How fast a decade flies by when you’re having fun! It’s hard to believe that this month marks my 10th year of blogging. To celebrate the occasion, I thought I’d do a little reflecting by sharing 10 things I’ve learned (both personally and professionally) during this time.
–Nothing is as it seems online. You can make anything look pretty in good lighting and within a small frame. I can’t begin to tell you the number of styled shots I’ve posted when there has been loads of junk on the other side of the room. Since this is true for my life, I know it has to be true for (at least some) other people.
-There are some genuinely nice people in the world–and others who will never be satisfied. I’ve been very fortunate to have some of the most encouraging, nicest readers. (It always blows me away when someone sends me a kind note for no other reason than just to say thanks–and reminds me that I should be doing more of that for others.) On the other hand, I’ve had some not-so-nice experiences and the comments used to really irk me. I’ve learned that you can’t take it personally, since they don’t actually know me personally. And the crazy comments always give my family and friends a good laugh, so there’s that. . .
-Stay focused on what you’re actually doing–and Who you’re doing it for. . . I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that what other people think of you is none of your business. There was a time when I got caught up in all of that and it brought nothing good to my life or to my work. Having an online job can be a total free-for-all for outside criticism but “blinders on” continues to be my motto and Galations 1:10 continues to be my verse.
-Having a helper has made all of the difference–and it’s even better that she’s my best friend. A few years into this, I realized that I couldn’t do it all by myself. At the time, I was also trying to run a design business, take online clients and blog every weekday. I very timidly approached my best friend Katie about helping me some each week with emails, sponsors, etc. Both of us swore to the other that our feelings wouldn’t be hurt if it didn’t work out. Luckily, it did and she is literally my right hand (wo)man. It also helps that she knows me so well and tells me when I get overly excited and need to reign it in or say no to something she knows I’ll regret committing to a few months from now.
-I like blogging more than I ever liked to design for clients and don’t plan to ever go back to it. When I first started, I thought the blog was just a side to my design business. After babies #4 and #5 came along (at the same time), I realized something had to give. The “something” I wasn’t enjoying was the running around like a crazy lady and making minimal pay decorating for other people. I love to write. I love to make pretty posts. And, I love working in my sweatpants with dirty hair.
-Most people will never believe I have a “real job.” And, that’s fine. If I wasn’t in this crazy business, I wouldn’t be able to figure it out either. The beauty of writing a blog is that you can work 80 hours or eight hours a week. I never run out of things to do. And as with most jobs, the more time you put into it, the more profitable it becomes.
-It’s good to double check why you’re doing what you’re doing. It could be very easy to get carried away with your little self when you’re doing this for a job. There are fun opportunities and the ever-present need to self promote. I sometimes get sick of myself so I can only imagine how you must feel. . . I try to always go back to why I’m doing this in the first place. You come here to find decorating inspiration and a look at real life. I hope that’s what you feel you get most of the time.
-I enjoy being an island. Over the years, I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers/influencers/etc. tend to join a group and stay there. I’m not criticizing that at all. I think having the support and ear of other people in a similar line of work is great for some. Maybe it’s my introvert side coming out, but I’ve always enjoyed working on my own more. I don’t know that this has always been great for my social media growth, but it’s just where I’ve decided I’m happiest.
-Separating real life and online life is a good thing. I’ve probably pulled back in recent years from sharing as much personally as I used to. Sometimes, I’ll whip out my phone to take a picture of my kids doing something that I want to share on Instagram and then I’ll never end up posting it. Everything seems to be so “out there” now, it just feels good to save some of it for only me–and my family.
-It’s okay to be content with where you are now. It took me several years to figure this one out, but how freeing it was when I finally did. I don’t want to write a book or travel the world or whatever it is I should want. I want to write about things that hopefully inspire you and I want to pick my kids up from school and tuck them in at night. I want to eat dinner at home, watch Jeopardy! on my couch and go to my kids’ games. It may not be ambitious by worldly standards but I’m grateful each day that I have the opportunity.
Photo taken by Hart to Hart Digital Photography. Dress is from H&M last year.
Amber b design says
Emily, this post is beautifUl! Congratulations on 10 years of blogging! I have always enjoyed following along. Your honEsty has aLways been so refreshing!
I Really couldn’t love this post more. I love what you share and am continually inspired by you. More importantly, im refreshed by The ‘you doing you’ mentaLity and for keeping it real!
I love you, your blogging style feels just right–like a friend who makes you laugh, doesn’t take herself too seriously, but she takes the *right* things seriously (God, family, friendship, hospitality and level-headedness about life). i’ve been your online friend forever, and i’ve loved it as we’ve grown as mommas, christians, wives and homemakers “together”. love these observations. glad you & katie are out there bringing balance & inspiration to my inbox! Happy 10 YEARS Emily!
Congratulations on 10 years! I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading your blog but it was before your twins were born. I still love the post of when you and your husband found out you were having twins. Your face said it all in that photo!! I’ve gone in and out of reading other blogs, but your blog is the one of the few that I’ve consistently read throughout the whole time. thank you for sharing your family, talent and real thoughts with all of us. I always enjoy your posts!!
Carol heartfelt WHIMSIES says
Such an INSIGHTFUL post—with LESSONS we
Can all use—-nO matter what ou career.
Love Your blog—happy 10th!
Amen i love your blog! Continue to be you.
Great advice on blogging that also apPlies to life. Thanks for being thAt onlInE spOt where i Can count on keepin’ it real!
No idea why this type on my last comment looks like a ransom note!? 😂
Emily Clark says
A few other comments have looked the same way. Must be on my end 🤷🏻♀️
(And thank you, btw!)
Cassie Bustamante says
what a fun and true read! i started thinking it would be a side to my furniture business which i no longer do. and i also started in 09 but in January. I was at my prime maybe 4 or so years ago though and am struggling to get back to where i was, or at least grow again, so i am not sure what the future holds, but i genuinely love blogging.
Jenny Thorpe says
i Have enjoyed your blog for many of those 10 years. Thank YOu!
Congrats to you!
10 years is quite a milestone. I always love your posts and find your outlook so real and refreshing. Thanks for sharing with us!
What a nice post! I agree that you can’t worry about negative things that other people say, and I can’t imagine why anyone would say anything negative. I guess they weren’t taught if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Your post reminds me of my life 10 or so years ago having dinner every night with my kids (3) and going to baseball practice every nite of the week and games on Saturday! Keep up the good work and I hope you continue for another 10 years. Congrats!!!
Jennifer Reil says
I always enjoy reading your blog! Congrats to 10 years!
S Watterson says
I always enjoy reading your posts. glad you’ve found the formula that works best for you!
Congratulations on 10 years! I love your Blog, and I love your posts. Thank you for sharing your world with us.
Happy beautiful 10 years and I’m thrilled to be a devoted reader for as many more as you wish!
Cheers to 10 years! That is wonderful! I started following about a year ago, and am loving your Blog. Your honesty,style, and amazing posts are always a highlight of my inbox! Well done!
We have been writing our Blog for nine years aNd feel that being an island (we call it Not playing with others) is the Biggest blog mistakE that we have made. We feel it has jeopardized our growth. It’s encouraging to learn that you havent done it either. And by the way, yours is the only Blog i actually subscribe to. I just read others when i can.
Calypso in the Country says
Great post – I’ve always enjoyed your blog and your outlook on life. I can understand how you feel about working on your own more. I find that when I listen to too many people, I start to lose who I am. I feel much more successful when I am doing things my way. So nice to hear your perspective. Congrats on 10 years!
[email protected] says
I love this post so much! I needed it this week. You are one of those bloggers who have stayed completely true to herself and I have always loved following you and also hanging out in person with you.
I also didn’t enjoy decorating for other people ;)
Happy 10th Anniversary! I Always look forward to your posts.
I have read your blog for sevral years now and continue to get good ideas. My favorite was the stinkwood which I have in my bathroom and absolutely love. thanks for the great posts!
tHANKS FOR YOUR OPENESS AND ‘REAL LIFE’ STUFF. YOUR BLOG IS INSPIRING WITH A NICE BALANCE OF “MOMMY bLOGGER rEALNESS.”
I’ve been reading your blog all ten years. You have made me a lover of blue and white pieces. Wishing you and your lovely family a beautiful Thanksgiving.
Thank you for beung real.
Congratulations on 10 Years! I have alwyas enjoyed your style, your down to earth approach and the fact that this sis a job but not all of your life. thank you for that.
A Wise perspective and advice, much of which crosses other lines of work. I am fairly new following your blog and very much enjoy it. All the best going forward. (I am seeing this in all caps and don’t know why.)
Nancy -- aka naz says
I’m fairly certain i’ve been a loyal reader for all 10 years. your blog has always been one of my favorites. congratulations on such an impressive milestone in blogging.
Patrice dUrham says
I’Ve enjoyed getting to know you and sharing thE love of jesus with a fellow believer. Your blog and ig account is one of my favorites and will always stand the test of time and my frequent following purges. Lol! Keep beeing your lovelY, genuine self. I still Laugh about one of your posts where one of the twins did not have shoes on while you were running errands.
Congrats on 10 years AND finding a way tO stay authentic. i think its admirable that your “ambition” is to be a good/present mom. As my GRANDFATHER always said, you’re children are your greatest legacy. KudOs to you!
I love reading your blog Emily. You seem so real & sometimes having 5 kids can be crazy, but enjoy it while you have them. We had 4 children & enjoy so much being with them as adults now. We have 10 grands! When we were raising them I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it does come. Enjoy your family time!
Congratulations.! There is SOMETHING going on with your script and I am not shouTing. I ESPECIALLY needed to hear you last paragraph since I have a problem bEing happy with the lack of AMBITION i have sometimes and just want to smell the roses. I’ve found a kindreD spirit.
Donna Good says
Oh emily….i enjoy your blog so much. Thanks for sharing your gifts and making my life a bit richer for it. have a happy thanksgiving!
i LOVE THE DIRECTNESS OF YOUR POST. SO GOOD TO HEAR IT! YOU ARE VERY TALENTED AND WISE.
Dawn spencer says
Loved you and your blog ten years ago! Love you and your blog even more now! If I only have time to check one blog, it’s yours. Thanks so much for all the inspiration and the doses of reality in this online world of smoke and mirrors. :)
I’ve been following you for years and years. I still remember when you had your twins❤️ I have always enjoyed your posts , how real you are, your style and how you decorate. Keep doing what you love!
(Sorry but i’m not sure why its all caps!)
Oh i see it doesn’t Publish as all caps!
Mary e says
Thanks for the last 10 years. I’ve always wondered how you found the time to blog & maintain your family. I guess when you love what you do, it helps.
Every time I walk into my bedroom I think of you. You gave me the suggestIon to add sconces to my space. So smart!
Here to another 10 years! 🥂😘
thank you for your blog and your authenticity. i have learned so much from you through the years and still read your blog weekly. You are a joy and are so appreciated!
Sandra Pugh says
Love your blog! Every. bit. of. it! Also, love the dress and the photo of you is stunning. Thank you for being honest and for covering topics most people care about.
Kristin Faulkner says
BeautiFully said. TrUly enjoy reading yOur Blog. Congratulations on 10 years And looking forWard to Being inspired by yoUr blog for the next 10 years.
COngrats on 10 years! I love your style and am thankfuL for your creativity and honesty. As a frustraTed perfectionist, i Used to look at other blogs and become more frustrated becauSe i could never have a house that looked like thOse bloggers. Your honesty is refreshing! Keep up the great work! Here’s to the next 10 years!
P.s. this is in All caps as i am typing and i cannot change it. I am not actually yelling. :-)
tHIS IS TYPING IN ALL CAPS ON MY END, NOT SURE HOW IT WILL SHOW UP….i REALLY AM NOT YELLING! aNYWAY, i AM NEW HERE, JUST CAME OVER FROM tHISTLEWOOD. i LOVED READING THIS. i AM NOT QUITE ONE YEAR INTO BLOGGING, BUT SEE AND FEEL SO MUCH OF THIS ALREADY! i LOVE BLOGGING, I LOVE THE CREATIVE OUTLET, TAKING PICS AND PUTTING POSTS TOGETHER. i DON’T LOVE THE SOCIAL MEDIA PART OF IT. i FEEL LIKE i WANT TO KEEP MY PERSONAL MOMENTS …PERSONAL AND JUST FOR ME AS i THINK THEY WERE INTENDED. aNYWAY, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR INSIGHTS, VERY REFRESHING!
Karen Mary says
Congratulations Emily, and thanks for sharing this! I recently started a blog, and as an introvert I sometimes wonder if I can make it work. Now I’m encouraged!
Also, your blog (which I just now came across, via Thistlekeeping) is lovely! I’m looking forward to visiting often!
Liz Heller says
I have followed you for the past 8-9 years . You haVe helped me i so many ways! Thank you and happy anniversary
THIS is why we all love you and your blog. You keep it real and stay true to yourself, and while you are working a business, those other two things always shine through. love your little corner of the Web! Thanks for all the time you put in.
Erin F. says
Congratulations on 10 years of BLOGGING! I have been following your blog since before you were pregnant with the twins. I haVe enjoyed your Posts especially because you make DECORATING seem more REALISTIC for this homeschooling mom of 6.
P.s. for some reason this is showing up all on caps for me. I didn’t want to write it this way.
Karen L. says
Thank you, Emily, for shAring all of this. Love your blog. We share many things: faith, famiLy and lifestyle, though I am years oLder. Your blog is wonderfully real and helpful. (Like others, this is coming out in caps but cant stop Fix it.). Karen L.