Today I celebrate over 5 years of blogging, 375 blog posts, 2 million 397 thousand views, and who even knows the total number of hours that I have spent planning, writing, editing, and providing fresh new content for those of you have chosen to follow along the journey!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
This blog is my hobby, but truthfully it can feel like an overwhelming commitment at times with a pressure to remain current and interesting... Just ask anyone else who is on a similar quest to share their ideas and a piece of their life online. Therefore, from my own experience, I have a huge respect for all other bloggers out there in the blogsphere no matter how many years they have been at it! We post, not because we have to, even when it feels like a second job sometimes... We communicate our ideas for a greater purpose, because we WANT to. Perhaps it's to inspire, encourage, or even just to put a smile on someone's face for a brief moment! No matter the reason, we essentially volunteer our time to make some sort of a difference in the life of another.
Similarly to how I chose to blog, readers chose and continue to choose to follow me. No one is ever forced to write a blog post or to read the content, although I am so grateful to you for joining me!
For five years I have written about my classroom practice with creative ideas, documentation, reflections, and my own learning. I have paid to attend conferences, study tours, graduate courses, or bought numerous books/materials and have chosen to blog about this all for free. To clarify for anyone out there wondering, I have yet to receive any compensation for all of my efforts and hours dedicated to maintaining this popular blog site. Blogging for me, has never been about a goal to earn something. It's about leaving behind a small piece of me at any given time, that will be looked back upon by educators, students, or even my own family members. This blog is about my passion for early years research, my creative outlet, and now a small window into my personal and family life.
I believe it's also important to express that having a wide reach, was also not part of my plans. It still surprises me to this day that there is an audience... My hope is to continue to share about learning opportunities like classroom visits, research in early childhood, creative provocations, resources, educational events, as well as some stories from my new role as a mama, and products/services that I love.
After this long commitment to blog, I am so very flattered that companies are now actively seeking me out to write reviews on their materials. It must mean that what I think might matter to someone out there... In addition, it is important to note that I receive several requests daily, and that I am quite selective with who I decide to form collaborations or partnerships with. If I recommend a book, art material, or service, it's because they offer something that I as an educator or new mother have appreciated. And doesn't good work need to be credited or shared?
Since this blog is a space to have my voice heard, I am quite excited to continue discussing what I value. I team up with other educators, artists, bloggers, professionals, or companies to provide free giveaways, discounts to readers, gifts to educators who attend my network or workshops, and to give my honest opinion. Sometimes I am given a gift (either for myself or for my son) and I think it's so wonderful that I want others to know about it/them. Or I might blog as a way of saying thank you for their kindness!!! My approach to sharing is always genuine, and will continue to match my beliefs as an educator, creative, and parent while giving those out there who are doing amazing work acknowledgement for it!
In closing, as a blogger, I think sometimes others forget that the person behind the screen typing is indeed a person too... Followers have for the most part been extremely supportive, but on occasion there have been points with some harsh criticism. Who are they to judge, especially after someone has been so generously giving of their time and learning? Do they have a right to influence the (my) content? Does my credibility change, just because I am a whole person with more than research to write about or offer?
I apologize if this sounded harsh, but had to make this important point. It's been five years, and I am incredibly proud of where this blog has been and where it is going! With or without the support or judgement of some readers... I am and will continue to be my authentic self.
I sincerely hope that you continue to follow along, and respect my decision for expanding the content of the blog. For in the end, anything that I discuss is just that - the beginnings of a discussion. It has never come from a place of expertise or even influence. And all I'd like to continue to do is inspire and inform. What you do with my ideas is up to you!
Perhaps what we can learn from this post is that our online presence still impacts our life and feelings. In the future, if you ever disagree with someone's opinion, vision, or content online remember that behind the blog post might be an individual who could take things to heart...
On the positive side, keep sending your emails, writing comments, or providing your feedback. I love to read your questions and respond to your requests! It fascinates me that there are readers from all around the world who wonder about my courses, the books that I have read, where to begin their own journey, but also where I buy my materials. Recently with the use of other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, there has also begun a curiosity on my healthy recipes, baby products, and crazy enough even my personal/colourful fashion!
Anyhow, I could probably go on forever but I will end by saying that this blog is not my job, it's just something that I enjoy doing... If I could make blogging part of my career, then I would say that I am pretty blessed!
Happy 5 years and to so many more, as you will be pleased to know that I have lots of posts that are forthcoming!
|The first and last photo were captured by @my_secret_photography.|
There really is no way we can know the heart,
the intentions, or the circumstances of someone
who might say or do something we find reason to criticize.
Thus, judge not.
-Thomas S. Monson