One word comes to mind as I celebrate Practically Homemade’s 1st Birthday today and that is THANKFUL.  Words can’t begin to describe the past year.  To say this blog is my baby would be an understatement.  I feel like I have birthed it, nourished it, watched it grow and now I am working hard with hopeful expectations of wonderful things in the future.

I set some pretty “far out” goals for myself when I started last November.  I am more of a shoot for the moon and see where it takes you kind of girl.  My heart told me that this what I am supposed to be doing, so I went for it.  It is kind of like the Field of Dreams, when Kevin Costner’s character keeps hearing, “if you build it they will come.”  I kept putting one foot {or recipe} in front of the other because something told me I needed to.

In May I was slapped with a HUGE wake up call…in the form of a blogger conference.  What I had hoped would be a source of mega inspiration actually ended up being so overwhelming that I came home and didn’t touch my camera or computer for almost a month.  I found myself questioning every decision I had ever made up until that point.  Then one day I decided to take some of my own advice…just be yourself!

Comparing my 5 month old blog to large scale blogs that have huge sites, with assistants who help with from everything from content to social media just wasn’t getting me anywhere.  I needed to be me and own every single bit of it!  As I went into summer I was able to devote more time and energy to Practically Homemade.  I hoped to see the fruits of my labor and I did…on my first day back to school in August.  Texas Sheet Cake Cookies started going viral and it was sending a ton of traffic to my site.

It was awesome and overwhelming at the same time.  I had waited all summer for this moment and it happened the week I went back to work?!?  With all of the traffic came things like my site crashing, negative comments and an abundance of back end work that I had never really thought about.  Completely worth it…but I learned quickly that every success is met with it’s own set of challenges.

A few months later, here I am.  Still seeing great page views from that faithful Texas Sheet Cake Recipe.  I have also grown my blog subscribers and social media following in the process.  What a crazy, stressful, fun, hard, time consuming, fulfilling and happy time this past year has been for me.  As I publish my 109th post in the last 365 days, I am in awe and so darn excited to see where this whole thing is headed.  I thank each and every one of you for spending your valuable time with me because I know you are busy.

I hope the recipes that I publish here are filling you up and making your life a bit easier.  I love all of your comments, am always looking for recipe suggestions and am planning some fun things for the new year.  Be looking in your inbox for a new monthly newsletter that has exclusive recipes, as well as ideas for your home and holidays.  At the beginning of the year I will be relaunching Practically Homemade with a new logo, giveaways and a PARTY!  I can’t wait!  Here is to another SWEET year!