It's so hard to believe that just two years ago today, I saw a link on my friends Facebook page to her family blog. Not really sure what a blog was, I clicked over and read her blog post. Intrigued by blogging, and long searching for the right way to share my love of DIY furniture, I signed up for my own free blog and started blogging.
What a two years it has been.
Year of Survival
The first year was really a year of survival. Just keeping my head above the water, most of the time. Coming up for air to survive when I couldn't keep treading water to not drown. There was no grand plan or strategy or anything. It was just me, a busy Mom with a demanding toddler, a husband who liked home cooked meals and worked long hours, no extra money for anything, and a great passion to take my love for woodworking, and share it with the world.
That first year was also full of growing pains, both for me personally and the blog. So many things to learn, processes to refine, ways to become better. I thank you for being there throughout it all, helping me grow and learn over the years. I am better because of your encouragement.
Year of Balance
If the first year was about survival, the next was about finding balance. How do I emerge from this survival state, a state of working 12, 14 hour days, posting plans at two in the morning after I've finally got my family to bed, my daughter acting out to get her Mommy's attention, my husband saying, "I miss my wife ..." and me not having time to even respond. How do I have it all, a happy, full life with my family, yet still having time to pursue my personal passion and dreams?
These are the internal battles that go on inside any busy Mom's head ... and heart. Can a Mom have a dream of her own? After giving 100% to your family, there's nothing leftover to give yourself.
Finding balance may have been even more difficult than the first year of survival. I struggled on so many levels to let go, to let others help me, but to keep doing what I love. I went through withdrawals, having anxiety on camping trips about comments not getting answered, plans not getting posted, emails not getting responded to.
But today, after two years of blogging, I feel like though we will always struggle to find balance in life, that at least I can take things in stride and live a fulfilling life. That it is not selfish to have a dream of your own. Yes, we can have it all - be mothers that are truly present and involved with their families, but have dreams of our own and the opportunity - and courage and support - to pursue those dreams.
Year of Maturity
If the first year was about survival, and the second about finding balance, this year is my year of maturity. This is the year that we come into our own, that we grow up. That we find time to become better, to give back, and to grow. In the next year, I am hoping to:
We've done quite a bit of this over the last year, but there are still some bugs with the new site. I'd love to see the new site optimized so it loads ultra fast, and simplified so content is very easy to find. To this point, the website has been a DIY effort by yours truly - and I'm definitely planning to bring on some help to make it more user friendly.
I want to give back to the community - both the DIY community and blogging community - in so many ways. With bringing on help with the website, it will be high on my priority list to find a way to help you take your handmade creations and sell them. There's lots of little things to work out to make this system work, but at the core of what I do, I'm most passionate about increasing the amount of handmade furniture in homes. Not everyone can build, but everyone should have an opportunity to support local, handmade artisans - Mom's just like me, trying to make a tiny difference in a tough world during tough times.
I will also be making more time to help and support other bloggers. This follow-your-passion-through-blogging-thing is amazing, the stuff dreams are literally made with. If you have a dream, but it seems impossible because of where you live, or how many children you have to take care of, because you have no budget - time or money wise - you can still follow your dreams and fulfill your own personal spirit. I know we spend our days so busy doing laundry, getting dinner on the table, and taking care of everyone else, there's not much left - if there is anything left - for Mom. But if Mom is happy, so is everyone else ... though dinner might be burnt. Expect to see me doing what I can to support other bloggers - especially Mom bloggers in this upcoming year.
Three months after I wrote my first blog post, a production company would call. And many more have followed. But the timing has never been quite right. My daughter was young and needy, not ready for her mother to travel and commit to the hard work and sacrifice of trying to take a blog and turn it into a television show.
Maybe it's this past year of balance, maybe it's because my daughter is just growing up, but I finally feel okay with traveling, whether that means bringing my daughter along or leaving her with Grandma. I feel okay - just okay, I'm not ubberly excited about it - about committing to working on someone else's schedule, sometimes out of the home, sometimes without a child on my hip. It is a frightening thought to have to be without my child, as any working Mom will tell you.
Whether we end up with a television show or just creating video tutorials for the website, I'd be happy either way. For me, it's about taking a plan and bringing it to life, making it even easier to build a bench, a coffee table, or even a house :)
We hope this year we will finish the Momplex. We are crazy to take this on, and you my dear friends are just as crazy to believe in us!!! But we are moving along, and it is my great hope that we finally get to start working inside soon. Oh the cabinets we are going to build! And the built-ins and banquettes ... It's going to be fun. Thank you so much for following along - you'll be reading about our adventures in building in the next few weeks - we've been battling some not so fun weather conditions. There have been quite a few discussions about calling it a winter ... but your comments and encouragement are keeping us going. If we keep going, come blizzard or bitter cold, it's because of you and your support. Thank you.
And I want to leave it with that - thank you. I am a better person, a happier person, a better mother, because of your friendship and support. I hope this coming year you will be a part of our community, working one bookcase at a time, one board at a time, one predrilled hole at a time, to build our best poss bile lives.
With love and thanks,