Happy One Year

One year

I created Primitive Roads and wrote my first post one year ago today. Not coincidentally, Tim and I also began our three day drive to Idaho one year ago today.  The driving force behind starting this blog was the next chapter beginning in my life. Tim and I were four months married and leaving behind family and friends to start a new life in Idaho.

The road during the last year has certainly been primitive, for me anyways. Potholes, gravel, and some unforeseen curves have made me stumble, but like I said in that first post:

God has proven a trustworthy author thus far, so, in faith, the pages continue to turn.  A new chapter for Team Gardner begins tomorrow morning!

God wrote a lot of transition into our first year in Idaho.  I am thankful that God’s mercies are new every morning as He continues to write our story.

The plot continues to thicken. If I thought our first year in Idaho was full of firsts, I think the beginning of our second year already has it beat. We bought our first house and are expecting our first child in February!

Primitive Roads has been a safe place for me to share how God is working in my heart during the past year and I pray it continues to be a space of honesty and vulnerability in the year ahead. I appreciate your support and encouragement, fellow journeymen!

Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, let us follow their lead, laying aside every burden and sin that weighs us down, and let us run the race with perseverance and strength, keeping our focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV with Emily edits)

Here’s to year two!

{photo credit: orangesparrow via photopin cc}

Blogiversary

blogiversary

I like to commemorate the little things. Tim and I have acknowledged, if not celebrated, every monthiversary since we got married. {We’re up to ten this month!} I’ll probably be the parent who says her child is 26 months old just so she can blow up balloons and have cupcakes every four weeks.

Though it’s not the one year mark, Primitive Roads is celebrating a blogiversary today – SIX months of navigating life’s unpaved paths. This is rather hard for me to believe for two reasons: 1. I’ve been blogging in my head for years, so it seems like I’ve had this home on the interwebs way longer and 2. This blogiversary coincides with our movaversary (I’m clearly okay with made-up words) which means we’ve lived in Idaho for six months. That is unreal.

Primitive Roads was born out of need – a need for an occupation and an outlet. I wanted a place to share how God was walking alongside me every step of this rather rustic and uncharted season in my life. I process though writing and strongly believe that being honest and open about what we’re processing is a huge part of developing authentic community.

I appreciate the community that has developed here and am thankful for the connections being built. Thank you for the reading, commenting, sharing, linking, emailing, and prayers that make me feel supported and encouraged.

In honor of this little milestone in the life of Primitive Roads, I wanted to do a mini retrospective of the past six months. Thank you for joining me on the journey thus far.

September: My first post, aptly titled “The Next Chapter“, written in the wee hours of the morning before Tim and I started our drive to Idaho.

Letter To My Teenage Self

I jumped into the Christian blogosphere by writing a Letter To My Teenage Self to help launch Emily P. Freeman’s book, Graceful: Letting Go of Your Try Hard Life. I began to share my love of food/cooking with recipes. Christmas-Eve Salad was the first one I got featured on Tastespotting and Food Gawker.

October: Another jump into the blogosphere was my last minute (read – night before) decision to participate in The Nester’s 31 Day Challenge. I chose my theme of writing letters for the next 31 days based on a letter I wanted to write to my husband’s ex-girlfriend (Dear Jackie). You can find links to all the letters here, but some of my favorite were: Dear Eustace, Dear Southwest (which they featured on their blog), Dear Jen Hatmaker, and Dear H.S. Gals.

Sincerely, Emily

November: I read a couple great books in November. I reviewed 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker and had a major epiphany the day I started One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I wrote my first guest post about The Six Things I’ve Learned In Six Months of Marriage for Kayse Pratt’s delightful blog.

I’m obsessed with granola and developed a Gingerbread Granola recipe that I found way too addicting.

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December: I decided to transfer my blog from WordPress {dot} com to WordPress {dot} org in order to have more control over design and to utilize some affiliate programs, like Amazon, to raise funds to support Primitive Roads. The process was technically challenging and beyond frustrating at times. Finally, I just laid hands on my computer and prayed for my blog. I should have done that from the beginning.

I did a series near and dear to my heart about how to have a Mary Christmas. My favorite projects from a week of crafts I featured were the Paper Bag Christmas Card and the beautiful wedding memories ornaments that my mom made. My mom also wrote a poignant guest post about God being sovereign in all seasons.

Mary Christmas

January: I introduced my one word (intentional) and started a series on community. My husband wrote an awesome post about Jane Austen and community. Speaking of Jane Austen, I discovered how much I resembled her characters from Sanditon. I finally got a warm coat which prompted me to write 7 Ways To Get Through Winter. I figured out how to replicate the Rosemary Currant Bread from my favorite breakfast place (Julienne in San Marino, CA). I confessed that it’s hard for me to graciously share baking territory with other people who are gifted in that area.

CupcakeFebruary: Four other bloggers and I did a collaborative series called How To Maintain Your High Maintenance Marriage. We wrote about communication, service, laughter, and sex. {Sex seemed to be a popular topic with y’all.} I gave some style advice in 5 Essential Earrings Ever Woman Should Own (and may have shocked people with the amount of earrings I posses). Valentines month was a good excuse for me to bake Rosemary Lemon Sugar Cookies and Cream Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. Enough said.

earringsI wrote a Valentine from God for Kindred Grace, a blog I contribute to, and made my first craft tutorial. I’m a competitive person and had to stop playing games with Tim before I discovered these six ways to curb my competitiveness. Inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Cardigan Way, I did a what I’m into post called Primitive Pleasures that I will continue to do at the end of every month.

Six months have been full of primitive roads. I’m excited about tackling the unpaved paths ahead.

I would love to hear from you! Email me at emgardner8@gmail.com with any questions, comments, ideas or feedback…

{balloon photo credit: stephanie ★ via photopin cc}