Just Bee’s 4th Blogiversary + Giveaway!

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Can you believe it?? It’s my blog’s 4th birthday today!!

Today, I wanted to share some reflections on this blogging journey so far. And then, to celebrate and to thank all of my dear readers, I’m having a giveaway at the end of this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reflections on Blogging for 4 Years:

  • Intentionality is worth it.ย It takes time and effort to get blog posts just the way I like them: lots of rereading, editing, and thought. But it’s always been worth it. I don’t think I regret any of the time I’ve spent honing my photography or my writing (or communicating with brands). While it may be easier if I didn’t care so much (haha – maybe more posts would be written that way?), I feel that being intentional in the blogging world is always worth it!
  • It can be HARD to blog consistently when you are a new parent. Ha! That one should’ve been obvious, but I am still figuring out how to get quality content published while being a stay-at-home mom who wants to maintain a clean home, eat healthy meals, and get sleep at night. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I now totally get it why some bloggers choose to stop blogging once they have a baby! It’s hard! I’ve definitely taken some unplanned breaks from regular content during these past 9 months of Sophie’s life, but that’s okay. I’m learning priorities during this whole motherhood makeover thingย and I’m going to give myself grace for that. What’s hilarious to me is that I was able to publish blog posts 3 times a week, very consistently, when I was teaching full-time. But now that I’m at home all day with Sophie, it’s way harder! Yet another insight into the fact that stay-at-home moms truly do not just sit at home. Boy, is life busy! (And only getting busier!) But as I said, I’m going to continue to give myself grace, and be intentional with my time. I’ll keep at it. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I still LOVE blogging. I still have a passion for capturing life through photos, and experiencing it through writing. So, in case you’ve noticed random quieter times on the blog and wondered if I’m easing out of the blogging world, that isn’t the case. I truly cannot see myself giving it up unless in an extreme circumstance. It’s just too beloved of a creative outlet of mine. And I love reflecting with you, friends, on different aspects of life, and seeking to encourage you however I can! My hope is that Just Bee can make a difference in people’s lives, so I don’t want to give that up anytime soon. So, even though posting may be less consistent these days, I still have a whole huge list of blog post ideas, and multiple collaborations lined up. It’s going to be fun, so you’ll want to stick around. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • The comparison game is a real thing. I’ve been okay at not getting sucked into the comparison game over the years, but it’s been hitting me a bit more lately. I’m sharing this because well, it’s the truth, and it’s good for me to be aware of it. The danger of comparing ourselves to other bloggers is real, whether or not you’re a blogger yourself. The struggle for me has been what I call “disappointed perfectionism” – the fact that I see others’ clean homes on social media, and their “perfect” systems for this and that, and I wonder,ย Why can’t I get my act together and run my house/schedule perfectly, too? After all, I’m at home during the day.ย Well, no one is perfect and it’s important to realize that. Even the people you follow who look like they’re perfectly successful at organizing their life may only be showing you a small portion of their day or of their home. I’m all for posting pretty pictures, too, but I think sometimes we forget that no one’s life is 100% smooth or 100% non-messy. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, my strategy lately has been to stop scrolling through certain people’s feeds, and to avoid reading their content for a while if I know my comparison-meter needs a break! In the end, I’m going to keep running Just Bee – and my home and my schedule and my organization ๐Ÿ˜‰ – to the best of my ability, and stop berating myself when I fall short. After all, that’s the beauty of things like owning a vacuum, or having the ability to laugh at yourself, or seeing a new sunrise each morning: those things offer you a fresh start. (And the freshest start comes from knowing a Savior who loved us while we were yet sinners! Lamentations 3:22-23 says “Theย Lord‘s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.”) We’re all sinners. We’re all in need of a Savior to rescue us. No one is perfect, and it’s too hard to try to attain that. The blogger comparison game is real. The mom comparison game is super real. And we need grace.
  • The content may shift. Haha. It has. You really cannot help it when you’re a mom! At least that’s how I feel! Bjorn’s and my world was turned upside down in the most glorious way when Solveig Brynn was born last October, and we can’t go back to being EXACTLY who we were before her. So yes, there is going to be baby stuff on the blog. And I use it as a journal to remember Sophie’s monthly milestones as well. I’ve loved working with brands for baby-related products (hello, Kidizen!!!) and I’ve loved sharing more personal updates along the way. But my mind and my lists are still swirling with non-baby related ideas as well, so even if baby stuff isn’t totally your thing (and that’s okay!), I’m glad you’ve stayed because there is other exciting content coming!
  • Blogging has been such an awesome way to experience friendships!ย Courtney, aย sweet friend of mine who lives in the area, is actually someone I met through this blog! We started off with emailing back and forth, and then I was thrilled to learn she was moving to the area! Can you believe it? And now our baby girls get to play together and we mamas get to have coffee dates in real life! ๐Ÿ™‚ And on a recent road trip, Bjorn and Sophie and I got to stay at my blog friend Lauren’s house! I first got to know her a few years ago, originally through a blogging mastermind group, after following her blog for a while. It was such a joy for us to meet in person, and for our husbands and our babies to meet, too! I mean, to sit on the couch in the evening after the babies go to sleep, chatting and eating brownies and ice cream – what a beautiful picture of friendship – and to think it all started via the Internet! ๐Ÿ™‚ There have been other letters and emails exchanged with other readers – each of these interactions, a blessing. I’m so grateful to have gotten to know you!

Whether you’ve come across Just Bee recently, or if you’ve been a reader for a long time, I want to sayย thank you. A blog becomes aย community once we add readers and followers into the mix, and I’m so grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for being here and reading these posts. Thank you for commenting, emailing, and engaging. Thank you for your friendship and support and advice! I hope that you have found support, useful tips, thought-provoking content, and encouragement as well.

Giveaway Time!

As a thank-you and as a way to celebrate Just Bee’s 4th birthday, I’m giving away a $40 Amazon gift card!

You can join in on the fun with the easy-to-enter giveaway below! I mean, if you follow Just Bee at all on social media, you’ve got entries already! Just record the ways that you follow along! ๐Ÿ™‚

Winner will be contacted via email, and a $40 Amazon.com gift card will be sent to the winner via email!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

38 Comments

  1. I hope you have the happiest of blog birthdays! I really hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way, but you do a wonderful job of balancing motherhood content with other blog content. I don’t have kids (which you know lol) but I still find myself reading a lot of your motherhood posts because they are so well-written. I can’t really explain it, but your posts are just so uplifting and I always look forward to reading them! I’m so grateful to have gotten to “meet” you and I look forward to meeting you for real sometime soon!

  2. Happy 4th Birthday Just Bee!! I so much enjoy reading and can relate to your posts. The balance game is real over here!! Oh boy! I feel like the day cannot fit everything in and I am realizing that it really canโ€™t. There will be so much not done at the end of the day and itโ€™s a new way of learning what matters :)) Feels good to hear your balance too! We are in it together!

  3. Congrats on 4 years! I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading Just Bee; it’s been long enough that I don’t remember. I would be interested in knowing if I had a way to check via Bloglovin. In any case, and the more important one, is that I plan to keep following for your future years and blogiversaries. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. A ;little over 2 years. Congrats on all your success and determination ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Congratulations! I don’t know how long I’ve been reading, but it’s been quite awhile.

  6. Happy blogiversary! I’ve been reading the blog for almost 2 years! I love hearing your thoughts on life and motherhood!

  7. Happy 4th Blogaversary! It is a great accomplishment! I’ve been seeing your blog for about a month!!!

  8. Iโ€™m a relatively new reader – I think Iโ€™ve been following for just a few months now…

  9. I’ve been reading the blog over a year now. Can’t remember exactly! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Happy blogsaversary Hannah!

    I totally understand intentionality. I used to edit a blog with four contributors who produced weekly content (while working a full time job) and thereโ€™s a lot of hard work that goes into it.

    I am about to become a new parent! Iโ€™m 41 weeks today and am scheduled for an induction tomorrow, so excited. My husband and I own our own business and I intend to take her to work with me – weโ€™ll see how it goes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comparison is the thief of joy. So proud of you for keeping your comparisonmeter in check!

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I am a new reader but am excited to have found you. Good luck to you and the future of your awesome blog!

  11. I am fairly new to your blog, but I read every post that you write. Congrats on 4 years.

  12. Congrats! I’m not really sure how long I’ve been following. I follow so many blogs and my sister helps me out when I am at work so it is kind of a mystery to me just how long I’ve followed.

  13. I have been following quite a while and while I’m not sure how long I think I would guess about two years!?

  14. I am a new reader. I just had a little one and enjoy reading blogs from other moms.

  15. Been following you for a few months and enjoying all the sweet pictures of you baby! Congratulations on 4 years!!

  16. Congrats on your 4 year anniversary! Know that your blog is a place that I know I can always turn to for encouragement in marriage, faith, and even homemaking/organization! I’ve been reading for maybe 2-3 years? Gosh, it’s been awhile! Keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I am an on again off again reader. I usually will visit a blog every 2-3 months and then read all the posts in one sitting. I am scatterbrained.

  18. I’ve been reading for a few years now! Since your collaboration with Blair from Blair Blogs! Happy blogiversary to you!

  19. I’m new to your blog and look forward to browsing through your posts…Congrats on 4 years!

  20. Happy blogiversary!! I think I’ve been following you for about a year now! ๐Ÿ™‚ If fact, I think it was right before your 3rd blogiversary!

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