What It All Means to Me

I haven’t written a heartfelt post in a while and Emelia inspired me to share my thoughts on this…

I started this blog in October of 2014. Prior to that I’d tried my hat at a few other forums and blogs but this one has been my biggest success. (I consider it a success because a) you’re here reading it and b) I very much enjoy writing it.) I’m not sure what I expected when I launched into this world, but I formed an online friendship with Chelsea pretty quickly and from there my internet friends really picked up and expanded.

I think there’s a somewhat popular opinion out there that traditional blogging is dead. Unless you pay $1,000 for good pictures or spend all your time pushing new skin care products (a.k.a. “influencing”), your place in this world is fading. Like Emelia, I 100% disagree with that.

I think that if you’ve been doing this for a few years you know that readership dips in the summer. You know that less people visit on holiday weekends and January is reserved for self-improvement and ‘goals’ posts. You pick up on the patterns of this world and you go with them or carve your own path. I love that this environment nurtures BOTH options.

Here are some other things I love about blogging:

Ohio is not a typical target for natural disasters or attacks (fingers crossed) so it’s hard to imagine the terror or devastation or hope that people feel when faced with wildfires or bombings or floods. Reading this post from Carolann about the Hawaii false missile alert or seeing IG stories from Ashten during the CA wildfires was so eye-opening. I cried real tears for these girls, even though I’ve never been in a situation like that or experienced these events first hand. Even on a smaller scale, reading about postpartum depression or flight anxiety or adoption or weight struggles is easier to understand and empathize with because of bloggers’ vulnerability. I’m more informed about city life and the struggles of homelessness, gerrymandering, and even commuting because people choose to write about it. When I was growing up our closest neighbors were cows so it’s a benefit to see the world through the eyes of people with different experiences.

I could go on and on about the friendships I’ve formed with other ladies in the blog world. I often catch myself telling local family and friends, “Well a friend of mine did xyz…” and I’m 100% talking about a blog friend. (K knows most of you all by name and he definitely knows your pets’ names.) I participate in snail-mail exchanges and book challenges and film challenges with my friends. I send and receive care packages. We collaborate on posts. We swap book recommendations and even physical books sometimes! If I stopped blogging I feel like the biggest loss I’d suffer would be the amount of friends I have. I really truly hope to meet some of them in person some day because I feel like we’ve fostered such a unique and special friendship through our writing.

While there’s always the risk of comparing lives or feeling jealous rage over perfectly edited IG photos, I think this community is a healthy place for inspiration. I constantly feel inspired to clean out my closet, cook a new dinner recipe for K, treat myself to a bubble bath and a glass of wine, or just take a walk on a pretty day. The ladies that I follow are constantly reminding me to enjoy life and be kind to myself (and others) and keep my environment healthy and productive and personal. That message gets lost or muddled in the fast-paced world outside our blogs. I honestly find that keeping close to and reading the words of other bloggers helps me to stay grounded and focused. They spread encouragement and acceptance and change, and in return I find myself doing the same.

It’s probably the most superficial reason for blogging, but I love the recommendations that come out of this environment. Speaking specifically about the bloggers I choose to follow, I think all the women are genuine and honest in their reviews. I find so many incredible books and movies, make-up products and shoes, clothing sales and Amazon steals from this community. It’s incredibly helpful come Christmas or birthdays or a treat yo’ self day.

I’m not an influencer. I made my very first sponsored post a few weeks ago and I didn’t get any money- they simply sent me a canvas to review. (It was awesome and I loved the whole experience, by the way.) I’m not a sales person so you’ll never see something here that I don’t love. I love to talk about my dogs and life and marriage and travel and books so that’s actually what you’ll see here 95% of the time.

So no, I don’t believe traditional blogging is dead and I’ll be around this space for as long as it’s fun and rewarding and therapeutic. I hate when blog-friends fade away, but I understand. I see my blog as a relationship with friends across the globe and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m grateful that you spend time here and I hope you get as much out of the blog world as I have and do. ❤︎

Revisiting Some of my Favorites

Happy Monday, my wonderful friends!
Are you bored with nothing to do? Fortunately today’s #BlogtemberChallenge is sharing a few older blog posts that I’m especially proud of!

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Sometimes I find it boring to go back and read old, random posts. I tried to keep things interesting & relevant 🙂

❤︎ In honor of Fall (3 days to go!) here’s the recap from last year’s Halloween Party– complete with costumes!

❤︎ One of my favorite things I’ve ever written: A Letter to my Future Children

❤︎ My thoughts while sitting at the OB/GYN isn’t very old, but it still makes me giggle

❤︎ I am stupidly proud of my bachelor/bachelorette posts (fyi: it has nothing to do with the real thing)

❤︎ Here’s the very first “about me” post I did on the blog!

It was tough to narrow my list of ‘favorites’ down to five… Hopefully at least one of these posts is new to you & you find it entertaining!

Like I said, this post is a part of the #blogtemberChallenge with Love Bailey Jean.

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Blogging Has Made Me a Kinder Person

Before I launch into this I need to point out how weird the word “kinder” looks. Also, that’s the German word for “children” so that’s what I see when I read that title. All of this is 100% off topic. ALSO, I’m guest posting on Olya’s blog today! Go there next!!

I was commenting on a blog a few days ago and I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a really positive, encouraging comment. Go you!” (I swear I don’t have such confident, self-praising thoughts often.) The reason I took notice in my words and tone was because I haven’t always been an uplifting person. There’s always room for more improvement and I was never a Negative Nelly, but for a long time I was a Smug Sarcastic Susie.

I mean, I’m still sarcastic- that’s forever a part of me like my skin or eyelids or love for Harry Potter. But when you comment on a blog or share a post 97.8% of the time that author deserves genuine thoughts, praises, well-wishes, etc. There’s a time and a place for sarcasm (and I am always at that place during that time), but I have formed so many genuine, positive friendships with ladies via Blogland that I would have never sought out or nurtured like I do if it weren’t for this space here.

I’m now very conscious of what I say or type. I’ve never been an internet troll and as a human behind my blog I am fully aware that there are humans behind every blog. Most times I feel a sincere friendship with those humans. I don’t text any of those ladies (although if you’d like to be text-friends hit me up via email- I’m game!) but we SnapChat and comment on IG with one another, and daily things that remind me of certain bloggers compel me to tweet them thoughts and pictures throughout the week. I’ve also bounced blog and novel ideas off these ladies. I honestly didn’t think I’d find community here, but I have.

And it’s made me a kinder person. I use the words “jealous” and “hate” less often (just like I’d hoped!). Blogland has given me more respect for stay at home moms, working moms, part-time working moms, dog & cat moms, women with seen and unseen illnesses, travelers, writers, saleswomen, lawyers, realtors, public speakers, accountants, and everyone else living a life different than mine. I’m calmer. I’m more calculated. And I feel like I’m unique yet similar to others, all at the same time. My struggle is authentic and personal, but it’s relatable to others and it’s only temporary- whatever it is.

So thank you. Thank you to those who read my blog or allow me to read yours. Thank you to the folks who like or comment on my posts and the ones who quietly read my words and then click away to another blog. Thank you to the folks who show me support, kindness, and understanding through your keyboard. I hope I can pay you back 10xs over.

I look forward to growing and reading and improving with you 🙂  Honestly, I wanted to list everyone but there are well over 30 and I was too afraid to leave people out ❤︎

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