Blog Birthday.

“It’s just something I’ll never get…your compulsion to do that every day…”

This was something my husband said to me recently when he got up and saw me in my usual spot, typing away on this blog before the sun even rises.

I’ll admit, I got defensive because – I mean – it didn’t sound like a thing he wanted to understand. He had that tone…the same one I use when I comment on his video game playing. That exasperated What is the POINT? tone.

This month/week marks FIFTEEN YEARS that I’ve been writing on this blog. The dominant content has changed over the years from struggles to having kids with a nightmare reproductive system to struggles to parenting small children (all still with a nightmare reproductive system) to grief after losing my Dad to discovering the joy of running to mental health to…where are we now? What is my dominant content nowadays? Books? Bullet Journaling? Self-Love? Politics?

No matter what dominates my content this week, through it all you there have always been a few constants: My hatred of boob sweat (Remember the summer of the boob sweat induced boob fungus? THAT WAS FUN!), my fear of left turns, my love of donuts, and the difficulties I face as a secular liberal in a Christian red state.

It really is a compulsion to write here every day, there’s no other way to describe the pull without concrete reward. Over the years this blog has never brought me any sort of constant income. I did get a few trips paid for in the early years when blogging was new and my traffic was good, but I’ve never monetized this content. I don’t know how many people read my words every day, based on comments it’s maybe 10 people but I ingest a ton of content I never comment on so I’m not sure comments are a good metric. Either way – it’s not like I’m getting so much feedback that I’m pushed to write for my massive audience. Compulsion is the perfect word because there’s no explanation of my need to return to this screen every morning over my first cups of coffee.

And yet for 15 years I’ve done it. There’s over 6,000 entries on this blog although about 4,000 of them were moved into “draft” over a year ago when I pulled all of my “parenting” content out to filter through…but I haven’t done it yet. I can see all of the parenting posts on MY end, but they’re not public because I wanted to curate them a little better.

But I wrote all of those words over the last 15 years, all because of some compulsive need to process my life through a keyboard and a website. And I try not to feel weird about it, no matter what tone my husband uses discussing the blog. If I think too hard about it I do get a little shy, is blogging weird now? When I started EVERYONE did it, but now people are documenting their lives in other ways using forms of social media. Is it weird that I’m still typing away most weekday mornings on my little personal website with my personal dot com?

I don’t know. I know my Dad read everything I wrote and so there’s always a part of me who does this for him. In a few months we’ll cross the 10-year mark since he’s been gone and that’s harder to believe than the age of this blog. Time is weird.

I do want to thank anyone who has ever read my words here. Many of you are long gone. When I stopped writing about my fertility and reproductive struggles my audience vanished (which is also when I stopped looking at my numbers so as not to get depressed about the vanishing audience). But to anyone who stuck around or to anyone who is a new reader or to anyone who has every emailed or commented, there are no words to describe the piece of my heart you all have. The internet has removed geography as a limitation for connection, but it has also offered me a bridge to connection that crosses over the raging rapids of my own anxieties. It’s much easier for me to connect over the keyboard because I’m not over analyzing your tone or your expression or worried about my appearance or my in-the-moment conversational mistakes. I can spend time with my words and I can read yours without the burden of my insecurities that I fight through in face-to-face interactions.

So, thank you. Thank you for giving me those connections over mutual vulnerabilities. I’ve commiserated with so many of you over parenting struggles and reproductive issues and grief and self-love and…it’s so much easier to connect about those things here than in person. Thank you for meeting me in those vulnerable moments, for holding my hand, and for sharing with me your own struggles and failures and successes.

Fifteen years. Thanks for sharing some or all of it with me.

In celebration – the photo from 2004 that I used to mark the “first” entry on this blog.

Donnie and I…sometime in 2004

41 Comments

  • Gingermog

    Hi, I’m still reading. Guess what I did first thing today? I journaled and began my new bullet journal for the year. Who inspire me? YOU!

    Thank you Zoot. Now if I could only get it together to frame and hang my prints 😉

  • Bree / Frema

    Happy blogiversary! I was an early reader and continue to follow your journey today. It’s not weird at all that you’re still blogging! I still read a handful of blogs, and I miss my own days of active blogging. Over the last few years I’ve let it take a back seat, but I’m planning for this year to be different. Literally planning, because I’ve also started a bullet journal to help me document the things that matter most. And I have YOU to thank for that!

    Thank you for being so open and vulnerable with us about your journeys with self care, politics, family, etc. I look forward to your entries every day and appreciate your perspective as I work through my own challenges. You are a light!

  • Amy Jo

    Happy anniversary! I don’t think I’ve been here since the very beginning but maybe since 2005 or 2006. Now it’s part of my morning routine to read your latest entry over my first cup of coffee, so thank YOU! ?

  • AlisonC

    I am still here! I came here from Amalah way back when. I do read but don’t always comment (and now often binge read because I got lazy from clicking from Facebook and now think every few days that I haven’t heard from Zoot).

    Happy Blogaversary!

  • Charlott

    Hi! I had no idea that you don’t look at you numbers, so I’m coming out of my lurking status to tell you that I read ALL your posts, but never comment. I love your writing, both the style and the honest and thoughtful content. I don’t know when I started reading here, but it’s been years and years. Happy anniversary, and I hope you continue writing!
    All the best from Lund in the south of Sweden!

  • Jenny

    I’m a rare commenter but I’m here and I guess I’ve been here for over a decade now. My favorite bloggers are the ones who are compelled to blog because they are the only ones who aren’t overly monetized and they haven’t deserted their blogs for social media. There are so few of you left. Keep it up!

  • Carrie

    I read every post of yours. It’s one of the things I look forward to every morning when I check my email. I don’t always get to comment on every post, but I’m definitely still reading!!!

  • Sara

    Thank you for writing. Please don’t ever stop. I learn so much from you. You are an inspiration and I admire you so much. Thank you for sharing your life and experiences with us. You are a great teacher and writer with so much empathy and wisdom. Happy blogiversary!!!!

  • Ashley Cullen

    Thank you! I’ve followed you for almost all of those years and I feel like you’re a friend in real life. You’ve stayed down to earth and real and I love that about you. Keep doing what you do! It’s helping people and keeping them entertained and making them feel less alone and weird. 🙂

  • JAIME WILLIS

    I can’t remember when I found your blog, but it was before Nyoka was born. I’ve read it every single post since that day. I don’t comment a lot, but you often give me great stuff to think about, good book suggestions, and a very interesting perspective on life – I was born and raised as a Christian in a red state, but now live in DC, the most liberal city in the US with my people. I often feel the hometown/family vs friends/current life conflict that you write about – and love your emphasis on being kind and measured.

    Thanks for writing this each day! I appreciate it! Jaime

  • Monica

    I wanted to let you know that I read your blog every day. It’s one of the first things I do while I’m drinking my coffee. I rarely comment so I’m another one of those faithful readers you don’t know about. Thank you for continuing to blog all these years!

  • Rochelle

    I have rarely commented through the years, but I am compelled to today-to celebrate your blog anniversary! I’ve been here quite a few years reading you. I started somewhere around the time that you conceived Nyoka. I also follow on FB and Twitter. I am childless but I believe I found your blog when I was wanting to read after bloggers with fertility issues. I have long since given up on that quest. I. I still tune in to read you because I feel like I know & love you after these many years! I love your transparency, vulnerability & honesty. Our views are very different in so many ways. (I’m a conservative Christian) but I find so much in common and enjoy reading opposing views from my own. I also admire your fitness pursuits & struggles because I totally identify! Love you!! Keep up the great work! We are reading!!!!!

  • Kathy

    Happy Anniversary!
    Thank YOU!!

    I’m so happy when I see “Zoot” in my in box in the morning ( but I go to your site to read it – it feels more like a community that way).

    I started reading right around the time E started high school? Maybe a little before. I have a daughter around his age. I loved reading about his time in theater there and then at college. And then I went back and read from the beginning. I’m so jealous that your kid came back home after college! Mine moved to Tennessee!

    I love your love of Parnassus! I got their mug for Christmas this year! And your love of books, period!

    I learned about Bullet Journaling from you ( I’m on my fifth one!).

    Your entries on politics and life in the US have helped give words to my own feelings and clarified my thoughts many times.

    I’m truly glad your blog has been a part of my day for so long!

  • Hillary

    Happy Anniversary! I found your blog a couple of months after you started, and I’m still here! It is hard to believe it has been so long, but it looks like the math checks out 🙂 I love the way your writing has evolved over the years, and I look forward to reading your posts in the morning.

  • Leisa

    I’m also a rare commenter, but daily reader. I found you when I started bullet journaling in early 2014. (I have used your free printable calendar pages ever since – thank you !)
    We have very different views on the world (I’m a conservative Christian), but I truly enjoy reading a perspective other than my own and it really gives me something to think about. We also share a lot in common – parental struggles, learning to self love, love of books, hatred of boob sweat- and I feel like we’d be friends in real life. Also, my dad lived in Huntsville before he passed away and somehow I feel very connected to you because of that.
    Happy blogiversary! And keep writing!

  • Susan

    Happy blog birthday. I’ve been reading since Nikki was a tiny baby. I found you through Amalah’s blog. I’m so happy you two are still blogging and sharing. I gave up my blog years ago, but once upon a time, I tested a blog skin for blogger that you created. That was fun : )
    Just popping in to let you know that I have always enjoyed your writing, whether it be about TV, books, parenting realness or whatever. I hope you keep it up. <3

  • Rachael Lord

    I started reading back when I was having infertility issues—maybe 2006? But I am still here! I rarely comment on anything, but I check you and Swistle daily and I have even referred to one of your posts on poverty/welfare while teaching a social work class (Community College—it is still very much on my mind when we discuss what it means to be “poor” and retain dignity). So—keep on blogging please—I don’t have time to learn new platforms of social media/commentary!!

  • Erin

    I’ve been reading your blog since 2006 when I was also struggling with fertility issues. I look forward to reading your posts everyday. Thanks for sharing your life adventures!

  • Lindsey

    Daily reader for at least 12 years. My kids are 2 years younger than yours, so I’ve followed along your journey (the ups & downs) quite well. You’ve helped me discover the vlogbrothers, some of my favorite books, podcasts, and so very much more. I, for one, am glad you’ve kept at it Kim.

  • Atlantarunner

    To be clear, the heart emoji I used in my original comment turned into double question marks! I am not questioning your entire post! 🙂

  • Kelly

    I’ve been reading since almost the beginning. I’m so glad you are compelled to write. I only comment occasionally and we exchanged an email a while ago, but I read all your posts! I can relate to a lot of what you’ve gone through over the years and I’d miss you if you weren’t writing!

  • nadine

    Happy Blogiversary! I think I’ve probably commented once (maybe twice?) in the past ten years of reading you, but I’m here to start my day every morning. Thank you!

  • Samantha

    I sometimes go a week or so without reading and then come back and binge-read, but I do eventually read all your posts. It’s nice to “know” someone else in Alabama with a lot of the same interests and views.

  • brandi

    Happy Anniversary Zoot from Vancouver Island. I look forward to your blog posts but never comment (sorry) I share your anxiety/eating issues and have learned alot and really enjoyed your writing. Thank you for helping me not feel so alone in my struggles.

  • Lauren E.

    Happy Blogiversary! I rarely comment, although this is literally the only blog I comment on. I’ve been reading since before Wesley was born. I love the way you process all the things you’re thinking about–especially issues of racism. I’ve struggled with a lot of the things you’ve struggled with–I gained a bunch of weight in the past year, for example–and it’s helped so much to not feel alone as I try to get my head around that and make attempts at getting healthier (whatever that is for me). Thank you for opening yourself up so much. I’ve learned a lot from you and been inspired on so many levels. And you have fabulous taste in books, so thanks for all the suggestions. Please keep writing!

  • Jess

    Hi — first time commenting to say that I’ve been reading for years, and really appreciate the work and time you put into the blog. I miss the blogging days of old, and am so grateful that there are still GREAT bloggers out there holding onto the essence of what made blogging special from the get go.

    Thanks for all the time, honesty and effort. It is totally noticed and appreciated…. I’d venture to say by way more than 10 people.

  • June

    Thank you for sharing your life! You’re literally the reason I signed up for my first half marathon and I was so happy to meet you IRL at the Oak Barrel Half a few years ago!

  • Emily

    Holy crap, 15 years?! I had to do the math myself, thinking you were wrong. I’ve been following you since some time in 2004/2005 , but never thought about how long that was. I’ve always enjoyed and related to your writing (perhaps not the boob sweat, as I lived in upstate NY with pretty mild weather during your worst bouts of that, but I got a kick out of those entries, lol), but rarely commented. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I hope you continue to do so for a long time to come.

  • ccr in MA

    Happy blog-birthday! I’ve read your blog for years, and rarely comment, but I’m here.

    I’ve been blogging for over ten years now myself, and yeah, it can be hard to explain why, these days, but I do love doing it, even when no one comments. It often helps me straighten out my thoughts, by putting them into words and trying to be coherent. And then sometimes there’s a connection with someone, which is lovely too!

  • Jennifer Pennifer

    Happy Blogoversary! Long time lurker, first time commenter. I found you through Amalah’s blog “way back when” and I think I’ve been here since 2006 or so. Just thought I’d leave some love…I think it’s great that you’re still committed to your blog when so many have stopped blogging regularly. I hope you never stop!

  • Brenda

    I read most mornings while I’m drinking my tea—sometimes I have to remind myself to check since there are no more Facebook posts. I also came from Amalah’s blog. You two are the only ones I still read from that time. You introduced me to Pioneer Woman with a post about raw chicken—though I don’t read her blog any more. I’ve enjoyed watching your kids grow up and reading your political views. I live in the red part of my state and often have to suppress my views. I do miss your photography posts. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  • Mommy attorney

    I began reading soon after you started blogging. I was very in to infertility blogs even though it turns out I don’t have infertility (despite a doctor’s warning). I was shocked for there to be a popular blogger from my home town. Then I moved back to my hometown. I even met you a few times, which felt like meeting a celebrity to me. And now I’ve moved away. But I check here daily regardless. Thank you for blogging. PleSe done stop.

  • Ali

    Delurking to say thank you for writing! I’ve been reading almost daily (yay feed readers) since 2006ish? I never comment (maybe twice in, what, thirteen years? Yikes.), but I get so much out of what you share, whether it’s somethting I’m struggling with (or enjoying) too or something new to me.

  • Kate

    You have such a strong voice – your words are a delight to read. Congratulations on your anniversary and thank you for writing!

  • megan

    I read all the time, and almost never comment…..there are more of us out here than you think! 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog since Eliah was Lil’ Z……pretty long time I guess! I think it’s wonderful that you still blog each day, and it’s brave/awesome of you to share so much of your life with random strangers from the internet. Keep on keeping on, Zoot! Much love to you and your fam 🙂

  • Meredith

    I’ve been reading you for 13 years. This is my first comment. I keep reading you because you are authentic, honest, and real, in a blogging world that is increasingly curated. Your family and interests may have changed, but your voice has not. I appreciate your time, effort, and energy, and I hope this is a great year.

  • Zandria

    I still read your blog through my feed reader, although I haven’t commented in forever. I’m impressed with the amount of content you’re still able to put out there after all these years. I started in 2002 and still have my site, but my posts are mainly limited to monthly book round-ups. Keep on doing what you do for as long as you still want to. 🙂