Dear lovely readers,
This post is for you. It is a thank you note for visiting Calm Cradle. Whether you're a regular, occasional or first-time reader, you inspire me! Thank you!
Nine months after launching my blog and shop—don’t forget my little shop, which I’ll be updating soon—I’m happy to report that my readership has grown, and continues to grow, well beyond my expectations. I'm also happy to report that life with two babies is beginning to fall into more dependable patterns, allowing me to carve out a bit more time for regular blogging. (So what if I've pulled together 90 percent of these posts while feeding the baby?)
It's always a little surprising to see which posts receive the most hits. Sometimes they are the ones closest to my heart (people love photos of my girls, which makes me smile) and other times they are things I pulled together quickly just to keep some momentum going. Oh, and it seems readers can't get enough of DIY posts. Regardless of which posts are most popular, I'm thrilled to have a venue for sharing some photos and ideas that would otherwise remain tucked away on a hard drive or in a notebook.
As the end of the year draws closer, I'd like to share some goals I'm formulating for the upcoming holidays and 2013. (The crisp fall air is giving me a kick in the pants to get organized for exciting holiday-related posts!)
So here goes:
1) Be more deliberate in selecting subjects for posting. Until now I've given myself license to write posts on whatever sounds interesting and manageable given my primary job as a full-time mom. I'm still going to do that but am also going to try to be more mindful in varying the posts between portraits, DIY, nature photography, home projects, travel and random motherhood musings. In doing so, I hope to keep you reading regardless of which types of posts are your favorites. I even created an editorial calendar (I know, I know—so professional.)
2) Focus on writing "my love letter to my family." In my post last Valentine's Day, I wrote: "Despite the specific reasoning for each home improvement task we take on, I now consider all of them words or phrases that make up the ongoing love letter my husband and I are writing to our family. That thought makes it all worthwhile, because it’s our hope that the home we create will be our kids’ safest, happiest and most restful place on earth."
Sometimes I feel like my blog is all over the place with no common theme tying it together. But after reviewing nine months of posts, I realized that if I consider my blog a documentation of this "love letter," and this love letter includes not only the creation of our physical home but also the activities, surroundings and emotional support we offer our children as the broader perch from which they view the world, then this blog does indeed have a theme. Moving forward, I'll ask myself whether each post contributes to my broadened love letter—and whether it might inspire yours.
3) Post once or twice each week. I hope to post Mondays and either Wednesdays or Thursdays, so you'll have something to read during the week when you're procrastinating at your desk or need a breather from attending to kids. I'll take breaks during vacations, holidays and when my family is experiencing another plague, which seems to be every other day this time of year.
4) Spur comments, conversation and community. In my original welcome post, I wrote: "I’d love to start a dialogue on this blog about the process of creating nurseries and homes that serve as peaceful, thought-provoking refuges for our families." But in truth, I've been shy to try to strike up conversations with you; I'm afraid no one will participate. Now that I know—in an anonymous, statistical way—I have readers out there, I want to encourage you to speak up. Be the first to comment on a post to make others comfortable! Let's create a dialogue together.
Thank you, thank you for visiting Calm Cradle!
Above: Painter at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. (Captured with iPhone.)
Below: Hawk over pasture on Sunday morning. (Captured with iPhone.)
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.