I started blogging about a year ago now. I started it just as my year off on maternity leave was drawing to a close and I was about to go back to my full time job as a teacher. I loved every second of maternity leave but I found that between the baby groups, lots of coffee and cake meet ups with friends and lots of time at home with a relatively young baby, I knew I needed to do something to stimulate my mind, especially as I was about to return to a job where I really needed my mind to be fully engaged. Returning to work, I also knew that I desperately wanted to try and capture and document moments and snapshots from Little One's childhood as I was to be returning full time and didn't want to miss a thing.
I'd never really read any blogs before and I can't remember what made me think of starting my own. I do however remember that one of the first I read was Katie's fabulous blog Mummy Daddy Me. I started reading her posts and looking at her lovely photos and felt immediately inspired. I knew I was hooked. After tentatively setting up my blog, I started learning more about the blogging community and discovered link ups. I'd seen the Ordinary Moments link up obviously and thought it was the perfect thing to join in with. Afterall, it encapsulated one of the very reasons why I started blogging- to capture and document little moments from Little One's baby days. Not just holidays and trips away at the weekends, but little moments, expressions and day to day occurences which can so often go unnoticed.
And that's the thing. For me, I look back over the past year and I really think blogging has changed my whole perception of life and being a mummy. It has truly made me appreciate the smaller things in life. I used to let little moments pass me by and I would so easily get caught up in life's bigger adventures. But now, I notice these more ordinary moments more. Things like a walk down to see the horses, or the way in which Little One is so fiercely attached to two of his toys Moo Moo and Panda, or the delight he gets from a particular book. I only wish I'd started blogging sooner than when he was 8 months old.
I also look back through my blog and realise the sheer amount of memories I have managed to capture on my camera, whether it be my iPhone or my DSLR (which has certainly had more use over the past year than the past 5 years I've owned it!). Through blogging, Mr F and I have also discovered a shared love for photography. We are far from trained photographers and Mario Testino need not worry about a potential rival just yet, but we truly love our DSLR and take it out most places with us. We are truly thankful that we started to join in the Me and Mine family portrait project hosted by Lucy as we are now amassing a lovely little collection of monthly family photos which we will treasure forever. Again, something I absolutely know we would never get around to doing if I wasn't blogging.
I know a lot of my real life friends probably don't really 'get' why I blog. Many ask me if it's my career and if I make any money from it. The answer is no, I don't make a penny from it, but who knows what the future may hold. Some would be shocked to know that I spend most of the time when LO is napping to write a post or take photos. I also sit sometimes until midnight finishing off and editing a post, desperately trying to stay awake. Yes it can be intensely frustrating and it can be hard not to get caught up in stats. It can be so disheartening when a post you have spent hours writing gets hardly and views, or you hardly get any comments compared to other bloggers. Yes, it's easy to get caught up in wondering why you only have a few instagram or Twitter followers, but I know I won't be the first to think that. I also won't be the first to say, actually, do you know what, that really isn't the end of the world because that's necessarily not why I blog.
So when friends ask 'Why do you blog?' as I obviously don't do it for money. Well, my answer is for the sheer love if it. Honestly. I really really love writing my little blog and capturing photos. It's our little space to document our special memories and I love to share it with others. I hope that readers can take something away from it, be it an idea for a trip, baking or craft inspiration or just something that makes you smile and relate to your own life.
I can really lack confidence with blogging sometimes. I often think there is so much I don't quite understand or get. I love reading other people's blogs and I love the banter when you write a comment. But aside from commenting or tweeting, I haven't really had any contact with a blogger in real life. I would so so love to meet some of the lovely bloggers who I link up with or who read my blog. Inspired and encouraged by the lovely Natalie from Little Jam Pot Life, I took the plunge and decided it was about time I step out of comfort zone and attend a blogging event. I have booked my ticket to go to Blogtacular, and although I am incredibly nervous, I am also so excited!
This week, I almost fell off the sofa when I got a tweet through saying my little blog had been nominated for Best Photography in the MAD blog awards. I thought I must have read it wrong, but alas, it was true and I was so over the moon. I put a lot of time, thought and above all, a hell of a lot of love into each photo I take and it made me smile from ear to ear that someone nominated me. And although I feel awkward asking, I am trying to step out of said comfort zone, so if you haven't already nominated someone else, I'd be delighted if you would like to nominate me in the Best Photography or Baby categories in the MAD blog awards 2015 as it really would mean the world to me.