Happy Bloggy Birthday to Five days…5 ways!

So, I don’t usually post on Saturdays, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing myself a happy little bloggy birthday song (I may even have a cupcake to celebrate) because exactly one year ago today, I embarked on this journey called blogging.

And boy, has it been fun.

And hard.

And a pretty ridiculous amount of work at times.

I know that may sound silly considering that it’s just a little bitty speck of real estate on the internet where I show you my Goodwill finds and my children’s cuteness and rooms in my house that I’m proud of (after I’ve first moved all the debris that would normally be in the shot out of range so you won’t see it, of course).

But I rarely write a post in under 2 hours (and that usually doesn’t include photo-taking/editing, etc.), and there are plenty of other things that go along with blogging that have nothing to do with the “finished product” that you guys see (those of you with blogs of your own are nodding your heads right now).

I’m still learning more about all of those “other things” as I go…

But mostly, I’m learning to let go.

Blogging is hard for my personality.

I’m what I like to call a selective perfectionist. Which means I like things to be just so…in some areas.

And then I’m perfectly capable of letting others slide in ways that would horrify and mystify some of you.

I’m also competitive—used to be to a fault but now only to a sometimes annoying degree.

And above all with myself.

Sure, I compare myself with others just like everybody else does, and it never comes to any good since I either end up feeling woefully inadequate or full of ugly pride as a result.

But mostly, I compare myself to my own standards—what I think I could/should be accomplishing.

And I’m kind of hard on myself if I don’t measure up…to myself. (Confused yet?)

So, yeah.

Blogging, with all its built-in horn-tooting and numbers-counting is a dangerous thing for a girl who likes to set/achieve personal goals and then break her own records.

And there have definitely been times that I’ve gotten sucked into the blogging vortex of “have-to-itis.”

You have to do Twitter, or you won’t succeed.

You have to do lots of giveaways, or no one will like you (in the blog-world or on Facebook…Oh, for the days when liking someone meant you wanted to go to a movie with them).

You have to have amazing photos, or no one will even look at your posts.

You have to have a big week-long, blogiversary celebration, or no one will be impressed by your achievements (don’t get me wrong; I would have LOVED to have done that, but it just wasn’t a good use of my time right now, and I accepted that…that’s progress, right there, folks).

There have been times when I have stayed up waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too late, ignored my children and husband, fretted over blog-traffic, counted links, done projects that I have no use for except to post them on the blog, and just generally worried way too much about this whole blogging business.

And that’s the bad.

The ugly.

The stuff I would love to pretend I’m above and way too mature for but totally am not when I let my perspective get skewed.

But it’s getting better.

In fact, I pretty much never check my blog stats anymore, (even though it’s very sound advice to know where your traffic is coming from so you can optimize those avenues and not expend effort on areas that don’t “grow your blog”).

And I genuinely don’t care too much if my “numbers” stall out (although I love getting new readers…not a single blogger in the world could say they don’t and tell the truth).

But it doesn’t rule me like it could (and has a times) if I’m not careful.

I know I’m not alone in these struggles because I’ve read a lot of posts in which the blogger bemoans his/her attachment to the instant gratification of increased numbers, social media interaction, and, perhaps most importantly of all, comments.

Apparently, it’s a human nature thing.

Which makes me even more grateful that I have a God who cares about me and my character enough that He sometimes reaches down and forces me to take a step back and reassess.

That’s what this pregnancy with twins has done for me.

Forced me to slow down, reevaluate where my limited energy can be best spent, and look ahead to an even busier time in my life when blogging will simply have to play second (or seventh) fiddle to the need for sleep, food, snuggles, and other aspects of real life (the twins are jumping around in my belly even as I write this, so apparently they agree).

And that, folks, is pretty much where I stand after a year of blogging.

And it feels like a good place to be.

Because there are so many incredible things about blogging too.

Like the opportunity I get each and every day to connect with people like you whom I wouldn’t ever get to “meet” otherwise.

Like the chance to use my blog for good to help out PCM orphans in Uganda.

Like the platform it gives me to share my faith when sometimes, I feel like the only people I ever share the gospel with are my own children (not that they don’t need to hear it).

Like the motivation to get dressed in decent clothes (my husband always notices when I do) and get projects finished.

Like the fact that I get to write—which I love and hadn’t done regularly in over a year before I started this blog.

Like the incredible response I receive when I share a personal struggle and so many of you say you get it and are encouraged by knowing that you’re not alone, and that, by the grace of God, there’s hope.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Blogging is good.

And bad.

Mostly, it’s what you make of it.

It’s a constant struggle for balance (but isn’t that “real life” too?), and it’s a struggle that me and my competitive self are determined to continue…at least for now.

I don’t know the future that God has planned for me (outside of a 40% increase in the number of children entrusted to my care), but I do know that I want everything I do—and that definitely includes blogging—to glorify and honor the One who gives me the ability to make even one single keystroke.

Have I always been successful in carrying out this desire?

No.

I’d be lying if I said that every post that I’ve ever written has glorified God.

So many of them have mostly glorified me.

Because it’s actually almost impossible to blog without being a little bit narcissistic.

And that’s yet another facet of balance that I am striving to get just right.

But I will say this: I have tried, to the best of my ability, to be as honest with you as possible without compromising the integrity of my family or turning this blog into a tale of woe and negativity.

I’ve (literally) shown you my dirty laundry, confessed my weaknesses, and shared my failings as well as my successes, and I will continue to do so as long as I feel led to blog.

I hope that’s okay with you guys.

Because I’d love it if you stuck around.

And that’s really why I got on here today

—To say thanks.

For reading.

For commenting.

For sending encouraging notes.

For praying for me.

For helping me help others.

For caring about the mundane minutiae of my tiny little corner of the world.

You have blessed my life in ways that you will never fully comprehend, and I am grateful for each of you.

Here’s to another year of growing pains…and joys too.

kisses

Mmmmmmwah!

You guys are the best!

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28 thoughts on “Happy Bloggy Birthday to Five days…5 ways!

  1. Abbie,
    Congrats on one year of blogging (is that 7 years in real life)!? Here’s to staying balanced and having a blast! Oh, and I have twins too – I’m finding lots of blog ladies who do (what kind of water are we drinking)?!
    Kelly

  2. So true! I’m in my first year of blogging and trying to find a balance. You seem to be doing pretty well!
    Congrats on the one-year blogging birthday!

  3. Hi Abbie!
    ‘Stumbled onto your blog this morning and love it! I subscribed. It is nice to find sisters in Christ out there in “blog world”!
    Congratulations on your one year “birthday”! But, more than that, congratulations on your twins! Boys or girls?
    I have twin grandsons, 15 years old, terrific tall dudes! I pray the best for you and your family! Enjoy life and glorify God!
    Looking forward to your posts. Been thinking about blogging but sounds like a little too much investment. I’ve just begun uploading cooking videos onto youtube and that is probably enough with all the other demands of life and work! Will post the link, if you are interested. http://www.youtube.com/user/thepecanshop/videos
    Again, thank you for the time you take to share your interests with us!
    Katherine Landreneau

  4. HI Abbie I was so touched while reading your post. Reading all the blogs I’ve subscribed to has changed my life. I love hearing about your children, seeing them in the pictures you share. What a wonderful thing to be able to share all these life’s happenings in some small way. I’ve witnesses such generosity of spirit, love and caring for other people we’ll never meet. The internet is something we can enjoy or as some do, use it to hurt. It’s so wonderful to feel that there are so many wonderful human beings that I can share with. I’m so proud of you for realizing what’s “really important” in your life. I can hardly wait to see those twins. How exciting. You have such a lot of life ahead of you, raising your children, having a wonderful life with your husband, now and after your children grow up and out on their own. That will be a very special time of your lives together also, sharing all those memories of starting out your lives together, raising children, having fun together with nobody to concern yourselves with but each other and those grandkids of course. Have a happy life and enjoy it on the way.

  5. Happy Blog Birthday! This little ‘hobby’ we both have sure can be fun, frustrating, make one forget what’s really important, and also make your day just a little brighter with just one nice comment. You are one of my favorite bloggers :)

  6. Happy Bloggy Birthday! I too was surprised. I thought you had been at this for longer. You are an inspiration to me! You help me keep things real and to remember the most important things in my life and not to get caught up in things I can’t control. Thank you and Good Luck!

  7. Happy Bloggy Birthday! I really enjoyed reading this…as with the rest of your blog. Your “voice” is delightful : )

  8. Mmmmmmmwah right back at ya girlie! Happy Bloggy Birthday to you … er … your blog … er … to you AND your blog … Oh whatever, could we just talk about how awesome your earrings are for a minute?!?! Mmkay thanks.

  9. Happy Bloggy birthday! I celebrated my real life birthday so it was a good day to celebrate! Love reading your blog! :o )

  10. Well put Abbie! Keep on keeping on with your blog, I love your writing no matter how much or little or selfish or selfless or faithful or faithless. Simply put I just love what you have to offer and sincerely wish you a Happy Blog-B-Day!

  11. Happy Happy Blog Birthday!!! It’s no wonder God loves you sooooo much – you’re one of His favorites ya know.

  12. I enjoy reading your blog… although I do wonder how you find the time…. and I feel that your new blessings (babies) may need you more than US. If you write – I will read. I feel like I have found a friend in this crazy mixed up world we called LIFE. Thanks for being honest about motherhood and for sharing your talents with us all. Greetings from Australia.

  13. Happy anniversary! I totally understand the struggles of a blog (my one year is next month!) and I think you are doing GREAT!

  14. singing you a little anniversary ditty over here, sweetie!
    i think of you often, even though i hardly ‘know’ you.
    i’m so glad God led me to your sweet spot over here.
    blessings for many more wonderful{and funny} blog posts!
    xoxo

  15. You’ve really accomplished a lot in a year – I told you that a little while back. I don’t know how you do it – with that many littles and blogging five days a week. I can barely manage with two kids in school blogging three times a week. But, you are full of energy {and are probably much younger than me} and have great ambition. Yes, don’t let numbers and stats drive you nuts – cause they will. I’m amazed at how much less I look at all that now. You are truly a geniunely sweet girl – just from meeting you at Blissdom I could tell you are very sweet and kind. Don’t overdue it…seriously!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  16. Happy Bloggy Birthday!! It’s nice to hear from somebody who is actually “real”!! Thanks for being honest with us, and mostly – with yourself! Keep it up!!

  17. Abbie, keep up your fantastic work. Great and honest perspective on blogging. All of it is so true. I love to read because I really feel energized by reading your posts – it’s a bit of inspiration every day! What a blessing to have that platform to share your faith, and props to you on doing so often and truthfully! Happy 1 year!

    Amy @ Sugar and Spice

  18. Happy Bloggiversary!! Can’t remember exactly when I started following, but I’ve been here for alot of it….and its been a fun ride! Your blog is always a “must-read” for me…..for sure. Love your witty writing, your style, your frugality & most of all, your honesty. I still don’t know how you do it, but the posts where you admit you can’t do it all…..make me feel better. Cuz I don’t even have a blog, and I have a hard time admitting I can’t do it all. So, thx for you for taking the huge amount of time to write your posts….cuz I’m always reading…..even if I don’t get time to comment :)
    Took a peek at your guest post from yesterday. What an amazing bench transformation! That is one cool piece of furniture you scored. And I LOVE that Amy Butler wall paper. I’m gonna try to find it in fabric. I think it would make a lovely skirt! As far as the matching of the pillow to the wallpaper….not really sure. On my computer screen the colors seem to be a little off…..but that’s probably just the screen. If the colors are close….I say go for it, definitely!
    Since I don’t have a blog for you to check out for my latest projects, I’m gonna leave you a link to my Flikr photostream. I sewed 2 pleated skirts to enter into the crafterhours “skirt week” competition. (I hope this works) http://www.flickr.com/photos/64793060@N08/with/7349412188/
    I’d love it if you took a quick look-see :) None of my real life friends share my same creative passions, so I had to share with somebody! And hubby, well, he appreciates it the best the man knows how :) “Looks beautiful, honey”….haha!
    Better run, the munchkins are stirring! Have a great weekend!

  19. Happy blog birthday, blogaversary, etc…!!!!! Now today you surprised me. I would have thought you had been at this for years. Love your blog have been following since not long after I started my blog, a year ago in May. Love your style; writing style, clothes, crafts, and home decor. You’ve inspired me to loosen up on my own blog and just be me. Thank you for sharing your wonderful life stories and adventures. Continue to be true to you, that’s what makes you so awesome lady! Have a super weekend.

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