state of the blog, brought to you by the color pink

Last Saturday I loaded up my car with five of my small group girls and we headed down to Charlotte to do a little shopping because we could and also it’s fun.

pinkBefore heading home, we stopped by my sister’s house because “she has a blog and is awesome and like, famous!” I don’t think they even know I have a blog. Or wrote two books. I mean, I’ve been on TV in Canada. But whatevs.


She had Valentine crafts for us to do because she’s The Nester and that’s just the kind of girl she is. They loved every minute of it.

pinkObviously. Goes to show that sweeping your floors and making your bed is one way to prepare for guests. But iced coffee, pink gum balls and paper streamers will mean more.

craft day at the nester's

valentine craft

hello gloves

While these photos have little to do with the state of the blog, I had to share them because 1) they’re cute and 2) after tomorrow it will be too late because Valentines Day will be over.

Now a few words about the state of things around here. Every few months I think about all the things I would put in a sidebar if I had one. But since I don’t, I have to put them in a regular post like this one. Warning: I might start to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher in 3, 2, 1 . . 

  • Oops: An apology if you received Monday’s post twice in your inbox. We are in the process of transferring all readers who subscribe by email from Feedburner to MailChimp and that post accidentally went out twice. If you normally receive Chatting at the Sky blog posts through email, this is how they will look from now on.
  • Podcasting: I’m now one of Tsh’s regular podcast guests, which basically means there is a record of Tsh and me having a phone call and chatting it up about writing, parenting, and Friends once every six weeks. It’s more fancy than that because we don’t use regular phones we use microphones. Actually, if you have seen the microphone we use, you would call it a macrophone. Because it is huge, people. The podcast won’t change your life, but it makes folding the towels more interesting, no? 

podcast mic

It’s backwards here, but you get the idea.

  • Book 3 Update: I’ve been working on my first round of edits for book number 3, what has affectionately become known as The Art Book. That isn’t actually the title but among friends, that’s what we call it. We finished the cover (!!) and I can’t wait to show you that. Soon!

small group at the nester's

  • Readings for Lent and Easter: I will be reading Bread and Wine during the season. It’s a collection of writings by some of our favorite writers: C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, G.K. Chesterton, Amy Carmichael and many others.
  • Footer: We’ve added stuff to the footer! When a blog has no side bar you learn to cram stuff into the footer. As we have now done.

What about you? Any fun updates? Great dinners you’ve made lately? Favorite blog post you’ve read? New design? Put on your Al Roker hat and tell us what’s happening in your neck of the woods.


  1. rachel says

    LOVE pink. love the blessing of your blog. Inspired by your books. Am OLD , but read both versions, gave the young persons one away as a gift. Loved your dvd. thank you Amy!

  2. Judy says

    I love your heart for those girls. May God use all you are teaching and showing them to bring Christ to the deep places in their lives. Love too, that the Nester blessed them with her grace and talents – Fun!

  3. Lindsay says

    I WANT TO GO SHOPPING WITH YOU! AND MAKE CRAFTS AT YOUR SISTER’S HOUSE! Come pick me up. I live in Canada. Where you’ve been on TV. You. are. famous. here.

  4. says

    I launched my new site yesterday and none of my subscribers got my new MailChimp email because we put the wrong URL into the campaign. So your followers got two, mine got notta. Come over to the open house when you have a chance, you are good company and (your picture is in my sidebar): Gave my girl your book. She read what you wrote in it and smiled.

  5. says

    Love your pictures. I have three questions though…just curious:
    1. Why did you switch from feedburner to Mail Chimp?
    2. Why don’t you have a sidebar? (I assume it’s to give my soul room to breathe???)
    3. With no sidebar, there are no ads…wondering if you generate income from your blog and if so, how do you do this with no sidebar?

    (I ask this as a person who cannot STAND cluttered blogs or posts devoted to affiliates but wonder how to generate income after blogging for free for the last 5 years.)


    • says

      Hi Sandy,

      1. A lot of bloggers are jumping ship from Feedburner simply b/c Google seems to have abandoned running it. In other words, it still works, but if you have an issue with it, you won’t be able to get in touch with anyone in tech support anymore. It’s as if they just disappeared. A few months ago there was a lot of hype about maybe it would go away completely and that never really happened, but it is still too uncertain for me to be comfortable. I already use MailChimp for my newsletters and have been happy with them. But there are other platforms as well – I use Feedblitz now for my rss subscribers.

      2. I haven’t had a sidebar for a long time – at first it was b/c I didn’t like the clutter and now I’m kind of just used to it.

      3. You don’t have to have a sidebar to generate income. You can do sponsored posts, affiliates, or have a banner ad at the top of your blog (I think that’s what they’re called). Ads in a sidebar are by no means the only way to make money on a blog. I can think of a lot of bloggers I respect who earn good money doing affiliates and sponsored posts, but they do it in a way that is consistent with the personality and feel of their blog.

      I choose not to have my blog generate income for me right now. Partly b/c I’m flat out too lazy to organize myself and I don’t want the responsibility of it. Still, I consider blogging to be part of my job – it keeps me writing consistently, connected with readers, and gives me a way to communicate ideas and hear from others. But if I want to take a month off, I can without worrying about advertisers or an ad network.

      That’s not to say I will never make money from the blog – just that I don’t right now. My income is from royalties, advances, and speaking engagements. But I wouldn’t have the opportunity for any of that without the blog. You can email me personally if you want to know more.

      • says

        Thank you for your detailed response.

        I joined Feedblitz when it was still free to do so and wanted to continue using them when I switched from Blogger to WordPress in the summer, but my blog designer didn’t know how to set up my cute little “subscribe” box unless we switched it to Feedburner. So, I JUST switched to them (with my original subscribers getting rss and e-mail through Feedblitz).

        Gosh…I hope I don’t have any problems. :/

        I currently don’t generate income from my blog for all the reasons you stated–but I reserve the right to change my mind whenever I want. So there.

        Have a fantastic weekend, friend!

  6. Tracy Best says

    I love your new look! It’s a joy to receive your post in my inbox!! Thanks for speaking truth and wisdom into my life. I’ve seen you on TV!!! you are famous! :)

  7. says

    sooo…i was at zumba last night, and saw these beautiful girls in front of me, and was sitting there thinking, “i know them, i know them! how do i know them?! were they bridesmaids at a wedding i’ve done, or do they know …blah blah.” so, as i would do, i go up and ask. and then it hits me…they’re your small group girls. well, not all, but two of them, and we all did the, “oooohhh!” at the same time, and laughed. it was great. and letmejustsay, they think you’re better than famous. xoxo love you.

  8. says

    I’m having a Valentine crafting party tomorrow with my youth group girls! 😀 It won’t be quite as fancy as the Nester’s, but I think we’ll have a grand time :)

  9. Claire says

    You know what I instantly saw in that group shot at the end? No, not pink pinwheels … gorgeous smiles. They positively glow. Everyone of your have amazing smiles. They eclipse the pinwheels.

  10. says

    That looks like so much fun–how awesome to have such a tight-knit group of friends! Also, your “art” book sounds really interesting; I can’t wait to hear more!

  11. says

    haha, I LOVED this post! I don’t even really know what else to say about it, I just really enjoyed reading it. It was fun :)

    Update for me: I have been writing a new series this week on my blog for Valentine’s Day about “my love story” – how my husband and I met, got engaged, married, etc. etc. tomorrow is the last post in the series and will expose the realities of married life – the beautiful, and the beautifully difficult. It’s been fun, and a good reminder (especially in the difficult times) of why we are together in the first place.

  12. says

    i just started reading bread & wine too! loving it so far. and my favorite blog read today…has to be Matthew Mead’s story of his valentine’s gift for his wife. so good.

  13. says

    what a great day, emily! and you! i swear, you just blend right in with those girls! love the crafts miss nester had… has my brain clicking away now. and only because you asked… i am the queen of chicken pot-pie. tonight, though? tonight it was lobster and delightfully different! :) {it was all a matter of circumstance and birthdays and finding lobster tails from christmas in the bottom of the freezer.} :)

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