Monday, April 4, 2016

One Year Blogoversary + Survey + GIVEAWAY

Hey all! I'm four days late to my own blog's birthday party. Woops. Life got in the way, so instead of stressing over a self-imposed deadline to get this post put together, I postponed it till yesterday. Which . . . obviously didn't work out either, but I'm here today, right? Onwards!


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One year ago, I set forth on a digital adventure. Long had I roamed the Kingdom of Blogosphere, but never had I staked a claim on my own corner of the land. So it was on March 31st, 2015 that Adventure Awaits was born.


It's hard to believe a whole year has gone by since then! In some ways I feel like I've been blogging for ages, and in other ways I feel like a baby blogger, still wet around the ears and mostly clueless. It's been a super fun start to a wonderful adventure, though! I've met many fellow voyagers, crossed paths with many dear souls forging their way through this quest of life. Without all you who follow and read and comment, there'd be little reason for Adventure Awaits to exist--so THANK YOU.


Thank you for reading. Thank you for following. Thank you for taking a moment to tell me what you think, to discuss books or talk writing or delve into the delightful complexities of life. You guys make this incredibly fun.


Since this little place is now one year old, I've decided to throw a celebration! Just like mothers measure their children against the wall and pencil in their growing heights, I enjoy watching my blog's stats, so I'll share a few of those with you. After that, there's a fun little survey, and then a fun little giveaway to wrap things up. Because what's a birthday party without presents, I ask you?


Stats and Fun Facts

A few bits of trivia:
  • Though I'd played around with Blogger casually for months, the thing that pushed me over the edge and forced me to actually make something of it was my first ever guest post going up on Bryan Davis's blog: Courage to save the Mockingbirds.
  • I initially didn't have a specific name for the blog, but someone saw the tagline in the header and referred to the blog by that name, and so I ran with it. (I think it was you, Tori. ^_^)
  • I've had two guest posts here so far: the first with my friend and artist, Kianna G., and the second with my brother Josiah.
And now for some stats. I currently have . . .
  • 38 freakishly awesome followers across Google Friend Connect and Bloglovin'. (Unless some of you follow on both, in which case I have less. BUT there are always people that bookmark blogs and follow unofficially, so I figure it balances out.)
  • 73 posts
  • 12,190 pageviews
  • 1,253 comments
The top ten countries from which my views come are:
  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Russia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Ukraine
  6. Israel
  7. Germany
  8. France
  9. Mexico
  10. Australia
Some interesting (and some odd) search results that people have used to get to my blog:
  • ted dekker (I do talk about his books a fair bit.)
  • tracy dyck (Ah, you're so close . . . Just add an E!)
  • once upon a time main cast (Yes, I suppose I do mention OUaT in most of my Subplots and Storylines posts, seeing as I'm going through all the seasons.)
  • tracy dyck edmonton (I don't . . . live there. But okay.)
  • adventure awaits (Bravo!)
  • bryan davis dragons in our midst (Another author/series I can't stop talking about.)
  • house frank peretti and ted dekker i . . . (Unfortunately, Blogger won't let me see the rest of this line. It just stops partway through a word.)
  • ooh ahh winnie the pooh wallpaper (WHAT EVEN DO YOU MEAN?!)
My ten most popular posts, in order from most views to least:
  1. Welcome! (also has the highest number of comments)
  2. Lovely Books // covers & titles
  3. Beautiful People - 2016 Plans
  4. Lovely Books // couples
  5. Four Elements of a Successful Villain - guest post by Josiah Dyck
  6. Lovely Books // villains (I'm sensing a pattern here . . .)
  7. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - a Christmasy tag
  8. Subplots and Storylines - February
  9. Books of 2015
  10. Philosophical Ramblings on the Subject of Time Travel
I wish Blogger did a cool stats report like Wordpress supposedly does, but alas and alack, it does not. Otherwise it'd be fun to mention top commenters and whatnot, but there's no way I have time to go through every post and manually tally everyone's comments! Just know that I appreciate EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU.


Survey

So much of blogging is guesswork, people! And some things I write about take off, and others may fall flat, and basically--confession time here--I can't read minds. So I would adore you forever if you would take a minute and answer some questions. I want to know what you think! And please be 100% honest, even if that means answering negatively. You'll help me grow and be a better blogger.






Online survey powered by Typeform


Thanks again, my friends!


Giveaway

Since this is my blog's first birthday, and since birthdays mean parties, and parties mean presents, tada! I'm hosting a giveaway! I'm being a generous dragon today by shelling out a few coins from my pile of gold in order to make this giveaway open to residents of Canada AND the United States. Aren't you thrilled?


Feast your eyes on the lovely little prize I put together.


a handmade notebook


3 handmade bookmarks
Not only will one lucky follower win the notebook and bookmarks, they'll also receive a printout of one of my poems (never posted on the blog before), and a personalized note from me. Just because I love you guys.


What are you waiting for?




a Rafflecopter giveaway
(I tried embedding the giveaway into this post, and all I got was a boring-looking link. Sorry 'bout that. Please click the link to enter.)


(Oh, and it runs until midnight on April 10, 2016, Central Time. Just FYI.)


That's it, that's all, folks.

Once again, I have to say a ginormous thank you! This first year of blogging has been a blast, and I'm looking forward to another year that's even better than the first.

44 comments :

  1. oh..hmm..totally Glenbrooke. It's a fictional town in Oregon.. lol

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    1. I haven't heard of Glenbrooke. Just Googled it now--is it in a series by Robin Jones Gunn? I can imagine how homey a town like that would be. ^_^

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  2. "ooh ahh winnie the pooh wallpaper"
    how even did that get someone to your blog

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    1. I have no idea. XD Maybe it was the one time I included a Pooh picture in a post??

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  3. Congratulations on a successful first year of blogging, Tracey!! :)
    As to the fictional world I'd want to live in... hmm... There are so many choices! This sounds strange, but mine would probably be my world-in-the-works, right now, which will probably serve as the setting for many of my novels and novellas to come. It's called Repel, and is a medieval-based continent lying in the North Atlantic. :)

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    1. Thank you, Liv! :D

      That doesn't sound strange at all. (I'd probably pick my own fictional world of Alewar, too. That is, if places like Narnia weren't so appealing.) Repel sounds really cool! Being a writer is such fun. I mean, who else gets to make up an entire continent?

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  4. AAAHHHH HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY, DEAR TRACEY!!! I inhale your blog like I inhale cake. Which is a considerable amount, in case you were wondering. XD Basically, I love your blog to death and would probably crash the internet if I let myself start flailing over it.

    "Ooh ahh winnie the pooh wallpaper (WHAT EVEN DO YOU MEAN?!)" I'M DYING.

    I couldn't answer that one survey question about least favorite posts because HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO? I adore them all! So I didn't answer it. #sucharebel

    *gasps* Oh my gravy (don't ask), that journal!! And those bookmarks!!! And...and...why are my words not working? I just love homemade gifts (especially when one of the bookmarks has a quote from The Hobbit). Who knows? Perhaps my luck from the last two giveaways will hold out. (To clarify, I just won two giveaways last month. I only entered two so that was pretty weird.)

    Anyway, this comment was SUPPOSED to be shorter, but my words ran away with me. Happy blogoversary, dear friend! I hope that there will be many, many, many more years of Adventure Awaits!

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    1. Oh, waiiiit up. I need to answer the fantastical fictional world question! Hmmm...okay, this is such a hard decision...MIDDLE-EARTH. (I was being a bit facetious there; it was actually easy for a complete Tolkien nut like myself.) Because there are hobbit holes, epic quests, and Elves. Really a no-brainer. (But, ah, I might be a wee bit paranoid about dying all the time. All those orc raids and plans to take over the world and such trifling things might make surviving a challenge. No big deal, though, right? XD)

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    2. Your comment(s) always make me laugh or chuckle or snigger or make other sounds of amusement. XD
      CAKE. I APPROVE OF THIS COMPARISON MIGHTILY.

      That 'ooh ahh' just gets me. XDDD

      Aww, you're sweet. Here, have some more cake.

      (I say good gravy every now and then, actually...) I had so much fun making those prizes! I hardly want to give them away. XD No, that's not true, I'm honestly really excited to see who's going to get them. Maybe your lucky streak will continue. :D

      Middle Earth! That would be incredible to live there, minus the orc raids and world domination plans and death, of course. Other than that, perfect. XD

      Thanks so much, Mary! You're an awesome follower. <3

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  5. Congratulations on your first year of blogging! That's a huge milestone!

    And the fictional world I'd like to live in... probably Middle Earth? I'm rereading The Return of the King right now and even though Middle Earth is dangerous and constantly in peril, my love for Tolkien's books is clouding my good judgement.

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    1. Thanks, Candice! It's hard to believe it's been that long already.

      Middle Earth for the win! If I could sequester myself away in a safer place like a hobbit hole or Rivendell, that would be quite alright with me. :) (And I am so due for a reread...)

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  6. Here's to a great first year of Adventure Awaits! (raises teacup)
    And here's to many more! (toasts again)

    On a completely different note: I'm sorry I didn't reply about the gamma thing. I know I want to read your story, but I'm still unsure which version I'd like to read. I wouldn't mind reading it twice, actually.

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    1. *clinks teacup against yours* I humbly thank you, Blue, for that fine toast. :)

      Hey, no problem! If you want to read it twice, that's A-Okay with me. (Wow. I feel like that term must age me. It seems so...nineties? Early two thousands? XD)

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    2. You're very welcome!

      That sounds good. Some books just deserve a re-read!

      Hm. I've never considered 'A-okay' an old term. But then, this is coming from someone who says 'new-fangled', and 'I haven't the foggiest'.

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    3. Aww. *blushes* ^_^

      Maybe it isn't? It just seemed that way at the time. But now I'm curious, so I looked it up. One online dictionary says the term originated with astronauts in the 60's. "All systems are okay" was shortened to "A-Okay."
      I say both of those, especially "I haven't the foggiest!" XD

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  7. Happy Blogoversary! Mine came and went and I didn't notice until . . . uh, now? Maybe I'll just start counting from my new blog design on :)
    I took your survey! I love surveys (I'm one of *those* people). Congrats on your blogging achievements, and I look forward to reading many more posts from you.

    Oh - and I must live in Middle Earth. Such beauty is worth many, many dangers! (And to be honest, my fascination with Mirkwood probably means I'd last all of 2.5 seconds)

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    1. Well then, happy belated blogoversary to you too! :) That reminds me, I really need to hop on over to your new domain and properly follow you there.

      Thanks for taking the survey! (I'm one of those people too.) Really appreciate it. :D

      Oooh, Mirkwood... If not for the spiders, I'd agree with you. As it is, well, my distaste for those large creatures would probably outweigh my desire to set foot there. XD

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  8. Happy one-year blogoversary! I always enjoy your posts!

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    1. Thank you, Jenelle! That means a lot. :)

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  9. Oh, and as far as which fictional world I'd like to live in... I'm going to have to go with the Enchanted Forest from Patricia C. Wrede's Dealing with Dragons. There's always something interesting going on, and while there are villains and danger, it doesn't seem like the MOST dangerous place to live, if you know what I mean! If I picked Middle Earth I'd always be afraid that I might accidentally end up with the fate of the world on my shoulders, and I don't think I could handle that kind of pressure!

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    1. I've never read any of her books before, but from what I've gathered from those who have, I need to fix this. :) It sounds like a lovely place to be. Interesting but not over-the-top dangerous. LOL, so true (about Middle Earth)! Thank goodness for Frodo.

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  10. EEEEEEEEEP CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BLOGOVERSARY!!! ^________^ *throws confetti and cake* Hurray for a whole year of awesomesauce Tracey posts -- and excited for more! :D

    Also I love surveys, so. >:D

    Oh my goodness Tracey how could you ask that question about where to live. -_- Um. Ingary or Middle-earth! I think I will live in Ingary in summer and Rivendell in winter. *nods* FYI, Ingary is the place in Howl's Moving Castle (except... Rivendell is kiiind of in that book too... >:D Erm... you'll have to read it to know why. XD). BUT I WANT TO LIVE IN HOWL'S CASTLE AND EAT CREAM CAKES FROM CESARI'S AND STAY IN RIVENDELL AND HAVE THE PERFECT TOOKISH/BAGGINS MIX OF COMFORT/FOOD/ADVENTURE/READING/SONG. *nodsnods*

    ...Those are the ones I'm thinking of right now but really there are SO many fictional places to go to, and that's not even thinking of my OWN stories... As I've said before, I need a Howl's Castle/TARDIS/wardrobe hybrid where I can open a door and travel anywhere I want. ^_^

    (*sees above comment* And you MUST read the Enchanted Forest books, Tracey!!! O_O)

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    1. *frolics in confetti and dodges cake* (What? Cake is messy, and good for eating off of plates and not the floor. XD) THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH, DEB! I'm grateful for awesomesauce people like you who read and comment and whatnot!

      Heehee, I like 'em too.

      I'm just evil that way. >:D Ingary...I was about to ask what/where that is, but AHA. HMC! Have I ever mentioned how deeply I feel the need to read that book? XD (Also I am terribly curious as to how in the world Rivendell makes it into a book that's not even remotely Tolkien.) THAT SOUNDS LIKE A MIX OF PERFECTION, TAKE ME WITH YOU.

      Oh goodness, yes, while we're in the business of visiting fictional lands, let's go to yours! Kedran's Wood shall be our first stop. That hybrid thing needs to happen. *nods* Invent it, if you please.

      (OKAY. *salutes briskly* I think I remember you mentioning them on your blog...)

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  11. Happy Blogoversary! A year already, wow. I love your blog, so glad I followed. I wish I could live in Narnia.

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    1. Thank yooouuu! It's hard to believe it's been a whole year... I'm so glad you followed too. *hugs* You're awesome, and such an incredibly faithful commenter. And if you're going to Narnia, TAKE ME WITH YOU. <3

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  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ADVENTURE AWAITS!!!! This is so exciting! I'm like you in that it feels like you only just started this blog, and yet it also feels like it's always been. I'm so, so happy you started blogging. I adore your blog so much and being able to always keep up with you here!

    Also, I don't know if we've talked about it before, but I started my blog during March as well. March just seems to be the time to start blogs!

    Why must you ask which is our least favorite posts in the survey??? D: I didn't realize you could skip questions, so I just randomly clicked on one, but don't put any stock into it!!! I adore ALL your posts, always. You write the best posts!

    Oh my goodness gracious, TRACEY. Did you make those bookmarks and the notebook? :O :O :O THEY SO PRETTY. Your talent never ends! I adore the dragon-y, adventure theme with them. THEY ARE PERFECT.

    Wait. You're making us choose just ONE fictional world to live one? *writhes around making wailing dragon noises* I CAAAAN'T. Narnia? Middle Earth? Wonderland? Neverland? I don't knoooow! It just depends on what mood I'm in at the time. Lately I've been in a sort of Neverland-y mood. But it changes day to day.

    Happy birthday again to your dear bloggy! <3333

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    1. THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH, CHRISTINE!!! And I'm so, so happy to have you along for the ride! (Not to mention I feel the exact same way about Musings of an Elf.)

      That's right! I had noticed that the other day. March is just a good month for such blog-starter-y things. *nods*

      Well, I do want to know if there's anything that people don't prefer to read, or that are just kind of 'meh' for them. Because then I would stop posting those things--unless they were uber special to me, in which case I would just keep posting those for myself. XD (Though I am, of course, happy to hear you like them all. <3)

      I DID. And I confess that I am proud of myself. XD ...To the point where I want to keep them. LOL, I'll have to make similar ones for myself later! Glad you noticed the theme--I thought I'd tie it into the blog for fun. :D

      PICK ALL OF THE ABOVE. All excellent choices! Wonderland and Neverland I have yet to actually visit for myself... Soon, precious, soon...

      Thank you so much! You've no idea how much I appreciate your comments. <333

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  13. What? WHAT?! I have to choose a fictional world?!
    Firstly, awesome blog. I love it. You make me laugh ALL THE TIME, and you're so encouraging to all us other insane writers. :D

    I'd have to go with Narnia...

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    1. YES, YOU DO. (Not really, you wouldn't *have* to.) But Narnia is a fabulous choice. That would probably be mine too. :) Gorgeous and magical, and noticeably less dangerous than Middle Earth.

      Aww, thank you! That makes me happy to hear. <3

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  14. Happy Blogoversary! I'm glad the typeform survey worked out for you. ^ ^ I'm about to do another one of those on my blog this weekend! It's been great meeting you on the blogosphere. I enjoy reading your posts. ^ ^ Keep writing!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh and I'd live in Narnia. And was I the first person to call your blog Adventure Awaits really?

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    2. Thank you, Tori!! Yes, Typeform worked out wonderfully. Thanks for the recommendation. :) (Also yay for your own survey! I love filling those out.)

      Huzzah for Narnia! ^_^ Yep, I'm like 99.9% sure you were the one to officially name Adventure Awaits. 'Twas a great idea. ;D

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  15. HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY!!! ~runs around throwing confetti~

    Why is everyone saying what fictional world they'd live in?

    It occurs to me it's probably a question in the giveaway, which I cannot enter ~gazes sadly across the Atlantic~

    Buuut I would live in Narnia, CLEARLY. At least, I'd spend my holidays there, but go to school at Hogwarts. And drop by Middle Earth now and then. I'd also dive into Westeros (Game of Thrones) briefly to grab Jaime, my true love, and then bring him back with me because living there would be a bad idea indeed.

    Anyway, HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY! (Did I already say that?)

    How do you do the searchy thing, though? I always see it and don't know how.

    PS People bookmark blogs and follow unofficially? WHAT TREACHERY.

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    1. I JUST FOUND IT, THIS IS MY FAVE THING EVER.

      wishingiwasnorthern.blogspot.com -- this did used to be my url, yes.
      eklobb -- and that was it before that.
      emilys chronicles -- and that was my first blog name, bless me. But why are these still being searched? (Again, I don't trust Blogger's search tools, mostly.)
      how to unfollow a blog on blogger -- ouch.
      how to unfollow blogs on blogger -- double ouch.
      birthday cards with nail polish -- I did do a tutorial of this once. (it was a good card, too. I'm good at making cards. Not to blow my own trumpet. But if no one ever publishes my books, I can become a bespoke card maker.)
      emily's chronicles -- here we go again.
      3 stanza poem about love -- I REMEMBER THAT POEM. Wow. Goodness. I'm really glad I deleted my posts from when I was 14.
      "scaly conjoined legs" -- a line from a story I posted like three years ago?
      andy warhol animals -- I did do a post on this once, I don't think, like, anyone read it though?

      I need to share these properly on my blog! They are brilliant XD

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    2. THANK YOU, EM! *twirls in confetti*

      You guessed correctly: for the giveaway, I asked people to comment and mention which fictional land they'd like to live in. So sorry I couldn't open it internationally! Shipping to the States can be pricey, never mind across the Atlantic. :( Hopefully another time... I'm very sad you can't enter.

      Haha, Narnia seems to be the popular choice! "For Narnia and for Aslan!"

      Obviously you found how to look at the search results. XD Oh my goodness, you've got some odd ones! How to unfollow a blog--WELP, THAT DOES NOT BODE WELL. Ooh, you make cards? That's cool. I do too, for birthdays or Valentines or whatnot, but I lack the supplies to go all out like the more professional crafters. XD Haha, all these results are just too funny. Definitely share them on Ink, Inc.

      P.S. *whispers* I used to do that...before I had a Blogger account, I just bookmarked all my usual haunts. I probably 'followed' some of them more actively than official followers. But ack, yes, it'd be nice if we bloggers would know how many of those unofficials we have. XD

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    3. I know, I feel that about shipping costs. Last giveaway I did was a "£10 from the Int Book Depository", which is good because it ships internationally, but it is really nice to give someone something specific (like those lovely notebooks, or your poem!). I did a UK only giveaway of one of my favourite books for that reason, but only one person -- my best friend irl -- entered! So apparently I have like no UK followers XD

      I thiiink I did a post once about unfollowing blogs, but still, it's not very self-affirming!
      I have accrued many supplies over the years (I don't have space for them all!), and yet, I never seem to have the supplies I want!

      How did you know about the blogs? I didn't know anything about blogging, and then one of my friends was like Hey-o I have a blog, you should make one! So I did. It probably would've been better to make bloggy friends, as you did, and then make the blog, so that I could slightly avoid the awkward I-have-three-followers stage. Did you bypass that stage?

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    4. Where are all the UK followers staying? They should be FLOCKING to your blog. ^_^

      I went out and bought specific supplies for this giveaway, which means I have a goodly amount left over for other projects. Now to think of some ideas...

      Oh, that's so far back, let's see if I remember! I think it started when I was looking up favorite authors, found their websites/blogs, and naturally began checking back for updates. And then you know how it goes: you follow links and "meet" the regular commenters. I myself would often comment anonymously and just sign my name at the end. And then there were some friends of mine online and IRL who had blogs too. Eventually I made a Blogger account to more easily follow them, and then a year ago, voila! This! XD So I did kind of bypass that awkward beginning stage, but not through any intentional strategy. XD (Also, I love "hey-o." My sister likes to say it.)

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    5. THAT'S WHAT I TELL THEM. But they don't listen. Because they can't listen. Because they're not following.

      It's a vicious circle.

      Ah, nice! Your giveaway things are really lovely. Try not to accidentally spend four hours on Pinterest while searching for ideas (I speak from bitter experience).

      Aah, author blogs. Makes sense. It is v cool how you can meet commenters through mutual love of an author, isn't it? I don't say Hey-o enough. I need to say it more.

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  16. Hello Tracey Dvek. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with you. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 36 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast whre richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have you come with your friends to work with us during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you. your family and friends and also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered rest of the year 2016.

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    1. Thank you for the offer, Pastor Diwakar, but in this season of life, my calling is here at home. May God bless your work!

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  17. (sorry I'm SO late to comment on this!)

    Love this post Tracey, it was so fun to read! This was a great blogaversary post :).

    ooh ahh winnie the pooh wallpaper. Uh ... why was someone searching that in the first place? And HOW would that lead them to your blog?! That made me laugh :D.

    Yeah, I wish Blogger did the Wordpress stats record things, that would be awesome. *nods*

    Ooo, so your blog is having a hobbit-y birthday party, is it? I love that the hobbits give gifts on their birthday, that should SO be a thing :D.

    And thank YOU for having this awesome blog! I loveth it SO much :).

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    1. (No worries at all! I love "late" comments just as much as "on time" ones.)

      Thank you! ^_^ Haha, I have NO idea where that Winnie the Pooh search result came from. I do like Pooh, but I think I've only ever mentioned him once or twice here...

      Yes! That's exactly what this is: a hobbit-y birthday party! I had forgotten that's a hobbit custom, giving gifts on their birthday. (For some reason, I kept thinking of an "un-birthday party." Is that an Alice in Wonderland thing, or am I mixing things up in my brain? XD)

      Thank YOU for all your sweet comments, Savannah! It's fun to have you along for the ride. :)

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  18. Haaaappy bloggy birthday TO YOOOOOU. *throws confetti and cake at you* CONGRATS ON THIS AMAZING MILESTONE! And I hope it's just the first of many many awesome years of blogging. :')

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    1. AWWW, THANK YOU, CAIT! *huggles* Especially for the cake. I am eternally grateful. ;D

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