Happy first anniversary to FencedInMomma.com!  Looks like I need to by myself something with a paper theme to document this occasion; why paper for the first year anyways?  I feel like it should be something worth much more… something shiny perhaps.

I’ll tell ya what, this past year flew by.  I’m beyond grateful to everyone who follows along with this little blog, and am so excited for another year of growth and writing.  I knew this would be a perfect outlet for me, but I didn’t realize I’d learn so much about myself, and others, along the way.

Here’s what I’ve learned this past year of blogging.

Writing things down helps!

I was always stuck in my head before I started blogging.  I worried about so much stuff, most of it trivial.  Things would get stuck in my mind, and then I’d keep circling back to the same thoughts.  I was never really able to let some things go.  Well, I’m happy to report, writing it down, and putting things out into the universe has done wonders for my stress and worries.  I’ve started grasping the idea that I can’t control everything, so why should I worry about it?  Maybe this blog even saved me a few wrinkles?

My Kids are WAY Funnier than I thought.

You know how sometimes your kids say things that just drive you crazy?!  Well, obviously I get that and experience this more often than not.  Now that I think about my blog in the back of my mind, some of these non-sense comments actual make me laugh, instead of cringe.  Yes, it’s not appropriate to do and say half of the things my three year old likes to do in grocery stores, but at least now I can think, “well, I sure hope I’m not alone in this,” when it happens.

The daughter has learned comedic timing over the course of the year which has definitely made my job as “momma” a lot more fun.  Every now and then she will say something that makes me laugh, pause, and then ask if I’ll be writing it in my blog.  What?!  I didn’t even know she knew so much about this blog, but clearly she is always listening.  Thank goodness she can’t read yet and doesn’t have access to wifi.

Most parents are a lot more alike than not.

It’s so easy to focus on all of our differences as people and as parents.  I used to think how different everyone seemed, and felt very out of the parenting loop.  I assumed most parents had more of their stuff together than I did.  Luckily, I’ve learned this isn’t really the case.  I LOVE the fact that so many parents have reached out to me, for one reason or another, and have shared similar stories to my own.  It’s been great relating so easily to other parents.  There’s a community that is being built through Fenced In Momma that is so refreshing!  Thank goodness for people who embrace not being perfect and all their flaws, along with their accomplishments.

It’s okay to have a bad day.

Right?!  We all have them and they just make the good days that much better.

I can do this; I am more than “just a mom.”

Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is a full time job right now, and I’m mostly enjoying it.  I do have to admit though, having something for me besides caring for children is SUPER nice.  It’s refreshing to have a side project that I can call my own, and do what I want to do with.  It’s like I’ve grown some wings and have started leaving the nest a bit.

You learn more about who your true friends and support systems are when you start something new.

This one was, and is, still a very hard lesson for me to learn.  I guess I’ve been supporting so many friends and family members over the years, that I just assumed the same would be done for me.  We all know what assuming does, and let me tell you firsthand, it is an accurate statement.  I’ve learned a lot, and I can see now who genuinely cares, and who really isn’t so interested.  It’s okay, and honestly, it’s a good lesson for me to learn sooner than later.  I’m going to keep being true to me and I’ll keep being as supportive as I always have been.

With that said, thank you to everyone who follows along, engages, and helps make me feel like what I am doing matters.  It is the best feeling in the world to hear from friends and new friends their thoughts and feelings on the blog, life, and topics that come up.  I love feeling like I have a voice and can help other parents who are going through similar things in their lives.

We are all in this together, right?!

With all the excitement I have over this one year anniversary, I want to share in this with everyone!

I’m running a promotion through my Facebook Fan Page, @FencedInMomma today through Monday.  Anyone who likes my page, likes my post on the giveaway, and comments about something they like about my blog:  ie. favorite blog post, favorite thing about following along, why you like the blog, what you’d like to read more about, etc., will be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card.  Who couldn’t use $50 to shop with online, right?  I am looking forward to reading all the comments, and I will pick a winner on Monday evening by randomly selecting a name from all the entries.

Thanks again for all your support!  Looking forward to another year of laughter, honesty, and growth with this little hobby of mine!  Cheers!

**The Facebook contest is in no way associated with, endorsed, or promoted by Facebook or Amazon.com.  Winner will be posted on site and messaged for an email address to send the gift certificate to.  Ends 4/24.