I have a question: How do you edit your pictures for your blog? My camera takes BIG pix (16mpx) I have to edit the picture then re-size to a 5×7 before I can post to the blog. Do you have an easier way of doing this? It takes all the fun out of blogging when posting one post takes an hour.

Well, I’ll explain what I do.

Which is not fast.

Or simple.

And I would love it if someone has a simple way how to speed up the blogging process. There is probably someone out there who will say, “Wow, that girl really has no clue how to simplify!” To which I would answer “You’re exactly right.”

Having said that, this is what I do:

I upload all my pictures to my computer. I have it set up that when I plug in my memory card from my camera Lightroom automatically pops up and asks what I want to do with the pictures. I select a file I want the pictures in and then upload.

I edit the pictures how I like them (usually just pump up the “exposure” and the “blacks” a tad, sometimes I up the contrast too). Then I export the ones I want to put on the blog to be 435 pixels high and 650 wide (that’s how wide my blog is), or 550 wide and 800 high if they are vertical shots. I export them directly into Photoshop where I sharpen them (any picture that is re-sized should be sharpened a little). Once they are exported in their own little folder I upload them to Photobucket. Then I take the direct link of each one and load it into my post.

Did I mention I do that one by one? Just checking. My fingers are so used to the technique by now that it seems to go by relatively quickly, but man I’d love a quicker way if anyone has one! I know my sister uses and loves a program called “Live Writer” but I don’t think there’s a program comparable for Mac users.

I was wondering what age do your kids have have to be to get cell phones?

This is a tough one because I really like cell phones and I want my kids to have them. I love when they can text me and tell me about things in the middle of school (I know, that may be bad, but I do love hearing from them). I love when I can get a hold of them when I need them. But I want them to feel like having a cell phone is a privilege that they have to earn. Our deal as of right now is not based on age, it’s based on grades (although Grace has great grades and still doesn’t get one…) Max and Elle get to have use of a “family cell phone” when they get straight A’s. If they slip and don’t get the grades one semester they don’t get to use the phone any more.

Dave and I reserve the right to re-work our policy at any time so that it works best for our family and things may change up a little in the Fall 🙂

I, by no means, want to be mother of the year “officially” but I’d like to be just that for my children every day. How do you do it?? I never feel like I’m doing good enough, and while I’m sure most mothers feel the same, I know I could do more and better right now! I just don’t know where to start (and I am a young mother… I have 4 kids, ages 6 to 2 weeks.) Help! 🙂

I’m so very with you on wanting to be mother of the year for our own children every day. I love that thought. (And I’m with you on not wanting an official title either…that’s a lot of pressure! :).

I think all of us mothers feel like we can’t seem to do enough. There are all kinds of things out there to make us feel like we should/could do more. (Click here for more on that topic.) But here’s my thought: you ARE doing enough because you are trying to be deliberate about what you are doing. You are thinking, “what can I do?” and that’s half the battle. That’s when you start to figure it out. That’s when you take time to prioritize…make a family “plan.” The struggle is part of what makes you stronger and it gradually melds you into being that mother you want to be.

I think we all need to realize that being a good mother is a constant battle. It’s not something we “arrive” at. We won’t ever reach a stage called “perfect motherhood.” There are too many variables. We are all so different. Our husbands are different. Our children have different needs…each one of them. And things change every day.

But this is what I try to remember: 1) We have to strive to be our OWN best kind of mom, not someone else’s version who’s talents and abilities we may admire. We each have such unique talents and abilities, we need to figure out what they are and how to magnify them. 2) We have to let God be our parenting partner to raise His children (read here for more on that), and 3) One of my Mom’s favorite sayings has become one of my favorites too: “Life is long.” I believe we can have our cake and eat it too…we can do all kinds of things in life, but we don’t have to do it all at once. It’s ok to take a step at a time.

My motherhood mantra is finding magic in the “moments” of motherhood. (More details on those thoughts here.) When I stop to soak in moments (whether they’re so crazy they become funny or whether they are beautiful and calm) that’s when I feel like I’m being the kind of Mom I want to be…and that God wants me to be.


  1. To simplify my blog posting – I downloaded a free program from Windows Live website called "Windows Live Writer". With it, you can set it up to post directly to Blogger (or other blog sites) and it will do the picture resizing for you. You just type in the pixel width that you want the picture to be and it resizes it for you. It then uses Blogger's platform to host the pictures. Here is the link to the program: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-writer?os=other

  2. I'm with you on getting cell phones early. My Nathan (12)roams the streets with his friends and I love that I can call and text and see where he is anytime. It is a safety measure for me. Also, when my kids get them before everyone else (14 seems to be the age in my neighborhood), the novelty has worn off and when everyone else is text crazy, my kids are over it and not as out of control. Never mind they could only text their mom when they got theirs because no one else had one.

  3. By the way, I was reading Elder Ballard's talk "Finding Joy Through Loving Service," from the last conference. And when I read the story about the gold digger, it just made me think of mothering moments. Sometimes we don't realize the mothering gems right in front of us, because we're searching to be the perfect mom, or a perfect solution, that we may miss the "gold flecks" or moments that are right in front of us the whole time! Anyway, just my thoughts…

  4. I agree with Windowns Live Writer! It has changed my blogging world! You can skip the photobucket step entirely (which always takes the longest!) and just upload right to your blog. Try it out… amazing!

  5. I love the Q&A too, thank you! I am SO curious about your time-management. When do you shower? Put away laundry? Scrapbook/manage pictures and family memories? Shop for groceries or clothes? Clean the toilets? Veg out and watch something on TV?

  6. can I just say that you are amazing and I look up to you a lot??? My husband and I are expecting our first child right now (like any day) and I already worry about how I'm going to be the best mom. You totally helped me a lot with what you had to say about being a mother. I have been reading your blog for a while now and once I found out you lived close by (meaning the same town-haha) to me, I have hoped one day I would happen to run into you so I could ask you that exact question. You are awesome and your family is seriously the cutest! Just thought you should know.

  7. Love your answer to that last question!

    I know iphoto isn't as snazzy as Lightroom, but my photos immediately upload to iphoto where I edit them, and then I can grab them directly from iphoto to go into Blogger. Plus, I can select all my pics to upload at once so it really doesn't take much time) You are a more serious photographer, so I understand your need for more serious editing, but for others like me with Macs, I think this is a great option!

  8. I have a pretty simple way of posting my pictures to blogger. I'm also a mac user and I feel like you have to get things down to a science sometimes… 🙂
    I import my pictures into aperture first and fix little details like sharpness and any little blemishes I don't like, then I import them into lightroom to take care of the color etc. After that I export them into a folder I have set aside on my desktop that I've labeled "blog pics". Once they're in the folder all I have to do is type my post and select the photo's from my easy-to-get-to folder that I always have set aside.
    I usually empty the folder once a month. I hope that made sense, it's hard to explain something when you can't "show" what your doing. 🙂

  9. Hi cute Shawni- k, you don't have to use photobucket anymore. I used to do it your way (time consuming). Now I upload pics from camera, edit them, put pics in folder on desktop that I want to use in a post and then go to blogger and upload pics right from my desktop. You can upload them all at once into blogger. Once in blogger you can select a size you want. I use extra large. Pretty easy peasy and such less time. Make sense?? GOOD!!

  10. When I upload pics on blogger it gives me the option to upload them in 3 different sizes. It will automatically trim them down if u choose the small option. I am not sure if you upload them in a different way but I just click the picture Icon and it opens up another window where I can upload 5 images at a time. In this same pop up window it has "layout options" and under there is the sizing option.

    We finally broke down and bought a 3rd cell phone. Our oldest is only 10. We decided that he is too young to have his own phone but we like having a 3rd phone at our disposal for times when we are away and want to be able to reach the kids. I don't know what a reasonable age is

  11. Okay, I know I'm just adding another question onto the piles of questions you always get asked, but…when the lady asked how you do it (your great deliberate mothering) I kinda feel like I know HOW you do it from all of your blogging, what I want to know is how you have the ENERGY to do "it" day in and day out. I want to know how you (and your mom)stay motivated to just keep plugging away at everything day in and day out. Sometimes (okay super often)I just feel like I'm in the biggest rut with all the day to day stuff. I too am Y.W.'s president in my branch, and recently decided to start homeschooling and I feel so overwhelmed. But instead of rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, I kinda freeze and do nothing from the stress. I know I don't give myself enough credit for what I do, but I'm just wondering, do you ever wake up and think, "I just can't make myself exercise today," or "I refuse to do any dishes today?" Do you ever feel this way? And again where do you get the motivation to do all that you do day in and day out?

  12. I think most days being a mom is hard! But that's what makes it so rewarding. I was talking to my five-year-old about that just today. She was going over all the fun things she did today and how it would have been a perfect day if she didn't have to do any chores. But if all she did was have fun all the time she would appreciate the fun things she gets to do. And when we earn treats we always appreciate them more. It sounds like you've got this motherhood thing down! I just have to keep having kids until I can figure out how to do it right!

  13. I use WordPress for my site. So, once I have edited my pictures, usually in Picasa (no professional here LOL), I upload them to my post in WordPress all at once and then I can resize each picture right there. It's a pretty quick and painless process.

  14. I LOVE reading your blog. You inspire me all the time. What a great mom you are. I just adore your family.

    I also use windows live writer and it has made it so easy and fast, but my friend is also a mac user and we have both been in search of a program equal to live writer and haven't been able to find one. So… I guess can't be of much help, but I have my first question to ask on here!!!! Was wanting to buy a really good PhotoShop program but there are so many options out there now, I have no idea what is best. Then I've seen the Adobe Masterpiece. What do YOU use to get your pictures so amazing? And do you use anything other than PhotoShop? I have such a passion for photography, but have no practice or professionalism whatsoever! Would love to though, someday. What would you suggest I invest in?

  15. If you like to use actions in Photoshop or PSE, you can go to http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.com and download one of her web actions for your pictures and then load them onto your blog. I use "Web rounded corners". To find them you click on the "Actions and Presets" and scroll down until you get to "Web actions" and load the ones you want.

  16. Hi Shawni!

    I love your blog and was hoping to attend the Power of Moms last weekend but couldn't make it since my 3 month old is a little colic-y now and probably wouldn't sit through it!

    But- for blogging pics, you HAVE TO USE PICASA!! Just edit (I swear picasa editing is almost as good as lightroom with contrast, sharpening, etc- or edit first then upload to Picasa) then sync your album from Picasa desktop to Picasa albums hosted online. There is a link on the right side to embed the image, just choose a size and paste the code into blogger OR choose the pics you want, auto blog and write text after. It's really easy!

    Your family is so cute. I have three girls right now, Francie 3.5, Maisie 2 years and Janie 3 months but hope to have 5 or more someday!


  17. Hi Shawni,

    Love the blog and everything in it!!

    My question for you is: How do you stay energized? As a runner I know exercise is key and I do my share of it but I find that before long my energy is waning and I can't get it back. I'm convinced it's my diet. What do you do for nutrition? What do you eat for breakfast? Do you snack?, etc

    Ottawa, Canada

  18. I agree with Vanessa….get the photoshop action for web and rounded corners!!!! It will change your life. It is so fast and then you can upload them directly to your blog from your desktop.

  19. Have you tried sharpening on export in Lightroom? With Lightroom 3 it does as good or better job than Photoshop and takes out that whole step and saves a lot of time. You can also upload to the web straight from Lightroom now. Remind me next time I'm over and I'll show you.

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