Ten years ago today, I started a blog.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about that fateful day over this last year. I don’t want to put too much of an emphasis on it, but at the same time, I feel like it should be acknowledged. Ten years is a long time to do anything.
The thing is…ten years ago, I was in a really bad place. Looking back, I would say that it was the worst place I have ever been in. Six weeks before, on June 25, I had miscarried our first baby after an already long road of infertility. I was sad, probably a little depressed, angry, lonely, hurt, confused and just not happy. I worked in a job that I hated, I didn’t feel like I had very many friends (we had only lived in McKinney about a year at that point), I came home at night and was by myself a lot because Andrew was working so hard building our business…it was just a really dark time for me. Two of my friends at church had blogs, and I started reading them pretty regularly. They each had kids, so that’s pretty much what their blogs were about. I didn’t have kids…but the idea to blog sounded interesting to me. I thought about it for a while and decided just to sit down and do it one day.
Step one: create a name for your blog.
I remember exactly where I was sitting in my old house when I typed Shull Family Blogspot into the title. I typed it with a whole lot of FAITH AND HOPE. You see…we were a family of two plus a teacup Yorkie, but when I typed those words it was with the prayer that one day we would have a family. I was hopeful. (Later, I would rename my blog Mix and Match Mama.)
So, on August 3, 2007…I published my first post with the anticipation that no one but my dad would read it.
And a lot has happened over the last 10 years.
Allow me just a moment on my 10 year anniversary to indulge in a little reminiscing. A lot has changed (both good and bad) and a lot of crazy things have happened over the last 10 years…
I used to pride myself on not being on any form of social media. (I didn’t join Facebook until the fall of 2011.) And now, well, I live on social media.
I finally became pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
And just a few months later, God surprised me with a little boy too.
I did not enjoy being pregnant. I regret that I didn’t after all I went through to get pregnant…but it was hard for me. I was very sick and it really sucked all of the joy out of the experience for me.
My brother became the Bachelor.
My feet have touched the ground in 27 countries over the last 10 years.
I got braces and had to wear them for almost two years.
I spent my birthday with Chris Harrison.
I moved twice.
I did three years of speech and myofunctional therapy.
I made the best friends a girl could ever ask for.
I adopted a beautiful baby girl from China.
I got to cook with Paula Deen in her own kitchen.
Rats invaded the inside of my house for one month.
I started a travel agency.
I had my tonsils removed.
I authored five cookbooks.
I adopted a second beautiful baby girl.
I have cooked on Today.
I stood outside the Oval Office.
Manda is gone.
It’s been 10 years filled with ups and downs. Happy days and dark days. I’m actually crying while I’m typing this because it’s all very emotional. To document your life for 10 years and then look back at it is kind of hard. You see how much things change and you know that it’s all going to change some more over the next 10 years. Life is complicated.
I had no idea what my blog would be about when I started it 10 years ago today. I think overtime, it’s morphed into what some would call a lifestyle blog. It’s a blog about…my life. What we do, where we go, what we eat, who we love, what we see and how we live. Back ten years ago, so many of the blogs I read were mommy blogs where people came together to kind of commiserate about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. And while I appreciate those sites, that was never my intention here. Of course life is hard. Whose life isn’t? Life is challenging, days are yucky, kids are annoying, marriages aren’t perfect, families don’t always get along…I feel like that applies to all of us. But that was never what I wanted to blog about. I wanted my little corner of the internet to be happy. I wanted positive, uplifting vibes because no matter how bad my day has been (and trust me, I have really bad days), I feel very grateful and blessed and have always wanted to remain upbeat. I try really hard not to be negative on here.
When people ask me what’s the one thing I love the most about blogging my answer is always the same…the people.
If I’ve learned anything over the last 10 years it’s this: people are good.
The comments, emails, messages and cards that I receive overwhelm me. You ladies are sweet. You are kind. You are thoughtful and sincere. You love me. You love my family. You are good. And I am more blessed by you than I could ever say. You have prayed for us, you have loved on us, you have encouraged and lifted us up. You have blessed us. Thank you.
I mean…there’s no way that I’m still blogging in twenty, right? That sounds insane! Ha! I’m just going to savor today. I am overwhelmed that the Lord could take such a dark time in my life and use it as the foundation for something this beautiful.
God can do anything, you know-far more than you could imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. – Ephesians 3:20
God used this blog to do things that I never could have imagined. When I started 10 years ago, I never in a million years could have dreamed it would one day be a platform for things like adoption.
But He did.
How cool is that?
So, how should we celebrate today? With a HUGE giveaway!
I’ve once again teamed up with Nordstrom and am doing something I’ve never done before. Something worthy of a 10 year celebration. I’m going to share my favorite beauty picks right now from Nordstrom for this fall (hello, MAC mascara!!) and then I’m going to knock your socks off with my giveaway. Sound like a deal?
So, I am a self-proclaimed beauty junkie. I love looking at makeup/bath/hair products and trying new ones. You girls know this about me. I’m always trying different products…but then there are some things that are so tried and true that I will never try anything else. Case in point…
This is the reigning queen of mascara in my opinion. Years ago, I was standing in my mother-in-law’s house and my sister-in-law walked in and I just knew she was using a lash enhancer or something because her lashes were gorgeous! But nope, she said she was just using this stuff. I immediately ordered it and have never looked back. It lengthens, thickens and does everything magical you want a mascara to do. IT IS PERFECT! I heart MAC for all of their fun/quirky/vibrant colors and palette…but I realllllly love them for this mascara. (And psssst: my top is HERE.)
Besides my beloved mascara, here are some of my other favorite beauty products right now. And bonus! They all transition from summer to fall. #winning
#1: I told you guys that while we were in New York, my mother-in-law insisted that I try her Lancome primer and now, I just can’t live without it. It’s both dewy and matte at the same time. Don’t know how that happens…but it does and it’s fantastic!
#2: I am currently obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. Below, I have some pics of these three particular colors. They go on perfectly and stay on. Plus, I just think the colors are really pigmented and very pretty.
#3: Lacome waterproof eye liner. I bought this last summer because it was waterproof but now, I wear it every single day because it goes on smooth and stays put all day long. #amen I use the cafe color but it comes in 22 other colors too.
#4: Bobbi Brown’s Natural Brow Shaper. You swipe it on and your brows stay in place. I use the blonde color. This stuff is gold!
#5: This is a new one for me! When we were in New York, the makeup artist that fixed me up before Today pulled this out instead of a foundation. Typically when they’re doing my makeup for TV, they pull out the thick/high definition/caked on foundation for me, but this girl pulled out this Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream and it was glorious!! Just a little dab (I’m talking pea-sized) gave me a smooth finish with a hint of color. I was in love. It covers but is not heavy. I bought it in Light Neutral.
#6: I read in a magazine one time that if you only owned one eye shadow it should be MAC’s in Sable. So, I’ve always had it on hand and it really does work with everything. It’s just the nicest light brownish color with just a hint of frost (not too frosty…just enough to give it a healthy sheen). It’s always in my makeup drawer and often my go-to!
#7: MAC’s Haute & Naughty Mascara. I always buy it in black.
#8: The old concealer that I used to love is no longer made (why do they stop making great products?!?!), so I went into Nordstrom and asked the nice lady what I should be using instead and she said NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (I bought it in Biscuit). Friends, this stuff is a-mazing! It goes on so nice and smooth, covers blemishes and dark circles…but what I really love about it is that it brightens up under my eyes. This is a great concealer!!
And before we wrap up and I tell you what our big giveaway is…here’s a look at those three Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks that I love so much…
Aren’t they all three so pretty? They’re my new faves!
And just for fun, here are some of my other favorite beauty products that I’ve mentioned throughout the years. Just scroll and click…
So, today in honor of my big 10 YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY, thanks to great sponsorships with people like Nordstrom, it is possible for me to giveaway some great prizes. Huge prizes. Fun prizes. Spectacular prizes. And I’m pretty sure today’s is my all-time very favorite.
Here we go.
Enter to win today and…
That’s right! One lucky winner will win a $3000 gift card for our travel agency to apply towards a vacation to Walt Disney World, a cruise, or Mexican all-inclusive departing in 2018.
How fun is that?!?!?!
This offer is valid to US citizens only residing in the States and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 8th!
Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
Okay, that wraps up post number 3,372.
I mean…that’s a lot of posts, right?
I am going to leave this post up right here until Monday, so this is me saying have a good weekend and I will see you next week.
From the BOTTOM of my heart, I cannot thank you enough for stopping by here each and every day. You have made these last 10 years more fun than I ever could have imagined. I cherish our friendship so much. I’m so thankful for YOU. I know you are all busy ladies and the fact that you take a couple of minutes every day to stop by here and see what I’m up to means more to me than you will ever know. I LOVE YOU GIRLS!!!! Thank you so much for making these last 10 years so much fun!!!!
(And if you do not have social media accounts, don’t worry! One of the entry options is to receive my daily emails. You can sign up for that HERE!)