Time to Celebrate – My One Year Blogoversary!

So it happOne Year Blogging Anniversary Imageened, I did it and I honestly don’t know how.

One year ago today, 9th January 2013, I published my first ever blog post. Perhaps rather fitting then that this is my 110th post to celebrate my one-year blogoversary!

Looking back, I remember going on and on to my family and friends about starting a blog for months before I actually did something about it but I couldn’t get my head around the best way to approach it, what to call it, what to write about, how I should present it.  It didn’t even occur to me to look at other blogs.

What is a blog anyway?

Then last Christmas, eldest son’s lovely girlfriend gave me the book ‘Blog, Inc.‘ and that was the final shove I needed.   I didn’t understand much of what I read at first but it certainly helped point me in the right direction.  That is, I was introduced to the world of WordPress for the first time.  A great place to start for newbies like me, and it was free!

So, you may ask, if I didn’t know what I was going to blog about, why did I start a blog in the first place?

At the time, I was caught up in the thrill of having had my first-ever article submission accepted by Prima magazine.  Not only that, they had invited me to a photo shoot in London!  To say I was excited is an understatement.  Nothing like this had ever happened to me before.

I thought that it would be a good idea for me to start a blog so that, on the off-chance that somebody, even if just one person, wanted to read more about my writing aspirations after my article came out, they could find me on my blog.

I’m a nobody in the writing world but my reasoning was/is that everybody has to start somewhere, right?

In the end, I came up with the title and my first-ever blog post which turned out to be about my garden robin because I had absolutely no idea what to write about.   I called it ‘Welcome to my first post – About a Robin‘. I had one ‘like’ and six comments, all family and friends, except for one comment by a fellow blogger much to my delight!

Sweet Robin in the snow taken last spring 2013.  I haven't seen him yet, I do hope he returns soon! (c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sweet Robin in the snow taken last spring 2013. I haven’t seen him yet, I do hope he returns soon! More photos of him can be seen under the category ‘Sweet Robin’
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

When I received a ‘like’ from another blogger on my next post in which I wrote about the photo shoot, (and a fox!) I was stunned.  Amazed!  How could someone find my blog like that, and then not only read my post, but like it and then comment on it?

I caught the blogging-buzz and fast.

However, my ideas for my blog very quickly changed. I soon realised that I wanted it to be so much more than just getting myself ‘out there’.

I wanted to show others that it is possible to make changes to your life no matter how late in the day you may think it is. I realised that I struck a chord when I started to write about my daughter’s struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome and also about my alcoholic, jail-bird dad.

When once I thought I had nothing to offer, you who read this blog showed me otherwise and I was astounded.

I knew that what really mattered to me was that I could somehow offer some kind of hope to others that no matter what you’ve been through you can find a way to climb out of the darkness and once again walk in the light of redemption, of hope and of forgiveness.

So I rewrote my About page many times until I found the words I wanted to convey just what I wanted this blog to be all ‘about’.  At last I knew the way!

The rest, as ‘they’ say is history (well, one year’s worth anyway). According to my WordPress stats just checked, in one year I’ve had 17,500 views, gained 245 ‘followers’ (I like to say friends), written 110 posts and a total of 3,264 comments.  I’m not even sure if this is good, bad or just plain normal.

What I am sure of is that I still can’t quite believe that people actually read my blog, and I really do mean that!  That you take the time to read what I write, even when some of my posts, like this one, are long, never fails to truly encourage me.

The other thing that caught me completely off guard were the lovely comments I began to receive for my photographs.  I started off thinking it might be a nice idea to illustrate my posts with my own photos so I was delighted at the encouraging responses to them, especially as I am an amateur photographer.

Having the appreciation from others for our work, no matter what shape or form it takes, is something that helps us all thrive and grow.  Goodness knows that is a blessing in and of itself given that in this dark world in which we all live there seems to be so  much that wants to cut us down and steal our joy.

I’ve had some interesting search-requests, courtesy of google, which have led others to my blog.  For instance:

  • ‘how to store a summerhouse’
  • ‘as I knew him for a hamster’
  • ‘a walk in the woods with young girls’ (very creepy this one…)

When I started out I didn’t use tags because I didn’t know how to or what they were.  I published several posts before my daughter one day showed me how to use them.  I had no idea.  She also warned me against trolls and such and to be careful about what I wrote.  She is a prolific blogger on Tumblr and other sites so she should know. She also told me that I would probably become obsessed with my blog.

As if…

One thing I didn’t do was to visit other blogs much at first as I didn’t know how to find them.  This changed when, in March, and much to my utter disbelief and joy I received my first ever blog award!  I had seen them on other blogs but assumed they were only for the elite.  I came to understand that many awards are a great way to meet and encourage new bloggers and to recognise them for any number of achievements and this set me on the hunt for new blogs.  I’ve made many new friends in this way.

I am very humbled and incredibly honoured to say that my summerhouse now proudly displays a total of 19 awards (two of which I’ve yet to write about, watch this space as I always say!) and I am truly thankful for every single one and the people behind them, and for their uplifting, kind and incredibly encouraging sentiments given me when sending them my way.

Besides, up until now, the only awards I’ve ever received were for swimming 100 yards and a few for gymnastics.  Oh yes, and one from my son’s teacher one year for helping out with class parties and field trips.  Hey ho.

In the whole time I’ve been blogging I’ve never scheduled a post and actually don’t know how.  Maybe I should learn.   I sort of know what I’m going to write week by week but then again, my plans have been scuppered so many times.

It took me until just a few months ago to figure out what the notification button on the dashboard was for – that helped I can tell you – and I didn’t figure out how to use the reader for a long time.  I haven’t done anything with the Daily Prompt either although it looks interesting from what I’ve read on other blogs.

To be honest, my entire blogging experience can be described best as ‘flying by the seat of  my pants’.  I hope I can still get away with it, ha!

When I read my first few blog posts now I can sense my enthusiasm at the time and my delight in the way my writing career was starting and yet, despite a year which saw great strides in my personal fulfillment as a writer and some wonderful ‘happenings’ these many highs ran parallel against a backdrop of a year filled with crushing lows and great personal struggles and I was devastated by an event that left me grief-stricken for a time.

From that point on and for some time to come, I struggled with everything and I didn’t think I could carry on blogging.  I couldn’t think straight, I was floored with grief and locked up inside with my own dark self.  Then something happened.

I had planned to share some photographs but the posts I had wanted to write no longer mattered, seeming irrelevant in light of all that had happened.   Instead, I went for broke and wrote what was laid bare in my heart and I ended up with what I can only describe as photo-poems, words pouring out from deep within my soul and captioned with my photos by way of illustration.  This was my way to write the grief, to expunge it and to sort my head out.  Publicly.

I was overcome by the messages of love and support from those of you who stood by me, thank you seems so inadequate.

I took this in November before the storms.  It is in a village in Somerset a short walk from where we live.  Behind me is the church.  The gate is usually closed but on this day it was open.  Will you walk through it with me? (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

I took this photo on my mobile phone using a vintage effect.
It was taken in November before the storms in a village in Somerset, a short walk from where we live. Behind me is the church. The gate is usually closed but on this day it was open.
Will you walk through it with me?
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

The same thing happened when I shared with you my younger son’s heartbreak by writing ‘Smoke & Mirrors – My Son’s Way Back‘ which became one of my most popular posts.  The support my son and I received from you all truly blessed us and I honestly can’t thank you enough.

Some very interesting things happened on my blog during the summer months.  Firstly, I learnt that even when I had to take some breaks from my blog, readers still came by to visit my summerhouse and were kind enough to leave likes and comments and even sign up to follow.  This surprised me greatly as I really thought more than once that my blog would disappear at such times.

Then of course, and no one-year blogoversary post would be complete without mentioning the scandalous Spamgate and Followgate, in which I, along with many others, saw my comments on other blogs being sent to spam and I ‘lost’ all my followers.

Yet incredibly, Spamgate in particular turned out to be a turning point for my blog. I put a plea out for help with springing me out of my spam prison and I quickly discovered that I wasn’t the only one! We didn’t do the crime but we did our time! Through it I made some wonderful friends and through them my blog began to blossom.

In terms of numbers, I saw my blog grow from 50 followers to 245 between July and December but more important than numbers are the people behind them.  When I thought I couldn’t write you urged me on, when I was down you lifted me up, when I had something funny to share you laughed along with me and when I felt like quitting you made sure I didn’t.  This I say to all of you who read my blog and to family and friends who don’t!

My blog may not be the most successful or the largest by any means but I love my little corner of the blogosphere and my wonderful community which shines so brightly over here in my summerhouse.

Since then I’ve written two guest posts on other blogs and I hosted my first guest post here in early December. I won a flash-fiction blog-run competition thanks to your support.  I also took part in a huge ‘opinion project’ in which  I took the chance and shared some things about my early life which I never thought I would (publicly that is!) and through it all I’ve made so many lovely friends.

I read once that you should never share on your blog, or on the internet, anything that you wouldn’t shout across a bar.  Well, as I’ve said before I’m sure that I’ve shouted a few things across a bar in my time but hopefully nothing that would incriminate me!  Certainly I hope that I can say the same about my blog!

As I come to the end of my anniversary post (and many apologies for it being so long but this is my line in the sand) I need to mention one more thing.  My book.  The one I keep saying I’m going to write.  Which I have actually started.  Amongst the many things my one-year of blogging has shown me is that now is the time for me to write it. My story of me and my American GI. Then maybe about my dad.

You have shown me that not only can I do it but that I should do it.  More than that, you have told me that you want to read it! So now I have no more excuses.  I’m using that dirty ‘c’ word – commitment.  You can hold me accountable, here and now, that 2014 is the year when I shall do this. There, I’ve said it.  I’ve put it in writing.  I’ve shouted it across the bar.  No going back.

All I ask is that you better throw me a lifeline when I need it because I’m barely keeping my head above water now as it is.

In a nutshell then, this is what I’ve learnt from my one year of blogging:

  • Write, and they will come, no question
  • It’s alright to take a break, your blog won’t disappear nor will your readers
  • Blogging has restored my faith in humanity
  • If you have a technical problem you will find help if you ask for it
  • Even when I thought I couldn’t write, you helped me find a way
  • The friendships I’ve made here are real and genuine
  • I’ve learnt that to be a writer takes guts, staying-power and single-mindedness
  • I am not alone in my writing journey
  • My daughter is right – blogging is an obsession
  • Forget all the rules – do what feels right to you
  • Keep smiling

So what of the future of this blog?  Well, simply this:  To keep on blogging!

With you all by my side I can do it!   I honestly never take for granted every single time you visit me at my summerhouse and spend a moment or two to share your thoughts, ideas and stories with me. It’s wonderful to be able to drop in and visit with you all, at any time of the day or night, to catch up with you and see what you are all up to. Writing at home can be very isolating but knowing that you are all ‘there’ helps tremendously with that.

The kindness you have all shown me here has touched my heart in a very deep way and I will never forget it.

Thank you to you all so very much my dear friends and family (who don’t read!) and dear blogging friends who have been with me from the start and those who I’ve continued to meet along the way, some very recently, for celebrating my one-year blogoversary and for walking this journey with me. I can’t wait to share another year of blogging and writing with you.  You really are the best.

Love Sherri x

‘Go out of your way to encourage someone with your words today…a word spoken at the right moment, how good it is!’  Proverbs 15:23

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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117 Responses to Time to Celebrate – My One Year Blogoversary!

  1. Happy Blogoversary Sherri! I am looking forward to the day when you announce on this blog that your book is out. 🙂
    Cheers to more years of blogging!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Jhanis, you’ve been great to hang out with and share stories with, just wonderful. Yes, absolutely, cheers to you and to many more years of blogging 🙂

      Like

  2. Happy blogoversary. Have only joined you recently but although I wasn’t with you for many of the dark days I am looking forward to the next year to support you through the good and bad times. Good to hear your book is started. Congrats and cheers irene

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    • Sherri says:

      Irene, it’s been great meeting you. You have been and are a wonderful support and I very much look forward to sharing many more adventures with you as we both walk along this writing journey of ours. Cheers to you too 🙂

      Like

  3. A wonderful anniversary and I am truly impressed with the depth and diversity of your blog posts. You have a unique ‘signature’ style of writing that is both engaging and stimulating, and a real quality in the detail and attention you impart.
    I know you have a rare gift and I salute you!!!

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  4. Congratulations Sherri on your first complete year, may you be blessed with many more. Have a wonderful day!

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  5. risingwoman says:

    Happy Blogoversary!! May it be the first of many more!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Michelle, I really appreciate your follow of my blog from early on and I’ve really enjoyed reading yours. Here’s to many more blogoversaries for us both 🙂

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  6. Steve Rebus says:

    HAPPY 1ST BLOGOVERSARY Sherri!!!
    Another fantastic post and it’s great to hear that you’ll be writing your book this year, i can’t wait to read it!
    I’m so blessed to have met such a loving, encouraging, inspiring & faithful sister in you! God bless you, your family & this blog for years to come! Steve x 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Steve, you are a star!! You have been so encouraging and supportive all the way through and it’s been an amazing year as I’ve learnt more and more about this thing called blogging! I return everything you say here right back to you and God bless you dear brother and friend 🙂 x

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  7. Happy Blogoversary Sherri! And Happy Happy in general too! 🙂 xxxx

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much Jo! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and reading your wonderful blog. You are so very kind. Here’s to sharing stories and adventures for a long time to come hopefully 🙂 xx

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  8. Such a wonderful post to celebrate your one year anniversary, Sherri!
    “The friendships I’ve made here are real and genuine.” I have found this to be so true and such a pleasant surprise.
    I’m not sure how or when I discovered your blog, but I’m so thankful I did. You’re a true blessing in my life, Sherri. Love the scripture, one of my favorites.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jill, isn’t that just so true? I really never expected that I would find such wonderful friends like you and everyone else here, it’s been a revelation. Thanks so much for being such a loyal reader of my blog and supporter of my writing. I love coming over to your blog too and hearing how things are going for you and Derek from Devon 🙂 You are a very great blessing to me too. Cheers to sharing our blogging and writing journey for a very long time to come 🙂 x

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  9. jennypellett says:

    Happy Anniversary Sherri! You have done marvellously well in your first year and we can be thankful for Spamgate for getting us together. Your posts are always a joy to read, we’ve had a few laughs, haven’t we? I’m looking forward to more of the same this year. You have set yourself a great target in getting your book on the go and I wish you all the luck in the world with it – we all know how difficult at times, and time consuming, a novel or memoir can be. If you need to take a break from your blog every now and then, don’t worry, we’ll still all be here, urging you on from the stands.
    Here’s to a successful year of writing (in whatever form you choose)
    Much love – Jenny x

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jenny, yes, have we ever shared some good laughs!! Hot pink shorts anyone? Mrs Robinson? LOL 😉
      You have been such a wonderful friend and I value your input and advice greatly. Yes, it is a big target and probably a big ask but I have to do this and I have to do this now. I know it won’t be an easy journey but knowing that I have your support and that of others here means so much. I look forward very much to sharing another year of blogging with you, I do so much love reading your wonderful posts. I wish you every success too with your writing, you deserve it!
      Much love to you and thank you again xo

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  10. Happy Blogoversary, Sherri. You have really stretched and grown over the year with your writing and photography. I’m so happy for your success. I’m looking forward to another great year with my blogging-buddy!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Bev…my wonderful blogging-buddy 🙂 Thanks so much. I am sooo happy that you found me so early on in my blogging journey. You have always been such a great friend to me, always willing to share any advice or tips, here and behind the scenes and I’ve learnt so much from you. You too should be so proud of your wonderful blog, growing in leaps and bounds. It’s great having you alongside for this incredible journey. Here’s to a long time of blogging side-by-side, you are a star 🙂

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  11. mumblypeg says:

    I applaud and congratulate you Sherri on your first year of blogging. What a triumph! You have come far and grown in stature through your writing. All that latent talent is coming out and I, along with all your blogging friends, will encourage and support you in the next phase, which is the book. YOU CAN DO IT. What joy and heartache you have expressed in your very special stlye. Keep going. Many blessings and all my love. M xxx

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, well, I couldn’t have done it without you M 🙂 You have been such a wonderful support and cheer-leader, always encouraging me and in my corner, never wavering! You know of all people how long I’ve wanted to write ‘that’ book. Now is the time! I look forward to continuing on sharing my blogging journey, and your writing journey too, as we plough ahead with renewed vigour and creativity. A heart full of thanks and lots of love to you from me xoxoxo

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  12. tieshka says:

    Happy blog anniversary Sherri! And congratulations on starting on your book (I will definitely buy a copy when it’s done). I’m still a bit flat after December hoping to return to blogging soon! Happy New Year & keep up the good work.

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    • Sherri says:

      Tieshka! Why hello, what a delight to see you here! I do hope that your Christmas was wonderful and your New year too! I got your beautiful card, thanks so much 🙂 I’ve been feeling very flat too, it took a lot for me to get this post out, I was in a funk to say the least. I needed to write this, to draw a line in the sand, to say to myself, ‘right, now get on with it and get back to blogging and get that book written!’. It is helping so far! I hope you will soon be back to blogging, I can’t wait to see you here again 🙂 x

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  13. Congratulations to you, Sherri, and Happy Birthday to your blog! I didn’t meet you until well into your blog, so I’m very glad you reposted the link to your first blog, “About a Robin.” The vintage-effect picture of the gate is a perfect symbol for where you stand now, Sherri: the gate is open, and there are paths to choose!

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    • Sherri says:

      oh Marylin, it has been an absolute delight to meet you here and even though it was not until fairly recently I feel as if you have always been here and that we have already shared so many stories! The way you have come alongside me right from the start and shared your thoughts with me has meant so much, as a dear friend. I also love your blog and reading your loving, evocative and beautifully gentle posts to your mom. Thank you so much. There are indeed paths to be chosen and to know that you are walking through that open gate with me warms my heart greatly 🙂 x

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  14. Heyjude says:

    Happy blogoversary Sherri, one good thing that came out of Spamgate was finding a blogging buddy like you, boy that was a trying time wasn’t it! I really enjoy reading your posts – funny, sad, observational, philosophical, caring, painful, personal (and brave), you come across as a genuine “good ‘un” as they say in Yorkshire, someone who definitely wears her heart on her sleeve.

    I shall definitely be staying with you during 2014. Good luck with THE BOOK – I ought to get down and finish one of mine (I have two very different ones in draft form) – I just find it so difficult to write! Maybe I need to get myself a summerhouse first 🙂

    Here’s to another year together: slàinte my dear friend 😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Jude, my dear Spamgate friend! What a trying time that was indeed, yet I am so very grateful for it now! You have always been by my side since then, and I too love coming over to your wonderful blog where you take me to places I have never been and remind me of places where once I travelled to, once-upon-a-time. I’m so glad that you think I’m a ‘good ‘un’ as I happen to think you are too 🙂
      To know that you are going to stick by me means more than you know. You are a very dear friend to me and when I have not known what to do, what to write, you have been right there, encouraging and urging me forward.
      You should write your books – think of me!! If I can do it, so can you!!! Although I haven’t actually done it yet…I’d offer you my summerhouse but it is rather small… 😉
      I’m really looking forward to another year of blogging with you and slainte to you too 🙂
      (PS I had to google it as I didn’t know what it meant – good health I think, and I will take that every day of the year, thank you so much 🙂 xxx)

      Like

  15. Congratulations, Sheri and Happy Blogoversary! Amazing what you can accomplish when your put your heart and soul into it, and it’s such fun making new friends of similar interests. 😀 You’ve come a loooooooooonnnnnnnng way in just one year.

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  16. Congratulations, dear friend, and Happy Sherriversary! You know I wish you all the best, and I’ll be praying about that book! Lots and lots of love to you. ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, I’ve never heard ‘Happy Sherriversary’ before, that’s definitely a new one on me!!! Susan, you are indeed a dear friend and your prayers and support mean the world. It has been a pleasure to have met you and to come over to read your heartfelt, beautiful and yet powerful posts. You are a great blessing to many and to me. With lots of love to you too and thank you so much 🙂 Here’s to a 2014 as we share this journey together xx

      Like

  17. Denise says:

    Many happy returns!

    Yes it is about time you wrote that life story of yours. Reading your posts always brings a smile to my face, for many reasons – the beautiful pictures such as that sunny gate, your little funny details (“as I knew him for a hamster”!), and the astonishing story of your strong, wonderful family. Also your sheer love of living and life.

    I look forward to many happy years to come.

    17,500 views is very good going!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Denise, It has been an absolute pleasure to have met you here. When you first visited my blog when I wrote my poem about my daughter your words really caught me. Ever since then, I have been fascinated with the way you write and share your innermost thoughts with your amazing insight. I love reading your posts and the way you still ‘catch’ me with the way you throw in deep thoughts and musings while reviewing a film or book. I feel that when you read my writing you see things that pull me up and make me think, ‘wow, she saw such and such and I didn’t even see that myself’!!
      Your encouragment of my writing, and particularly of writing my book, means more to me than you know. Thank you so much my dear friend and I too look forward very much to sharing our blogging journey for a long time to come 🙂 xx

      Like

  18. Imelda says:

    Congratulations and Happy blog-o-versary, Sherri. 🙂 I am very pleased to have met you. Your writing is lovely so, I hope you do go on. Here’s to more blog posts and friends and books! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Here’s to you Imelda, it has been so lovely to meet you here as a friend and even though more recently I have really enjoyed reading your lovely comments and also coming over to your blog and reading about your life with your darling boys, your exquisite poetry and beautiful photographs. Thank you so much and yes, I do very much also look forward to continuing on with blogging, friends and books – a wonderful combination most definitely 🙂 x

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  19. Happy Dance, Sherri! It’s such a great feeling to create something and stick with it for a year. You’re right about faith in humanity. I found my people when I started a blog, and I’ve never regretted it. Here’s to many more years of blogging for you.

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    • Sherri says:

      Happy Dance, yay, thanks so much Andra. I love a happy dance 🙂 Yes, now that I stop to actually think about it I do feel really happy about seeing it through for an entire year. You ‘found your people’. What a great way of putting it. There comes that moment when you just know when you’ve found them and I’m eternally grateful for finding mine! I very much look forward to sharing the blogging journey ahead 🙂

      Like

  20. Congratulations Sherri on a successful year! One of my favorite things about your blog is reading comments from your other followers and friends. You’ve developed such a wonderful community in one short year. I love the openness and honesty of your posts. Each one is such a treat to read. Here’s to another successful and fun year!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Heather, you are a gem, your comments always light up my day, thank you so much 🙂 I’m sooo glad that I met you here as you are such a lovely friend to me. When I read that you enjoy reading my posts so much I can’t tell you enough what that means to me.

      Last year was a defining year for me as I went back to California for the first time in 10 years since leaving after my divorce. When I returned to blogging after a short break something happened. It was if things took a different direction and suddenly I found that the same wonderful people were coming over to my blog regularly and taking an interest more than ever before. That was the beginning of my community and I love everyone here so much!! 🙂

      I love coming over to your blog and seeing what you have rustled up, even though it always makes me very hungry! I do love the way you add snippets of your family life to your recipes. Heather, in short, it is a pleasure to share my blogging journey with you and I look forward to doing so for a very long time to come 🙂 xx

      Like

  21. You are an inspiration, Sherri. Books are like blogs. All it really takes is to start it, and then stick with it.

    If I may make a request for 2014, a “lessons learned” would be a very helpful post.

    Well done.

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    • Sherri says:

      Nav, you make my day 🙂 So much said in so few words – you certainly know all about starting both a book and a blog and sticking power is the key, the hard part, the true grit 😉 I think that perhaps it is you who has inspired me 🙂

      Thank you so much for all your support of me and my blog, it means more than you know.

      My first blog post request! Food for thought and yes, think that sounds like a great idea, thanks Nav, and, as I always say…watch this space my friend 🙂

      Like

  22. Sorry – lessons learned on the WordPress reader.

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  23. How wonderful that blogging has restored your faith in humanity! Surely not what you expected to discover through blogging (or was it)?

    Congratulations, both on your milestone, and on finding the energy and stamina to post so regularly. That’s awesome!

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    • Let me add that YOU’RE awesome!

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      • Sherri says:

        Tracy, you have inspired me greatly since I met you here, and you are also responsible for introducing me to so many other lovely people here too! You are absolutely right, I never, in a million years, expected that my faith in humanity would be restored by blogging. Never. I didn’t expect or even know about community. In fact, I really didn’t know what to expect to be honest! Come to think of it, I’ve learnt that is the best way to be in life – without expectation – as then I’m not disappointed but in fact often very pleasantly surprised!

        It does take strength and stamina to post regularly doesn’t it? I never expected that either! Having wonderful friends like you onboard certainly energises me. Even getting this post off the ground and getting back into the swing of things again is washing that ‘funk’ away so that I do think my mojo is returning, albeit slowly 😉

        Tracy, my friend, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support in the time we’ve known each other here and also to say how much I love coming over to your blog. Through you I’ve visited many places I would love to visit in person, but when I do (notice I’m being very optomistic here!) I will already know all about them and will have the best person there is to show me around – you! Right back at ya, for methinks it is you who is awesome!

        Here’s to a wonderful shared blogging journey and many more adventures to come… 🙂 xx

        Like

  24. lilkaraphael says:

    Congratulations and MUCH love to you my sister! You are quite the inspiration and a blessing to SO many. I pray you receive those blessings back to you plus many many more in this New Year 🙂
    One year down, many more accomplishments to go!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Lilka, my dear friend, and much love right back to you! Thank you so much for all your lovely, kind and inspiring words to me, and your prayers which mean more than you know. I pray the very same to you dear sister and I look forward to sharing this blogging journey and many more stories and adventures together for a long time to come. Your blog never fails to bless and inspire me and many others too and I’m sooo glad that we met 🙂 x

      Like

  25. parrillaturi says:

    Sherri! What a ride. God has truly blessed you. Congratulations. I look forward to your post. Very well versed, and informative. Now, get that best seller published! 🙂 Blessings.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Johnny, what a ride indeed! Having you onboard has made it all the sweeter my dear friend! Thank you so much for all your wonderfully inspiring words and encouragement (and I will never forget what you said to my son).
      Ha Ha! You have great faith Johnny, wouldn’t a best seller be amazing 🙂
      Here’s to sharing the journey for a long time to come, and all blessings coming right back to you from me… 🙂 x

      Like

  26. Glynis Jolly says:

    Happy Anniversary, Sherri. As I read your post I started thinking about the 8 months I’ve been entertaining this blog I’m have at the present time. I have to admit that I feel very much the same as you. There’s always been something new around every corner so far.

    Although I’ve heard that blogs may be coming a thing of the past, I doubt it seriously. I think this year is going to be the best so far for bloggers who love to write.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Glynis and thank you so much for your kind wishes and also for reading my blog and taking the time to comment, I really enjoy reading your blog and your perspective on different subjects.
      I had not heard about blogs possibly becoming a thing of the past but I just can’t see that happening. Blogging has certainly exploded but there are so many positive aspects to it (as I’ve written about here!) that I don’t think that those of us who write would let that happen!
      I wish you every success with your blogging journey and I look forward to sharing it with you for a long time to come 🙂 x

      Like

  27. Happy anniversary, Sherri! I am a big fan of your blog, and very much look forward to what you will come up with in 2014.:)–Mike

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Mike, I really appreciate your kind wishes and also your frequent visits to my blog and all your support and encouragment! It means more than you know that you take the time to stop by and read my posts, and even more that you enjoy them!
      I love your blog as you know and I really look forward to sharing more adventures and writing challenges with you for a long time to come 🙂

      Like

  28. Congratulations on your one year anniversary, Sherry. You have such a lovely blog and I’m glad I came across it. I also find it astounding that people come to read my blog and leave so many kind and wonderful comments. I’ve become a real blogoholic. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Sylvia, I very much appreciate your kind wishes. I’m so glad that we met too, and that you found me! I love your blog too (just been over there!). Your posts are a breath of fresh air to me. Yes, it never fails to amaze me that people come over here, read my posts and then say such lovely things. Really quite astounding.
      I look forward to sharing many more blogging adventures with you for a long time to come 🙂

      Like

  29. We “fly by the seat of our pants” all the time. Are we ever proficient at a new task? Congrats on your anniversary! Best wishes personally and professionally in the new year.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much, I really appreciate your lovely, kind wishes. Yes, you are so right, it is in the learning that hopefully we can become more proficient, with lots of mistakes along the way 🙂

      Like

  30. Raani York says:

    Hello,
    I have nominated you and your blog for a few Awards (7 in total) 

    You will find your Award and the rules here:
    http://raaniyork.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/awards-awards/

    Congratulations – I really think you deserve it!

    Like

  31. Rachel says:

    Congratulations, Sherri on reaching your one year anniversary! You give the impression that you’re a blogging pro and I certainly thought you had been blogging for much longer than that. All the best with your book too. I’m definitely interested. Will it be non-fiction?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Rachel. I’m amazed that I gave that impression as I am so far away from being a blogging pro!!
      Yes, non-fiction. I wrote it years ago (in my head and heart) but now need to get it down on paper. It would be my honour to think that you would be interested in reading it at some point, let’s just hope that I can get this thing done!

      Like

  32. jenniferkmarsh says:

    I love this. I especially love the bullet list of what you’ve learnt over this year. Honestly, I can’t even remember when I started my blog… the end of January last year, I think. It never crosses my mind to shout out that it’s been a year for my blog, but I see lots of other people do it. It’s funny how we all differ. Stay strong, Sherri! I know you can keep your head above the water 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Jennifer – sounds as if we started out blogs at around the same time! You should celebrate that. For me, it’s been good to tell myself that I stuck it out for a year and have actually accomplished something that I set out to do. Now comes the hard part – the staying power to achieve the goals that I’ve set for myself with writing my book.
      You are right though, we are all so different, and that is precisely what makes this wonderful life so interesting, even when things don’t go to plan 😉
      I really appreciate your kind and supportive wishes, it means a lot 🙂

      Like

  33. Seyi sandra says:

    Congratulations on you blogs’ anniversary! You’re such a warm soul and I wish you the best on your blogging journey!
    🙂

    Like

  34. Congrats on your blog’s first anniversary. Best wishes for more to come.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello, and thank you so much for your very kind wishes, as well as for visiting my blog and for the follow, I very much appreciate you dropping by and taking the time to stay a while. I do hope you enjoy what you read here at my summerhouse 🙂

      Like

  35. Mich-in-French says:

    Happy blogversary – you are a remarkable woman and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and being part of your community. I have been on a journey of learning purposefully from my life and from the lives of others and that is what I have gleaned from you. I love this post as I relate to my own challenges with blogging and may just share on that little journey some time soon. I feel inspired by this to step out and to keep on because sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and I doubt myself and the value of what I write and why. So you have been my encouragement today Sherri – thank you.
    I have nominated you for this award – to add to your many – but I do hope you have time to accept it as you truly do deserve it.
    Much love…Mich
    http://lessonsinfrench.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/shauny-award-for-blogging-excellence/
    😉

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Mich, thank you so much for your lovely, kind words. I do understand exactly what you share here and how you feel as I have struggled so many times, and still do! Yet, to know that I have encouraged you blesses me no end 🙂 To me, this is what it is all about and makes my heart sing!

      Your posts greatly bless me too, and be in no doubt, you are a beautiful writer and you can and must keep going!!

      As for so very kindly nominating me for such a beautiful award, I thank you so very much for thinking of me, I am very humbled that you would do so and I very gratefully accept!

      Many congratulations to you too for your award, as you surely deserve it. Have a lovely day my sweet friend:-) x

      Like

  36. Kristin says:

    Oh wow, here I am checking out your blog for the first time in quite a while (they told me a baby would leave no time for reading, but did I believe them?), and now I find I have come just in time for a celebration. Congratulations, Sherri! And how lucky are we that you found your way into the blogging world! Lots of love from Mexico!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Kristin, wow! How lovely to see you here, as I said over on your blog, I’m so delighted that you are back baby!!! As I said over there, I’m amazed that you can find the time to do anything other than take care of MM!!! Believe me, I do remember those days so very well!
      Thanks so much for the congrats, it means a lot as you are one of my very earliest lovely friends here in the blogosphere and it hasn’t been the same without you 🙂

      Like

  37. TBM says:

    Congrats!!!! And you know I’m cheering you on with your blog and your writing. Can’t wait to promote your book on my blog!

    Like

  38. We catch the overflow of your joy and wonder, Sherri. Am very happy for you. We’re apparently jiving in our recent posts as we look back on the last year, though my one-yr birthday is still two months ahead. I am so excited for the journey that awaits you as you start your book. Remember….washed up…on higher ground.

    Love,
    Diana

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You remembered! On higher ground indeed! Oh Diana, we are indeed ‘jiving’ it seems and I certainly look forward to your one year anniversary to come! I sincerely hope to keep the journey exciting and also must remember to come up for air!!
      I started my book some many months ago but it just stopped. Now I am resolved to keep going. I know that with your support I will do just that, thank you so much, and with love to you my friend, and a big smile 🙂 x

      Like

      • I’m leaning toward not bringing up my 1-yr, as I’ve been riding the wave of year-end/new-year reflections with the group post and the miniseries sequel on blogging, and feel I’ve said enough. We’ll see.

        And yes, my support you certainly do have, Sherri.

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Yes, I can see that actually. Love your miniseries on blogging, will be coming over to read your latest as soon as. Making my way out of my ‘brain-fog’ and still a bit slow on the uptake!!! Still, a little ‘party’ wouldn’t hurt to celebrate though, even if just a quick mention 🙂
          Diana, you are a great blessing to me. Thank you, is all xx

          Like

  39. Congratulations on your Bloggiversary Sherri! My own is coming up very soon and I’ve been thinking about what I’ll share about the lessons I’ve learned, so from a nearly-one year old to a one year old, well done! Truly this was a very moving post that I can identify with in so many ways. I wasn’t with you from the beginning, but am so glad that our paths did cross, because I do so enjoy reading your posts. I’m glad that you’ve started the book and I’m sure you’ll have many followers who will keep you going, as we’d all like to read it!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so very much Andrea for your friendship. I am too so very glad that we met here. I certainly look forward very much to your blogoversary post and reading about your one-year journey as I always enjoy reading your evocative and very thought-provoking (and beautifully written I might add!) posts!

      Your kind, supportive and insightful comments always bring a lovely, warm smile to my heart and it means more than you know that you take the time to read my posts (including this very long one!). Here’s to sharing our blogging journey for a long time to come 🙂 x

      Like

  40. Congratulations! You’ve done amazingly well for one year of blogging – here’s to another, and another!

    Like

  41. simplyilka says:

    Congratulations my dear Sherri! You have a successful journey behind you and a fantastic one ahead of you. I am proud to be part of it, and I do read and enjoy your posts. Go ahead and write this book, write, edit, write, edit later, write more, edit more, … enjoy 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, lovely Ilka, you are so kind and thank you so much! I am so proud to have you onboard (and I do very much love coming over to your blog too!) and knowing how much you enjoy reading my posts and taking the time to do so and comment in the way you do means such a lot to me. I take your great encouragement to write my book to my heart, particularly that all-important word – enjoy!!! Sooo, very important! Here’s to blogging and writing and a ‘fantastic’ year ahead for us both 🙂 x

      Like

  42. thirdhandart says:

    Congratulations Sherri… may you have many, many more blogoversaries! You and I have a lot of the same thoughts, beliefs and hopes. Unfortunately, I can’t express them through the written word as well as you do. So, please don’t give up on writing your book… you go girl!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Theresa, you have been and still are such a wonderful friend to me in the time that I’ve known you through blogging. We definitely have a strong connection and your support and encouragement of my writing means the world to me. Thank you so much.Coming over to your blog is always one of my treasures as I am always excited to see which photo you will be sharing and also which quotes to perfectly illustrate it/them with. I hope the very same for you with your blog and here’s to us continuing on sharing our journeys along life’s path for a long time to come 🙂 x

      Like

  43. davidprosser says:

    You might be surprised to know just how many more of us have no idea what the buttons are for or about scheduling a blog or most of all who fly by the seat of our pants. I think the older we get, the more we rely on hope. That said, Congratulations on making a year and on the quality of your work. Great reading.
    Sending Huge Hugs xxx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well David, you said it perfectly, that is what it comes down to, relying on hope! Thank goodness I’m not the only one 🙂 Thanks so much for your very kind wishes and for taking the time to read over here at my Summerhouse in Somerset, I very much appreciate it! Thanks again for the lovely hugs, and x hugs x coming back to you 🙂

      Like

  44. willowmarie says:

    way to go Sherri! Congratulations!

    Like

  45. Hi Sherri! Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Sorry I’m so late. I’m just getting around to reading your blog. I’ve been so busy that I’m afraid my blog reading has fallen to the wayside and I’m trying to get caught up. I’m glad you’re still here and hanging in there. I haven’t posted for a long time either and the last two times I did, I reblogged a couple of other peoples posts. My two year blogging anniversary will be coming in April and I plan on getting busy posting at least once a month or twice a month. I feel like a blogging failure. You on the other hand, are a definite success story. Keep it going!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Donna, thanks so much and so lovely always to see your wonderful smiling face and have you pop in to my summerhouse!

      I am trying to get the balance right between blogging and getting on with my other writing projects and it is very hard so I don’t blame you for a second taking more time off to concentrate on your other writing! You are not a blogging failure, you have more pressing things, and you can pick up your blog at any time. I look forward to your future posts and your two year anniversary, wow, that’s great 🙂

      I hope things are going well with your books? I can’t wait to get my copy in May 🙂

      Like

  46. Pingback: I’m A Versatile Blogger With An Awesome Blossom Award | LORRAINE REGULY'S LIFE

  47. Pingback: I'm A Versatile Blogger With An Awesome Blossom Award

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