Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Stroll Down Blog Memory Lane

I woke up this morning wondering what in the world I'd blog about at the beginning of a new week given the quiet weekend with the snow and the ice and the staying in my awesome sweater pants for two solid days.

Yes, bloggers sometimes wake up wondering what in the world there is to say that hasn't already been said or that won't bore readers to tears.

As I lay there thinking it dawned on me that it was on a long ago January day I first began blogging. January 21, 2009. A Wednesday like any other except I was living in England and my girls were in college and I didn't understand what a blog was, but other than that the same as Wednesdays in 2016.

Seven years.

A lot has happened in seven years, this I know without looking at life spelled out in writing. Still, I thought today it might be fun to look back to the first month of the year in days gone by. What was on my blog in January as the calendar rolled round and round into the future?

Also, I like photographs and there are many here on From This Side of the Pond, so as a bonus I'm going to choose one favorite from every January since the first one. That won't be hard at all.


England. A trip to Leeds Castle. Cleaning out my nightstand. Procrastinating. My dog. Moving house. Moving country. Goodbyes.

I had no comments on my first post and one comment on my second. It was from my girl's high school Young Life leader who had moved back to the US a couple of years prior. Always the encourager.

My third post had two comments, again one from the YL leader and one from, GASP!, a stranger. And then later more strangers, with real life friends weighing in now and then, but the strangers! 

Where do the strangers come from? How do they find my blog? Are they stalkers? Is this safe? What in the world am I doing? I had no idea strangers would read my blog, and certainly no idea they'd comment. Why would a stranger read my blog?

Writing was suddenly a thrilling kind of scary fun.


fondue, transition, repatriation, what I learned blogging for one whole entire year, random dozens answered, a book giveaway, my sleep habits, my dog's sleep habits, and a look back at boating on the Chesapeake with golden haired girls who went and grew up


snow, ice, more snow and more ice, NYC, NYC in the snow and ice, college-aged daughters home for the holiday, random dozens answered, the routine of mid-life, attempting zumba, a traveling husband, my back yard hawk, the Cake Boss, airport runs, taxes, transitions and goodbyes


a new year, college-aged daughters home, grown up daughters working in big cities, hanging out with said grown up daughter in a big city, our nation's capital, goodbyes and transitions, NYC food, NYC energy, Hodgepodge questions asked and answered, a traveling husband, jet lag, hiking with jet lag, my pup, the Garden State, and a camping recap from an accidental winter camping trip taken with Girl Scouts more than ten years prior


a new year, Hodgepodge questions asked and answered, hanging out with a grown up daughter in a big city, both of us sicker than dogs, my sweet pup, beauty in the Garden State, the weather, snow days, snow days gone by, Maryland days gone by, the Superbowl


days I'd like to do-over, homemade Christmas crafting, Hodgepodge questions asked and answered, being brave, fragments, regular crafting, five minutes of deep thoughts, everyday mid-life, and snow


The wedding. That's it. The wedding. To put it another way- love, marriage, daughters growing up, DIY, friends, dreams, plans, the weather, and the best day ever.

To summarize-

Count on me discussing weather during the month of January.
Also eating, drinking, and sleeping all of which seem interesting at the time.
I miss my pup, big snows, a country not my own, and daughters asleep in their bedrooms upstairs.
The earth is full of so much beauty it sometimes makes my heart burst.
I've said a lot of goodbyes.
There is enormous satisfaction in capturing small moments and ordinary days.
I feel complete surprise at the fullness of life in a season called middle age.


  1. A heart full of love and wonderful memories! Thanks for letting us peek in each day/week/year!!

  2. What a nice post, especially since I don't know you very well. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  3. Thanks for sharing a peak into your life and a stroll down memory lane with your blog. I just started blogging and can relate to so many things you have shared. THE wedding happened for me in 2014. Not sure when the next one is going to happen. It is certainly one of the most amazing days you experience as a mom. :) Have a super awesome week!! Stay warm!

  4. Great post, Joyce. I have been waking up with no blogging plan in my head a lot lately. I told the Mister that we either have to move or get a new dog. (those are my highest rated posts). Have a great week.

    1. Yes. January is tough. Is the Mister on board with either plan? : )

  5. Thanks for your walk down memory lane...7 years is a long time to be blogging, especially since I'm just coming up on 2 years. Have a special week!

  6. How in the world were you able to capsulize that much living into a relatively short post and do it so eloquently? You always keep it interesting and us wanting more. Have a great week, and I'll see you on Wednesday.

  7. Sweet walk through memories. Congrats on 7 years of blogging. I started just a few months before you did and I was just as lost in this place called bloggyland. Sometimes I feel like I still am. lol

    I'm not sure how long I've followed you, but I've enjoyed getting to know you and to see the places you've been. So many places I may never go, but I've been allowed to enjoy because you shared them here.

    Have a great day!

  8. It is fun to look back to those early days. I started in 2009 also but not until April 9th, it was a Thursday. Love the photo of the girls out on the lake. It answer to Elizabeth Day's question......your a great writer!

  9. I'm like Libby, how on earth do you do that so concisely and with such interest? Most enjoyable post!

  10. Sweet, sweet memories.
    What a big life you live, and you wonder why we like to read about it?! lol.

  11. What a great trip down memory lane. Great idea for a blog's anniversary. Happy Blogiversary!!

  12. Congratulations on 7 years. Your rendition of 2009 made me homesick - I haven't been back to England since 2013. Cheers to many more.

  13. Can't believe how much has changed since you first started blogging. I missed getting to go into NYC this winter and I miss our Dixie. Love the sweet trip down memory lane.

  14. I didn't realize you started blogging only shortly before I did, in April of '09! I assumed you'd been blogging much longer because you've always been so good at it :) I'm happy to say, I've read most of those posts you mentioned, and enjoyed them all! See ya' tomorrow for the Hodgepodge. (Kathy)

  15. Joyce, it's February 2, 2016 as I comment on your blog post. ... catching up here while it snows hard outside (for the 3rd day in a row). I am interested that you began blogging just a couple of weeks before I did. I enjoyed seeing your recap of what you wrote about every January over the past 7 years. Thanks for sharing. I think you've found your 'blogging voice.' I am still looking for mine.