The Girl Confesses


If I tell you my real name I bet 50% of you will open a new page and Google me. 

Am I right?

Remember… Curiosity killed the cat. 



When I started my blog I had read most people change their names to protect their identity and this made complete and utter sense to me seeing as how I am fairly certain I will be the one blogger to get a stalker and I will surely be murdered on my way to get a mocha.

So initially I went with “The Girl” as my name.

But then one day, I was asked for my first name and I was in a panic so I said that my name is “Laura.”

I totally lied.  Don’t hate.

Laura was my BFF in elementary school.

Learn something new every day, dontcha?

Now, this went along swimmingly until I started making friends and getting “involved” so to speak.

And then I started to feel kind of guilty and deceitful.

So I am thinkin’ that it is probably okay for you to learn my real first name.

I’m pretty sure nobody is going to stalk and kill me just by learning my first name, right?

My name is Erika.

Now, Emily is not really Emily.  Sarah is not really Sarah.  They are minors and they will stay protected.

Although, some days…. Well… some days I am really busy and have a lot on my mind and I do call them Emily and Sarah in public.

Emily finds it amusing or annoying depending on her mood and Sarah grabs my face with her teeny tiny hands and says, “No Mommy.  My name is _____, not Sarah!” as if I have some sort of mental disability.

Of course, then there are the other days when I just mix them up anyway and call Emily “Sarah” and Sarah “Emily”.

I confuse easily.

And then there is Tyler…

Tyler is the name my husband wanted to give to our baby if we had a boy.  I do NOT like the name Tyler.  Specifically because he wanted to call him “Ty” and to me, a “Ty” takes steroids.

No offense to all of the Tylers in the world.

For blog purposes, my husband wanted to be named “Jethro” and I just would not have that at all, so I gave him the name Tyler since he loved it so much.


However… the name Tyler has caught on at work and his co-workers call him by his blog name!  Isn’t that the best?

Thanks guys for taunting my husband.  It just makes my day to taunt him.

Jim and Tina are my parent’s real names.

Our pets chose to keep their real names as well.

And as for me, I am sorry I haven’t come forth sooner.  I won’t feel bad if you forget and send emails to Laura or The Girl or whatever other moniker you choose to give me.

Now while I go all around the internet changing my name I want to know this:

Do you share your real name?  Why or why not?  How do you sleep at night, if you share your full name!?


79 responses to “The Girl Confesses

  1. I started out with a pretend name, but not so much to protect us from unknown weirdos. It was to try not to be found by a known weirdo, my ex-husband’s wife. She has an unhealthy interest in my private life. But despite my precautions, she found me, so I gave up and used our real names because the fake names were just annoying to me.
    I don’t use any of our last names, though.
    I almost choked on my cookie when I read that your pets chose to use their real names! LOL

  2. I use my real name. I feel fine about it.

  3. Erika really?!? I think you should legally change your name to Laura…;0)

    Wow, I don’t know how you do it, changing everyone’s name…I’d for surely slip.

    I would have felt weird going by a different name. How do I sleep at night? Meet my friend, his name is Xanax.

    • No way! Do you know my dad? That is his friend too 🙂

      Their blog names rhyme with their real names so it is easy and, there is one more way I remember but I have to leave that a mystery!!!

  4. My real name is Joey. It’s a boy’s name and sounds worse with my real last name which is on my blog somewhere. I use real names for everyone because I’m hoping to use the blog as a body of work to give me “clips” as a real writer. I sleep fine at night. I think names are okay but will never put a picture of my daughter online. If someone took a pic of her and did anything with it I’d want to hunt them down and gouge their eyes out with a dull spoon. Therefore I stick with the names and no pictures.

    I’ll never remember if you’re Laura or Jethro or what now. I think you’ve succeeded in being completely confusing!

  5. I use my real first name, but no last names. I refer to family as dh, dd, and ds. My pets also chose to use their real names. Erika’s gonna take a little getting used to! LOL!

  6. I know it is hard to believe but – Hillbilly Willy is my real name.

    I know it is hard to believe but I have a bridge to sell also.

    I know it is hard to believe but it is cold in July.

    10-4 Willy

  7. I started out as a family blog and never thought about changing names, really. Then I have a Scentsy business I wanted to connect to my blog and it has my full name. As I started associating with more bloggers, I considered changing my kids names everywhere. But then I just decided that it is what it is. And, frankly, in this world it would be pretty easy to figure out info about someone if you really wanted to. I sleep just fine. :0)

  8. I go by Shell, which is what my friends call me- everyone else calls me Michelle. When I started blogging, I figured since I’m being real like I am with friends, I’d go with Shell. I don’t use my last name or real names for my kids. I’m totally paranoid.

    But, my family and irl friends also don’t know that I blog, so that’s another reason for the name changes, besides my fear of stalkers.

  9. I use first names that are real. I guess using first names doesn’t really worry me or make me think I’ll get a stalker. I don’t use our last names though.

  10. Dang. Should I come clean now and tell people my real name too? I get it. That’s why I starting going through and changing the name of my son from what it is to something else.

    Something I hate more than anything is when people fabricate stories and bullshit and lie just to make themselves seem more interesting.

    Protecting identities is a whole other ball of wax. And by the way, you never looked like a “Laura” to me anyhow 🙂

  11. Hehehe, I feel special that I knew your “secret”! Well, you know mine, so I guess it’s only fair…

  12. My blog started as a family one before we joined the Army so one of my first posts was “Mrs. Our Last Name”… I have since changed them all. I do use my real name. I just use LB and DH for my son and husband though. I might give the hubby a fake name one day but then I’d start confusing the two like you do lol. Can’t do Tyler though, that’s my ex fiance’s name. Although we are all still good friends… I don’t think DH would appreciate me calling him Tyler. :p

  13. Is this why you mom kept asking what your name was in the vlog?

    • Yes!! She kept calling me Ellen and Helen and OMG it was so funny!!! There was 2 minutes of footage before the vlog began that we were simply crying and pounding the table in laughter! But, hell, really she even misses calling me Erika half of the time! She will call me “Emily” which is funny!

  14. Actually, my given name is Judith, and I was named for a witch. No joke! When my grandmother was in grammar school, she had to attend a class called “elocution.” She was forced to memorize epic poems, one of which was “As The Moon Rose,” by Pauline Phelps. It is a poem about the revolutionary war, and one of the characters is “The Witch Girl Judith.” So that’s how I got my REAL name.

    Now here is a warning to STALKERS–don’t even think about! If you stalk me, you will find yourself in a world of hurt. Seriously! You cannot even imagine what will happen to you if you try to mess with me.

    • You go Judie!! me too! I will get those stalkers!!!

      I was going to be an Ingrid, but them my parents changed their minds. I kind of like Ingrid.

  15. I like having a level of anonymity between myself and the search engines to keep my ex- wife and parents away but I don’t mind the average reader knowing my name.

    • Yeah, me too. I figure knowing my first name isn’t going to hurt. Well… I know your whole name, but I keep my personal and blog emails separate.

      You see, there are old boyfriends that maybe were not too happy I broke up with them! I do not want to be “found.” but these days, i suppose, I can be found for the low, low price of $19.95, right?!

  16. *Jaw on the floor, eyes bugging*


    well, now your mother’s inability to remember your name makes total sense!

    But still, you are such a Laura! What a fun secret hahah! I’m still in shock though– now I’m dying to know what the girls’ real names are…

    I use my real name, I like it too much to use a fake name. And while I’ve never put my last name on my blog (yet), if you’ve ever received an email from me, you know it. I figure I’m in the clear as I’ve never said what city I live in or my parent’s names. Since I still live at home, my name isn’t listed in the white pages. I’d be pretty hard to find 🙂

  17. Well…I started my blog for family only. I didnt do research on them before {like I should have} and I didnt know what I was doing. So unfortunatly, I use our real names.
    I never really gave it much thought about getting a stalker or being murdered. Uh, thanks!

  18. Is it wrong to say I think you “look” like a Laura more than an Erika? 🙂

  19. Glad you came clean!! 🙂 I am stupid and use my real name. Did I mention how not smart I am sometimes??

    • You are not stupid, but I feel like that too. I forget to watermark the photos.

      Hey I am SO SUPER excited to meet you next week. I can see the post titles now: “When Miles met Sarah” or “Drinking with Anne and The Girl” Hey! I am bringing my videocamera too. You just never know!!!

  20. I’m Kathryn and go by Kate online. I don’t give out my last name and get scared when I put pictures on my blog, but I think it’s nice to have pictures so I just go with it anyway.

    I want a cookie…

    Kate x

    • Cookies ARE good.

      If I need to post a pic I will leave it up for a week and then delete it from Photobucket so there is no way anyone can take it from Google Images.

  21. I use our real names because I KNOW that I would slip up one day and blow everything out of the water.

    And I take melatonin to help me sleep! : )

    • I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I was up until 1. Woke up at 5:30.

      I ALWAYS can sleep!!! I have been so busy and I was working last night on this other blog thing super late and I couldn’t settle down.

  22. I use my kids nicknames. I use my name. I love that Jethro, I mean Tyler’s co-workers give him a hard time. What’s life without someone harassing you? You should make sure next year when he goes golfing with the guys they call him Tyler…or Jethro. =)

    Now I just have to remember to watermark all my photos!


  23. I’ve always used our real names, I guess because I started blogging to keep my friends and family in the loop about what we were doing. Before that I would send lots of email updates. Blogging just seemed easier. Now that I have blog friends I guess it’s kind of different, more public, but I trust that you all won’t stalk or murder me. 🙂

    By the way, it makes sense now why your mom kept asking you what your name is during your vlog. Hahahaha! You two should do another vlog together. I still go back and watch it when I need a good laugh!

    • You are CORRECT! Which is also why we kept cracking up. She knew to use the fake name, but it was just so funny! She even called me Ellen and Helen and now I am laughing.

      That is super sweet that you watch the vlog and yes, we will be doing another. The other one we did, we didn’t post as we felt it wouldn’t be nice to our husbands. You all would have loved it!

      Soon, i will be vlogging with some other bloggers, but I can’t spill the secret until Friday!!!

  24. Hi Erika! You never seemed like a Laura to me anyway. 🙂 Funny how some people think the opposite!

  25. Quick, I have 30 seconds before I’m dragged out into the streets of Chicago again. So, you did it! Was there a reason behind the unveiling?

    I’ve always been me because hopefully someday my name will be out there anyway.

    Besides, if anyone really wanted to find me, my town is so small, if anyone were to find out its name, all they would have to do is pull up to the gas station or a stoplight and just ask the car next to them, where they could find me or anyone else in my town for that matter and they’d just point you in the right direction. It’s sad actually how small my life is.

    • It is getting hard to keep track of who knows my real name and who doesn’t. Plus the 77kids Do GOod Day event is coming and my real name is listed there all over the place. Erika wants the credit, Laura doesnt 🙂

      I will email you more later. I am so busy with this thing. And then I have HUGE blog guilt as I am hardly here these past few days. I was up until 1 AM last night! That is 4 hours past bedtime… 😦

  26. I use hubby, M, T, and TZ to describe my kiddos but when I started I did use our real names but once I started getting followers I changed it because of a post about what you share online sort of spooked me.

    When I started my blog it was just for family and I still do not publish my blog via blogger or goggle I keep it private but from blog hops etc., I have gained followers so I tweeked how I posted from then on. Although, I do noticed sometimes in pics on bdays etc., you may catch my kids names but I do not outwardly state them any longer.

    I do however use my name at the end of my blogs but do not use my last name, I do not have my facebook connected or my weather widget anymore. I do not put the city I live in etc., just because that one post a few mths back freaked me out.

    My blog name is running on MTT so that is why I speak of them by their letters, just add a Z to the last T do seperate him from his brother! And that is his initial of his middle name!

    So…there is your answer and I was just getting used to Laura since I’ve just learned it….now I have to rethink your new name! LOL!

  27. Do you have any idea how hard it is for an old lady to change her way of thinking… Laura, umm… I mean Erika? Nah, I totally understand wanting to remain anonymous. I only give my real name to a select few, that I feel I might be able to trust and that I actually correspond with, outside the blog.

  28. FOR REAL? Your name is Erika? Oh my goodness. I had no idea. I am flabbergasted. And yes, Melissa is my real name – and all the other names I give people are their real names. I am so shocked right now that I just don’t know what to say… WOW.

  29. Okay, now I’m traumatized. 😉 I think you LOOK like a Laura!

    So, Erika…I’m going to have to get used to that now. Though I must say, I’m glad your husband’s name is not Tyler. I agree that a Ty sounds like a football player on steroids.

    My personal blog is called Zahirah, not so much because I wanted to stay anonymous. I’m actually not really clear why I called it that, aside from that was my belly dancing name when I took classes years ago. I do use my real name, Holly.

    I keep going back and forth with my boyfriend’s name. I’ve used varieties of his real name, but I never even call him by his real name. So I’ve been debating whether to just call him by the nickname I gave him or not. Because it’s kind of cutesy-cheesy. Though that may be funny. Not sure.

    I have my paranoid moments. But I’m mostly okay with using my name.

    On my other blog, I use my full name, with photo, etc. That kind of freaks me out sometimes. But I figure it’s unlikely that a stalker will come all the way down to Argentina to kill me on the three block walk to the nearest Starbucks, and most local stalkers probably isn’t reading that blog because it’s in English.

    Does that logic work? Probably not.

  30. I started with a pseudonym. I wanted to feel free to say what was really on my mind and not hurt anyone’s feelings.
    I was feeling guilty about it and deceitful.
    Then I realized, I had about 3 posts that I wouldn’t want certain people to see.
    So, I made those private and came clean, somewhat. My pseudonym is still everywhere.

  31. I use my real name and my pet decided to use his real name too 🙂 I don’t use my Boyfriends name, he will always be Boyfriend or B, even if he ends up one day being my fiancee. I don’t think I will use my future children’s real names either. I’m okay putting myself out there but not people who I haven’t given the choice.

  32. As you can see use my name and general area of the state I live in. On my Blog my real name is front and center, do not state the city I live in and my husband is usually my “sweetie” or my “DH” so only in emails does his real name get put out there to people that I know! Not sure what you posted a while back but it is always common sense not to draw a map to your front door if at all possible, do not want any weirdos coming to visit me in the middle of the day or night!! Erika, huh who woulda thought it!

    jackie b

  33. I came out with my name a couple months ago and I’m still alive. It took me a year to do it, but I’m fine with it now.

  34. I actually started by blog for my family to keep up with us. I began with our last name in our address and used our realy names. When I realized other people read my blog, I removed our last name. First names don’t bother me. I have never named our hometown, just the general metropolitan area.

  35. Ahhh this will take some getting used to….Laura, Erika, Erika, Laura, Erika.
    I use my real first name. I don’t disclose my whole name on my actual blog, but it’s on my email so most of you can see it anyway. It doesn’t bother me. I have a mixture of real life and online friends who follow me online and my name is not that unique so I’ve been okay so far!

  36. i don’t use my real name. mostly because i’m a total dork and think that i have something super fantastic that somebody, somewhere might want to steal from me. like my Ulta membership card or my store credit at Marshalls.

    i wish i had kids to call by fake names. you are my hero for the day.

  37. Oh my goodness! All of these comments made me paranoid. Fake names, watermarking pictures.. YIKES! I didn’t even think of any of that. Why? Mostly because I don’t think random people will actually read my blog. It’s just for me and my friends, isn’t it??? 🙂

  38. I feel a little duped. I didn’t reveal my name right off the bat either and I kept my kids names hidden for a while as well but then Facebook took all our privacy away and I figured if I couldn’t keep my own kids from telling the internet all their stuff I might as well call them by their real names. Plus, I have the most common name on the internet so if someone where to google me they would have to wade through 130 million other bloggers with my same name, and some singer/songwriter in Nova Scotia.

  39. Hi Erika, I’m Vanessa. 🙂 I don’t use any other names on my blog and so far haven’t put up pics of my girls except of the back of their heads or when their faces were pushed up against each other. 🙂 Oh, and one time my older one made a cameo in a video I put on. I had to leave it up, because it was super cute!

  40. Hi Erika! I don’t blame you for changing your name. I think it is funny that your husband’s co-workers have started calling him Tyler. I try to limit the pics of my daughters and just vaguely refer to the region where we live since it is a metropolitan area with three cities close by. I hope you had a fun day yesterday with your husband off from work!

  41. One part of my name is real, the other is made up. I won’t divulge which is which!

  42. Laura, Sarah, Emily, Tyler, EVEN Jethro are better than Fiorella…

    What was I thinking?

    Here’s the link to my first post where I explained my name choice:

  43. I used my real name because, well, I’m stupid that way.

    I started out using my kids names because my family reads the blog- but then I started getting comments from non-family members and I decided I’d just use my kids ages. I had a hard enough time coming up with real names for all 7 of them. Trying to decide upon pseudonyms for all of them makes me feel tired.

    Erika makes sense. I have to admit that I always wondered at your husband’s name. Now I’ll continue to wonder.

  44. Oh how neat!! I love learning the real names of the bloggers that I love!
    Obviously, Salt is not my real name (or else my parents are really mean).

    I’m Lauren! Nice to meet you!

  45. Oh I think I smell a blog post coming. Haha. No, obviously my parents must have had a huge sense of humor to name me “The Drama Mama” so, yes, it’s a moniker. I have hateful people in my past, and I never know when they are googling in search for me (they have stalked me to the point that you can no longer even FIND my original profile on a certain nameless popular wedding website), so I used a pseudonym that I thought fit me and my life (drama seems to follow me like a black cloud. Ugh).

    It really does let me be much freer in the blogosphere too.

  46. I have not shared my real name on my blog. . . .yet. I am working up to it, and BlogHer is the big push to do so. I do sign my real name to my email replies.

  47. I do use our real names. I just figure we are not that exciting…well, now I am jinxing myself and will attract a stalker. I have been okay with it…until now!

  48. I use my full name and my use my husband’s name, but not my daughters. I use their nicknames. As for sleeping…I sleep pretty well with Ambien and a big dog.

  49. It’s nice to meet you! Well, when I first started reading about blogging, everything I read said that readers connect more with you if 1) you share your image (do so with my header) and 2) if you use at least part of your name. Since I used my full name for my blog name and address I was set-seemed okay at the time until students of mine learned about my blog so I did the comment approval route, so if I had to do it again I might rethink the name bit and do as you did. Now I have used images of my kids (although I wasn’t going to do that-weirdos out there you know), but I refer to them as daughter and son only, and my husband is either husband or hubby. (People could probably figure them out if they wanted to I guess, but it makes me feel a little better.)

    • It is sad that we have to be so private. But I would rather be careful. If I have to post a pic of one of the girls I delete it from Photobucket in 5 days!

  50. My real name is…..kidding, my real name is Heather. But, that being said, I use my maiden name online. My kids’ names are their real names, I wasn’t smart enough to use their initials or a cute little nickname when I first started blogging. LOL But, I use my maiden name to protect them so that their last name isn’t splashed all over the internet. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find out what my real last name is, because Pato uses our last name on his things, but you’d have to sort through my myspace stuff to find it. And Pato is his nickname, so you’d have to go through all the pictures of my myspace friends and match his up with the pics from my blog, really it would just be too big of a pain in the butt for the average person. I wouldn’t even use my maiden name if it wasn’t part of the name of my business. Why I picked Designs By Heather Manning, I don’t know, but it’s out there, too late to change it now.

    One time, a couple of years ago on a digiscrapping smack blog, where they have nothing better to do than tear people down, they were actually debating whether we were married or not, I’m assuming because Manning isn’t the most Mexican sounding last name. After that, I wanted Pato to even go by Manning online. LOL

    I’ve got to respond to your email, but I had to come over and read this post, you had me all intrigued. I love ya Erica/Laura/The Girl! LOL I’ll email you back as soon as I get Jordan packed for his dad’s because he’s getting all impatient on me.

    • oh oh oh, I was going to say, even my emails come from Heather Manning (you’ve seen it 🙂 ). My family members have all gotten used to me using my maiden name for everything online. I had to delete one post from a cousin on my Facebook wall, and explained why, and he’s been really careful about it since then.

      • One more thing, then I’ll go away, I read about watermarking pictures. I do that too, not because I am such a great photographer, but because I work in an industry where people take pictures of other people’s kids and scrap with them, claiming them as their own, or just using the pictures. This way they have to work a little harder for them. I always wondered if I should post that sometime so the non-digiscrappers know why I do it, so they don’t think I do it because I’m vain about my pictures when they aren’t anything special to anyone but myself. Ok, now I’m going to pack jordan up. After I wrote a blog post in the comments of your blog post. ROFL

      • Oh facebook! I know it is illegal and all but I did create a fake name for that. Oops!

    • Tyler just calls me Bitch and I am ok with that!

  51. ROFL Pato calls me gorda, which is not the most flattering term in Spanish, but he claims it’s a term of endearment. Jordan has a facebook page too, but you won’t find him under his last name, you won’t find him under my maiden name, it’s his first and middle name. He has it because he was begging to play games on my facebook page and he’s only friends with family. I check his facebook page every day.

  52. It’s funny that I got a comment on my blog from you before I read this post of yours! I was like…huh?
    I don’t use my real name on my blog because I have a sort of unusual and easily recognizable name. I worry a little about stalker types too. Better safe than sorry, I think. I’m not as creative as you with the names…actually I’m not creative at all…”older son, younger son, and DH” are the typical ways I refer to the family. Good stuff, huh? (At least I don’t say “older boy” which might lead to abbreviating him as a tampon.)

  53. I lov eyour story and your explanation. Honestly it never occured to me to use a faux name. I actually use my maiden name on the blog and never mention my married name. I have written a few things and so my name was already out there and both of my blogs are an extension of my writing so it made sense to use it. I never mention hubby’s name and I have used the kids first names – which I am still iffy about.

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