Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We're Back

So I have this problem. Whenever I go away for a long time and make great memories, I don't know where to start when I come home. How do I blog about our amazing two weeks in the mountains? I can't possibly say or show it all. It's overwhelming. And one thing I learned there is that I spend WAAAAAAAAAY too much time on this computer and that's something I want to change. So, what, do I come home and immediately become a slave to it again by publishing every detail of our trip? These are the things I struggle with in this messed up little mind of mine. Seriously though, has anyone who works from home using the Internet (and who also blogs for fun) figured out how to put nice and neat little boundaries in place to prevent it from taking over your life? It's not like I can just throw the computer away. *Sigh*

I feel better. Well, a little.

Anywho, we had an amazing, glorious time in Wyoming. I've got to stop here though because Curtis just walked in the door with some new boardgames for us to play while we're not spending all evening messing around on our computers. But I'll share more later.

PS - Holy cow, my hubby just handed me a bouquet of red gerber daisies!


The McClure Boys said...

girl, i've been dealing with the same thing. it really hit me when i went to tell a friend something and she said, "i already know, i read it on your blog." i felt like i didn't have anything to talk about because i publish my life on the blog. i'm trying to make it more of a family "highlight" memory thing for myself...that's just my thing, though. i look so forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Honea Household said...

Glad y'all made it back! Can't wait to hear all about it. I need some boundaries while I'm at home too. Although, I don't work, so I just play on the computer and waste WAY too much time. I can't wait to hear about the boardgame thing...I love to play games.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I don't think any of us have an easy answer to computer boundaries, Amanda. It's TOUGH. Like you said, it would be easier to throw the whole thing away. But in today's age, that's not practical.

I know for me, it requires a lot of discipline and even more prayer. And I've got a long way to go.

(I never know how to handle trips either. I've been thinking about that a lot this summer. In the end, I've decided to go back to why I started my blog in the first place -- for the writing. I didn't intend for it to be a virtual diary that catalogs what I've done with my days. I want it to be a place where I can share what's going on in my head.)

Tara G. said...

I've started checking my e-mail and doing a quick blog read and then turning the computer off in the morning. And I'll write a post on a computer not connected to the internet to transfer to the other one later.

Kelly said...

You have been missed.
and I'm working hard on getting away from the computer myself. I spend less and less time on it. It makes me feel stressed to not be on it but I'm more stressed to be on it and missing life. I'm putting up boundaries left and right to get me away from it.

Traci said...

Put a picture of the mountains and say "God is Awesome" and then put a picture of your family and say "He Loves My Family" and that will be enough. Don't stress; enjoy them while they are little and relatively schedule-free. Can't wait for the simulcast this weekend- a whole gaggle of us are heading to Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN to worship, learn, and have a good time! We're praying over all of you!

Beth said...

When you find out the what the boundaries are, I would love to know. I like blogging. It's easier for me to keep up with the everyday things that happen in our life and my little girl's, but it's very time consuming. My hubby really hates the computer! : D

I don't see how other bloggers do it. every. single. day.

I love your blog by the way. I haven't been reading to long, but I am so glad I found it.

PS-I had/have some major baby bangs!! ; )

Taylor said...

Amanda! You are so sweet, and I just wanted to say that I understand your feelings about over-using the computer (and i'll add one of my own struggles, cell phone!...hello internet on the BlackBerry)...and also, gerbera daisies are my favorite! I hope you have a wonderful evening of board games, laughter, and relaxation, free of the glaze that appears over our eyes when we've been on the computer too long!


ps. my friend mallory and i are taking an 8hr road trip to a local church hosting your mom's simulcast this weekend! I read your post on the LPM blog today and we are so pumped about it!

Discipled Pilgrim said...

I'm glad you had a great time in Wyoming. I've really missed reading your blog. Have fun playing board games!

Kim ~ Kay Kay said...

Ahhh! Sounds like you had a great time!
Good to hear from you.
I will say this...having a blog/following blogs is time consuming. I started one before summer and I took the summer off on purpose and did not touch it. I told myself it will suck you in...and it does. So I will blog here and there. My time with the Lord is MORE important and as much fun as it is to share share share. He wants me more.
I have tons of other important things on my list, so I have to put the BOUNDRIES in place or I will abuse all of this time with my friends.

I have to teach my 11 yr old daughter this as well. She's not allowed much time on the computer, so I have to monitor myself and be a good example. OK, thats my soap box. I make it sound so EASY! Its not! I just try to make my BEST EFFORT. somedays are harder than others.
And I love to always hear what you have to say!
Bedtime...good night.

Laura W. Smith said...

Hey Amanda,
I really appreciated this post because I also work from home, and though I don't have my own personal blog, I am addicted to many others' blogs... and the list just seems to keep growing! I have three little ones at home and would love to hear other readers' advice on establishing those "neat little boundaries" too. Glad you had a nice trip!

Melissa said...

Oh girl, I feel your pains and internal angst! I love love love my new best friend the internet that can tell me so much and help me so much and keep me connected to the world, but by the same token it is a thief and can turn me into an adulterer (by taking time away from hubby and Jesus!). How do you draw the line? I want to/need to keep up with e-mail and blogs, but to stop there and walk away before jumping on webkinz or american girl games or randomly searching recipes often takes more than I can handle. And I am completely manic about e-mail, even though I don't even get that many messages. And don't even get me started on FB! Alas....I was planning on fasting for 40 days in preparation for a mission trip in October, maybe the Lord is showing me THIS is what I need to fast!

Love your honesty!


Heather said...

When I worked at home and even now ... my boundary is that if I have a long post or something that will take a while ... I work on it over time and then publish when i get ready.

Hope you enjoyed game night. We certainly love it around here!

Spicy Magnolia said...

Welcome back, Amanda! I've thought and prayed for your family a lot while you were away and I'm glad to hear what an awesome time it was! Any day now, my Momma is going to make reservations for our time up there next summer. Finally!! I can't wait to go!

I myself am struggling with the computer thing and find myself way too attached to it during the day, as if it's my life line to the outside/adult world. One thing I'm going to try is to keep it upstairs in our office as opposed to the floor of our family room and connected all the time. I'm going to have to get it off the floor anyway for a maybe soon-to-be-crawler. I look forward to reading more suggestions from your readers though.

Also, we've gotten into playing "clue" these days, but it takes four people. What fun board games did you and Curtis get?

valerie said...

I thought about your family often and prayed you would have a wonderful, relaxing time. Sounds like you did. I kept wondering what God was doing to delight you. Y'all always have such neat things happen there. :) I'll never forget one of the first Bible studies I did when your mom was telling about going on the hike by herself and she had asked God to delight her and she saw that little baby bear. It was right then that I began to ask God the same thing and He has amazed me over and over.
Can't wait to hear more and see pictures.

How sweet and thoughtful of Curt to bring you flowers! Awwww......

Gotta go.....Life Today (Wednesday's With Beth) is on. :)


Deirdre said...

you can try setting yourself a timer (like for baking) for just one hour to do "fun blogging" and when it is done, it is done. We love you, but no one on here is going to perish if you don't post for a day. so if it takes you three days of "one hour sessions" to get a post ready to go, fine. You will have spent that much more time with your kids, and they are WAY more important than we are.

so glad you had a good time.

Sheryl said...

FLOWERS! Cherish that man!


connorcolesmom said...

I totally understand
I have to limit the amount of time I am on the computer b/c real life is so much more important
And I LOVE Gerber daisies!!!
And board games for that matter :)
Much love

Heather said...

Sigh. I am in the same boat. I am a stay-home mom who works part-time...the job requires me to spend SOME time on the computer, but not nearly as much as I do. I love blogging, reading blogs, etc. but hate the temptation to get all carried away on here. It's so easy to do! Balance is hard...I haven't found it quite yet but I am working on it. Glad you're home....sounds like you had an amazing time!

Tonya Gray said...

Red Gerbera Daisies??? It must have been a GREAT vacation! You left us in the dark (I think) about which route (plane, driving or combination) you chose to get there, and my curiosity is still anxious to know!
I'll be praying for you that you can find that ever elusive "BALANCE" with your computer time.
Enjoy the readjustment, and those flowers!!

Gene and Annie said...

I need some boundaries too! Let me know if you figure it all out! Maybe a time limit???
What a sweet husband!!

Marla Taviano said...

Missed you, missed you, missed you!! Welcome home!!

I feel the same way when I come back from 11 zoos. :) I say--do what you did with Disney. Blog about one day at a time. And spread it out if you want. Even if we're still reading about Wyoming next February--we don't mind!

Definitely don't let it overwhelm you. (easier said than done, I know) Just blog like normal, but stick in Wyoming Days one or two times a week.

Or do whatever you want. :)

Lis said...

I've missed you! Glad your back and well, just can't wait to hear all about your trip and how the babies did! Gerber Daisies! Oh one of my favorites.. Hugs!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Don't worry we all spend a lot of time on the computer but let's look on the bright side - I rarely watch TV anymore. Doesn't that count for anything!

Patty said...

I give myself time limit and it has been working. It is fun to blog etc.. but spending time with my family and friends in person is better. :)
We love board games around here and card games. We play a lot of Phase 10 and Uno. ;)

Glad you all had a great vacation!

Moose Mama said...

Welcome home! Wyoming already misses you. sniff.

The longer you stay away from the computer, the easier it is to STAY away.

Melana in Wyoming

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Well, start with a picture of the daisies--love Gerber daisies SO MUCH--and then maybe just some pics from Wyoming. Cause we'd all love to see snapshots of your memories.

Welcome home!


And what board games did you get?

Bobbie said...

Welcome home, so glad to hear you had a great time. It's those times that focus our sights on the important things in life.

What a man you have to bring you red gerbers! I love them, too but to be honest with you I love ANY color gerbers!

Enjoy what remains of summer! (and hopefully the heat here in the Houston area will be short lived--please!)

Lynn said...

One of my sisters in community passed on this helpful hint - she always prays and asks God to bless her time of the computer - ESPECIALLY when she has to be in the Internet. That He will keep her focused on what she needs to do and not get distracted and end up spending hours doing useless things. I think its very helpful.

There are times though when I too wish I had neveer started using computers!

Blessings - glad you are home safe.

blessings - Sr. Lynn

Kari said...

Wow - I do not blog but those are my TOTAL feelings as well! I am quite involved in local ministry at our church and so I end up spending lots of time researching, emailing, etc online. I also love to read a few blogs although I don't write them myself. Then add uploading/ordering pictures, paying bills, ordering things, etc I know that the things I am doing are honoring God and they are not hurting my spiritual walk by any means but I think they are taking away from my family. AUGH I would love to know of what guidelines you come up with for yourself - I need some myself! I don't allow myself to turn on my computer until after my quiet time - but that only covers the first hour of the day :) I recently read an article written about a man who was convicted to take a Sabbath from his computer on the Sabbath. I TOTALLY loved that article and plan to start implementing that - only I couldn't this past Sunday as we had just gotten home from vacation and I needed to pay bills. Obviously from what everyone wrote this is a hot topic - please share any ideas you have for it!!

Glad your vacation was great. We vacationed last week as well in Idaho and stopped off for a night in Jackson Hole and a scenic float trip. I kept my eye you for you while we were in town :) Looking forward to attending the LPM simulcast in Aberdeen SD!!

Sitesx6 said...

I have been convicted about my computer time too....for the last couple of weeks I've turned the computer OFF....for the whole day after I check email quick and read my daily blogs. It has made a world of difference. When the computer is OFF, I am not tempted to just sit down for a minute to look at a few things, which leads to an hour of computer.

I realize how much more I get done, and how much time I WASTE sitting at the computer...and for what???? I have nothing to show for it at the end of the day.

Work in progress!!! Welcome home.
Kelly in Michigan

Lauren Kelly said...

Welcome back!!! We missed you!!! :)

Carey said...

I'm trying to come up with some boundaries myself...I'd love to know what you come up with!
So far I try to do it when my dauhter's napping and my hubby's at work! At night especially is family time...
yay curtis! What a good husband!

Donita said...

Oh, I wish I knew how to control the colossal time-sucker known as the computer.
I intentionally spent a week leaving it turned off, except for checking email in the evening. It was like I miraculously had more time, more patience with the kids, more efficient computer time and great blog ideas.
I think I need to institue another computer fast.
If you come up with any other great solutions, let us know!!

Allison said...

I have really stopped reading blogs for the most part-- except for a few of my closest friends (that I don't see every day), and even then I skim alot. I love reading them, but it is just a huge time drain. Makes me kind of feel mean, but that's just how it is.

Fran said...

Welcome home family!! Totally understand about the whole boundaries thing...we need them for work and life and before you know it, it's glued to your hip.

We'll look at the pix and you don't have to explain a thing if you want. ;)


Anonymous said...

One word...timer. Set yourself a specific amount of time that you feel is appropriate each day. When that timer dings you turn the computer off for the day. No one more minutes either! lol ;) You'll be amazed how much you accomplish and at the same time take that guilt off your shoulders. It's worked wonders for me. :)

Dionna said...

I always feel the same prodding when I go away. To prioritize living life more than typing about life. But at the same time - typing about life is a ministry of mine and so many women say they are impacted by it.

I think as long as we keep *trying* to place priorities on people instead of on a computer - and as long as we keep reavaluating and trying to limit and place boundaries on our computer time - then we're on the right track and less likely to get lost forever in it. Because so much beneficial can also be gained from online comraderie and friendships - sharing life together. It just shouldn't replace LIVE life.

Hope that makes sense.

JayCee said...

Cherish that man who brings you flowers!!

AKat said...

Hi, Amanda. I am so glad y'all had a fabulous trip. 'Blog breaks' are making all the difference for me. I have also considered using an egg timer, but that seems a little extreme. I may have to resort to that, though!

Lindsee said...

I have really struggled with the whole internet thing. (Still do!) It was so hard this summer when I went on 4 trips and didn't really thouroughly document any of them! I came back wanting to, but just really didn't have the time to sit down and actually do it. So, I ended up doing none of them justice and just talked about a few of the highlights and posted a few pictures from each trip. I even did 2 trips in one post!

The other part of that was the fact that while on these trips I had no internet access and didn't miss it at all, but when I got back I felt the literally "need" to be on it and see what was going on. I finally realized that the time I spend with actual people, as opposed to sitting on the internet, was so much sweeter. I think the Lord intentionally gave me a hectic summer so that I could break this habit somewhat!

So, it's not so much that I have a solution, I just had to realize the joy I get from being around the people, vs. the guilt I feel sometimes sitting on the internet for too long. Very convicting.

So fun that you and Curtis are playing board games! I LOVE games.

And whether or not you ever share your trip with us is totally up to you. No pressure! (However, I know it's a memory keeper for you too!)

Either way, we're glad you "back!" Whatever "back" means for you! You've been missed!

Hope your first full week back is great. (Sorry for the long comment! Clearly I've had to wrestle with this!)


Living day by day for Jesus said...

Good for you...we shouldn't HAVE to blog every detail of our lives...in fact I personally have struggled through blogging and facebook with narcissism a little bit. It is more than ok to not tell anything about your trip...You can keep the memories for you and your family to share with each other...

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

During the summer when my kids were home from school, I set aside a certain amount of time each day for blogging/work online, etc. However, there were days I didn't log on at all and *gasp* the world didn't end (although my twitter buddies wondered where I went LOL)

Now that my boys are back in school I have a hard and fast rule that I am not on the computer after they get home. Nothing like a deadline to make one productive ;)

Good hubby you have there! I love flowers, especially gerber daisies!

Debbie said...

ok, so I was just having this discussion with the Lord after doing week one of Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed. Ya know where Priscilla talks about being task oriented instead of relationship oriented. That is totally me....I get so carried away in the task that I push away the relationships. Well it carries over into my computer time. Checking this blog and that blog and posting to my own family blog. So I have been asking the Lord to help me with the boundaries. I ask Him for help with everything else WHY NOT that? So far we have discussed how much more relational He wants me to be instead of giving all the details online and the "task" of getting it done. Quick highlights and a few pictures and done. I am working on posting only the "Ahhhh" factor photos instead of every photo of my kids that "I" think is cute.

I don't know if my rambling will help but I hear you sister....it is a struggle and stronghold for me that the Lord is teaching me a few things on. Praise be to Him, I would rather learn those lessons from Him then someone else.

We love to hear all the details but I don't think it is neccessary, you must save something for just your family to share in. And no one that reads your blog will fault you for that.

Hugs to you and your family.

Deb in Oregon

katiegfromtennessee said...

Little Momma, that's great that you had such a blessed time! I understand, amen, I needed/am still trying to make sure that I have got a healthy balance with computer time and everything else! It messes with my mind too:) Prayer about it and trying to be aware of what boundaries God wants for me has helped. Nope, can't throw the computer away if it's your job:):) He can work it out by working in you! Yay, He works in us!!:) That is fantastic that your man gave you gerber daisies, so sweet!

Blessings in abundance to you:)


Amy said...

amanda, just say you had a great time on your trip, publish one of the best pictures and then call it a day :)

Maggie said...

Oh my goodness, this feels like deja vu! I have the same issues-we were gone for a two-week vacation and I work from home on the computer too! I started my blog to stay in touch with family and friends, yet sometimes feel I want to journal more (because I have lots of thoughts running around my brain and need to get it out). Anyway, I struggle with being a slave to the computer, Internet, blogs, etc. Trying to stay connected to far away family and friends, yet not forget my own little family right here. I can totally relate, but don't have any brilliant advice yet. But, for sure don't feel guilty about not sharing all the details of your trip. If it's important to get it down for yourself and your family, then go for it either here or on paper. Otherwise, just know you have the memories. I have a hard time too when I get behind. I want to stay caught up on my blog as it's my way of scrapbooking at the time since I'm behind on those too! Okay, so I am typing way more than I planned.

I'm with you on the missing breastfed baby poo! Totally related. My little guy (born 2/3/09) is on solids now too. I thought it was gone for good, but he surprised with several total blowouts just like before. Ahh, it's the little things.

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Man, do I ever know what you mean about the computer!

I took a hiatus for 6 weeks from all networking at the beginning of the year because I was watching everyone ELSE live life and letting mine pass by.

Since I've come back, I hardly ever Twitter or blog, and Facebook has a full ton of boundaries with time, ect.

It is HARD because I still miss all the interaction, but it's completely and totally worth it in the end. The way I see it, I'll never get this time back with my husband and kids, and I've been told a thousand times, that this is the best stage in life (I believe it, too)so I'm trying not to squander it.

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

I am SOOOOO right there with ya.It's like it's a place I can go when I'm tired and yet still feel like I'm accomplishing something. Of course, after two hours of surfing, while I may have gathered the perfect ideas for a birthday party, learned a few new things from my favorite blogs, and chatted with old friends on Facebook, I could have made early dinner preparations that would save me some stress at crunch time. Yeah...I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle my evil wizard (aka computer), too.
Oh! P.S. I'm going to a Living Proof Simulcast this weekend!! Hamburg FBC! With my mom.

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...


I'm so glad you brought this topic up about boundaries on the computer. Nearly every commenter has the same issue. Crazy.

I've been trying to do the same thing and here is my latest plan:
I check e-mails once in the morning, once at Elliana's nap time and once at bed time.

I try to reply in less than 5 sentences.

I have a babysitting swap with a friend. On the day Elliana is at her house and while my other kids are at school, I write blog posts for the upcoming week and schedule them to be posted. I have about 5 hours to do that.

When I'm not checking e-mails or blogging, I turn off the computer. I also moved my laptop from the kitchen to another room where I rarely go.

I read other blogs only when I get a gift of time (like now while hubby has the kids outside playing and I need a break).

It takes some discipline and time to get those blog posts written, but it helps me to write shorter posts, which I think people appreciate.

I'm loving all the other suggestions. I'm all ears for more!!


SarahfromWyoming said...

Glad you had a great time here in WY. Don't you just love to get away from it all? I call it jumping off the hampster wheel. I too am constantly looking for balance with the computer. I've become aware that I will use it to "detach" from real life when I get stressed. The kids are giving me a hard time so I think I'll go read blogs. Not good so I'm working on it.