My Blog Turned Three

My little blog turned three this week – a chubby toddler running around curious and uninhibited! A big thanks to all of you for your interest and support! I truly appreciate your visits and love our comment chats!

To celebrate this milestone, as I’ve done the two previous times, I’m going to recap the past blogging year (February to January) in a gallery and highlight some links. I didn’t do this when 2017 ended because I was saving my recap for this very occasion.

A photo from each blogging month

Two of my favorite posts from the past blogging year were:

Where were you in the 80’s?

and a travel photo post about Estancia Harberton.

I was planning on doing a sequel with the rest of my Harberton photos, but almost a year has gone by and it’s still a draft – where did the time go?!

Of course, I also did photo posts…

…participated in WPC challenges…

…indulged in some nostalgia…

…wrote some flash fiction…

…posted travel stories…

…and incidents…

…Helsinki posts…

…and nature posts.

If you’re into statistics, This Is Travel was my best performing post based on likes. But it’s not one of my personal favorites at all! Written in about 2 minutes, as opposed to some posts which I edit and re-edit for months, this post must’ve been shared somewhere good because of all the extra traffic it received. But, unfortunately, I never got a pingback or other indication of where that might have been, so I have no idea.

I’m always thrilled to see shares in my stats (not that I look at my stats very often – less and less, actually), but I always wonder who shared it and what kind of response it got. I’m not on Facebook, for example, but I see Facebook shares all the time. Who knows where our posts and photos end up!

The post that got the most comments was the one where I told you that I was having twins and I want to thank you all for your wonderful, lovely responses and wishes! This is exactly why I love blogging, this is such a nice community! I’m reminded that most people on this planet are lovely, caring human beings who just want peace and friendship across borders.

Obviously, this past blogging year my life completely changed since I had the babies. I didn’t travel at all, and I have been posting a bit less. Still, I feel like I post too often and would like to learn to direct my focus onto quality rather than quantity.

As for the future, the blog’s content will also evolve, like life, and slowly take on new directions. Luckily I’m not on any kind of schedule – I’ll just go with the flow.

While I was writing this, I noticed that in last year’s recap post, I forgot to mention two posts I enjoyed writing – can you believe I am remembering to mention them now, a year later? Amazing how the memory works. If you have some extra time (and who doesn’t – just kidding!), pop over and have a read:

Blinking Lights of Tokyo
Wandering Around Tokyo

And…

A “real-life” friend of mine recently said to me, in an amused voice: “Oh, so you’re still into that blogging thing?”

Of course I am – this is my hobby now, an outlet for my creativity and a way to practice writing… and maybe one day improve my photography. I don’t do this because it’s a chore or because I want to achieve something specific. It’s a way of relaxing and collecting my thoughts. I do it when other people would watch TV, I guess. I can’t really concentrate on TV shows anymore, my mind keeps wandering too much.

And I’m so happy to have found other bloggers who share some of my thoughts and understand what the point is to this whole “blogging thing”.

Having recently had babies means I spend a lot of time at home and it fits well with blogging. When the weather gets better, we’ll be spending more time outdoors, but for now, I blog when I have a moment during the babies’ naps if the chores are done, or during the evenings once they’ve gone to sleep. Just because I have babies now doesn’t mean that I’ve completely lost interest in everything I used to enjoy doing before. I’m still the same person – just more, now.

When my family moved to Finland from Australia some thirty years ago, I was almost nine and I missed my Australian friends. So we wrote letters. Long letters, sometimes up to 30 pages with text on both sides, and we wrote lots of them! Sometimes we sent tape recordings where we chatted away and once I even received a video cassette – oh that was so modern and cool! I treasured it. This lasted all through my teen years until email came into our lives and we got lazy.

Throughout those years, I somehow ended up corresponding with other kids my age all around the world. Kids I didn’t know, but we exchanged photos. The only one I ever met up with in real life was an Italian girl and, amazingly, we are still in contact occasionally – not often, but still. She used to make her own envelopes in a very creative way, using colorful pages from magazines. I remember one envelope had a Benetton ad which was very beautiful. She also drew different types of smileys on her letters, way before anyone ever thought of calling them emojis!

At some point there were these little friendship books that were passed along with our regular letters. You made them yourself and filled in the first page. Then everyone who received it would fill in another page and when it was full, you’d return it to its maker. On your little page you wrote whatever you wanted, usually telling what you liked doing in life, what music you were into, and if you wanted new penpals you could leave your address and some of the people reading it later on might write to you.

It probably wasn’t a very cool thing to be doing back then! But I loved it. I chatted away with kids from all over the world and it felt so natural. In retrospect, we were just ahead of our time with our own little profile pages, international chatting, and emojis!

Knowing this, you won’t have to wonder whether I’m still into this blogging thing. It’s in my blood. I’ve been doing this all my life!

I don’t know what the world will be like when my babies are grown up, whether WordPress will still exist (probably not), but maybe, just maybe they will somehow find and read these posts one day and get to know me from another point of view. (If you’re reading this in the future, hello boys!)

Thanks for visiting! Here’s to the next blogging year – let’s stay in touch!

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99 responses to “My Blog Turned Three

  1. What a wonderful post. Your pictures are gorgeous as always. I love the part about the pen pal letters! I had a pen pal for 18 years and we wrote 10 page letters. How neat that you wrote kids all over the world. I also love the idea about sending a little book back and forth and filling out a page at a time. I may do that with my Little Bit and his grandparents. Wouldn’t that be neat?

    I bet you got a lot of comments when you announced the babies were coming. That was an exciting post. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations on your third anniversary, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts. I used to have several penpals around the world and still keep in touch with the Norwegian girl but nowadays by email. Have you looked into Postcrossing ? I love sending and receiving postcards and when one drops through the letterbox it always brings a smile to my face. I try and send a card each week and bought a nice box to store my received ones in. The system s cleverly designed so it’s quite secure and I think it’s such fun.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Postcrossing is very popular and has many members in Finland and across the globe. People fill their cards with lots of interesting facts about themselves, their hometown, etc. and don’t just say ‘Happy PostCrossing’. My profile is ‘My Post Box’ if you want to take a look. I always add the date and temperature on the card, too. Do let me know what you think of the scheme.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, this is so sweet and poignant. ❤ Congratulations to you on your toddler blog, stance and babies. I love this sentence more than anything: "I’m still the same person – just more, now."

    And well done for being ahead of trends. 😉 First time I hear of these friendship books! They sound like something I'd enjoy very much. We only had memory books – a hardback notebook which you used to give to your friends and family members to fill one page per person with a drawing, quotation or the like. I still have mine here.

    I wish your blog, your family and yourself short winters, sunny summers and much love and light. And snow that melts somewhere else.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, we had those when I had already moved to Finland. And after my Erasmus year everyone filled in each other’s empty notebooks with wishes etc. But I didn’t keep any of them. I always get distressed thinking about the passing of time and don’t like to keep mementos. Except paper photos, which I treasure! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay! Happy 3! 🎂👏
    I had a pen pal when I was a kid too, we never met and (sadly) don’t write to each other anymore, now we just keep in touch through Facebook. I was so impressed to read your letters were 30 pages – wow! And sending tape recordings, that’s the next level! 😄
    I always liked to send & receive mail, and the funny thing is that I got to meet bloggers here on WP that share that love for snail mail. 🙌 So I now have 4 pen pals from the blogging world! 💌 It’s a pretty amazing feeling to get an handwritten card from a fellow blogger. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh wow, I didn’t think such a thing existed anymore! How fun!
      I can’t even write properly with a pen anymore, it’s been such a long time that my handwriting has turned into something so messy that it’s impossible to read or control!! 😀 I wonder if future generations will learn to write by hand and whether they’ll be able to decipher our handwriting or will it look like ancient Egypt’s hieroglyphs to them?! 😀

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      • Can you imagine if in the future “handwriting” becomes an optional class in schools? All the kids taking notes with their digital devices and only the artsy ones going to calligraphy class. 😮😄
        As for pen pals, it does still exist hehe! Let me know if you ever want to receive a card from Switzerland – I’ll be happy to send you one. 😉
        Happy Monday!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I got also many penpals when I was younger and we did pass fb’s, slammys and other that kind of “letters” to each other with the real letters. I guess you were talking about these “letters”. When I was Take That fan, I wrote with few of other fans. That was so great! We also met and we became friends with two of those. Emojis were used also! Oh, those were the times!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never heard of a slammy before… and there used to be chain letters sometimes but I never was into them, I guess they were the spam of that era! But yes, oh those were the days! 😀 It was so fun to get a letter coming home from school.

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      • Yes, those were chain letters (not spam). I liked those! There were many different versions of chain letters. Like runo/(poem)fb’s, lyric fb’s and so on. When you made your own version of chain letter and got it eventually back, it felt great. Those were really nice to read and many of writers made really beautiful decorations! That was like present and it was so interesting to see what placies that letter were were (often all over the world/or Europe atleast). I thought you ment those in your writing! ☺

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe we are talking about the same thing with different names! Anyway, I returned quite a few little handmade friendship booklets, and I made a few myself. I can’t remember if I ever got one of mine back… probably? 🙂 Anyway, it was very sweet, wasn’t it? Nowadays I’m s paranoid about my privacy (online especially), but back then I didn’t think twice about sharing my address, name, picture, everything! :O Well, I was younger of course, and maybe the world was a bit different, too?

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  6. Oh, and Emojis were “hymiö” in Finland! I was thinking what the word was. Now I remembered! 😀 Using of net did become common while we still wrote those letters and then suddenly all writing things were in net but letters were so special. Sometimes I also had e-mail friends (like pen pal in net). Those were also nice to read! I remember one boy I was supposed to meet when I was young but we never did. He just suddenly didn’t write me anymore. I hope nothing happened. He was a depressed person…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Birthday! I so enjoy your writings about the old days! And – those were the days with penpals and real letters. I had many of them too, from all over the world. But we have lost contact over the years. When we were going to New Zealand some years ago, I tried to find my old pen friend over there – but never got an answer. I even enrolled as a friend to her old school and mailed them asking about her address. It would have been great to meet and see how life had treated us.
    Have a great time with your babies now! That time will never come back.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love all the memories here, from last year’s blogging activity to long-ago times of pen pals, friendship books, long letters, etc, all of which were a big part of my life, too. I think we must be mini versions of our grownup selves in ways we don’t even notice! I never thought about that link, for example, between my early attempts to communicate in writing and my joy in blogging today. I do know my other love – travel – was innate; from the earliest age, I begged to go for random car rides and read about faraway lands with such eagerness! Happy Blog Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • How fun to hear this, Lex! (or is it Lexi?) That you know of friendship books, I was sure it would have been only a small circle of people doing that, but besides you, another commenter knew about them too! Small circle, but small world too? How awesome to find the same people here, years and years later! Maybe our paths even crossed in those little booklets, who knows!
      In a lot of ways I’m still very similar to my child self. So yes, mini versions sounds about right!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this post! Like you I’ve blogged for a few years however only just made this new published blog! I also have a baby and enjoy blogging at nap time or when she’s in bed! I love your photos too, keen traveller myself so starting to blog some of the places we have been, like you they sit as drafts for quite some time!x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations on reaching the three year mark!! It is always interesting to see which post resonates the most with people. Quite often it’s not the one that I expect it to be either!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy anniversary! 🙂 the blogging thing is a great creative outlet and it’s admirable you are so consistent (three years, yey!) and full of so much drive and inspiration to share with us ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Agness, that’s so sweet of you! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog every now and then – I can’t follow (I only follow thru WP Reader and yours cannot be found there) and I’m too lazy to sign in to comment, but I’ve enjoyed your posts!

      Like

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