Monday, 30 December 2013

a letter for you

Hello lovely readers,

This post is just for you. In some ways, all of the things I share here are for you, but this one is especially for you. Let me explain. You see, I love the way that blogging provides me with a way of recording the moments in life that I want to remember. It's a brilliant tool for storing recipes and creative ideas, and it's a way of documenting the beauty that I see around me every day. But the thing is with writing a blog, is that everything I write is out there for all the world to see, and from the blogs that I follow, I have seen how wonderful the impact of sharing a little bit of life online can be. Blogging can foster community, and I think that this makes the process and time that goes into blogging seem so much more worthwhile - when a blog becomes a space where conversations happen, where inspiration is found and where encouragement is given. In my sidebar, there is a picture of a chair, and the words,

 'come sit a while and have a little read...'

I suppose my hope for this blog has been that you, dear readers, would come and visit the space I have created here, sit a while with a mug of your favourite hot beverage in hand, and feel like you're sharing a little bit of life with a friend. But can I be honest with you? When I look at the content of my posts, I don't feel like this is a place where I would come and sit with a big mug of coffee, because for the most part, I write about baking with a sprinkling of life thrown in between. And I feel that's all I'm really giving you - the sprinkles on top of a cake instead of the beauty of the cake as a whole - with a perfect sponge to sink your teeth into, topped with just the right amount of frosting. For the most part, you, my readers, are a quiet bunch, and in all honesty, if I were to write from my heart, and put a lot of time and energy into sharing life in a little more depth, to speak to silent onlookers feels a little disheartening. And I feel that this contributes to the nature of my blogging being just about giving you the sprinkles on a cake, rather than the whole cake experience, to continue with that analogy.

As I begin live out this new season in my life of motherhood, and as a new year approaches, I have been thinking about the things I blog about, and what direction I should take in blogging over the next year. I would love to have a little bit of input from you, my readers. I have grown to love taking photos of food, and the more I have taken photos of my baked goods, the more I have enjoyed styling the photos to make them just a little bit more exciting. You see, I love to bake and cannot imagine that changing any time soon. I am aware that food and baking are the things that I blog about most frequently. And there is a part of me that feels there is value in keeping a visual and written record of what I make and bake, even if no-one who reads this blog ever feels inspired to make what I share, because I will always enjoy looking back at what I have baked each year, and challenging myself to vary the way that I style and photograph food.
So the way I see it, I could continue blogging about food, and leave it at that. But I can't help but wonder what you would like to read about when you visit my blog, and what it is that keeps you coming back. Would you like for me to continue sharing what I bake here? Would you be interested in me writing about other topics, like motherhood, or my faith, or experience in Early Years education? Perhaps there are a number of you who read this blog who had no idea that, for the last ten years, my studying and employment has been in Early Years Education. I have rarely talked about it here, as I have needed to protect the privacy of the families whom I have worked with. Now that I am taking a year long break from teaching, and am not directly involved in teaching any children, I feel that I could talk about Early Years Education without compromising my integrity as a teacher, if that might be of interest to you.

Can I invite you to join me in a little conversation in the comments section of this blog? If you have followed along with me here for a long time, but never commented, I would love to hear from you and what you are interested in. For those of you who do kindly take the time to comment here on a regular basis, can I say a huge Thank you? I really do value your generosity and encouragement offered through your words.

With kindness,

Hannah

10 comments:

  1. Hannah, thank you god your blog. I love reading it as it allows me time just yo stop and think a while. In the busyness of life that can be so hard, and I, for one often leave the beauty and wonder of the world in which we live, un- noticed. I live your photographs of the small easily missed things of the natural world - and for your thanksgivings of the joys of life- they prompt me to pause and evaluate my own journey and offer my own thanks to God. Your blogg is a very special ministry and I am blessed greatly by it! It will be exciting too to see Ruby grow as she develops into the little person God has made her to be. God bless Hannah and May you feel ever closer to Him as you and your family journey into 2014 xx

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    1. Clare, Thank you so much for the comment you left here - sorry it's taken me a while to respond! I really appreciate hearing what you enjoy about my blog, and I feel encouraged that my posts inspire you to offer thanks to God. He has given us such a wonderful world to enjoy, hasn't He?

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  2. Speaking as someone who has persistently failed to maintain a regular blog I understand a lot of what you say. It is the silent readership that can be the biggest disuassion to blog, although I'm obviously not a great contributor either.

    I think you'll find that your blog is keenly appreciated by those who read it, and I hope people will make the time and effort to comment here to let you know that.

    You write superbly, and it's been an exceptional experience, as a distant brother, to read about your experience of pregnancy over the last year. Also, your baking exploits are almost as exciting. I quite often make your recipes, or use them as inspiration for my own, and it's been fascinating to watch your development as a photographer of food.

    I think it would be a shame in many ways to lose this blog now as you enter a new phase of life and the adventure of parenthood, that is what I'm most looking forward to reading about, but it's understandable that you're reticent to continue, and I don't think any of us would condemn you for that!

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    1. Hey brother of mine, thank you for taking the time to respond to my post : )
      As much as I really wouldn't mind if people didn't try any of the recipes I share here, it's lovely to know that you do - I'd love to hear how you adapt them & how they turn out. (Here's to getting that family recipe website up and running one of these days to facilitate this!!)
      I guess in some ways this blog has come full circle in terms of me starting out blogging as a way of communicating with family - and now that Ruby is here, blogging is a very easy way of sharing her development with you. I feel like I am still trying to work out how much exposure I want to give her on the world wide web : ) In the meantime, we should Skype more!

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  3. I just can`t help, but I love your baking posts, they have their own beauty within, there is always something calming and homey about it. I love a good read (your blog offers them too) but I also love to unwind through simple inspiring food and baking posts and I like yours a lot :)...and then it will be such a fun thing to see your little Ruby girl grow and I through that there will also be a lot of new things that you will share that I´m looking forward to., many greetings, noni!

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    1. Noni, I am so pleased to have discovered your blog during the last year, and I am delighted that you enjoy mine too! I share in your enjoyment of unwinding through inspiring food and baking posts on other blogs, and I am delighted that you enjoy my blog for his reason : )
      I'm looking forward to seeing what beauty and baking this year holds for both of us!

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  4. First things first - I love your blog! You write so well, Hannah and take such creative photo's - I love your weekend link up, your photo walk posts, your 5 minute friday posts and I have loved seeing images of Rachel on here. Your baking is amazing and we have used a number of your recipes. I guess as a reader, I just love to read your journey in life through baking, creative writing, photo-journelling and now as a mother, I am intrigued to read how you find that and see lovely pictures of Ruby. Please don't stop blogging, dear friend - it is such a gift to read your writing accompanied with photo's! I hope your readers leave comments with their thoughts....

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    1. My friend, thank you for your kind words. It is such a joy to journey through life with you in person - there's nothing quite like good friends to enjoy life with. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, even though you have probably heard most of what I share here first hand!

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  5. You friend are a beautiful blogger, and I love your bravery in posting these questions and for letting us peek into your heart. Your food posts are so lovely! I would say {from experience} comparison is the thief of joy. Perhaps that's not something you struggle with, but don't ever let what other bloggers are doing push you into blogging in a way that isn't enjoyable for you! If your heart's not in it, you'll burn out fast. That being said, I think you have a beautiful way of putting things, and I know you could really encourage other young moms or teachers that may come and read here. You have the capacity to express yourself well. Use that skill and be proud of it if you desire! Not sure if any of that is helpful. But I just wanted you to know I appreciate ya! I blogged for about 2 years without hardly any commenters. Don't let that weigh you down. The writing isn't in vain. Love ya!

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    1. Susanna, thank you : ) The way you write from the heart inspires me to do the same. You are absolutely right that we should blog because it is enjoyable to us - since writing this post I have remembered time and again - that this process of combining words and pictures really is enjoyable for me, regardless of the response I might get. I am very excited about the year ahead, which feels like it will be wonderfully different with a daughter in my life for the first time, and I am excited about how parenthood might inspire me to write more. I love that I have found a friend in you through blogging - you are a treasure : )

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