It is hard for me to believe that on August 31st of this year the little blog that could will be turning two!! To some that is maybe not such a huge deal, but for me, well I count it as one of my biggest accomplishments. Right up there with childbirth it is. :-) I first thought about starting a blog almost three years ago. I tossed the idea around for bit, but it wasn’t until a conversation with a friend in January 2011 that I got serious. That friend was blogging at the time and I admired her style, her sense of self. She inspired me to go for it. The next step was to start writing. I did that by doing a few reviews for other blogs. That itself was an interesting journey. The one I am most proud of was way over the word limit the first time I presented it to the blog owner and even after a couple of revisions I knew I would be hard pressed to stifle the yakker in me. If you are at all interested you can check out that review HERE at ThemeParkMom Leigh Caldwell’s site. You could say that Leigh gave me my start and I will always be grateful. ♥
Shortly after that I bit the bullet and put my research into action by opening my first free blog on WordPress. That didn’t last a day before I was paying to upgrade to owning my domain. It is not expensive at all and it gave me a little more to be proud of. :-) I had already determined my blog’s name several months ago. It came to me very easily and after market testing it for a predetermined time frame ( my friends at lunch one day ) I knew it was the one for me. Some may think that having the Mouse in my name limits me to just being a Disney blog, but I don’t agree. A blog is like writing your autobiography. The story is yours to tell. Yours to shape, yours to change, yours to define. I will always be a lover of all things Mouse, but I am also so much more then that.
Even after doing some reviews I thought I knew the direction my blog would take. I was pretty sure I just wanted a place to write, to share my love of Disney and to document my kid’s exploits as they grew. It actually even followed that path for the first several months and then I was bitten by the Social Media bug. I started to invest more time into MapleMouseMama, more energy. I asked my blogger friends how they were making money with their blogs, getting big brand names to send them things to review. I even started to dream about a having my own business cards, LOL. :-) (You can see how that turned out HERE. ) Then my radar went all crazy when I first learned that I could potentially be invited to an exclusive blogging conference in Walt Disney World. That would be the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Suddenly I wanted more for my blog. I guess you could say I have not looked back since then. No, I can’t quit my day job to be a full time blogger, but I can continue to learn and grow until that happens.
I define the success of MapleMouseMama in several ways, not the least of which is the technical stuff I have learned. I have had help along the way ( thank you Janice ) and support galore ( have to shout out to my mama, and aunts Gemma and Brenda here), but I am truly proud of what I have done on my own. From the more simple things like designing the layout to the more advanced like creating my logo, my button and pretty much anything widget related, LOL. I have yet to tackle the biggest challenge, becoming self hosted, but that may be on the horizon yet. MapleMouseMama has caused me to grow beyond anything I could have imagined two years ago.♥
I am truly proud of this little blog and all that is held within it. I am proud of myself. Yup, I can say that out loud! I look forward to new challenges as we head into year three. One in particular has me totally restless with anticipation. My first Social Media conference, Blissdom Canada 2013! Stay tuned for more details on that later. In the meantime I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read what I have to say. Thank you for leaving complimentary remarks and thoughtful suggestions. Thank you for sharing my posts on your own pages and groups. Thank you for hanging in there as my view grew to include Food Allergies, among other things. Thank you for your support. I could not have done it without you. ♥♥
I want to give a special thank you to my daughter Emily and my husband Doug. Their love and support has been a lifeline at times and a comfort always. William is a little too young to understand this stuff yet, but he has been a source of inspiration and many laughs in this blog. ♥♥♥
To sum this all up, Happy Birthday to me, MapleMouseMama. :-) To celebrate this, it is time for a giveaway!! What better way to share my joy and show my appreciation then to offer up a lovely prize pack to my lovely readers. I promise it will be a good one to, but you will need to stay tuned just a little longer. :-) Check back later today, August 25th to see what is up for grabs, what amazing bloggers / creators are contributing and just how you can enter. I promise it is worth waiting for.