Saturday, April 30, 2016
I got a little real two nights ago on Instagram. Real always feels good, and since there hasn't been enough of that lately on my blog (I've been travel-logging loads!), I want to stretch that IG post's thought a little further here...

What I said in the post is exactly what happened: the other evening, I realized that my friends in real time and my friends online most likely picture two different Jenis. So I had Ry come out to the porch and snap my pic at the end of that very busy Tuesday. I look haggard, but if my neighbors can see me this way, why can't you? 

I want to be the exact same soul on and offline. I want the Jeni you see here to look like and talk like the same Jeni you chat with at the park. On *those* crazy, gogogo days of the week, that was/is honestly the Jeni below. 

Does that mean I'm going to let it all loose all the time for the sake of being "real?" No. I know how to be classy. I also find tons of joy in working hard to create an awesome life (dare I say it??), even a picture perfect one. "Picture perfect" to me means fit for the history books -- moments that tell true stories. The girls have got to be able to see one day that Ryan and I worked to create joy in our home and adventures. Whether or not things turned out pretty, I want them to know that we tried. We've found that putting sheer grit into a purposeful life -- plus asking in faith for huge doses of joy from Him upstairs -- it works. 

Which brings me to this: on the flip-side of the issue of masked perfectionism online, we've got to stop holding each other to standards of harsh realism because we can't swallow someone else's deliberate, put-together joy. Do we have to see the girl next door yell and scream and struggle and look worn down and weary know that she's human? 

Our hearts are kinder than that. If we have our struggles, she does, too, with all of her perfect photos in tow. 

Having this topic on the forefront of my mind + my big goal for 2016 in the back of my mind has helped me realize that joy exists in the quest to mesh the honest with the happy online. In sharing myself here and elsewhere on the WWW, I'm finding joy in these four camps: in being honestly me, in throwing my skills down to create experiences that are simply beautiful and fun, in being just downright grateful for everything, and in liking the bajeebees out of others and their efforts to do the same.

My dear Olivia and Claire -- I don't know how your future concrete, physical world will match up with your coded, digital world, but come what may, my babies, there's some joy for ya.

Go get it, my girls. 


  1. Jeni, I'm moved to tears by this post! In the most beautiful, kind loving way. Thank you for getting down, getting real. These goals are so similar with the way I view my online/offline self as well! Adore you! So so much.

    1. I know these are your goals, girl. I'd be a blind fool if I didn't. You are absolutely gifted at this balancing act, Ginger - of keeping it real while keeping it hopeful and fun and so full of a real LIGHT. I've been so blessed by the way you share yourself. Thank you so much for being absolutely, honestly you. I love you so!!


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