One year ago today …

One year ago today, I started a blog.

I set up my first photo shoot, wrote my first post and clicked “Publish” for the very first time.

Then I had a moment of panic when I thought “what have I done?!” But just a moment. And then I just kept moving forward and haven’t looked back since.

And here we are, 365 days later; 500+ readers and 100+ published posts.

Milestones are often a time of reflection. And this one is no different. I’ve been thinking a lot about all that has changed since I put “me” out there and became a blogger.

Before blogging …

I slept more.

I sat down to hot meals that didn’t require a photo session prior to consumption.

No body asked who was going to get the “pretty plate”.

I never got a strange look from the cashier as she rang up one patterned plate, one white soup bowl, one blue placemat, one green placemat and a mismatched assortment of napkins.

I didn’t look at “everything” as a potential background, table setting or prop.

I made fewer trips to the antique store, thrift store or neighborhood garage sales.

And I didn’t have this …

The-Prop-Hoard

which has affectionately become know as my “prop hoard”.

There have also been a few “blogging truths” I’ve discovered along the way …

You can consider someone a friend even though you have never met.

You don’t have to write the great American novel in each post. Simple and short is just fine.

Don’t just write. Read too. And comment. The blogging Community is amazing. Engage.

Laundry, dishes and toilets don’t just do themselves simply because you want to write.

Kids aren’t quiet and well behaved simply because you want to write.

Because laundry, dishes and toilets don’t do themselves and kids aren’t quiet and well behaved because you want to write, you will find yourself  writing at 4 am.

And sleeping less. Did I mention that already?

Food blogging is fattening. Sighhhh.

You can make a beautiful office for yourself, tucked away in a peaceful corner of the house and you will still write at the dining room table.

You will end up turning that beautiful, peaceful office into storage for your prop hoard and cookbook/magazine problem.

You have to throw out the plan or schedule and write what inspires you in the moment or it will never leave you alone.

Don’t be perfect. Be real. People don’t connect with perfect.

Sometimes you will post five times in a week. Sometimes two weeks will go by and you won’t have written a thing. It’s okay.

Blogging is supposed to be fun. Don’t let it become anything else.

The magazine and cookbook problem you have is only going to get worse.

Cookbooks-1

Cookbooks-2

And you’ll start to feel like you could open your own library. You may even find yourself on a first name basis with the UPS guy who is bringing yet another Amazon box to your front door.

That Amazon box, there will most assuredly be a “For Dummies” book of some sort in there.

Food photography is so much fun! Even when you have no idea what you’re doing. Don’t worry! There’s a “For Dummies” book for it.

Don’t compare. You have your own voice and your own style. Be inspired but be you!

Don’t worry about the numbers, the stats, the hits, etc. Write because you want to preserve and share. Write because you want to encourage and inspire. Write for whatever reason you first thought “maybe I should start a blog.”

Blog because you love it and others will love it too.

Since I started blogging, I notice the little things more. The details. I love  that I am reconnecting with my grandmothers and the family that came before me as I share their recipes and stories. I am preserving memories and history for my children.  And I making new friends and hopefully offering a little inspiration and encouragement along the way.

I remember one Saturday morning, around 4am, my husband walked bleary eyed into the dining room as I typed away. He took one look at me and said “you’re crazy! I love you but, you’re crazy.”

Sometimes at 4am, the thought does occur to me “I must be crazy” – but I just keep typing away. Nope, not crazy just fulfilled and happy and loving every minute of this wonderful adventure that is blogging.

Okay, well the prop hoard is a little crazy …

Thanks to everyone who reads and visits me here at Welcome Company or on Facebook. You have made this first year so much fun and I am incredibly blessed by each “like” and comment and every bit of encouragement you give.

There are a lot of ideas and plans swirling around in my head for the direction I’d like to take this little blog. And there are also dishes that need washed, toilets that need cleaning, laundry that needs folding and a family that always needs their mama. There is event planning, Cub Scouts, PTO, yearbook committee, classroom mom duties, cake requests, etc., etc. that need my attention – which is why I have recently placed this …

Volunteering-Mug

on the windowsill in front of the sink, where I am sure to see it often (food blogging also makes a lot of dirty dishes) and in need of a reminder that I am a little crazy when it comes to over committing.

Thankfully, no matter how busy I get, my blog is always here waiting for me and I am always eager to get that next post put together. Someday, I may catch up and all of those ideas may come to fruition. It could happen. Until that day, thanks for hanging in there with me and for reading when I post 5x in a week or being patient when two weeks go by.

I promise you, there will always be a next post.

One day at a time. One inspiration at a time.

Now, I am going to go bake a cake. It is my blog’s birthday after all. There must be cake.

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28 thoughts on “One year ago today …

  1. Dolly Rubiano

    Happy 1st blog birthday, Danielle! What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your insights. So much to learn from you. I’m not yet as crazy as to wake up at 4AM to write but I might get there someday. Amazing collection you have there!

    Reply
    1. Welcome Company with Danielle Post author

      Thank you so much Rebecca and thank you for being one of my first blogging readers and friends. You are inspirational and your wonderful blog always expands my horizons and causes me to think. I learn something new every time I visit! I too am so glad that we have connected and look forward to our continued interaction and friendship!!

      Reply
  2. fawn

    I love reading your posts….funny, touching and real. And you aren’t the only one sitting in front of your computer at 4 am either! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  3. musingmar

    Congratulations on your first anniversary milestone in blogging! I certainly could relate to your post, especially now that I’m two years and two months into this adventure. I enjoy all your posts, and thank you for making my world that much of a nicer place.

    Reply
  4. CraftyStaci

    It’s been a year already? My, how time flies! Congratulations on your anniversary. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and I’m afraid I can relate to pretty much everything you’ve said here! I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with this year!

    Reply
    1. Welcome Company with Danielle Post author

      Thanks Staci and thanks so much for the encouragement you offered and questions you answered when I was first thinking of blogging. I am so glad I decided to go for it! Your blog is such and inspiration and I love the opportunity to stay in touch that blogging gives us.

      Reply
  5. Rhonda Sittig

    Thanks for reflecting out loud to us all on your big milestone! Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished– and for all that’s ahead… I can see I need to get my own “prop hoard” and am agreeing with so much of what you had to say. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Welcome Company with Danielle Post author

      Thank you Rhonda for visiting so often and for leaving lovely and encouraging comments. Connecting with other bloggers like you, whom I wouldn’t have otherwise “met”, is by far one of the most wonderful things about blogging and reason enough to be up at 4am writing – and reading! Please let me know if you do get that prop hoard – I’d love to know I’m not the only one. 😉

      Reply
  6. Teri Hughes

    Happy One Year Anniversary! This is a great time for me to tell you what a bright light your blog has been. For many, in our busy lives, surrounded by unGodly world influences, it is so easy to slip into selfish discontent. The woa-is-me attitude that leads to complaining and bringing others down. Your writing doesn’t discount that being a good momma, and good wife, is sometimes really hard and not very glamorous. As much as we strive to be perfect, we aren’t. Your love for your family and friends shows through. You have a heart for being a hostess and welcoming others into your home and life. All of your recipes include one crucial ingredient – love. You inspire others to engage in life, even if it isn’t always pretty. You make me strive to be a better woman, as God intended… at home, at church, even at work. Many Christians say, “You will never know how many people you have touched until you get to Heaven.” I want you to know you have made a difference in my life. Each blog I read through my email, is like a sermon at church. I feel inspired. Thank you for mentoring me from afar, even though we haven’t seen each other for 26 years. Keep shining! Even if it is at 4:00 in the morning.

    With love and gratitude,
    Teri

    Reply
    1. Welcome Company with Danielle Post author

      Wow, Teri! I don’t even know what to say. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you have shared this with me. I am so honored and touched. You are such an amazing woman and your words mean the world to me. I am so glad to know that my blog does convey my love of Christ and the encouragement and hope He offers us all. You have reminded me that He is allowing my words and “real life” to make a little bit of a difference. I couldn’t want or ask for more and am so blessed that this unique platform has given me such an opportunity to connect and to learn and grow myself. You are such a blessing and have encouraged so much with your gracious words! Thank you!
      Love, Danielle

      Reply
  7. Keep Calm and Eat On

    I am so glad you are a blogger, or else I would not have ever known you! Congratulations Danielle! May there be many many more years of happy blogging ahead. You have a warm, loving sand inviting pace here and I shall always visit. XOX

    Reply
    1. Welcome Company with Danielle Post author

      I feel the same way, Deb. I consider you a friend even though we have never met. Your recipes and photos are such an inspiration to me and your beautifully written stories are a joy to read and encourage me to be a better writer. Thank you for hangin’ out with me a bit on this journey. I look forward to our next visit!

      Reply
      1. Keep Calm and Eat On

        Thank you my friend! It is very humbling when someone such as you have so much praise for the blog. I have learnt to be comfortable here only because of lovely people like you encouraging me. Your spirit and enthusiasm is infectious.

        Reply
  8. laurasmess

    Happy blogiversary Danielle! Wow, I can’t believe that you’ve only been blogging for a year? The maturity, confidence and wisdom with which you write made me think it was a lot longer. Haha, many of your blogging issues can be counted as shared — I think most of us have a prop hoard somewhere, luckily (or unluckily, according to perspective) the size of our tiny apartment has reigned back my collection somewhat! Thanks for being a beautiful, honest and humble sister-in-Christ and blogging friend during the past few months. You’re right, genuine friendships can come through blogging and I feel lucky to have met you. Hugs!! Here’s to the year(s) to come! xxx

    Reply
    1. Welcome Company with Danielle Post author

      Hi Laura, I just realized I never responded to your lovely comment. I wanted to take my time and thank you for your sweet words and then I let it get away from me. I appreciate what you shared, more than you can possibly know. I see your comments on other blogs too from time to time and just want to tell you what a positive, encouraging and uplifting voice you are. You are a blessing and I am glad to “know” you. 🙂

      Reply

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