Saturday, October 1, 2016

Seven years


Seven years ago today I hit the "publish" button on Far Above Rubies with this post.

Pin It
Things have certainly changed in seven years. 


I started blogging after being part of the community on HGTV's "Rate My Space" web site. 

It was ruthless. Some of you were there and you remember.

People were unkind, and I should have known better, but I enjoyed sharing what I do in my home and wanted to continue. 

I am thankful that I met some nice people there, a few of whom I still "see" virtually in this crazy and ever-changing world of blogging. 


It's funny because no one ever said, "Anita, you should start a blog." But I've always been stubborn and apparently like the challenge of an uphill battle so I hit "publish."

I have to admit, I wanted to stop many times, especially when blogging turned into a competition for followers, sponsors, and then money. I was always playing catch-up, but my ultimate purpose --sharing what I did in my own home and hoping to inspire others, kept me going. 

That -- and the comments from sweet friends who inspired me, and still do. 

I finally gave up on growing numbers, sponsors, SEO and affiliate marketing and decided that I just need to be myself and share what I do here, whether anyone followed or not. The bottom line is I needed to be me, and not copy trends or spend money trying to keep up with those trends. I kept telling myself that someone, somewhere might just be in the same boat as me -- no budget, but still craving a beautiful and welcoming space. 

You see, the reality is, we don't have a big house with lots of rooms perfectly styled, and I don't head off to a big box store when I want to change my decor or keep up with the latest trend. Because we have been in ministry, our budget is severely limited, so I have learned to use what I find on the property to recycle or repurpose and make everything I can. 

And that has made me more creative, and even more convinced that I just need to be me. 

And I have tried to stick to that. The result is, that over the years I have really found the combination of things I like -- that make me smile whenever I walk into any room in my house. And staying true to myself has opened up doors with magazine editors that I *never* would have thought possible. 

I have enjoyed the process, and I've learned a lot through it. And the funny thing is, it doesn't seem like it's been seven years until I look back and see how much things have changed. 


I thought some of you might want to take a look back with me:-)


Seven years seems like a long time, but when I look at my family, seven years have flown by.

 When I started blogging, my kids were just 3, 7 and 9.



From these babies...


...to this.

My 16, 14 and 10-year-old big kids.


Things have certainly changed a lot in our house as well. 

First up is the living area.

2008

2011

2012

2013

2014


2015

2016

2016

Next is the dining area. Some of you might remember it was in a different spot when I started blogging. This has since become my music space.

2008

2011

2012

Then I switched everything around and moved the dining space to this end of the long living area. 

2013

2014

2015

2016

And the kitchen. Oh boy. 

2009

2011

2012

2014

2015



2016


The girls' room went from this:


...to this in 2014.


And finally, the master bedroom. 

I *never* ever blogged about this version:-)

2008

2009

2013

2014


2016


I have truly enjoyed sharing our humble house and everything we have done to make it into a home. 

I have learned that chasing trends is, well, trendy. And that doesn't last. 

I have learned to fill my home with things that *mean* something to me. 

I have learned to recycle, repurpose and reuse wherever possible.

Because there is already too much junk piling up polluting the planet.

I have learned that bigger and more expensive is not better. 

I have learned that having a small house means my family and I are together more. 

But mostly I have learned that the people in it are what make a house a home. 

My people.

My home:-)

So maybe I can thank blogging for helping me to see that my home is unique to me and my family.
My home tells our unique story. 
My home makes us feel safe and secure -- even when nothing in this world feels safe and secure. 

And that's how it should be.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who have been coming by and visiting this blog. You are truly special and appreciated. 
You inspire me.
You encourage me.
You are why I keep on hitting the "publish" button.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart:-)


I'll be joining:





50 comments:

  1. I have loved following along for years. Keep on hitting the "publish" button, your posts are always inspirational.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marty, thank you SO very much for always encouraging and inspiring. Thank you for always being so sweet, and for including my on your amazing tours. That has meant the world to me:-)

      Delete
  2. I am so glad you didn't give up on your blog, or I wouldn't have found you! I love that you don't follow trends. Your home and words are always inspiring to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Theresa! It means so much to me that you are inspired:-)

      Delete
  3. Beautiful transformations through the years and your family, lovely. I've been reading your blog the past few years and always admire how true to heart you incorporate family treasures in your home. A gorgeous retreat and better yet, in the woods, near family too:).
    Love the apple dishes!
    Kathleen in Az

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kathleen for stopping by and for always leaving such nice comments. It mean so much!

      Delete
  4. Hi Anita, I first read about you and your decorating adventures in Country Woman magazine. After I read the article, I went straight to your blog to see what it was all about. I've very much admired your blog for the simple reason that you stuck to your own style. It was refreshing. So neat to see how your decorating has evolved over the years. I've also greatly appreciated the times when you've shared about your and Luis' walk with God and your faith, on the blog and on Facebook. Happy Blogiversary! I hope you continue to share your beautiful photography too! It's also my hobby, but I am a work in progress. ;)

    God bless you,
    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea, thank you so very much:-) We are all a work in progress for sure:-)

      Delete
  5. Thank you, Anita for staying with it. I love your home and I'm pretty sure your home loves you! Oh do I remember Rate my Space, I think sometimes it was an invitation for people to Hate my Space! Boy, that was rough and fun at the same time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, yes, it was definitely that! I guess that is why they ended up getting rid of it. That negativity only goes so far:-) Thanks so much for being here!

      Delete
  6. I love your blog. Others come and go with my interest, but yours will always be a favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement:-)

      Delete
  7. I love your blog and whenever you have a new post, I always think to myself, "Oh goody!" I think you have done such a marvelous job with your home. I have been inspired so many times by you. Thank you so much and congratulations on seven years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goodness, Arell, that is such a kind thing to say. I appreciate you so much, thank you:-)

      Delete
  8. Congratulations on seven years of blogging, Anita! It will be six years for me in January. :) It's hard to believe when I think about it.

    I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing what you've done with your home. I don't like trendy, either, and at this point in my life, I feel like it's just money down the drain. I want our house to reflect us. You've done a great job with your home!

    Have a great weekend!

    Hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It goes by fast, doesn't it? Thanks so much Denise!!

      Delete
  9. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and your unique style. It is a jewel in an otherwise bland world of "neutral" decor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Nuala!! I hope people see something different here:-)

      Delete
  10. so glad that we have finally connected! and we started around the same time- too funny! i started in january that year. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, me too! You inspire me so much with your unique style and keep me trying to think outside my box:-)

      Delete
  11. C'est beau de voir tous ces changements dans la maison
    Elle évolue avec le temps et l'humeur
    C'est vraiment superbement inspirant
    Merci du partage
    Frieda

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sono stata un pò assente anch'io con il mio blog... ma sono ritornata a scrivere... ed è bello ritornare anche nei blog amici. E' stato un piacere rivedere la tua magnifica casa.
    Myriam

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have enjoyed following you for years too. I remember many of these changes. I always LOVE your tables outside as your setting reminds me SO much of our last house. I totally agree, I have almost stopped blogging at times because there was so much competition. I even had a BIG BLOGGER ask me once how long I was going to continue since I didn't make any money from it. Well, like you I just enjoy doing it, don't follow any trends and surround myself with what WE love. I smile every time I walk into different rooms so that is what is important, at least to me. Keep on publishing, Anita. And God bless you and your beautiful family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it has been crazy at times Pinky!! So happy you have kept at it as well:-) Thank you so much!!

      Delete
  14. Oh, how rarely do I comment on any blog ever---but you make me weak, lady, so I simply must fight this keyboard and speak up! Anita, I do not use these words lightly, and I am not speaking about just your blogging when I say this, but for me, you are a shining star in every way. First, it is your spirit (that love you feel for the Lord and people and this gift of life) bursting through that makes you, your very cool mountain home, your decor and this blog "far above rubies". Your style is such a bright spot in this washed out, extremely BORING, BLAND, TYPICAL, tired, never ending cookie cutter landscape of decorating blogs for the very reasons you said yourself above...you simply share what is Anita and not a speck of anything else! And it is your weaving of old and new, this and that, function and glamour--right along side nature--that is your special magic! You have a wonderful sense of style, and man oh man, do I dig it!!
    One more thing. I just want to say a huge thanks for not monetizing this space . I am able to shop all by myself and will no longer visit such blogs, especially when they used to let me peek in without having to fight through the insanity of all those dang ads! Not enough time in my day!
    I save time for your beautiful blog so I can simply sit and savor it....as it should be. Thank you so much for sharing yourself as you do!--Connie

    PS: We're neighbors, too...upstate SC here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Connie, I just don't have words:-) Thank you so very much for you very kind and encouraging words. They means so much to me, I don't know how to say thank you. I hope I can continue to bring something fresh and unique. Thank you, thank you:-) On another note, we go down to Greenville, SC, Taylors actually, to do a WGGS TV show about twice a year:-)

      Delete
  15. Anita...I have LOVED following you through the years...and what I love the most is that you have stayed true to yourself....and when you do that, everything falls into place...the house, like life. You have certainly reaped what you have sowed....an amazing journey these past 7 years. Your family is beautiful...I can just imagine that they are such kind souls, as you!...Happy 7th Blogaversary and I look forward to many more beautiful years of your home!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Shirley!! You certainly are an inspiration, and I must say, your kindness is unique and stands out:-) Thanks for being here and for encouraging me:-)

      Delete
  16. Congratulations on eight years, Anita! I think you are very creative and it shows with all your posts. It's very easy to follow but much more is required when going your own unique way. Thank goodness you do and I will be cheering with you for eight more years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Janet, thank you for that and for always coming by to leave a comment. It means so much:-)

      Delete
  17. Congratulations on your blog anniversary, Anita. I loved reading what you have learned over the last seven years of blogging and seeing the photos of your beautiful children during that time. I think you have always had a very original decorating style, and now you have really come in to a unique way of styling your rooms that is immediately recognizable as all yours. I admire you for being wonderfully different in our cookie-cutter world, something that is becoming harder and harder to do. You are one of the few truly creative home decor bloggers and it's been a pleasure to follow you. Here's to many more years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Laurel, thank you so much for those kind words. It means a lot to me:-)

      Delete
  18. Great job with your post and creating a beautiful home.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm glad you kept going with your blog. I've only been following you for about a year, and I must say that I am envious of your music space, and your daughters' room is so unique and pretty, your porches are so welcoming and enticing, and wherever that pink rug goes I will follow! I've really enjoyed watching how you change your look with rearranging the lovely pieces you already have, and I really like all the colors you use everywhere. Congratulations on the 7 year anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! I know, the pink rug is my obsession, I think:-) I really appreciate your being here!

      Delete
  20. Anita, congratulations on 7 years of your wonderful blog! You were one of the first people that I followed when I started in 2011. You know that I just love your use of color and sentimental keepsakes in your home. I can't get on the trendy bandwagon either; and have tried to stay true to what I love. I get so excited each time you put up a new post! I love everything that you do! You so deserve all of the good things that have come your way! Wishing you many more years of happy blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shenita!! You have always been encouraging and I so appreciate your sweet spirit and great style:-)

      Delete
  21. Such an encouraging post! I love your style and have followed you for several years and watched it evolve with you. Your home and family are beautiful...thank you for sharing them with us and I hope you continue publishing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Carolyn! I'm so glad you are here with me:-)

      Delete
  22. Hi Anita....i started loving you after reading this post of yours....i love you because you are real and natural , because you love your family n home , because you love to make your house a heaven....and indeed you succeeded....congratulations....
    You have a wonderful environment of home...where it is not decorated with money but love n care....regardless of getting in race of success.....you are successful...because you have beautiful family....love your kids, they are adorable...
    Anita, i also have some resemblance with you...i love to decorate n to start a blog or share how i decorate my house without big budget...if you say...i can send my pics to you n you can post it or write about it...
    Plz keep posting, i will get inspirations...:)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anita we have had several chats about this before. I completely agree with you on all of it. I have enjoyed following along with you over the years. I love that we are watching our kids grow up "together"! When I started blogging my boys were 5 and 3. Times flies when you are having fun! I have loved watching your home evolve and I have loved having you as a blog friend!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow, wow, wow! The changes you have made in your beautiful home in just 7 years just amazes me because I have been in my home 18 years and am finally changing the paint color and some window treatments. You have truly created a very welcoming and cozy home for your family, and its' been fun to watch your style evolve over the years - congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  25. A lot of viewers have complimented you on your beautiful home and I do as well, but really………..and perhaps equally as important, is your tenacity to hang in there after reading a negative response to something on your blog. I may not always agree with someone or like their decor, but these types of blogs are not meant to be adversarial, they're meant as a sharing tool and to give others the opportunity to see what can be done with a home, or whatever happens to strike the fancy of the blogger.

    You are an amazing woman and hats off to someone who had kept blogging and let us take a view inside - not only of your home and family, but for heart. Thank you - MMR

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have loved your blog and been following through all of the changes in your home and family. I love what you've done over the past years and, like you, I've had to rethink why I blog. I'm reading and blogging less these days as the needs of my dear, little ninety-three-year-old mother change and increase. But when I can, I come here to relax and 'visit' with you, my friend. Happy blogiversary!
    ~Adrienne~

    ReplyDelete
  27. You have really evolved into a beautiful mix of style Anita! I have loved seeing it. Congrats on all of the magazine features.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello Anita,
    I don't know where to start from... One of your pictures about your kitchen makeover brought me first on your blog, then I realized how many other things were here to discover. I love your purple carpet, and the way your home grew and transformed through the years, and I'm sorry to be so far and unable to meet and know you in person. I bet your voice is as beautiful as your home :)
    I hope you will be here for many, many years to come! I'll be here reading your blog :)
    Oh, and here's one more thing! This post reminded me that I should have checked up my first blog post earlier this month. I missed its day of birth by three days, which is unacceptable. :) But better later than never!
    Keep up the good work!
    Gabi

    ReplyDelete
  29. I remember those days on RMS and am so thankful for meeting you! I've watched your family grow and your home change. But most importantly, I've watched you grow, even more so, into a wonderful Godly woman who lets that shine in her blog. It's funny how I can see a photo of your home and know it's yours without even reading a word. Thanks for always being there to lend a helping hand and an ear to listen. It's hard to believe it's been 7 years...it seems just like yesterday.

    ReplyDelete