Thank You! Just Because!

posted by Andrea | 10/18/2019

simple thank you card

Many of Dave and my conversations are about the blog — talking about various comments we find funny or interesting, dreaming about all sorts of projects, bouncing around ideas for future posts, etc. etc.

It’s a topic that’s on our minds quite regularly, so I surprised us both a couple of weeks ago when I blurted out the possibility of shutting down the blog — Dave looked at me like a deer in the headlights!

Honestly, I do NOT want to shut it down, but I told him I was open to the possibility if other opportunities came along, or if we felt it was the right decision for our family. 

Prior to our conversation, I had been thinking about how different my life will be in just a couple of years when all 4 kids are in school for the majority of the day — how much more time I’ll have to do some of the things I’ve been dreaming about for years now! 

Will blogging be on that list yet?

I don’t know… but honestly, I hope it is! 

After talking with Dave the other day, I thought more about what I could do outside of blogging… certainly, I’m qualified and capable of working many other types of jobs. But at this point in my life, I truly cannot imagine doing anything I love even half as much as sharing my home, my life, and my ideas online.

Maybe my thought process will morph over the next few years as my children get older and as our family’s priorities change, but over the past 2 weeks (since I first mentioned shutting down the blog to Dave) it has become VERY clear to me that blogging is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now!

The VERY NEXT MORNING (after my late-night conversation with Dave) I woke up to several encouraging emails from long-time readers who just wanted to tell me “how much they enjoyed my blog and appreciated all the time and energy I put into updating it every day.”

Later that SAME DAY, one of my recent posts went “viral”, causing my blog traffic and ad revenue to skyrocket.

The NEXT DAY another older post went “viral”, resulting in even more traffic for the rest of the week. (2 viral posts in a row has NEVER happened to me.)

The following day, I found myself scrolling through a variety of online articles related to growing a blog, managing a blog, improving online visibility, etc. — all topics I usually don’t search out, but had simply “landed on” in the process of looking for other information online. 

And later that week, I had a huge burst of energy and drafted out countless blog posts for the coming weeks and months ahead (something that normally doesn’t happen all at one time).

To me, it all felt very providential and affirming that I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing right now. 

And you know what? I’m thrilled! 

work-from-home mom

As I continued to mull over so many random thoughts related to my blog and my business, the one that kept coming back to me was the fact that I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of YOU.

Without you, I couldn’t earn a living working from home — and without you, I certainly wouldn’t enjoy my time blogging nearly as much! 

So… THANK YOU! 

Thank you for faithfully reading every day, for sharing on social media, and for subscribing to my daily emails.

Thank you for your thoughtful, interesting, helpful, and funny comments.

Thank you for your tips, ideas, and suggestions on everything from how to get Nora to sleep and Simon to talk to how to finally get my whole grain bread to rise!

Thank you for giving this semi-introvert an opportunity to voice myself without actually being around people all day long. 

Thank you for being so gracious when Dave and I both miss glaring typos (I have a couple of readers who religiously send me a private message by 7 am any time they see a typo in my post. It’s so helpful and appreciated.)

Thank you for not expecting too much from me and for patiently waiting while I take time away from the blog each year. 

Thank you for loving our children “from afar” and sharing helpful tips, advice, ideas (and funny stories) to make my parenting journey easier and more enjoyable.

Thank you for your cards, gift cards, and packages for myself, for Dave, and for our children. 

Thank you for trying my recipes and then coming back (time and time again) to tell me when one is a huge success for you. 

Thank you for your emails filled with encouragement, affirmation, and appreciation for what I do and all that I offer online.

Thank you for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, and exciting events alongside our family. 

Thank you for emailing me coupon codes for places you know we’ll use (Culver’s, Blurb, Amazon, ThredUP, Shutterfly, and most recently, American Girl).

Thank you for introducing yourself to me at Meijer, at the Zoo, at various thrift stores, and other places when I’m out and about. 

Thank you for mailing me a replica model of the Titanic all the way across the United States to use for a cake I decorated for Nora’s class! 🙂

Thank YOU for allowing me to do the things I love doing most… all while taking care of the people I love most! 

trail mix gift bags with thank you note attached

I smile as I remember a conversation I had with my dad back when I was in college…

He told me I’d be “successful” if I found a way to get paid for doing something I love — even if I didn’t make a huge salary. 

At the time, I felt discouraged by that advice because the things I loved doing and felt passionate about were all the normal, mundane, everyday things like cleaning, organizing, cooking, gardening, sewing, etc.

Certainly, I couldn’t get paid to do those things… right?

I told a friend that I just wanted to be a “small-scale Martha Stewart”… and while my blog doesn’t amount to even a tiny fraction of Martha Stewart’s success, I can’t deny the fact that I now make my living (and am “successful” in my own small way) doing exactly what I LOVE to do — cleaning, organizing, cooking, gardening, sewing, mothering, etc. etc. 

baking cookies with mom

a stack of business cards

This past decade has been a wild ride, to say the least. 

I’ve thought about throwing in the towel more than a few times, but thanks to so many of YOU (and probably a little bit of my own determination), I’ve stuck with it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. 

And I’m SO happy I did! 

Thanks again! 

(baby Nora — circa. 2012)

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114 comments

  1. Chris

    11/02/2019

    Andrea, I am posting late but I wanted to make sure I commented on this post. I’m not very good with words but I would like to say I just absolutely love your blog! I love your level-headedness regarding nearly every topic. I love your organizational posts and seeing pictures of your house. I love it that you don’t promote too many items because when people do that, it kind of makes things jaded to me and makes things look like one big advertisement. I found out in the last few years that I think I have undiagnosed ADHD and I also have low energy at the same time. Keeping up with the normal activities of running a household can be extremely stressful for me. Your blog is such a blessing to me and helps me so much. God bless you and your family abundantly!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks SOOOOO much Chris!
    I appreciate your LOOOONG time readership and all your many helpful and encouraging comments! You’re the best!

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    Chris Reply:

    Aww, thank you! 🙂

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  2. Linda B.

    10/24/2019

    When you feel like giving up, maybe you just need a little break from working on the blog. I think we’d all prefer you take a break, rather than walk away and leave us all hanging. We need to see the babies we’ve “known” since their birth grow up. It’s funny, when my husband sees me reading your blog, he always says “Who’s that lady?” My answer is “She’s the lady who gave me the recipe for that sausage tortellini soup you like so much!” He’s a fan, too, because of your recipes. Thank you for all you do to help us simplify our homes and lives.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes. thanks Linda!
    I do take a break between Christmas and New Years and usually for a week or so in the summer! Don’t worry, I’m not feeling burnt out 🙂
    And thanks for sharing the story about your husband. Glad you are enjoying my recipes!

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  3. Pyper

    10/21/2019

    I’ve been following your blog since before Nora was born. Although I don’t read it every day, I do go on “reading sprees” where I’ll catch up on all your emails that look interesting to me. And your stromboli is one of my kids all time favorite meals! So I’d love for you to stick around. 😉

    I’m curious – which of your posts went viral?

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  4. Sarah

    10/21/2019

    Nope…you can’t go, you’re far too important to my daily routine! You would have too many ladies phoning you to catch up on your latest news, the kids…the blog keeps us all happy 🙂

    I enjoy your recipes even if I can’t quite get the ingredients. Your pea and ham soup is fab! I’ve never seen crushed tinned tomatoes and the weight of half a cup of butter mystifies this Brit mum. My youngest is Nora’s age and its interesting to see them grow ‘together’. I also find your position on issues interesting – for example I can’t ‘support’ your lack of recycling (drop it off on the way to food shopping?) or using disposable nappies, but even those very occasional posts that I disagree with give me valued food for thought and I ponder should I relax/scale up my response to this?!

    So whilst blogging works for you please keep at it ♡

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well if you say so, then I’ll stick around for a while longer 🙂

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  5. Melissa C.

    10/21/2019

    Oh I so love your blog and love reading about the kids. Your recipes are wonderful and the tips are extremely helpful. Thank YOU for sharing!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much, Melissa!

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  6. Julia

    10/20/2019

    Thank YOU for such an amazing resource! Your blog is my favorite! I have been reading for about 6 years now and love your approach to life, homemaking, saving money, and (now that we’re expecting our first kiddo) raising a family. It never fails to help motivate me when I need a little motivation, and your tips and tricks are so creative. I look forward to each and every post, even if I get behind and have to binge-read Keep up the awesome work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re welcome Julia! It’s my pleasure!

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  7. Karen

    10/19/2019

    I have read every single blog post you have created.I emailed you once to tell you I frequently ask myself. “what would Andrea do”? I appreciate you sharing your life with us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    aw, thanks Karen!

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  8. Karlyn Nance

    10/19/2019

    I’m sure your followers are not composed primarily of grandmothers, but I’m equally convinced that I am not likely the only one. I for one am thankful you did not throw in the towel! In all honesty, I was a little annoyed when I first started reading your blog, because your life seemed so perfect. But the more I read, the more it drew me in, and I began to see your openness about your struggles, and how I could relate to many of them. And I realized how closely I could identify with many of your passions and life experiences–making my home a place where I love staying home, cleaning, organizing, preparing nutritious meals, a preference for eating at home instead of restaurants, not an avid traveller–and the list goes on. I even had a desire to have four children, but due to some fertility issues, God gave me just three, for whom I am very grateful. Even many of my child-rearing expereinces were similar to yours–a child who never slept and wanted to nurse every hour, and a child who was extremely slow to talk. It has been a joy to re-live some of those trying times, and see the way you have worked through them. You have touched many lives, including my own. At age 74, I continue to learn something from almost every one of your blogs. Keep up the the good work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you know what Karlyn — I have LOTS of grandmothers who read my blog. Just the other day I was telling Dave and maybe I should market my blog specifically to the over 60 crowds because I have so many readers in that age group. You are in good company here!

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  9. Babs

    10/19/2019

    No! … Not until Nora is out of college and can take it over!
    How would I evah keep up with my Virtual GrandOnes?!
    Your blog reaches people in many more ways than you know… or anticipated. The online world is plagued and bombarded with this or that blog… political to personal. You do it from the heart, give a glimpse of what real families experience on a daily ongoing basis. You have motivated many people to see what togetherness and a plan can do for houses, hopes, finances and futures. So if you’re thinking of stopping any time soon, just call a therapist, take a break, have some shock therapy,whatever… but No, your Dad was right. And you ARE doing what you’re meant to do.

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    Karlyn Nance Reply:

    Well said, Babs! Couldn’t agree more!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh that’s a good idea — Nora would probably get a kick out of taking this over. It could morph into her college job!

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  10. Emily

    10/19/2019

    I’m so thankful your blogging has been such a blessing to you as well! I’ve followed you since we were both pregnant with our oldest (at least I think that’s when it was? maybe longer? when did you start blogging?? haha) and I can honestly say I have stuck with maybe two blogs for that long, ever. Yours is just so practical and relatable, but still so full of ideas that inspire me to do/be better. I think that’s so rare! And I just love following along with you and your family. So thanks for continuing to share, and I pray you continue to see success with it as well!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I started blogging just over 2 years before Nora was born, but I didn’t really launch this site until 6 months later. Either way, it’s been a while!

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  11. Karen

    10/19/2019

    Oh honey, you have to keep blogging long enough so we can watch you and Dave go through the teenage years! 😉 Honestly I found you a year and 1/2 ago when I became a grandmother. I rarely make “suggestions” to my kids but I have said, multiple times, “Andrea Dekker suggested _____.”
    Enjoy your blog, you and your beautiful family so much! But… I know you will do what feels right now and down the road. Wishing you the best.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hahaha — OK, will do Karen!

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  12. Melinda Mackie

    10/19/2019

    I could go on & on, but I want you to know I’d really miss your daily emails, so I’m happy you feel you’re where you need to be right now.

    Funny, I’ve been trying to come up with a small thank you gift for several ladies in our grandson’s school. They go above & beyond in taking care of his diabetic needs on a daily basis. They’ve never had a diabetic in their school before and they’ve made a coordinated effort to make sure he can be a normal student while they watch his glucose levels throughout the day, and then dose as needed.

    As soon as I saw the “thank you” treat bags in this post of yours I knew that was the small thank you gift I was looking for. I will be assembling those next week and will proudly give them to these wonderful ladies as I think of you.

    I rarely read one of your emails without taking something from it or forwarding it to someone else that could use the information. You ARE appreciated, Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Melinda!
    These snack mix cones will be PERFECT for your little gifts. I get so many rave reviews and compliments on these little treats (and they are so quick, easy, and frugal to put together)

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  13. Karen H Lawrence

    10/19/2019

    Good Morning Andrea! Hope you are having a great weekend. I’ve been following for years. I started following you for the organizing tips etc. Fell in love with your children and remembering telling my daughter in law about Nora and the struggle you had figuring out her sleep pattern and all. It has helped all of my children (I now have 11 grandchildren). I’m also glad you started your Instagram account 🙂 It is much more manageable for me. Just a little note here to tell you that I enjoy your writings and all you ideas whether it be organizing, cooking, remodeling and your family! Blessings

    [Reply]

  14. Calliope

    10/19/2019

    Oh Andrea! You are followed by “normal” “everyday” people (hopefully!) because you are also a normal, next door mother and wife with…weird hobbies (organizing cupboards? Can u tell how much I’ve been made fun of this??)
    We live veeery far apart but we share the same values and weird hobbies

    You have made a sane corner in this insane internet world and I thank u for that!

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  15. Heather

    10/19/2019

    Please don’t stop Andrea! Would you believe your blog is the ONLY one I read every post. You are so real and such a good momma. Many thanks for sharing your life and brightening so many days!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh my — that’s fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing this with me!

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  16. Clare

    10/19/2019

    Thank you for your blog from a long time reader. I think you’re way better than Martha Stewart!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well that’s a fantastic compliment 🙂

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  17. Linda Bierce

    10/18/2019

    Thanks for the Thanks! But I thank you! Thanks for sharing you busy life, your children, your struggles, your recipes, the list goes on and on. Your everyday day life takes this Grammy back to the best time in my life, raising my little ones! I hope you continue to blog, I want to watch your little one grow into the lovely grownups, just like their parents ❤️

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much Linda!

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  18. Jess

    10/18/2019

    Andrea,

    I love your blog and make time to check in and see what you have posted multiple times a week, if not daily. I consider it a fun and uplifting break! Thank you for your manyorganization tips and ideas that support families across the country and probably the globe! Of course, we (your readers) cannot force you to continue a blog if you should decide it is not the right thing for you in the future- but I am confident that you know you have a solid following of readers who appreciate learning from you as your ideas grow and change with your family. I recommend your blog to new and experienced moms alike. (Also, I grew up in Michigan and enjoy “a little slice of home” as I see the seasons change in your photos.) 🙂
    God bless!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yay — a fellow Michigander! You must be awesome 🙂

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    Jess Reply:

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