Wednesday, May 18


Can you hear the singing...Happy Birthday to my blog, Happy Birthday to my blog.....
I can not believe it has been 365 days/12 months/1 year since I first sat my duff down at this here computer and began to pour out my soul, tell my stories and share my life with the world. 
I have been thinking for the last few days what I would write on this day, and as always the best I could come up with is to share more of myself. 

Here are a few of the things I have learned over the last year:

No matter what your situation, you have something to offer the world. I was very hesitant to begin writing, I always planned on this being for my children, a way for them to get to know me when they see me more as a person and not the *roll your eyes* mom. But more and more people started reading and it became bigger than I ever imagined.  I always love hearing from people who liked something I shared, and it never ceases to amaze me when people tell me they read my blog. I hope that never gets old. I love it when people relate to me, and are touched by my words. 

I have learned that wearing a helmet is very important when riding ATV's and Motorcycles. I hope all my family has learned this as well!!

I have learned that the people appreciate authenticity. It is not always easy to be honest, and let's face it, not everyone is 100% of the time. But the more real one can be, others find comfort in that. It is easy to pretend being a mom of 4 is a piece of cake if that's what I chose to portray; I can write whatever I want to. But the fact of the matter is my laundry is still piled up on the floor most days, I sometimes wear my PJ's all day, my kids do eat KD once in a while and although this will come as a total surprise to all, I do yell occasionally! I do not sing all of my instructions to the children with nauseatingly choreographed dances to delight them. Shocking I know. 

I have learned that friends matter. Period! Everyone needs friends. And everyone needs good friends. 

Take care of your body, you only get one. Unless of course you can pay to have extra body parts shipped in from overseas, then in that case, go ahead and trash away. But for the rest of us, you need to take care of yourself. Exercise matters! Good food matters! Sleep matters! I love having PG in my life, but I would love to have not had to lose my health and independence to have meet him. He has brought me back to a full and active life, and for that he will forever be dear to me... take care of yourself.

Listen to your inner voice, it is not there because it has nothing better to do with its time. If something does not feel right, then do not do it! 

I have learned that gratitude makes you a much happier person. I love having a reason to look for things to be grateful for. When I first started my blog, I actually would find it a struggle to come up with three things to be grateful for. And now, it is normally the easiest part of my writing. I am always finding little things here and there to remember to write. Being grateful is contagious too, people love being around happy people, and when you are grateful people notice. 

I have learned how vital it is for me to laugh. I love laughing. It clears my head, warms my soul, and fixes anything that has gone wrong in my day. Laughing is easier then crying and I have never gotten a headache from laughing. 

And lastly, I have learned how much I love life. I am so very excited to see where this next year takes me. I look forward to growth and change. I love trying new things, and I hope this next year is full of new things!

Thank you to everyone who has come along on this journey with me. I am forever grateful. 

And just like with any good birthday party, I have presents....

Only these presents are for you, my dear readers. I have gotten a few of my favorite things and I want to share them with you. 
I have an Anthropologie mug with a J on it (obviously).
A set of 4 Anthropologie napkins.
2 packages of my favorite candy (chocolate covered pistachio's from Italy).
Jamie Oliver's cookbook Food Revolution (the book that changed my life and the way I look at food).
And 5 CD's of my favorite songs that I have used on Music Monday's.  Yup! A J is for Joelle mixtape. How grade 7 is that?  

All you have to do is write a comment. Tell me what you have liked over the last year, what you didn't like. What songs you love and are listening to right now. Anything will do really - post somewhere that you read (help a girl out). And I will draw the names and contact you with my Birthday gift to you for supporting me through this whole year!

Thank you again, for your time, my heart is so very full it is spewing over. 

Best wishes and thanks for coming over to my party...I'm going to go clean up now. 



I am grateful for Monika who sent me my dessert gum!!!!!! What perfect timing Mon, for my party and everything!!!

I am grateful for Renae. For her kind and listening ear, who always tells me what I need to hear, and seldom what I want to hear. 

I am grateful for my physio appointment today. It was wonderful to catch up with PG. I have missed you my friend!

I am grateful for all the people who read my blog. As of (11:58 pm) I have had 16,100 visits from 371 cities in the world. Amazing, and humbling.

I am grateful for my children and their health. 

I am grateful for Drew's support through this crazy blog thing.

I am grateful so very very grateful!!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on this marvelous and inspiring journey that you have undertaken Joelle!
If you have the moment, go back and re-read that email that I sent you a while back ( I am Melissa's friend ). That pretty much says it all!
I am all over the place with the music I listen to. I did have a surprising reaction to hearing/seeing a clip of a live U2 performance of Running to Stand Still on Youtube that has me wanting to see that concert though!

P.S seeing that cupcake first thing in the morning was killer! :)


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!!! I'm grateful for you and your blog especially as I'm a mom and love your honestly!! And number one I'm grateful ghat I have "reconnected" with you my good old friend!!

Mel said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLOG!!! Joelle, I gota say I love your blog! I still to this day think "The day I Kick the Bucket" is one of my favorite posts! Also I appreciate the blog posts where you are honest with your struggles, we all need to read posts like that because we all have bad days/weeks or even years! Thank you for your honesty, thank you for taking us along on your wonderful adventures!
I can not wait for the next year of reading!

All the best my friend <3

Natasha said...

You yell?

Leah M said...

Congratulations! I have loved this journey of yours and always look forward to a new post! You have coined my new favorite phrase, 'Put on your big girl panties' as I go and do tough things.
Here's to another fantastic year!!
XO Leah

Amy said...

It's true, I love your blog because it's YOU. I get to actually spend a few minutes with my good friend. :)

Music I love right now: Metric!!

Anonymous said...

Joelle, I've said it before (and so have a lot of others): I love reading your blog! Here's what I like about it:
gratitude list (which I now do in my journal)
your sparkling personality
your own photo and the red background on the main page
you are actually doing the things on your bucket list!
you inspire me to think of things as possible, not just dreams that will never happen.

Keep writing,
Susan Horner

Anonymous said...

Hey Joelle,

I am always excited when I see that you have a new blog post up on Facebook! You are doing a great job, keep it up, and I look forward to the continued posts!

Robyn Brown (Wahlund)

Maria said...

Happy Birthday "J is for Joelle"!!! I must say that I love this little morning ritual we've got going on. Although, the mornings that there isn't a new post.....well suffice it to say that the rest of the day is just off kilter (feeling a tad guilty now, aren't you!!!)

Seriously though, it's a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to another 365 days!!! (And it better be 365 this time! :P)

"Fire Guy" said...

Come on you cannot tell me that I am the only guy to read your blog? Maybe the only one who will admit it!
I gotta say following you and Drew around New York was the highlight of my Year, and the fact that I once got a little shout out on here because I do read it.

All the best in your sophmore year J is for Joelle!


Devon said...

Thank you Joelle for writing your blog! I love reading it. I love that you share the honest, "messy" parts of your life. It makes the messy moments in my life seam more manageable! I loved your blogs from NY....I can't wait to get there someday myself!

Devon Walstra (Kirby)

Anonymous said...

congratulations! 1 year! I think your blog is amazing, your honesty and humor combined are empowering. I hope you blog for many many many more years!

Natasha said...

My comment counts, by the way. So does this one. Remember, I know where you live and what your big girl panties look like.

Christy McPhillamey said...

I love your blog! I too, have a morning ritual reading this one. Your wit and humour and grace shine through.
I have loved this little window to your life, anecdotes of things that no one tells you about being a mom and wife, and how to look for little things to be grateful for.
Oh and songs... I am currently obsessed with Fidelity by Regina Spektor and Beautiful Trash by Lanu (Feat Megan Washington). I loved tagging along with you and Drew to New York and am so amazed by you not just making a bucket list, but checking them off.
Here's to another 365 days!

Percy2626 said...

Hello again Joelle,

Yep, I LOVE your blog too, as I have said on a number of ocassions. Like many others, I usually read the new post first thing in the morning. My "Joelle therapy" for the day. Days when you have hard parenting type posts and then can't blog for a few days, I get worried about you!!!! Call me anytime. We all have more than our fair share of "those" days. I wish we could "like" other peoples' comments on here. I really enjoyed reading them all, not quite as much as your blog, but close! :D Looking forward to many many years of "Joelle therapy" on J is for Joelle!

Percy2626 said...

Also leaving another comment as I am "sharing" your blog on Facebook.