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)

0Shares

Filed under: WorkBlogging

Leave a comment

114 comments

  1. Vickie

    10/18/2019

    Yours is the only blog I recommend often to friends and family. I’m a 67-year-old gramma and love your blog! Your organization, faithfulness to write 5 days a week, and energy plus all the recipes and helpful tips on so many subjects are amazing. Thank you for your blog and continuing on!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thank you, thank you!

    [Reply]

  2. Brandette W.

    10/18/2019

    Andrea-

    I have been a reader for many years, back when Nora was super tiny. How is she so big now?!

    Anyways, I have written before about recipes we loved (most recently the Sweet & Sour Pork- FANTASTIC!!), with questions, etc. You are always willing to answer whether it be here on a blog comment, an email or even on a Facebook comment. I want to thank you for always conversing with us, it makes a huge impact.

    But, I also wanted to thank you for take the time, effort, brain power to put a post up every week day. I truly enjoy this. I check all of my blogs and youtubers each evening as part of my nightly unwind routine. Always knowing there will be a new post to read from you is exciting. So thank you for helping this Momma unwind a little every night.

    Keep doing what you are doing. I enjoy being a part of your little niche you have created here.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome Brandette — and yes, Nora is almost 8!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  3. April

    10/18/2019

    Andrea, you are awesome! Interesting that your blogging career was confirmed (for now) in such a clear way. I recently read that when a plan is from God, it is always confirmed. Thanks for sharing this.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I agree with this!

    [Reply]

  4. Karen

    10/18/2019

    No….thank you!! I’ve been following you for many years ~ long before your current house. I only have two blogs now that I check every weekday and yours is one. I’m older than you but I learn so much from you. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to your blog. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would completely understand when the decision is made to quit blogging.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m honored — this makes me so happy!

    [Reply]

  5. Roxanne

    10/18/2019

    Another (grateful) longtime reader here! Thank you for taking such a “real” approach to life and helping others feel ok about their own choices, even if they’re different from yours. I think there would be a substantial number of sad readers if you ever decided to move on to other projects! But I very much enojy your content and faithfully read every post. Every time I try a new recipe or home organizing technique, my husband asks “is this something you picked up from that lady in Michigan?” 🙂 Keep up the great work- you are so appreciated!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha! “the lady from Michigan” — I like that!

    [Reply]

  6. Debbie

    10/18/2019

    Awww, love this! Thank you too for sharing and imparting your wisdom to us through your blog. You are blessed to have found a way to get paid for the things you love to do. It makes me think if I love what I do (for work), and I have to say I do, but not all the time. There are so many other things I like to do and wish I can get paid for that. LOL! The how is the hard part. I wish you can send some of your baked goods to us as a thank you. Hehehe.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, the hard part is figuring out how to get paid. I feel grateful that, for whatever reason, I started my blog way back when and have been able to turn it into an income for our family. It’s so wonderful to be able to love my “job” so much!

    [Reply]

  7. Kristi

    10/18/2019

    Thank You!! for giving me something to look forward to each morning. It wasn’t until you posted something somewhere about Nora soon turning 7 that I realized I’ve been reading your blog (almost) every single weekday for more than 7 years!! I love the tips, ideas, recipes, down to earth advice and honesty that you share here (along with all of the cute kid pics!!). But most of all, I love that I know there will be something new here each morning. Thanks for doing what you do. I’m glad you love it and I hope you stick around for a long time!! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome Kristi — and… Nora will actually be EIGHT in just a few more weeks!

    [Reply]

  8. Crystal

    10/18/2019

    Hi Andrea, I’m a new reader here, and I love your everyday posts! The first thing I thought was Not! I just found her!’ haha but now coming to the end of this post, I’m ok now 🙂 I’ll be following as long as your writing- and probably even way past that time just to catch up on all I’ve missed!

    Also, I come and visit here every morning, but is there any benefit for you if I sign up for your emails? Because I can do that also! 🙂 I hope you and your fam are having a great day!

    [Reply]

    Crystal Reply:

    I meant to say* ‘No! I just found her!’
    Sorry!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I knew what you meant 🙂
    Thanks for following along!

    [Reply]

  9. Caroline

    10/18/2019

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for your blog! I enjoy reading it every day during my lunch break. I enjoy your recipes time and time again as well as your useful tips and ideas!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome Caroline — glad you have enjoyed the recipes!

    [Reply]

  10. Nancy

    10/18/2019

    Your blog is my favorite and I share your posts with friends and family frequently. I started reading when MSM shared your post about buying and selling on Craig’s List. I’m nearing the “grown and flown” stage but find so much wisdom and fun in your writing. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much for sharing Nancy! Enjoy your empty-nest stage of life!

    [Reply]

  11. Pamela S Wade

    10/18/2019

    I’m so glad you’re going to keep on blogging! You are the first one I read every morning and you’re the only one I read that I can count on having a post up every week day! I love all your tips and tricks, your recipes, and reading about your kids…they are so cute! I hardly ever comment but just wanted you to know that I appreciate your blog! ~~Pam

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m so glad you commented on this Pam — I appreciate your readership!

    [Reply]

  12. Anne

    10/18/2019

    Please continue to blog. Your blog is the only one I faithfully read everyday.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    will do Anne 🙂

    [Reply]

  13. Deborah Luciani

    10/18/2019

    Oh please do not stop your blog! It’s the only one I read – every single day. My grandkids are now all older than your children, but I love hearing about them. I have used many of your organizing tips, and many, many recipes. You are one-of-a-kind!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hopefully I’ll be blogging for many years to come!

    [Reply]

  14. Stephanie

    10/18/2019

    Thank you! I’ve not come across a blog that I like as much as yours and I’ve tried! You have very practical advice, are inspiring, and are real! My favorite take away from you is basically doing things good enough, not perfectly. This is huge for me as I am a perfectionist. I love your blogs on cleaning, decluttering, and organizing. I also appreciate that you post daily but would understand if you couldn’t. You and Dave do a great job and are wonderful examples. I’m a long time reader and don’t always comment but I often say ‘thank you, Andrea!”as I go about my day using a piece of your advice.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m sharing another “Good Enough” post in 2 weeks — be on the look out for it! 🙂

    [Reply]

  15. Jen

    10/18/2019

    You would be sorely missed! So glad you’ve decided–again and again–to show up for all of us. You are appreciated! Keep up the great work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks friend 🙂
    I will continue to “show up” as long as I can!

    [Reply]

  16. Ashley

    10/18/2019

    Thank You Andrea!! This is the one blog I read every morning. I am thankful for your refreshing approach to life, and for the reminder that it’s ok to do things differently if it is what works for your family. I’ve been reading since Nora was born and have added two kids of my own (same ages as James and Clara). Thanks for all the encouragement in the tough seasons of little sleep and still keeping the house running smoothly.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow — our families sound so similar! Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  17. Debby

    10/18/2019

    Isn’t it grand how God speaks just what we need to hear just when we need it. I stumbled onto your blog years back when I just could not get my filing cabinet under control. Your blog post came up and your system is the one I am still using to this day. Nora was just a little over a year old and I have followed you ever since. Even though my babies are in their 20’s I love to read what your family is up to. You are creating content that people enjoy. Thank you 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, it was VERY affirming for me. I felt relieved, happy, and excited to move forward!

    [Reply]

  18. JJ

    10/18/2019

    Okay, I thought for a moment this was a good-bye announcement and almost cried, haha!!! So so thankful for YOU and all you share–for free, no less! You’re a huge blessing, and I have incorporated so many ideas into my life. Hoping you keep blogging for many years!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no good-byes yet 🙂
    thanks for your encouragement!

    [Reply]

  19. Debra

    10/18/2019

    I just copied this from another comment, but this is how I feel about you, too…”Thank you for your sensible approach to life!” I am double your age (and some), but you have so much ‘good information, recipes, practical ways of living life’ and I really enjoy reading your blog for those reasons. I enjoy all your photos, also! I am happy that you I feeling like you’d like to continue blogging. I share your blog with anyone who will listen!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much for continually sharing my blog — I really appreciate it!

    [Reply]

  20. Beth

    10/18/2019

    This blog is such a breath of fresh air, I love the focus on family, wholesomeness and just plain common sense. I really hope you continue to write, it has helped our family a great deal! ♥️

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    “wholesomeness and just plain common sense” — that’s my goal, I’m so glad you picked up on it!

    [Reply]

  21. Melissa

    10/18/2019

    Hello! I also have read your blog every day since before Nora and I love it! Yours is the only blog I consistently read. You mentioned you love sewing – more posts about that would be fun! I don’t have a lot of time to sew, but I’d be curious what kind of practical, simple projects you come up with!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I do love sewing, but I’m not necessarily “great” at it — certainly not an expert!
    As I have more time to devote to it, this might be something I start sharing more of!

    [Reply]

  22. Leslie

    10/18/2019

    Andrea, your blog is my favorite. Thank you! I was really worried when I started reading and then relieved. You continually encourage me to become a better version of myself. My kids are older, and I wish you’d been writing back then. You are there for so many of us. Take care.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh thank you Leslie! No worries about me stopping just yet!

    [Reply]

  23. Meghan

    10/18/2019

    Thank you Andrea! Your writing helps me stay focused and energized!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — I love to be energizing! 🙂

    [Reply]

  24. Brenda

    10/18/2019

    Way back when, I had about 5-10 blogs I followed regularly. Over the years, that number has dwindled down to only 2: yours and another simple living blog. All the rest either started having all sponsored posts, became so full of ads that the content was hard to find, or started having all guest posts and lost their focus that drew me to the blog in the first place. I wasn’t sure I would follow yours the name change, but I’m glad I did!

    Anyhow, I’m glad that you at sticking with it. I appreciate the nice mix of posts and honesty that you write with. Keep it up!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — I’m honored! thanks so much Brenda!

    [Reply]

  25. Sharon Lehman

    10/18/2019

    I’ve been reading your blog since your sweet Nora was a baby. I look forward to seeing you every day. I feel like I know you personally.
    I am a grandmother now and I can’t tell you how many times I have wished blogs existed back when I was raising my family. I have learned some important tips from you.
    Thank you for all you do. God bless you and your sweet family.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Sharon!

    [Reply]

  26. Annette Silveira

    10/18/2019

    Just adding my voice to the chorus! Yours is the only blog I check daily. I get a lot of enjoyment from it and I pass it along when I think someone in my circle will benefit. I would miss it if you decided to shut it down.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Annette!

    [Reply]

  27. Roxie

    10/18/2019

    Thank YOU for sharing your tips and tidbits. But don’t you just LOVE it when God confirms your steps or gives you something to show you’re doing the right thing? Keep on doing what He’s called you to do until He calls you to something else! Love your blog and can’t imagine not knowing what’s going on with one of my favorite families that I’ve never met 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, it was humbling and very exciting for me to see this affirmation that I am where I’m supposed to be!

    [Reply]

  28. Jen Fitzpatrick

    10/18/2019

    After “being a part of your life” for so long, I would miss your blog if you stopped! If it does get to that point (hopefully not!), maybe you could post updates every couple of weeks?? Just so we could get our Dekker update and fix!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jen — and yes, I don’t think I’d ever just stop “cold turkey” unless there was a real crisis. If anything, I’d share an update every week or so!

    [Reply]

  29. Paulette

    10/18/2019

    Oh wow. I, for one, would really miss your posts. We have all benefitted from your blog! Thank YOU, Andrea!!

    [Reply]

  30. Stacie Kaltz

    10/18/2019

    Andrea I am SO glad you started blogging and continue to do so. As I have stated to you before I am a daily loyal reader. The other day I did think to myself “what would I do if Andrea stopped blogging?” my husband and kids are well aware I love you blog! We laugh as they will ask me about a certain recipe or something clever I have done; while saying “oh wait its from Andrea Dekker right?” lol and I say Yep! So just know you ARE improving peoples lives from afar and making a difference, a GOOD one! I was thinking the other day as I have a preteen and a teenager, I was wondering what Andrea Dekker would do in regards to certain teenage situations, lunches, etc and cant wait to read your future advice or how your household runs with your four being older! If you decide to stop one day we will be sad but of course understand. But for now are very happy that you continue! 🙂 God Bless

    [Reply]

  31. Sonya

    10/18/2019

    There’s a reason so many people from different walks and stages of life follow along with your blog – I don’t think that’s necessarily the norm for other blogs. Your authenticity really comes through, I’ve been following along since your article in HGTV magazine way back when! And actually inadvertently met you when I bought some wooden shutters from you via Craigslist for my old 1920’s house. I’m thinking/hoping you’ll be blogging for years to come.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Sonya! I will say that my readers seem to be especially positive compared to other bloggers who get SO MANY negative comments.
    yes, I get a few — but my readers all seem to be extra awesome!

    [Reply]

  32. Ann

    10/18/2019

    Well you’re welcome, yet I want to say THANK YOU! This is the only
    *must read* blogpost each day!

    Just yesterday I was thinking, now when I get outta this chair~ How can i leave this room a better place? ?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — that’s awesome. Thanks Ann!

    [Reply]

  33. Amy B

    10/18/2019

    I have been a reader since Simon was a baby (our kids are similar ages. I have a 7, 5 and 2 year old).
    I especially love posts about the kids and your favorite things, and have tried quite a few of your recipes. I’ve even been inspired to get more veggies into our diets!
    Thanks for all you do

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay for more veggies — thanks Amy!

    [Reply]

  34. Kathy

    10/18/2019

    What a beautiful post! The universe was definitely affirming that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing! I literally have my morning coffee while I read your blog! I love everything you share and I have picked up many tricks from you. I love watching your family grow and I am excited to see them grow up. Please don’t stop blogging, lol! If you ever need a break we don’t mind when you re-post something. Hugs from Toronto, Canada :)))))))

    [Reply]

    Sonya Reply:

    I have my morning coffee while reading this blog too, starts my day in a good mindset!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hello Kathy! Thanks for your encouragement — I hopefully won’t stop blogging any time soon

    [Reply]

  35. Gervyy

    10/18/2019

    Thank YOU! Have been enjoying your blog for several years now and I can’t imagine my feed without you and your lovely family!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much!

    [Reply]

  36. Kelly

    10/18/2019

    I love those “signs”. God obviously has you right where He wants you for now! I truly feel you get the best of both worlds- working and doing something you love while being home with the people you love. Continued blessings to you!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thank you Kelly!

    [Reply]

  37. Michelle Bonk

    10/18/2019

    Your blog is one of the only blogs I consistently read each morning on my commute to work!
    I hope you continue for many years to come!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much michelle — I appreciate your faithful readership!

    [Reply]

  38. Karen Miller

    10/18/2019

    Dear Andrea, Thanks so much for your blog and all you do. I’m sure I am like many readers that truly appreciate you and all you do. Speaking as an introvert I definitely would not learn all the things I have had I not come across your blog and been a faithful reader. You are handling so many things in your life now and i think doing it great! I for one will continue to follow you and comment when i can as long as you think this is the path you think is right for you at this time. Keep up the great work girl! Ypu are doing amazing! Even though I am a little older than you and both my kids have left the nest recently i find so many helpful things on here. Prayers and blessings for you.

    [Reply]

  39. Kim

    10/18/2019

    Great advice from your dad. My father-in-law gave the same advice. Your blog has enriched my life tremendously as I have read you since before Nora was born. I have been better able to manage my home, time, money, etc., for having been a reader. I admire who you are and appreciate your contribution to my life.
    Blessings from a 64 year old reader,
    Kim

    [Reply]

  40. Deb

    10/18/2019

    Thank you for having your blog up at 6am Eastern! 😉 I still appreciate that. Thank you for your consistency over time. SO many blogs fizzle out or become so driven by selling either their products or sponsored products, there is no REAL content. Thank you for your transparency about your struggles with parenting or whatever that exhibit your “realness!” Thank you for all the house pictures, I love that although your house is definitely Instagram and Pinterest worthy, you do not decorate or live for the purpose of documenting it, you “live” in your house and bring us along for the ride and do things in a way that is practical for you, not necessarily what the most people will like and click on (if that makes sense!) Thank you most of all for your sensible approach to life, every blog post does not start with THE BEST blah blah blah (personal pet peeve, really THE BEST in the whole internet?!) One more small thing, thank you for not using swear words, that is just a big turnoff to me and to me shows a lack of vocabulary! Have a wonderful weekend and PLEASE keep blogging forever (even through the teen years!) 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes ma’am — 6am every weekday! You’re welcome 🙂

    [Reply]