It’s that time again! I’ve hit 15 years of blogging at this time and it’s time for another recap. I’ve done so many long recaps over the years and I’m not sure this one will be as wordy. Not a lot has changed in the last year as far as my blog. We still have had another weird year in our country, not back to normal yet and frankly, we probably will never be back to where we were. I continue to put my hope and faith in God, as He knows exactly what is happening and where we are going. It sure takes the pressure off, doesn’t it?! I still feel the same as I did a year ago, when I made all those comments on last year’s 14 year post, but my faith is strong even as we are facing some tumultuous times in our country and the world.
On the blog front, not a lot has changed there either. You all know by now how the blog is my business and I’ve shared over and over through the years how it works. It was another really good year for me and my blog. The Lord continues to bless this blog as a business for me and for that I’m grateful again. Another year of blessings and so much to be grateful for! I’ll do a recap of the year this time since not much has changed overall in blogging.
We got our sweet miss Daisy in March of last year and she just turned one year old January 11th. We have adored that girl and are so glad she’s ours. We have so much fun with her and she has brightened up our house so much.
Mark and I did take several trips last year that I blogged about. We went to Asheville, NC in spring and saw the Biltmore gardens and house. Biltmore Blooms is a real treat and you’ll enjoy those pics right now with the winter weather many have had.
In June we went to Tallahassee and really enjoyed that road trip as well.
In July, we headed to the coast of Mississippi and it was a fun excursion we had never been on before. We also stopped one night in Laurel, MS and that was fun to see. Overall, a fun year for travel even if we didn’t fly anywhere. We don’t have anything planned yet for this year, but I’m sure we will come up with a few road trips at least.
Oh and there was a beach trip in there too to St. George Island, FL in August. I’m sure we will go back to the beach again this year but we may go back to the Destin area next time, we will see.
It was an interesting year to say the least. I continued to share what was going on in our lives and it was a pretty big year for change in our family, with moving mom and dad to assisted living and getting their house settled and sold. All of those things spilled over on the blog too and you all have always been so supportive of me sharing them as well. In fact, the posts that I share about them get more traffic than my decorating posts do, so that tells me a lot. You all relate to my parents and the stories about them, so heart stories are just as important as home stories.
We got mom and dad moved in October 1st and we are so thankful that they got settled in their new home last year and are doing so well now. It was touch and go with dad for those first 3 weeks, but he has done remarkably well since then.
I did a recap of selling their house (How we Cleaned Out & Prepped to Sell Our Parents’ House) and also included all the posts up til then that covered the process of deciding to move them and the entire process of the move and after they were moved in for a few weeks. That post went viral on my Facebook page and got shared and viewed well over 35K times in a couple of days, so I could tell it rang a bell for so many.
Their house closed over a week ago and we are so glad to have that chapter behind us too. I’ll continue to do updates along the way on mom and dad’s progress in assisted living and memory care. It sure is a relief to have them well taken care of in a nice facility so close to me.
We did plenty of projects around the house in 2021, although nothing big and no major renovations, but we made more improvements that we’re proud of.
As I mentioned, we hope that a pool will be the big project for summer of 2022.
The blog had another great year, although it can be challenging to keep up with all the trends and best practices. I need to be better at that, but I sometimes drag around and don’t do all the things I need to do to keep my website growing and being as fit as it can be. Running a blog is no joke in this ever changing environment. I know I need to do some maintenance and hire someone to help me with that, so perhaps I will do that this year. There are always changes with Google and trends that come along that we are supposed to jump through hoops for and I don’t always embrace those changes with gusto to say the least.
In spite of all of that, my blog had a remarkable year last year and I’m very grateful for my ad network, AdThrive. I’ve mentioned before that my ad network is the main way I make money on my blog (around 82% from the ad network) and I’m grateful that you all have patience when it comes to ads. I know they are annoying to say the least, but everyone has them and I guess we are all growing accustomed to them and learn to deal with the annoying part. Thank you for humoring the ads! They keep me and this blog rolling along!
I still make a bit of my income from sponsored posts (around 11%), although those are still way down from 5 years ago. It’s really not bad at all and while I appreciate the sponsors who do want to work with me, I don’t seek many out anymore and that makes life a bit less stressful. Most of the sponsored ones I get now is on Instagram and those don’t pay as much, but they are easier to do and take a lot less time.
Affiliate income makes up about 7% of my income, to round it all out. It’s not a bad way to make a living at all. In fact, it’s still the best job I’ve ever ever had! I get to stay home, enjoy the freedom of my work from home schedule and make a fantastic income. I’m so grateful to have this blog at this stage of my life. I’ve often commented to mom how grateful I am that this is my business and life and I can set my own schedule all the time. I’m not beholden to an employer and it’s so gratifying to do my own thing and not have to answer to anyone. I can work as hard as I want to or not so hard as I please. Luckily, I don’t have to work that hard and I still make a great living with blogging. So much to be grateful for, to have all that extra time needed last year to do what needed to be done for mom and dad.
So I continue on into year 16 of blogging. I feel sure I’ll stay around for years to come. There’s absolutely no reason to give it up. If anything, I would just cut back on posting as much, but for now it’s a good rhythm I’m in and it feels good! Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for hanging out with me! Some of you have been here from the beginning and some are newer to my blog. I appreciate all of you and thank you for being here!
Congratulations on 15 years with your delightful blog!
Personally, I’m glad you do not rush into the new trends, but carefully weigh out what makes sense asethetically for your lovely home.
As a daily viewer of your blog, I embrace each entry, however being a care giver of an elderly parent in my (with my husband) home – we haven’t been able to apply the diy projects the way we’d like due to my father (safety issues, etc.).
As my father declines in health, your blog has been a light to my path of this awkward journey.
Thank you Rhoda.
Thank you, CHeri, I am so glad that so many of you relate to my journey with my parents. It’s such a big part of life for all of us and I’m happy to share my story.
Congratulations on 15 years! I am of similar age and always enjoy seeing what you have going – whether it’s fashion, decorating or remodeling. You do a lot! I, too, have an elderly parent that I’m helping – he’s pretty independent, but slowing down so helping is sometimes a tricky path. Thanks again and I wish you well in your 16th year!
Congratulations on 15 years! We first “met” on a decorating message board (do those even exist anymore?) and you announced you wouldn’t be posting as much because you were starting a blog. I have been following along ever since. I have always felt a kinship with you because our parents are so similar. Glad they are doing well in their new environment! Heres to another 15 years!
Thank you, Sandy, that is so far back and it’s so fun to think about those years! Wow have things changed so much in all these years.
Congratulations Rhoda, Mark and Miss Daisy! I moved to the Seattle area from the middle of Louisiana 16 years ago. I must have found you about 12 years ago and you have been a connection for The South all this time. We are in Idaho now, my husband’s hometown, and I’m more homesick than ever!! I do appreciate your outlook on life, focus on God and on family and home. What else is there?
Cindy Vojanec says
I am one of the “from the beginning” followers and have enjoyed your posts all these years. I always love your family updates as it seems like I know them. Prayers for you and your family in the next year.
Diane Miller says
Congratulations on your business success and for sharing events about your family. So many of us have gone or will go down that path with parents. Let’s go cruising again!
Diane, thanks for taking time to comment. We would love to do another cruise with you and Jim! Let’s definitely keep the conversation going.
Congratulations, Rhoda, on your attainment of 15 years of blogging. I’m a big fan of you and your blog – you’re beautiful inside and out and your content is always interesting and informative. Thank you for your loyalty to us and for always providing pertinent information. God bless you, Mark and your family. xo
Thank you so much, Ruth!
Congratulations! I found your blog when you were in Birmingham. I am an Alabama girl. I have enjoyed your many years of blogging. I feel like I know you and your family. I have prayed for your parents, and I am thankful that they are doing great. You are truly blessed. Have a wonderful year.
Thank you, Nancy, I appreciate you all for being here so long!
Congratulations on 15 years! Thank YOU for being here ❤️
Congratulations! And to be quick and simple, you are by far my favorite blogger. Keep up the great work!
Thank you, Lisa, you all make me feel so good!
Congratulations on your 15th anniversary of blogging! Thats quite an achievement especially with all the challenges we are facing today. I have always enjoyed reading your posts as you share personal elements of your family life that so many of us especially in your age group can relate to. Many bloggers, have a strict rule of not sharing anything about their personal life or their family and I am not faulting them for that choice, but I find I can never really relate to them really other than seeing pictures of their home. Your blog has so much soul and life to it. However, I do enjoy seeing your beautiful home and all the inspiration you give us and can’t wait for the new pool project this summer. Btw….Amanda from Dixie Delights blog had a pool and cabana built a year ago and if you havent seen pictures you really need to check it out. She gives all the material sources and insight that went into the installation and build that you might find helpful in your project.
Thank you Teresa, I do follow Amanda, but haven’t seen her pool post. I’ll definitely check it out, so many decisions to make.
Congratulations Rhoda! I don’t follow many blogs, yours was the first
one I started with. You have a true gift of sharing and I always enjoy reading your posts, your message emphasizes that family is the true heart of the home! Thank-you🌼
Roxanne Bernard says
Rhoda, Congratulations on an amazing 15 years! I’ve been following you for so long, I feel we are old friends. You are always so gracious when you answer my messages, the epitome of a true Southern Lady. I love following along with you and Mark and your sweet Daisy. And for sure all of us love your mama and daddy! Looking forward to more of your blogs and stories. Hugs!!!
Thank you Roxanne, I feel like I know you too and have friends all over the country! You all are a blessing to me too.
Congratulations on 15 years. Look forward to your blog everyday, love all the great info you give us and the pictures. Love reading about your family. Keep this great blog going !
Toni Gorrell says
Love your blog, Rhoda! Keep going! I always look forward to reading what you have to say. And love all your stories and pictures!
Best wishes and prayers for you, your family, and your blog!
Thank you, Toni, you are such an encourager to me on Instagram especially. THank you!
I just have to comment how much more relaxed and younger your Mom looks after moving to assisted living. As I tell my hair clients all the time, it removes the daily stress of living on them and the caregiver. Plus, you don’t have the dreaded question, “What should I make for dinner tonight?” They also have (new) friends to do things with again.
Hi Renee, you are so right! Mom and I have talked about this over and over. Her stress level is gone now and it definitely shows on her face.
Debbie in TX says
Congrats, Rhoda! Keep up the awesome work! I appreciate your honesty and straightforward manner in all your posts. It’s nice to find someone who is so relatable in many different facets of life. Always love seeing Miss Daisy and updates on your parents and other family members.
Thanks for all the wonderful photos, helpful advice and recommendations!
Vicki Davis says
CONGRATULATIONS ON 15 AMAZING AND SUCCESSFUL YEARS OF BLOGGING! I remember where I was when you asked me if I knew what blogging was! LOL! I’m still low tech but am so happy you have found your purpose and are living the dream! God has truly blessed your efforts and you are blessing countless others by sharing your life experiences. Yes, there are so many who will be encouraged and inspired by your viral Facebook post on your parents’ move etc…You handled this like you have other major challenging events in life…with faith! So thankful for your friendship and your influence in my life all these many years! Love you! Vic
Congratulations on 15 amazing years. I first stumbled onto your blog during a very dark time for you. I was going through a similar situation, even moving in with my parents for a short time, before I could get my footing to continue my journey. I looked to you for inspiration and you never disappointed. We both survived with lots of life lessons. I’ve watched God restore our lives with amazing husbands and beautiful homes to boot. I always loved to hear your daddy pray over food and appreciate that you have never embraced the bowl of oatmeal colors in your home. I 💙 colors. May you and Mark, along with Miss Daisy, be abundantly blessed for years to come. Keep up the good work. Patty
HI, Patty, what a sweet note to read! So thankful that we both survived our ordeals and have gone on to happy marriages and lovely homes. What a blessing!
sondra d spencer says
Time goes by so fast! Congratulations on 16 years!