One year ago today, I pressed ‘publish’ to make this website go live and share it for the whole world to read and see! I was excited, happy, and incredibly nervous… but knew that my prayers leading up to that point led me to ultimately feel like going live just felt ‘right’.
I had really thought and prayed through the decision to begin blogging again. For those who may not know the story about me and about how I started blogging for the first time leading up until now, you can read about all that here!
Needless to say, a lot had changed not only in my life personally but also in the world of blogging since my first go around. The blogging market had become a whole lot more saturated. A lot of women whom had started long before I had were becoming super successful after years of hard work. Some even making blogging their full-time careers! And oh my goodness, rightfully so! I never wanted to get into blogging for an instant career (it doesn’t happen that way!), but I genuinely missed the creative and expressive outlet in my life. I missed documenting things I genuinely loved to do/purchase/use/wear/share in my life. And I did miss using the skill set that I had learned in college! However, I really questioned if the internet really needed one more fashion or lifestyle blogger. I wasn’t convinced. And to be honest, sometimes I’m still not convinced it does!
But I prayed and listened. Did God really want me to start writing about clothes, home decor, and makeup on the internet? Well, I believe God uses the gifts, hearts, and interests He has given to His children… so, I do trust that He did! BUT, I also believe He has called me to share more, too. And though it’s been really challenging for me to open up so much to strangers on the internet, I’m confident that He has worked in me through it.
I’ve processed a lot personally while writing this blog this past year. I’ve processed moments of my brother-in-law’s death from cancer. I’ve processed through grief and a lot of the personal things I’ve experienced and learned while going through it. I’ve been able to open up about my relationship with my husband and our wedding and what marriage has looked like for us through such a tough life season. I’ve been able to admit and find freedom in admitting when I fall short in my walk with the Lord and what I’m learning in my faith.
But also… I think I’ve really found a new level of feeling comfortable in my own skin! I’ve found a place to talk about all of my favorite girly things! I’ve loved being able to show off my personality a lot more in the form of beauty, outfits, home decor… and more! I’ve loved feeling my creative juices flowing again with learning more about photography, working on skills that I had once learned in my PR and marketing classes, and I’ve really loved writing again – something I also missed about school (never thought I’d say these words!).
I’ve also loved connecting with other bloggers! Strangers on the internet have become dear friends! I’ve learned so much from other female entrepreneurs and admired their strength, passion, and power in whatever they’re doing. It’s an amazing community and I’m so grateful to be a part of it!
But don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned a lot of less than ideal things in this past year of blogging, too. I’ve learned that putting yourself out on the internet – whether it’s an outfit post or a post about my faith – is painfully vulnerable for me.
I’ve learned that because I come from a performance background, I’m used to basing success off of tangible feedback. Think of it this way: In my mind, there is no better feeling than when you’re finishing a musical theatre belt ballad or an Operatic aria with an orchestra and finally hearing that applause! A standing ovation, positive feedback from your vocal coach, flowers and/or kind and encouraging words from your friends and family after your performance… it’s all ways that I’ve previously been able to base my success off of my creative and hard work.
So, enter blogging. I’ve spent countless hours on some of these posts, put my emotions on the line, my words and ideas, pictures of my body, close ups of my face, photos from inside my home… and so much more… out there. For everyone to see! And you know what? It often feels like there are CRICKETS out in the
audience internet. Sure, I’ll see stats and numbers that people have read or seen my posts either here or on social media… but those moments when my blog stats drop, I don’t hear feedback from anyone online or in person, there are less ‘likes’ on Instagram posts, no one comments, readers unsubscribe from my email list, or I lose followers… it stings. And it makes me feel like I must deserve rotten tomatoes being thrown at me!
Okay, so that’s a dramatic theatre term stretch! But it has certainly made me realize how performance driven I am! It has opened my eyes to make me see how much I hope to seek others approval, even when I’ve honestly never thought that to be the case. It’s been a huge growing pain for me… but I’m really, really thankful for that growth!
Blogging has made me rely on God for my approval more than I ever have. Blogging has given me a thicker skin than I ever even had with performing. And even with the struggles I have personally faced with blogging… I have found something that gives me immense joy in my life!
So with all that, I wanted to reflect back on and share some of my absolute favorite shots and blog posts from this past year! Looking through these has really reminded me how incredibly grateful I am for the opportunities I’ve been given to produce these posts! Whether it be the incredible brands that I’ve been able to work with, places Sam and I have been able to shoot in, and the ability to see myself grow in my strengths and weaknesses in it all… it’s humbling and exciting to see how much I’ve done this first year!
My first post! Oh my word…I felt SO awkward while Sam took these pictures as people walked by! It’s still totally weird to have people walk by when we’re taking outfit photos, but I’ve become more comfortable with it/better at ignoring people since then!
First snippets of our little home!
Galentines Party! The first time I really think I introduced my love of pink to y’all!
First time I worked with a brand in a post!
First time I was proud of my photography progress in shooting on manual mode was in this post, even if it took me hours to shoot!
Loved putting together this Easter table, and also felt silly admitting it was solely for the purpose of the blog. Haha!
The tote in this post was a HUGE hit! I picked it up at Nordstrom Rack, posted a photo of it on Instagram… and they re-grammed it that afternoon. I was freaking out watching people like and follow and want to know where they could purchase it through me online! It felt surreal! I made a handful of commissions on this tote and I just felt so honored that people would like something I liked enough to want to buy it from me! Pinch me!
This outfit post may have truly been the first time that Sam and I didn’t argue our way through shooting it and I felt the most confident and comfortable I ever had while shooting in general. I’m convinced it was because of the hot pink lips! 😉
I still swear by my signature margarita recipe! I was making it for my girlfriends for a happy hour get together and looked at them and asked if they minded me taking photos of the process for the blog! They clearly didn’t, and I’m grateful because I still reference this post myself on the regular!
I love that this post proved to me that carnations can indeed be fabulous! And throwing this brunch for our mamas was really special to me!
I was so cold during this shoot and totally bloated from too much fried chicken and wine from our day in Sonoma! Haha! But loved how the bright colors came together! I remember editing the photos totally putting me in the mood for summer!
Our Texas trip! Truly the highlight of my year! The trip where we fell in love with the great state of Texas together as a couple. This post means a whole lot to me for so many reasons! #TexasForever
My day at Waterworld was a dream. It was SO hot (which I love), I had so much fun shooting with Jess Krueger Photography, I felt so taken care of by the staff there, and I kept having to pinch myself that this was considered my ‘job’ for the day. And the photos? They are still some of my absolute favorites from the year! Thank you again, sweet Jess!
Toss Designs loved this post and I was so honored! Featuring their tote was a no-brainer because I love it so much!
Being a Summer Beauty Award Judge was surreal! When they shipped me the product, Sam took a video of me freaking out in excitement because it felt better than Christmas! I was so incredibly honored to be asked to do it!
This dress. My tan. That pineapple tree! Take me back to this moment shooting this post! Miss you, summertime.
Re-living my Bachelorette Party Weekend was SO much fun for me! I was obviously snap happy during the trip, so finally being able to share all of these images on the blog was special and reminiscent! #ABCtobe
Re-living our wedding through the posts here, here, here, and here (our video) was incredibly cherished and healing for me. I was able to truly go back through the day through sharing these photos and words and I cried like a baby (in a good way) while composing them. I absolutely loved sharing these posts, and I hope you loved reading them!
Oh, our honeymoon. I still personally reference this post just to daydream. TRULY a trip of a lifetime! Also, when I took the photo of my Jack Rogers and tootsies… I turned to Sam and said, “if I ever blog again… I’m going to Instagram this and maybe Jack Rogers will regram it!” And guess what?! THEY DID. And I totally flipped out with happiness!
Things started to shift for me a bit in the fall, and I was struggling with worrying a whole lot more about what readers were thinking of me. I was trying to figure out what the lines were in terms of over sharing and keeping my personal life still personal, and it was really tough for me. I wanted and felt called to share, but this season was really emotional for me. Looking back, I do wish I had shared a bit more about what all was going on… but I also think it was good for me to be a bit more reserved. Amidst all of that… I loved this fun bell-sleeved top and it felt like a true ‘out of my comfort zone but proud of it’ moment for me here on the blog!
Styling this little dress 3-ways was a different twist and I was SO pleased with how the shots turned out because we had just invested in a new camera lens! It was a total game changer!
More TEXAS love. Deep in the heart, y’all.
Still wearing this sweater and booties on repeat, in case you’re wondering!
The opportunity to work with Kendra Scott has been so incredible. KS is truly one of my absolute favorite brands and having the opportunity to partner with them on what has become a frequent basis has honestly been out of my wildest dreams of what I expected within a less than a year’s worth of blogging. Thank you, Kendra Scott Walnut Creek! Adore you ladies!
This was one of those posts where I was super proud of the photos and loved writing it… but it just plain didn’t do that well stats wise. Oh well! I still love it!
I just love this shot. That is all 🙂
I so enjoyed partnering with Wayfair on this post, and definitely ‘nerded out’ while writing it. And the feedback I received from them was so encouraging! I was so grateful they reached out!
And that’s a wrap of my favorites! Wowza, what a year! I feel so incredibly blessed. Blessed to be doing something I absolutely love. Blessed to be already working with brands in such a short timeframe. Blessed that I’ve been given the opportunity and passion to continue to work hard on something and see growth in it. Blessed that launching and continuing to pursue this has been a huge healing and challenging part of the most difficult year of my life and it has motivated me to keep on going.
And you know what?! I feel the most blessed because of YOU reading it! If you’re reading this today, have read bits and pieces throughout the year, have ever reached out to me in relation to my blog or in any other online or in person capacity… gosh, you have blessed me immensely.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for hearing me out. Thank you for simply clicking onto this site! It means more than you will ever know! Thank you for giving me a safe space to share more about myself and for reading along. If one woman has read this site in this past year and discovered a new favorite product, purchased an article of clothing that made her feel fabulous, felt inspired in any way shape or form, or has emotionally connected to anything I’ve shared…. I am deeply touched and honored. It’s because of this that I keep this whole thing up and running!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Cheers to this first year of amybethcampbell.com! May there be many more to come!