Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Blog Story

Make sure the battery on your laptop is charged and get comfortable because this is a very long post.  It's my one year blogiversary so I can reflect, ramble, and get emotional if I want to :)

This blog and the friendships I've made through blogging have become such an important part of my life. The blog has evolved into something more than I ever could have imagined.  I truly appreciate you for reading.

Here's how it all began...

My best friend Angela at Unexpected Elegance had a family blog to keep in touch with friends and family because most of us were still in Texas and she and her husband were not. I loved reading her family blog, and I even created a blogger account so I could start a blog. (I have had the account since 2007 but I never used it until last year.) I would regularly check Angela's blog to get updates and see photos of her family. Angela's sister-in-law also has a blog that was on Angela's blog roll. I would sometimes check it to see if she had posted photos of Angela's family. It was while I was on her blog that I noticed a cute craft she'd done with her kiddos. It was using sponges to create sponge balls. How I remember all of this is crazy, but I do! A few months later I wanted to try that craft at VBS so I Googled directions on how to make sponge balls, and one of the first search results was Betz White, a creative crafter and blogger. While I was looking at the tutorial on her blog, I clicked on a few links on her list of blog favorites. One of the blogs I clicked on was Posie Get Cozy. Have you ever read Alicia Paulson's blog Posie Gets Cozy? It's delightful, and to this day it is still one of my very favorite blogs to read. It's what got me into blogging. I would read her blog every day, and I don't even crochet, knit or sew!  Alicia is such a gifted writer.  A huge bonus is that she lives in the Pacific Northwest so I was totally hooked. My sister-in-law, Andrea, crochets, knits and makes jewelry. She reads a lot of craft blogs, and we both have an obsession with Posie Gets Cozy.

Last February, as a joke, I made some pretend blogs on my blogger account. I found some free backgrounds on Shabby Blogs and played around with some titles and shared them with Andrea. It was all just for fun. I also remember emailing her last year and telling her that I left my first comment on a blog. I think I had sweaty palms and a racing heart rate from it. That just seems silly now because I leave comments all the time, but I was so nervous when I left my first comment. I'm pretty sure I wrote something on Posie Gets Cozy.

Somewhere between leaving a blog comment and creating my make-believe-fake-blogs, I decided to create a real blog, Imperfectly Wonderful World.  At first, no one knew that I had a blog except my husband.  In June last year we visited Angela and I confessed to her that I had a blog.  She was thinking about starting a new blog dedicated to interior design/home decor.  I was so excited to find out that she was into blogging as much as I was.  She and I read a lot of the same blogs and we didn't even know it.  How cool!   I love how we always have so much in common even though we only see each other once every couple of years.  She's truly a lifelong friend.

Back to my blog labyrinth (thanks dear aunt for coming up with a term to describe how blog stalking sucks you in and you start by reading one blog, then you click another link, and another, until you don't even know how you ended up on the blog you are on and you don't remember where it all began).

 During the year before I started my blog, I continued to read and blog stalk.

I found the Pioneer Woman's blog when I was searching for tips on how to use my new DSLR camera.  She was always at the top of many of my Google searches. I started reading her blog--her love story, photography tips, and recipes and I couldn't get enough. I think she's what most bloggers aspire to be. She has thousands of readers/followers and thousands of people who leave comments! I think she’s even getting her own show on the Food Network. Wow—the power of blogging!

It's through the Pioneer Woman's blog that I found Holly Mathis. Holly's blog was the first home design blog that I could relate to. And, she's from Texas! Holly's blog is still one of my all-time favorite blogs.. If Mark and I ever get to build our forever home, I have Holly lined up as the interior designer. I’m serious; I’ve really contacted her about it even if it’s still several years away. I definitely want to have Holly working on the project with us.

Last year I reconnected with friends from college who were bloggers, Beth and Carrie. I always thought Beth was so cool in college. When I found her blog, Everyday Attic, it was cool and hip just like I remembered her 10 years ago. Beth had such a great blog roll with blogs I’d never heard of (remember I was really new to the blogosphere). I would click on each one, and I slowly made my way through her blog list. Through Beth I was introduced to Urban Grace and Fly Through Our Window. Last year in my ignorance, I had no idea that Erika and Darby are rock stars in the blogosphere.

My friend Carrie’s blog reminds me of how I remembered her in college. In college Carrie always seemed like the girl who had it all together. I, on the other hand, was the girl who was trying to figure it all out. Carrie has an incredible blog, Live, Learn and Love Together, where she shares amazing photographs, stories about her family, faith, home school, adoption and the loss of a child. Carrie and Beth continually encourage and inspire me with their insight and wisdom.

Somewhere in this time period, I found Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. She has a gorgeous home and is crazy creative. What's even more amazing is that she does it all on a budget. Kristin is the sweetest person and always returns emails and comments. I'm always impressed with her kindness.

I guess the next big thing in my blog experience were blog link ups! That's such a cool way to make new blog friends. The first link up that I participated in faithfully was What I Wore Wednesday hosted by Lindsey at the Pleated Poppy. It's where I've met most of the blog friends who I regularly keep in touch with.

These ladies are awesome!

Kathleen at Simple Silly Life
Kathleen was probably the first "follower" that I remember other than my best friend Angela.  I remember thinking, Wow! Someone wants to follow my blog!  I'm flattered!  Kathleen is so pretty, has amazing style and an amazing faith.

Paige is real life friends with Kathleen.  I love reading about her life and the little one she is expecting very soon.  She's super sweet and encouraging.

Emily at I'm the Lucky Mommy
Emily was the very first guest blogger I ever had.  She's stunning.  She lives in a small town in the south and she has a precious little boy.  I can relate to her stories about small town life so much.
  
Genn!  Dear Genn!  She's so cool and I wish we were neighbors in real life because I think we'd hang out all the time.  She's a talented photographer, pretty, stylish, smart, sweet and has two adorable daughters.  Her husband is a big sports fan so I can totally relate to that because so is my husband.

Sarah at Whimsies and Whatnots
Sarah is a super creative mom of two boys. I love reading her blog because it's what I imagine my life in a few years.  She's so stylish and sweet.  Sarah totally rocks 40!

Mel is an amazing photographer, mom and cook.  She's also a teacher and has two adorable daughters.  We have a lot in common.  It's always fun to read about the fun adventures of her sweet family.

Angie at Life with Ike
Angie makes amazing jewelry.  She's a teacher, too.  I've just gotten to know Angie and look forward to learning more about her.  I can usually relate to her posts about life, music and clothes.  I wish we lived closer because we'd trade closets.

Meagan at Fairly Fabulous
Meagan is so creative and encouraging.  She keeps it real and always comes up with clever crafts and cute outfits.

What I Wore Wednesday isn't the only link up party I've participated in...

I’ve participated in some teacher link ups, but I always feel out of place because I'm a junior high teacher and most of the link ups are geared towards elementary teachers. I love being a teacher, but I've slowly realized that I'd much rather blog about being a mom, my family, gardening, faith, clothes, friends, home decor, traveling and random stuff instead of school. I don't mind talking about school or offering my humble opinion on education but my blog isn't really focused on teaching and school. *I should mention some of the neat ladies I've met through teacher link ups so I'm glad I participated in them.  Melissa at Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage, Mandy at Mandy's Memories, Katie at Miss Klohn's Classroom.

One of my favorite link ups where I always feel like I belong is Sentimental Sunday. I cry almost every time I write a post for Sentimental Sunday. I appreciate Cha Cha for giving me a place to share those special memories. She’s precious. Another precious lady, Jennifer at Studio JRU, and I met through Chatting at the Sky. Recently I participated in the Ultimate Blog Hop and have met some amazing ladies through that. I can’t wait to get to know those ladies more :)

Stalking blog comments is another way I’ve connected with like-minded ladies. Once I started commenting regularly, I realized that blog comments link back to the blog of the person who left the comment. I actually read through blog comments and found blogs I liked by linking back to them through their comments. Crazy, I know. One of my dear blog friends Katie at the Southland Life  and I met this way. Katie is a newlywed who is beautiful inside and out. Katie left a comment on Tessa's blog, Nine & Sixteen (which I found through Holly Mathis) and I started reading and commenting on Katie's blog from there. In that blog circle of friends are Lorri at lizards and lollipops and Kat at  Pretty in Pink and Green. They are moms with beautiful families who share lovely photos and interesting, fun stories about their lives. I also met a really neat lady Pam at Relatively Reagan through a comment she left at the Pleated Poppy. Pam is crazy creative!  You must see the cupcakes she makes.  Delightful!  I think a comment on the Pleated Poppy is also how I met the very talented Andi and Jane of All Crafts, too.

It was truly a joy to reminisce about how I met so many wonderful, inspiring, encouraging, charming, beautiful and delightful people.

I love my life in a small town in Texas but there are times when I feel alone and isolated. Finding other kindred spirits in the blogosphere made me realize I'm not alone and there are others out there like me.

If you’re still with me and reading this, what more can I say?

Thank you.

I don’t feel alone anymore.

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16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful blog story! I still find it so amazing how this community forms. I have no real life friends that blog, so it has been wonderful to make actual connections with amazing women through blogging! I am honored that I am a little part of your blog story. You are so sweet! It has been so nice to 'meet' you! Happy Blogiversary! ♥

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  2. Congrats on one year! I am a new follower and I've enjoyed reading your posts! I am looking forward to reading more from you. : )

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  3. AWW! Happy One year BLOGIVERSARY! Who even knew there was such a thing?! :) THanks for the little shout out. I love having bloggie friends. My husband still thinks I'm crazy when I talk about bloggers like they are our neighbors. I'm so thrilled to have found you and 'live' life together via out blogs! Congrats on 100 followers, too!

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  4. Happy blog-aversary!!! You are such a breath of fresh air in the blog world and I just love your kindness. It really shines through you and your family.

    Enjoy your special day :)

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  5. Such a sweet post to read this morning Michele!!
    Happy Blog-O-Versary!!!!
    I love your story of how you came to be a blogger!
    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Thank you for your sweet words too. I feel the same about you. Your blog is so real and I just know we'd make great neighbors and friends!
    I have been following many of the blogs you mentioned but not all, so now I will have some fun checking out these other great ladies blogs that you mentioned!!
    Have a great day Michele!
    Celebrate the blogosphere this weekend. :)

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  6. Happy Blogoversary!!!!! Loved reading your blog history! I am so glad you started blogging & that we found eachother's blogs! We have so much in common & I love reading about your cute family! :)

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  7. LOVE your blog story. Thank you for sharing. I love reading your blog and seeing pics of your adorable boys and I love their names. I'll be a Mom (and working Mom) very soon and you truly inspire me. You taught me that blog friends are real friends. Happy blog anniversary to my friend!

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  8. You are a darling! You know what's funny!? One of the reasons I enjoy your blog is because you remind me of myself a few years ago! Particularly with two sweet little boys who grow up waaaay too fast! You are a very good blogger and I always look forward to checking in! Oh...and I NEVER EVER get tired of hearing that I rock 40! ;-)

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  9. you are a doll! happy blog anniversary! thanks for the blog lovin' too! I never expected to make friendships through blogging, but it's been my favorite part of the whole experience! thanks for yours!!

    xo,
    Tessa

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  10. Great Blog Story, I'll have to check out some of your links.

    I actually know Genn for the Hass House in real life, (got here from her blog.) She's a great gal.

    Happy Blogiversary.

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  11. Oh I love your story!!! I've just spent like an hour checking out the blogs you've talked about. I always love reading your posts and I'm so glad we're blog friends :)

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  12. Happy Blogiversary, Michele!! I have truly enjoyed reconnecting with you through blogland, too!! I thank you for the kind words. :)

    I just love your style - thanks for sharing the links to the other blogs, too! With our upcoming move, I might get to redecorate, so I need some inspiration! :)

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  13. Happy blogiversary!!! I am so honored to be included in your story! You are so sweet and have an amazing memory, haha! I really enjoy your blog and am so glad we are blog friends! And the blog labyrinth is such a great way to describe the 30 tabs I usually have open...

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  14. You are such a sweetheart! Loved reading this post. I never in a million years would have thought would be so much fun! It is truly like free therapy. :)

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  15. Aww! Thanks for the love. I really enjoyed this post... I've been reading on my phone (I swear) just haven't been over to comment. Miss you! and Happy Blog-a-versary!

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  16. Wonderful story. I am honored to be included in the list of blogs and so very thankful that you feel wlcome and ccomfortable at my blog. Thank you for always getting me and supporting me, YOU ARE A BLESSING.

    Cha Cha

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