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Popular Mormon mommy blogs revisited

Published: Monday, June 27 2011 2:30 p.m. MDT

Last month Gabrielle Blair posed a question on her popular blog, Design Mom. "Have you noticed that tons of design blogs are written by Mormons/former Mormons?" Blair wrote. "What's the deal with that? It's sort of a hush-hush topic I hear whispered about at blogging conferences."

Blair, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is only the latest to speculate about the growing phenomenon of popular Mormon-mommy bloggers. Indeed, earlier this year a popular Deseret News article covered the sensation after Emily Matchar of Salon.com wrote an article titled, "Why I can't stop reading Mormon housewife blogs."

"They mention relatives in Utah," Matchar noted. "They drink a suspicious amount of hot chocolate. Finally, you see it: a subtly placed widget with a picture of a temple, or a hyperlink on the word 'faith' or 'belief.' You click the link and up pops the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. … They're members of a large, close-knit network of Mormon lifestyle bloggers — young stay-at-home-moms who blog about home and hearth, Latter-day Saint-style."

The trendiest Mormon-mommy blogs — Rockstar Diaries, Underaged and Engaged, Nie Nie Dialogues, Nat the Fat Rat, and Say Yes to Hoboken — are not overtly Mormon. Rather, they mention the faith in subtle ways. For example, Jordan of blog ohhappyday.com answered the frequently asked question, "Are you Mormon?" with a simple "Yup."

Yet, others like C. Jane Kendrick from C Jane Enjoy It, have dedicated entire posts and forums to explaining the faith. "One of the most frequently asked questions in my in-box is about Mormonism ... I just opened up a forum about Mormonism," Kendrick wrote. "Ask, answer, or post thoughts about Mormonism that you might have. I promise to do my best to respond."

Discussing their faith online does not appear to adversely affect their readership; all theses blogs have advertisers, thousands of readers, and their posts elicit plenty of comments. Shawni Eyre Pothier, who runs the blog 71 Toes, has even published a popular book, "A Mother's Book of Secrets: Keys to Making Motherhood Memorable, Meaningful, and Magnificent." Also, Kendrick writes a popular column for the Deseret News.

"The basic messages expressed in these blogs — family is wonderful, life is meant to be enjoyed, celebrate the small things — are still lovely," wrote Matcahar, a self-proclaimed atheist. "And if they help women like me envision a life in which marriage and motherhood could potentially be something other than a miserable, soul-destroying trap, I say, 'Right on.' "

Matcahar might be surprised to learn that not all these popular blogs are run by "Mormon Mommies." The wildly popular video-blogging sensation, Shay Carl Butler is a Mormon father who supports his family by posting video-blogs (or vlogs) about his family on youtube.com on the channel "Shaytards."

Email: hboyd@desnews.com

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