Thursday, January 22, 2009


Cuatrocientos. (Matt told me.) Quatre Cent. (Jenny told me.) Vier Hundert. (Took German in college, but still had to Google this one!)





(I promise I don't use words like Wicked, except in extreme circumstances!)

I began this blog as a way to document the growth of my little girls. Really it was for ME. And possibly for a few far away family members. I was looking for an easier way to share pictures and anecdotes of our everyday. I was getting chastised for not keeping them up to date. (Whatever - Halloween pics in June are still CUTE, peoples!)

When I began, I literally had to ask someone what "blog" meant! It's short for "web-log," they kindly filled me in. (It might possibly have been my husband, but I will never admit he knows more than I, so my memory is a bit fuzzy here!)

But of course. A WEB LOG, I thought. Precisely. A log on the web of me and my life. I'd always loved to write. And read. (I think it would be FUN to go back to school and get a graduate degree in English.) I used to write papers for classmates for money. My application essay was accepted at Boulder, UT, USD, SMU, and UCLA. But I never applied any of those schools. I'd always done my best self exploration through writing. So keeping a "log" seemed a natural step to me. I enjoyed it. Keeping a log was in fact cathartic, and welcome!

Then came the complaints. My mother has said my blog is "Too Much Information" and I should keep more of it to myself. My Father in Law has told me (on more than one occasion) he hates that I "politicize" my blog. (To him one Obama picture makes the whole damn thing borderline unreadable!) One of my brothers has told me he's flat out never even read it! So here I am, FOUR HUNDRED posts in, pondering it's existence.

One of my "blog-friends," recently posted about struggling with blogging and all it entails. The privacy, the voyeurism, the anxiety in who and why is reading. Her post spoke to me so much, I had to BLOG about it. (So typical.) Here are my thoughts:

I think anyone who has blogged for any length of time, struggles with these issues. What I have come to understand is that my blog is truly just for ME. There is very little in my life that is all MINE. About just ME. For just ME. All the way I want, expressing exactly what and when and who and where I want, on my command. I mean really, anyone who is a mother understands that you check SELFISH at the door upon entering the maternity wing. (Even if you don't want to! Life ceases to be about YOU anymore!) Although I don't like to admit it, I have very little absolute control over anything in my life. But my blog gives that to me. And's it's become something that I crave.

So, despite the complaints, time - and my blog - wore on. As posts have accumulated, I've really grown to LOVE this little space on the web. MY SPACE (no pun intended). My little http:// on the world wide web, that is all mine. My hope is that one day my children will love it as much as I do, and re-read all my posts with affinity. But if they don't, that's okay with me too. I will re-read them and be so thankful that I put these moments, and images, to paper (or web... whatever!) Moreover - what my blog has given to me is SO MUCH more than I've put into it. So much more than I'd ever expected.

As far as privacy goes, I have gone back and forth, many a time. I have come to embrace that I've gained SO MUCH from other open, honest, funny women out there who blog. Women who have let me in on their thoughts, their lives, their marriages, their parenting, their fun. Women who are mothers, women who are single and swinging. Women who work, women who stay home. Women both older and younger than me. Mormons, Christians, Atheists. They all have something to offer. And I've learned from all of them. While I am not blogging for the strangers, or "lurkers," who read my blog, I would be ecstatic if I helped them grow in some way. Kind of a pay it forward sort of situation.

Over the three years I have been blogging, WHO I AM, has been greatly influenced by women I have never met. Laura, Nie, Love, Aubs, Erin, Jean Marie, Baby Mama - you inspire me on a daily basis. When I am struggling, I often think "What would they do?" and my resolve is championed, renewed, restored. What a blessing to have you in my life! Without your blogs, I would not have you. And I would be worse off.

WHO I AM has also been greatly influenced by women I know - but don't get to see everyday. Libby, Lacy, Jenna, Tonya, Britain, Brenda, Brooke & Brooke: your blogs keep me afloat, keep me in touch, keep me close - when the miles and responsibilities separate us. Without your blogs, I would not have you as much. And I would be worse off.

Matt's younger cousin blogs. She lives in Iowa. I've seen her a handful of times in the 14 years I've been with Matt. Without her blog - I would know her only as Emily, Matt's cousin. But with her blog, I know her as "E-mizzle." She is silly, sweet and quiet, but has a fierce sense of humor and a crazy, educated wit. She plays the guitar and has a beautiful voice. (You too can hear it on her Melodic Monday posts!) Her heart is for Jesus - and she's looking for true love. I've never been to Africa, or had Malaria. But Emily has. And she's shared it with me on her blog.

My BEST FRIEND for more than half my years on this Earth lives just down the street. I could walk to her house in under 5 minutes. Guess what?! - she blogs. And I am so thankful for it! Because there are weeks that roll over the top of us. Days we see each other and exchange only surface pleasantries. But I can read her blog - on a night after I have just seen her - and find out SO MUCH about what fills her mind and her heart, about her triumphs and her struggles. It's sad in a way - that we have to resort to web pages to keep our relationship in sync. But it's glorious too. Because 10 years from now we will still be best friends. And we will finally have the time to lunch, and go away for girly weekends, and chit chat on the phone for no good reason at all. And we wont have grown apart amongst the diapers and bottles, daycares and preschools, classrooms and carpools, books and lessons, thesis-es and PhD's. We will be right on track. Right in sync. Right where we always wanted to be. Without her blog I would lost. I would most definitely be worse off!

When it comes down to the nitty gritty - I really don't care who's reading my blog. I write it for ME. I write it because it's my release. It's my therapist. It's my way of keeping on. I love having tangible evidence that we - the Burns' - smile, laugh, celebrate, grow, cry, learn, create, explore, travel, dance, play, giggle, pout, develop, and ARE....everyday as we are 'Bringing Up.' I LOVE THAT!

But because of what all those other blogs out there have been to me, there is no way I could rightfully keep mine from them. If WHO I AM is because of so many of you and your words, your thoughts and your posts...then how could I refuse answering the question WHO AM I? for all of you!?

Thank you for sharing yourselves with me. You are more generous than you could possibly know. I hope you enjoy, and learn from, the crazy ride that is Bringing up Burns! Here's to another 400 posts!


LauraC said...

Of course Erin you would blow this topic out of the water! And fitting that it happened at 400 posts. I commented on Brooke's blog that we all bloggers go through this inspection. I blog for all the reasons you blog. I blog for me because I get so much in return.

sharonscarpa said...

Erin your blog is an inspiration to me! Since you began Matt has been asking me "when are you gonna do this for us?" My reply was always "when we have kids" well now I have kids and I am trying...

I am still learning but it's a start!

so screw what everyone says about your've inspired me to start my own blog and all of your east coast friends (not just us) love being able to check in with the Burns'

Aubs said...

What a fantastic post!! And if you would have asked me 5 years ago if i thought i would ever make friends thru "web logs" ;) i would have laughed. And yet here i am...i have come to cherish you and your family and i look forward to the day we actually meet. You are amazing, inspiring, and real and i love it!! Thank you for being you and for sharing it with me! HUGS!! =)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post Erin. You are so dead on about all the great things blogging brings to our mommy lives...You were my first 'blog friend' and continue to be a great source of inspiration for me. My private vs. public debate rages on, however, I take great comfort knowing that you and so many others have come to peace with so openly sharing your most intimate of thoughts and memories. I think one day it will be time to hide my blog from the world (perhaps when the information shared in its loooong pages could be used against one of my children- I mean a poop smearing story is funny when they're three but what about when they're 12?), but until then, you are right. I am me and how can I continue to gain strength, inspiration, wisdom, and parenting know-how from others when I myself don't offer it? How could I refuse to answer the question WHO AM I? If for nothing and no one else but for me. I just love you Erin and am looking SO forward to meeting you soon!

Mr. Burns said...

I Do know more than you, but you write like no other. Congrats on 400, Baby. I LoVe YoU!

Ramirez Family said...

Wrote a long comment then lost it because I didn't know Albert had logged me off google. Argh! Anyway- the short version is I admire you for sharing and blogging about so much because I think that is challenging, and I look forward to reading your next 400 posts!

Baby Mama said...

So beautifully put! I LOVE your blog, I always get excited when I see youve posted something new! And THANK YOU so much for including me in the list of blogs that have touched you!!! That touches ME! It is so fulfilling to be able to share my life and be included in yours. I think you have an absolutely adorable family, and that you are a great mom, blog sister and friend! I believe that God gives us our talents and desires, and He gave you the gift of writing and communication! May God continue to bless you through your open heart. Thank you for being a blessing to me!

Joanna said...

Well done, said, everything. Even when I barely have time to think, I think about you and your family. You blog is where I get my fix when I can't actually hug your sweet three.

I miss you. Thank you for your kind comments. They brought a tear to my eye.

Though I may not have much spare time in the coming 3 months, I definitely want to keep in touch. I'm so glad that you're down the street and ON THE WEB! I love you, friend.

Hey, Charlie. You don't know what you're missing!

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