This week marks ten years of blogging for me and Bower Power. WOW (!!!). A DECADE. That’s insane to think about. That’s ten years. 3650 days. That is 2300 posts. Seriously. It feels like just last month I decided to start this little online journal of improvements and thoughts and ideas and plans. Time flies when you are having fun, right?! And apparently I did. I really did. And I still do. And a large part of that is YOU. You guys are the lifeline behind the blog….I want to make sure I say that upfront. Thank you for being such a huge part in this journey. I can’t tell you that enough.
So in celebration of this big week, I thought today I would share a little history this week…a couple days to take a look back. A blast from the past if you will. This week I have a lot to share….where we came from and then also later share what the future may hold…pivotal moments in my blog life and then also what I would love to see in the next ten years! Let’s just get started….
The story of how I became a blogger is very simple. I didn’t know a single soul in real life that had a blog and I had read a handful of blog posts TOTAL from various people about everything under the sun….home improvement, gardening, fashion, etc. But it was interesting! It was new! It felt really honest and fresh. This was before Pinterest, before Instagram, and Facebook had just opened it’s doors to all. Home inspiration was found mainly in magazines, catalogs and books. To get inspired or educated from another non-professional individual felt really good. That’s the only way I could explain it. It just felt plain refreshing to see the mess-ups…the halfway done projects….the thoughts that went behind the plans. It was a stark contrast to the single before photo and single after photo in magazines. It’s like this weird peek into a neighbors house every day. And getting to hear their thoughts. Blogging was the way to add a person back into a home. And that’s what I was really craving.
Jeremy and I were newlyweds, renovating our first home and to be perfectly honest, we did not really know what we were doing. So to share that online was more like a confessional rather than a how-to. We were changing things rapidly in our home (no kids meant that we had lots of time for DIY and fun stuff! Our favorite thing to do was to go to the lake on the weekends and wakeboard.
THAT feels like a lifetime ago….I mean….I can’t remember the last time I wore a two piece! HA!
It was a completely different mindset. We were super young, super skinny, super energetic. The only decorating experience either of us had was Jeremy’s apartment. I would show up with different things from Goodwill or the Pier 1 clearance store and try to make our meager pennies stretch as far as humanly possible. When we were dating, Jeremy was broke for a good portion of that time (he will probably be embarrassed that I said that but it’s true). He had moved to Georgia to be with me and took a job as a loan officer. The month after he took that job, the housing market bubble burst.
But we had enough to make it work. He found a new job, we saved and made the apartment super homey while we dated and worked and took all our money to pay for a down payment on a house. That house was such a special place to us. It was OURS. And making it even more our own was a labor of love and joy.
Maybe some of you think that we started Bower Power to be a DIY blog….but that’s not the case. I started it because I was afraid of annoying Jeremy with all my thoughts about EVERYTHING. I knew he wouldn’t want to hear about my fashion ideas. Or see my moodboards with black and white clothing. I knew he wouldn’t be interested in the recipes or the photos or the pictures I took all the time. I used it as a release for my brain….and also to keep in touch with out of town relatives. If they wanted to know about the house, I could just let them read the posts….it wasn’t on me to bore them out of their minds with drywall info unless they wanted it.
We lived a completely different lifestyle then with different priorities and different responsibilities. It was a different world then too. George W. Bush was president. iPhones were rare. Brett had just broken up with the Packers. Twilight was still a book and not a movie. And Britney Spears was the most searched term on Yahoo. Things in 2008 were not the same as today…both online and in real life. In real life, we could go to Disney World with family and not change a single diaper.
In our home, we spent a lot of time learning how to work together. We actually did a lot of work on the house even before I started the blog. The passion to do the work came first. We even started taking photos of the spaces before I had discovered any other blogs. It seemed like the only obvious thing to do was to post all about it together in one space….called Bower Power.
So I began. My first post was two sentences…no photo. It was titled “Introductions”. The irony is that I wrote it to my mom and to ‘all you others’….both of which were not present at the time. I didn’t tell my mom about the blog until months later….and yeah…I’m fairly certain that for at least a year I had maybe seven total readers. But the point was – I did it. I put myself out there and for me…that was a huge thing.
Posting online felt very simple….putting up a few pictures, writing a sentence or two and BOOM. It wasn’t intended to be a business or to make me money or even to get followers or comments (although ALL of those things are nice)….it was just to get the thoughts out. To squeeze the sponge if you will. The flow was outward. It was things on my brain…not curated or well thought out….it was like writing a diary…not a website with an audience. And yes….it was weird, immature and raw and at times politically incorrect…even offensive.
Some of those earliest posts are embarrassing…like my Ode to Bacon (yes, there is a poem to pork on my blog) or they were even borderline mean….where no one was safe from being made fun of (I considered myself an equal opportunity jokester)….but some of those posts remind me to check my pride at the door. There wasn’t a Bower Power brand and my voice was still changing….kinda like blog puberty. I say all of this because I want you to understand that even though I have a lot that I am really proud of professionally….that the thing that I’m most proud of is my online friends. That is you. The Bower Power community….the ones that have joined ten days ago and also ten years ago….the ones that encourage and lift up and are kind and understand that I don’t have it all together…that I am most proud of having you in my life. SO THANK YOU. Thank you for going on this journey with me. Thank you for being there when things get weird. Thank you for standing with me ten years in and still being such a source of joy. You are the Power behind Bower Power. Truly you are.
And for all of you OG’s – my original gangsters…..here is a little flashback to the original website in all it’s cartoon glory….
It was blue and green and black with clouds and butterflies and a little bird. Back then we were on Blogspot and had super tiny photos 🙂 The best part of seeing this blast from the past is knowing that this week, we are unveiling a completely redesigned blog. I am very excited about it and feel like it is high time I share a website that really is easier to navigate! I know how frustrating our blog is right now. It irritates even me! So stay tuned to see that soon.
So now that you know where we came from….are you ready for more? I have a list of my top ten blog moments in the last ten years….wanna take any guesses what they are? I had a ton of fun compiling the list….come back tomorrow to see!