Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!

My dear friends, the day has arrived: I have been blogging for one year.
Happy anniversary to Farm Girl!
I have been thinking for the last couple of weeks what I should do to mark this momentous occasion. A giveaway? A vlog? I do want to do the vlog, but it seems very daunting. Talking into a lens is a very strange experience. Let's just say it's a work in process - one day you will hear my accent, but today is not that day.

Some bloggers change the design of their blog completely, but I didn't want to do that, because I really like it the way it is. It is me. It's done by me, with my own pictures, with pink and red accents because sunset colours make me happy.

So despite all the thinking and trying to pre-plan, here I am now, on the day of the anniversary, at 11:41 am, winging it. Which is actually kind of perfect, because this is how I have approached blogging for the last year: sitting down when the mood strikes, writing about whatever is on my mind at that moment.

When I try to schedule and plan, it inevitably goes wrong every time. The words don't flow, they are a struggle to get out. They seem wooden, forced. I get stressed out. It's all a bit of a disaster, and completely defies the purpose of the whole blogging thing.
Which to me is this: To document life in all its messy, confusing, beautiful glory. To not forget all the tiny little details that make up a worthwhile life. To find my voice. Find out who I am and who I am meant to be. What my passions are.
To fulfill a need for expressing creativity I didn't know I had. To find like-minded people, become part of a community that I love very much.

Blogging, you are here to stay. And I can't wait to see where our journey will lead us!

What I came up with in the end is this: Taking a look back at the previous 12 months, in the same way we like to do on New Year's Eve.

Want to come along?

The beginning of this adventure. I knew nothing about blogging. Zero. Kudos to blogger for being easy to navigate. And to Google for answering all my pressing questions. And to the Better Blogger Network for being so helpful and welcoming. Since I didn't know anybody else who blogged, I trialed and errored my way through it. The topics I touched on were my friend's baby shower, farm life (herehere and here) and a wee bit about shopping

In April I hit my stride. I posted about a variety of topics: my depression (the first post that I was scared to publish, but that ended up being hugely rewarding), more farm life (here and here ), posted lots of nature pictures, and started with my favourite category: what I like to call musings
Musings are my thoughts, reflections and ramblings about life and love, and they are my absolute favourite thing to write about. 

The comments started! I figured out how to find new blogs, started commenting and received comments in return. This brought blogging to a new level of awesomeness! 
But I also experienced my first episode of doubt and insecurity (by far not my last) and had some thoughts about identity
What really set this month apart from the previous two was my focus on fashion: I did an overalls post, two shopping posts (here and here), and one about my princess skirt. They make me laugh because I was so clueless and had yet to find my personal take on the mystery that is fashion posts. 

In June I wrote a lot. My posts started to get longer. I wrote about body issues and my past carb addiction/eating issues. About Richard's health scare. About several parties (here and here). 
And there were lots of pictures, because the weather was a dream (herehere and here). 

I got my first Liebster award! That made me happier than I care to admit. It's nice to get recognition!
In July I wrote about some stories that I found interesting (Mowgli and Siberian Tigers), found my overalls I had been looking for, and did some more fashion posts (Canada dayFerns and a hatOwls and a llama). 
We also discovered a new favourite spot in our own back yard that I wrote about excessively in these posts: Our secret spotPhoto shoot under the willow tree, and Lovin' summer.

The first month of sponsoring a blog! As you can see, everything blog-related I do takes me time, and it took me 5 months before I made up my mind to pay someone to put up my link. It did make quite a difference: more pageviews, more traffic, and most importantly, the first step towards networking more. 
I also started a series that I have since cancelled: weekly highlights. I didn't nearly enjoy it as much as I thought I would, it felt like a chore; after 4 months I nixed it. My blog, my rules!

September was the biggest month for this little blog of mine. Why? One word: Blogtember
The first post I wrote in the challenge (What made me the way I am) is still the most viewed post of all time. I got 19 comments, which was a record for me. Or still is, come to think of it! The number of Bloglovin' followers quadrupled during that month, from about 20 to over 80. It was quite the month!

October was filled with more musings: About Life lessons, my demons, why I'm grateful for my work family, general life and blog reflections, and about being alone
I also joined Twitter and found a way to make outfit photo shoots fun (pose with dogs)!

We went on a roadtrip down the coast of Oregon and California, and I blogged from the road. I loved it! In the evenings we would sit in the motel, drinks in hand, Rich relaxing in front of the TV, me downloading photos, writing, and sharing it with him. It was wonderful. If you want to take a look, it starts here (sort of, you'll see), and ends here.
Other noteworthy posts from this month? Hmm, maybe this one: A day in the life. In case you have always wanted to know how a farm-dwelling, dog-crazy x-ray girl spends an average day.

Highlights of this month: my very first giveawaySparklified photosMy birthday. A recap of 2013. And the best one? The arrival of this girl

New year, same blog. I definitely feel like I have found my voice. I know what I enjoy writing about (feelings, our animals, life and love), and what doesn't work (the weekly highlights feature springs to mind). 
Photography is taking centre stage more and more: I love my self-imposed photo-a-day challenge, and focus more on improving my photography (here and here). Fashion posts are here to stay (herehere and here).
And I will never, ever stop writing about our love

There was lots of loving in the month of love on the blog: A love-ly giveaway; a post about spreading happiness, one pig at a time; marrying my two loves of farmlife and fashion in this memorable outfit post
Last, but not least: The happily ever after.

Here we are, one year later. 
My blog continues to grow, slowly but surely, and I still love it. There are days when doubt takes over (here) or when life is less than wonderful (here). 
But I keep coming back, and you want to know why? Because of you. My readers and friends. 
The support I get here is something I never expected, and the very best thing about blogging.

So I will continue to share my thoughts, fears and joys, my love of nature and animals, my clothes and my questionable jokes. And I'm so happy and blessed that you are here to share it with me. 

Thank! You! For! Reading!

Lots of love, Miriam

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13 comments

  1. Yey!! Happy 1 Year :D
    It's weird but I think I've actually been reading your blog for the majority of that time and I swear it was the BBN where I stumbled upon you.
    Lovely post, awesome year in blogging - here's to lots more!

    Best wishes,
    Danielle <3 xo

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I think you are right, I remember that too. It's been since April last year, crazy! Thank you so very much for your continued support, it means the world to me.
      You rock Danielle!
      xoxo

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  2. Happy one year! So fun to look back at everything. I make my blog into a book every year. Let me know if you want the low down on that action.

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  3. So exciting!!! One year!!! Happy blogiversary!!!!

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  4. Congratulations! I think it's great that you talk about your feelings, no matter how scary it can seem to post. I've done a bit of that as well and in the end it felt freeing somehow. Way to go! :)

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    1. Thanks! You are so right, it does feel liberating, and makes things clearer. A blog friend wrote to me that she heard once that blogging helps you figure out your passion, and I think that's true.
      It helps to work through all sorts of issues - my blog is my therapist!

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  5. Happy 1st year!!!! :D I want to vlog eventually, too... but it's intimidating and awkward for me!

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  6. Miriam! You had a wonderful first year. I grow to love you and this place more and more. Looking forward to being a bigger part of year 2. Hugs my friend.

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  7. I LOVE this recap!! Happy 1st blogiversary. I think mine is coming up too (maybe it's already passed?)! Your pictures are awesome. I love the May pic of the orange california poppies - my favorite flower :)

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  8. Happy blogiversary, Miriam! So much has happened in the year around your parts! I'm glad I found your blog, it's like a breathe of fresh air, authentic and sincere. You have a lovely way of expressing your truth.
    Also, I love the months headers with the flowers and critters...especially afro-duck - there used to be one at my college I would always visit :D Cheers!

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  9. Happy One Year Miriam! You have made a ton of progress...wow! I love the recap and will have to take the time to read some of your previous posts, I like that you picking those that are most meaningful! Love this and can't wait to see what you do in year two!

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  10. Congrats on your one year anniversary Miriam! thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog the other day...I am new at blogging and try to get more comments and members on my blog so I really appreciate it. Your story is inspiring and I hope to be able to do the same.
    Nora
    www.jacketsociety.com/blog

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  11. Happy blogiversary!! I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog. It is a joy to read and I know I say it every time - I love your photos!

    I look forward to future posts and to looking back in time at some of these that were posted before I followed along. :)

    -Amy

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