7th January 2016. 2 years today. I started this blog. I won’t say it was on a whim because truthfully I had been thinking about it for almost 5 years, since the birth of Eva and my discovery that parent bloggers even existed. But I never quite found the courage and mulled it over so many times for quite frankly far too long before finally giving myself the kick up the backside that I needed to start. In actual fact the catalyst was the day that I pressed submit on that school application for Eva, the realisation that I was being stupid and in my lack of confidence and stupidity I had lost all of this time, almost 5 whole years, and the opportunity to record it. So I decided there and then to try not to be so hard on myself and my lack of skills and just do it, what did I really have to lose? After all if I was really no good at it I could give up, I wouldn’t regret giving it a go would I? And it is of course true that you rarely regret things you do and mostly things you don’t do because now, 2 years on and my only regret, is not starting sooner.
Sure I am still not the best blogger, photographer, story teller or social media whizz (far from it), but having started from not even knowing how to build a blog, take a photo and never having written anything in my life, I have learnt a heck of a lot on this ride! Not only the actual skills along the way but I have finally found something that I love, that allows me to think creatively and that makes me a little bit proud that me, by myself have done everything, all of it, and I don’t totally suck.
As much as it feels like I can’t believe it has been 2 years and that I still have things on my to do list that have been there since the start (hello logo and font – I should probably revisit that) I also cannot imagine my life without my blog now. Without it consuming my almost every thought all the time and feeling so passionate about this little space on the internet and what I could do, one day, any day. Much like parenting I guess but it is so hard to remember life without blogging. Ok well I remember sleeping more and having much more time to sit and watch tv, read a book or enjoy a long soak in the bath, maybe even switch off…..see I told you it was like parenting! Yet I look back at my 1st year post and I know I wouldn’t change it for the world.
So, my second year? The first year is of course all about learning how and what and when and it was a steep learning curve I can tell you but this year has been much more about me the blogger, it has felt like I can call myself that now without blushing (ok I still blush a little). I truly cannot believe how much I have learnt in this blogging world and continue to every single day. I am now fully immersed in a world, a life, I didn’t even know existed this time 2 years ago and for me now blogging isn’t simply a way of recording the life we already lead but it has led to our lives changing too.
My second year has seen me do so many things I would never have done if it wasn’t for sitting, mostly in my pyjamas late at night, writing here. I was nominated for a blogging award (which I didn’t win but still so happy to get to be a finalist) written about in local press, appeared on local radio to talk about places to go with children and visited the This Morning studios where I got to sit on the famous sofa! I also attended quite a few blogger and vlogger conferences which I never thought I would be brave enough to and got to go to both YouTube Space London which was pretty cool and a fab huckletree venue with Mumsnet, seriously the most instragrammable place ever! We went on our first ever Glamping Trip, worked with London Midland for a fantastic Christmassey day out in London and Sail with Santa. On top of that I was also asked to be a keynote speaker at a conference which still surprises me that I said yes to. It was to read out the most personal of posts ever and I am so proud that I was able to do that, and get through it without crying, mostly.
Which leads me onto the many bloggers and vloggers I have met both physically and virtually this past year. This community who inspire me every day, who have the most amazing talent and whom I can call some of these friends, are some of the most supportive and lovely people I could ever wish to meet. Spanning the country is a real shame but this online world, despite sometimes feeling totally out of the loop, is also such an amazing one, you just have to surround yourself with those gems, they are there trust me.
So those are the things that blogging has brought me and the times that we would definitely not be talking about had it not been for this slightly crazy journey. But just like my first year I feel like the heart of my blog lies with The Ordinary Moments, posts. Those moments, the ones that are happening anyway, at home, everyday, are the ones I want to remember and relive and whilst I adore documenting our travels, those amazing experiences and our changing family over the months with Me and Mine and Siblings project, the ordinary moments will still always be my favourites, it often makes me smile that I can write a whole post about something so small! Yet I have a list as long as my arm of more.
I have also really gotten into YouTube this year, or more specifically the last few months and making videos both encapsulating the ordinary moments with day in the lifes and also pushing my creativity to set up different shots and film in a different way. I am a closet geek you see so being able to do this every day is an actual dream, I can never watch a film or tv show the same ever again now without thinking about the filming! Whilst I am still small fry here and I have almost no skills compared to some I just love YouTube and creating these little films and am so proud of all that I have learnt this year from scratch.
I am of course highlighting here and my second year has not been without it’s issues. I still doubt myself, doubt my place in this blogging world and that I seem to be on the outside looking in a lot of the time. The numbers aren’t everything but it is hard to work so hard and comparison comes in and you suddenly feel disheartened with your skills, talents or why you are seemingly invisible! I am still not good at self promotion or game playing for numbers, I may have to accept that that just isn’t me? Or maybe I just still have a lot to learn who knows. I gave up my job at the end of last year and wanted to concentrate on curating this little space and although being ill for months didn’t give me a great start I have been lucky enough to get some great opportunities this year, build my skill set and set myself up for more work hopefully in 2019. I am still not sure what I want to do (when I grow up!), with this space, whether I will go back to an employed job at some point soon or know that I am lucky to be able to stay home with my babies for now but hey, that’s probably for a another post entirely.
In the year to come I would like to blog more. I often overthink things and put pressure that posts need to be well written, topical or have a meaning, but I want to think less and write more. I want to put a bit more of me into my blog, and vlogs. I feel like having found my feet and being secure in me that my social media has evolved to be a little mini blog, (and vlog thanks to my new obsession that is instagram stories!) There is much more sarcasm and funny quips than I have ever put on here, much more fashion and interiors creeping in and it has happened naturally because that is truly what I love. But it also seems scary to move away from purely motherhood memories somehow. I look through my blog and I am not sure that it is conveyed here in the same way. So this years aim is to put a little bit more of me in here, not just me as a mother but Laura too. And to accept that I will never have a niche because I guess I am not very niche myself!
I would also like to add more travel in which was part of the intention of the blog in the first place (hence the name) I just have a huge passion for travelling and days out with the girls I would love to experience more of that this year and share it too. I’m going to continue on this blogging journey improving as I go wherever I can, to create different content and improve in the way I write, my photography and editing, and also my videography to create those wonderful vlogs I long to! My blog itself is in need of a refresh, having started it in the middle of the year I have got a bit lazy and left it as it is even though I am not 100% happy with it and my logo and font, well that has been ‘in the working’ for far too long now, so this is my year!
Blogging has helped me so much, in ways I could never have imagined but truly it has changed me. It helps me to notice the small moments, to record and relive them and know that these things pass and that I will in fact miss the all consuming days of motherhood in years to come, in months even, maybe even days, as life changes all the time. It has taught me how I love to pour my heart out in ways I would never have done before and get thoughts out that would have existed merely in my head. The way I feel about motherhood, about my little ladies, about life, written down for when they grow up, or perhaps if I am not here anymore. Should that happen they will have tangible words, videos, a reason to have a little bit of me right there, still. Not interpretation but actual words of mine. A legacy I guess, for them.
But much more than that as I read posts I have written, as I watch vlogs I have made, it makes me a better person right now. A better Mum, a kinder friend, because of course we cannot document every minute of every day and I choose what I share but those are the moments that I think about when I am about to shout, when I lose my temper or when I get to the end of the day and my brain is telling me it wasn’t a good one. The days when I wasn’t the person I wanted them to see me as. But then I see it through their eyes, I stop looking at me and start looking at them, in pictures, in video and I realise they are fine. More than fine they are perfect and that tomorrow I will soak that up a little more, listen a little closer and know that they don’t see the times I am frustrated and crying in the kitchen (or smuggling a chocolate into my mouth for comfort after I have told them no) because they are just little people looking up to their Mum, making their own memories. There is something so powerful about that.
Noone is perfect of course and I am definitely not. I am busy a lot, I am sometimes on my phone too much and am short tempered because I am tired from staying up till 1am editing or writing, but for everything that I see as the bad side in actual fact there is so much more good. It’s a sort of hindsight, right there and then. I could not imagine life without that perspective every single day, to have a chance to be the Mum, to be the person I really want to be, to be the person that they deserve.
There is no doubt that blogging has changed my life, my world, and me as a person and I love it for that. I literally cannot imagine a day when I do not do it but of course who knows, you never know where life will lead, what doors open and which ones close but no matter what I will be glad that these 2 years happened and hey, here’s to many more – hopefully – to come!
Happy Blog Birthday to me!
As photography is such a big part of me and my blog I thought I would share some (lots) of my favorite photos from the year here and some that I have never shared here before, because these days I take so many that I can’t even keep up with sharing them!