In some ways, I cannot believe this day is here. Yet, I feel like I've lived With A Little Grace for my entire adult life (well, I have lived with my sister Grace for my entire adult life, but you know what I mean). I'm sure this parallels to how parents feel when their child turns one: the year has flown by, yet they almost can't remember life before the sweet babe joined them in this world. While I tread carefully in comparing this journal to a baby for obvious reasons, this journal has been my baby. And though writing a blog is nothing like parenting, I'm sure, I have all sorts of dreams and aspirations for WALG, just like parents have for their child. (I hope they are a bit different, though.)
In fact, writing this post feels like a mix between celebrating my child's first birthday and giving an Oscars acceptance speech—though I've not done either. Maybe that's because when my friend Jenny enthusiastically offered to do a "birthday" shoot for WALG, I imagined throwing my face into a cake à la one-year-old baby birthdays while she takes photos. (Maybe I have some unconscious childhood holdover because I didn't get to stuff my face into a cake when I turned one? I don't know. Did I, Mom? I doubt it. Although one time, my mom did make a whole batch of cookie dough... when we didn't have an oven! Just for us to eat. I know—she's not a regular mom, she's a cool mom.) So, when I realized cake-smashing was not quite as acceptable for people over the age of... well, one, I deferred to the next best thing: Sweet Mandy B's cupcakes. I'm not usually a cake person (with the exception of a certain sinfully good chocolate bundt cake—more on that later) but Sweet Mandy B's is what dreams are made of.
Now, the Oscars acceptance speech part? That's because I feel as though I have so many people to thank—all of you! However, the last time I gave a thank you speech was at my final collegiate field hockey banquet. I was supposed to speak for five minutes but spoke for twenty, crying the whole way through it. What can I say, I have a way with words... (cringes). I also didn't win an Oscar—I didn't win anything, in fact. But With A Little Grace has been a labor of love. So, though it feels so strangely inadequate, thank you. To all the friends and family who sent me excited messages when I finally published my first post; to everyone who sent me a text to notify me of a typo but especially my go-to editors, Uncle Jacob and Anthony; to those who have taken photos of me (and allowed me to get over the awkward feeling of posting photos of myself...); and to those who know me personally or those who only know me through my writing, who took the time to share a kind, uplifting, or encouraging text, email, Facebook message, Instagram comment, comment on WALG, share a post with others, or a thought in person from your corner of the world or the world wide web, thank you. Your shared moments mean so much to me, and I am humbled every time you even visit this small little corner of the internet. I hope I can give back by being as encouraging to you as you all have been to me. Whether you've been with me since last year or this is your first time visiting With A Little Grace, I would love your feedback to better serve you via the form below.