Seven years ago today I hit the "publish" button on Far Above Rubies with this post.
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...
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.
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.
Then I switched everything around and moved the dining space to this end of the long living area.
And the kitchen. Oh boy.
The girls' room went from this:
...to this in 2014.
And finally, the master bedroom.
I *never* ever blogged about this version:-)
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.
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: