There’s laundry that needs to be folded.

There are dishes in the sink and papers scattered on the floor, begging for organization and an impossibly long list of to-do’s I need to conquer before we move.  Packing, collecting medical records from an array of doctors, school registrations, goodbyes.

While these tasks beckon me, the call isn’t loud enough to pull me away from my laptop.

My oasis.  My happy place.

The world could fall apart around me and I’d still blog.

This blog has morphed over the past year and a half.  It began as a venue to explore the elements of balanced living and finding happiness within…until my life was thrown completely out of balance.

These days I chronicle my unbalanced life.   From eating too much pizza to diving back into swimming, too fast too soon, to unexpected tragedy and death.

I’ve grown to learn that we can live completely unbalanced lives, full of monkey wrenches and disappointments and heartbreak, and we can still be happy.  We can have great days for absolutely no reason and we don’t have to use misfortune or things not going our way as an excuse to have bad ones.

We don’t have to let situations or people take us down.

We can prepare for really big life changes and not be afraid.

There are no difficult days, maybe difficult moments.


Music helps get me through them.  As do headstands.

We can trust that things will unfold as they’re meant to.  Not in some hokey, genie in a bottle kind of way, but with a faith that begins with a sense of groundedness within ourselves and a sense of belonging on this earth.   It’s called owning it. And these days I do.


I’ve kept journals since girlhood, the marble design cover kind.  I’ve written it all down, no matter how ugly the truth seemed at the time.  I was my own best secret keeper.

I have less secrets these days.  Now, my journal is a web page.

 Loneliness does not come from having no people around one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself.
~Carl Jung~

With you as a witness I move forward, some days boldly, and some days more steadily than others.  With you as a witness, I share the things that are important to me.  The things that have helped me make sense of this life, the things that have made me less afraid of life, the things that continue to give me life.

I blog for you.

I blog for me.

Together, we can do this.




This post was inspired by Why I am Smiling by Kim at Co-Pilot Mom. It’s a lovely tribute to blogging and some of the gifts she’s reaped from it over time.  Blogging makes Kim smile.  Blogging makes me smile.  And Kim’s lovely blog makes me smile, always.



Happy — 66 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the kind words, my friend. Your blog makes me smile, too.

    Blogging really is a gift. I love that by sharing ourselves, we somehow connect with others whom we never would have met in our regular, everyday lives. I love the sense of “me too!” that we have when we read the posts of our fellow bloggers. I love knowing that we are none of us alone – whether in challenges or victories. 🙂
    Kim recently posted…Five Things – Old School Blogging JulyMy Profile

    • I love that “me too” as well. Sometimes I will find myself nodding my head as I read a blog post because I am connecting so strongly with what the person has written. And I can not say enough great things about your blog. xo

    • Yes! I would love my readers to be a part of my process. I love the thought of us walking together through this stuff!

    • I loved meeting you in real life – and the thought of walking out of that stall and seeing you standing there makes me happy. xo

  2. I’m with you 100%. Now I’m not saying that I know what I’m doing, but I’m trying to get there 🙂
    I find that I am happiest when I am daring and when I cease the moment. Trust that gut feeling. ‘Cause there are always plenty of monkey wrenches!

    • I love that seize the moment feeling when I just “do” and not “think” quite as much as I would otherwise. The gut feeling is never wrong! I’m glad you forge on despite the monkey wrenches too!

    • Thank you Laura. It’s such a gift, this blogging stuff. I had no idea what I was doing when I started, but I’m glad I’m still doing it for sure!

  3. Ilene, I used to journal, too. I have a stack of comp books like yours, and it was the best therapy ever. I stopped soon after I had my first child, because I just didn’t have time (actually, I just didn’t know how to MAKE time). Now, I’m thinking I should get back into it.

    Blogging is good therapy, too. I’m so glad I started – it’s a nice way to look at things a little more objectively somehow, and it also makes me HAPPY – especially if I’ve given someone a good laugh at my expense.

    I enjoy reading your blog, and appreciate how you share your life with people in a way that inspires and motivates.
    Julie recently posted…So The Kid Wanted To Do A Craft…My Profile

    • Thank you Julie! I still keep those marble journals and I love them! They give me permission to “let it all out” on the page, and then there is the more objective version on the blog, to borrow your word. Somewhere between the journal and the blog, I’ve explored a situation, and come to terms with it enough (if that’s what the situation required) that I can write about the lesson I learned. I love sharing this stuff! Thank you for being a part of it!

    • Thank you Kim! It’s great to get glimpse at someone else’s life through blogging. I’m always feeling inspired by the stories I read!

    • Thank you Kerry! I was just saying above to Kim how sometimes I read a blog and find myself nodding as I read it because I am connecting with the words so much. I’m glad my blog makes you nod! That’s a huge compliment!

  4. So glad that you share your journal with us! I’m right with you on living unbalanced AND happy lives. I have a load (or three) of laundry waiting for me, dust bunnies in every corner of my house, and a to-do list that never ends, but when I take a deep breath and look around at all of the wonderful people in my life, I can’t help but be happy.
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…Sturdy Girl Sports Bra GiveawayMy Profile

    • Let’s hear it for dirty laundry and dust bunnies! My house is a wreck right now and I’m a week behind on reading blogs but I had an awesome day at the town pool with my kids and my girlfriends. It’s all good.

    • I love that you’re holding me accountable. Yes, I will be right here, Andrea, with many more words, and I thank you for reading them!

  5. So glad you have a happy spot, and so glad it can be shared with us all. It’s so awesome to know that when you are feeling a little low, or a little lonely, there is a blog out there that will just say the right thing to you…your posts do that for me – so inspiring.
    Leah Davidson recently posted…Happy 12th Birthday Zach!!My Profile

    • Thank you so much, Leah. I feel so grateful for blogging and for knowing there are other blogs out there that say what I need to hear as well. Like your last quote of the week, come to think of it!

  6. I always love going back to a post from before I “knew” you – it’s always so enlightening. I’m like you – nearly perfect health. I haven’t had a fever since I was in college although I did have a low grade one after Scarlet was born and during Desmond’s birth. That’s another story, though. I love the way you notice your blog evolving and you own it all. An inspiration. And I love Kim’s blog too!
    Tamara recently posted…Peek-a-boo.My Profile

    • My blog is crazy different than what my original intention was. But it’s where it’s supposed to be, for sure. This blog has been such a gift. And the love here is amazing. You must feel it too on your page. The way you share yourself with us in incredible.

    • Five years! You’re a veteran! I am glad you stuck with it. I hope this settles into my bones as well. It’s a good space to be in!

    • And you inspire me too! And you have no idea the happy dance I did when you told me I’d get to meet you at BlogHer!

    • I love your comment and it means even more to me – given you’re one of my oldest friends “out here.” I love that we are in this together. xo

  7. This post literally lifted a weight off of my shoulder. It’s like you were personally saying to me “Alexa, it’s ok that you don’t have it all together. Be happy in your chaos!” You always bring a little zen to my life!
    Alexa recently posted…Pin It! Tuesday!My Profile

  8. I’m so glad that you have your happy place here, but even more glad that I get to experience this with you. It makes me smile to get you know you here.

    And I see you will be going to BlogHer next week also?? I must meet you in person!! 🙂
    Kimberly recently posted…Kids Were HereMy Profile

  9. It can be tough to find that balance and trust me I know. I love that quote, ” Loneliness does not come from having no people around one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself.” I have sometimes had a houseful of people and still felt lonely and this finally makes sense.
    Growing Up Madison recently posted…Sanus TV Mount Safety GiveawayMy Profile

    • I love being able to communicate that things that are important to me. And I find I can’t automatically do that with everyone. The blog is my haven for this!

    • The mess really isn’t a bad thing, is it? And the moment always passes, whether it’s a good moment or a not so good moment. So why not live for now? It’s so much better than living in the past or projecting the future, right?

  10. Ilene, thank you for allowing me to bear witness to your life. This post speaks so clearly on a topic dear to my heart.
    “I’ve grown to learn that we can live completely unbalanced lives, full of monkey wrenches and disappointments and heartbreak, and we can still be happy. We can have great days for absolutely no reason and we don’t have to use misfortune or things not going our way as an excuse to have bad ones.
    We don’t have to let situations or people take us down.
    We can prepare for really big life changes and not be afraid.”
    I can only add a word of gratitude – for you have already used any other words I might have said.
    Ginger Schneider recently posted…Vanilla Coffee Frost: RECIPEMy Profile

    • Thanks, Nellie! I feel so grateful to have found blogging. It’s not quite as solitary as writing in that journal solely for myself!

    • And thank you for sharing your life with me. You know I love you and your message always hits that nerve for me too. xo

  11. Ilene! I’m finally catching up with your page and I love that I got to start with this particular post. I’ve always kept journals as well and there are times where I feel that maybe I should go back to writing these thoughts down instead of posting them publicly. But it’s good to remember the pleasure of simply putting them out there and you do that so beautifully each and every single time. Keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll be sure to follow along. 🙂
    Maribel recently posted…There Once Was a GirlMy Profile

    • I do both. Write in my journals still – the thoughts that are just for me – I sort through them and a lot of the sorted through ones are what become my blog posts! I love the private thoughts, and I love the ones I share as well. There is a place for them all, right?

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