A look back: A year of blogging, motherhood and new speech pathology adventures!

 This month I am celebrating my 1 year blogiversary! WHAT????   I started my blog on July 13th of last year, but as I was away at ASHA schools conference over the weekend, I didn’t get a chance to post this until today.  So I’m taking some time away from my usual Tip Tuesday post AGAIN (I promise to be back on track next week) to take a look back over the last year and say…Happy Blogiversary to me and a special THANK YOU to all of you out there following me!!!!

So its been a year since I posted my first blog.  Can you believe it?  I don’t know that I can.  If you would have told me, that in 12 months, I would have followers from all over the world and be blogging for ASHAshpere monthly, all while starting my own private practice and being mom, I would have probably laughed in your face.  Who knew then what God had in store for me?  His plan is ALWAYS greater than any I can even dream for myself.  So it’s always nice when I actually follow my own advice and “Let Go and Let God!” because it really does wonders for my life and my family!!! 

And at the beginning, I really had no idea what this blog was going to look like or how it was going to change and shift over the year.  I think for me, I have always felt that sharing our knowledge, our tips and tricks of the trade, great research and anecdotal information, is the BEST way to give back the the field of Speech-Language Pathology.  I truly believe we are on a life-long quest to learn as much as we can and share our knowledge with others.  Luckily for me, I was born in the age of technology where I can do this without leaving the comfort of my living room (or…on some days…my pajamas ;)!  Ha!

So let’s take a stroll back over the last year!  What wonderful blessings has God brought to me?

1.  Blogging:  When I started this blog on July 13th of last year, I was in a period of transition.  My family moved from KS to AZ, I was trying to get myself incorporated, get a business license and generate some clientele while unpacking, helping my son transition to this new place and trying to get this building we now live in to feel like home.  But I missed seeing students, so I felt I needed a connection with the SLP world.  I felt there was more I could do, say, share that could be helpful for other SLPs, parents, educators, etc.  So…I started this blog!  

Now, I am not computer savvy by any means, so yes it did take me hours upon hours to figure out how to change the layout and design, to determine what it was going to look like, to add pictures, and don’t even get me started on widgets or blog buttons!!! Hahahaha!  But finally, it was up and running, with more tweaking to go in the future for sure.

I started this blog to give back, but what I didn’t realize is how much I would receive in return.  The kind words and comments left by all of you over the last year has kept me going.  It truly is A LOT of work to blog and sometimes I think we all ask ourselves why are we doing this?  But the answer always comes in the form of your kind words, posts, shares, comments, FB messages and tweets (I don’t have twitter but I’m speaking for myself and other bloggers as well).  So PLEASE, PLEASE if you ever enjoy a blog that has taken someone’s time and talent to create and publish, don’t hesitate to tell them because they just may need to hear those words!

2.  FB page:  My Communication Station: Speech Therapy, PLLC facebook page has also been a blessing in disguise.  I started it to share all the wonderful freebies out there to parents, teachers, SLPs, etc.  I realized there was also a need to share research and educational information I found as well as other activities and other wonderful ideas so many bloggers have out there.  So my goal to reach out and help, spread to my FB page.

As in blogging, keeping up with it all, scouring others posts to find freebies and relevant information does take much time.  But I do always try to post freebies every week.  It really just depends on when I can sit down to my computer to find some resources for you.

3.  Pinterest:  To my surprise, my pinterest boards have really been a Godsend in that I have been able to reach more and more parents, SLPs, and educators to share my information.  I also post all of the freebies from my FB page to FB posted Freebies board on pinterest as an easy way for you to find old freebies I have posted in the past.  Again, it seems to take only a few seconds to pin something but when you have to pin everything you are posting it does add some more time to the mix.  But by the wonderful power of Pinterest, some of you are now following me!  So thank you for finding me!

4. Private Practice:  Well, once I got established in this area, made some connections, I found it very easy, actually through word of mouth, to find a few clients to begin seeing in my private practice.  I think there is such a need for SLPs everywhere that parents are always searching and looking for the best services for their child.  There are so many things I loved about working in the schools but there are also many things I love about seeing clients privately.  My favorite part is the connection and communication I get to have with parents on a daily basis every session.  The parent counseling, training and education aspect of my job was lacking in the schools simply due to the fact that my caseload was outrageous and (as you school SLPs know) there is never enough time to adequately communicate with parents when there are students to see, meetings to attend, paperwork to do, collaboration and consultation with staff to participate in, and education to share.  

I have only taken on a handful of clients this year as my main purpose for not taking on a full time SLP job was to stay home with my son.  Which leads me to blessing number 5!

5.  Mommyhood:  Although I feel this truly is the BEST, #1 Blessing on my list, it just seemed a logical progression to place it here in this post.  I had worked full time in the schools for the first 2 years of my son’s life.  My husband had deployed, my sister was helping me out and living with us, and I felt like I lost the first 2 years of my son’s life.  So…this move brought on a whole new change for our family!!!  Come (you know where) or high water, I was going to be home with my son!  And we are so so so blessed by God’s grace that our financial situation allowed us to do this.  I know so many wonderful mom’s out there that want DESPERATELY to be home with their children but cannot financially afford it.  So this blessing does NOT go unnoticed or unappreciated by me on a daily basis!  I feel the BEST part of our move (which was of course controlled by the Army gods) was that I could be home with my baby!

I cannot tell you all the things we have done together this year, because we’ve done so much.  I can’t tell you all the things he has learned this year, because he’s learned so much.  I can’t tell you all the hours we spent enjoying each other’s company, laughing, joking, tickling, snuggling, because they were and (I hope still are and will be) endless and completely fulfilling!  This is the GREATEST most wonderful gift God has bestowed on me and my family this last year and I am so very grateful!

6.  My hubby:  The second GREATEST gift over the last year, has been that my husband has been state-side and with us for a whole year!!!!  If you are part of a military family reading this, you know what an AMAZING LUXURY it is to have your spouse with you for a whole year!  This is the LONGEST my husband and I have every been together since we began dating 9 1/2 years ago. Hahaha!  But what a blessing it has been for my son, to see his daddy EVERY DAY!  

My son needs his father!  I’ve seen such a change in him since my husband returned from deployment.  Mommy’s are amazing, superhuman, the best.  But daddy’s are the anchor, the rock, the strength. At least that is how it is in our family and God has been so very kind to us to bless us in this way!

And through all of these transitions (and trust me it IS a transition when you actually have to live with your husband again full time…again those of you who are military will understand what I am talking about here!), God has been there guiding me along the way!

So that’s it.  My look back over the last year!  It’s been an amazing ride and I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you out there reading, commenting, sharing, posting, etc.  

I have no idea what new adventures in speech pathology you and I will experience over the next year but I can’t wait to see what God had planned for us in the future!

Many hugs and much love from my family to yours!  And as always…happy talking!

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