If you have been coming to Meal Planning Mommies for a while you may have noticed a few changes in the blog lately. Some changes were little, like adding nutrition facts to the recipes. Other changes were big, like taking Sarah off of the “About Me” page. With all these changes, I felt like now is a great time to bring you up to speed and give you a little background on how Meal Planning Mommies started and where it is headed. I hope you enjoy reading about our stories. Presenting, the evolution of Meal Planning Mommies over the years…
How Meal Planning Mommies Got Started.
The phone rang. It was Sarah on the other end. She had an idea that she wanted me and our other friend, Katie, to consider. As roommates and R.A.’s together in college, the three of us were great friends. Sarah had been looking into blogs, like Money Saving Mom, and it inspired her to want to do a blog too. But, she didn’t want to do it alone. She envisioned a blog about meal planning where the three of us share the recipes we were cooking for our families. She and Katie went for a walk one day and came up with the name “Meal Planning Mommies” and it stuck. Since I had to feed my family anyway, I figured I might as well join them, besides what did I have to lose?
Our old header and logo that Katie thought up. Isn’t this adorable?
I didn’t know what I was agreeing to exactly, but Sarah’s enthusiasm made me want to join in. For about 3 years, Katie, Sarah, and I all alternated weeks (for the most part), sharing what we were up to in our kitchens and in our families.
Our children were just babies eating baby food when we started. We shared things like “How to Make Your Own Baby Food” and “Toddler Snacks” as well as the dinners we prepared for ourselves and our husbands.
It was fun, and it was even better because we were able to do it with friends. Katie and Sarah are so sweet and they have great ideas. To see what I mean, check out this adorable video Katie and Sarah put together back in 2010 when we were experimenting with vlogging:
One of my favorite memories of that time was when we went to a Mothers’ Conference together. At the conference we grew as mothers, as friends, and as bloggers. Our blog “reach” grew, and we began to develop a community with our blog that just made it that much more rewarding.
A New Tide Rolled in.
As fate would have it, around the same time, all three of us got a strong sense that it might be time to take a break from blogging. We each had our own reasons why this would be best for ourselves and our families. It was difficult to pull away, because we did not want to disappoint the faithful readers who had been doing life with us at that point, but we knew it was what was right.
When you pour yourself into something and you see it build into something you are proud of, it can be hard to let go of, even when you know it is the right thing to do.
We did not have a date in mind when we would pick the blog back up. We just knew it was time to take a break. As time went on (and weeks, turned into months, and then into years), it became easier and easier to loosen our grip on the idea of returning to the old patterns of running the blog.
Ready to start Meal Planning Mommies again.
After taking a break from the blog for so long, I had honestly forgotten about it. Out of the blue, Sarah called me and Katie and asked what we thought about starting up the Meal Planning Mommies blog again. At this point, Katie was sinking herself into the roles she played in her home and on her farm: homeschooling, feeding and taking care of not just her husband and kids but also her animals, and being the best wife and mom she could be to her four children, one of them being less than a year old at the time. She decided it was just not the right time for her to be blogging.
So that just left me and Sarah.
I wanted to try it. Sarah was excited to do the blog using her new approach to food. After learning about her severe gluten allergy, she thought it would be fun and rewarding to help others who were also feeling overwhelmed by the gluten-free lifestyle. She felt there was a new audience out there to tap into, and she wanted to explore it.
Our new MPM header and logo in 2015:
Sarah and I got together for a weekend, and we jumped right in with both feet. We used the passive income that had accumulated over the past few years, and we poured it right back into making the “new and improved” blog. We dreamed big, and we rebuilt the website from the ground up. It was a steep learning curve, but we were determined to figure it out, so we did. It was a lot of fun!
Sarah and her husband, Chadwick, were in the long process of trying to adopt the sweet little girl that God had placed on their hearts a few years prior. There was no real end in sight for the longest time, so when God opened the door for them to bring their daughter home, there was no hesitation on their part. Their world was rocked with this new daughter who could not speak their language, but could feel their love. Talk about a steep learning curve! Relaunching the blog was nothing compared to this.
Sarah needed to focus her time, attention, and love on laying a strong foundation for her new daughter. Taking a break from the blog for a time was the smart and responsible thing to do. While Sarah gave all she had to her family, I continued to crank out 1-5 posts per week on the blog. This was a joy for me, and I did not have any reason to give it up. At that time, we decided Sarah would just jump back in to blogging when she felt ready.
Sensing God’s Direction and Going With It.
Sarah and I came into 2017 with a renewed excitement for the blog together. We took a weekend to get together to brainstorm and dream up how we wanted the blog to look and how we could make it better. These weekends were always the best part of doing a blog with people you absolutely adore!
A month or two into the year, I could sense that Sarah’s enthusiasm for sharing recipes and meal plans was starting to wane. As my excitement for the blog continued to grow, hers seemed to be dying down. She was feeling pulled in lots of directions. When she really leaned in and asked for God’s direction, she sensed that God was telling her it was time to let go of the blog for a second time, but this time it was to let go of it completely. Sarah knows that God has a story to share through her but that it wouldn’t be through this blog and it wouldn’t be at this time, and she is good with that.
So, this brings us to where we are today, as people, and as a blog. My family and I love this blog. I have many more ideas for Meal Planning Mommies than I have time for. There is a lot potential that exists with Meal Planning Mommies that we have not even begun to tap into. I look forward to creating and sharing new things in the future that I think will be helpful to our readers.
As far as Katie, Sarah, and I are concerned, we have a strong bond that is not dependent on if we share a blog together or not. Katie, Sarah, and I (as well as Candace, who did not do this blog, but is equally a part of our group) have been close since college, and that will not change. They are like sisters to me. We love each other something fierce. Each of us is proud of the others, and we all see the value in where each of us are at in life.
What We Have Learned Through All of This.
I had a great conversation with Sarah a couple of days ago. As we talked about where we are now and where we are headed, we both felt grateful for the past and optimistic about the future.
We shared a message with our readers when we took a break from blogging back in 2011. It is the same message I will share with you today:
Do what is right for you and your family, even when it doesn’t make sense to everyone else.
For us, that meant starting a blog and then taking a break from it. You will go through different seasons in life. Whatever season you are plowing through, hold your head high, allow yourself to enjoy the great times, and give yourself grace in the hard times. Most importantly, appreciate the friends who ride through the waves of life with you. They are priceless.
Thank you Katie and Sarah!
I want to wrap this up by saying “Thank You” to Katie and Sarah. Without their inspiration, encouragement, and support I never would have ventured out to do a blog on meal planning. It feels good to be where I am right now: working on a blog I love, while having the love and support of great friends and family!
Katie and Sarah, you both are amazing, beautiful women of faith. I am proud of you both, and you continue to inspire me. Thank you for being there for me in the good times and the bad times. Thank you for supporting me in this season of life we are in now.
And a big thanks you to, our MPM Readers!
A large part of why this blog is so fulfilling to me is because I know it is helping so many people. Thank you for your support as readers and friends. I can feel your love and appreciation through your comments and I am looking forward to continuing to serve you through the blog. This is an exciting place to be as a blogger. We currently have hundreds of thousands of you coming to the blog each month! I never could have dreamed that up on my own!
What I am up to right now: I am currently working on an eCookbook and new recipes and meal plans. When you come to Meal Planning Mommies you can still expect to find the Weight Watcher resources that you grown accustomed to.
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