It’s so hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for 17 years! The years sure have flown on by way faster than I would have imagined, but it’s been the best ride of my life and my life has been so enhanced by having and writing this blog. Sharing my life seems second nature to me now and I can’t imagine not having you all out there to share with! I will say I have the best readers around and you all still show up and support me. You come by and grieve with me, support me wherever I am, and I know I can count on you to be happy for me and get excited for good things that come along in my life. For that, I’m grateful. It’s like having a whole bunch of girlfriends that I haven’t met in real life, but I know you’re there for me.
I still enjoy sharing with you all and as I mentioned last year, I did slow down quite a bit, even declaring myself semi-retired and I didn’t worry about posting as much, which really takes the pressure off. I didn’t want to live with deadlines or pressure, so pulling back was the best thing to do and you might not have even noticed, but it helped me a lot mentally to think of myself as semi-retired. We sure had a lot of fun last year and did 2 major trips. In my effort to travel more, I’m already planning trips for this year and I’m so excited to be sharing more of that with you this year.
My ad network, Raptive, does a fine job of helping me keep this blog going and I’m grateful for a good ad network that stands behind their publishers and gets us the best rates going. I’ve published 4,189 blog posts as of the date of writing this post and that’s quite a lot of content. Thank you as always for supporting me. I know the ads can be annoying and I appreciate your patience when you read my blog, whether it’s on a phone or computer or tablet. I think a laptop is probably the best experience with ads.
Mark and I have been in our house for 7 years this summer and that has flown by too. We have a bathroom project I hope will be coming up sometime this year. That’s the only bathroom we have left to do, the upstairs guest bath between my office/playroom and Mark’s man cave. It’s going to be pretty when we’re finished. We are still in the process of planning what we want to do and looking at tile and ideas along the way. We already have the wallpaper bought and ready to go, so of course I’ll share that with you. Other than the basement, we don’t have a lot of projects left to do and that’s up in the air as to how much we will do down there. It sure is nice to have a basement though! It sure comes in handy. We sure have enjoyed our pool! It’s been two years ago that we had it installed and we are loving our summers out here.
As I mentioned last year and every year, I’m so very concerned about our country and this is going to be one heck of a year, I’m afraid. Maybe more tumultuous than any of us have ever lived so far. Just when I think it can’t get any crazier, it does. It’s a scary world we live in and I couldn’t make it without my faith. Without getting into all those topics, I pray God’s blessings on our country. We need Him more than ever! The world seems to be turned upside down and it can be so disconcerting to navigate the drama and chaos that seems to be around every corner these days. My faith is in God almighty!
Last year was a year of ups and downs. Looking back and not knowing it would be my mom’s last year with us, it was a good year, in spite of the sadness of losing her in December. She was a bright light to so many and we all miss her dearly. Thank you again for all the support and heartfelt messages you all sent to me. I loved reading them all. My dad is doing good, but he doesn’t seem to remember that mom is gone. He hasn’t asked about her at all. He doesn’t talk much these days and is more isolated in his day to day activities, so we will let him take the lead on that and I won’t bring it up unless he does. I’ve talked to the care manager and she said he hasn’t said anything to them either, so we just let it lie for now. I get by to see him pretty often and I know he does get lonely at times, but he’s in a good safe place and is stable and comfortable so that’s all we can ask for at this time in his life. I’m grateful for places like Dogwood that take care of the elderly and give them a safe place to live.
Personally, Mark and I joined a new church last year and are settling in there. For the locals, we joined Kennesaw First Baptist just recently after we started attending last February, so we’ve been there almost a year. It felt like a very homey place the first time we went and we love the 9:30 traditional service where we sing old hymns. The church is built almost exactly like the church my dad pastored in Marietta and the church I grew up in. Big beams and all! Not a mega church, we were looking for a church that wasn’t so big and overwhelming and we found that. I just joined the women’s ministry team and will be helping out with events and contributing to the decorating that will happen for these events. I think that will be fun and a way to use my talents.
I’m still waiting for a spot to open on our local Acworth tourism board. Someone has to drop off before I get asked to join and I hope to do that eventually. Taking care of my parents has been the primary thing on my plate for awhile, but with mom gone, it frees up some of my time that was devoted to her.
This last year had the least amount of sponsored posts and working with brands that I’ve had in several years and that particular way to earn money seems to be really slowing down (for me, that is). There are many people making big money on Instagram, but I see the endless hamster wheel that is Instagram and it’s just not how I want to spend my time and effort. So I’ll be doing less selling and less sponsored things. I do what feels right to me and at this stage of life, less selling and less pushing products is what feels right. I’m loving life and enjoy life with Mark and Daisy at home. We live in a wonderful little town and life is so good at this stage.
I still enjoy sharing fashion finds when I find things I like and endorse, so I won’t stop completely, but constant buying of clothes is not something I want to do all the time either, so that is not going to be a big push from me. There are so many Instagram influencers who are over 60 fashion girls and they really stay busy sharing. I admire their drive, but it’s not for me! Overall, there is fierce competition in this online world and I do feel it, especially on Instagram. That’s why I’m glad I have my blog and I own it. No one can take that from me and I don’t depend on sponsored posts to keep it going. Nor do I have to rely on selling products all the time. I’m so grateful to be a blogger first and foremost!
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT ME AND MY BLOG?
I don’t have a lot of new things to share in this recap, but I’ll remind you once again how you can support me the most. i mentioned this last year, but the very best way to support me is to read right here on my blog every time I post a blog post. If you subscribe to my emails, you’ll get one in your inbox every time I post and you can click the link to come over to my blog and read it live. That gives me pageviews and that’s how I make an income from my blog. Many people don’t know the particulars of this, but it’s a pretty neat thing. I’ve said before how much God has blessed this blog and I don’t take it for granted. I had another great year and I have to thank all of YOU for that! Just the fact that you all come over and read makes it possible for me to keep it going.
AMAZON SHOP AND HOME DECOR LINKS
The other ways you can support me is to buy through my affiliate links on Amazon and Like to Know It. I don’t share links constantly, but if you can please help me out there too. I make commissions when you use my links and that adds to my income.
You can find all my links under Shop my Home on the home page of my blog on the menu bar.
I have an Amazon shop with lots of good products that I use and some that I love and recommend as well. The shop has categories you can look at with lots of products. Anytime you buy from Amazon and use my link, I earn a small commission without it costing you anything extra. Thank you for buying through my links!
What’s In Store This Year?
I don’t have a lot of exciting things that I know will happen this year, but I’m ready to get the year started and see how the year unfolds. I did just book a trip to Italy in April for Mark and me and I’ll be sharing more about that soon. I went to Italy 30 years ago and have been dying to go back ever since. I’ve never had a lot of extra money to travel with, but at this stage of life, God has blessed us and we can afford to travel more now.
Each year, I look back and I’m so grateful to God that he allowed me to start this blog and keep it going all these years. It’s been one of the best things that ever happened to me and you all are a big bonus in that story. As I said, it’s like I have all these girlfriends out there all over the world who I’ve never met, but you all know me! That’s pretty cool! So as I hit 17 years, going into my 18th year online, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support of me and my blog. I look forward to whatever the year brings. I am so enjoying slowing down and not feeling the pressure and that just feels so good to me. Here’s to another good year!