The blog is officially back! Insert one of those official “we’re back” memes here. How are you? What have you been up to? I’ve missed you!! Okay, seriously. Let’s talk a little bit about why we took a multi-year hiatus and what we’ve been up to in the interim.
Where We’ve Been
My excuse as to why we’ve been MIA since 2019…life. So much has happened! After Rowan was born, six years ago, we thought we could just keep on chugging along with life as normal. It was a rude awakening how much time children take up. I tried to keep up with the house projects, the blog, social media, and all the things. But something just had to give and the blog was one of those things. It wasn’t intentional, just a slow slip-slide down the hill. And it wasn’t just Rowan. It was the fertility treatments starting up again after Rowan turned one, the pandemic that shall not be named shortly after that, trying to hold down two full-time jobs and watching Rowan while daycares and schools were shut down, having a second baby, and so on and so on. It was all just too much and too overwhelming.
So Why is the Blog Coming Back Now?
Last year, when our second child, Beatrix, was only a few months old, we were struggling. Rowan was rarely going to school because of COVID restrictions, Beatrix was rarely going to daycare because of staffing issues, Colby and I were struggling to hold down our more than full-time jobs, and we all just burnt out. Kaput! No one was thriving in our family. We called a family meeting and declared something had to give. We made a plan, and a budget, and I put in my notice at my job so I could become a full-time homemaker.
It’s been about a year of the stay-at-home mom life and I totally expected it to be all rainbows and sunshine and butterflies. But it hasn’t. I feel lost. Like a part of me is missing. I loved working. And marketing. I miss it. So I recently started to apply for remote marketing jobs because it feels like a good time to transition back. As I was cleaning up my online presence and applying for jobs I thought about my blog.
For some reason, I haven’t been able to let the blog go. I keep paying for the hosting year after year even though I haven’t written in ages. The poor blog was in a sorry state and about 10 years overdue for a redesign. I’ve learned SOOOO many things about branding, web design, and marketing since I first designed that blog in 2010. It was not a reflection of my best work as a marketer and I didn’t want a potential employer to think poorly of me because of it. So a couple of weeks ago, I finally did it, I took the blog down and then IMMEDIATELY regretted it.
The Aha Moment
The day I took the blog down I listened to Miranda Anderson’s Live Free Creative podcast, Episode 224: Vital Signs. It’s an excellent episode from one of my all-time favorite podcasts. Miranda was talking about life-giving activities that are vital for our emotional, mental, and social well-being. The podcast discussed how to identify them and why they are so important to help make life worth living. These aren’t the activities that we normally define as essential. Like cooking dinner for the kids and taking showers daily. These are the things that fill our cups up and breathe life into us. Like gardening, reading, time with friends, or for some people (moi) house projects and blogging. The more I listened, the more I felt like I had made a mistake removing this blog from the internet.
For years, home improvement projects and blogging were my biggest creative outlet. I loved whipping up mood boards and design plans for our home, taking some action towards making those plans a reality, and then writing and sharing all about it here and on Instagram. Projects gave me life! It was no coincidence that when the blogging stopped so did the projects. I kid you not, we are working on the same bathroom remodel that we mentioned in our 19 Projects for 2019 Progress Report post. Four years later it’s still under construction!
Photo of our craft room project.
And We’re Back
A few days after the blog came down I approached Colby about my plans to go back to work and our conversation went something like this:
ME: “Colby, I’m not sure that I’m meant to go back to work. Maybe yes, maybe no. I mean…I’m going to keep applying for jobs and interviewing, but I want it to be the absolute right job and it might take me a while to find it.”
COLBY: “That’s okay, that’s what we talked about.”
ME: “So there’s this other thing I want to do.”
ME: “I want to bring the blog back, redesign it, start writing again, and monetize it. I think it has the potential to bring in a decent amount of income if I bring the traffic back up to where it was during its prime. And if I apply what I know about SEO, update it all, and modernize it, it could be a great side hustle. It could potentially earn a full-time income on its own or maybe I do go back to work in marketing full-time and do this on the side. It’s always a good idea to have extra streams of income. I just don’t think it’s time for the blog to die.”
COLBY: “Do it. I think it’s a great idea. I always wondered why you never wanted to monetize it before.”
ME: Stunned. I had prepared for a fight with all the bullet points for why resurrecting the blog was a good idea. Lo and behold Colby has been wanting me to do this all along.
Photo of our bathroom remodel.
What We’ve Been Up To
I originally planned to share all the things we’ve been up to since we last left off, but this post is already long enough for today. So how about a little highlight reel of the projects we’ve tackled (or started to tackle)?!
Expanded the Garden Yet Again
Like every gardener, I say I’m done expanding the garden. But is the garden ever really done being expanded? We’re up to 48 raised garden beds in the vegetable garden and three in-ground rows. I have plans to add a cut flower garden for Rowan next to our driveway this year.
Built a Chicken Shack and Added Some Hens
Some people bought an excessive amount of toilet paper when the pandemic hit, others invested in a high-end espresso maker. We opted to impulse purchase a flock of 26 chickens. We’re down to 17 hens at the time of writing and more eggs than we know what to do with these days. It’s a blessing when eggs cost a mint!
Replaced The Windows on the Second Floor
Sometimes when you’re married to a window salesman he happens to have a co-worker who messes up an order and those windows end up being the perfect size for the second floor of your home. There’s no way we could normally afford Marvin’s top-line of windows so we were thankful to scoop these up from the bargain bin.
Turned the Guest Room into Rowan’s Big Girl Room
The guest room got traded in for Rowan’s room and of course, it had to be pink! Rowan’s room is adorable and one of my favorite spaces in the house. All of the big things are done but there are a handful of smaller projects that I want to tackle here. You know, those last layer type projects that ooze personality and character. For example, I want to add lace trim to her curtains and hang some art above her bed.
Finished the Little Attic
What did we spend our pandemic stimulus money on? I’m glad you asked. Lumber! We bought a giant pile of v-groove pine to finish off the “little attic” as it’s affectionately known in our home. It’s a space off our primary bathroom in our primary bedroom and I’m using it as a giant walk-in closet. It’s way too big for just my clothes, which I’m perpetually trying to pare down, so it’s also going to be a home for extra bedding, luggage, towels, and other things that need storage. More info on this project coming soon.
Built a Mouse House
Santa’s elves outdid themselves a few Christmases ago and built a mouse house for Rowan. Every year for Rowan’s birthday and for Christmas we add a few more mice and furniture pieces from Maileg to her collection. It’s becoming an heirloom piece that we hope to keep for Rowan.
I’ll share more about these projects another day. It feels so great to be back!! Until next time.
PS…I’m aiming to post blog posts on a regular basis from here on out. Stop by on Monday and Thursday mornings for new posts each week (maybe some bonus posts too if I’m feeling extra)!