicated, too professional, too polished? Because that’s not really who I am and I hate feeling like a fraud.

    On Friday afternoon Ryan finally got to the bottom of my pity-party-issues.  We realized that this blog actually has become less personal.  I’ll always be honest about my deepest thoughts and share them freely, I love doing a good craft project and showing you how to do it as well, our house will continue to be a canvas for decorating and the blog will be full of these things.  But they miss about 80% of my regular life – our family, the kids, learning how to parent, what we do over our weekends, vacations, that space between dinner and bedtime. This is what makes up our regular life. And it doesn’t often make it on the blog.

    All of this was bothering me until Ryan reminded me that that’s what instagram has become. I may not document our family’s daily comings and goings on the blog anymore, but I do snap photos and post to instagram throughout each day that act like mini blog posts in photo and caption form.

    Things like finding Audrey in the refrigerator getting herself a snack:


    Or this sweet moment between No.3 and his great-grandpa:


    Or that time when I said “smile!” and this is what I got:


    Or any of this:


    Our life. Moments I look back on reminiscing, smiling and maybe even crying a little.

    As it turns out, it’s still personal. It just looks different than it did in those early days. I’m thankful for tools that make capturing our everydays a little easier.

    If you’re curious, you can always follow along on instagram {my name is jonesdesigncompany}.

    Now if the sun could just show it’s bright and beautiful face …

    43 thoughts on “getting personal”

    1. Hi Emily…..I love your posts and am always popping in to find something amazing to craft from your blog; however, I can’t seem to find where your “tutorials” icon went and it’s throwing me into a frenzy……not really.

      I loved how you had your tutorials categorized in the past so it was so simple to click on “wreath”, etc. and be directed to a plethora of crafty options.

      Is it still on your blog somewhere and I am just missing it? I clicked on the “create” icon, but I had to go through one post at a time….ain’t no one got time for that!


    2. I loved this post…..
      You’re so relational….I haven’t been around from the very, very beginning, but each time I stop by, I’m encouraged and inspired by your authenticity, even in your posts that aren’t so personal. You still have a way of being highly relatable. :)

      I do that, too….find a box from way back when and sit and read and search the pictures….nostalgic is definitely part of who I am.

      That IG pic of you asking everyone to smile in the car and getting all the funny faces is hilarious…and familiar. My family does that, too!!

    3. Hi Emily! My name Is Victoria and I’m writing you from Valencia (Spain). I totally agree with you about trying to share with the people who might read our blogs things that happen in our lives and thoughts. In my opinion, when I read an entry in a blog sharing that I feel that behind those words there’s a human being who feels, who sometimes is happy, sometimes sad….a human being. Not a person whose life is absolutely perfect in every way which is not true anyway but many bloggers try to only show that side of anyone’s life. I did a kind of New Year resolution in my blog and wrote about me trying to be more real in my blog but not falling in the sad side of life but in real side of life. After the Christmas break so I said in that first entry of 2.014. You know what happened? only a personal friend of mine wrote a comment, only one!. I can’t understand, do people really want us to show ourselves more real than we write in our blogs or do they only want to show the unreal side of life?. Sorry for this loooong comment and congratulations for your blog!

    4. i’ve only been reading your blog since the influence conference, so i can’t offer an opinion on if it’s changed much over the years. but, i’ve never left your blog feeling like i just encountered a big marketing scheme or some sort of attempt to make money. you’re authentic and you are real. maybe you don’t post tons directly about how you parent (for example) but i get a taste of how you parent just from seeing sweet things you share that your kids did. like when one of your kids made a lego name and left it on the bed for a house guest. that told me a lot about the hearts that you are helping to form at your house.

      maybe it’s because i met you in real life first.

      maybe that didn’t make any sense. regardless, thanks for sharing your heart with us!

    5. Hi Emily,.

      You had me as a blog subscriber when I read the post about one of your children putting a star on the amaryllis above your nativity. How sweet that was! I thought, “Now there is a woman with the right stuff!” Your blog is a joy to read, and I love that you keep it real. Your children are beautiful and your husband sound like a sweetheart.

      Many blogs today are a tad bit narcissistic with their “look at me and what I did.” Your blog is never like that. Your blog is fresh and beautiful. Keep up the great work. Love that photo of Audrey in the fridge! :-)

    6. LOL! Girl, I’m having the problem of being turning my overly personal and humdrum blog into a blog where I share my professional and personal life. It’s a hard line to walk. Any advice you have is greatly appreciated. I write for a lot of boring business-to-business publishers but I want share my experience of writer (somewhat successfully) to others. Thanks for shining brightly in the blog world and sharing your light with us!

    7. Emily,
      I love your candid blogs and don’t always get to read each one;however, wnen I do, they always make me smile and take me back to raising my kids (now 26 and 23). These days slip away so fast. You are so blessed to be living in the days of creative social media so that you can document and share the love and joy.
      On a side note, Russell Wilson was in my sister-in-law’s 3rd grade class here in RVA and she has kept in contact with him. She said that not only is he one of the sweetest and most humble 24 year old men that she has ever known, he is also one of the brightest. Whitty, caring, humble, and honorable….he’s the real deal in a sport that sometimes promotes flashy insanity.

    8. I really, truly enjoyed that blue sky and sun today!! Didn’t you?? I drug my girls all over town looking for seahawks gear. :) I get so blue when it’s super grey. I always think next time I’ll do better and then the funk comes again. I found your blog way back in the beginning!! At least I think that was the beginning when you made my Christmas cards and those sparkly boxes for the girls. They both still use them. :)

    9. Emily,

      I’m sorry to say that I haven’t commented much on your blog, but even has I type this, it seems crazy that I haven’t……I mean, because I love it so much! This is by far my favorite blog and I’m always so excited for a new post regardless the topic. I think, for me, you are like a big sister. I look forward to updates of your family with fun photos, insight on all topics, and what idea for decorating and designing you’ve come up with (because I swear….and I read A LOT of blogs….I never thought I would find a blog to closely tailored to my style!). So please don’t cut yourself short. I feel like you inspire while still keeping it real….and that’s what life and blogging is all about! So thank you….your blog brings me joy and when we start our family soon enough, I’ll be using a lot of your advice!

      xo Christine

      PS – Feels soooooo good to be in the Super Bowl, doesn’t it? I’m cheering for you guys! It’s like your city comes ALIVE!! I would know….my city won the Super Bowl last year! *wink Enjoy it!

      1. I love your blog. I don’t comment much but I’m always happy when I see your name in my inbox and I can’t wait to see what you have posted. Your style is fabulous. I’m so glad you created the list of past blogs. I was just hoping for that the other day. I only found you a month ago and I am really enjoying seeing the past posts so easily now.

        I’m from Baltimore too Christine. Go Ravens!!

      2. You are so kind … and how flattered I feel knowing you think of me as a big sister. I always hope to be encouraging and fun, so I’m glad that is coming through. xo.

    10. I think that your words are true of many blogs, including mine! In the beginning who could ever see things unfold like this? I think that while your blog may be a little less personal (which is understandable!) it is still authentic. Which is definitely the most important. You don’t bomb people with weekly posts filled with giveaways and sponsored stuff and that is where most blogs/bloggers seem to lose their footing (in my opinion, anyways). If you have a successful blog, it is because you have poured your hardwork and time into it, not because you have rode the coat tails of other successful bloggers and I, and I’m sure others, appreciate that.

      All that to say, keep up the good work!

      1. Such a good point – maybe less personal, but no less authentic. I like that. Things change, which I can handle, but I don’t want to loose myself in the pressure and competition of growing a blog. Your style is always fabulous as well!

    11. my blog has changed too. i think my focus has changed though too. sometimes i lament that i don’t keep track of our memories through blogging and thats why i love instagram. but i want to get back to it, in some way like before. so ya, i feel your pain!

    12. I have followed you since the house tour this summer and have enjoyed your writing immensely. You are personal and authentic and it makes such a difference. Thank you. I am another one who woke up this morning to find out the Seahawks won and thought of you :). Keep up the good and genuine work.

    13. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings in this way. I have only followed you for a year or so but I really enjoy your blog (with or without your personal stuff!). You have fabulous taste and are an inspiration to us newbie-bloggers. I actually prefer my design blogs sans kiddos. I am a stay-at-home mom to two outstanding kids and I don’t particularly want to talk shop during my downtime! You should share whatever you feel like sharing when you want to share it. Rock on!

    14. I have followed you for several years. I know we don’t know each other and most likely will never meet, but I feel like I know you. I love everything you post! I have 3 boys and know that the Lord is calling us to have a 4th, so we will see-boy or girl (that’s way down the road…our youngest is just 13 weeks!). Anyway, seeing that top picture made me think of this morning! My husband went to bed early after fathering the kids all weekend so I could have some R&R after battling mastitis! He asked if I knew who won the football game and then he looked it up and said the seahawks. My first thought, “Emily from JDC will be so excited!” I am glad that you are “a part of my life” so much that football makes me think of you! I love what you share, your real-ness and the fun things you create! The Lord’s love definitely shines through you and your home!

    15. Oh Emily!! Your blog is personal and delightful to myself, and I’m guessing all who read it. I discovered your blog about 6 months ago. One of my dearest friends emailed me and said “you have to check this blog out, it’s amazing and every time I read it, it makes me think of you”. So I did…..and I was hooked. I truly felt as if I knew you and loved all you had to share. You are what inspired me to start my own blog and share my thoughts, projects, and life with the world {thanks for the Blog Class!!}. So, you might not think it’s personal anymore, but it’s an obvious reflection of you and that makes it perfect.

    16. I don’t want to detract from your heartfelt post, but can we all just take a moment to appreciate the fact that you even have black and white stripes IN YOUR FRIDGE! :)

    17. I think you are just personal enough. There always has to be that sense of mystery, right? I think with all the social media resources out there, sometimes we share too much and I think there should be a sense of privacy and stuff we don’t share. I have always felt you balance this well. I read some other blogs where it will start off like a personal post, for example we all are sick in the family right now, and then it goes into an ad for some product, that why we use such and such essential oils, etc. I get tired of feeling like its all about promoting products so they get more money. I am all for sharing products we like but sometimes it feel fake. I think you do a good job of balancing the two and I have never felt that from your blog. But I think it is healthy what you are doing always reevaluating and staying true to yourself.

      1. Thanks for noticing Sandra! I have tried to stay far from products and sponsored posts because they just don’t feel genuine – and I love writing my own content! It may not be the mainstream way to do this thing, but it feels much more natural to me.

    18. It’s so funny that you wrote this because when I think of people who do the blog-plus-connecting well, I always think of you! Even though we don’t see 80% of your life on here, I think we see some real parts that perhaps your real life acquaintances don’t get to see (unless they read your blog- haha!). Think of posts like your Twirl post or when you had that restless night of sleep burdened for someone else- I love reading those posts! One of my goals in 2014 is “Add more ‘real life’ posts to my blog- like Emily.” ;)
      Keep up the good work, friend!

    19. I am so happy I found your blog this summer through Edie and look forward to each post!
      I love how you put all of your posting history under a tab. It’s great to see everything with one click. One thing I wanted to ask tho, when you go down to the very bottom of that page it starts with January 2011, but it seems you have maybe been blogging since before 2011? I cannot figure out how to get to the older posts. Can you help? Thanks!

      1. We added more posts from 2010 after realizing we left those out. I began towards the end of 2009, but most of those images did not transfer over when I switched to wordpress, so those are not available.

        So glad to have you!

    20. Thank you for sharing! I love it when bloggers are “real” and you are. You share from the heart and I applaud you! So many blogs are focused on ads, $$$, etc. I can’t handle that. Time is precious and I’d rather read the real stuff!


    21. It’s sunny and beautiful here in California! (Ok, that was mean, but I was a little sad my Niners lost to your Seahawks last night!) I love your blog and all you do — it is always so authentic! Thanks for sharing!

    22. I knew that I had been reading your blog for a long time, but didn’t realize that it was actually from the first post. Wow! I think it’s wonderful how your blog has grown and how gracefully you’ve handled it. And I don’t find it impersonal in anyway. . .in fact, I think you inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. And the honesty in which you address feelings of self doubt and inadequacy that can sneak in for all of us is real and touching. So thank you for continuing to provide a source of inspiration and reminding us that beautiful things are all around us! :)

    23. What a great post, Emily. The other day someone asked why I post more on Instagram than the blog….I had to really think about it, but I think it’s because it’s faster and easier and the IG community is personal. It’s fun to see glimpses into other people’s lives and what they’re doing. While yes, your blog has changed, it’s been fun to watch it grow (both the business side and personal). I think you’ve done a great job of balancing the two.

    24. Thanks for sharing this….It’s refreshing to see and read about the small moments; those important fleeting real life moments which allows a peek into someones life on a less edited more raw level. In this screen-lit blogging world it’s easy to get caught up in posting what we think others want to read and see which can often lead to less of the genuine ‘us’ in our posts. I know I’m guilty of it, on more than one occasion. Thank you for sharing little snippets of your beautiful family life! And from one pacific northwest girl to another……GO SEAHAWKS!! Super bowl here we COME!! Wooo hooo!

    25. I must say I will be cheering for the Seahawks during the Superbowl! I told my husband it’s because I have a connection with them and not with the Broncos, through a blog I follow…yours! I would have no idea they are from Seattle if it weren’t for your blog…ha! shows how much I know about football! Can’t wait to cheer for “your” team!

    26. I am so happy you wrote this. I have followed you for a long time, along with many other blogs. Most of which I stopped following because they became too big, too commercial, too “it’s all about how to make more money”. Not that I don’t want others to make a living, they just didn’t feel real, genuine like they did in the beginning. That’s what I love about you, I don’t know you but I feel like we’re friends. I love your ideas, style, tips, mothering advice, spirituality. It’s what all those other bloggers are lacking. So please, please, please stay just the way you are!

    27. Hi Emily

      I think that has to do with the fact that in the beginning your kids were little and therefore you had to devote more of your time with them and doing things with and for them. As they got older, it freed the time so you can be more creative and dedicate to your career, the blog, so it shows by maybe being more professional or less personal. I don’t think it less personal. You always surprise us with heart felt readings. You are always to hard on your self. Thanks for your blog, once again. God Bless you!

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