Birth Announcement: It’s a Blog! (this is big news, please read this post)

After three solid weeks of labor, support and advisory of countless friends, mind-numbing hours of web design, and a long night of pushing….PUSH…PUSH…out popped my brand new blog (and brand), Mom on the Range. That’s right, the new site I promised you three weeks ago has finally arrived, and I couldn’t be more proud. She just couldn’t wait until the morning, she’s ready to meet you now! She has ten little fingers, and ten little toes, and has her mother’s eyes. Oh wait, we’re talking about a blog here. I’m not having baby #3 urges or anything…

Some of you have been there with me since the beginning, and have seen this blog grow from its humble beginnings at perfectlydiscontent.blogspot.com, to catpoland.wordpress.com and now, at momontherange.com. That’s right, the new blog has a new name. It will redirect from catpoland.com, so no worries if that’s the way you’ve been reaching me. So, why Mom on the Range? Because it fits me. It captures my experience as a mom living with two young daughters in the middle of a Kansas wheat field. And it will allow me to further explore and engage the parenting blog community. Yes, I’ll still blog about non-parenting things (for those of you who want to read anything but a typical “mommy blog”).

And even though the new blog is fancier, and will (hopefully) feature a few tasteful, non-gaudy sponsorship displays, I want you to know one thing. Content is queen. I’ll be telling “rich stories from fertile ground,” just like I always have. It’s been an interesting process, taking this blog to the next level. Part of it feels so natural, because that’s what I used to do for a paycheck (build brands and create powerful communication strategies), but part of it feels so unnatural. So much of this is just so personal.These stories are real, but sorting through them all again felt a little surreal.

Most of all, though, I’m excited. Thrilled. And exhausted. This has been a labor of love. I’m proud of this new venture, and am eternally grateful to all who offered their assistance when my knowledge or patience ran out. Here she is. Brand spanking new. Enjoy!

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Work in Progress: I’m still working on getting all of the images moved over (ohmygosh, this takes forever!), so if you see something strange, let me know! I’ll also be launching a Facebook Page soon, so stay tuned!

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This Blog is Going Big Time! (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

This is how excited they are about mommy’s big news.

Against your better judgment, you seem to like me. Well, maybe not me, but you like my writing. Well, maybe not my writing, but you’re related to me and feel obligated to read my blog. Okay, okay, enough with the self-deprecation. (Side note: I often have to catch myself from saying “self-defecation.” Different meaning ENTIRELY.)

Seriously, though, this blogging thing feels good to me. Natural. It excites me, fulfills me, and gives me a constructive place to squeeze out my brain juice every day. As a creative person, that’s important. So important. About the only thing it doesn’t do for me is pay the bills. (Well, indirectly, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.) And while I fought against the idea of monetizing (offering ad space for sponsors), I’m now ready to give it a shot. Initially, I didn’t want to “sell out” and end up writing for “the man.” (Just who is this man? He must be related to “they.”)

But I see it this way. If a girl with a guitar starts playing for friends and family, and they give her encouragement, she may want to play for a larger audience. So, she’ll play non-paid gigs just to get exposure and boost her skills and confidence. Then, one day, she’ll realize that while her tip jar may cover the gas money to and from shows, it’s not paying the electric bill. She’s spending a large amount of time pursuing this dream, and if it could also pay the bills (or at least some of the bills), how awesome would that be? And who could blame her?

So, I’m currently in the process of building a new blog, one that will accommodate a small amount of ad space (and also allow me to install some super-cool plugins). It’s now or never. I don’t want to look back and regret never giving it a shot. And even if I only make enough to cover the cost of set-up, I’ll be happy. I’m eager to reveal the new-and-improved look, and may be blogging here a little less often as much of my time will be dedicated to the new site. (I hope to launch in a month or so.)

Angel: Your blog will be awesome! Go for it!
Devil: Your blog sucks. You suck. Give up already.
(I’m pulling for the angel.)

I’m allowing myself to be optimistic about this, and not slip into my usual “Daria” mode. Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah…(Even though she’s awesome.)

What about you? Have you ever taken a leap of faith? How did it turn out? Are you glad you at least tried even if it didn’t go so well?

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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Nothing quite perks up my day like seeing the little yellow notification icon at the top of my WordPress dashboard letting me know I have a new comment. (I love comments, by the way.) So when I saw it was from Jammie, an incredible woman I met at a writing conference recently, I was even more excited. Then, when I saw she was notifying me that she’d given me an award, I peed myself! (Ok, not really, but wasn’t that more interesting than saying I got even more excited?) :-)

Here’s the thing. Jammie’s reason for giving me the award meant the world to me. She said, “I met Cat at a writer’s retreat and fell in love with her ability to tell her emotional story.  Go tell it on the mountain, Cat!” Oh I will, sister. I will. (Read Eric’s Story here.)

Rules for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award: Thank the person who nominated me. Share seven things about myself. Nominate seven other bloggers for this award. Put the logo of the award on my blog site. Post the rules. Let your seven picks know they are nominated.

via The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Here’s where I get to practice narcissism for a bit with seven supposedly interesting things about me:

1. Growing up, I was convinced I would marry Prince William someday. Thanks for screwing that up Kate!

2. I was terrified of aliens when I was younger. So scared, I would only call them “A’s.”

3. The first thing I ever said to my husband was, “Hey, clean my boots.” (We worked at a western wear store together. He’s been putting up with my crap ever since.)

4. I’ve never seen The Godfather.

5. I like fake crab better than the real deal.

6. I can work a runway like nobody’s business.

7. I sometimes lie on the floor in my daughter’s bedroom and listen to the sound of her breathing in her sleep. :-)

Now, here’s the fun part. I get to pay it forward to seven bloggers who inspire me! Here we go:

1. Momma to Five Little Monkeys: Here’s the sad part. This aspiring blogger had to stop blogging because her laptop crashed. They’re having financial and medical complications, and she can’t replace it. Her writing is good, and now she has no outlet other than Twitter. I wish I had an extra computer to send her!

2. Creative Devolution: Okay, you know that part I said about peeing my pants from excitement? Well, I probably have peed while laughing at this blogger’s posts. Hi-lar-i-ous!

3. The Momalog: What can I say? Ado blends her emotional journey of family alcoholism with the joyous adventures of raising two amazing daughters so well. She’s been a personal and professional mentor.

4. Amy Renee Leiker: She’s a self-professed “grammar geek” and I need all the help I can get. Good stuff here. :-)

5. The Reedster Speaks: Have I ever mentioned that laughter is my favorite anxiety medication? My doc told me to read two of this blogger’s posts a day and call her in the morning. She’s funny, yet can be serious when necessary.

6. Pohlkotte Press: This blogger’s post, “And For Tonight,” perfectly captures the feeling of coming home late after a night out on the town when you’re a mom of young children. It’s amazing.

7. Judy Lee Dunn: She blogs about blogging–genius! She has been a constant source of best practices, useful tips and much-needed inspiration. I can’t thank her enough.

So there you have it. I had to whittle my list down to seven, which was hard to do. Check out their blogs and pass on the love!

And here’s what really inspires me the most. My family.

Write Where You Are

Someone asked me recently if I consider myself a “mommy blogger.” Hmm…I’m a mom. And I blog. So, technically, I suppose I am. But I’m also a lot of other things. I’m a wife, a sister, an aunt and a so-so friend (my poor pals have been pretty neglected these past few years). It’s not that I’m boring. I just don’t have time to be interesting.

As it turns out, not everyone is a fan of mommy bloggers. “All they do is talk about their kids’ bodily functions  and tantrums and lack of sleep and blah, blah, blah…” I have to admit I was a bit intimidated to even start a blog for fear that “those” people wouldn’t think I was funny or clever.

But you know what? I really don’t care anymore. Writing is my outlet, my indulgence, my escape. And I’ve decided that it’s ok to embrace right where I am, and write where I am. I’ve included my first-ever blog post below, to remind myself why I started this in the first place. (And big props to Judy Dunn who helped my better understand my misgivings about blogging: What’s Under Your Bed?: 10 Monster Blogging Fears Worth Chasing Down.)

 

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Oops, gotta go. Daughter just peed on the floor. Turns out mommy blogs do revolve around bodily functions.