Almost

Food collage

I have been considering walking away from food blogging–it’s not as if I have been wildly successful at it. After all, if you are not a wildly successful blogger, then what is the point of blogging?

I’ve done all the right things, well at least many of them. It’s not that I don’t have good recipes…enough of them have been used by other bloggers and have received rave reviews–on those other blogs, but not here. Even The Huffington Post noticed one of my photographs and found it worthy of being included on their website.

In almost 4 years of blogging, I have a whopping 164 followers. Interesting. Many new bloggers get that many followers after their first few weeks…or days. My blog flies so far under the blogging radar that if it got any lower I would have to exchange my airplane for a tunnel borer.

And I’m not talking about:

this for this 3

I’m talking about:

this for this 4

(Laugh. That was funny.)

By most measures of success in the blogging world, my blog is patently unsuccessful. I have felt uncomfortable with my blogging status; even embarrassed.

As I was reflecting one day recently about whether to continue food blogging or not, I came across a video that stopped me from making a potentially unfortunate error in judgement. The video is a montage made from a talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who is a member of the First Presidency of the Mormon Church.

I was in attendance at the women’s conference where this talk was given. I remember that it had a powerful impact on me at the time and gave me courage. When I got home from the conference I told my husband that I had a new verb, “Uchtdorf”. Naturally he was puzzled, so I told him about the talk. I explained that from that moment forward, anytime I created something or redecorated something or attempted to improve at an art, I was “Uchtdorfing”. It made us laugh.

As time passed, and the realities of life got in the way, I forgot about the talk and about Uchtdorfing. I got lost in myself. Then one day recently I discovered this video. I watched it over and over, listening to the music, watching the scenes, reading the powerful words, and listening to Elder Uchtdorf’s voice. Clearly his talk had inspired others as well.

Oh. That’s right. I like to create. That’s why I started a food blog.

My life is not how I thought it would. It is not even a shadow of what it used to be. Something deeply traumatic entered into it and changed everything that I had ever been or ever wanted to be. I had thought when I was younger that I would grow old gracefully. The challenges that I had expected to come into my life have not occurred. Instead, God allowed for me to have the most unexpected, unplanned for, overwhelming challenge of which I had never imagined.

So, I started a blog. Not this blog. It was another blog which morphed into this blog. I have worked on this blog to make it a place where I like to visit. It is sort of like my internet home. Granted, my posts from the first year need some serious house cleaning in the form of new pictures.

I have somewhere between 650-1000 guests a day in my home. Some of them stay and visit, most do not. I’ve decided that I’m okay with that. When I first started blogging, I had a goal to get 10 guests per day. I remember when it finally occurred. It took a long time. Many, many bloggers get tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visits each day. That’s wonderful. I am happy that they get to enjoy such a large amount of success.

As I have taken a considerable amount of time reflecting on “why I blog” and using the profoundly insightful words of Dieter Uchtdorf, I have come to understand that it is important for me to continue to stretch and grow, continue to blog, continue to learn, continue to make a place of beauty, continue to find joy, and continue to share–in my own way–the light of Christ.

I have “met” some very dear people along the way as I have blogged. They share small bits of their lives with me and I, through this blog and the occasional email, share my life with them. Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read my blog and are supportive. Welcome to my home.

The Fam

 

Photo credits:

Comments

  1. Jodi Halverson says

    Terri,
    It would be a tragedy to me if you stopped blogging. I totally enjoy your blog and your recipes and your wonderful take on life. It is such an uplifting blog that has inspired me to be a better person. And because of the pictures you shared of your kitchen, I too have a new one.
    Hugs to you!

    • says

      Thank you, Jodi. Yay for your new kitchen! John kept me up to date about your struggles and triumphs with getting your new kitchen. It’s so sad that IKEA treated you so rotten. At least, though, you finally got your space and John says that you are LOVING it! ~Terri

  2. Carol says

    Hi Terri-I’m one of the blessed ones who have gotten to “meet” you through contact with you on Tasty Kitchen, your blog, your recipes and a few emails sprinkled here and there. I wish I could stop by more than I do. I love reading what you have to share.

    I’m glad you’re continuing to blog……you do spread a lot of joy from this “home” of yours and I thank you for putting out the welcome mat.

    I don’t blog, but I do post recipes and photos my husband and I take on cooking forums. Sometimes they get shoved aside without a glance and I wonder why I bother? My husband said “just because no one comments doesn’t mean that people don’t see what you do…..and they may love it. You may have given them the perfect recipe for their dinner, or the perfect cookie recipe to bake for their bake sale-they just don’t comment.” He’s right-why should we stop doing what we’re doing because I think no one cares?

    You do what brings you joy-and know this-you’re making a lot of people-some you may never hear from-very happy by sharing your life and loves in your little corner of the internet.

    Carol

    • says

      Thank you, Carol. I, for one, love your recipes! I need to join Taste of Home so that I can comment on your posts. Shame on me for not having done that by now. πŸ™‚ Thank you, too, for your support. You have brightened my days.

      • says

        Terri- I hope you do go to Cook’s Corner on the Taste Of Home Site. Carol’s recipes are fantastic and her photos look like they were done by a professional photographer.

        I have very few people who comment on my blog but it doesn’t matter to me. I think of my blog as my daily journal. It may not contain personal thoughts but I enjoy adding things that are special to me.

        May you continue to do what makes YOU happy- I found a great quote today

        One day, she remembered the only person who could make her happy was
        Herself
        So she retook her power, reclaimed her place in the world and shined like never before.

        • says

          I agree with you, Linda, as my blog being like my journal. One time the hosting company for this blog went down and I thought that I had lost everything. I was so upset because I couldn’t access a treasured post about my little grandson, who was born 8 weeks early. I had given a detailed account of my daughter’s journey through her illness (preeclampsia) and Ander’s subsequent early birth. The post had been written in real time throughout the day and night and into the next day as my daughter labored. I was sick to my stomach when I thought that the post was lost. I had not yet printed it out and it was the only record we had of some precious moments. Anyway, the hosting company recovered everything and all turned out well. But through that process I realized how many personally precious things I have posted here and what a shame it would be to lose all of this.

          Thank you for the quote. It is so timely in my life. πŸ™‚ ~Terri

      • Carol says

        Thanks Terri-that means so much. Come on over to Taste of Home and join the fun in Cook’s Corner πŸ™‚ I need to get back to posting on Tasty Kitchen too……I think I need some more hours in the day!

  3. Gail says

    LOVE the family photo! Laugh out loud funny!
    I really like your recipes on TSGCookin’, so don’t leave us!

    • says

      Thanks, Gail. I laugh out loud, too, every time I look at that picture. We just had family pictures made a few weeks ago and it was really fun. They were done out at the Great Salt Lake, which was a perfect place for the boys to get to run wild without hurting anything. Even the baby cooperated. Miracle! That particular shot in the post was at the end of the session. The photographer asked if there were any more shots that we wanted and I asked for the one you see above. The baby just hung there like it was no big deal. The 4 year old totally got in to the whole hanging upside down thing and wanted to stay there longer and have us swing him. The 7 year old was a little hesitant about the disgrace of being hung upside down by his dad and uncle, but got into the swing of things when he saw how much fun all of the adults were having and how much his brothers liked hanging by their heals.

  4. Cordelia Roberts says

    Love your blog, love the recipes, enjoyed watching the video. Please don’t stop….you have so many obvious talents: cooking, photography, organization, AND wordsmithing! You made me think about the talent, beauty, and creativity abounding all around us. “I think the world is glorious and lovely as can be……..” Thank you for your part in making the world a better place in which to live!

    • says

      Cordelia, thanks so much. I had almost forgotten that song-“I Think the World is Glorious”. Now it is going to be stuck in my head for days, but that’s okay. It’s a pretty song and used to be one of my favorites when I was a child. It always made me feel peaceful and quiet inside.

  5. Dalila G. says

    NO….NO….NO!!
    This was my first reaction to your “I might stop blogging” line.
    What a major relief for me when I continued to read your post and you will still be blogging….YAY YOU!!! I really, really, really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all your food pictures. πŸ™‚
    Mine sometimes come out looking like yours but not always! LOL!! Plus, sometimes I do get a bit of a smoky kitchen when I don’t keep an eye out on my stove.
    I enjoy your step by step photos, very helpful, thank you for taking the time to show us. πŸ™‚
    The only thing I will say to you is that as long as YOU have fun and YOU enjoy what you’re doing, then that’s all that counts. We, your followers, are the lucky ones to see your wonderful food, get your recipes and we get to see a bit of your life. All the good and all the not so good. We’re all human after all and it’s OK to slip now and again.
    I, for one, am very happy you will continue your food blog….you totally are at the top of my list of lovely ladies. More power and fun to you Terri!!
    Looking forward to more of your delicious recipes and family stories. πŸ˜€
    Have a nice evening!

    • says

      Dalila, thank you. I do have fun, especially after I get a post done and push the ‘publish’ button. I absolutely know what you mean about a smoky kitchen. I do the same thing, especially with cookies and rice. 9 times out of 10 my rice will end up a lovely deep chocolate brown color on the bottom. The only way I can get a really great dish of rice is to cook it in the microwave. πŸ™‚

  6. Jean V. says

    Terri, I panicked when I first started reading your post. I stop by here every morning, no matter what! I love you, your stories and your recipes. Your outlook on life is very inspiring, and your love of your family is in everything you write. I would miss you very much, and I am so glad you will keep going. I visit only 3 blogs every day and to see a new post from you is always so exciting! We all love you!

    • says

      Jean, my goodness, thank you! Your kind words inspire me to write more often. There are some personal struggles in my life about which I have never written which interfere with me being able to post more frequently. I’ve never written about them, but perhaps I should write a post and be more open. I did not realize that there were people such as you and the other women who have left comments who enjoy my blog. Thank you so much for your support. It means a lot to me. ~Terri

  7. Julie J says

    Hi Terri,
    I visit your blog a lot. I’ve made some of your recipes and I enjoy your humor. I’m glad you’ll still be here!
    Julie

  8. Donna says

    Terri, I enjoy checking each day to see if you have a new post. I’m so glad you are planning on continuing. I enjoy your recipes and you writing. Thank you!

  9. Becca says

    I have several recipes of yours in my regular rotation. I just made a version of your lemon sherbet today! (I added some watermelon juice and a little corn syrup ala Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams). I would miss you if you stopped. Plus, who would answer my random recipe requests?

    • says

      You’re so sweet, Becca. I love answering your random recipe requests. Per the lemon sherbet, I bet it tastes great with watermelon! Can you believe that I haven’t made sherbet since your baby shower/Emily T.’s wedding shower? I seriously need to make all of those sherbets again and do a reshoot on the photos. By the way, I’ve never told you, but you have the ultimate best email address. It makes me laugh every time I see it! ~Terri

  10. says

    Hi Terri! I love your blog and I’m so glad you’ve decided to continue. Several of your recipes are in our regular rotation, and as a matter of fact, we’re having the Key Lime Parfaits for Fathers Day. When you shared your and your families experience with your daughters illness and grandsons premature birth, I think we all were checking in frequently to see how you and your family were doing. It was such a deeply personal time of your life to share with all of us, and if it had been possible, you would have had 165 people standing outside your door to give you a hug or a squeeze of the hand! (Thank goodness you were able to get back that post.)
    On a personal note, this very post and Elder Uchtdorf’s words have come at a very awkward time in my life – actually, it’s almost scary – and I have to thank you for opening up and sharing your moment of doubt with us! I really like Linda’s take on these blogs, they sure do make great journals. Be happy and create!

    • says

      Karla, it is so interesting for me to have stumbled across the video with the important highlights of Elder Uchtdorf’s talk at a moment of personal awkwardness in my life, too. Heavenly Father cares about his children and I am finding more and more that answers to my life questions and trials, or words of encouragement comes through seemingly random clicks of my computer mouse. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you so much for telling me about how you felt about the story of my daughter and grandson. That means so much to me. I need to do a follow up story about Ander because he is such a blessing in our family.

      One word about the Key Lime Parfaits–they are RICH! A little goes a long way, but they are seriously delicious. ~Terri

  11. Karen says

    I found your blog after coming across your cinnamon roll cake on Tasty Kitchen and I was delighted to not only find a wonderful collection of recipes, a real person, but also someone who shares my faith. When I atarted to read this post I got worried that I would lose you but I’m so happy that won’t be the case. Sorry I haven’t followed your blog officially, but I do follow it. Thanks for continuing your blog! May the Lord continue blessing you.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Karen. I think that I would be sad without my blog. After writing this particular post and reading the responses, I feel so blessed and touched by people whom I have never met. It is a joy to have new friends. ~Terri

  12. says

    I just found you like 10 minutes ago and by the end of the first recipe, I loved you. Popularity or even success is never a “good” or healthy way to gauge your creativity. I have learned that the hard way in my own life. Be who God made you to be. Create. You might not touch the lives of millions, but if you touch just one then you have true success. I’m making three of your recipes this week, that are over 3 years old. So, I would say you have touched the life of my house. Can’t wait to explore more on your site and get some more great ideas!

    • says

      Sarah, you are very kind. What you have to say is absolutely correct. Even if I only touch the life of one person, the blog will have still been worth the effort to create it. If it is only ever important to my children and grandchildren and my husband and me, then it will be quite good enough. I just needed to work through my personal feelings about defining success. I have been genuinely surprised by the beautiful, heartfelt responses that I have gotten from people. It is an unexpected blessing.

      Just out of curiosity, which recipes will you be making? I have had indications that the recipes I posted during the first year are the most popular recipes overall on the blog. The pictures are pretty bad, but I guess that people can see past ugly pictures!:) ~Terri

      • says

        Hi Terry! I am going to make the shredded beef enchiladas in the crock pot, as well as your refried beans and rice. I’m a Texan who has been transplanted to western Oklahoma and I am all about any type of Mexican food i can get. I thought the enchiladas looked reeeeaalllyyy good. The beans and rice are a little more common for me, but the way I usually make it is a little different than your recipe…at least I think. I usually don’t follow a recipe for those. Anyway, I am looking forward to coming back this week to your site and pulling more recipes and ideas from you! I have a board on Pinterest that I use to pin food that I will be making that week, so your blog will really help!

  13. Mary H says

    I stumbled across your blog a while ago once I was logged onto Pinterest — your blog has always been one of my favorites and one of the first that I chose to follow. Your Corn Bread recipe, Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce, your Cake Batter Pudding Cookies, and your Microwave Peanut Brittle are just a few of your creations that I can think of off of the top of my head right now as I type this that I turn to regularly! I made your Corn Bread recipe earlier this year for a church dinner — everyone contributing Corn Bread brought their own versions but YOUR recipe brought so many compliments from the church members lucky enough to sample some! I enjoy your posts and look forward to all of them when I visit your site. I enjoy cooking and sharing food with friends/family as you do. Unfortunately, I rarely share my pleasure by leaving comments with any of the sites I visit due to time constraints or even feeling that since I don’t actually know the blogger (as most of their comment sections are obviously filled with notes from blogging friends etc.) it sometimes feels strange to leave a comment of any kind… However, this post has enlightened me on that subject and I thank you for taking the time to not only put in the love and time and $$ to share this blog with the rest of us out there, but also in expressing so well your feelings as you do so. Thank you.

    • says

      Mary–you are so sweet. Thank you so much. Consider yourself hugged! As for commenting on my blog, most of those who leave comments are not bloggers. It is a completely different experience for me when a non-blogger leaves a comment because I feel as though I am performing an act of service in someone’s life. I feel uplifted and humbled at the same time. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. ~Terri

  14. Tracey says

    I don’t follow any blogs. But yours is a blog I check in on quite regularly. I have tried a few recipes and always come back to read. Keep up the good work:)

    • says

      Thank you so much, Tracey. It is comforting to know that there really are people out in the world with whom I can share. Thanks for letting me know that you are “out there somewhere.” I will continue to try to make it worth your time to spend a few minutes mere. πŸ™‚ ~Terri

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