Because a switch flipped

12/20/2012 at 11:47 am | Posted in me | 28 Comments

This will be the last post I write for Pretty Swell.

I know this seems totally out of the blue, but it’s been weighing on my heart for a long time.

This website, as much as I love it, takes me away from my family. I spend A LOT of time writing, taking and editing photos, playing with the design and messing with the code. Not to mention promoting it through social media, which has always made me feel icky.

I’ve never been entirely comfortable sharing the intimate details of our life, and I’ve fallen into the trap of approaching my time with my girls as tweet-able and instagram-able and blog-able moments instead of just living in the moments as they are. I can’t do a craft project with Lily without grabbing my camera for a DIY post. Or push Sophie in the stroller without snapping a photo for Instagram. This is not the kind of mother — the kind of person — I want to be.

In an ideal world, I’d blog in the mornings before work or late at night when they’re sleeping. But *I* need to sleep. And as much as it pains me to write this, the truth is that I am often on my computer or iPhone trying to maintain this site and stay connected to my online community while I’m with my kids. And that sucks.

I love my real life. I want to give it the attention it deserves.

Because it could all be gone in a second.

Also, being a mommy blogger stresses me out. I just can’t keep up. I’m not happy when I blog, and more often than not, reading other blogs makes me feel bad about myself. Comparison is the thief of joy, and it’s almost impossible for me not to fall into that trap.

I’ve been so incredibly blessed to meet some amazing people — many of whom have become close friends — and work with wonderful companies whose products and missions I believe in, like North American Bear Company and Smart Balance and all the businesses who rallied for our Love to Zaria fundraiser. I also am forever grateful to have joined a kick-ass community of postpartum depression survivors, led by the ultimate warrior mom, Katherine Stone.

And I have the most awesome readers in all of the internet. You guys have lifted me up, cried with me and laughed out loud. You’ve also been incredibly patient with my ramblings and my monster photo posts. THANK YOU for everything.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen next.

I really need the creative outlet that this lovely little space provided, so I want to find a way to make that happen.

Just differently.


“Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time
for the important things in her life.”
{Brian Andreas, Story People}




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  1. Oh I totally understand but how I’m going to miss your posts so much.

  2. Times flies and you should enjoy it.. Your family is the more important..Best wishes to you..

  3. For me, I am sad because I just found your space and I love it.
    For you, I am happy because you are doing what you need and want to do. I wish all people could have the courage to do what makes them happy.

    (I often feel pressure to buy a URL, get some fancy design, promote promote promote, but what has worked for me is to stay true to my tiny mommy blogging roots and write for me and my family, for my grandma who logs in each morning to read about Nate and Alex, and for my boys who just discovered my blogbooks.)

    I hope we do meet in person sometime!

  4. Suzanne:

    I support your decision, although I will miss your blog, I feel like there are other opportunities on the horizon for your creativity (hmmm, a novel maybe? collection of stories?) — and you always have Posy to showcase your photography! Good for you, girl.


  5. Suzanne, I totally understand (I haven’t updated my blog in a year now – yikes!) but I will miss your posts — though, thankfully I get to catch up with you on FB and, a few times a year, in person! Maybe you can be a guest-poster on some of your favorite blogs? I bet they’d love to have you, and there’s be less pressure to post so often.

  6. I understand completely. My blog, Twitter, etc. are all silent (or only occassionally whispering) for all the same reasons. My type-A personality wouldn’t allow me to just blog halfway so I got caught up in the comparisons, have-to’s, etc. and it just wasn’t working for me or my family. Now I don’t have to take photos of everything; I don’t have to feel the pressure to post.

    I will miss your words and this blog, as will you, but you won’t regret it most of the time. There are days/activities/photos/times where I wish I could blog about something because I want to share with others. I want them to try this really great thing, but it’s never really worth the hours it would take to photograph, write, and edit a post. And, on the rare occassion it is, then my blog is still there even if no one is looking.

    Enjoy your time with your family. They don’t stay young for long.


  7. Could I borrow just an ounce of your courage? Because I *feel* all of this so much, but am so afraid of the unknown answer to “What’s next?” that I don’t know how to move on from my own site. Best of luck to you, and thanks for sharing this!

  8. I’m going to miss you bunches and bunches but I hope you enjoy every second with your beautiful girls. xoxo

  9. Thank you for sharing your personal life so beautifully. I am with Natalia, a novel or a book can show up on your horizon soon.

  10. I have enjoyed your many journeys and life experiences you’ve shared with us. I stopped blogging long ago and eventually didn’t even take time to comment on others blogs. But I’m enjoying my kids! Have fun enjoying yours more too! They are such cuties!

  11. Good for you. Enjoy your girls, lady. But don’t forget we need to have lunch 😉

  12. Your blog has always been *just perfect* but I understand! I always wonder how Mommy bloggers do it! Maybe you will hang on to your Etsy shop? It’s adorable! Do something so we call all keep an *eye* on you! LOL. You are a creative, warm and generous person and I think many of us readers look up to you. Taking this step is hard but it makes us look up to you all the more! 🙂 Best wishes!

  13. Hello Suzanne!

    I think it is a brave and noble thing what you are setting to do. If blogging takes time away from your family, its certainly not the course I don’t think anyone would advise. Its been wonderful getting to know you and your family! I wish you all the love, happiness, and prosperity in the world, that God remain in your hearts and His angels by your side. YOU ARE A WONDERFUL MAMA!! I have yet to taste the sweet love of motherhood, however when I do, I am hoping I can be half the Mama you are to your kiddies =D I think it is safe to say we ALL see how much you love your bundles, equally. I know what you going through with switching off your site as I decided to close my cooking blog,, earlier this year due to not being able to keep up my personal life with my hubby. And my other website is mainly a “tester” site as I am a freelance web developer/designer/programmer. So I UNDERSTAND! It was wonderful reading from you! You are the prime example of how mothers ought to be! Wishing you a Happy Holidays, Happy New Years, and wonderful, spontaneous moments with your family to come! Carpe Diem!


  14. Will miss reading your blog. You are a talented writer who gave your readers insight into family and life in general. Best of luck finding your new creative outlet!

  15. You are amazing and just remember when you close one door another one always opens!!!! Follow your heart and your dreams Suzanne you can do great things! Love you!

  16. You will be so missed! Thank you for sharing your stories with us.
    The reason for closing down is absolutely understandable.
    Very best wishes to you and yours, today and all tomorrows!

  17. So sad to hear this! I’ll miss your awesome Pretty Swell posts. But I applaud and admire your decision to do what’s best for you, your girls and your family.

  18. Oh Suzanne. I understand what you’re saying, but I’m so so sad to read it. I will miss your e-voice. & hope to keep in touch on social media & our panara visits!

  19. It has been so great getting to “know” you. I can totally relate to how you’re feeling, though, and can’t blame you for stepping away at all. You will be missed!

  20. Oh, how this hurts my heart & fills me with joy at the same time. Selfishly, I am going to miss this space so much – it has brought me so much joy in the past few years, remidning me to just be me & that’s plenty & this motherhood thing is gorgeous & messy, just like life.

    That’s the space you create, Suzanne. Whether you’re creating it on here or in your home or with your girls or in your job…you’re going to give that story & message to the world.

    I’m so thankful that I get to know you & spend time with you outside of this blog just so I can keep getting that encouragement & love that you constantly spill forward.

    I love you. You give the best hugs & are my favorite cupcake friend.

  21. commendable decision for sure

  22. Suzanne! Totally understand and respect the decision—you’ve done an amazing job with this blog and are an amazing mother. I can only imagine all the extra fun your girls (and Mark!) will enjoy with you not having to stress over the blog. Our writings have diminished a lot lately due to the difficulty of balancing things, so I can totally relate to the decision. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  23. Suzanne! I have so much enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your girls on here! This just means when Josh and I come to town, we’ll have to plan a time for us to get together!



  24. Aww! We’ll sure miss reading your posts, but know that being present in-the-moment will make for the ultimate “Happiness is…” for you and your family. Much love to all of you.

  25. omgosh! I was just redoing my reader and came by to resubscribe and here you are. Going. I worry not about you – not at all.

    I so know what you mean and feel that way lately about FB, so I’m stopping the pics as much and the capture the moments and just doing. Pretty Swell is a beautiful place as it connected me to you, someone I consider a friend. Let’s stay that way, m’kay?

  26. Oh Sad Face, but Happy Face. You’ve always done such a lovely job with posts and pictures. I will miss your writing, but look forward to seeing you on other forms of social media.

    PS: Does this mean I can politely ask to co-op your “Happiness is” idea for posts? because I’ve always loved it….

  27. I have been reading since just before your sweet Sophie was born and I was in the final stages of pregnancy with my son. I loved reading your real life adventures that were so similar to mine.

    I have never commented, but as you say goodbye, I wanted you to know that I appreciated the time you put into this blog and tell you how much I enjoyed it. Thank you, and best of luck in your daily enjoyment of precious moments, and with wherever your creativity will take you next.

    Natasha (in Seattle)

  28. Offering bigs hugs, and sending you a message that says, “I know.” I so get it. And, for me at least, it’s almost an addiction and a big, BIG part of my identity, that like an addict I need to be ready to quit. I’m not there, but I hope to walk this journey with you and learn more about how you enjoy this year social media free. And perhaps, you will inspire others to spend more IRL time with our kids instead of thinking about the pressure we put on ourselves to get our next post up.

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