Grateful Heart Monday with Emily is still my favorite way to start the week! (Besides coffee in hand and a kiss from my honey, of course) ;) And maybe it's living with family and being well and truly into Fall but I find I have a lot on my list these weeks.
What I'm grateful for today:
- M is home from his work trip!! And he had a great experience, even if it was a long week (He got to meet Bill Gates, and the mayor of Boston - how cool is that?!)
- The pretty pressies he brought home for me, and the menagerie of stuffed animals he brought for Bug :)
- FINALLY receiving the long-awaited SSN last week!
- Bug sleeping til 7am for three days this week...long may this trend continue!
- Finding out there is a mom and babies group for the county my parents live in (thus where we're living at the moment). I still need to look into how you join as apparently you 'apply' but at least there is a sort of community / way to meet other moms and kids for Bug to play with.
- Having a few free minutes last week to pick up a book! Granted, it was an old favorite and a young adult's book (A Wrinkle in Time), but I still got to read a book!
- Discovering in the 6 years since I moved away, International Delight has created a whole plethora of new flavors for coffee creamers (Peppermint Mocha & Thin Mints, anyone??) and so did Bailey's! Be still, my pregnant heart. A way to make decaf coffee taste better? I'm definitely in!
- Seeing a lovely house yesterday that may or may not become Team O'Loughlin's first family-owned home....!
- Getting a call this evening that M's green card has landed at our attorney's office!!!
Feeling pretty awesome about some major strides in the right direction finally, for our move!!
And a double feature for you - today on the blogtobersphere, we're talking about things we'd tell ourselves when we started blogging. Now I've only really been blogging for six months as this site went 'live' at the end of April (any previous blogs were short term affairs that didn't add much to that length of time) so this is all relatively newbie advice. However I certainly would have some advice for myself looking back:
10 Things I'd Tell Myself When I Started Blogging
- It will take much more time than you think to keep it up properly. You'll be amazed at how much time you will need (and want) to devote to writing, editing, posting, tweeting, following other blogs, linking up, etc - and you will still feel the need to invest more time.
- You need to set aside time in a quiet place to write, to be creative. Yes sometimes you can write off the cuff but your better writing, much like in school, is when you're not distracted by other things. Find a little space for yourself and try to carve out time every day or two to just write.
- Your page really must look nice. It doesn't have to be expensively designed and full of bells and whistles, but it should not be boring; aim for attractive and interesting. It will take some time to find this balance - a fluid dance - and you will constantly be looking to adjust the visual appearance of your blog.
- On that note, you will learn a little bit about HTML - but you really do need to learn a LOT more. Figure out a way to make time to do that.
- It matters a LOT how your photos look. Quality is important. Stop the iPhone photos and start using a real camera. Better yet - figure out how to shoot manually and practice!
- You will get to know some pretty wonderful people virtually - and have the opportunity to meet them in real life! Commenting on other blogs, emailing with bloggers who reply to you, connecting with them on Twitter, Instagram, etc will all create these wonderful relationships that you never expected to be out there!
- Don't underestimate the criticality of social media. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest are all vital to helping maintain a presence for your blog online.
- Planning and preparing are key to making blogging a viable part of your day-to-day. Getting organized in advance, preparing photos for your posts, even scheduling your posts in advance - all of this really streamlines the process. (The day you figure out how to schedule your posts - and are organized enough to start doing it - will be cause for a HUGE celebration!)
- Be prepared to question yourself constantly. You're going to question whether you're writing interesting things, whether your site looks good, whether you know how to use Twitter properly, and so many other things. But just be yourself. People connect with authenticity and truth. Being yourself is the best way to truly be authentic in your writing.
- And last but not least, keep going! Don't get discouraged or worry about how your blog compares with others. You will enjoy writing and even the structure it reintroduces in your life. Don't stop!