When we did a reader survey back in July, I was hoping for 100 responses and we received almost 1,500! Ninety percent of the responses were really thoughtful and I’ve spent the last two months going through every one of them, compiling questions and fixing suggestions and glitches (for example, there should NOT be pop-up ads or ads with sound, so if you see one, PLEASE let me know so I can remove it!). It was fascinating to see how many of you are into (and not into) social media, and where you’re located in the world. There were a lot of questions that were asked several times, so I thought I’d answer some of those today.
Q: What do you mean you’re a “freelancer?”
A: It’s my simple catch-all phrase for what I do for a living. A better term would be Writer-For-Hire. I write articles, website copy, the words on infographics, packaging, and most recently, ghostwriting. Freelancing can be stressful when you’re starting out because sometimes there’s a lot of work, and sometimes there’s nothing. Even now, there are weeks where I’ll have ten things due, and weeks with only a few deadlines. The good thing is I’ve been at this long enough that I have contracts now, so while the workload can sometimes be hefty, I have regular, reliable income.
Q: Did you and Mike meet in college?
A: Nope. We had one year of overlapping attendance at USC, but we didn’t meet until after we’d both graduated. I wrote about meeting him here.
Q: Will you stop writing about your kids as they get older?
A: Yes. I’ve already stopped writing about many aspects of Annabel’s life, and I’ve been much more selective with what I write about James. I’ve always tried to be respectful with what I share about all of my kids, but looking back I think I over-shared at times with Madeline and Annabel. I can’t unring that bell (although, I’ve edited several posts), but I am much more mindful now as I write about how the kids impact my life, as opposed to simply writing about theirs.
Q: Will Mike ever write here again?
A: Yes, he definitely wants to! His time is tight, obviously, but he misses writing on the blog and hopes to write here more often.
Q: Why do you do recipe/DIY/party posts? There are other bloggers who do it so much better.
A: There definitely are! But those posts let me be creative and I have fun with them. I’m not trying to be better than anyone, I’m just trying to be the best me. That means exploring my interests and enjoying myself.
Q: If I saw you out and about, could I say hi?
A: YES! I love meeting people who read this blog. The connections I’ve made are, hands down, the best part of blogging. So, please say hi so I can give you a hug (unless you’re not into hugging, then we can fist bump or something).
Q: Will you make anymore Amazing Annabel videos?
A: Not in the foreseeable future. The videos take a lot of effort and time that we just don’t have anymore. Most importantly, Annie isn’t interested. She likes making up skits (mostly with her dolls), doing “cooking shows,” and unboxing videos. We keep those videos on our home network and we stream them on our TV for the kids. But we haven’t made a “scripted” video in quite a while and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Q: Are you sure you’re done having kids?
A: YEP! The shop is closed, the baby stuff is donated, and I can’t wait to change my last diaper.
Q: Will you do a “While You Were At Pre-K” photo series?
A: Nope! It was a fun thing to do last year but James is a mover and shaker now. While Annie is at school we run errands, go to the park or play place, or attend Parent & Me classes. He’s got a fun little album of photos that I’m sure his future prom dates will find very interesting, should he choose to show them.
Q: Who is your favorite Muppet?
A: Animal. He just wants to bang the drums, man. I respect that.
I can answer more survey questions in the coming weeks, but if you have any others questions, let me know!
Georgine Olson says:
I love your recipe/DYI/party posts. Please keep doing them.
Yep. I promise I’m not some fawning fangirl with blinders on, but I also really like your crafty/foodie posts and even if I didn’t, from a strictly human level, I can’t believe anyone would be so rude as to ask why you do them because “others do them better.” Ugh. Internet anonymity, I guess! Anyway, I’m definitely interested to hear more about the survey results, so thanks for sharing!
Rita A. says:
You took the words right out of my mouth Kristen!
I have been reading you long enough that I feel like need to get a little “postal” on that “why do you do DIY stuff” question/comment.
A. I don’t like the way that was done harmless or not…hackles raised.
B. It’s hard to keep the content of a blog enjoyable and Heather does a great job. I have grown children and this is my first stop every morning.
C. Said commenter should start own blog and see how hard it is.
I didn’t fill out the survey because I had nothing to critique. I used to blog but it was more current events/politics. It’s hard. But I love this blog…I have grown kids and it’s my first read every day.
I love your craft stuff. I’m keeping notes so please, don’t stop.
Jennifer L. says:
What the heck! I also enjoy your DIY posts. I’m not crafty. Not in that, these are so easy even I could do them way, I’m just not interested in being crafty, haha. Regardless, I still enjoy your posts and seeing what you come up with. I do really enjoy your cooking posts and wish you would do more of them! Your recipes may not be fancy and super detailed, but that’s WHY I love them. Silly other people.
I enjoy ALL your posts. This is one blog I have stayed with for years- most of the time I end up getting bored after a year or so of reading. And that was really rude of someone to say about the DIY posts. No class, as my grandmom would say :). Keep up the great work!
I am the least crafty or artistic person ever. I can’t even draw, at all. Even my husband can draw one thing well (a shark, if you’d like to know). So while I admit I would probably never actually DO any of the crafts, I still look at them all and ooh and ahh over them. Seriously, they all seem pretty damn impressive. And it’s not like crafting is your career. I’ve seen crafts sold on Etsy that look like a kid sat on them — and those people are trying to make money! All this to say, you keep doing what you like, and I’m impressed with how you deal with anonymous criticism.
Stephanie in Canada says:
I read your blog every morning before going to work. It’s 5h30 a.m. eastern time I love your DIY, I’m not crafty but I love this section and I miss your recipes
Why, why, why did you do the post on cookie butter? And, more importantly, WHY did I buy two jars to try??? Awesomeness in a jar, that is why. I am glad I have to leave the house each day, otherwise that little jar would be calling out to me. Your posts are fun, insightful, and heartfelt. Thank you for putting yourself out there!
If you love that, Amy…you must try Jif’s Salted Caramel Hazelnut. Total PMS relief by the spoonful!
Sara Mc. says:
I was at the store the other day and thought “I need to look for that cookie butter Heather wrote about”…then thankfully talked myself right out of it! Glad to know I made the right decision. Although I might not be so strong next trip.
Melissa Subit says:
Ugh – long time reader, rare commenter, but NO NO NO! Don’t stop the DIY stuff! I love it! I too dabble in a little bit of craftiness and I love the ideas you come up with – and more importantly, they are do-able!! You have saved me a TON of money on hair doodles alone (hello 7 and 3 year old daughters with mega amounts of hair and lofty hair “needs!”) You keep craftin’ and sharin’ Heather!!!
Hi. You’re great. That’s all.
It still amazes me that bloggers put themselves out there. So much criticism, and trolling, such a letdown in many ways. You have a such a thick skin. So my hat goes off to you Heather.
I hate crafts to be honest but I think it’s great that you do them. Why the hell would someone be so rude to make such a comment? Sure other people do it better. Other people will always do tons of stuff better.
Meant you have to have such a thick skin. You (general you) will never be the best at something and that’s a piss-poor reason to not do something IMHO. People are just jerks. Keep on doing what you do Heather!
I love love love your blog. I’m so glad you answered the question about if I ran into to you could I say hello. I keep thinking someday we will run into each other. I’m in LA/Santa Monica/Culver City and a Trojans fan, I would want to say hello if I ran into you. AND keep the DIY blogs coming, you are so creative.
Continue to be the best you. I enjoy the recipes & DIY too!
I read here everyday and enjoy all of your posts; I wish I was craftier. I loved the videos but I totally understand why you don’t do them anymore; I’m telling you that image of Rigby sitting in a pot on the stove will stick with me! It still makes me smile!
I asked a couple of these, so thanks for answering them! I have always wondered how your blogging will change as your kids get older, so I appreciate your honest answer (and I’ve always thought you had a good balance).
I just have to ask…did James do modeling for The Honest Company? I swear I see him on the packaging!Evertime I am in Target I find myself staring at it saying,”that’s James!”
Yes, kind of! I wrote about it here: http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/family-and-friends/boy-on-the-box/
I love your blog, and look forward to it 6 days a week. I’m not a crafty crafter but I still love looking at the crafts you make and marveling at your mad skills.
I love your DIY posts!! I use lots to give me inspiration!! I love in the IK and throw two big parties a year 4th of July and Thanksgiving!!! I have used a ton of your ideas to get crafty to help me decorate!!! Keep it up!!!
I asked about the preschool pictures! I’m sad but I get it. Enjoy your time with James, it goes fast!
Is there a reason you dont want to write about the kids, is it due to privacy or they dont want you to?
They haven’t asked, I’m just respecting their privacy as they get older.
Long time reader (since not too long after Maddie’s “Mad Lauer” era, haha!), but I definitely don’t comment as much as I should.
Just wanted to say you’re awesome.
Oh, and PLEASE don’t stop the DIY stuff. You rock it.
I’ve tried a few of your crafts, I like how easy they are.
Thanks for linking to how you met Mike, that’s a cute story!
I love the variety of the things you write about – it helps me to see/read how other parents (you & Mike) live in this crazy world without our children. Sending hope and hugs.
P.S. I always read your blog so I am not sure how I missed the survey. There was some time in July when we were on a few trips off the grid so maybe it was then. . .
I also enjoy the variety of posts you write!
One thing that I would’ve mentioned in the survey if it had been happening then (it’s only in the past month or so..), is that I will often load your blog in a tab in my internet screen, but flip back to read something I had already started reading..and when your blog loads, it will “override” whatever other tab I’m on and pop up. Not sure if it’s my computer or your blog, but it’s not my favourite thing haha (but also a complete first world problem, so I hope I don’t sound too whiney!).
Whoa really? That’s crazy! What browser are you using (so I can tell my tech guy)?
It might be a problem on my end, not yours, but your blog is the only place it’s ever happened to me.
1. While I haven’t done any of your specific crafts, I love your attitude of “I can totally make that for cheaper!” and I have started thinking that myself. So thanks!
2. I’m pretty sure I asked this in the survey, but I’ll say it again here – can we be friends? lol
Dear Spohr Family,
I love your blog so much. I’ve been following you for almost 6 years now, and I think you are wonderful. I love your DYI posts too! Also, I feel you on the overshare front – I struggle with how much to put on the internet about my own kids, but I appreciate how much you are willing to be real and transparent about your life. And for the record, I feel like you’ve done a really great job. Please stay awesome! Love, Becks.
I’ve read your blog for years and you know, your writing about grief got me through some pretty dark times. life). Even though I don’t have kids (or even a dog) I totally love your blog (That was an unintentional rhyme). I am a freelance ghostwriter too (and, it makes me super happy to know you’re a ghostwriter too because it’s a weird weird life and it’s hard to find others).
Haters gonna hate. Apparently I do crafts all wrong because I did not realize there was a feudal hierarchy of craft blogs or whatever.
YES! So weird! You can never talk about what you’re working on, you can’t run your work by anyone, you’re in a bubble! It’s great but so strange at the same time.
and then when you go to a cocktail party & people ask what you do, they automatically assume you’re doing like, celebrity biographies or bestselling smut. And try to guess which celebrities you’re working with. What i personally ghostwrite could not be further from those things, but I still enjoy letting people assume that’s what I do.
People who sent you comments like, “Other people do (insert whatever) better” and, “Are you sure you’re done having children?” are just rude, sorry. Keep up the great work on the blog. I really enjoy reading it!
The real question is has Annie picked a Halloween costume yet? And how many times will she change her mind before Halloween actually arrives?
She’s changed her mind 1,00 times already! But she seems to have narrowed it down to either Anna from Frozen or the girl character from The Lego Movie. We already have an Anna costume and I’d have to make the Lego costume so I hope she settles on one soon!
I love it when you post recipes! They’re awesome and easy to make!
I love that you’re answering some reader questions, and I can’t believe I’m going to be a mega dork of a cheeseball by saying this, but it really inspires me to read, “I’m not trying to be better than anyone, I’m just trying to be the best me. That means exploring my interests and enjoying myself.” That’s something I need to do too. I’m such a perfectionist and lose motivation to even try things I’m interested in because I’m not certain the end result will be fantastic. Super lame, I know, but my mind can come up with criticisms of the nonexistent finished product before I even start! Anyway, thanks for blogging and sharing. I like how you deal with criticism in a matter-of-fact way (aka not like a big drama baby who wants accolades or nothin’) and I always enjoy your writing. You are doing a pretty damn good job of being you.
Today I’m getting a pop up ad with sound. Children’s hospital.
SO MANY swear words just came out of my mouth. AAAAAG