Blog Anniversary: A look back, a look ahead, and a giveaway!

On August 3, 2008 I published my first post on a blog I called My Own Velvet Room. Blogging was a relatively new thing and many blogs had all manner of bells and whistles, music, and flashing images. It took a few years before things settled down and we realized that just because we could do something didn’t mean we should. In time, I added two more blogs to my portfolio: Arms of Adoption and A Grandma’s Garden. Then, in 2011, I combined them and moved everything over here.

For me blogging began as a way of reclaiming the me I felt I had lost. I was nearing fifty and had a strong awareness that the days in front of me were fewer than those behind me. In an early post I wrote about my decision to start a blog as reclaiming my passion for writing, of honouring my journey and accepting that I had done the best I could, and as tool to help me gain clarity for my next chapter. It’s been all of those things and more.

For years I pumped out blog posts before heading to work in the morning or, if inspiration struck during the evening commute, when I got home in the evening. For a long time I posted at least three times every week. Mostly I wrote about my everyday life, things I was thinking about, and dreams that had laid dormant for too long. And somewhere along the way I found the me I had let go of bit by bit over the years.

Blogging helped hone my writing skills and gave me courage to begin telling my story. It was the catalyst I needed to finally commit to writing my book. Through blogging I connected with other like-minded women and discovered Story Circle Network where I found my tribe.

Fast forward eight years, and I am back in Canada, retired from corporate life, with time to fill as I choose. I blog about my garden, my canning endeavours, and my simple pursuit to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. I’ve discovered a new passion in still-life photography and am learning how to tell stories with my camera; I blog about that too, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

I mentioned the other day that I was thinking about doing something different here in August to mark my blogging anniversary and here’s the plan I’ve settled on. I’m going to post one of my photos every day along with a quote or just a few words. Some of the posts will be the same as what I’m doing on Instagram (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook) others won’t. I’ll have no long posts; it’s canning season and I’m busy these days after all! I’m also going to share a link every day to introduce you to a blog I follow–some since I first dipped my toe in the blogosphere all those years ago, others that have become new favourites, all of them well-worth taking time to visit. I hope you do–and maybe leave a comment and tell them I sent you!

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Thank you for taking time to visit my blog over the years. Whether you’re a long-time reader or a new visitor, I appreciate you. As my way of saying thank you, at the end of August I’m giving away a copy of Stampington & Company’s beautiful Bella Grace magazine (The word “magazine” doesn’t do justice to this inspiring publication. I’ve set a personal goal to see one of my photographs published in Bella Grace. Shhh. Our secret.) and a copy of my book, Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to GratitudeEvery comment you make here during the month of August will earn you one entry in the drawing. (Only US and Canadian residents are eligible for the giveaway.)

Enjoy August and, if you have time, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello now and then.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here early most mornings with one of my photos and a few words about life and those thin places where faith intersects.
31 comments
  1. First of all, congratulations on 8 years of blogging! An incredible accomplishment. Your writing and photography are both worthy of publication in Bella Grace…or any publication for that matter.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Carol! Your beautiful blog is one I’ve come to love recently. Such beautiful images and the food! Oh my!

  2. Congratulations on your 8th blog anniversary, Linda! I can relate to much of what you’ve said regarding how a blog has helped grow oneself and so many other positive aspects, too. I love your photos and look forward to them!

    1. Thank you, Barbara. I’ve enjoyed following along with your journey over the years too. Your words have made me smile and, at times, cry. Delighted we connected and that, through you, your mom and I did too.

      1. Yes! I know my mom enjoys your blog too and is happy for the connection with you. 🙂

  3. I am so happy for you! Great milestones!!!

    1. Thank you, Nancilyn! I don’t know how time passes so quickly!

  4. 8 years Linda! A huge accomplishment and how lucky are we that you have shared your story. I am so glad you did. Thank you.
    I am looking forward to continuing to visit your posts (whatever they may be) in August.

    1. Thank you, Celine!

  5. Congratulations on your milestone !!!! I didn’t know you had a book , that really is an accomplishment and I look forward to reading more of your blog now ?

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Lynn. I love your beautiful photography; you inspire me to keep practicing. 🙂

  6. Oooh. I will look forward to the pictures and I WANT to read your book. Happy blog anniversary.

    1. Thank you, Lucinda. So glad you stopped by today. Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

  7. Congratulations on this milestone, Linda. I’m heading into my 3 1/2 year mark and understand all the stamina it takes to get this far. I can’t imagine eight (8!) years.

    The expressions “honing my writing skills” and developing the “courage to begin telling your story” resonate deeply with me. As I recall, you were one of my very first blog followers. Being a published author, you gave me the nod I need to persevere.

    Your blog has evolved into something exquisite, pairing both text and photography which you obviously enjoy.

    1. It takes commitment for sure, something you’re very well aware of, Marian! I’ve enjoyed following along with you over the years and look forward to many more years of blogging and, one day, holding your own published book in my hands!

  8. Congratulations on 8 years of blogging, Linda. I think we probably started about the same time. I’m looking forward to seeing your beautiful photos in August and the links to other blogs that you enjoy. Happy canning season!

    1. I believe you’re right Karen! I enjoy all your posts–especially your Friday Fave Five ones. That may be a practice I need to resume–after August is through. 🙂

  9. Thank you Linda. Your words ring true with me and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and artist endeavors. So glad we met up through writing.

    1. I’m glad we did too, Letty!

  10. I think I’ve known you those eight years! It’s quite a journey, isn’t it–blogging? Would love to be entered into your giveaway as I know how nice that magazine is and would love to read your story. I KNOW your goal to get a photo in there will happen!!

    1. You’re right, Terri! I remember exchanging emails with you in the early days to. Blogging has certainly changed over the years but I still love it. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the journey with me!

  11. Congratulations, Linda. I love reading your posts. They take me back in time to a place where things were simple and chaos was not part of picture. Here’s to 8 more years of blogging for you!!

    1. Thanks so much, Joan. That is exactly my goal. ?

  12. Happy August 1st Linda. I can’t believe the year is flying by so quickly. It almost seems the years get shorter with age. So much to see and do, and it seems the pages of the calendar are flipping faster than ever before. I’m sure many others can relate to that. I think of your journey, and the fact that you have had the courage to put it on paper to share with the rest of us. I would love a copy. (Oh, and I can’t wait to see your beautiful work in Bella Grace too).

    1. I can certainly concur with your sense of the days, months, and years going by more quickly as I age. There are so many things I want to do, so many books I want to read, and sometimes I feel pressured by the finite amount of time I have left. Silly.

  13. I went through a lot of phases with my blog as well, and while I’m a little sick and tired of it, I’ll still blog now and then. Your blog, your photos, your thoughts….all good Linda. I am happy you are blogging, writing, and making photos, and I’ll be here as long as you continue.

    1. Thanks so much, Karen!

  14. Bella and Grace will keep featuring your pictures I am sure! They are wonderful!

  15. Hi Linda. I found your blog through Karen at Over the Backyard Fence. Your blog is lovely, and I look forward to visiting regularly.

    Like you, I was an early blogger. I started back in March, 2006, when blogs were not the businesses they are now. I well remember those blinkie images and playlists that appeared on nearly every blog I read. At that time, I was a homeschooling mom on the road to adopting a baby, and my blog was all about those things. Alas, by 2010, my kids had finished high school and our hoped-for adoption had fallen through, so that particular blog wasn’t relative to my life anymore. I ended up abandoning it. I could have blogged about my feelings about the ending of that chapter of my life, but I was too raw and hurt. I needed time away to grieve and to heal.

    Now that I’m in a new season of life, I am trying to carve out a new niche for myself. Blogging again is part of that niche. Just as you found that lost part of yourself through blogging, I hope to do so as well.

    Blessings,
    Patti @ Embracing Home

    1. Hi Patti, thanks so much for stopping by and introducing yourself. I’m heading over to check out your blog right now.

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