Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year news & "mini" farewell!

Happy New Year to all of you!

Can you believe it's 2015?  I certainly cannot... and my coworkers could confirm that for the next few weeks, as I continue to write "2014."  You'd think the transition would be easier after nearly two weeks off from working, writing, or even being aware of what day of the week it was.  Has anyone looked into the idea of sweatpants with a timestamp?  Just saying.

Speaking of time, I want to get to the real meat of this post.  It's something that I've thought about for a while.  And, once I made peace with the idea, I was temporarily rendered speechless (a rarity, for sure).

I've lost track of how many times I started writing this particular blog.  I've lost track of how many edits I've made in an effort to be clear, grateful, and sincere.  But, as I've learned through my years of blogging, sometimes the best writing is honest, a bit scattered, and unedited.

So, here goes nothin'!

Over five years ago in late 2007, I did a Google search for "blog" and signed up for my very own corner of the Internet.  Becoming a food blogger was a happy accident, thanks to the urging of a few friends and family, who regularly asked for recipes and cooking advice.  "Why not start a blog?" they suggested.  At the time, I was fresh-ish out of college, living alone for the first time in a tiny apartment, and often bored in the evening hours.  A baking blog sounded like a great new project.

For five great years, I've been baking, cooking, experimenting, and eating.  There have been grand successes, disappointing (and, at times, epic) failures, and pleasant surprises.  I've learned so much about food, science, entertaining, and myself.  I've been published in a magazine and newspapers, which is still humbling.  My love of food and passion for cooking continue to grow every single day.

For five great years, I've been staging and photographing food, wiping various batters and crumbs batter off of my camera, and learning to become more ambidextrous.  My camera has been upgraded from a humble point and shoot to a fancier point and shoot.  (I've still got my eye on you, Canon EOS Rebel T3i.)  My former boyfriend/now husband has patiently waited, night after night, for me to capture the perfect shot and, when I have, quietly eats his no-longer-hot meal.

But, over the past year or so, I've noticed my priorities have shifted slightly.  Matt's work schedule changed, and I made a conscious decision to devote the few precious hours we're both home during the week to unplug and enjoy "us" time.  During training last spring, I took a two month hiatus to focus on running; I am running another race this spring and determined to set a PR (and overcome that blasted IT band problem I suffered last year).  And, if I'm being totally honest with myself and you, my desire to blog has waned.

From the start, I promised myself that if blogging ever started to feel more like work than fun, I'd stop and reevaluate.  And do it truthfully.  So many bloggers have made their online work, recipes, and photography their only (paying) gig; I blog as a hobby in addition to my real full-time job.  After 40 hours in front of a computer, I no longer want to spend my evenings, staring at a glowing screen, writing and editing pictures.  (FYI, cooking & photographing only accounts for 25% or so of the total time I spend blogging.)

Sidenote: If you know anyone with unlimited funds and without a home for them, please contact me ASAP :)

For five great years, I've used this space to grow, change, celebrate, vent, brag, and freely express myself.  In doing so, I've met some of the most wonderful people, online and in person.  Initially strangers, many of these folks have become dear friends.  And, not to be missed, family and old friends have read along with them.  Words cannot express how sincerely grateful I am for all of your love, support, taste-testing, suggestions, and act of typing an incredibly lengthy blog address over and over again; there's nothing "mini" about that.

Rather than let blogging fall to the wayside and come back every few months to post something, I feel it's time to "retire" and move on.  I've never liked irregular bloggers and have no wish to become one myself.  As one of my fictional heroes, Ron Swanson of Parks & Recreation, says, "Never half-ass two things; whole-ass one thing."

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you, wherever you are (and whatever you're eating), and wish you all the best in everything, be it baking, domesticity, or the most mini thing imaginable :)

Note: The blog and all posts and recipes will remain live/available as a cooking and baking resource for you.  Believe it or not, it's become my go-to recipe box!