It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since I spontaneously decided to try this whole “blogger” thing. If you go back and read my very first post Hello World, you can hear the hesitancy behind my words as I mull over all my preconceived notions of blogging; After reading those words back to myself just now, I’m glad I acted on the whim to launch My Colonial Remodel that late Saturday evening, and thankful I continued to give it life to this day! It’s become my main creative outlet, one of my passions, plus it’s a lot more satisfactory to be writing to a small audience rather than penning songs in a journal (that may or may NEVER be heard)! What started as a means of keeping the family up-to-date on renovations is now my fondest brainchild, and my hope is that it would continue to grow beyond my normal social sphere. Although… I find it quite humorous that I referred to myself as a “lightweight”, and was able to predict my “posting-inconsistency” even back then… I must know myself better than I realize!!!
As a sort of tribute to this pseudo-significant milestone in My Colonial Remodel‘s history, I had planned on doing a reFAB giveaway (one of my vintage furniture-upscale pieces), but long story short – I forgot; and now with a surprise joint giveaway scheduled for November’s end, I decided to forgo the whole thing and just accept that I let this momentous day pass me by. I had even warned myself before going away on vacay, “make sure you don’t miss your Blogiversary post while in Cali!”, but as if I lost my head at the border, I completely spaced it until NOW. August is looooong gone, and we’ve now reached the tip-tail of September, but I’m hoping a last-ditch-effort-entry will help me get over this very-anti-blogger-ish mistake I’ve made!
OH… and to make matters worse, SOMEHOW I had it in my mind that the “blogiversary” and the “yay, it’s officially been a year in the colonial” dates were one-and-the-same; but in reality, our official move-in date (August 28th) came much later than my first blog post, which actually went live June 17th, 2012. Those first couple months were spent writing about my grief over losing The Perfect House, feeling cramped by Our Newlywed Condo, and the beginning stages of the renno. When you look at it from this angle, I’m suddenly 3+ months beLATEd, and probably should’ve considered a completely different title for this post all together! PUNCH. ME. IN. THE. FACE.
With all ^that^ said, “THE” colonial remodel didn’t become “MY” colonial remodel until the day I could call this house my home – Tuesday, August 28, 2012. It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 months (to the day in fact), since we were driving the U-Haul back and forth, loading and unloading the friends-n-family-caravan! To coin the phrase, “time flies when you’re having fun”, this fast-first-year is a tried-true-testament to how much FUN we’ve really been having!(?) The kind of fun where you rip your hair out in dire frustration at the end of the day, sleep-it-off, then wake up in the delusion that “TODAY will be nothing like yesterday”! #ain’tNOthing #timeflieswhenyourehavingfun #LIVINtheremodelLYFE #JT&JIMMYFALLONskit #WATCHit
What I’ve Learned This Year:
Patience: Slow progress is still progress. If I choose to be patient and focus on the task at hand (rather than the finished product), the process of taking the less-than-perfect and transforming it into something one-of-a-kind can be amply rewarding. Contentment: Thinking too much about what I want something to look like can start to drive me mad. As long as I remind myself of how fortunate I am to even have a home like this, and continually count my MANY other blessings, all the other day-to-day frustrations seem meaningless. Focusing on the Positive: One of the ways I’ve motivated myself when feeling swallowed whole by the glaring remodel responsibilities and endless journey ahead is by looking back at where we started. You quickly forget how things used to be, so you feel as though you’ve gotten nowhere. But then nothing puts progress into perspective quite like side-by-side comparisons! (Kind of like watching an underwhelming infomercial for weight-loss/acne/cleaning solutions… UNTIL they bust out those convincing before & afters!)
Highs & Lows:
With so many remodel blogs out there, you can start to feel like a pointless needle lost in a cyber haystack. But – I really felt like I had found my niche because of one distinct factor that set me apart from all the others: the fact that mine was a COLONIAL. I developed so much of my blogger’s identity from this ONE defining detail that I had a partial meltdown when I learned of the famous YOUNGHOUSELOVE‘s most recent renno project… an old colonial! Sherry Petersik started out just like me, posting updates of their remodel progress for close friends and family, but within a few years it blossomed into a full-time job for both her and her husband, and now they’re onto their 3rd house! I seized the opportunity to meet them this January while they were doing their first book tour, and it’s one of the most inspirational experiences I’ve ever had. I introduced myself as a remodel blogger and told them they were my “DIY paragons” (in a total non-sappy way), then John Petersik gave me the advice to “keep at it and never stop what I’m doing”. He later tweeted me in response to my IG post, and I of course had one of those embarrassing jumping-up-and-down-starstruck-freakout-moments:) Definitely a highlight of my year!!! Oh the irony of his advice that day now that they’ve started a colonial remodel… probably among the worst things that could happen to hinder my blog’s success. How do I even stand a chance? This hasn’t changed my admiration of YOUNGHOUSELOVE whatsoever, if anything it’s caused me to heed his advice even more and focus on the other things that make My Colonial Remodel unique. I’ll admit that at first there were the irrational thoughts of just giving up all together… it felt as though the entrepreneurial part of me sort of waved the white flag. But when push comes to shove, I’ve always known that the only thing capable of setting me apart, is ME. It’s good to have those “younghouseloves” in your life to challenge and inspire you, as long as you don’t change yourself to fit into any certain mould. I may not be married to my co-writer, I may not have the biggest budget, and I may never be mentioned in magazines or featured on HGTV (although that would be an unreal dream come true!), but I have always had a passion for fashion, decor, design, music, art, writing, anything that taps into my creative core. Just meet the 18-mo-old version of me who refused to let an item enter her wardrobe that wasn’t pink and you’ll better understand where I’m coming from🙂 If I put my artistic personality and unconventional ideas at the forefront, staying true to who I am, no one can accuse me of trying to be like someone else… even if I am in the midst of renovating the same style house as the most successful DIY bloggers around!
I’ve been working on a whole new plan for My Colonial Remodel! New pages, new images, new formatting, and I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some guest features as well! A few months back (before the baby-bump was too obvious) I did a blog photo shoot with the multi-talented Chris Roe of croemedia.com. He recently sent me some finished images that I am SO excited about! Out of all the photographers I’ve worked with (when modeling years back), he is BY FAR superior. He was able to capture the essence of who I am with all his final editing skills, which I find to be the HARDEST thing to do in still photos. Many times you think you’ve adequately communicated the vibe you’re going for, but the end result still lacks the X-factor. Once I have redesigned my site with some of these images, the pages will clearly speak to my creative personality and immediately tell a person what to expect if they were to read my blog!
Isn’t this uh-mazing!?! SO ME!
I’m looking for some constructive opinions from my readers as well: What would you like to see more of? – More How-To’s? – More Pictures? – More Day-to-Day Projects? – More Design Ideas? – My aunt recently sent me a photo of her family room and asked me to help her decorate her wall – I LOVE doing things like this! Perhaps this is another component I could add somehow? You tell me what you want to read/see! This next year is going to seem much more productive than our first year. Rather than spending our money on behind-the-scene investments like laundry room plumbing, power-tools and a MUCH-NEEDED mattress… we are planning on doing a full kitchen re-design and spending more time on esthetics! Before I go… a Blogiversary post wouldn’t be complete without a look-back at 2012-2013’s progress! Check out my Before/After Collage of some (not all) of our biggest projects this year!
My Colonial Remodel 2012-2013:
Deck (off family room)
Cruz’s Nursery (soon to be)
Thanks for reading!
Don’t forget to leave your constructive opinions for me in Comments!