I promise.

1. Thank you, thank you for all the lovely wonderful support and encouragement you’ve sent my way for TexasNorth on etsy. I’ve had 6 months to play around with patterns and marketing and cards and bags and I only sewed my finger once. Now that the December shop is up, I am excited for the New Year and a little more focused creativity. All items except the wool pants will be removed come January 1st to make room for more embroidery, written art, and chickens. Thank you again. I really never thought I would even try it, but I am so very glad I did.

2. My child is screaming her head off in the next room- apparently angry at me for life. She was such a lovely child. I don’t know what happened.

::the rest of the story::
So, this is me. Just before I found out I was pregnant with above-screaming-child, Tracy did a photo shoot for Mars Hill’s new website. In a fit of self-indulgence, I have to say that this is one of my favorite pictures. I didn’t know she took it, and it was never used… and I hate pictures of myself. My nose is crooked and I’m a little mousy. But I really like this one. It’s me. I’m real.

I had a familiar moment of panic last Friday just before Trace’s van pulled in the driveway with a dear friend visiting from the Northern West Coast. She reads this space. We ‘know’ each other. But as Tracy parked, I wondered if Thya would be sad when the night was over.

Thya and I have had a fine relationship up to this point. She stalks this blog and only just came out for the recipe swap… so I know she was happy with me without even any contact from me. I was afraid that meeting me in person might change her mind. Where’s Kate? Where’s the Katie from the blog? Together and somewhat funny and has an adorable child? This child has snot running down her face and her clothes don’t match. This Kate is a bit melancholy and tends to interrupt. This Katie is not what I’d pictured.

Now, some of that is simply the err of the beholder. I mean, it’s the internet. You read what you want to read. But, some of that is my area, as well. And the question here is: Is this all real? Is this KatieKate really you? The question has come up a lot in the pats few months- from friends, from family, from husbands. “I feel like there’s a part of you on that blog that’s nowhere else.” has been said more than once. It’s a fair question.

The answer is Yes absolutely 100% this is me. Of course it’s me. It’s not all of me, by any means… but what’s here is real. No lies. No exaggerations. It’s censored… because this is a mostly happy place and I don’t want to fight about the war or health care here. It’s edited, because I like things to read well. It’s formatted to be visually acceptable… I love me some tabs and fonts! But it’s me. It’s the best version of me. I should maybe start writing terribly so that when we DO get together you’ll all be pleasantly surprised. Why have I not thought of this before?

I have always been good on paper. I love to write. Writing is concrete and forever. I cannot change what I said once I hand someone a letter. And, to an extent, it is the same here. It’s safe to write. I don’t have to worry about eye-contact when I write. It’s private… I can write when I want and put it out there and I don’t have to wait for someone to respond. You’ll do it in your own time.

The danger here is that I consider ‘this’ communication. I feel like I talk to all of you at least twice a week- usually more with all the comment bantering and emailing. But, as the Boy is quick to remind me, I need to be careful not to live in this teeny tiny little world. He’s right. I ‘talk’ to all of you all the time, but when was the last time I picked up my phone? I hate the phone. It’s not personal when I don’t call you back. I’m just terrified, is all. Holiday parties and small talk- I can do these with notice, but I’ll crawl to my bed exhausted that night reliving every moment and wondering what people thought. Sunday dinners you can usually find me in a corner flipping through a magazine- happy as a clam- IN the room, but on the edge. Always watching, hearing, paying close attention… but out on the edge. I like the edge. I’m fine out there.

I’m a hermit. I like to be at home. I like to write. I like to play with kids- they’re simple and honest and love to get dirty. I fear criticism and evaluations. I re-play conversations in my head long after they’ve been forgotten by the other person…editing, re-writing. I’m extremely private- slow to give details and tough to read in person. Here in blogland I say what want, when I want, and the way I want. It’s easier for me here. There’s less pressure here.

There are some major contradictions to my hermit life:
1. The aforementioned singing in front of large crowds… but this is not talking, and it’s scripted, and I am almost never alone.

2. I talk to my father on the phone about 3 times a day… but these conversations go like this:
You have that Curious George toy?
You have those AquaDot things?
You have that Bumbo seat?
It’s recalled.
I know- but that’s because people are dumb. I’m not taking it back. What are you eating for lunch?
‘K. Talk to you later.

3. Working for YoungLife/teaching kiddos in large groups… but this is me working. And then I go home and I make soup and I knit all night. Balance.

I’m real. I’m trying to be better about not being afraid. I do very very much want to have a two-sided relationship with all of you- one where you share and I share and then I share and you share again and it goes on for years until we’re old and grey and trying to remember how we met. Please forgive me if I’ve been a little hermit-ish lately in person. I’m really SO much better than I use to be… but I realize this means nothing if we’re only just meeting now. *sigh* I guess… what I’m saying is, YES- this is me. But this is only the best of me. Please love all of me.

I’m not going to edit this… re-work and re-word until it’s as lovely as I’d prefer. I’m just gonna throw it out there. I don’t even know if it’s finished. This may kill me. But I’m done for now. Except, thank you Thya and Trace and kids for a lovely evening Friday. I really truly had a lovely time and I am trying not to panic with worry about whether or not YOU had a good time.

And I love all of you very very much.
The End.

[Ok, so I edited 5 times… but that’s actually very very good.]


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

15 responses to “I promise.

  • CortneyTree

    Oh, darling Kate.

    I love ALL of you, even though technically we don’t really know each other at all. Particularly now, that I know these new things about you, and particularly because I can so relate.

    About the “blog version” of yourself vs. your, well, actual self.

    About hermiting.

    About editing and reworking, which is all so very easy compared to personal interaction, where there’s no rewind, and no time to craft the perfect reply.

    About being on the edge, about observing.

    It really is a terrible shame that we are so far away from each other, I think we’d have a lot to chat about, you know, once we got comfy and all 😉

  • thekooiet

    I understand you from my toes to the top of my head….and deep in my heart. I so get it. I am content just like that…I like being alone in my house, playing with kids, reading, writing….all by myself. I think about past conversations and explicate them completely. I wonder if the other had as nice of a time as me. I get you.

    Missed your hug at church yesterday….you were probably iced in.

    BTW…yesterday went good, I think. It felt holy. Which was very, very nice.

  • Janna

    you, my dear, are my friend for life. i picked you long ago, have adopted curt and rylie as well, and love every complex and simple version of you that there is. i think you would like what you saw, if you could see yourself through my eyes.

  • Chelsey Meek

    OOOOOOOOoooooooooooh, I love that picture of you…it is intimate and engaging.

    But even more I love YOU, the edited and unedited.


  • Julie & Doug

    FYI, BTW, YO – I know for a fact that T & T and the kids had a wonderful time. It was talked about lovingly and graciously on saturday night. It made me wish I had told Curt that my butt was soakin wet too…wait – nope. I just lied. About my butt – not about the girls loving spending time with you all. Love to you today my beautiful Kate. I love you in pictures. Not as much as in real life – but love none the less. J

  • sunday

    you know what is so funny is that we have known each other one summer many many years ago, but i feel like i have always known you and we have always hung out. i guess that is the beauty of the internet. i have always found this blog to be the person i exactly remember you to be. you write so well, i love to read everything. i wish i were most of the time! i can relate to so many things that you write. we had that christmas party and i sometimes make people uncomfortable with how hard i am trying to make them comfortable and make sure they are having a good time. get it?

  • the dicocco gang

    dear kate –
    I could have written this letter too… well, not the part about the ravioli… but the rest, yes. I think we all live here in our own ways. Our own insecurities… especially those of us who have this complex balance between having something to share and being scared to death that we will be rejected after putting our “best” out there. I think it is a absolute for most people with artists’ hearts… of which you belong.
    and you… You … are exactly who we love. But I know you know that.

  • jimmy

    So you can maybe discount my comment as a guy thing, but how could so many people who know you at so many levels and from very different parts of the country, possible be confused about who you are.

    And how could a guy who likes to do timber framing and has a red tractor see anything but the real you show up on the internet. I also know you like Interlochen, so you must be just as you seem

    Besides all of that, Rylie will look at these posts someday and say “THAT’s my Mom”.

    My Dad and Uncle were like that on the phone, sometimes I could not understand why they called each other, they seemed to never say anything.

  • KatieKate

    Well, now, Jim- that is just a nice thing to say. All of you. Nice.

    I think the question (of blogKate-vs-reallifeKate) comes out of the observation that I tend to be very guarded in real life. I’m very rough around the edges. I forget to be nice to my husband. The blog allows me more freedom, more humor, more space than I am usually capable of… so I can very much see how people would wonder about the ‘alter-ego’.

    I wish I could be confident, funny, blog Katie all the time but I’m too lazy 🙂

  • mr. chris

    you know, someone else had a crooked nose and was a little bit mousy, and it didn’t stop them from becoming the wizard in Fantasia or from being the figure head of Disney.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    geez How did I miss this post!
    oh wait the child working on two teeth at once that’s how.

    How come we are so much alike?
    My husband tells me the same thing. I hate talking on the phone. I love to be at home. my daughter’s name is Rylie.

    i love all of you. No doubt. i cant explain the excitement I had when I found you again last Febuary. I had looked for you for years. Do you know everytime I went to the store to get a card I looked to see if you had made it. SERIOUS. I did.

    I found you cause I loved you. and love you more the more I learn of you friend. more and more.

  • OurMrsMikrut

    I LOVE blog Kate. Blog Kate rocks my world. I have a minor girl crush on Blog Kate. But then I see Real Life Kate and I wonder how she has accomplished the task of being even better than Blog Kate. But yes, it’s true – you’re fabulous on the web, but even better in person. You listen to my self-indulgent ramblings about my inner conflicts. You make those jabbing, wry remarks that so few people know how to make correctly. You’re brilliant, hilarious, no-nonsense, and an all-around beautiful person. And I think, in the end, that top picture captures all that…which, I’m guessing, is why you love it so much.

    How’s the book? (Oh yeah, I also love you because you know how important P&P/Mr. Darcy/Miss Jane are to the very orbit of the earth.)

  • Grace

    I know that I don’t really “know” you in real life…but I feel like I do. That’s why I come back every Monday and Thursday. That’s why I laugh out loud and have to relate to my hubby some of the things you have said. That’s why I felt so happy inside when I saw that you had come to my blog and left a comment. It’s not because you are super-women or even that I can relate to everything you say. It’s just that you’re you. And I like you. I feel like you are my friend even though we have never met.

    (and just so you know… I edited this comment about 5 times. So there you go!)

  • Mandi

    You are so beautiful, my friend! In every way. I love everything about you. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • erica

    blog katie…real katie…mommy katie…teacher katie…crafty katie…singing katie…goofy katie…email katie…edited katie…unedited katie…they are all excellent excellent katies that i am happy to call friend

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