Following a Dream

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!  I hope you all enjoyed your holiday, as well as those of you observing Passover.  It may not have been the warmest of days, but I think we're slowly creeping towards Spring.  Inching might be a more accurate description, but we seem to be moving in the right direction at least.  We didn't celebrate Easter today.  Our Indiana family was in town for a visit last week, so we actually celebrated before they headed back.  It was a jam-packed week full of fun, baby kisses and family time and as always, it ended way too soon.  Since we had our Easter meal on Thursday, today was low-key and consisted of a non-traditional lunch with my hubby and my mom at Burger 21.  It may not have been quite as fancy as your holiday meal, but it was delicious and there was no clean up!  And....that left me the afternoon to work on the blog.
Speaking of the BLOG.....can you believe that today the blog is one year old?  Holy Moly, did that time fly!?!?  I can still remember sitting here writing the very first post about Beardslee Castle.  I already had a list in my head of places I wanted to write about.  I hoped I'd acquire a few followers, but I had no idea where this endeavor would take me. I could have never dreamed the opportunities it has afforded me or the amazing people it would introduce me to!  All I was sure of a year ago was that I loved to take pictures and was excited to have the opportunity to write about the things I photographed.  Where that road would lead was a total mystery but one I was anxious to explore.

In the past 12 months I have written a total of 125 posts (and had one guest post).  While my blog was initially intended to feature local areas of interest, over time it grew to include a variety of topics including features about animals, gardens, intriguing people, places to eat, New England destinations, editorial pieces and more.  In November it became obvious that I needed to organize the blog so that newcomers might want to hang around and read previous posts, so I enlisted the help of a blog designer to give Life As I See It a facelift.  At that time I created categories so that readers could explore previous posts under categories that interested them. To further assist with that I created a Directory.  Today I revamped the Directory so that it is easier to read and to add to as I go.  Some posts are cross-referenced.  In November I wrote a post entitled, Someone Got A Facelift, which is basically a 'how-to' for navigating my blog.
Along the way I considered accepting an offer to feature my blog in the Times Union newspaper.  After much deliberation and a lengthy and limiting contract, I decided to decline.  But.....as they say, when one door closes another opens and I later became a part of the Saratogian Lifestyle Blogs.  While that doesn't provide the same level of exposure as the Times Union may have, I'm proud to be part of a hometown newspaper in my home county.  As of today, Life As I See It has had 25,131 page views.  While I realize that is so little compared to most blogs, for an unsponsored blog I'm pretty proud to have reached this number.  I am also very grateful to all of you who continue to follow my blog and share it with your friends.
Some of my favorite posts during the past year include those in the "Food for Thought" category.  Sometimes in life it is important to take a moment to stop and think.....the posts in this category hopefully encourage you to do that.  My favorites are "Changing How We See",  "Holding Hands, Not Grudges", "Bandaids & Broken Hearts".   Of course, I'm a little biased when it comes to a guest post written by my hubby, "You're So Quiet - Introverts vs Extroverts".   Another category that holds a special place in my heart is "Intriguing People" where I've gotten to write about some very special people in my life, as well as some fascinating people in history.    "Bricks & Mortar" contains posts featuring some beautiful structures, such as Hammond Castle, Beardslee Castle, The Elms's in Newport and many more.   And.....if you've been a follower for a while, you know I love my llama and alpaca friends who have been frequent post features as well as a variety of butterflies to birds under the "Animal Friends" category.   I'm no food critic, but that doesn't stop me from sharing some great food experiences along the way.  Those are featured in "Let's Eat".
While I'm not a big traveler,  I love New England so it's no surprise that I've blogged about attractions in CT, RI, MA, and VT as well as a long list of beautiful places in NYS.  And then there's a whole long list of posts that don't fit into any category so I've lumped them into "This & That". To read posts you missed, click on the "Directory" in the right-hand column and once you find a post you want to read, click on the "Month" in the right column of the homepage to find that post.  For further help in getting around, check out my instructional post: http://gwfirecracker.blogspot.com/2014/11/someone-got-facelift.html   And if you don't want to miss a post or know someone who isn't on Facebook where I post links to each new post.....just add your email address where it says, "Follow by Email".  Each new post will be sent directly in it's entirety to your inbox!
Twelve months, 126 posts, hundreds of photos and millions of words later, I still have more to share.  Today I thank each and every one of you who have read one or many of my posts, commented on a post or shared a post with a friend. This blog would not be a reality if it weren't for my patient husband who has spent the past 12 months driving for hours to each of the venues featured in this blog, proofread each blog catching most of my mistakes, taken notes while I photograph and did more than his share of household chores while I spent my time editing photos and writing word after word in post after post.  He is probably the reason this blog has grown the way it has.  As in every other aspect of our almost 37 yr. marriage....I am truly blessed and grateful.  I invite you to stick around as I keep searching for more amazing places and things in Life As I See It where everyday offers new and exciting opportunities - often in our own backyard!

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