Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Some random thoughts on the internet - yes, you read that right :)

The internet is a strange and awesome place.

I put my little family out there and there are definitely days that I want to pull the plug, shut this mother down and hide under my covers with my peeps.

Days when people question my husbands smile, our choice to keep Luke in Pre-K an extra year or the fact that I washed my parents dog in my sink.  Days when I get ugly comments about being honest about spanking Mason during our Spring family pics (seriously, not my proudest moment - but it happened), comments that my hair is awful and feedback telling me I must be mismanaging my money based on how many pairs of "clown pants" my daughter has.

It comes with the territory and I take it with a grain of salt (perspective, people!) and on days when it almost gets the best of me something great will happen that reminds me why I love blogging - the connections.  Connections with people that I otherwise would NEVER have an opportunity to meet.

People who are genuine and caring and amazing.  People like Shelby :)

Sidenote: How GORGY does Shelby look in this maternity pic?!?!  I saw it on FB today and it was too pretty to not share. Perfection, right???

Shelby and I met through blogging and we totally hit it off.  Her husband was traveling to Texas the same weekend I was hosting my Matilda Jane trunk show and she and her kids tagged along on the trip.  They came over for lunch the day after the show and we had the best time!

Shelby shares my love for all things girly and matchy and of course we had to dress our girls alike for the occasion :)

The conversation flowed easily, our kiddos hit it off (and cried when it was time to leave!) and I totally felt like Shelby and I were old friends.

 After Shelby and her crew left that day I really started thinking about how blessed I was to "meet" her and how grateful I am for all of the awesome people I get to "meet" here and on IG every day.

I'll get an email from someone thanking me for being honest about not really potty training Mason and sharing that they're struggling too, I'll get a direct message on IG telling me that they're praying for me based on a  few scriptures that I posted earlier in the week or a surprise piece of happy mail will show up "just because" someone went out of their way to brighten my day.  I'll run into a reader at VBS and help her wrangle her kiddos in the hall, a silly outfit post will give someone the inspiration to pattern mix outside of their comfort zone (it's the little things, y'all!), someone will message me to tell them that a video of Mason being Mason made them smile when they were having a crummy day or I get to meet an internet friend in real life... and I'm reminded of all the GOOD that's out there.

I mean - it's awesome. 

I have met some of the most open, generous and honest moms and friends through this space and I am beyond grateful for the connections that I've made.  God works in some crazy ways and has brought some awesome people into my life through this little blog and I can't wait to see who else I get to "meet" through this experience :)

Happy Tuesday, friends and thanks so much for reading!

Don't forget - tomorrow is Recipe Club!  Get ready to link up and share!!!


197 comments:

  1. When I first started reading this post, I was getting mad. People can be so mean sometimes and haters are gonna hate. You can't do anything about those rude people except ignore them. I am a people pleaser, so it's hard for me when people are mean, I take it personally. I am so proud of you for pushing them away and remembering the good you have in blogging and letting yourself out there. I don't know you personally, but I wish I did, and I feel like I do because I've been following you on IG and on the blog since earlier in the year. You are my favorite blogger! Keep up the good work!

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    1. Awwww! Thanks, girly! I'm a people pleaser too, so I can relate :) Thanks so much for reading and following along!!!

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  2. We do get to meet some amazing people, right? It's pretty special :). And listen, when people say hateful things, that shows everything about them and nothing about you. That kind of hatefulness is a direct reflection of their heart...and it's sad.

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    1. Totally amazing! You're the best - THANKFUL to get to walk through this crazy life alongside you! :)

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    2. I am new to your blog. I found you through Shay, which I have followed for a couple of years.

      This topic bothers me. I simply do not understand why people feel it is there right to be so rude. I see it on Shay's and others. It is so shocking and disappointing, yet it shouldn't be!

      You have a beautiful family, spirit, & sass. Many are glad you have decided to share glimpses. And the Lord will continue to use you. Someone out there needs it daily!

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  3. Andrea...wish I could hug you this morning!! You're so right though. In spite of those ugly comments, you have to keep thinking about all the good! Love you girl!!

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    1. Girl, anytime! I may show up at your door one morning in my pjs for a hug :) Love you, friend!!!

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  4. Funny because not long ago I was sittingn around thinking how thankful I was for the new friends I have made through social media,,,I know it sounds so crazy but it's so true,,,people I've never actually met have come to be important to me, with all the bad out there I'm so thankful for the good ...and haters will be haters...I put a lot of myself out there too...and I've learned that some people are just not so nice, and have no problem being just mean or giving their major un wanted advice ...but I have always said this, at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and I like what I see, I like who I am, and I go to sleep every night knowing all is right here within my four walls andr he outside worlds opinions just don't matter. I love this post! My favorite!!! Happy Tuesday sweet friend!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, girly!!! Thankful to have connected with you as well! Haters gonna hate! hahaha :)

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  5. I love your blog so much and I love it that you're you no matter what. Dont ever stop. You're such an inspiration to so many of us. I mean if I could just have an ounze of your energy I feel like my life would be complete! ;) thanks so much for sharing Andrea #hatersgonnahate. Happy Tuesday girlie!

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    1. You're so sweet! Thank you so much for reading and for our kind words :) And yes.... can't please everyone!

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  6. Haters gonna hate, my friend! Just ignore and continue to be the brave and beautiful writer and soul that you are!

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  7. Shelby's maternity picture is amazing! So pretty, and I am so glad that you girls found each other!

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  8. The things that you said people write to you about made me sad (really, your husband's smile?!), but I always remember that even though there are bad and mean people out there, they are always outnumbered by the good, kind and caring people. It sounds like you already know that. I enjoy reading everyday and seeing a different (and sometimes exactly the same) perspective on life. Take care.

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    1. Thank you! And yes.... some of the comments I've received have been laughable. Apparently Dave's smile isn't "happy enough" for some people :) Have a fantastic day and thank you so much for reading!

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  9. That was a sweet post. I have absolutely NO desire to have a blog but I am so thankful for those of you who do blog. I love getting a glimpse into somebody else's life and seeing all the cute pictures. We've all done things in our life that we aren't proud of, such as spanking a child. I like that you "keep it real". I hope you continue to share your family with a bunch of strangers like me!

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    1. You know what - looking back I wouldn't change the spanking. Sounds strange - but I think that when a child is being repeatedly and willfully disobedient a swat on the hiney may be in order. :) Thank you so much for your sweet words and for following along with me and my crazy crew!

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  10. GREAT post friend!!!!!! REALLY great post. I agreed with every single word. And the good most definitely outweighs the bad!

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    1. Thanks, girly! This past week has been HEAVY on the perspective and now, more than ever, I'm realizing that the negative is so so so minor in the grand scheme of things. SO GRATEFUL to have you as a friend....in actual life and in bloggyland :)

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  11. Oh my goodness. I can't believe people even write such things. It's amazing how crass some can be when they are hiding behind a computer screen. I LOVE your blog because it is so very YOU. I don't know you in real life, clearly, but I would bet my bottom dollar that you would be exactly the way you are in this space. Funny, beautiful, sweet, smart, and with some AWESOME hair :) {Oh, and people judge me ALL the time for my daughter's MJ - none of their danged business. I guarantee I'm not going to let my daughter rock gorgeous clothes and be in dire financial straits at the same time. I love my family too much for that to happen.}

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    1. Your comment totally made me smile :) MJ mamas stick together!!! Thank you for your kind words and for reading! HUGS!!!

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  12. I really love reading your blog. Your honesty and candor make it so fun and inspiring to read. You are real and I'm so sorry that people have used your honesty and vulnerability to be ugly. I agree with Shay, it says everything about them...and nothing about you. Thank you for pressing on, you are inspiring to so many of us mamas out here! Hope you feel lotsa love and encouragement today!

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    1. I was totally feeling the love :) Y'atll are WAY too kind. Thank you for reading!

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  13. Social media is a great resource. It has also dumbed down our society's social graces. Or maybe magnified the lack of.

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    1. LOVED your comment/observation. So so so true!!! Thank you for reading! :)

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  14. I loooooove this post! Keep doing YOUR thing, girl!

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  15. It's horrible what "small" people have the nerve to write about your life! But your self confidence is such a great reflection of the amazing person you are. Putting your life out here for people to learn from, be entertained by, and to get inspiration from is a gift to us, your readers! So thank you for sharing your honest and fun life from a very new reader. ♡

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    1. How sweet are you?!?!?! Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words :)

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  16. I'm going to admit that I'm not a fan of most MJ clothes (I swear I have an ADD brain because the patterns almost clash and I try to logically make sense out of a colour here and stripe there, etc), but I'm a huge fan of your bangs (only because I wish I could get away with them with my hair texture) and also the fact that you were real enough to admit you spanked your kid, when most other bloggers attempt to perpetuate a false identity of happiness.

    That said, you are one of three bloggers that are in my Must Read folder. You, Julia (Here Be Hippogriffs) and Posie Gets Cozy. The reason isn't because of the hair or the MJ clothes it's because of that realness I identified above. I have no qualm in thinking that if I ran into you on the street, you would be the exact same person as you are on your blog. I appreciate the less than perfect photos (laundry in the background, kids with hair looking crazy, etc) because that is probably the realest glimpse you can give your readers, and that is a sign of a true connection to your audience. In the hundred or so blogs that I subscribe to, you are in the top three percent because of your storytelling ability. Trust me. I'm so fed up with blogs that slap three instagram pictures on a page and write one sentence because that is NOT content.

    Ten years from now, twenty years from now, you will have an amazing gift to share with your children about the in-and-out of their daily life, which you also chose to share with a worldwide audience. As a now mother of three (and I lost my mum when I was a toddler), I would give anything to read anecdotes and see recipes and have a glimpse into the daily brain of the woman who brought me into the world.

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    1. I also REALLY appreciate the real photos!

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    2. I LOVE the way you "keep it real." I love people that are real, hence the name of my blog! I am sad for others that feel the need to put someone else down. I totally agree with Shay, it is a direct result of themselves and has nothing to do with you! I went back to the post with the dog sink bath to look and see the comment, because I was curious. And I have to tell you that I thought absolutely nothing of the sink bath. I would have done the same thing! I had a good laugh at your response :)

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    3. Your comment made me tear up! If the ONLY thing I get out of this blog is a "time capsule" for my kids - then it's all been worth it. I puet "me" out there because it would be WAY too much work to keep up with an online persona... mama don't have time for that! :) hahaha And MJ isn't for everyone.... maybe one day I'll get you into a solid ruffle pant, but if not hopefully at least a couple of bangle bracelets :) Thank you so so so much for reading and for taking the time to leave your comment. Seriously. Thank you.

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    4. Midwestmom and Sandra - cracking up over the comments about the "real" photos... I don't live in perfection, so why attempt to put that out there?!?! Thank you so much for the sweet words!!!

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  17. I think you and your blog are SUPAFLY! Keep keeping on, girl. You're inspiring tons of moms who're in the trenches with you. :)

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    1. #supafly love it!!! :) Thank you so much, girly!

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  18. Please, please do not let the grumpy cats of the world change how you write! I look forward to reading your blog every morning because it is so authentically you :-). Your sweet little family reminds me of the days when I was younger and in the same boat. It helps me remember all the crazy/happy/funny/overwhelming times and it warms my heart so much. You are a gift of fresh air in a sea of blogs that all look and sound exactly the same. Thanks again for being you <3

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  19. I started reading Shay's blog in early 2014 (after I saw it mentioned by Trista Sutter) and started reading Erica and your blog as well. I read several blogs, but if I am really busy and don't have a lot of time, I always read these 3! It is always a great start to my day and I feel that it has brought me closer to my faith! And I love that! I don't have children (maybe one day it will all work out!) but I love reading about your experiences and I like to think that my parenting style would be very similar. Because I am not a mother, I don't feel like I have much of an opinion, but I agree with several of your parenting choices....waiting another year with Luke is my number one so far...I even sent that post to my MIL because we have a similar issue in our family. You are doing the best you can. Your kids are happy and healthy and you and your husband are very much in love. Granted I only see this little piece of your life. Some individuals can be very judgmental and you can't let them get to you!

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    1. Thank you for your comment!!! IT really means a lot :) Love that I've gotten to be a smal part of your faith journey. What an honor! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment! I appreciate it!

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  20. Aww. This is the 2nd time in a week I just wanted to hug you! I may be a total stranger to you, but I have been blessed to come across your group of mom blogs about a year and a half ago. I don't have many moms around here that I can relate to or share my challenges with to get a little input. All of you ladies (Erika & Shay too!) make me feel like I have someone to relate to. You have made me stop more than once to be a #yesmom and I definitely appreciate all of the yummy recipes and cute crafts I can share with my own family. You are such a sweet, caring, loving, fun woman! *hugs* Hope you have a great day, Andrea! :)

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    1. Thank you, girly! I love how "small" the world can become through blogging! Motherhood is HARD and I'll take all the help I can get :) hahaha Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! I appreciate you! :)

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  21. I'm sorry there are so many Negative Nancy's out there. You are the 1st blog I read each morning. As a working mommy, you give me humor and encouragement. I love your "realness". Keep on doing what you're doing! You are appreciated! :)

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  22. Hi Andrea. I've never commented before, but..I pray that the people who have left unkind comments keep coming back. And one day, when they read, the love of Jesus that shines through your blog, will change their hearts forever. :)
    Thanks for being you! I wish I would have known you when I lived in Oklahoma and came down to the McKinney area often.

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    1. Amen! :) What a thoughtful comment.... I appreciate it!!! Me too! We totally could have had pie on the square :)

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  23. Those comments are so horrible that all you can do is laugh them off and ignore them. The internet allows people to say things they would never say to someone's face. They are rude, just to be rude, and get some kind of joy out of putting people down. For some reason, many people out there never learned that if you don't have something nice to say don''t say anything at all.
    You have so many loyal fans that think you and your family are just perfect the way you are. What I love most about your blog is your honesty, you are very relatable. You show your flaws, you show your families crazy times, and you show your love for your family. What more could anyone ask for? Oh and I LOVE your hair!!! And if you can afford to spend money on your daughters clothes, good for you. It's nobody's business and sounds like jealousy. And your husbands smile? Not sure what that comment is about. He is a great looking guy and seems like a sweet, supportive and awesome partner.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! After the initial "ouch" of the comments, Dave and I typically get a good laugh out of the majority of them. And thanks for the props to my hair :) As far as Dave's smile... there is a particular anonymous commenter who doesn't think he looks "happy enough" in our pics. hahaha

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  24. I love your blog. I love your realness and your honesty. And, like Liz said above, if I ran into you on the street one day I would be the same person that you are on this blog. You inspire me, and your family is adorable. So, thank you for putting yourself out there for moms like me to read!

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    1. If you ran into me on the street you'd probably think I was way shorter than you thought AND I would totally give you a hug :) Thank you so much for your sweet comment and for taking the time to read!

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  25. Love your blog and your sweet family!!! It brightens my day and makes me a better mommy!!

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  26. Oh Andrea! I can't beleive the nerve people have sometimes. Although I've never met you, I absolutely adore you..... and your blog is the first thing I read each day. You are always keeping it real (which I love!), have such great advice and share the best crafts/recipes! I apologize for those mean people. Sending u tons of love!!!!

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    1. No worries about the "meanies" - I take it all with a grain of salt and the good waaaaaaaaay outweighs the bad. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment :)

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  27. It will forever amaze me that people will say terribly mean things to anyone let alone good people.
    I'm so inspired that you can step back and see the good and brush off the bad. You are wonderful and reading your blog is a highlight of my morning. K). Uh

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    1. Thank you!!! Glad I can be a little part of your morning! :) Thank you for reading!!!

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  28. Don't let the nasty comments bring you down! I don't think I could pull off the MJ styles, but you and Griffin rock it! But it's not the clothes you wear that keep your blog followers coming back; it's your passion for the Lord, your open and honest perspectives, your quirky and creative personality, your caring heart, and your adorable family! I look forward to reading your blog every day and seeing all your pictures, here and on IG. You are such an inspiration to mothers, teachers, and well..any woman, really. Keep it up!

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    1. AWWWW! Thank you! MJ isn't for everyone... but I think I'll be wearing ruffle pants in the nursing home :) Your words were so sweet and thoughtful and I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. THANK YOU!

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  29. I love reading your blog every day! Your family is precious and so are you. Don't change a thing!!

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  30. Andrea --- You are awesome, and your dedicated readers love you! Don't let these mean people get you down. They're not worth it. Sending happy thoughts your way .... Courtney in MI

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    1. No worries! Mason told me tonight that we're besties, what more could I ask for :) Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

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  31. My eyes literally popped out of my head reading the first part of this! I can't believe what people say!!! That is crazysauce!!!

    I love reading about your family and seeing what life is like in Texas. Keep being you!!

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    1. Crazy-sauce! Love it! I say awesome sauce and am DEFINITELY going to have to start incorporating crazy-sauce. :) People are strange... but most of the "ugly" comments give me a good laugh. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. You're awesome!

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    2. I challenge you to say it while you're teaching! I am a Piano teacher and my students get a kick out of my lingo at times. Although, I tried to pull off saying "totes" one day, and my teenage student just looked and me and said "did you really just say totes? let's not do that again" hahahahah!!!

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  32. Please don't ever stop writing this blog!! I found Shay, then I found all her friends. First thing in the morning I look at all you girls, and I love it....I am a girly girl and seeing pics of G or Kensington or Ebby Lee, makes my DAY. Shay has made me listen to my Faith, and I love it! I really think that all the bad stuff is pure jealousy, I deal with it every single day...and it sucks! You girls are all great....

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    1. YAY for girly girls! :) Girl drama is the worst - but it's also mildly entertaining :) Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I appreciate it!

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  33. I love reading your blog everyday and it breaks my heart that some people say such nasty things! Don't pay any attention to them...you have so much positive energy around you-focus on that!

    Hope you have a great day!

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    1. Thank you, Calley!! My day was awesome - hope yours is as well! :)

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  34. Keep doing what you do best! You are so inspiring! Read your blog now everyday! Hang in there. There will always be rude, inconsiderate people out there that need Jesus! ;)

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    1. I know lots of rude people who HAVE Jesus :) I think most people just need a filter. hahaha Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment - I appreciate you!!!

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  35. I can't believe the comments that some people make. I love your blog...it always makes me smile. I look forward to reading it every day. I thought of this printable when I read those ugly comments that you have received. "Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, but just shake it off..." http://www.livinglocurto.com/2014/09/shake-it-off-free-printables/#sthash.zww4xbhD.dpbs

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    1. LOVE that printable!!! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

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  36. Listen, I don't know you in real life, but your preciousness (I might have made that word up) just radiates through your blog. You seem so genuine and your eclectic little style is just adorable...as are your children. May the Lord continue to bless you in all ways!

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    1. Preciousness is totally a word, right??? :) Thank you so much for your sweet words and for reading! I appreciate you!

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  37. I love your blog. And I know you didn't post this fishing for compliments. I am a working mom and my kiddo just turned one. You give me great ideas at how to make our limited weekday time the most fun! Thanks for all your ideas. And in the words of my girl T. Swift... Haters gonna hate hate hate. I'm just gonna shake shake shake. Shake it off. :) I couldn't help myself. So. Cheese.

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    1. hey - we jammed to that on the way home.... and I didn't hate it :) I HONESTLY had no idea that this post would garner as much response as it had. I posted some of the ridiculous at the beginning just to emphasize that despite the mean, there really is so much greatness out there.... but I think it shocked y'all more than I thought it would. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment! :)

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  38. I agree with all the posts above! These not nice people are spending their time how? Pointing out what they don't like about your life - how rude is that? It's so obvious how much you love your kids and husband and family and students and friends. And girl, when you have the GIFT of being able to accessorize and dress you should share that with the world. People pay good money for fashion advice--you come by it naturally! :) You are an encouragement to me on being a woman of faith. Don't let the haters get you down! :)

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    1. Can accessorizing be a spiritual gift??? If not I think we should make it one :)
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!!!

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  39. It's really crazy what people say/think. I've had people tell me I must be neglecting my house/children/husband because I manage to read around three books a week. (Seriously?!) I've had people tell me that my kids aren't in enough activities, that they must not be getting enough socialization (because we homeschool), and so on. And yet, the majority of my readers are awesome. They prayed for our whole family when my son was sick and passed away, they encourage me, they are sweet, sweet people. Don't let the trolls get you down! I love reading your blog, and my two youngest do right alongside me because they love seeing the photos of your kids!

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    1. People are a little nuts. I've never understood what people think they are going to accomplish by leaving "mean" comments (especially anonymous ones). What an amazing testimony you have to the power of community that can arise through blogging. Keep on keepin' on, friend!!! :)

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  40. I love reading your blog! It's one that I check everyday. I'm amazed at how much you accomplish in a day and I love that you are open and honest. It is so encouraging and the reason I keep reading. Keep it up! Reading in Minneapolis, MN!

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    1. Thank you for reading faithfully! I appreciate it!!! ::)

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  41. I ALWAYS read your blog first thing each morning. I am a mom, teacher and wife so I can relate to you in so many ways. I am not sure why I am surprised by some peoples rude behavior. They are jealous and if they act like that to you...a total stranger..think about the poor people who are around them daily. Continue to be yourself because don't let the haters bring you down. Now I am off to give my dog a bath in the he sink just to show them. I might also put my ruffled pants!! :)

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    1. After you bathe your dog while wearing ruffle pants, be sure to spank your middle child, k? :) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!!

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  42. I look forward to reading your blog everyday! I love how real you are in your writing and your pictures, and even tho I am in my 50's, if I knew you in real life, I would want to hang out with you and your amazing friends! Poop on the naysayers--you just keep sharing with us! {{{hugs}}}

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    1. You could TOTALLY hang with us!!! Any time :) Thank you for your sweet words!

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  43. I love going to your blog and finding new stories every day. Imagine what great things those "cyber bullies" could do if they used their negative energy towards bettering their own lives. I saw this motto on another blog and I keep it in the back of my mind, "Haters Gonna Hate". It's silly but the quote reminds me to "try" to not take things personally. Someday your three kiddos will be so lucky to have all of these wonderful memories you have documented through the blog. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks, girly! I don't want to think about my kids ever being big enough to actually read my blog - but I am already so grateful for the memories I've preserved! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment :)

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  44. My favorite thing about your blog is your honesty.....you are a loving mom, a follower of Jesus and somedays a hot mess..and I love that you lay it all out there the good and the blurry. Keep it up girl

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    1. Thank you!!! Nothing wrong with being a hot mess every once in a while! :)

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  45. I love your blog, I adore Matilda jane clothing :) I read your blog , Erica's and Shay's and it starts my day off thank you

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    1. Hooray for MJ!!! :) Thank you so much for reading!

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  46. Such a great post! It really makes me sad when I read about people putting others down just because....if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all! I can't imagine getting those comments you talked about but you have such a good faith and outlook on life to not let those get to you (I mean I'm sure they do at first but you know better than to believe them)! I am so, so happy that I came across your blog quite some time ago because you and your sweet family are such a breath of fresh air! You keep it real and everyone who comes here can relate in one way or another and we all thank you for that! I know if I met you one day (which would be fabulous by the way) that you would be the same exact person you portray here on this space and that says something! Love you, sweet friend and am so happy you have found such great connections through this crazy world of the internet! Also, I saw that pic of Shelby on IG and oh my word is she stunning....she's a sweet one that girl!

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    1. Girl - if we dp ever meet one day we're going shopping and eating pie.... and probably making a stop at Starbucks. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!!!

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  47. Seriously, people are so rude! I love your blog and reading about your life and seeing pictures of your adorable kids! Thanks for chugging away at it every day (even on the days your don't feel like it.).

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  48. Oh my goodness, the things people say... heartbreaking. But the good is so much better and I'm so glad you see that! I love your blog and thank you for sharing the 'real'!!

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    1. The good is so so so much better! Thank you for taking the time to comment and read!!! :)

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  49. I really enjoy your blog, I look forward to all your great ideas and projects. It has inspired me in so many ways. I recently became a sahm for the first time, your blog has helped me transition and remember to try harder to be a "yes mom" as much as possible :) and focus on what's most important with our daughter. After all she won't remember that I got all the laundry done in record time but she will remember that I sat down to work on a craft project with her. Also, your fashion posts have helped me look at my closet in a whole new way, after wearing medical uniforms for 7 years straight I had no clue how to really piece together a wardrobe outside of the medical field. Your posts give me such inspiration and have helped me step outside of my comfort zone! Keep doing what you do!!

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    1. Congrats on your new role as a SAHM! So fun!!! And yay for being a #yesmom :) Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to comment :)

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  50. Ugh! Why so many people take time out of their day to spread negativity and try to tear others down is beyond me. I love that your blog is so real and relatable. Shake it off, friend!

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    1. Already shook :) Thanks for your sweet sweet words!!!

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  51. Keep on, keepin' on! Your blog is a great testimony to your life and what's not beautiful about that?! Happy fall, gal!!

    http://hillcollection.blogspot.com/

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  52. You are just the sweetest! Love love love reading your blog and following your IG you are always inspiring me and uplifting everyone! You are doing a fabulous job being you and thank you for letting all of us share in your sweet journey! And I definitely agree having best friends like Shelby is the best ;-) She always brightens anyone's day with her positive, genuine and caring attitude :-)

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    1. ISn't she the best?!?!! LOVE HER!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to rad and comment :)

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  53. Andrea, I love your blog and how positive and honest it is!! I think I know of a certain website you might be writing about that contains a lot of those ugly comments, about your blog and many, MANY others. I think you'd agree that filling your day with that much negativity is just not good for anyone!! I'd rather spend my free time reading blogs from women who are living great lives, and being POSITIVE! Life is not always perfect, mistakes are made all the time, but it's all about the way you approach things and that's what matters. I think it's silly to spend so much time picking out someone else's little mistakes, especially when everyone needs grace and forgiveness, no one is perfect. Keep on being you, I love reading Momfessionals every morning!

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    1. So true!!! Grace, not perfection!!! Thank you so much for reading and commenting :)

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  54. Glad you're not letting mean people get you down! You are doing a great job of it all!! Happy kids, happy husband and happy students!! I am 50, my daughter is 18 and we love your blog!

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  55. It NEVER ceases to amaze me the spiteful, awful things people will say under the cover of the Internet. I always wonder why they waste so much time and energy being rude? I personally LOVE reading your blog every day! You are a genuine and honest human being and I appreciate that! I love to know I'm not the only one who struggled with potty training and took a more laid back approach. And I really love to see the way you intentionally invest in your kiddos. In the words of T Swift...haters gonna hate so you just gotta shake, shake, shake it off ;) keep doing what you're doing!!

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    1. Thanks, Amy!!! Potty training is the worst. hahaha I so appreciate your sweet words and thank you for reading!!

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  56. I LOVE your blog (and Shay's Erika's and Pinterest Told Me To)! Read all four daily and feel like I know you gals;) It's so sad that people can be so rude and negative. Just keep being you because to me, you seem awesome! FYI...made your enchiladas last night and they were delicious!!!! My husband loved them too...score!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words - and I'm so glad that you loved the enchiladas. They're the best!

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  57. I absolutely cannot believe some of the horrible comments you have received. How very sad their lives must be to want to purposely bring someone down with negative comments. You and your precious family have so much love, and you should be so proud of yourself! I don't even know you, but I would like to come through this screen and give you a hug...and a Starbucks gift card...and some pumpkin spice M&Ms! Have a fabulous Tuesday! :)

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    1. Ummmm... how have I not tried Pumpkin spice m&ms?!?! hahaha Thank you so much for your sweet words!!! :)

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  58. I love your blog, Andrea. And I love it because you keep it real! So let the haters hate; you just do your thing, sweet Mama:)

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  59. I meant to comment on the potty training post, but didn't, so I'll say it here. Thank you for sharing that about the potty training struggles. I didn't potty train my twin boys until they were 3 (about 3 years and 4 months) and it was so nice to read about somebody else that went through the same thing. I think bloggers are in a hard spot. If you're real, people will criticize you for spanking, potty training, how you dress your kids, etc. But, if you keep it strictly positive and don't post anything negative, people will criticize you for not keeping it real. I just love your blog and love that you're a positive person but also talk about the spanking (we do it) post the pictures that weren't perfect (but aren't those the best ones?) and I hope that you don't shut down your blog because of the negative people.

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    1. No plans to shut it down - because where else could I post 300 pics of my kids and talk about my love of ruffle pants :) And you're totally right.... it's a lose/lose when critics are concerned. I know that I can't please everyone so I just do "me" :) Thank you for your sweet words!!!

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  60. Keep on going sweet mama! Your blog is on of my favs and I so look forward to seeing beautiful Griffin, funny Mason and your little genious Mason each day. I will admit, when I go clothes shopping now I try to think outside my "box" and that is a direct reflection of your funky cute style. You are a child of God and your blog is a testimony in of itself! Keep on shining :)

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    1. Yay for stepping outside of your box! Thank you so much for reading and taking time to comment! :)

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  61. Hi Andrea!
    I don't even know you, but reading your blog every day and following you on Instagram makes me feel like I do (hope that isn't creepy)! The part about all the mean comments made me want to give you a hug and a Starbucks hot tea! Keep your head up - you don't have to explain or justify the way you do things or raise your sweet family to anyone! Just keep being you & don't ever stop being real! I love reading about your sweet family!

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    1. Not creepy at all! And I will totally take a tea and a hug any day :) Thank you so much for reading faithfully and taking the time to comment! I appreciate it so much!

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    2. I love that you are responding to everyone - that is awesome! Praying that the negative comments stop for you & your friends!

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  62. I absolutely love reading your blog in the mornings and I miss it on the weekends. :). You are a shining light!

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  63. I am more of a come, read, leave kind of blog reader and hardly ever comment, and forget that it's always best to let people know the GOOD things you think about them. (And I know this might seem superficial based on the situation, but I promise these are all things I have thought before). You truly amaze me every day that I read your blog. I get drawn back every day to see what more I can learn from your parenting skills. You are such a good mom and I love when you write about your struggles with parenting. Like others have said, you keep it real and it is refreshing. You seem to really have it together with your faith, your priorities, and the way you handle all situations of life. You never try to say your life is perfect and your blog posts leave me thinking for days about what I think about your parenting method and how I can better apply it in my life. Your yesmom post, and especially your potty training one. I have an almost 3 year old who isn't at all like Mason. He is very easy going, but REFUSES to potty train and your post left me sure that the way I've handled it thus far is the right way. I'm AMAZED how much you do with your time. You teach, you are a GREAT mom from what I can tell (and who DOESN'T spank their kids occassionally?), you do slightly askew designs, matilda jane, help and support your husband, do stuff with your extended family members, get together with girlfriends, attend church and church functions, etc, etc. It's seriously amazing to me what you do with your life. So thanks for sharing your life with all of us, even though the crap does come with the territory (even though it shouldn't). It's very kind of you to let so many people in when you know that people don't always agree or whatever. Being a mom is tough stuff, and we don't need people's opinions on what we're doing wrong, because we are hard enough on ourselves. People are so odd sometimes. But you, you've got it together. :) I hope you have a great, great day today!!! Thanks again for helping me become a better mom everyday!

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    1. Thank you!!! When you list it all out it really does sound like I do a lot. hahaha I'm so glad you loved the potty training post - you're not alone!!! :) I really appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. Thanks again, girly!!!

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  64. I love reading your blog everyday! I enjoy everything about what your blog represents and seeing sweet pics of your kids! Let the haters HATE and keep doing what your doing!!! As Taylor Swift's song says, Shake it off!" I'm a dance teacher so I'm hooked on that song right now! Anyway...you inspire me everyday!
    Have a blessed day! :-)

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    1. Hahaha. That seems to be a very appropriate song today :) Thank you for reading!!!

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  65. Love your blog, love your Instagram and love your sweet family! Let your light shine! I find your posts very encouraging! Hope you have a blessed day!!

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  66. Ahh! Just wanted to send u love from MN. I follow you on IG and you are the first blog I read every day. Such a fan of you and your family! Thanks for sharing your life, it is so inspiring and a bright spot in my day. I've got two boys and a little girl too and GG is my baby's fashion inspiration😉. Please don't ever change and God bless your wonderful family! Mary

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    1. EEEEK! Love me some baby fashion!!! Thank you for reading!!!

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  67. I absolutely cannot believe people post with such rude, hurtful and belittling comments. People with this much "dark" in their lives to make such comments, need to find something bigger than themselves. How miserable a life must be to not find happiness in anything! In places this world is a cruel and cold place. Andrea, just remember which areas to concentrate YOUR joy and happiness with the love that's in your heart. I see it in every post- your family and home, your job and your blog friends. Keep your head high and continue blogging...I love it! Besides, this blog has YOUR name on it-NOT THEIRS!

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    1. PREACH!! :) Thank you so much for the comment!!! (and for reading)

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  68. I read your blog everyday! Sometimes I don't comment, but I am here. I know how aggravating the internet can be and I don't understand how there are people out there that get a kick out of being mean to others. Your blog rocks! I love reading about you and your adorable family. I too have met some good friends through my blog. Creating a blog has been one of the best decisions I have ever made! You inspire me to become a better blogger!

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    1. YAY! Thank you so much for reading every day and for your kind words. Keep on keepin' on, girly!!! :)

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  69. I am so thankful for your"keeping it real" posts and I just love you and your family! thank u for sharing! have a great week! I agree some people think I am crazy for meeting people through blogs or instagram but its neat I think it just a sign of the times! I think u are awesome! U make me feel normal when I don't have everything together and make parenting mistakes so thank u!

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    1. Does anyone ever have it all together? I think that the "norm" is more untogether than together if that make sense :) Thanks for following along!!!

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  70. So thankful for your blog about your life and how uplifting it is! You bless many more people than you will ever know :)

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  71. Andrea, I adore you completely! You are a fantastic Mommy. Your blog has brightened my days and uplifted me as a Mommy of 3. I've gotten some awesome advice from you I appreciate that. Thank you!!! :)

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  72. I look forward to reading this blog every single day! I love that you keep it real and I have been so inspired by your blog!

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  73. Hi Andrea--I've never commented before, but I love your blog! I'm in a completely different season of my life (in grad school, and definitely no kids,) but your posts always make me smile. Plus you've inspired me to grow my scarf collection! :)

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  74. Obviously some Mamas out there forgot to teach their kids "if you don't have anything nice to say..." Or they just didn't listen to their Mamas at all which could be a whole other bucket of issues, lol. Seriously, Dave's smile? I feel sorry for these people who are forced to read your "awful" blog. I on the other hand love your realistic posts and appreciate the time and effort you put into the blog. You are a busy mom and a blog is a lot of work! *hugs*

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  75. I really enjoy your blog! Love starting my day with all of you Texas girls. Please keep sharing!

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  76. I'm so sorry that you've had to endure such mean comments from people. It's sad what people will say online from behind their computer screens. Continue being you because that's what makes your blog great!

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  77. God has definitely called you to be a blogger so keep on doing what you are doing...you are an inspiration to many moms like me! May God bless you and your beautiful family!

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  78. I think your husband has a great smile, I love your quirky pants and your honesty in child rearing. I do see other bloggers out there who are not genuine and have bought themselves some on line criticism. They exaggerate everything, contradict themselves over and over and do not disclose how they are making money off their readers. Readers see through that. Also only allowing comments that gush all over you and NO comment whatsoever--even in the most polite constructive criticism is fake and shallow. If your going to put yourself out there, then be real. You are doing it right Andrea!

    Sherri F.

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    1. Thanks, Sherri!!! It seems like it would be WAY too much work to be anything but myself :) Glad you appreciate my blog :) Thank you for reading!

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  79. Andrea, Just know I love you and your family!! You are such an inspiration to me....and I love reading your blog. So please keep sharing and May God bless you, your beautiful family and your wonder friends. I love all of your guys. :) Heather

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  80. Thank you for this post! I, too, am a Christ follower, wife, mother, and educator and I love love love how real you are. And recently I have questioned how open I should be in my blogging but your post reminded me again of all the great benefits... And that God really has creative strategies to allow people to meet, connect and learn from each other. I also loved one of the previous comments from a fellow reader which said that she wished she had an inside look of her mothers life before she passed. How sincere and real even your readers are!

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    1. Wasn't that a great comment?!?! I loved that. If the only thing I get out of this blog is a "journal" for my kiddos - I'll count it as a success. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment! :)

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  81. Tell 'em girl!! Thank you for continuing to post even with the evil of the world attacks you. I look forward to seeing whats going on in your family's life everyday as I have my afternoon snack. I know it takes a lot of time and effort and I appreciate it all! One day when my husband and I start to have kids I know the lessons and thoughts from this blog are going to help us if we have a kid that doesn't want to potty train or where to get the world's cutest little girl headbands and outfits. Thanks for you time Andrea and you heart in persevering!

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    1. Thanks, girly!!! I am totally an expert on non-potty-training and little girls headbands :) Thank you so much for reading!!!

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  82. My goodness people can be cruel...so glad you are deciding to stick around! I love your blog and enjoy reading it every morning before I start my work day but after I have wrangled two kids to the sitters before 8 AM :)

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  83. Your blog inspires me on a daily basis!!!! There will always going to be rude, busy bodies with something not true and negative to say. I sure wish they would just stay quiet or not type in this case. I can tell you without a doubt God uses you to help and inspire a great deal of mothers!!! Thank you!!

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  84. Andrea, I don't know you but I love reading your blog everyday! I have made several of your recipes (the enchiladas were a huge hit!) and used your house as inspiration for decorating ideas. Also, I used some of your classroom ideas! I am adding funnies to my test next week...I am sure the kids will love them, but I never thought to do that until your post. Your planner suggestions have really helped me to organize my to-do list and class lessons. Basically, my family would starve, my house wouldn't be so cute and my class would be disorganized without you! Ha :)

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    1. I'll be around for a while - so no one will starve any time soon. hahaha Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! :)

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  85. I love your blog. Everything about it! You are real, genuine, and have a lot of awesome stuff to share! I love G's clothes, I love YOUR clothes, and I'm often mixing patterns and thinking of you (even though we've never met!)! I enjoy coming to your corner of the internet every day to see what you have to share. I love love love that you have a passion for teaching because I can relate to that so much. Thank you for being you!! Now, go snap a selfie in your stripes and florals so I can have some more inspiration :-)

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  86. I love that you keep it real!!! Spanking, potty training, all of it....it's life and it's real. Thank you for sharing it. We've all been there, and it's nice to know we aren't the only ones. I think you're awesome....keep your chin up, tune out the haters!

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  87. HI Andrea, I am also a working mom and I live in San Francisco. I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading it. I have been reading your blog and follow your Instagram for a year now you have inspired me through your recipes and fashion. You have also encouraged me through your #keepingitreal instagram photos as well. Keep up the great work and your blog is amazing. Stephanie (working mom from SF)

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  88. Hi Andrea,
    I read you blog all the way from Australia and it is one of my very favourite parts of the day. I am also very blessed to live a beautiful life with my husband and three small children and find your honesty refreshing and very authentic. It is so unifying to connect people who otherwise would never have met. Please know that the great majority of readers love to see you and your family and genuinely share your successes and milestones with your family. In a world that is becoming increasingly scary to raise our children, its a pleasure to join you on your life's journey. So in typical Aussie terms.... stuff them, all those nasty, bored people who feel empowered to be an invisible bully. The best revenge is living well. Your friend, Mel xx

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  89. Oh my goodness, sweet friend!! Seriously this post melted me in all ways...your raw honesty and courage to show the realness of a blogging, real life mama and how it is not all "peaches and cream" all the time is such a true view of your amazing character. You daily inspire so so many mamas and I am sure women of all ages with your open, true heart and love of life! Your sweet, kind words about me just made my day; I am equally happy to have met a true, genuine friend via blogging/social media in you! God has a plan in everything, & I am so happy he had a plan for us to meet & become friends. And can't wait for another Saturday play date/mommy catch-up date again in the future!

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  90. Andrea,

    Long time reader, first time commenter. You are amazing! Please don't let the nasty people get you down. Sometimes people find joy in bringing others' down and thankfully you are letting your light shine through your motherhood, teaching, and every creative thing you put your heart in!
    Cheers all the way from Canada!!!

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  91. Ms. Andrea, This post was awesome and so honest! I'm not a mom or married or anything even close to all that yet but I hope you don't stop writing on this blog. I can't remember how long I've been reading your blog (over a year, for sure) but I obviously read it too much because you were in my dream last night! Weird, I know. I won some contest and I got to come hang out with you in Texas. We went shopping and you taught me how to make cupcake toppers (or something like that). Even though, I've never met you, it was a cool dream!
    I love your blog! I hope it continues to bless many more readers!

    Kelsey
    Harrisburg, PA

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  92. I'm a new follower to your blog, but I love reading it and seeing your little cuties. I've noticed that many people lose their filters when the get on the internet, and it's a shame because words are words, whether they are typed or said aloud. I hope you'll tune out the ugly and focus on the readers who truly enjoy reading your blog!

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  93. I found your blog randomly through the MJ addicts Facebook group, and I have to say, I love reading it! I was totally surprised to see that you were connected with Shay, whose foodie blog I've read for a while now! Small world! I'm a teacher in Dallas with 3 kiddos too, so I relate to and love reading your "real life" posts. Thanks for being an encouragement to other mamas out there, and keep flying above all the negative nelly's who have nothing better to do than be, well, negative. :)

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  94. What a great post! I love reading your blog. I found it through the Mix and Match Mama site and love following. I have gotten so many great recipes, craft ideas, and parenting ideas. Thanks for sharing so much and opening up yourself, your home, and your family to your readers.

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  95. Ok, so as usual I am way behind on my blog reading (you know, the busy mom-of-3 and teacher thing takes up a lotttt of time!! Lol), but I was so upset when I read your post! Upset that there are people who can be so genuinely rude and nasty to someone with such a good heart and pure spirit. I am verrrry much a worrier and worry to a fault about what others think of me- I have tried to improve upon this, knowing that all that truly matters is my family and what God thinks of me and how I live my life. Let me tell you a complete truth here that may sound a little cheesy- since discovering your's, Shay's, Shaeffer's, and Erica's blogs about a year ago, my life has changed for the better. Instead of wasting time browsing negative news stories or people complaining about anything and everything on Facebook, I read your blogs! Your blog (along with your friends' blogs) are so incredibly REFRESHING! It is so fun to read what your kids are up to or you made for a party because that's what us mamas LOVE to read and talk about!! You have inspired me to strengthen my relationship with Jesus through more meaningful daily devotions, and I credit you with "introducing" me to that gorgeous mama Shelby- through you we have helped each other so much and grown very close. So THANK you for being an honest, awesome, funny, and amazing blogger/friend/designer/mama/teacher!!!! :)

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  96. Andrea - I have been a follower for a few years now and absolutely love your blog. I appreciate your honesty, transparency and kindness. As a Christian, mom, friend, wife and a teacher - you inspire me to be better in all of those areas.

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  97. Thank you for sharing your life and your precious family with all of us. I look forward to your blog every morning because it is uplifting and so positive. Your words always inspire me to focus on what matters the most - faith, family and friends.

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  98. Sweet Andrea... If you ever start to get down by some "negative nellies", remember people like me that jump out of bed to read your blog each morning. You, Erika, Shay and Sheaffer get my day started out in a happy way. So, THANK YOU!

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  99. I love reading your blog each day and look forward to each new post! Thanks for sharing and just think of Taylor Smith and "shake it off!" You've almost convinced me I want to live in Texas :)

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  100. Hi Andrea, just wanted to show you some support all the way from Australia. I look forward to reading your blog so much. I adore your fashion and your jewelry (especially your bracelets!), I enjoy reading about your teaching adventures (I'm a teacher too) but most of all I look forward to all your mum stories and how you want to make your children's lives special and fun. I seriously have been inspired to get creative and put a bit more fun into my own children's lives and I already have plans to do some 'Indoor Camping' as we are coming into Summer here! Please keep on doing what you are doing, don't change a thing, take care and God Bless

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  101. Andrea- read your blog often and never comment, but felt the need to say thanks for all you put out there and I hope you stop reading what those ass clowns write as soon as you feel the negative coming. Keep on shinning girl!
    Mariah
    Boston, MA

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  102. I love reading your blog! You are real and that is honestly why I come back every day! This blog world and real world are crazy sometimes, but like Lisa said above we have to listen to Taylor Swift and "Shake it off" :) Don't let the Negative Nancy's of the world get you down!
    Oh...and I LOVE Shelby! So jealous you were able to meet her!

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  103. Just another follower wanting to say I love your blog! I'm sorry to hear that you receive some negative comments. I find your blog to be such a fun, upbeat part of my day.

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  104. Andrea, I LOVE your blog!!!!!! So MUCH!!!! :) I found your blog through Shay and I couldn't be happier. I thought it was cute that you bathed Scooter in the sink. Ha! In winter I bath my staffy in our bathtub. I couldn't believe that comment. I love how many photo's you share, you've spoiled me for other bloggers I love who don't share many. I'm like, I love the stories but I'm a visual person and that's why I love you here and on IG. My IG is catsam80. I wrote to you in July about how I had gone back and read all your archives. So yes I am a fan, big time. You inspire me and you (and Shay, Erica, Sheaffer and Narci) make me want to live my life and get out and do more with it. From faith to food and all in between. I suffer from depression and OCD so I genuinely thank you. Much love xoxo

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  105. Hey! I'm a new follower! I think it's so awful of people to say such mean things! You are so sweet & so pretty! Ps I already have a love for that Tara Lynn boutique you posted about!

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  106. I'm so confused by how to comment haha. This is my third time to try :) anyway I'm a new follower & I hate that people are so mean!!! I'm loving your blog already!

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  107. I love your blog and love your honestly! I love that you are so relatable on so many levels. People can be so mean on the internet to people that they don't even know. But why? There's no reason. If you don't like something, stop reading or just move on. No need to be rude to someone you don't even know. Anyway, enough negativity. There is so much good that comes out of blogging - especially the amazing community of amazing women that you wouldn't otherwise meet. Keep doing what you're doing because I think it is fabulous!

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  108. Just now reading this post and love it! Im a 24 yr old first grade teacher and love all that you have to post! I rarely ever comment on anything but am often inspired by your outfits, projects, and "teacher tidbits" ;-) I'll strut around with you any day in some "clown pants" or toms wedges! ;-)

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