Somebody you should know: Emily

Wanna know what’s one of my most frustrating questions? No, it’s not how on earth I earn money as a blogger (though I get asked that frequently). Nope, it’s not how on earth I “do it all,” (which we all know is a hilarious joke, because the correct answer is nowhere near the asker’s assumption). It’s this one:

What are your favorite blogs?

Here’s why I dislike this question: because I love tons of blogs. I read them seasonally and in fits and spurts, depending on my work load and what’s going on in my life. I don’t have a “top ten list”—I don’t even have any list, really. I just love all sorts of writers and all sorts of blogs. There are too many to organize into a nice neat list.

In fact, aside from the freedom and flexibility, my favorite thing about this writing gig is all the amazing people with whom I’ve worked with, chatted with at conferences, and laughed with over coffee. Good glory, THE PEOPLE who make beauty on the Internet. Too many to count.

So to whet your appetite for what I’m reading and who I’m admiring, I thought I’d start a new monthly series here—Somebody You Should Know. Around once per month, I’ll highlight one of my favorite writers or artists, tell you why I love them, and convince you that you should, too. They’ll each embody the spirit and message behind Simple Mom—living intentionally and thoughtfully, and pursuing their work as a message of encouragement. The myriad voices, styles, and purposes behind each person are many. I love variety in my life.

And also? I hope with this series title that this song is now in your head. You’re welcome.

Emily Freeman, Chatting at the Sky

Emily started as a blogger I admired but didn’t really know, and then I grew secretly jealous of her because I found out she was Nester’s sister. Also a blogger I adore. But then I got over that, and really got to know her when I traveled with her to the Philippines for Compassion. She became a writer friend that I wished lived closer.

We continued to bond, and by the time Relevant rolled around, Emily was someone I wanted to hang out with a lot. As in, I worried that she’d no longer want to be my friend because she’d think I was now stalking her.

But apparently she didn’t, because we’re still friends, and I look forward to every time I get to see her—most recently was this past September in Hilton Head. We have similar senses of humor, similar life stages, and similar work oddities that continually amaze us both. She also got me hooked on Parenthood.

Her work

Our blog’s topics are a bit different, but also? They’re not. We both write about living thoughtfully, though to slightly different audiences. Emily’s words drip with a healthy mix of poetry and girlfriend-chattiness, in the most estimable sense. I read her words, and I know exactly what she means when she says them. Sometimes I wish I’d say things as simply and as poignantly as her.

Her photography is gold. I was beguiled in the Philippines by her blogging approach: Emily takes the photos first, then finds the words to meet them. I work the other way around. And I’m in awe that she works this way.

It works for her—I look forward to her photos just as much as her writing, and more than any other blogger I read, I make a point to click over to her site to read directly there, instead of via email or RSS reader. The best use of white space on the Internet, in my opinion.

Oh, and she’s got two books out and is writing her third. We’re commiserating together, in a good way.

Some of my favorite posts at Chatting at the Sky:

Emily and I chatted on my podcast a few months ago, and she’ll be on again soon. I’m eager.

So Emily Freeman is officially the first of my Somebodies you Should Know. Do you “know” her? Why do you read her?

top photo source
Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I love Emily’s blog and her book, “Grace for the Good Girl.”. When I read her words I almost always sigh with an “amen” in my spirit, and come away feeling my load is a little lighter because someone out there is also thinking and feeling the same things I am, but can bring truth and light, and perspective in such a beautiful way.

  2. I know her, read her, and adore her. 🙂 Her writing is golden.

    You are too, sweet Tsh! Love you so much.

  3. She has become one of my favorite writers, and she’s just such a welcoming voice to new writers. You’ve captured her well, Tsh.

  4. As you said, there are tons of great blogs out there. I’m glad you brought Emily to my attention. Just read her post, “When saying you’re sorry is a bad idea.” It was so relevant and well put.

  5. Love, love this new series.. Can’t wait to see who else should I know:-) Thanks for putting this together, Tsh!

  6. Yes, I know her and she’s on my top list, too!

  7. Oh, I’m excited about this new series you’re going to do, Tsh! I read Emily’s blog because her words come from an honest place, she’s someone who sees and reflects.

  8. What a great idea for a series – I couldn’t agree more! Emily is one of my most favorite writers. Her book Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life was a life-changing read for me this summer, and by God’s grace, really helped me experience another level of healing. Highly recommend Emily’s blog and books!!! Thanks for writing this, Tsh 🙂

  9. Emily’s writing and photos are breathtaking-beautiful. I loved her “Artist” series, and “Grace for the Good Girl.” I want to get the teen version for each of my youth group girls!

  10. I keep a copy of Emily’s post 14 Ways to Make Mediocre Art front and center on my desk. It reminds me to be brave.

  11. I love your new series and as a devoted follower of ‘chatting at the sky’, I’m thrilled to see that you started with Emily. Her writing has such a gracious flow and I look forward to her posts every day. Can’t wait to hear who you write about next month!

  12. She’s my favorite writer!!!

  13. Did you read my mind when you started this series? I was wondering whom you read. Of course Emily! I started reading her blogs when I first starting reading yours (which was 2.5 yrs ago when Gretchin Rubin did an interview with you on her blog)…I think you had put Emily in your weekend links and…I just didn’t stop reading her at that one post. Her imagery and words are comfort for the soul.

  14. Not surprised at all!

  15. My top two must-read blogs are Simple Mom and Chatting at the Sky. I must have good taste! 🙂

  16. What a great feature and a perfect person to start with—love Emily!

  17. She is one of my favorites. . . Her words drip with grace and beauty. I feel like the Father is speaking directly to my soul through her words.

  18. Very cool! I could definitely use some inspiration.

  19. Big fan, here 🙂

  20. oooo- beautiful photos! I feel the green-eyed monster coming ’round…this is a talent I lack

  21. I read her blog and I adore her writing and her photography. She is truly gifted and I love that she’s using her gift to encourage and equip other women!

  22. Mercy, Tsh. You sure know how to make a girl’s day. Thanks for your kind words and friendship.

    I’m off to go find some words to put with the photo I’ve already picked out for today’s post 😉

  23. So glad I discovered you! I seriously need help organizing my life and finding inspiration. Your blog appeared as though sent to me…..via Pintrest.
    Loving every bit of it.

  24. any chance you will do more podcasts? It seems to be the only way I can clean my house is listening to them. I have listened to all of them now!!! Thanks.

  25. Andrea Rasmussen says:

    I love Emily Freeman….I think she could be my twin. I thought I was reading my own autobiography when I read Graceful. I love Simple Mom too & if I had run into the two of you & Ann Voscamp on Hilton Head(where I live) I would have sworn the Lord had come & I was in Heaven. Thanks for the beautiful ways you all encourage.

  26. I love the idea of this series Tsh. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by long lists of blogs or posts to read…. I like that you’ve taken the time to tell us why we should get to know Emily. Her photos are indeed stunning.

    I laughed at your comment about worrying she would think you are stalking her. I can relate to that early stage in friendships where you are walking a fine line between wanting to embrace a friendship and being overenthusiastic.

  27. Thank you, Tsh, for introducing me to Emily’s blog. I just read your recommended posts and feel like my girl-circle has widened! Congrats, too, to your recent reference in Good Housekeeping and your spot on Glee!

  28. i remember the first time i happened upon emily’s blog. her writing was like a breath of fresh air to me.
    love the idea behind this series!

  29. amen and amen!!

  30. Thank you, Tsh, for introducing her on Simple mom through your podcast. I was hooked immediately to her blog and just last week bought her first book and love it already.

  31. I’m catching up on my google reader this morning 🙂 First your incourage post, now this… and I don’t normally comment a whole lot, but you’re drawing it out of me today!! I just had to ask: have you seen this video (that gotye song)?? It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY4xE9rAY8k

  32. Wonderful idea for a new series, Tsh. You impress me with your creativity and ingenuity.

    I am the same way about “favorite blogs.” There are too many to count…and my favorites tend to change based on my interests and season in life.

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