Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Blogging Through the Years: Favorite Moments of 2014

So the blog that was supposed to be for the sole purpose of being an online journal of our family's small business evolved into something that was more for just me. Blogging became my me time. (Whoa. Me time. What is that, right?) It became a passion and a joy. It became a part of who I am as a person. 

We started our Etsy shop partly because our family had fallen on some difficult times. We had always been crafty as a family, and people had always liked our handmade gifts. Starting our small business together was a way for us to do something together for a purpose and have fun while doing it. But it was because of our Etsy shop that I learned so much more about the online world. Sure, I knew how to use the Internet and navigate my way around a computer. But html? Wow (still learning). SEO. Oh wow (always learning). Social media? Don't get me started (now I'm a little bit of an addict)!

It's crazy to think how one thing can inevitably lead to another!
If you missed the first two installments of My Blogging Through the Years, please take a look at 2010 - 2011 and 2012 - 2013.


So let's take a look at some of my favorite moments of the year 2014. 

I started the year of 2014 with no resolutions, no goals. Only hopes for a better year. 

I made a conscious effort to live a healthier life, and I started the new year with new products - organic, toxic-free & just plain awesome. I also participated in a fitness challenge in September, but I didn't even have time to blog about it.

I still (and will always) keep sharing our Etsy adventures with you. Lots of the time, I'll share new items here on the blog first (maybe twitter or Instagram updates too, because those are my two favorites as far as social media goes). But I always share our milestones here, and we often celebrate with giveaways here on the blog. 

In January I began co-hosting a new kind of blog linky party, the G+ Growing Circles Hop. While it's declined in participation, it's still a big winner, because it's a huge traffic-booster. If you ever want to party with us, it's every Thursday (starting back up again next week). In September, I also began co-hosting the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop as a permanent thing too. And I've loved these two hops as much as ever!

GASP! I got a phone! I will always have my landline, but I officially went mobile in 2014. The entire time I've had this blog I haven't had a phone. I just didn't need one. Wasn't necessary. I had no idea how to use a smartphone. The last phone I had was in no way smart at all. It was just a phone (but, yes, everyone - I knew how to text.). Apps? What are those? Well, I got schooled. And I got apps. Now, I think I have more apps than my daughter. lol

And you know the California Drought is the real deal when you haven't seen rain in so long that you forget what it sounds like, and all you do is constantly think about more ways to conserve water. When there's so much sunshine in the middle of January that you just go outside and play with sidewalk chalk, you just gotta blog about it.

As Baby Girl grew and her personality started really making an entrance (with a spotlight, of course). She wanted to do photo shoots like her big sis. She's such a girly girl, a little diva in her own right. This product review was supposed to be done by Big Sis, but the little sister won the battle and was the star of the published post.

My daughter got a spotlight of her own when she shared her Promposal with a video (and he said yes). Becoming somewhat of a self-proclaimed beauty guru, she also shared some beauty looks and favorite products too. There's also that time when she got purple ombre hair.

My oldest son won Third Place at the school Science Fair! The previous year he had ribboned with an honorable mention, so this Third Place was pretty awesome.

We lost our Internet connection via conventional DSL wiring and had to go the WiFi route, all while we said goodbye to cable TV. Living a simpler life is sometimes better anyway. We painted the inside of our house (most of it, anyway)

Then I got a little personal sharing some deep thoughts and feelings about dark days and hard times. I embraced the Lifestyle Blogger Niche, even though sometimes it does still get to me that I feel like I don't belong anywhere. I'm not afraid to stand on my own, and I never have been, even if it gets lonely where I'm standing. Sometimes you just have to remember that you're enough

In 2014 I realized even more so the power of social media when I found out that one of my pins was repinned over 2300 times (and it wasn't a blog post, but a favorite Etsy item of mine). That's a big number for little ole me. 

Was the year a better one like I had hoped for back in January? No, not at all.

I admittedly suffered from a slight burnout at multiple times during the year, because 2014 really hadn't been one of my personal bests by far. At times I had to turn my focus on things besides Etsy and the blog to just clear my mind. Many events that I had planned on blogging about just never made it to the publishing stage. I can think of at least three already. But maybe some day I'll revisit and post about them. They're so worth it. I did, however, take an extreme liking to Instagram and love microblogging there. =0)

I also needed to do something else, something out of the ordinary. So I joined WeHeartIt and redesigned my tumblr page. And sometimes (when I was lucky enough) I would visit some of my favorite bloggers to catch up on some blog reading. I didn't get to do that as much in 2014, for blogs or otherwise. I don't even think I read any book at all. That's kind of sad for me to think about, now that I am thinking about it.

Ending this year, though, is done with much gratitude. Struggles make us stronger. And I've been learning my strength and just how strong I can be. I have a feeling I'll be doing it more too, as we start 2015, because this is the year that my oldest graduates high school. Let's not go there just yet. I already had to wish her a Happy 18th Birthday. I don't want to think about graduation yet. In fact, I'd like to stop time for a little bit. That would be nice.

What was one of your favorite moments of 2014?

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Debbie Roberts said...

2014 certainly was a bit of a roller coaster for you!..Your family sounds nice and normal(little sister wanting to be like big sister!). Congratulations too on your son getting third place.

I think it's great that you only just got a mobile phone, they certainly have their uses, but I could happily live without mine for most of the time...But maybe if I ever get the hang of social media I'll change my mind! (I have had the same old Nokia for about six years now and it's still going strong. So would have to upgrade to a smartphone if I did get the hang of it!)

My favourite moments in 2014 have to have been starting my blog and seeing my sister and her family for the first time in four years.

Miss Val's Creations said...

It sounds like 2014 was an amazing year for you. The girls look so beautiful. I'm sure the high school graduation is going to bring on all sorts of mixed emotions! I just got my first smartphone in 2014 too and last week just got my first e-reader. I feel so modern now!

Elephant's Child said...

Life is a bit like that isn't it? The good, the bad, the insanely busy all mixed up and baked together.
I hope 2015 is more consistently kind to you.

katiecupcakes said...

The last several years were like this for me- complete whirlwinds of good-good-bad-bad-bad-bad-good-bad... I'm hoping 2015 is MOSTLY good's though! I hope it is for you too!

Cole Nemeth said...

What a lovely year! Congrats on the science fair win!

One of my favourite moments last year was camping with my husband, daughter and niece.

Riah Tarango said...

It looks like 2014 was pretty great for you! Lots of change and growth which will only lead to good for the future. I hope your 2015 is even better!


Jamie Tomkins said...

It's always so great to look back and see what you learned and what you have accomplished. Here's praying that 2015 will be even better! :)

FrugalMomma said...

What a nice memory Monday! Change and growth are always a good thing! Even if we go kicking and screaming! Hoping 2015 is super for you!

shelah moss said...

What a nice look back at your year in 2014. All of my nicest moments about the year involve time with my family.

Anne Campbell said...

This is a fun way to remember the year. I also got my first smart phone last year, a graduation from my old basic phone. I'm learning how to text and use apps--old dog, new tricks! Congrats on all your successes!

Kim Seghers said...

I will definitely have to stop over on Thursday to link up at your Google+ Hop . It looks like your family had great 2014. Thanks for sharing your many milestones with us! Kim @ This Ole Mom

Patricia said...

2014 was a very bad year for me. I spent the majority of it caring for my MIL who had brain cancer. She passed away in September. Most of the year was full of heartbreak.

Green Grandma said...

2014 was a rough year for me. There were deaths, blogger burn out, financial difficulties, etc. But my writing and voice-over business did well and I published my 60th children's book through iStorybooks, so that was quite an accomplishment. Like all years, 2014 had its highs and its lows. I really enjoyed reading about yours.

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