When my first son was born in 1996, scrapbooking was all the rage. Ambitious moms everywhere made gorgeous die-cut pages of everything from their baby’s first tooth to their baby’s first head injury. Typical of so many interests in my life (exercise, needlepoint, a raw food diet, etc.), I liked the idea of it so much more than actually doing it. That is why there are probably $500 worth of scrapbooking supplies spread throughout the house, and only two completed scrapbook pages.
Like many other endeavors I’ve quit/failed, I rationalized why it was so stupid and I really didn’t want to do it anyway. My favorite criticism is that scrapbooking is inauthentic and designed to make mothers feel like they’re so perfect with their themed birthday parties and coordinated first day of school outfits and exotic vacations. That isn’t real life, I said. That is only the highlight reel. Where is the blow-out diaper page? Where is the bad report card page? Where is the speech therapy page?
I started this blog to record my favorite recipes, but I quickly realized it was a vehicle for recording my life. And, like a scrapbooker, I am choosing to record mostly the good parts, with a few mundane parts thrown in. While my life is incredibly blessed, it is far from perfect, and I serve no one by pretending it is. That is one of the dangers of blogging — the sometimes inauthentically perfect picture one paints. As a reader of many blogs, especially lifestyle blogs, I know that sometimes you just want to throw rotten tomatoes at Little Miss Perfect. Sometimes, in your darker moments, you wait for her to fail. And sometimes you flat out hope that she does fail. I hope no one feels that way about me, but I understand. Out of respect for my family and my kids, and out of my own stubborn pride, I am not sharing the difficult parts, the unglamorous parts, the sad parts. But let me assure you, those parts exist, too. Yes, indeedy, they do.
A lot of people have asked me if I’ve reached blogging “success.” I have no idea what that means, really, but I’m pretty sure the answer is no. I’ve yet to earn enough money from this blog to buy even the cheapest cup of coffee from Starbucks, but I’ve earned enough for a box of Altoids. Maybe by this time next year I’ll have earned enough for an entire lunch. However, I have produced a nice record of food I served my family for the last year and archived some recipes and experiences I’m sure would be otherwise forgotten. As I get older and forget more and more little details, it’s nice to go back and see a reference to a birthday or a hurricane or an ordinary day of my life in 2011.
I am so grateful for every single reader, regular or occasional, every single comment, every person who has stumbled across here through a Google search for an easy lasagne. I am honored you took the time to read my recipes and stories, and I’m hoping you’ll stay with me for another year.
To commemorate my blogiversary, I am highlighting my favorite recipes from each category posted the first year of this blog. This was harder than expected, but I’m a sucker for a Best Of list, and I thought it would be a good way to mark my first anniversary and perhaps resurrect some recipes buried in the archives.
Mom Mom’s Apron 1st Anniversary Best Of List, 2011-2012:
Best Main Dish
Best Side Dish