Seven Years

Seven Years

Seven years ago today, I hit “publish” on my very first blog post. Since I imagine that most of you haven’t been reading along with me from Day One, now seemed like a good time for a brief(ish) recap of the highlights of my blogging life. If you’ve been following for all seven years: Hi, Mom! For everyone else:


Words to Eat By launches, with no particular goal—my tagline was “Thoughts on Food, Writing, and Everything Else.” It was intended as a place for me to draw verbal doodles, playing in the kitchen and reporting back. Back then the food blogging world was a much smaller community, though it was expanding daily (the very first line of my very first post: “Does the world really need another blog? And one about food [among other things]?”) I remember reading Clotilde regularly in the months before I jumped in—she was the ne plus ultra as far as I was concerned, having become well established in the year since her own launch. And Molly started just a few months before I did, but was already wowing me with her evocative prose and gorgeous photographs. Amazingly (to me, anyway), I created The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Entire World not long after starting, and that post remains the most popular page on the site.


The year may not have started out well, and to be honest most of it sucked (not because of any food-related stuff—for me, 2005 will forever be The Year of Infertility). Buuuut, though I wouldn’t find out until January, by the end of the year I was pregnant. Yeah, that’s right: I got knocked up on the eve of my fortieth birthday, two weeks after surgery.


If the previous twelve months were The Year of Infertility, 2006 was The Year of Harry. Between pregnancy exhaustion and new-baby/older mama exhaustion, Words to Eat By threatened to wither away.


I posted a grand total of three times; caring for a newborn, keeping my burgeoning freelance writing career afloat, and writing a food blog was just too much for me. Much as it pained me, blogging was the only thing I could afford to lose—but two out of those three posts were laying the groundwork for Parents Need to Eat Too.


One post. That’s it. One single post in 365 days.


Harry was sixteen months old by the beginning of the year, and I had regained not only my cooking mojo, but my writing energy too. I’d figured out how to cook with a little one clamoring for my attention, and soon I began to share that hard-earned knowledge. Parents Need to Eat Too, the cooking class, was born, and Words to Eat By became more and more focused on food and family issues. I closed out the year with a secret nearly as big as my 2005 pregnancy: I’d sold my cookbook.


In February the contracts were finally signed, and I announced my big news: Parents Need to Eat Too, the book, was going to be published by HarperCollins. The year was devoted to developing new recipes, testing them with my amazing group of 100+ volunteers—every one of them the mom of an infant, many of them recruited right here on Words to Eat By—and writing the book. Oh, and blogging. Definitely blogging.


Well. Here we are. Seven years later, I’ve just received the galleys of my first cookbook. I’ve got a deliciously sassy, vocal community of readers on Facebook. And even bigger things are coming. I think. I had hoped to celebrate my blogaversary with a major (gorgeous) redesign of the blog—a true overhaul—but it’s not quite ready. Very, very soon, though, you’ll be seeing a whole new Words to Eat By, renamed Parents Need to Eat Too to better reflect what this blog has become.

If you’d asked me in October 2004 where I’d be in October 2011, the future I’d have described would look nothing like this. This bursting, stressful, happy life is beyond prediction, and yet every step I’ve taken has led me to precisely here. I’m about as lucky as lucky gets. Thank you so much for coming along with me.

Check back here over the next week or so, and you’ll find all kinds of surprises. New look, big honking giveaways, and more!