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10 years. 3,039 posts. 8,442,417 post views. This is what 10 years of blogging dedication looks like!
I celebrated my 10th blogging birthday this past week (you can view the post…and GIVEAWAY here. It ends TONIGHT yall!) and it really is just insane to me that it’s been a full decade since I started blogging.
Since I focused my 10th year post on the giveaway, I really wanted to take some time today to focus on the blog 🙂
I first started blogging thanks to my friend Rachael who had a family blog at the time. Many people I know have had a family blog at some point. A place to keep the memories of their kids, their lives, their photos all organized and together. I LOVED the idea of doing this and it was also a great way to stay connected to so many of my friends and family members who weren’t local.
I started blogging pretty much immediately after we found out I was pregnant with Kye. Here I am four babies later and still at it! It’s SO awesome to me that my kids will have their entire lives from their mom’s perspective 🙂 I love knowing that even if something were to happen to me, that they would still be able to “hear” my voice through my writing and know who I am and how much I love them.
My love for writing began as a young child. I actually was a published author a couple times over in elementary and middle school for a few writing contests I won. I also wrote The Christmas Story in a play version and it was performed each year at a large church in our community. Writing was a hobby for me and something I loved and enjoyed. I always had journals and have always been obsessed with the idea of preserving memories.
I was the kid in middle school who carried a camera everywhere I went (I’m pretty sure most of our senior video slideshow in high school came from pics I’d taken ha!). I never felt embarrassed about taking pictures all the time because I knew someday they’d be appreciated and that’s been so true. People never look back and wish they’d had less pictures.
As a stay at home mom, writing a blog was the perfect fit for a hobby. Something to keep me connected with the outside world while also staying connected to “Emily” outside of my new role as “Mommy.” It blended my love for writing, my obsession with memory keeping, and my love of picture taking.
I’ve always been “that friend” who keeps things real and is the one who will whisper you have spinach in your teeth, will give honest input if that outfit really looks good on you, and who will always be honest about my feelings and thoughts on things.
Transparency, in my opinion, is a positive thing. I’m me all the time, 100% of the time. I’m the same Emily to Zach as I am to friends as I am to strangers as I am at church as I am online. I know
sometimes quite frequently I put my foot in my mouth and say things I shouldn’t or overshare and it can rub people the wrong way. It’s an area I’ve really tried to work on and think (hope?) I’ve gotten better about finding that balance of being kind and being honest, sharing but not in a crude or tactless way.
I never put any effort into growing the blog or much thought into the content of it or who it may reach. I mostly just stuck to writing about our lives and what I was learning as a first time parent. I’m not quite sure at what point the blog became more than just a personal journal but slowly overtime it grew. People found it and either were bothered by my openness or drawn to it.
For a long time I apologized a lot for being so open. But a beautiful thing about growing up is that you become comfortable in your own skin and accept yourself for you who are. Of course personal growth is always important but I believe my openness has really blessed others in many ways and as long as the positive continues to outweigh the negative then I don’t see my oversharing ending anytime soon.
Over the years some of my focused shifted in my writing. My purpose in my blog is for my family and it will ALWAYS remain the top priority but I LOVE that my experiences and things that I have learned as a mom can also help others going through the trenches. I’ve enjoyed branching out to write posts on parenting tips, advice, and other areas of motherhood.
As our family travels more and more that has also become a focus and I am excited to hopefully do more Disney specific posts in the future as well. As the kids get older I know they’ll want more of their lives to be kept private (although so far Kye is ALL about blogging and even has his own blog!) and I like the idea of doing more Disney related content since it’s something I love and will continue to learn more about and helping people have a magical trip to Disney brings me so much joy!
It has been an incredible 10 years. Of life. Of blogging. Of personal growth. I never, ever anticipated the blog to become what it has become. It’s been such a huge blessing in my life to connect to so many people through this online world. REAL people. People who have become true friends. I love that we are all there for each other, even if only through our computer screens or phones. It’s a true bond and connection and is a gift to us as mothers when so much of our days are about pouring into our babies.
If you’re not already a member of The Journey of Parenthood Facebook Group be sure to join us! I’ve found it’s been a GREAT fit for like-minded mamas to come together 🙂
In celebration of 10 years I wanted to share a few things from the blog.
First up, here are the top 10 most popular posts of all time (they will surprise you because they surprised me ha!). I think stats are fun so I am including them here too (and it’s really for myself as I’m about to switch blogging platforms and will lose these figures!):
9. This one I decided must get a lot of hits because the conspiracies surrounding the Sandy Hook shooting involve a girl named Emily Parker. When people google search this post comes up! So. RANDOM. But it has 18,860 page views!
8. Out of all of my Disney posts, this is the only one in the top 10 of all time. I’m also not quite sure why, I just assume some combination of words either rank well on Google or a photo has done well on Pinterest! It’s gotten 31,952 page views
7. I’ve hosted MANY birthday parties and I’m not surprised that Kye’s Firetruck Party is the one that’s among my most visited posts. It’s been featured on Better Homes and Gardens and is def among my favorite parties. It has 43,965 page views.
6. Supposedly controversial posts get a lot of traction and I didn’t even MEAN for this to be controversial AT ALL and I felt TERRIBLE after I wrote it that it received so much backlash. I still stand by the post and think it has valuable content for people TTC and it was never intended to come across like I was some fertility expert or anything! It has 44,598 page views.
4. Losing the baby weight has not come easy for me after any of my pregnancies and I’m so thankful I found something that worked well for me. Zach and I both still place monthly orders with Advocare and love the products! This post has 86,867 page views.
3. Babywise has been a HUGE blessing on our entire family and I love seeing that my post on how to start Babywise is ranked so highly as I know it’s helped many mamas and that is awesome! It has 181,920 page views.
2. I’m honestly shocked this one isn’t ranked #1. The picture of our ball pit in our playroom has been stolen SO MANY TIMES and I have so much regret over not watermarking it! I’ve seen it floating around Facebook countless times! Zach actually has put together a video on how to make the ball pit (I get e-mailed regularly asking about it) and we plan to post it soon so be on the look out! This post has 210,984 page views.
1. I’m very shocked at the most viewed post of all time. Mostly because I have a post that is more detailed and covers a full year of schedules rather than just 6 months. But for whatever reason this post has always done very well and I’m glad it’s a Babywise post as well! I receive a lot of comments on this post helping moms get down a schedule for their babies and I’m so glad it’s been beneficial to them! This post has 337,627 page views.
When looking through those posts I do think you get a decently clear picture of who I am and what I’m about. I love Babywise. I love Disney. I love hosting parties for my kids. I love creating a home where they will make memories.
Something I love about being a personal blog though is that it’s not about writing something to get “clicks.” It’s about being me and just sharing our lives and connecting with others who feel that bond with me. I love that my personal content is what most people who read the blog are here to read. It’s a HUGE compliment to me when someone says they feel like we’re friends even though we’ve never met.
As a mom, especially one who stays at home all day, it can be SO LONELY. And if even one fellow mama feels less alone because I’m here? Then that makes the “haters” so worth it 😉
While the popular posts may shed a bit of light on who I am, I don’t feel like they truly encompass the last 10 years as a whole. If you’re new here and want to get to know me and get to know my family and see some of what we’ve been through over the last decade then I’d recommend starting off with some of these posts:
- Our Wedding: Even though I started blogging after we were married, I did a flashback to our wedding day when we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I’m forever thankful for making my best YES when Zach asked me to marry him!
- Kye’s Birth, Britt’s Birth and Tess’s Birth. I wrote about each of my labor and delivery experiences in detail (TMI warning yall!) and I LOVE that Zach took the time to write his version of each experience as well. As a mom, these are some of my favorite posts for sure!
- Spear’s Adoption Story. This was a HUGE step out in faith for our family and it’s where the blog community really made such an impact on my life in an incredible way. The support of those friends meant the world. Spear is a true gift in our lives and a reminder of God’s plan for us and to let Him lead!
- Zach’s Health. While in the process of adopting we got hit with really tough news. Once again, it’s where the love from this online community could be truly felt in our lives. I FELT the prayers being lifted for us and I firmly believe Zach’s prognosis is so positive BECAUSE of those prayers!
- Travel. I’ve tried to keep all of our travel posts in one place but I often slack on updating so no judgment if it’s not up-to-date 😉 We LOVE traveling and I love having experiences as a family but also just as a couple. Zach and I want our marriage to be, and remain, strong and our times away together really allow us to stay connected!
- Disney. My love for Disney has been something that has evolved over the years. I always enjoyed it as a child and young adult, but when I went through some very tough times with my mom and that relationship is when I really started considering Disney my happy place. It’s a place where personal hurt and pain truly just disappear and are replaced with the joy and magic that only Disney can bring. I’m also behind on these posts as now that we have a rental house at Disney we go pretty often!
For those of you who have been here from the beginning: thank you. Thank you for supporting me. Growing with me. Sticking up for me from time to time 😉 And for sharing YOUR lives with me too!
For those who are new: Welcome! I’m so excited to have you and excited to get to connect! I hope this is a place where you can find help and support in whatever area you may be seeking it, and that you can leave here feeling like you’ve gained a friend too!
When I first started blogging (ya know in the stone ages of 2008) there weren’t many social media channels. It was pretty much just Facebook and even that was just your close friends and not your mom and grandma and random person you met on the street in passing 😉 Over the years new social media channels have allowed me to connect with readers on an even deeper level!
If you’re not already following me, here’s a little bit about what to expect on each platform:
- On my Instagram: I typically post a photo each weekday on my feed but my stories is where I connect THE MOST. I love using them as a way to share our lives in the moment and as things are happening. I typically stay a bit behind “real time” in my blogging and IG Stories are the only way to keep up with us in “real time”!
- On my Facebook: I share all of my blog posts there each time I post so it’s a great way to see new content. I also share other parenting-realitve content. Posts I find helpful, funny memes, videos, etc. I also often post deals from Amazon as I’m a huge bargain hunter!
- In My Facebook Group: This is really become an AWESOME community of mamas who help each other and support each other! You have to request to join and so far I’ve accepted everyone who’s requested and it’s been smooth sailing as far as everyone is kind and respectful towards each other!
- On My YouTube: I recently created our You Tube channel and I’m not super consistent with it yet. Writing is my THING, videos? Not as much! Ha! We have several videos up and plan to be adding more as time goes on as well!
- On My Amazon Influencer Page: This is something new Amazon put together and it’s AWESOME. I’m able to add things I love into categories to make it super easy for yall to find. I’m a HUGE bargain shopper. I love deals and love sharing the deals with others and this is a great place to do so!
- On my Pinterest: I pin a LOT of my content. I’m slowly working on making pins for posts and adding them to Pinterest. It’s a place I also pin a lot of other relative content from other great bloggers I love!
- On my Email List: This is also something new I’ve put together! Right now all I have being sent out is a simple welcome email but over time I’d like to start doing something more regular. Maybe printables, or Disney tips or something fun!
I am so, so thankful I started blogging 10 years ago and I have full faith that I’ll be doing a big 20th celebration posts in 2028 🙂 (and omg I will have a KID IN COLLEGE by then!!!!). I hope yall will stay along with me in the years to come!