Last week was my ten year anniversary of writing on this blog.

As in, a decade of my life has been lived, and is recorded, on this website.

Rachel Headshot Rachel Callahan IMG_2166editedJPGSMALLPhoto by Jake Marvin

It’s really quite mind-blowing – to me, and probably only to me. My first feeling about all that is that I am so much older than I was a decade ago.

I started on a complete whim. With way too little thought put into the commitment I was signing up for. It was as if I was purchasing a baby parrot and nobody happened to mention that parrots live 60 years and hey I might wanna take a minute to consider how my next 60 years look and if I have room in my schedule for a talking bird and all the poop it’ll make.

But the friends I’ve made from blogging have outweighed the crap I’ve had to clean up due to blogging, so, totally worth it.

Because I do adore numbers as well as friends, let’s talk numbers.

In ten years, I have written 2,353 posts. I started out writing more than seven times a week (It was before you could have a Facebook status, so I had a lot to say), and now write one, maybe two times a week. And I’m actually finally cool with that.

Of the 2,353 posts, I am most likely now embarrassed by 600 or so. I have only deleted 2. Oh – and I have 6 secret posts. You’ll have to ask about those.

I have had over 11 million visitors, with the completely random day of January 10, 2014 being my most heavily visited day – with a total of 126,847 visitors. Currently, a normal amount of daily visitors is around 1,300. Because, as we all know, blogging is extinct. It’s the Dodo Bird of the internet. The Pterodactyl of Social Media. But as I am the worst at quitting while I’m ahead, here I still am.

But back to the numbers.

My most popular post, at over 5 million views, featured photos of my butt a few dozen times. Its various prequels and sequels fill out my top 5 posts, because denim wisdom is, apparently, my most valuable contribution to society. Too bad it’s all outdated and I have no motivation to spend my days photographing my hind quarters in a dressing room.

After the jeans posts, Ali’s debut into Geography at 2 1/2 years old is next most popular. For the record I’d like to say that Noah is seven and doesn’t know all his states. This was one of those weird first child freak accidents. But her voice is fantastically adorable so it makes up for my cluelessness about how education works.

Oddly, the most therapeutic posts for me were the ones about what would have been tragedies, except that I was able to share them with you, in all their ridiculous how-did-this-happen-to-me glory. Such as when I went to get Noah up from a nap and discovered a bat flying around his room. AND HE CLAIMED IT BIT HIM. And the time I picked up my kid’s giant turd out of the bathtub and “accidentally” threw it at my husband. When I lived out the worst nightmare Chuck E Cheese can deliver a mom. And multiple sleepwalking injuries (some requiring ER visits), such as the time I jumped out of bed and ran into a wall – twice in one night. And also the time that my children were chased by an angry cottonmouth – and also we found a misplaced boob.

And of course medical posts. What is a blog without stories on colonoscopies, vasectomies, tonsillectomies, hysterectomies, stress tests, swallowing a camera on purpose, and illegal lactation medications.

In random news, breast pumps talk.

And I’ve had some fun with Essential Oils. Maybe a little too much fun. Is there an oil for that?

I got to interview a graffiti artist named Moist.

I met and befriended a family of bunnies.

I was able to track down and crack the case of Uncle Joe, owner of Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker. I stalked down my mysterious celebrity twin. I stalked my hacker and found the street view of their house. (I might have a stalking problem.)

I found, and watched, the movie I was in as a kid – the one where the gangster dies of syphilis.

I was able to prove that children aren’t, and perhaps shouldn’t, be bathed as often as our Mommy Guilt tells us.

I struck up a relationship with a spammer.

And it took me nine years, but I finally dipped my toes into political commentary – but only with lots of .gifs and because Alabama is so cray.

Noah starred in memes and fashion videos and was, to be quite honest, the best blogger’s toddler ever. And also the butt of all my jokes for years.

I made an entire blogging series out of my favorite neighbor ever (who has now left me and is therefore my ex-neighbor, much to my daily tragic loneliness), Not-Crazy-Renee.

My husband and I did, and blogged about, stupid insane things like making a meat bouquet. And, although we did this before our blogging days, there needed to be a record of the time we fibbed (stretched-the-truthed) ourselves out to the roof of an Atlanta skyscraper – then got locked out. Oh – and we took our wedding cake topper on our thirteenth anniversary trip?! Because blog.

These are just a few of the posts that I remember. I often click on a link to an old post and have absolutely zero recollection of ever writing it. Which is why, for my tenth anniversary of recording our family’s history, I am rewarding myself with getting my entire blog printed out into an Encyclopedia-Brittanica-Sized set of hardback books. For me to read, for Ali to read (she loves reading the first 500 posts, which I printed out many years ago), For Noah to browse and read one day, and for there to be an actual, physical product to represent the thousands of semi-pointless hours that I’ve put into this endeavor.

But the absolute best product to come out of this blog have been friendships. I have met up in real life with more blog friends than I can count, and have had those meetings in at least six states. I have dozens of friends that I would have never met were it not for me sharing my endless meanderings here. I have learned with you, laughed with you, and lived life with you. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

How long have you been hanging around here?

55 thoughts on “Boom. A Decade.

  1. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! I entered your world somewhere around the time Noah was born, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. :) It’s too bad IA is so far from AL…

  2. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I have been here since the beginning of 2009, which seems like yesterday to me. I will forever be thankful for Five Minutes for Parenting that linked to you. I’m really happy you are printing out all the blog posts. Its this century’s version of a baby book!

  3. I’ve been her for 9 years this month. On our 2nd visit to SMCC, you and Chris invited us to lunch, and you gave me your blog business card at lunch. I thought it was quite professional to have a blog business card, so the blog must be pretty awesome. One of my favorite posts from the early days was the Mommy Badge post, and you rocked my fashion world with the new non-Mom jeans. I’ve never looked back at those hideous Old Navy Mom jeans ;)

    1. Oh my…business cards. (eye roll)
      I don’t carry blog business cards anymore (although I do have Picture Birmingham ones so have I really grown?)
      I’m so thankful for your friendship and that we got to know y’all from the very beginning. And for your awesome butt modeling over the years.

  4. I have been around since the early denim days. I stayed because we have things in common – similar aged children (my son was born within days of Ali), homeschooling, faith. I have been around so long that I feel like I know you really well and I sometimes talk about my virtual friend in Alabama. My favourite post is when you ran into the wall. I enjoy it because it’s something that could easily happen to me. I have enjoyed learning about Alabama and wish it wasn’t so far away. I have enjoyed exchanging Christmas cards with you. I have also enjoyed purchasing a few sets of cards and being so appreciative that my money being used in such a great way. Thank you for being my one-sided friend. As a fellow introvert, you will understand my disbelief that you would ever want to know about me. Although you commented on my Facebook page a couple of times and I squealed with excitement that such a celebrity had noticed me. . Happy blog day and don’t quit!

  5. I think I’ve been around since close to the beginning. Never met in person, even though I only live an hour away. I would love to rectify that sometime! :)

  6. I can’t remember when I joined up, but it was the jeans post that brought me! I want to say it’s maybe been 4 years? I love hearing from you, no matter how many times per week!

  7. Happy Anniversary! I have no idea how long I’ve followed you. I find that I’m at an age where when things appear in my Facebook memories I am astounded at how long ago they were (wait, my kid was 10 then? How is that possible?) Maybe it isn’t my age, maybe it’s our military life? I just had a memory from six years ago and realized it was four moves ago, that’s a lot of moving! You can probably track those moves and my presence back through comments. I’ve been Jen in Okinawa, Jen in Kansas (twice), Jen in Jersey (three times), Jen in Germany, Jen in Texas, and currently Jen near STL (because I couldn’t bear to be Jen in Illinois, it has no rhythm).

    I’m so glad that you’ve been in my life though, for however long it has been. You’ve cheered me up on many days, been the only blog I read aloud to my husband (because yours’ is the only one he finds worth listening to), and been the only blog I consistently comment on. Thank you for 10 years!

    1. It’s always a compliment when even the husbands can appreciate our lives. :-) I’m so glad I’ve made the cut through all the moves and I didn’t get thrown out with the extra cloth napkins or too-small tennishoes!

  8. Happy anniversary, dear friend! I’ve been reading your blog for at least 8 years. It’s the only blog I still really read, and that’s not just because we’re buddies. Some of my best laughs come from you. So glad to journey together!

  9. I found you after the jeans posts, although I’ve read them, and still have not found a pair I like that deals with my apple shape/muffin top in a way that even remotely works. If you want to do another jeans series, I’d like to volunteer.
    I think I followed a link from Grass Stains, or perhaps from Spann, somewhere early in the sunset chasing days. I’ve met you once, at art walk, but I’ve seen you and the family eating out before a few times. It just feels weird and almost stalker-y to walk up and start talking to you. Anyway…I really enjoy your writing and your photography, thanks for sharing your gifts with us!

    1. Hahaa! I actually like it when people come say hello. I love visiting with people IRL. What DOES freak me out is knowing that I could be being watched at any moment. Ah!! :-) Next time say hi! Thanks for following!

  10. I am not sure when I found you but I think it has been at least 4 years and I have loved your blog from the first post!

  11. I came for long butt post and stayed for everything else. I don’t remember exactly how long ago that was but it was before you had decided to have a second child. So at least 8 or 9 years, I guess.
    This was the first post I read, but I don’t think I read it the day it was posted.
    I think it’s strange how I measure time. Somehow years, saying I started in 2009, won’t stick in my brain, but I can remember that you had one kid and were struggling with the idea of having another. So I can find a post where you mention Noah’s age, then extrapolate the year from there. This also can tell me that I had 2 kids, tho I may have been pregnant with #2 because he was born in mid 2009. This then tells me that you likely helped sustain me through my severe postpartum depression but I don’t remember much from those 6 months except the constant screaming.
    Do other people figure out the sequences of their lives in this way? I keep telling myself I should keep a journal…

  12. I’ve been reading since some time in 2010, again because of the denim post. Your posts have kept me laughing, thinking, and enjoying Alabama remotely from Baton Rouge. My kids are a few years younger, but some of your posts have given me a heads up about milestones before they occurred in my parenting, including helping me turn my toddlers into geography wiz kids :-D

    1. That’s awesome! I remember how important it was in those early years to have friends just barely ahead of me. I had no idea what I was doing or when I should do what if not for emulation.

  13. Pretty sure you predate my eldest who just turned NINE (say what???)

    I think I met you through 5 minutes for Parenthood but that was a long time ago so who knows. You still need to come visit Ottawa methinks.

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention your toenail art posts!

  14. Happy Anniversary! I came to your blog via the famous Jeans Post, and I believe we finally met in person for the first time at the Wee Theater when the kids were tiny. I don’t know if I’ve told you that your bat post probably saved my parent’s lives. My mom was bitten/scratched by a bat last year and I insisted that she send it to the health department, because I remembered the warning from your post. She did and a guy from AU called the next day to tell her it was rabid! She and my dad (who picked up the bat to contain it) both had to get rabies shots!! I don’t think that would have occurred to any of us had I not read about the bat in your house.

  15. I’ve been around about 6 years. I think Pinterest led me to your famous jeans post and it’s one of the few Pinterest finds that just keeps giving and giving. I’ve loved a lot of your posts, but for some reason the one where you guys got locked in the mall bathroom is my favorite. It’s ok that blogging is sort of dead–writing is a craft and so long as you’re enjoying it, it’s worth doing.

    1. I literally have zero recollection of getting locked in a mall bathroom. I’m going to have to google my own stories to find that one. And that is exactly why I’m glad I wrote these things down.

  16. I love you dearly and am pretty sure I would not have survived the beginning of motherhood without you. I started following when you were pregnant with Noah (what to do when you’re not expecting). I have loved meeting you (and Chris and Ali and Noah) in person. I still reference many things on your blog (usually “best of” lists). You are awesome and I’m glad we’re friends =)

  17. It’s been such a blur! I found you when I had a newborn and felt oh so alone. I remember laughing so hard I cried while reading about Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker. (but then again, I cried a lot back then!) :) I love(d) your honesty and humor. And then when I found the jeans post, it was like finding a new friend! I have loved your writings!! Congrats on 10 years!!

  18. I read all the many blogs I follow through bloglovin. Yours is the one I save for last…like a great dessert, topped with ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry on top.

  19. I found you from Beth, my daughter, Unskinny Boppy, (cheap plug for my kid’s blog) during the Jeans posts days. I stayed because Erma Bombeck is dead, Lewis Grizzard is gone, and I so miss the comedy writers of days gone by. Your roadkill posts made me lol as I have a warped sense of humor and found that your pics with props are right up my tickle bone alley. We’ve had personal experiences with many dead animals over the years and more recently, some outdoor animals I wanted dead as they were on the loose in our house. I photographed the ones our critter guy caught in his trap thinking I could do something with them like Rachel does. So happy anniversary and congrats on your success!

  20. Happy Anniversary! I think I’ve been around here since 2010. Wow! I would sit up late at night and laugh out loud while reading your blog. And all these years later it’s still one of the few blogs I always read. ☺

  21. Happy Blog-aversary! I can’t even remember how I found your blog but I think it was right around the time Ali turned 2 and I felt like we had so much in common since K was only a few months behind, we’re both named Rachel, both left-handed, same age, etc. You have given me at least 2,000 laughs! So thanks! I hope you keep writing for many years to come!

    1. I feel like you’re one of my originalest blog friends. I know originalest isn’t a word. But we’ll go with it. Thank you for sticking around! It’s been so fun knowing you through this platform. And getting to meet up!!

  22. Hi Rachel! Congratulations girl! I will always remember you being so sweet and bringing me things for our big yard sale fundraiser.. And the pottery place-that was fun!

  23. Congratulations on your Blog-aversary! I always enjoy reading your posts I love how you can find humor in just about any situation. You introduced me to roadkill photography not that I have taken it up as a hobby but I had never really thought of it as a photography niche until you discovered it. I also love feeling like I know your family better through your stories.

  24. 6 secret blog posts???!!! Now you will drive me batty wondering what in the world they might say!! And here I thought your life was an open book! Oh, why did you ever have to mention it?? :D

  25. I have been reading since finding the ‘denim handbook.’ I enjoy your writing style and wit and your determination to put either a good spin on a bad situation, or a humorous twist to fate. I appreciate you sharing your experiences, good, bad, and ugly! I would love to have you visit anytime you’re in my neck of the woods – or even if you’re stuck in the CLE airport during a layover.. We’re only a handful of minutes from the CLE airport.

  26. I started reading your blog years ago – I don’t know, maybe 8 years ago or so? And yes I found you through the denim posts. I also read your “Ambassadors for Honesty about Parenthood” post and even though at the time I was in my early 20’s and childless, it struck a chord with me.
    To be honest, I then forgot about your blog for years. Then I had a baby last year, and the Baby Blues hit me HARD. That’s when I remembered your “Ambassadors” blog post. I’ve read it over and over again and it speaks to my tired mom soul like nothing else. It gives me so much hope, to hear a fellow mom who’s been there and made it to the other side. It often feels like no one else gets it. When I talk about how tired I am, how I feel a loss of identity, people sometimes sigh, “well it doesn’t get easier,” or “just you wait until the Terrible Twos!” or “My kid is 4 and I’m still sleep-deprived!” UGH. People. But your blog post makes me feel better every time I read it. Thank you so much for writing it.

    1. That’s so sweet! I’m glad it stuck with you. Yes, that first year was really tough for me. I’m sorry you’re struggling and don’t have people that are understanding!
      And they all lie so much. It gets SO MUCH EASIER. I feel like I’ve arrived at this point. Ali is 11 and Noah is 7 and let me paint you a picture of Nirvana….
      – They fix their own breakfast and lunch.
      – Ali “mothers” Noah and checks up on him so I don’t have to. I often hear her say “Did you floss?” “Did you brush your teeth?” “Did you write in your diary?”
      – I can reward/motivate them to do what I want. Like not ask so many questions. Give me a break.
      – Oh! I can go take a nap without a care in the world. Or just go lay in my room and tell them I’ll be back in a couple hours.
      – They’re actually fun most of the time. And I enjoy their personalities.
      – They hike with us, they run with us, they’re basically little adults.
      – They clean their rooms without my help.
      – I am my own person, with my own hobbies, and my own existence, and I do not ever feel “sucked up” by them.


      You’re at the cusp of getting a lot of freedoms back. I promise. It will start to get more fun, more interactive, and less all-consuming very soon.

      Please feel free to email me or ask me questions any time! Whatever you’ve felt, I felt it too. You’re not crazy and you’re not alone!
      (Oh and I LOVED toddlerhood. It doesn’t have to be terrible.)

      1. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Trying to keep a toddler alive and happy is just so all-consuming, as you put it. Sometimes it’s fun but mostly it’s really boring. And people just keep telling me, “well, parenting is hard.” Even my husband is kind of like “what did you expect?” All I need to hear is that it gets better. Thank you thank you thank you for giving me a glimpse into your “nirvana.” :) It sounds awesome!

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