I Wonder What Those Four Pillars Would Be?

by Alexa on December 10, 2012

1. Housekeeping

Is it annoying that I am posting pictures I’ve published on Instagram? I don’t know how many of you follow me there, but I can see how if you DO, it might be irksome to see the same pictures in two places. The thing is, I take all of my pictures these days on my phone, and if I share them on Instagram first (which involves about three little taps of my index finger), then all I have to do to add them to a post is type in the Instagram link, and voila! the picture appears!

If I want to insert a picture from my phone without publishing it to Instagram first, I have to plug my phone into my computer and upload everything to iPhoto, export the picture I want to use onto my desktop, upload said picture to my site or Flickr, and then add the link to the post. I cannot tell you how many times I have not posted because I wanted to add pictures and decided I didn’t have time (or couldn’t find the cord for my phone) and would do it later. Unsurprisingly, later seldom comes—or rather by the time it does, I have new things I want to talk about, and so the previous things are pushed aside. I am trying to remove as many barriers to my writing here as possible, and the picture thing is one of them, so I hope it doesn’t grate too badly.

Look, I know it is just WRITING THINGS ONLINE, not piloting small aircraft or mining coal, and why should I need to make it easy? But I guess that is the point, too. This isn’t my job. I have a job. I have exactly zero interest in monetizing or leveraging influence or making this site my work. This is a thing I do for fun, and I think it is good for me, and I’ve really missed doing it. On the other hand—and this is the reason I am bothering to ask whether the twice-posted pictures are bothersome—a large part of what I love about this space is all of you, and so while it is all well and good to say I am writing here for myself, that is only part of the story. SO if all dozen of you, dear readers, hate seeing the same pictures in two places, I will stop doing it.

2. Now, here are some pictures from Instagram!

We decorated the tree!


Then there was a snow storm, and we happened to have a carrot that any fool could see would make an excellent snowman nose, and so even though what I felt like doing was sitting bonelessly on the couch I suggested we go outside and play. The snow was falling fast in fat, feathery pats, coating everything and making me very pleased to live where I do.


We had an absolutely marvelous time. Simone and I made what I am certain is the WORLD’S FINEST SNOWPERSON. (It was our first!)


Then we made snow angels and ran up and down the block and Simone ate her weight in fresh powder, and when we came inside I made hot chocolate.


It was one of those all-too-rare occasions when I felt a clear sense that I was doing something right, well. I AM a good mother, I found myself thinking at one point, which sounds pretty stupid, because it is not like Snowman Construction is one of the FOUR PILLARS OF PARENTHOOD, or something, but I often feel like I’m not doing a great job as a mom, and yet I am also the designated nagging parent, the one who insists on toys being picked up and sweets being for special occasions, who sees that hair is brushed and flu shots administered, etc., so to feel like I am legitimately good at a part of motherhood AND that the part I am best at—yes, snowman construction, but also impromptu crafts, and making sandcastles in the park—is a FUN bit…It was great, great, great.

3. The Scat Came Back

Just a reminder that Saturday was the day you should have gone out to find your log. It’s not too late, though! I’m sure there are plenty of nice logs left.

Here is mine, all the way from Barcelona:


(We won’t actually be beating it, as it is ceramic, so I suppose that means no nougat for me.)

Leave a Comment

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah December 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Growing up in Alabama we never had very much snow. But, on the occasion that 1-2 inches fell, it was our duty to construct the smallest, dirtiest snowman that ever existed. Our snowmen were covered in brown leaves, dirt and were about 12 inches tall! It’s quite a treat to see a real live snow white clean snowman! I’m slightly jealous of the beautiful snow but not of your negative 10 degree temperatures!!

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Ginger December 11, 2012 at 12:15 am

I never mind seeing photos more than once. But maybe I’m weird.

(Also, I am clearly incredibly lazy, because I just email myself photos from my phone if I bother with them at all…)

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Betty M December 11, 2012 at 1:19 am

No don’t stop the photos. Instagram is a step too far for me. I can just about deal with blogs and Facebook and selfishly I don’t want to miss delightful snow persons.

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J in Eire December 11, 2012 at 1:41 am

I don’t have Instagram !! I know, I must be living in the dark ages – or Ireland, where I really just have a few blogs that I love to read, so please please keep posting the pics. I love to see it all, and anything that makes you post more has got to be a good thing. The whole thing with the snowman making you FEEL like a good mum, I get it. Anything that takes you out of your everyday role and let’s your child see you as something other than the maker of rules, is a vital part of your relationship. As my girls have grown (14 & 12) these have been when we truly connected.. Just recently I took my eldest on a sneaky few days to Southern Spain when she should have been in school.. Priceless !!

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Swistle December 11, 2012 at 5:12 am

I don’t do Instagram (“yet,” I should add with ALL social media things), so I am glad you’re posting pictures here!

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Ellie December 11, 2012 at 7:07 am

Love the photos and the writing! I don’t ‘do’ twitter and instagram nad whatnot ….

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Al December 11, 2012 at 7:40 am

Log out…to not do something the easy way…makes no sense…

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Carla December 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

Love seeing the photos more than once! And these are so pretty–I want to live on your block! But, as a life-long southerner, I probably would not make it through one entire winter up there.

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Deborah December 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

I only recently learned that it was actually possible to follow someone on Instragram, and I certainly haven’t started doing it yet. So, no worries.

I would like to think about those 4 pillars of parenting, though. I think fun, safety, learning… not sure about #4, though. (You could always add love, but I think it would kind of come along with the others)

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Susie December 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

I don’t mind seeing the pictures twice at all – especially because here they sometimes have additional exposition. And they are bigger. And I usually flick quickly through instagram, versus paying actual attention on blogs. So keep on. Anything that helps you post semi-regularly, because I do love reading.

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Jennifer December 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

Photos, please. I *just* got a facebook account in July (only because my 7 year old wanted to play the ‘Northstar train game’ and you had to have facebook to do it – so now i get every update about the Northstar there is). I’ve just started getting the hang of facebook as it is.
And it is very pretty around here … even if it took me 2+ hours to get to work today and yesterday .. ugh.

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Val December 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

I have followed you for YEARS and years, or maybe just a few years, but I am so pleased to see you back on a regular schedule. :) I do not use my Instagram acct as often as I could, so I do not, in fact, see your pics until you put them here. Please, continue to share!

As for the snow – I am SO jealous. Here I sit in one of the cities that frequently wins the “NYS Golden Snowball” award, and we have none. ZERO. Zilch. And on the heels of last year’s ridiculous non-winter, my kids are getting cranky for some snow, and quite frankly, so am I! Loved your pics – there’s nothing like good snowman construction, and fresh snow to eat. :)

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MJ December 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

Looks like I might actually be the dozenth (is that a word?) of your readers, and since I don’t follow you on Instagram I’m quite happy to see the picture on your blog. The snowman is really wonderful, although I do still wonder about some of your other Christmas customs…..

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Sarahd December 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

I don’t do Instagram either so…yay pictures on the blog! And don’t ALL moms feel like they are only doing a great job maybe sometimes?

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KATHY BAUER December 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

I was quickly reading your post, saw the photo of the pink coat in the snow and my brain told me…..Wow she dresses her snowman in actual CLOTHES! oops lol
I ONLY follow you “here” so the heck with people who may complain about the double posting of photos. Please continue with the photos; I, for one, would NEVER complain if I saw them twice. And whatever makes the job easier for you is good with me!

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KeraLinnea December 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I don’t mind seeing pics more than once. I love seeing new posts here, so whatever it takes to make that happen, you should do.
That snow is so pretty. Here in Seattle, snow is not common, and when it occurs, the beauty of it is lost in the horrific consequences of piling wet, slippery stuff on a city built on hills and occupied by people who haven’t yet figured out how to drive in the rain, let alone stacked-up rain.

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Robin December 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

SO jealous of your snow! My son keeps reminding me of the awesome snow fort we built when we were in Michigan (and it WAS awesome, if I do say so myself, so I wholeheartedly endorse building snow-things as one of the Pillars).

So far winter on the east coast has just been soggy.

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Kelly P December 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I don’t do Instagram as I am the last person on earth without a smart phone, so I really appreciate seeing the photos here. I hope I’m not the only one!

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SarahB December 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Not on Instagram, so the photos are fresh to me, fresh as that beautiful snow that looks just perfectly made for snowpeople and snow angels and hot chocolate afterwards. :)

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Editdebs December 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Pictures posted in two places bothers me no a whit! Post away. I’m loving having so many posts from you.

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Kirsten December 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I very much like seeing the photos, and for me it is the first time as I don’t instagram, tweet or any such thing.

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Jesabes December 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I’m not on instagram, so I’d love to see the pictures here! Even if I do see someone’s pictures twice – Twitter and blog – I don’t mind.

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Meagan December 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

You post your pictures as many times as you want and however you like! I would never mind seeing them twice, because procrastination is flexible and easy going like that. If it means you’re posting, I’m in.

Unrelated and totally late to the party: have you read the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King? YOU MUST! They’re fantastic (at least the early ones). They’re mysteries of a fashion but the real story is in the characters. Start with The Beekeepers Apprentice, you shan’t be disappointed. [That's right, these books promote the use of words like shan't. You're in for a real treat, I tell you!]

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Stacy December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Double post away! I don’t follow anyone on Instagram, as others have said. Glad you and Simone had fun–the beauty of renting means you don’t have to shovel and can enjoy the snow (as long as you don’t have to drive in it).

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Ashley December 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Post away! We’re just glad to have you back :). What’s your new job?
It looks so lovely and wintery in your neck of the woods.

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Kez December 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

1. I don’t do Instagram. Post away.

2. That street scene is damn near the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. It’s going to be 33c here today (over 90, I think, in the “old” scale as we call fahrenheit here) and Christmas Day could be anything from Arctic to Hades. No snow though. I will have a white Christmas one day.

3. Just perused the comments to see a completely random rec for my all time favourite series of books. I’ve left comments recommending them all over the interwebs for years. Laurie is one of my most favourite people; she is interesting enough that the Mary Sue she has created is a fascinating character.

4. Please keep posting regularly. I love reading you.

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Jessica December 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm

While I have Instagram, I haven’t yet jumped on that bandwagon, so I haven’t seen your photos yet! And even if I had, I wouldn’t mind. I don’t mind seeing duplicate photos, although when bloggers “recycle” posts simply for the sake of being busy, that does irk me. It’s ok not to post, bloggers! Really, I promise!!

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Margaret December 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Alexa. You need to know about the flickr app for your phone. You can automatically upload pics to your flickr account (whether they’ve been posted on IG or not). It’s still a pain in the neck to find the link from flickr and add it in, but at least there are NO cords involved! Also, I don’t mind double posting, especially when there are cute stories!

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Maggie December 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I love the photos, and please don’t stop posting! I have missed your blog!

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Sam December 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I don’t use Instagram, but even if I did I wouldn’t mind seeing pictures twice if I get to read your words!

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Ann Marie December 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Regarding the photos… I have an Instagram account, and never check it. But even if I did, I would just “bleep” right over re-run photos that were duplicates… but generally, if you wrap the photos in text, I’ll look at ‘em all over again.

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Gina December 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Oh that snow is stunning! I am sitting here reading this from in Southern California and I am craving snow this time of year (I grew up in cold places).

And I often feel the same one about parenting – this post is a good reminder to me to relax a little and just go have fun with whatever life (or Mother Nature) throw at you.

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