Thursday, May 23, 2013

4 Year Blog-a-versary

4 years ago, I sat in a recliner with our laptop and as our first baby slept, I randomly decided to start a blog. I had no expectations for this blog of mine that I was creating. I simply opened up a free blogging service, set up a simple blog and started writing. Here's my first post:

May 23rd 2009:
Well, here I am. The baby is in bed and I'm going to give this whole blogging thing a try. The reason I decided to do this is because life is going to quickly and it's hard to remember some of the day to day precious details. I've tried old fashioned journaling and it doesn't work for me. I find that I am way to critical of what I write down on paper and I can't just keep it simple and honest. I just want to be able to keep track of the little things better. Judah is already 4 months old and I can't hardly remember what he slept like at 2 months! I hope this will be a little creative outlet for me and something where I can share my heart and the mundane, yet special day to day details of my life.

After that first post, I didn't blog again for a few months and then slowly the posts started becoming more frequent and blogging evolved into the perfect creative outlet for me. Looking back, there are a few things that I wish I had done differently. I wish the blog had different name. "Angela's Adventures", just doesn't quite do it for me, but it might be too late to change and even if I did, I don't have any amazing name ideas at this point. If you have any ideas, throw them out there. I'm all ears! Also, I might not have used our real names....nicknames might have made me feel more comfortable, but it's too late for that. 

At first, I  shared my blog with no one. I was pretty sure that it was totally nerdy and I was happy to keep my nerdy hobby on the down low. The writing I was doing was simply for me, as a way to document the simple, beautiful, crazy and precious everyday. Even when my big boy was a tiny baby, I believed with my whole heart that the special, day to day details of life need to be celebrated. 

After blogging for 4 years, I'm often still totally embarrassed when people in "real life" read my blog. It still feels like I must be totally wack-o to type out my thoughts, adventures, ramblings and share our memories with you...the person that reads what I write. But, as much as it makes me rosy-cheeked, it also feels so right. I know that God gives each of us our own unique story and I love being able to share our story in this way. At this point, I just need to work on sharing my story more proudly. I need to feel more comfortable with putting my heart out there. I want to work on telling our story, proud!

Over the last 4 years, I feel like I've learned a lot about blogging and the funny little bloggy world. I've learned that you need to maintain who YOU are. No one is YOU and you can't be anyone better than you can be yourself. In the blogging world, comparison is a nasty joy stealer---Actually, comparison is a nasty joy stealer in every area of life, isn't it? Well, when you write, be you and when you are truly you, joy will follow. 

Over the last 4 years, I've also learned that there isn't a "right" way to blog, but you have to do what's right for YOU.  Awhile back, I went through a phase where I shared lots of craft and DIY ideas and I linked up a lot. Comments came and my blogs stats grew, but I felt like my content was so empty. When I started this blog, I wanted to share my heart and the mundane, yet special day to day details of life. I didn't start this blog to be a craft blog and I'm so glad I came back around to writing more of our story and less of our projects. The comments that I've received on posts where I've shared my heart and helped someone have been so much more valuable to me, than a comment on a wreath or something. And trust me, I like wreaths just as much as anyone, I just don't feel like that's what God wants me to write about. 

A few weeks ago, I went to dinner with my Mom and sister. As we sat there, eating our Thai food, I teared up as I told them that I love writing, but I'm so worried that every time I post, I'm making an absolute fool of myself. I shared that I'm hoping that I'm not stepping out there and looking like a total idiot, without anyone telling me, because how much would that stink? I asked them if I should continue to blog and if so, what should I blog about or what should I change? Their feedback was really helpful and just saying those words was something that I needed. I needed to realize that I love writing and that I'd do this, even if no one ever read. 

From time to time, I go back and read what I wrote when I first started blogging. Those posts are special to me now. The days when Judah was just a baby seem like they were so long ago and having those memories written down, is such a treasure. 

When I started writing, I also didn't realize what an amazingly huge community the blogging world is. I've made some connections that have really been a blessing. I've received emails from encouraging readers that have really made my day. And some of my favorite posts aren't the ones that have been pinned the most or have had the most views. No, my favorites are the ones that have made a little difference in someone's life. After we attended the "Weekend to Remember", I blogged about it and a few people have since commented and said that my post encouraged them to go. Those are the comments that have made me feel like God can use even  a stay at home Mom, who writes while her kids nap to encourage others. 

And lastly.....one of my favorite things about writing is YOU. As much as I get totally embarrassed, I just love you guys and I'm not going to deny that, because I do love ya...big time. As I continue to write, I want to make this little space that God has given me, the absolute best that it can be. I want to write to keep our memories, but I also want this space to be a place that means something to you.

Our story is so imperfect, but I'm passionate about making the most of daily life and sharing that in this space. Someone really wise (I can't remember who) once said that we write to taste life twice and that quote has become one of my favorites. With my whole heart I believe that I'm supposed to not only survive this season with my trio of little ones, but I'm also supposed to ENJOY it. I hope that when I share our joys and our mistakes, that you'll see that we're just like you...blessed, broken, excited and trying to make every day beautiful. There is so much beauty in normal, day to day life. There's so much to celebrate, so much to share and so much that needs to be remembered.

So, my question for you is.....
What do you wish I would write more about? Do you have any questions for me? What type of posts do you enjoy the most?

I'm so glad I started this 4 years ago, what fun it's been!
Angela

***Wrapping this up with a picture of Judah, after we picked him up from his last day of preschool. Before we went to get him, we decorated his car seat with a few balloons and some streamers. He couldn't stop smiling. It really is all about the simple things. Happy Summer, sweet boy. 

3 comments:

  1. Dear Angela...Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts here...feels like it has been 4 mos. not 4 years to me! I love your sincerety in whatever you share ... although your craft ideas are great..my favorite topic is your growing family and how you grow spiritually in your roles of wife and mother. Because of your transparency in challenging times, readers learn and grow. That is how your blog has affected me.
    Thanks!

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  2. I found your blog 3 months ago when I accidentally clicked the "next blog" link instead of a share button at the top of a family member's blog. I was taken to your sweet part of the blogosphere and have been hooked since. I enjoy the honesty of your writing and how you take time to enjoy the simple things and teach your children to do the same. I plan to stick around for the next 4 years!

    I love what you wrote here "Be you and when you are truly you, joy will follow." It's true the we are most beautiful when we are Be-You-tiful. Thanks again for the reminder today!

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    Replies
    1. Wow, that is so kind! Thank you so much!

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Thank you for your comments. I read every single one of them and they always make me smile.

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