I didn’t have a blogging community last Christmas.
I had a blog that I poured a ton of words and photos into, but who was reading it? I know some of you out there were reading it, but you didn’t often show yourselves. And that’s ok. And you, Mom, my most ardent supporter. You too, Ruth and Lindsay.
However, as much as I needed that and still do (very much), I needed something more to take this to the next level. My photography business website was being built by very capable hands and I was afraid, so afraid, to lose my words. My voice. My goals. I often joke that I’m a photographer in a writer’s clothing, or a writer disguised as a photographer. The truth is, I am both. The scales may tip with the percentages. I can pour 80% into one thing and 20% into another, but only ever temporarily.
I don’t know that I can be one without the other. I only know that I can never again be neither. Not again.
I discovered SITS during January of this year, and boy what a resolution it came to become – to connect, to learn, to grow, to take blogging to the next level, and the next. There is no highest rung. We are all trying to get to the top, but no one ever throws anyone else to a lower rung. No one falls off the ladder unless they want to climb down gently on their own terms.
At least, not in my world. If you are reading this, chances are you are climbing with me and not despite me or against me.
This blogging community. These blogging communities. The overlapping, ever-expanding circles upon circles of people I find in this blogging world. This has been my secret weapon. When I’m down and out. When I’m scared out of my mind. When I’m anxious to the point of nausea, and nauseous to the point of anxiety. This, you, are my secret weapon. This, you, is where I find comfort, support and encouragement. This is where I feel brave. And capable. It’s indescribable. And I’m thankful for you.
Merry Blogging Christmas to all of you!
Awwww blogging is cathartic!! It makes us sane and crazy at the same time! Haha! At the end of the day, knowing that there are real people behind the blogs who care and who are interested to learn makes us feel that we belong. Merry blogging Christmas to you Tamara! Glad to have discovered your blog (through Brittnei)! 🙂
Glad to have discovered you too! (yay, Brittnei) This world of blogging can be tough if you don’t have support and friendships. I’m glad I have both, and you do too!
Dear Girl Wallflower says
I know how it feels like and i had always felt an inner pride that I have friends in blogging–sharing our thoughts and interests about life. I thank you too and I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas!
PS, really adored your wedding pics and house (again as I scan through), trying to find the snow angel but in no avail…:)
I have them! I do! They’re still in line to be uploaded. Keep checking! And thank you – that inner pride? I get that.
Amy @ Long Drive Journey says
Up late trying to figure out some technological thing (and schedule my own Merry Christmas blog post), and I saw this. I am so glad that I found both you and your blog. I love both your photography AND your writing, so I’m glad that you think the two are inseparable. Have a wonderful Christmas, Tamara!
I am so glad you found me! Both last night (early today) and in general. You’re a true gem in this blogging world.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, Tamara!
I’m glad to have met you. xo
So glad, Alison. You’re one of a kind.
Ilene Evans says
I think you're 100% both – writer and photographer. And I"m so glad you found community through blogging – not only to share your gorgeous words and photos but because this is how I found you. Although I'd like to think if it hadn't been through blogging it would have happened somehow anyway.
I like that. 100% both and maybe 110% a parent. Or more!
You’re one of the first to be in my community, and as we talked about IN PERSON last night – it’s become a true friendship.
And I agree – it was bound to happen. Somehow.
Carla Bruns (@RealIn says
I hope you have a wonderful, beautiful Christmas! Thank you for all of your heartfelt words and beautiful pictures.
Thank you for being a part of my community! I cherish all of you so much. Merry Christmas!
And a very, Merry Christmas to you! Can't wait to see where this blogging thing takes us in 2014!
So very much! 2014 is a year for blogging. I can tell. Merry Christmas to you!
Happy. Christmas, my blogging buddy!
Happy Happy to you, buddy!!
Love that analogy – we are climbing together, all of us, not despite or against one another. And you are most definitely BOTH – a writer and a photographer! Merry Christmas to you!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!
I am beyond happy that at some point this year we found each other – I love every one of your posts for both the words and the pictures!
Nicole @ Work in Swe says
Merry Christmas to you and yours, Tamara! I'm so glad we met this year!
Merry Christmas Tamara! It has been great getting to know you through your blog and SITS these past few months!
I'm so grateful to be part of such a wonderful blogging community, and that I found you in it. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Tamara!
Janine Huldie says
Tamara, you know I love you to pieces and seriously so glad to have become friends with you through blogging this past year. And I truly feel we will be friends for many, many years to come now! Merry Christmas to you, Cassidy, Scarlet and Des! And I can’t wait to hear all about how excited Scarlet is to be going to Disney now!! 🙂
So glad, Janine! Where would I be without you? With a blogger blog, probably. And a lot less heartfelt blogging happiness. Merry Christmas to your whole beautiful family.
Kim@Co-Pilot Mom says
Merry Christmas, Tamara! I wish you and your family all the joys of the season!
And you are both – no need to choose between writer and photographer, ever. 🙂
Amanda Love ~ Growing Up Madison says
Merry Christmas Tamara! Big Hugs and Kisses to you and the family but bigger ones for Scarlet and Des. I hope that you’ll have a wonderful day today!
Big kisses to you, our temporarily Canadian friends. You have brought so much to my blogging life, and not to mention some great giveaways. Kisses to all of you!
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
I'm thankful for you, Tamara. I always enjoy your words and your photos. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. Merry Christmas!
Nina Badzin says
You discovered something this year that I discovered too. No blogger makes it alone and you have to be a blog reader to have readers. That’s the way it works! I’ve been to a conference a few group meeting type things where people are very bitter about this fact. They’re annoyed they have to read blogs . . . as if their blog and their words should just stand alone and not require participation in the community aspect. There is the occasional superstar who can get away with that, but it’s a needle in a haystack kind of thing. Most of us are part of the community. I love my time to connect with other writers on their blogs. I know you do too!
Merry Christmas and congrats on such a successful year.
And a haggard parent too! I love all of us on our ladders. Happy ladders. Merry Christmas to all of you!
They are out there, aren't they? I LOVE reading blogs – it's a pleasure of mine. I struggle sometimes to keep up with reading books too, but I think this is just as important. It makes me a better writer, and a more appreciative and connected one too.
And in that respect, I hope I'm never the kind of superstar who makes it on their own. Too late, I say! I cherish all of you way too much.
I hear ya there! Glad to have "met" you throughout this year. You were actually one of the first to reach out to me – not sure I told you that yet. I love watching your cuties grow up.
Nellie @ Brooklyn Ac says
Merry Christmas Tamara to you and your beautiful family (and house–still not over that! lol) I am so happy to have met you–one of the best connections I I've made all year.
Come to my house anytime! And I feel the same – one of the best connections of the year, for sure.
Me too, Kim. You're such a loyal and solid blogging friend – I don't remember doing this without you! I know I didn't find you until the middle of the year or so, but it feels like a lot longer.
So glad, Nicole! I feel like we have worlds in common. One day, we shall meet!
I'm so glad we found each other, Karen!! I'm always going to turn to you for party advice.
Dana, I can't imagine blogging without you. You're beautiful, kind, funny, AND, you have a great camera!
Merry blogging Christmas to you, too! I’m going to set up my bloggy Xmas card soon! Didn’t get around to real ones this year 🙂
I wish I remember exactly what it is that made me find you. Probably one of our many awesome friends. And the world may never know what I really am!
Eli Pacheco says
If you call something undefinable, is it really? (That's deep.) There are a few good grapes between us, T.
And I never will choose. So happy to be on this blogging and Doctor Who journey with you.
Thank you! And from my entire family to yours.
Jenn P. says
I hope you're having a magical day with your beautiful family. You are truly a gem among bloggers!
Thank you so much! You are a true gem too. Have a beautiful day and Merry Christmas!
Eli Pacheco says
Yeah, I’ve given up trying to figure out if you’re a writer who snaps photos or a photographer who writes. I still remember when you first commented on my blog, and I visited yours, and thought, Hell, she’s kind of big-time.” Merry Christmas!
Also, Jennifer! You're one of the great ones. Merry Christmas!
Err..that's supposed to be "always."
Thank you so much! Happy to have discovered yours this year! Merry Christmas!
I'm always a loyal fan, but I love watching you grow. And I loved meeting your blogging friend, Ilene!
She adored meeting all of you too. Of course!
And her granola! Wow.
I know! I ate it the whole way home. It really upped the morale of the snowy, long trip.
Karen Main says
So beautifully put and so so true. The SITS community is incredible and support on our blogging journeys a much needed element.
So much so – I learned in a BIG way that we need community. It’s life-changing.
The Vanilla Housewife says
And many are happy to have disovered your blog! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Amber Day Hicks says
OH Sweet T!!!! I'm SO grateful to have so many bloggy connections since my bloggy journey truly began BUT you MY DEAR SWEET T, are one of my close tight knit group of bloggy buds & I am SO blessed to have y'all & I really don't know what I'd do w/o y'all… XOXO T! You my dear are truly a rockstar and I do adore you!!!
Same! I adore you! So glad we met. You truly get the concept of community and friendship – much more so than I had for years.
Amber Day Hicks says
Awwwwww!!! Thank you SO much, Sweet T! XOXO.
xoxo to you! Hope it was a wonderful Christmas.
Amber Day Hicks says
XO to you! It was great! What did S think about Disney????
What a nice surprise this was tonight! Congratulations on a great year and I agree that the bloggers I find are ones who want to climb with not against each other. I’m still uncertain what I want out of blogging but the best thing I’ve received so far is the community.
You do seem to get that, and I didn’t get that. I understood what I wanted from blogging (or so I thought) way before I discovered community.
Merry Christmas Tamera! And yes I am so glad I found you and such a great community through SITS!
Me too! I love reading your stories and watching our (nearly the same age) kids grow up similarly.
Jennifer West (PinkW says
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and I am so glad I found you thru SITS 🙂
Me too! And through our wonderful book. Hope it was wonderful! We’re recovering over here – big trip and big holiday.
Story Paige says
Your gratitude is so beautifully captured and conveyed in this post! I've held a pen in my hand for as long as I can remember and am just now picking up a camera in the hobbyist sense. Definitely bookmarking your blog for inspiration to hopefully marry the two and create something beautiful in the process.
I am so happy you visited and I’m happy to find you on Facebook/Bloglovin. I have no doubt you can marry something beautiful with the two.
Merry Christmas! SITS was a blog changer for me too. I’m so glad to have discovered your words and your talents.
Same, Hope! I love reading your words so much. I can’t say enough about SITS.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I am so happy I met you this year and thrilled to be a part of your blogging community. I treasure your friendship. It means a lot to me that a couple times where I really needed someone to talk to, that I was able to pick up the phone and call you. The power of blogging is amazing. I feel, as I am sure you do, that I have made some very real friends this year…not just online friends. Hugs! Here’s to an amazing 2014!
I couldn't resist using the photo of us, because it was a big awakening for me about how awesome this world is, because we're real-life friends and not just blogging ones. And I love that you felt you could call me, and I hope you know you always can.
Shana Norris says
Tamara, of all the bloggers I know, your community is truly the most impressive. Every time I read a post and scroll down here to comment, I’m amazed at the interaction you have. And then I proceed to think: how does she keep up with answering all those comments?!?!?!
I love love love what you said about no one ever throwing anyone else down to a lower rung of the ladder just because they’re moving up a rung or two. So true, and – even thought we hear a lot about the downsides of the Internet – it’s vastness and the fact that there is room for everyone here is one of the good things, if you ask me.
Thank you, Shana – and I’m so happy you have become part of my community, and I’m a part of yours! I think I have met many through you – either that or you all came at the same great time.
I don’t know how I keep up so well, but I do set aside time to do it and it’s time I would otherwise be watching bad TV or something. And right now it’s winter hiatus so I have lots of time with all my shows temporarily missing.
I think the room for everyone is a good thing too.
Tamara I have no idea how I even ran into your site, but I'm so glad I did. I genuinely love reading your blog and think you're hilarious and talented, and I also appreciate the support you give me by stopping by my own site and commenting. Merry Christmas mama! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. And yes, the blogging community is kind of awesome in that we don't need to "win" and compete against others; in fact when someone succeeds, we all somehow get pulled right along as well.
So true! I have no idea how we “met”. I was hoping maybe you knew! Either way, I learn more about you all the time and I love it.
You rock!! I’m so glad to have gotten to know you. I think our daughters would have fun together what with their love for dressing up, princesses, and ponies…I hope you had a fabulous Christmas 🙂
No doubt they would! And the two of us would have a ton of fun too. I just know it!
Merry (day after) Christmas, Tamara! I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!
Merry day after Christmas to you, Kristen! I’m going to read your post right now so maybe I’ll hear all about your holiday.
Merry blogging Christmas to you too! I’m so glad you choose to share your writing with all of ue here. Can’t wait to see what the next year holds for you!
Thank you so much! Looking very forward to blogging in 2014 with all of you.
Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady says
Glad to be a apart of your blogging community! I’ve enjoyed following for the vast majority of this year! Looking forward to next year!
I feel the same about you! It was a great year. So much to come!
Tiffany Romero (@Tif says
I love this. When I came up with the idea for SITS back in 2008, this as exactly my intention. I am so thrilled that you've found support and friendships- its really what blogging is all about.
You are a genius and you have made the lives of so many people better. Thank you for everything you do, and thank you for coming to my blog! It made me a bit starry-eyed, I confess!
Christine Carter says
oh it’s just so beautiful to read all of this love for you, precious Tamara!! You are a light and a gift to so many… with your talent and your depth, with your beauty and your giving… you – I treasure you. SO glad Ilene brought us together!! (And SO glad you two had such a lovely visit!!! Someday, I sure would love to join you two!!!)
Someday, that absolutely has to happen!
I treasure you very much – I hope you know how much. I'll continue to show it on your blog and here.
Now that Alison has introduced you to me, I am seeing your face everywhere! Loved this post. I feel the same way. I’m so grateful for the blogging community and all the overlapping circles.
I’m so glad she introduced us that morning! She’s a great connector like that.
Looking forward to much more from you.
merry blogging (belated) christmas back!! I'm glad we found each other's blog!
Me too! I'm so glad for that.
Leah Davidson says
I am so glad I found you this year! I get so much from your blog and look forward to every post! I hope you guys had an amazing Christmas! x0x
I feel quite the same, Leah! Hello!
Brittnei Washington says
Aw! Tamara, this is so wonderful! I’m so glad you reached out in SITS. I think I met you through linking up to LOBS one day. You came by my blog and I don’t know…I noticed that you started hanging around…coming back to comment on mostly all of my posts. I didn’t understand it all then..the commenting..the support. I just had a health blog to help me sell health products for weight loss. I’m not sure what made you stick around, but I’m glad you did. So glad I know you. You’re such a special lady. Merry Blogging Christmas to you as well! 🙂
Oh funny that you remember so well! Everything always blurs together for me. I am very loyal, though! You probably knew that.
She was floored but you know how four-year-olds are! She needs something tangible in order to be excited. So the idea is grand and I have the photos to show how surprised she was, but it hasn't really hit her and it won't until we're there.
Kristen Daukas says
Why am I constantly amazed at how many of my favorite peeps are NEW bloggers?? Crazy!!
I feel the same way!! I’m in awe of it.
Merry blogging Christmas to you too. With the holiday craziness, I missed this post! I feel the same way about the blogging community–it has enhanced my life. You are such a creative soul–equally talented in your writing and your photography, which is a very rare thing.
Angela @Little Apple Tree says
What a lovely post! It’s been wonderful to meet and interact with you this year, Tamara. You’ve opened my eyes up to a more personal–intimate?–style of blogging, which continues to blow my mind. You’re so lyrical and in touch with yourself. I’ve never thought of myself as a stereotypically repressed Brit, but compared to you I totally am.
Oh, and I’m about to take the plunge and join the SITS girls forum. I’ve been meaning to for a while, but for some reason I’ve felt anxious about it. Silly really!
Merry blogging Christmas to you, too xx
Ah, thank you! I honestly know of no other way to be – this is the way I have written since I learned to write. Personally, I mean. Obviously, I learned all that expository writing garbage in college! And the thesis stuff! Ack. Anyway, I get intimidated by the ways other people can write – which seems simpler but no less thorough.
Do the SITS thing! It’s awesome!