Six years ago today I was a bit lonely on the North Dakota prairie. I was nine months pregnant and nervous about having a baby at a hospital 100 miles away in a frigid December. Six months earlier, my husband had jumped off the corporate wheel, leaving the comforts of a cushy paycheck and benefits in his sales management position. We moved to his hometown, 180 miles away from Fargo, where we had lived previously, blocks from Starbuck’s, our son’s private Christian school and a 15 minute drive to my downtown office. We moved 160 miles from my parents, youngest brother, uncle and grandparents, all on our family farm and my favorite place in the world and 85 miles from my brother and sister both attending a liberal arts college
Our son was a fourth grader, just finding his place in our new small town and community. We were living in a 800 square foot house that I spent 23 hours a day in unless I went to my son’s school or the grocery store. My husband worked 18 hours a day, first at the family business he now worked in with his dad and then building our new home each evening.
Even though I was working remotely for an agriculture advertising agency and understood communications strategy, my blog was not a strategized communications outlet. There was no launch. No fancy graphics. No other social media to promote it. I simply created it for my mom, my grandma, my sister and a few friends to follow along with our new prairie life.
If I had no real purpose or strategy to blogging, then why after six years am I still blogging about my prairie life? 1295 posts later, I have figured out purpose. I have six reasons why I am still blogging.
First, the reason I started blogging remains the most important. I blog for family. Yesterday I talked to my grandma on the phone and she was just reading a recent blog post of mine with my grandpa and she knew I had written it for her. There is nothing I put on the internet my grandma can’t read. She might not always agree with me. But my grandma knows I still blog for her and for our entire family. I share about our heritage, our traditions, our family rooted in faith, how much time we spend together and just everyday happenings. My kids don’t have well-documented baby books but they have this blog.
Secondly, I blog to share about food. I am a home cook, not a gourmet cook. But I cook, a lot and often. I don’t share all the recipes I prepare, not because there are secrets but simply because I am not organized enough to get them all on this blog quite yet. Maybe in the next six years. For now, I share about preparing food for my family, food choices I believe in and connect my experience in agriculture back to how the food is grown.
Thirdly, I blog for farming. Until I started blogging and connected with audiences far from the North Dakota prairie I had no idea people were as disconnected as they are from family farms. The can of baked beans you buy on a grocery store shelf comes from pinto beans. A majority of pinto beans are grown in North Dakota, on family farms. I know that but learned most people don’t. Or that our barley raised on our farm is contracted to Anheuser-Busch. It makes beer.
The farmland in our family was broken by my ancestors that immigrated from Norway. I want there to be a sixth generation on our family farm in the future. I was the first of the fifth generation. I blog for farming to engage, listen and share about farm families that I deeply care about, not just my own but hundreds of other farmers I have gotten to know through my agriculture work and through social media.
Fourth, I blog for my faith. I know where I am going after this earthly life is over. My faith is a part of my daily life and integrated into who I am. It’s not just something I do on Sundays. But there are billions in the world that cannot boldly share their faith. Therefore, I share mine because it is the most important part of who I am and because I can which leads me to number five.
Fifth, I blog for freedom. I can share my voice as an American. I can stand up on issues I am passionate about and be thankful I have the freedom to do so. As a woman, I have more freedom to boldly speak out on topics I care about and billions of women in the world cannot.
I have more freedoms than women in my family had a century ago. Alongside my husband, I am raising three kids that I want to know, respect and love the freedoms we so often take for granted. Therefore, my blogging is a freedom I do not take lightly.
Sixth, I blog to share the chaos of working mom on the North Dakota prairie. A woman can have a career, be the best mom and wife she can be and live in rural North Dakota.
Figuring out working mom life combined with rural life has been a journey for me but one I have documented on this blog and one I won’t stop sharing about anytime soon. I have had the “elite status” on airlines and realized elite status at home matters more to me. I have flown 100 plus flights a year for multiple years to know I needed to make a change. I have had titles that look good on a business card but the titles that matter most to me in this chapter of my life are at home, not in an office. That doesn’t mean I don’t value my work. I do. I write. I speak. I am a consultant to an advertising agency and a few clients. But I also do preschool lessons at home with my youngest child. I take my kids to school and pick them up. Someday I may dive back into full-time career work but I have learned to take it one day at a time as a working mom and wife.
I am seated in the stands at games more than I am seated in board rooms now. I blog about this journey because I think it is important to share about for all women. We all take different paths. There isn’t a handbook that tells us how to find our way without hiccups and bumps. But having a working mom and wife like me that openly shares about experiences I hope empowers more women and men to chase after their dreams like my husband and I have.
Thank you for sharing in my family, food, farming, faith, freedom and working mom chaos on the North Dakota prairie. Thank you to the many who have allowed me to share their stories. Thank you to who read and share. Thank you to my silent stalkers who stop me in the grocery store every so often to tell me they read my blog.
I appreciate the kind and sometimes tough comments and dialogue this blog brings. I am grateful for this little blog that has been for social media haven for six years. Hang with me. I plan sticking around for at least another six or 60 years. We’ll see how it goes!