I can't believe that I wrote my very first post for All Things Beautiful a year ago today. This time last year, I had the idea for starting a blog but was unsure about actually putting myself out there. I write from a personal place and there is a level of vulnerability that comes with sharing your life on the internet. But deep down I knew I had a life worth sharing; a beautiful life that I wanted to capture with words. And so All Things Beautiful was born and it's been a fun journey ever since.
It's really cool to see how far my little blog has come in just one year! I love being able to inspire, challenge, and encourage others through my writing. Blogging has morphed from a hobby to a passion and now I can't imagine not being a blogger! Another exciting part of this blogging journey over the past year has been the connections, collaborations, and partnerships formed with other talented bloggers and creatives. Only on the internet could you find people you have never met but you've felt like you've known forever! I can't imagine my blogging life without all the wonderful and inspiring men and women I've been able to interact with over the past year. Not only did I have some awesome guest posts on my blog this past year, but I also had the honor of being a guest poster for bloggers that I really respect.
I've loved seeing my blog grow and grow, especially in the last few months when I really decided to be serious about consistent and intentional blogging. And I know that wouldn't be possible without my readers! If you know me "in real life" and click over here from Facebook: THANK YOU! If we are Twitter friends and you visit my blog after I tweet a link: THANK YOU! If you are one of my lovely followers through Google Friend Connect: THANK YOU! If you get All Things Beautiful updates delivered to your inbox: THANK YOU! To everyone who has shared my link, re-tweeted one of my posts, left a comment, sent me an encouraging email or Facebook message: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You make blogging all the sweeter and I appreciate the support.
So typically what people do on their blogaversaries is highlight some of their favorite or most popular blog posts from the past year. I thought I would do something similar, but with a twist. I decided to ask what the favorite posts were of the people who have been most supportive of my blog: My husband, my parents, my sisters, and my best friend. I asked each of them to pick one post that they really loved and their answers actually surprised me! And it was fascinating to see which posts resonated with each person. The result is a great reflection of All Things Beautiful over the past year through the eyes of my favorite people.
Husband's Favorite: What's In a Name?
I’m so proud to say that we took each other’s last names. Our name was forged out of our love and admiration for each other. Talk about romance! I love my husband and I love his family. I take it as a serious honor to have their family name as part of mine. But I also love my family and my heritage. I am proud of where I’ve come from. Especially because our kids are going to be multiracial, I want them to love and accept every part of who they are. The last name we’ve created will be passed on to them and will reflect their rich and beautiful heritage.Mom's Favorite: Revenge of the Boy Bands
I take boy bands very seriously. I was in middle school during the golden age of bubblegum pop music and middle school has been scientifically proven to be the point in a girl’s development where she is most susceptible to become rabidly obsessed with young, harmonizing heartthrobs. With their hair parted dangerously down the middle and an unlimited supply of coordinating outfits, boy bands had the perfect amount of PG-rated sex appeal. What choice did I have but to become a devout follower of the Holy Trinity of boy bands? (That would be the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and 98 Degrees. I can’t believe you even had to ask.)Dad's Favorite: Lessons from a Newlywed, Part Four - Show Some Grace
Grace isn't determined by the person who receives it, but by the person who gives it. I had a choice to make. I could either punish my husband by exploiting his pain to make myself feel better. Or, I could show him grace. Stop yelling and start listening. Stop prying and start praying. Stop pushing him away and start pulling him closer.Little Sister's Favorite: If I Were Being Honest
If I were being honest...Baby Sister's Favorite: Between Black and White
I would say that I have faith. I really do. Deep down in the caverns, hiding in the darkness. There is a faith that knows that something brilliant is waiting for me. I feel it sometimes, in my dreams and in my bones. This pull towards the next chapter in my life.But for now, can I really complain? It's true, I've never been more confused than in this moment. But I've also never been happier. Funny how that happens, right? Even in the crisis, God makes all things beautiful.
In the fight against racism, there can never be too many advocates. It takes understanding and respect on everyone's part in order to combat something so pervasive in our society. Biracial people need to be open to talking about privilege, power, and the politics of racism. It may be uncomfortable, but any change we hope to see in the world starts with a look at ourselves.Best Friend's Favorite: Cashmere Mercy
And then. All of a sudden I'm wrapped up in the arms of a cashmere mercy. Luxurious and warm and comfortable and extravagant. I can't afford it. I don't deserve it. And yet I'm unmistakably clothed in it.My dirty rags are thrown into the fire. They are ashes. And I don't remember what they feel like. I'm clean-slated. Proven innocent when the evidence says otherwise. Released when I should be imprisoned.And this cashmere mercy feels so good against my skin. And I never want to forget what it's like to be tangled in it. And I never want to forget the One who won't let me go.And there is glory. Always, there is glory.
And even though I didn't think I would be able to pick a favorite...
My Favorite: A Love Letter to my Body
I look in the mirror and I don't see perfection. But I see you. And that's enough for me. And I have this husband now. He looks at you and smiles at you and wants you and praises you and affirms all the things about you that I should have known all along: that you are wonderful and rebellious and strong and unmistakeably beautiful.
This body. My body. That was formed from dust and breath and love. We have only just begun.
Now I'm excited for the next year and the years to come as I blog my way through this beautiful life of mine. I want to continue to write from the heart. I want to continue to build relationships with other bloggers and creatives. I want to continue to speak up for what I love and what I believe in. And ultimately I want to be continue to be bold, have faith, and embrace beauty.
Thank you for celebrating my one year blogaversary with me. It truly is a happy birthday.