Starting Somewhere

I've been dreaming about writing a blog for so long now, I don't even know how long it's been. OK, maybe I do.

Before I was even engaged, I was planning my wedding. I'll admit - I was that girl that always pictured her perfect day, but could never see the guy standing at the end of the aisle. And then I met him - and I knew. I wanted to start collecting ideas, so that I would be ready when he popped the question. That is how I found my very first blog: Erin from Blue Eyed Bride! She was in the process of planning her own wedding, sure to be gorgeous on every level. I started reading Erin's blog everyday, waiting to hear more about her wedding plans. She had a stunning wedding, and I loved how she shared the planning experience with her readers. Not long after she was married, Erin welcomed an adorable little boy into her world, and I've been following her story ever since! Erin's blog opened me up to so many more, and that was it - I became thoroughly obsessed with reading blogs!

After I was engaged, the wedding plans had 'officially' begun. I couldn't get enough: wedding magazines, wedding books...wedding BLOGS. There were so many! I was keeping track of everything in my big ol' wedding binder, and loved seeing all the creative ideas, thoughts and pictures the internet had to offer.

Not long after my engagement, my brother passed away unexpectedly. My world was turned upside down. I was grieving, and trying to make sense of my new reality. My biggest struggle was trying to understand my range of emotions, and to comprehend the grief my parents were feeling. Through several of the blogs I had been following, I heard of Cora's Story. I read Jess's blog from start to finish, and cried as she wrote about losing her baby girl. I started to read Jess's blog everyday, and then found other people with similar stories. And although my story was so different than theirs, I found solace in their writing. Jess, and so many others, could so eloquently describe my feelings of grief, and they gave me a glimpse of what my parents were going through, too. Thousands of people were praying for these children, and they were so grateful, so gracious, so strong in their faith.... It may sound silly, but I felt less alone.

A year later, we were married. We bought a house, and I started to look around at what bloggers were doing for some ideas on how to decorate. The Lettered Cottage, Young House Love, Bower Power - these ladies (and gents!) had homes that needed some love, and were doing the most creative things - on a budget! I loved it! I checked out their favorite bloggers, and my blog list just kept growing! We started to renovate our home, and I started pulling out all my favorites posts. "well, YHL did this when they renovated their living room," and "you have to see what Layla did in her bedroom": my husband thought I was a crazy! I found so much inspiration and encouragement on these home decor/lifestyle blogs.

Not long after our wedding, we found out we were expecting our first baby. A baby! The day I took that pregnancy test, I was planning the nursery in my head. Of course, I had a whole Google Reader favorites to consult - all the nurseries I had seen & loved, were saved right there! Erika's nursery, Erin's nursery, Sadie's Nursery - all of these were inspiration for my own. I referenced all my favorite blogs for product reviews, cloth diapering advice, nursing advice - you name it! All of these girls had so graciously shared their experiences on the internet, and I pulled from all of them whenever I could.

And now, I'm ready to share our journey. Our home, our family, our DIY projects - the good, the bad, and the wonderful. Earning Our Stripes: I thought the title was appropriate. We're not experts, on anything we do. But maybe our story, or our home, could inspire someone too?

I hope you'll join me on this journey!