Today marks four years that I pressed “LIVE” on this little blog! Truth was, we had been building it for months prior but no one knew anything about it until our official launch date – January 8th, 2015!
I had no clue what I was doing. Like ZERO idea. I had a concept, a friend design me a blog and a handful of topics I thought might interest people and so I jumped. Both feet in. Took a massive leap of faith and went public with Amidst the Chaos!
While blogging isn’t anything today like it was back then (Instagram was still an up and coming platform that was very organic in search, reach and discovery), I can remember still feeling hopeful about the possibilities that COULD be.
It was very much unchartered territory for me. I had no friends who were bloggers and had very few friends involved in the digital space other than Facebook. How on earth I was going to turn this little corner of the internet into a profitable business was such a pipe dream and the truth was that I had no idea how to do it.
But I still went for it. I was battling postpartum depression and I desperately needed an outlet to share with others. I needed something that was truly MINE after a 10 year career had ended and now I was a stay-at-home mom to three kids under the age of four. I had lost my identity and was desperate to find some purpose in contributing to the world at large.
I slowly started to make connections on Instagram and Facebook. One new friend would lead to another and soon enough I was part of various blogging groups, tribes and had built a social network around me of other women also sharing their lives online. Of course when that many women get involved, it’s safe to say that drama soon follows. I’ve had my fair share of “blogger drama” and heartbreak. I’ve realized that I’m just as disposable as the last blogger to some and once money gets involved, you really must be careful because the hate WILL come.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined sitting here today, four years later, in the position that I am in and it’s all thanks to this blog and to those who support it. When I say that this space has changed our family’s life, I quite literally mean it.
I don’t like to talk about money and while some bloggers will post their monthly earnings, I’ve always been raised to be a good steward of my money and that includes keeping that kind of stuff to myself. But what I will share is that when I first launched Amidst the Chaos, we were living paycheck to paycheck. Actually, it was even worse than that – we frequently had to ask my parents for help with things. Many times when they would come to visit us, they’d bring a month’s worth of groceries to stock our freezer with, they’d buy all the kids snowsuits and boots and most of their outfits. They would always pay for our family to join them on vacation once a year in Florida. They were VERY involved in our financial situation because it was just really difficult after I had lost my job, we moved to the Toronto area and had added a third child to the bills.
Chris and I were talking the other day, reminiscing about the early days of the blog and he reminded me of a conversation we once had where he said “Imagine if you could make X amount of dollars one day with this blog.” I scoffed out loud and said “NEVER!” because truthfully at the time, I had made $40 on my one and only campaign reviewing vitamins. It was a VERY slow start. In fact the first two years of the blog I didn’t make enough money to claim anything on my taxes after some write-offs. But this last year, we DOUBLED that amount that Chris first mentioned in revenue. It was a crazy year where I still sit and pinch myself wondering how on earth I got to this point with this blog, where it went from a hope and prayer that anyone would even want to read it to becoming a full time, primary income earner for our family.
But income aside, the experiences that we’ve had the privilege to experience are things my kids would have NEVER been able to have done had it not been for this blog. We’ve travelled to places I would have never been able to take them due to lack of money and opportunity. This coming weekend for example, we are going away to a ski resort where we are all getting free ski lessons! My kids have never done that…and likely never would if it weren’t for Amidst the Chaos. It’s shaped their childhood and while I know there might be a day coming soon where they may not want to be a part of it, there isn’t a week that goes by where at least one of the kids stops and exclaims “THANK YOU MOM FOR YOUR BLOG!” #truestory
I don’t say ANY of that to brag…rather to reflect from such a grateful and humbled heart. My life has completely changed in four years and it’s because of YOU. It’s because of the readers, the followers, the people who come back day after day to eat up what we are dishing out.
Sure, there’s been missteps along the way. There’s been things that given the chance I’d gladly do differently. There’s been conversations I’ve been a part of that I’m not proud of, there’s been campaigns I’ve taken that I didn’t truly love or believe in and there’s been times where I’ve hidden some deep truths about myself and my family because I was too ashamed to admit them in fear of being judged. We are all imperfect beings.
And that’s been a beautiful part about this space – we’ve been allowed to grow and evolve and learn, becoming better people for it. Our prayer is that you’ve also grown, evolved and learned by journeying with us. Our hope is that people who leave Amidst the Chaos are inspired to live better, to be better and to do better – NOT to be PERFECT, but better than they were before.
That’s our hope for 2019 as we head into our fifth year of blogging – to continue to learn, grow and evolve together with you! We hope that the best is still to come. We pray that there are even better, brighter days ahead. And we pray that God will continue to expand our reach in order that more lives can be inspired to live their best versions of themselves, while allowing themselves grace and love for the times that they may fail.
We love you all and we are so thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. You’ve really changed our lives.
Love & Blessings,