When I first started this blog, we had 4 kids under the age of 4. I think I needed an outlet, or I was going to lose my mind. Blogging is much like journaling, except really really public. Haha!
Around the time I started blogging, I was (still am) passionate about the topic of health (specifically vaccines) and felt like the whole world needed to know. I learned very quickly that the whole world did not want to know. But many people did.
Quickly the blog grew. It started being shared on sites like Dr. Mercola, Gaia Health, & National Vaccine Information Center. I suddenly had 15,000 monthly viewers and had no idea how to keep up with the blog. So I just did the best I could.
I write a lot about health and have covered every topic from fevers and ear aches to preventing and fighting the flu to common childhood illnesses. But mostly I tackle vaccines. I did a series on polio, wrote a few whooping cough pieces that went viral, shared about measles, compared vaccinated to unvaccinated and much more (see vaccine tab)… I also write about food, health, sugar, children’s snacks. And all those things that make people call you a “crunchy mama”.
One of the most eye opening posts I’ve written in regards to children’s health, is titled “Is This The Best We Can Offer?” I wrote it two years ago and sadly, the statistics I shared have only gotten worse. Seriously? What are we doing?
The autism community captured my heart and I started a series called “Lioness Arising” where I highlighted parents of vaccine injured children. And the blog really fell into a grove and found it’s niche. I adore this series. Please read about these amazing mommas and their precious children.
This blog earned the respects of The Thinking Moms Revolution (out of nothing but a mutual love and respect for one another) with a post titled Snooki vs. Jessica Gianelloni: American Heroines and with that article came many many followers of families with vaccine injured children.
I wrote a piece called “To Be Honored” where I shared in a nutshell what The Thinking Moms Revolution means to me. And what a full circle moment it was after a 7 1/2 year journey of vaccine research, to be honored.
This blog then became somewhat of an odd mix of my personal life (children and everyday life) and my passionate life (vaccine research, health, etc…). I had a variety of followers and could never keep up with the comments and questions. I also experienced a wide range of comments: Let’s just say people either love this blog. Or they hate it.
Our family blog received the honor of being listed as one of the resources for the Chalkboard Campaign with my post called “I Hope You’ve Done Your Research” and the monthly readers just kept growing. The growth was amazing and at times overwhelming.
I’ve never followed blogging rules. I’ve never taken a class on how to market my blog or “choose an audience”. I didn’t start writing with a specific audience in mind. I just wrote when I felt like writing and have always shared my heart and my passions.
And then I went to Uganda for the first time last summer and fell in love with God’s children: the orphan. And I started blogging about orphans and our shared our entire adoption journey. So then the mix of topics became even more diverse. Health, Vaccines, Family, Adoption, & Orphans. Oh my…
Eventually, through the topics I wrote about, adoption world and vaccine world merged. Let’s just say adoption world and vaccine world are separate worlds for a reason. It makes me sad, but those two worlds do not see eye to eye. So before I left for my 2nd trip to Uganda, I shut the blog down. I had to protect my adoptive child.
I’ve re-opened our blog, but I’m really wondering why. Why do I Write A Blog? Do I really want to keep writing? Part of me wants to shut it down and be done with blogging.
I don’t know who my audience is. I’m not concerned really. But why do I share my life publicly with such a large audience over such a wide range of topics?
I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating, thinking, and praying about whether or not to continue writing this blog.
I know why I write. I write because I’m passionate about certain topics. But why not just write in a personal journal? Why share publically? How do I mix vaccine world and health world and adoption world in a single blog? Or do I just continue being who I am and write about what I originally made this blog to be about: “Gianelloni Family: Life As We Know It”?
Not as anyone else knows it. Life As We Know it.
I’ve never been concerned with blog stats. It’s the daily, weekly, monthly statistics that you receive from blog world. I’m not gonna lie. I was shocked when the cupcake post went viral and reached 12,000 viewers in a few days. I had no idea what was happening. I was shocked when Food and Water: Nope, Vaccines: Yep was featured on Dr. Mercola with millions of viewers. The stats definitely caught my attention. But they didn’t define me. And I won’t let them define me. Blog statistics don’t represent who we are as a family or our personal daily lives. When I started posting more and more about our adoption and less about vaccines & health, the blog stats went down. I didn’t care. I was almost relieved. I just kept writing from my heart.
Blogs evolve. I get that. I am no longer the mom of 4 kids under 4 who is consumed with sharing vaccine research on a regular basis. I am now the mom of 5 kids under 7. 4 biological and 1 adopted. And I have to first protect them. We already had to remove our bio children’s names from this blog long ago due the controversial nature of the topics I discussed. And seek legal counsel for a disclaimer on the blog.
The Lord is definitely leading me through this blogging journey. I know when I need to lay low on a topic. And I know when I need to shout a certain topic from the roof tops. I will continue to write this blog, as long as I feel like the Lord is leading me through each post with peace and clarity. There is still a lot of truth to share and a lot of glory that God needs to be given…so I will continue to write.
I still want to write about what I am passionate about. Right now those passions include:
1. The health of my children. And all children for that matter. Everything that is ingested and injected into their bodies matters greatly to me.
2. Orphans. Rescuing orphans is very important to me. One child at a time. Our new son is living proof.
3. Adoption. I will continue to share our adoption journey. I will also answer any adoption questions people have. I learned very quickly that adoption world is very secretive and private when it comes to the process. Because of this unspoken rule that you aren’t supposed to publicly discuss the adoption process, the journey sometimes feel very lonely. I made a promise to myself that I would not be one of those people. If you have a question about anything adoption, I will answer it.
4. Jesus. That my children would grow up to love Jesus with all of their heart, mind, body, and soul and that there would never be a day that goes by that they don’t know they are loved and adored by a Heavenly Father.
5. Quietness. Yes, I am desperate for silence. I don’t mind the business of 5 young kids. (Current ages: almost 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7) The physical business is tolerable. It’s like a constant work out. All day. It’s the noise that gets to me. Constant noise. Even when they are all getting along. One might be singing. One might be humming. One might be reading outloud for homework. And the other two are playing super heroes. It’s loud. And we live in 1,300 sq. feet. Don’t get me wrong…after my time in Uganda…our space is mansion size. My husband & I just returned from 3 weeks living in Uganda with 7 orphans, 5 adults, and anywhere between 5-20 guest orphans on any given day…. in a home much smaller than our home in America. I am thankful for our home. It’s just loud. And I like quiet. Any suggestions?
Here’s what this blog is NOT:
*Planned, organized, or marketed. I write when something is placed on my heart. I write sporadically. Sometimes twice a week, other times once a month. Who cares? I hate blog rules. This is not a strategic blog with a central theme that looks to grow it’s monthly viewers and gain approval from followers. I guest write for other blogs that do this. This is not that type of blog.
*I have no audience. I probably never will. I cannot cater to only people looking for vaccine research. I cannot cater to sharing every single detail of our adoption journey. I cannot pretend to be a “health related” blog. This blog is just our family’s life. Some of which I share. Most of which I don’t. And our life is pretty boring and not anywhere near perfect. I care a lot about health. A lot. But I am nowhere near perfect. I just brought an orphan home from a 3rd world country. I am more elated with the convenience that I can heat up coconut oil in 5 seconds in my microwave to rub on his always & chronic ashy skin (anyone with a brown skinned child will understand this dilemma) than I am with the consequences of using a microwave. I just returned from a country where, for 3 weeks, non-organic food was prepared for us using dirty water, and nasty cooking oil. And I couldn’t have cared less. I knew God’s grace and protection was covering us during our time in Uganda. I was thankful to be in a situation where I had to trust that God is bigger than my own desire to eat an organic, pure, and privileged diet. I experienced a major shift in my thinking. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still probably considered “a health nut” by the majority. So much so, that our new son thinks Kombucha is “soda” and I don’t mind lying to him about it
*I will not publically share what our family does in relation to the vaccine topic. Please do not ask me if I vaccinate my children or if/when we will vaccinate our adoptive child. I will never answer that publically. Not because I don’t want to. But because I have to use discretion and be wise when it comes to my children. I will never jeopardize their safety.
* I will not share my adoptive sons past history. When he is old enough to share his story, he may choose to do so. And for now, I want to keep our 3 week adoption journey in Uganda private. It was too beautiful and magical to put into words. Maybe one day I’ll try.
So here’s where I am. I will continue to write when I feel led to write. One day it may be about the joys of adoption, and another day it may be about some new fake measles outbreak (seriously that just happened in Wales, read here) or how crazy it is that there is a new vaccine for autism. A vaccine for something that was caused a vaccine. Imagine that? Ha! Or the newest study out of Poland where the researchers concluded that Vaccines Do Irreparable Harm.
Or I might share pictures from one of the children’s b-day parties. Boring, I know right?
I don’t really know.
I do know that this blog doesn’t fit into a box. Or a category. And I’m not really sure why I write it.
So if you follow this blog. I thank-you. I know I don’t always get around to answering comments and questions. I’m a really really bad blogger. But from the bottom of my heart. I thank-you.
This is Our Life….As We Know It!
The Gianelloni 7