Sluiter Nation Celebrates 1000 posts today!

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Share your roots with me on Fridays!

Kate Sluiter of Sluiter Nation







I’m excited to host Katie Sluiter today, especially since she’s got her 1000th post up! Congratulations on 1000 posts, Katie!

In her own words, Katie Sluiter is: Just a small town girl…wait no, that is a Journey song. Although I do live in a small town. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a writer. My family and I have joys and we have struggles. Just like you. I write about them on my blog, Sluiter Nation. You can follow me on twitterpinterest, or facebook.


I’ll be honest.

I’ve tried to write this post about 15 times and it just keeps sounding boring.

Boring like when you go to a college class, and on the first day the professor stands up there and talks for 30 minutes about how he got to be in that classroom at that moment.

Like you care about his Masters at Whatever University and his PhD from Big Whoop College.

Am I wrong?

I want to tell you how I got to this spot right here in this moment.

But I don’t want to kill you with boring facts.

It’s true, I do have a degree “in words” as I like to say. Two of them, actually. (Degrees, not words…eh, you know what I mean).

But I don’t think that has a ton to do with why I am here…blogging…writing.

I’ve always loved words.

For as long as I (and my not so patient family) can remember I have used my words.

But not on paper.

No, I like to talk. A lot.

My mom can remember when I was Eddie’s age (almost three) that I would walk over to the next door neighbor’s house and talk her ear off because my mom just couldn’t listen to every. single. one. of my words any longer. Plus the neighbor lady gave me pink milk (remember that stuff? Now I think “ew”, but then? YUM!), so there was that.

All through school my parent/teacher conferences and report cards came back with the same stuff: “Excellent student, reads above level, works well with others, talks WAY TOO DANG MUCH.”

I would love to sit here and tell you about the cute stories I would write or how I always dreamed of being a writer.

But that isn’t exactly true.

I did write a story in 5th grade about a baby turkey (I called him a “turkling”) named Terry.

But it was stupid.

And I did sort of think it would be awesome to be an author since I pretty much considered the ability to make up stories on par with being the most brilliant thing ever.

But I am not a story-maker-upper.

When I say, “I can’t make that shit up,” I mean it. I can’t.

I can only tell what is true.

And before my blog, I would talk anyone’s face off with those stories.

My students (I teach high school, for you who are new to me) would always comment on how I “had a story for everything” that we were doing in class. And it was true. Vocab words made me think of stories. Literature made me think of stories. Students telling me about their lives made me think of stories.

It was (and is) my most valuable teaching technique…being able to find a story to make something make sense to my students.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have always felt that writing is a powerful tool.

It’s just been more personal for me.

I have journals from when I was a pre-teen all the way up to when my husband and I started dating in 2003. Most of the entries are angsty or sad or pissed off scribblings.

Apparently I only wrote when I was anything but happy back then.

And I was kick ASS at writing scholarly/academic articles and essays. Just ask my graduate professors and my colleagues at the Third Coast Writing Project where I researched and taught other teachers about the importance of test writing in the classroom.

I’m sorry…I got boring there for a second. WAKE UP!


Anyway, in 2007, two years after we had been married, I decided to start a blog because so many of our friends and family had spread themselves all over the country (and beyond in some cases) and I wanted to still share with them what our lives were like.

Because I am narcissistic.

At first I wasn’t really telling stories, so much as putting up pictures of what we had been doing.

In my heart I really wanted to pour out the stories of our miscarriages and of losing Cort’s dad to cancer.

But instead I posted pictures of the flower beds I just planted and the fun times we were having watching our friends get married.

I really started writing on my blog after Eddie turned one year old in 2010.

I found the blogging world.

I started reading really, really good writing and realized, “hey, I can do that too.”

I threw off all my inhibitions and concerns and started really telling my stories.

My stories.

Recently someone asked me what I “do”.

I responded, “I am a high school teacher on maternity leave and I write.”

It felt good to add, “and I write.”

Because I do.

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  • Kate Sluiter

    Erin, thank you so much for having me over today.  I promise not to mess the place up too much.  Speaking of which?  That wine stain was here when I got here.


    no really, thank you for making me think about where all these words of mine have come from…how I got to where I am.

    I am so honored you asked me to spill those words here.

    But not wine.  I did NOT spill wine.

  • Alison@Mama Wants This

    Katie, so glad you found your voice and your place in the blogging world, where no one would tell you to shut up. Please don’t shut up.

    • Kate Sluiter

       friend, if I haven’t shut up yet, it’s not happening.   Ha!

  • Jana A (@jana0926)

    This is great, Katie! I love that you found your writing voice! It’s not all that different than your talking voice, is it? Keep writing! 

    • Kate Sluiter

       I have been told that my writing voice is EXACTLY like my talking voice by people who know my talking voice.  And those whom I met at BlogHer?  Giggled at how much my talking voice was like my writing voice.  True story.  Of course.

  • Angel Shrout

    I found you a couple of months ago and love your writing. Love your honesty and the reality of being a mom and all that comes with it. The good, the bad, the ugly and the moments that make it all worthwhile.

    • Kate Sluiter

      Ah Thank you, Angel!  I love having you around the Nation!  And yes, honest Abe…er Kate.  That’s me! :)

  • Kimberly

    I love you Katie no matter what you do…you could have said “I’m a professional poopy butt changer” and I would still say “You are a rock star”
    Cause you are.

    • Kate Sluiter

       Because of the frequency of Charlie’s bowel movements?  I sort of am a professional poopy butt changer.  But then I tell the story, so there’s that.  And YOU calling ME a rock star?  Pot calling the kettle black, my love.  Rock on.

  • Elizabeth Flora Ross

    “I can only tell what is true.” Ah! This. Absolutely this! No wonder I love you so much. I am also not a story-maker-upper. And I have become better at writing my truth with age. Loved reading about your roots!

    • Kate Sluiter

       I’ve tried my hand at fiction. A couple times it sort of worked…but only when it was so close to real life, it almost scared me.  So I quit doing that.  When I tried to create something out of nothing?  Flat and crap.  I can’t lie either.  Coincidence?  Probably not.  And thank you for following me here, Elizabeth!  xx oo

  • IASoupMama

    I cannot write fiction, either.  Every time I try it feels flat and lifeless.  And I’m a total geek because I don’t find academic writing boring…

    • Kate Sluiter

       I am the SHIT at academic writing!  I’ve been published, yo.  If you want to read about writing pedagogy, I’m your lady!

  • bywordofmouth

    So glad we had our moment by the fireplace 😉  

    • Kate Sluiter

       Oh yes, Nicole.  :)

  • Juliecgardner

    Oh Katie. I know exactly what you mean in those last lines. It does feel good to own being a writer, doesn’t it? I think maybe you have to say it (a thousand times?) before you believe it.

    Does anyone ever really believe it?I hope so.

    Either way, I loved the cross-over with you two at each other’s blogs this week.
    Two of my favorites in two places at the same time.

    Post Perfection.

    • Kate Sluiter

       It feels GREAT to own it.  I make a point of not leaving it out of “what I do” anymore.  Because I DO do it.  A lot.

      And wasn’t the bloggy crossover like when you’re watching your fave sitcom and characters from you OTHER fave sitcom show up?  And then later in the week, you’re watching that OTHER fave sitcom and BOOM characters from the first fave sitcom appear?

      I mean, because clearly Erin and I are THAT awesome, yes?

  • Bocafrau

    The talking a mile a minute part is something I can totally identify with. My mom always said I could tell the longest stories without ever taking a breath. My daughters are like that now and my mom just laughs and says… “Payback’s a bitch”!!! :) I hope, that eventually I will get more courage and start really writing the stuff that’s on my mind… right now it’s still mostly sharing pictures and little anecdotes. But reading this gives me much hope!!! 

    • Kate Sluiter

       Ha!  that is funny because my mom always said she hoped I got a child just like me too.  And Eddie is SO full of stories his little 3 yo mouth can’t keep up with his brain.  Lots of cute stuttering.  I try to remember to be so patient with him because what he is saying is SO important to him.  I remember that.

      And yes…if you talk enough, eventually you start saying the stuff that really matters to you. 

      At least that is how it happened for me!

  • hotlyspiced

    My report cards said the same thing!  Glad you’re enjoying telling your own stories now.  Sounds like you’ve found your niche.  

    • Kate Sluiter

       well thank you!

      and yes…of course my classrooms are PACKED with kids just like me.

      i think it’s payback :)

  • Anna Lefler

    What a lovely post – and happy 1000th!

    :-)  Anna

    • Kate Sluiter

       thank you!!!