Two Paths Diverged

2020 2020_ () 2020 2020 I had been sitting on the fence today, pondering what direction I should take my Friday blog — should I do the {this moment} approach, or the 7 Quick Takes?

On the one hand, just seeing the title {this moment} makes me feel serene. Something about visiting Soule Mama makes me want to be a better everything. I want to bake more and use pewter and have vintage sterling silver napkin rings for my linen napkins. I want to quit using paper products and processed food and store bought clothes. I see myself speaking in hushed tones and having vases of fresh-cut flowers throughout my home. Some of these aspirations of more realistic than others, but I’m inspired nonetheless.

And then there is Jen, with her 7 Quick Takes. She inspires me as well. When I visit Conversion Diary I want to be a better everything, too. Jen makes me want to keep pondering the beauty of our faith. She inspires me to read more and laugh more and also makes me want a better looking blog (with more comments from my beloved readers).

Two awesome bloggers. Two great Friday themes.

So today, I have decided to let you vote on which approach works best for me. What do you think.

Option One: Testosterhome’s 7 Quick Takes:

1. I’m entering a pie in a baking contest at our school’s Christmas Fair. I was feeling so free and light about the whole thing — will I win? Probably not, but it’s fun! Way to go outside your comfort zone, girl! And then one of my best bud’s texted a photo of her cake that is…going in the contest. And suddenly I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I don’t want to compete against her! (And also? Her cake looks amazing). I’m not afraid of losing, I don’t think. It’s just, complicated. For a split second I thought about just putting the pie in the bakery instead of the contest but I have decided to just push through. It’s good for me to be challenged, right?

2. I have been researching “how to have a better blog.” I go back and forth because on the one hand I feel like this thing is in the stone ages but on the other hand I’m doing good to keep trucking and write and share my thoughts. I love my little section of the Internet. So do I take it to the next level, I keep pondering, and if so how?

The bottom line, according to my research, is that I’m doing everything wrong. Instead of informative titles I make mine clever and obscure; I don’t include pictures with each post; I don’t write about provocative issues… and the list goes on and on. I think the bottom line, as I did a little bloggy soul searching, is that I Gotta Be Me. I don’t have it in me to write just for the sake of generating conflict (which gets more readership and gets more discussions and comments out the wah-zoo). To know me is to love me. Thank YOU for your support.

3. Henry is so fun these days! Last night he came into the front room dressed up like a cowboy, from the top of his cowboy hat to the tips of his cowboy boots. “I’m your cowboy friend,” he said, thrusting his pistol-clenched fists to the sky. Also, Santa is on his way, according to Henry, and he’s bringing candy and SNOW.

4. Henry is driving me crazy these days! For every three minutes that he is amazing (see above) he will turn around two minutes later and be off-the-chain cah-razy. As in: NOOOOO! I don’t want an orange shirt! I want the red one! With the numbers on it!! And also: MORE YOGURTS!!!

Toddlers are so complicated.

5. Apropos of nothing, I like big hair (on myself). Is this wrong of me? Years ago I was in a public restroom and noticed scrawled on the wall, “The bigger the hair, the closer to God.” Words to live by, thought I!

Here is a picture I took earlier today of me with Newscaster Hair. (Also, this sweater makes me a look a little, um, top-heavier than normal, a little Lunch Lady-ish. But I can’t decide which would make me more vain — to leave the picture as is or to crop.)

A few months ago I was just about to buy myself a sweet flat-iron. I had my sister try it out on me before I made the plunge and I am soooo glad I did this. I looked ridiculous, like someone had surgically inserted sections of a straw broom into my hair follicles. My sister also flat-ironed my mom’s head that night thus rendering my mom’s beautiful, full-bodied salt and pepper ‘do into something that looked like layers of small business envelopes taped to her skull. My mom and I spent the rest of the night walking around feeling like twits. We would look at each other and sorta smile (and wince). Bottom line: not for us. But it looks great on my sis.

6. I have to admit I was crazy flattered when Jen mentioned me on her blog today — she uses me to help refute the study suggesting all the good-looking women are having girls (did you know that, moms of boys? We are considered the “homlier counterparts” to women who spawn lots of girl-babies.) You are so good to me, good buddy. I Heart Conversion Diary.

7. Does this Quick Takes make me sound vain (also, does it make my butt look big?).

Okay, so there were the Quick Takes.

Deep Breath. Deep cleansing breather and bring on the Serenity for

Testosterhome’s {this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

In which Henry learns (the hard way) that Buzz

does not fly or

even fall with style

2020″> .



  1. Four Little Penguins says:

    I just have to say I burst out laughing when I saw the picture that you had to say: "Deep cleansing breather and bring on the Serenity for" since it was nothing like serene!
    I think all that testosterone has taken over your mind!

  2. Mrs. Henderson says:

    You never told me you didn't like it…tear.

  3. I rather like that you did both!

    Also, even if you are doing your blog "wrong" it doesn't matter. Your readers like it. If someone doesn't, oh well, they can go find another blog. Personally, I love your style, I love your writing and I love your hilarious stories of your boys (it makes me feel a bit more confident about my boy on the way).

  4. scotch meg says:

    Rachel, please don't "update" your blog. I like clever headings (or whatever you're supposed to call them). I don't need constant pictures. I laugh until I cry more often than not, and I can share your posts with my kids. Please don't change!

  5. Hmm, quick takes. We get to find out so much more! Love your blog just the way it is. I have 3 boys and 1 girl so far but I love hearing stories about boys as mine aren't quite that old yet. 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    i love your blog the way it is, thank you! But if you're taking requests, I'm desperate for ideas for Christmas gifts for boys in the 10 – 13 age range. My stepsons don't know what they want! I guess that's good. And I hate the idea of forcing them to come up with lists when they really can't think of any "stuff" that they want. But I have to buy presents! Please, help!

  7. In the words of Billy Joel, "Don't go changing. To try to please me.I love you just the way you are!" I am a long time blog reader, first time commenter. I saw your piece in Good Housekeeping at the dentists office two years ago(or is it three years ago now) and have followed you ever since. I will comment more, I promise. I heart Testosterhome. I have five boys and one girl (sound familiar?) and I love checking in here just about every day to see what is happening in your world. Odds are it is happening or has happened or will happen in my own world. In your own words (when describing those uber ambitious types who have finished their Christmas shopping of which I am NOT) "you complete me!" Keep on keepin' on Mrs. T!

  8. I enjoyed the picture, LOL'd actually. But the Quick Takes are my favorite–more details as someone above mentioned, but also because I like how you use the words. You make me laugh! Don't change anything!

  9. Can I just say your Quick Takes number 3 and 4 are completely my day now? My little man is Henry's age; also born July 2007 and one minute, I am melting at his cuteness and wonder at everything and the next minute, I want to hide in my bathroom due to tears, fits, etc! Glad to know I'm not just the only one! And pls don't change your blog..I love it! I would request more pictures of your darling daughter though!

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed both!

    BTW, I am a mom of 6 girls and you are waaaaaay better looking than I am!

  11. bigrogandfam says:

    Too tough a decision to make. I like them both. More info in the seven quick takes, but the photo moments are priceless. Both, please? Love your hair. Lunch lady-ish reference had me LOL!

  12. I'm not voting either way, but the picture made me laugh. I love the contrast with the typical "This Moment" picture: smiling children…beautiful scenery…sunlight on kitchen tables…beheaded Buzz.

  13. Melanie B says:

    But why do you have to choose one or the other? Or why try to make your blog into something it's not?

    I love both. Have to admit the final photo made me snicker out loud. Don't go changing just keep being you and writing what you write and I'll keep reading it. Ok?

  14. I am in the middle of the big hair/flat iron debate right now. I think the thing I dislike most about the flat iron is that EVERYONE does it these days, and I don't want to look like everyone.

  15. Dorian Speed says:

    Wait – if you go changin', who will be my new role model?

    The photo is perfection. A most excellent post all around.

  16. Dorian Speed says:

    P.S.: I tend to avoid Internet controversy most days, especially on women/mothering/family-type blogs. I find it very draining.

  17. Do both.

    But I'm more to quick takes than the whole serenity thing, if you have to pick.

  18. You made me belly laugh!! I like your blog the way it is. I love the look into another family. You're a little more together and a little more organized and it's fun to read about your life. It's all worth it when you deliver a punch line like this.

  19. I have to say I liked both options. Can you do both? =) The quick takes tell us so much about you and your life. No, you don't sound vain to me. The "this moment" with title is hysterical and so Testosterhome! I like all of it. I love your boy stories – being a mom of 4 boys with no girls.
    Also, I get your feeling about the pie contest. Way to go for still entering!

  20. vitaconsecrata says:

    I came here to let you know that I'm reading…thinking you're not getting comments. But I see that I'm number 20 (which just happens to be one of my FAVORITE numbers)!

    Here I was thinking that no one loved you. :p

    But seriously, I'm a terrible commenter. I blame google reader. It's so easy to just keep scrolling down and read the next item in your reader than it is to scroll back up after reading a feed to click on the link to leave a comment.

    And now I'm rambling.

    Maybe this is why I don't leave people comments…(that and the fact that I never know which blog to leave as my signature…my stupid everyday blog [which hasn't gotten much love] or my God blog. I wish there was an option for both…you're getting my God blog)

  21. A couple hours after reading this post I found an ad in a magazine for a Big Locks Rock! Photo Contest. It says that it is a celebration of big hair and it totally made me think of you and this post! You can enter at

  22. Jen Ambrose says:

    How are we to vote? It's like picking your favorite child.

  23. greg's wife says:

    I only wish you would be less temperate and spend more time blogging. You make me laugh like no other, and if we even lived in the same state, I just might stalk you. As a Catholic mother to 5 sons and 2 daughters, I appreciate your life and your take on life. Now I have to get a rag and clean the coffee I just spewed when I laughed out loud.

  24. Jennifer G. says:

    Quick Takes!

  25. I like your blog the way it is..and I enjoy reading about your life because I have 5 boys and a new baby girl too! I avoid controversy on blogs, I feel enough stress breaking up battles over who gets the blue gloves and whose Bey Blade is whose, thank you very much.

  26. I agree with scotchmeg – I laugh until I cry more often than not, and that's why I turn here, and I totally agree with your view of Christ in your life, and you're so real, Rachel, that's how we all know you and love you. AND, I often think of things I've read here in the past and burst out laughing. So whatever you do don't stop being you!!

  27. I'm an avid reader, but not such an avid commenter! I LOVE your blog and REALLY LOVED this post…the picture made it perfect!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I love your 7 quick takes. But then i think about how busy you are and feel like a picture without caption is so much easier for you. either – or both! – will be enjoyed.

  29. I loved them both! I quite enjoy reading your blog, I visit often! I only have 3 boys but I come read when I am exasperated. Your blog always makes me smile, and laugh, so much! It makes life with boys that much easier. =)
    Don't change anything! Keep us all informed and laughing!!!

  30. I too love your blog just the way it is! Too be honest when I read blogs with beautiful table settings and hand sewn clothes, everything seems peaceful and harmonious. I get discouraged. I thrive on your honesty about our daily difficultis as mothers. You encourage me and make me laugh!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Rachel, I don't know you, nor have I ever commented on your blog before, but I'm a devoted follower, and I've shared your blog with amany. In my blog's eye, we're kind of friends. Thanks, friend, for your honest, hilarious, and heartwarming posts.


  32. Anonymous says:

    Congrats on the pie win!!!

  33. Rachel, please don't change a thing! I read your blog every single day, often more than once. I, too, am living the "abundant life" with 5 young sons, one just 6 weeks younger than Isabel. You keep me going through this tough "season", as you put it. I love your blog! Just the way it is!

  34. YOur blog is "controversial" enough, in the sense that it talks about a family with six kids, that embraces the joys that come with it! In this day and age that is pretty controversial. So, you have that covered. As far as the titles, they are really catchy and creative. I would not change those either. They are YOU. Your blog is awesome Rachel. Don't change it. :0)

  35. You crack me up, Rachel. I love that you don't have pictures and I still read every word. My husband is looking over at me like I'm a spazz as I cough and choke and splutter over your recent posts. I love the seven quick takes, but if your This Moment pics are like this one, I'd love to see those…nothing like a laugh on a Friday. 🙂 I like your blog just the way it is…and you wouldn't believe how many of my conversations start out with, "so I have this favorite blog, testosterhome…"

  36. antonina31 says:

    I am way behind in my Reader, but I love it! I love both approaches. I love your blog. I giggled, giggled, giggled through your 7 QTs and then burst out loud laughing at the This Moment! Thank you for sharing and being so real!!!

  37. starrball says:

    I just found you through conversion diary. I am a mom of 2 little boys, 2 and a half and 1. I desperately want a girl someday, and keep getting joking comments that I will be one of those homes FULL of boys. So I think I could appreciate your blog 🙂

    I think there is NO reason not to do both! Make the 'this moment' the last quick take each week 🙂

  38. Can't one of your 7 Quick Takes be a {this moment}?

  39. Jen in CT says:

    Even though I am late in posting a comment, I still hope my vote counts – how about rotating – 7 qt one week, this moment the next…
    BTW, I love your blog. Many times the kids come running in to see what I am laughing at when I read your blog, You have a wonderful balance to your writing. And I am reminded we can read about, pray for, learn from, and be inspired by other families making the same journey when I read your blog.
    Thank you.
    Jen (mom of 5, 4 boys and 1 girl)

  40. I'm late in posting, but I love your blog. I don't follow many, and only pop over here now and then, but you always make me think I can do it. I have 3 girls and 2 angel boys, so I can only wish for the chaos that is. Get plenty of drama in a girl house.

    And do it whatever way you feel like. Why change for anyone else?