My first post on merrypad.com went live one year ago today. All I can say is… wow-zilla.
OK, that’s not all I can say. My most-optimistic goal on Day 1 was that I could earn enough through AdSense to pay my modest hosting expenses ($7/month). Anything else was icing on the cake. Not literally on the cake that Pete made for me to celebrate (tutorial can be seen here), I was referring to the proverbial cake (although, that too would be coated with $1.69 cream cheese frosting). But yes, I digress. Yes, there was actual party cake. Red Velvet, my favorite. Thanks Pete. (He makes fun cakes in his spare time, donchaknow.)
I celebrated by splurging on a new 15″ Macbook Pro that I’ve long been saving my pennies for, and no, blog revenue wasn’t what enabled that purchase. My previous macbook was a post-college-first-job-holiday-bonus splurge, meaning that come next month, it’d be exactly 5-years old, and that’s pretty old in computer-years. This time around, I saved 25% by buying it off the Mac Refurbished section of apple.com, and used some of that savings to invest in AppleCare to cover my butt in case something backfires with buying used. (Fun fact: Pete had a laptop die after 2 years, 11-months of use, and because his AppleCare covered him for 3-years from purchase, he walked out of Apple with the same model, 3-years newer, on the spot. And that’s cool. Household rule: Always get AppleCare. Blog rule: Always recommend AppleCare. Blog rule #2: Always brush hair and put on a little makeup, missed in this next photo.)
A lot has changed over the last year; I couldn’t have planned it, I took it as it came. I also maybe took horoscopes at the Starbucks counter too seriously. This appeared to me one day last spring, and not that I condone taking things literally, especially mass-generalized horoscopes, but this struck a nice chord (and then I walked into work and quit my job):
In April, Pete moved in. In May, I left my job (next week will be the big 6-month mark!). In June, I attended #DeltaDIY2011. In July, I started freelancing project management + ghost blog writing for a few companies; it supports personal blogging more than my 9-5 ever could have. In August, I surprised Pete with a trip to Mexico. In October, we escaped to Boston. And this month, I was able to announce my first real (huge) contract project with DIY Network. My mug was on the homepage of diynetwork.com for god’s sake (top right).
My home itself is different too. Mostly because I’ve really pushed myself to try new projects, learn more about tools, and experiment with decor and paint and, well, everything I could afford and get my (now-calloused) fingers on. The driveway is smaller, siding is much better, and the dog is much calmer (the 3rd birthday maturation). An office was created, the kitchen shelving was expanded, a sunroom was painted (and repainted), and a stained accent wall greets me happily every morning.