Monday, June 9, 2014

The first post here on Hey Mama, Rock Me. started a little bit like this ". . . I believe in talking about your dreams like they're already coming true. . ." At the time, I was talking about my dream of being a mother, but that really has translated into my life in so many different ways over the past few years. What started out as a digital scrapbook of sorts has blossomed into a full blown love for writing. I love coming to this space. I love sitting down with a cup of coffee each day and being inspired by others and sharing my goals and joy and beautiful things in this space. I've been writing here for three years and there hasn't been a time yet that I've had to make myself sit down and blog. I take that as a sign from the universe that I should really throw myself into this because honestly, I'm a pretty fickle human. I get so inspired by so many things at one time that I usually bounce around from one thing to the next, never really sticking with something long enough to know whether I'm good at it or not. There have been moments in the last few months that I have looked at this space and the numbers and all the things every blogger says doesn't matter, but it does a bit if we're honest - especially if your family's dreams are wrapped up in whether you're successful at what you choose to do each day - and been disappointed. I'm not looking for fame or fortune, but it would be nice to feel like the amount of effort I put into writing and the time that it takes away from my family has contributed in some way to where we're attempting to go.

Frankly, I'm a woman that likes instant results. I'm impatient and always get ahead of myself in every situation. After every apartment that I looked at in Brooklyn, I've fallen asleep planning each detail before it was even ours. I started having thoughts about blogging along the lines of 'well maybe I'm just not very good at it' or 'maybe I should just give up and focus on something else,' but it dawned on me - I couldn't stop writing here even if the answer to either of those statements were yes and after that realization, the numbers really don't matter. I'm going to write here whether there are 30 people reading or 30,000 people reading and isn't that what everyone is looking for in a 'job?' One that you couldn't not do even if you have to do it for free. This blog is a piece of me - it has stretched me in my writing and photography skills (both of which could probably use a bit more stretching), recorded cherished moments from my journey to and through motherhood, and it's allowed me to find mentorship and inspiration through other women. However, if I'm being honest, I can admit that I haven't thrown myself into this as much as I could have. A few months ago, I was reading a book about small business and I came across a sentence that I highlighted and underlined - 'If you treat your business like a hobby, you will always make hobby money.' It's a pretty obvious statement, but I've treated this as a hobby up to this point expecting beyond hobby results from it.

So I've started putting a lot of thought into what I want to do with this space, the things I want to write about more often, and how to make it all click. I'll be making little adjustments here and there over the next few weeks, and like anything else in life, this blog will always be evolving, but the major stuff is finished. The first thing you probably noticed today was the name change - Hey Mama, Rock Me. has served me well over the past three years, but I started to feel like the direction I wanted to move with the content here was going to outgrow the name and felt that this life transition for our family was a good time to make a blog transition as well. There is no doubt that I will always write about motherhood - it is so deeply ingrained in who I am - and pictures of Ev will probably always make up a large portion of the posts here, but I wanted a name that more genuinely reflected our family as a whole. So 'The Long Way Home' was born from our desire to always take the long way home, to slow down and explore together, to seek joy and savor the little moments.

For a long time I've just made do with the layout I had while believing it wasn't so much the design as it was the content that would keep people coming back. I still believe that's absolutely true, but there's something so good about the design reflecting the content. It makes the whole space feel a bit more genuine. It's like waking up and taking the time to pamper yourself a bit and put some real clothes on rather than spending the day in your pajamas. I just feel more inspired! (If you're looking for an easy to install but beautiful layout, check out Blog Milk.) Along with updating the overall look of the blog, I also wanted to make it a little more explorer friendly, so I've added two new sections in the right column - 'I write about. . .' and 'features.' I also have plans for some social media buttons! Fancy, right? In the fixed column on the left you can find all the normal navigation stuff (Notice the 'shop' link?!). I'll be spiffy-ing that area up a bit more over the next few days as well.

Finally, if you've been around for quite awhile, you could gather that we live on a tight budget. I debated for quite some time on whether to start offering advertisements on the side bar and while I respect those of you who are 'purists' and blog for the art, a small income from this endeavor would be really beneficial for our family. I have a lot of ideas floating around in this head of mine and usually have to decide whether it's worth taking out of the family budget to accomplish them. I won't bore you all with the details, but if you think your company or blog would be a good fit over there, send me an email! I look forward to making new friends and discovering new blogs and brands through this! And of course, I don't plan on this ever becoming a product filled robot blog. It will still be heartfelt and full of life and joy!

Well, I guess that's all! Thank you guys for being here and sticking around through all the growing pains. I'm humbled that so many wonderful people join me in this space - if you've never introduced yourself, now's the time. We're all just friends who've never met, so don't be shy! Take a look around, have fun, and leave a few comments. I cannot wait for what's to come here!


  1. LOVE the new layout. It's so beautiful. I agree that content does bring people back more but if a blog is really pretty it grabs my attention more and I mean... I like looking at pretty things when I'm reading! Exciting to keep on reading about your life under this new name :)

    1. That's how I feel too. A good layout and some pretty touches can do wonders for me when I'm deciding whether to stick around or not. I have too much on my plate already so I can be pretty picky about which blogs I follow. Good design definitely doesn't hurt!

  2. Beautiful writing and I'm in love with the new layout and name. I also know the feeling of pouring so much into your blog and not always seeing much in return, or at least feeling like you're not getting much back. My advice is just to keep writing and creating and sharing, especially if it makes you happy. That's why I keep going and I'm always glad that I do. xoxo



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