The day the world crashed in my kitchen… Episode 1: The Day The World Crashed In My Kitchen I remember looking at the clock. It was only 10:30 am. Earlier, I had moved {OK, pushed aside with my forearm} some of the breakfast mess to place my laptop on the counter. I had my email open. And had hit the REFRESH button at least 5 times. Full disclosure: It was closer to 100. Why hadn’t she emailed yet? I looked up and around the room. It was the very definition of chaos. My three boys (under the age of 5) were within 15 foot radius. They were ALWAYS within a 15 foot radius. The youngest was in the pack-and-play wanting to get out. My middle son was in the bathroom with the door open. There was a trail of unidentifiable moisture. My oldest was screaming. REFRESH. Still no email. I got up with a wad of paper towels in my hand and a spray bottle to try to sanitize the path to the bathroom that turned into cleaning the floor and the boy: undressing, ½ bath, new clothes, re-dressing. DONE. I walked back to my computer… Was the email there? Will Holly survive the morning with three boys? How many baths will her middle son need today? {Stay tuned through the commercial break for Episode 2} Episode 2: Did The Email Arrive? Did It? Did It? We left Holly in the middle of kitchen chaos with three boys under the age of 5 while expecting a very important email. A very, very important email. It was my weekend ritual. Once a week, a friend and I would exchange long emails re-telling our experiences over the last week. She had two boys. I had three. They had issues. We had issues. I told her she was doing great. She told me I was doing great. I had sent my email several hours earlier. Her response had not come. Rewind: I had always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom. For the first 10 years after my husband and I were married, I worked as a Physical Therapist while he finished medical school, internship, residency and military service. Our family started later than we planned (due to infertility), but every morning as I left for work I would remind my husband that it was just a matter of time before I was quitting and living the good life of a stay-at-home mom. This was the good life? {cringe} I felt guilty even asking that inside my head. It was exactly where I wanted to be, but… I felt so alone. overwhelmed. sucky. My sanity hinged on whether an email was returned. This email correspondence had been going on for over a year. Jodi was the person I could confide in who wouldn’t judge or take my rants too seriously. She knew that despite the drama, complaining and venting, I loved being a mom. It was just hard. And bedtime was so freaking far away… I checked each boy’s status: Baby corralled – check. Toddler & preschooler watching TV – check. I sat down at the computer. The email had arrived! {insert angel choir} I opened it and read the first sentence… “I think we should stop emailing…” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Will Holly throw her computer across the room? Will Holly make it through the day? Will Holly’s sanity collapse? {Stay tuned through the commercial break for Episode 3} Episode 3: Everything is Going To Be OK? <--Big Question Mark We left Holly in the middle of kitchen chaos with three boys under the age of 5 while expecting a very important email. And then the email came and it said it would be the last… I read the words again, but this time I kept reading… “I think we should stop emailing and start blogs instead.” What the heck is a blog? <--this was 11 years ago. “We will both put what we would have written in our email to each other on our blogs and then read each other’s blogs!” I am in. The last thing I need is to lose this! Whatever it takes...I can’t have NOTHING next weekend. She then explained in the email how to start a blog and I followed her directions quickly. I started publishing on my blog every day. Within a week, I realized that this could replace my very expensive scrapbooking habit...and blogging was FREE! I told my mom about my blog (now she could see the boy’s pictures without me making two scrapbooks and sending her one). I told a relative across the country about my blog. I had three readers. Nearly a month into blogging, I saw that one of my posts had a comment on it. It wasn’t from my friend, Jodi. It wasn’t from my mom. It wasn’t from my aunt. It was from Meghan. <--who the heck is Meghan? I clicked on her name and was magically transported to HER BLOG. Other people blog? *MIND BLOWN* I read Meghan’s blog through completely. She had boys too. She had similar struggles as Jodi and me. We were not alone. Will Holly stop smiling? Will Holly stalk Meghan? Will Meghan need to take out a restraining order? {Stay tuned through the commercial break for Episode 4} Episode 4: There IS More! We left Holly in the middle of kitchen chaos with three boys under the age of 5 while expecting a very important email. And then the email came and it said it would be the last. But then she started a blog. And she realized that other people blogged too and she may or may not be stalking them. Other people blogged! In fact, in the sidebar of Meghan’s blog was a blogroll (for those of you under the age of 25, a blogroll is something ancient blogger’s used to display other blogs they liked to read). That blogroll was filled with more blogs written by people like me. That network of blogs became my sanity. Many of those bloggers are among my best friends today (yes, you can make real friends on the internet). I realized how hard it was to get out of the house with three small boys and have the energy to make and maintain friendships, yet my online friends understood. Writing my blog helped me look at my life with perspective...step back and think about how I would tell the story with a silver lining. My home chaos didn’t magically organize & clean itself up, but I was much better at DEALING with it because of the online community. Bedtime just seemed closer.

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