Ten Years of Blogging

Today is my blog’s 10th “birthday.”

10 years ago, Ryan suggested I start blogging. I figured I’d give it a try, but I didn’t write very much at first. I didn’t really think I had anything to say, and I sure didn’t know who would want to read what I wrote!

But 2008 was a very big year for us. We decided to homeschool that year, and then Moose was diagnosed with autism, and he started his own school journey. And I wrote about those things. I still don’t know if I was just trying to sort out my own thoughts and feelings, or if I was hoping to connect with people having similar experiences, or if I thought maybe what I was doing and going through could help other people somehow. But I started writing more and more frequently, and in 2011, I had my first full year of daily blogging, and I never looked back. I have now blogged every day, at least once a day, and sometimes more frequently, for over seven years straight.

There have been times when I have really felt like a successful blogger. Many months, my website has had over 3,000 views, and while I know that doesn’t mean people are really reading what I have to say, it’s still a lot to me. I’ve come to recognize seasonal ebbs and flows of certain posts. I’ve had days where my blog traffic has really spiked. Several things I have written have been viewed thousands of times. I was even recognized in public once as a local homeschool blogger, and I won’t lie…I felt like a celebrity!

There have been other times, though, when I have wondered why I bother. When I can see that people just aren’t reading what I’m writing. Where I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into a post that I think is really interesting and it has fallen flat. When I can’t think of what I want to write about, or can’t find the words for what I do want to say. When we’re busy or there’s illness in the house, and it seems like I just can’t find the time for anything. And of course, worst of all, the moments when I see other bloggers who are somehow able to make money, or even just get gifts of things they like from various companies, and I wonder, what am I doing wrong that no one has even reached out to me like that?

I keep at it, though. Because in the end, it doesn’t really matter to me who is reading what I’m writing, and I’m sure not in this to get some kind of compensation. What matters is that I found my voice, that I know I have something to say, and that I’m putting myself out there, every day, sharing my thoughts and experiences, and making a tiny little corner of the internet mine.

If you’ve ever considered starting a blog, or picking up a long-abandoned blog, I challenge you to give it a shot. There is so much benefit to putting your thoughts down on “paper” and expressing yourself, and even one voice can make a difference!

Bridgedale Cleaners

The sign is a little worse for the wear, and I can’t really even tell if this dry cleaner in Cahokia is still open for business, but it’s definitely vintage!

The Top Five–Imaginary Places I’d Like to Visit

This list is brought to you courtesy of Bunny. One evening, she asked me if I could pick any imaginary location to visit, what would it be? Well, you know me…I can’t pick just one. So here are my top five (fine…six) imaginary places to which I wish I could actually travel:

  • Land of Make Believe–Didn’t everyone who grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood want to hop on Trolley and visit the Land of Make Believe? Hanging out with Queen Sara Saturday, Lady Aberlin, and the Platypus family would be so much fun! And maybe there would even be a Purple Panda sighting… The older I get, the more convinced I am that it would be an amazing place to stay and stay!
  • The Kingdom of WisdomThe Phantom Tollbooth was one of my favorite books when I was a child (actually, it still is!), and when I was little, I thought that if I imagined hard enough, I could hop in the car with Milo and visit Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, but hopefully not get stuck in the Doldrums! And if someone dropped that tollbooth in my house today, I would definitely take the trip!
  • Downton Abbey–I would love to visit the real Highclere Castle someday, but I also wish I could visit the fictional world of Downton Abbey…maybe be invited to dinner with the Granthams, or even just work in the castle! I’m not only interested in visiting the place…I’d love to get to know the people there, as well.
  • The Land of Sweets–I think it’s pretty obvious that I love the Nutcracker ballet, and I would love to be able to travel to the Land of Sweets the way Clara did. Even better, I wish I could travel to different companies’ productions of the Land of Sweets, because they’re all so unique and beautiful, and that trip would be almost never-ending!
  • Vic Fontaine’s–I would love to spend an evening at Vic’s Lounge in the holosuite on Deep Space Nine, listening to him sing. It would be like an evening with the Rat Pack at The Sands, only better, because I could run into Dax, Worf, and Doctor Bashir while I was there!
  • The Columbia Inn, Pine Tree, Vermont–The setting of my favorite Christmas movie would also make the perfect Christmas vacation spot. Song and dance, snow and scenery, and a fun indoor fire pit for roasting hot dogs and making s’mores. But does the trip come with the dream vintage wardrobe from White Christmas…?

Sartorial Saturday–Sabrina

I have been wanting to try a Sabrina top from Pinup Girl Clothing for quite a while. But not just any Sabrina top…I had my heart set on the grey version that was in the “coming soon” section of their website all last fall. I was so excited when it finally became available right after Christmas, especially since I had a little Christmas money to pay for it!

This top is a gorgeous shade of grey, and in addition to being a great match for the pictured Mary Blair elephants Jenny skirt, the Yellow House Harlequin Long Jun skirt, and the Skeleton Band Bella skirt, it goes with quite a few more of my skirts as well! It’s a bit different for me, as it’s made from a stretchy ponte fabric as opposed to the more structured material of the peasant tops I often wear. The stretch is wonderfully comfortable, and much more accommodating in the upper arm area than many tops, but as is the case with knits, it does show off every lump and bump. I don’t care, though…I love the fit, I love the color, and I’m really happy to have something with longer sleeves in my wardrobe!

Grasso Plaza

This vintage road sign is a little different from the ones I usually share, because it’s a shopping center sign, instead of one for an individual business. It’s also very simple, but I love the lettering and the flame…it definitely has a cool, retro vibe!

Chickadee Thursday

It was a cold morning on Chicago’s lakefront, but that didn’t stop Chickadee from going out on the Adler Planetarium patio to look at the sun through a telescope equipped with a solar filter!