KidFriendly DC just turned 7! On February 24, to be exact. And like many milestones and anniversaries, it’s prompted some reflection. As you’ve likely noticed, I don’t often get too personal here; KFDC is meant to inform and inspire fun, enriching experiences. But after seven years, I figured why not share a little more about myself, offer more insight into where this all comes from? So, as I ring in another year and reflect on it all, I thought I’d share some random musings and tidbits — 7 of them for 7 years — on this whole blogging journey. If you’re not interested, no worries, but don’t miss the big GIVEAWAY below.
And, of course, I have to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for reading. It’s still kind of amazing to me that so many of you follow my blog, and I sincerely appreciate that you do.
Okay, onto the 7…
1. Being a “Blogger” is interesting. (I actually recently changed my LinkedIn title to Publisher, as there’s much more to all of this than sitting at a computer and churning out blog posts.) Sometimes it feels like the perception is that this is a fun, little hobby, but it’s actually my full time job. Sure, it’s one I created for myself, but who says it takes a traditional profession to have a real career? I actually like that it’s unconventional and new — I get to define it as I go along, and it’s full of possibilities. Which I really dig.
2. This wasn’t exactly a fluke. My professional background pre-KFDC was in publishing and media; I have experience in print, online, and television as a writer, editor, and photo editor. I’ve worked for an environmental publication, an adventure travel website, the Discovery Channel, and freelanced for even more, mostly travel related. It was always my long term goal to somehow bring it all together and create something on my own that would also give back in some way. And while I didn’t start KFDC as that particular thing — I was caring for a baby and 3-year-old at the time, and couldn’t flesh out my thoughts enough to have a clear vision — it kind of has become that thing.
3. For a very long time, I thought KFDC was going to implode. There was a weird technical issue that had to do with the compatibility of an old version of my blog theme and a new version of WordPress, and none of the techie experts could guarantee that I wouldn’t ruin everything when I updated. So, I just put it off forever and worried that it would all go kaput in the meantime. One day, I woke up and logged on to find that it had automatically updated overnight. And it was fine. Better, even. That was a huge relief. It could have been a completely different, disastrous story.
4. I don’t just write a blog; I read them, too! Even better, a few of the writers have become my friends. Some local favorites: No Monsters in My Bed, Not-So-SAHM, But I Do Have a Law Degree, Popville, Eater DC, The Hill is Home.
5. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. There’s no denying what an amazing marketing tool it is — I probably owe most of KFDC’s following to it. And I love how easily it connects so many of us. But sometimes it feels like there’s pressure to keep up with everything, and there is so much out there to keep up with. This blog is the heart of what I do, and I like to focus my attention here. That said, Facebook is my main social media channel, I kind of do Twitter, and I’m starting to get better at the Instagram if you want to follow along! 🙂
6. If I had to name my top three favorite experiences in the DC area, they would be: 1) Ren Fest (duh!) 2) Fossil Hunting 3) Adventure Park at Sandy Springs. That said, there are SO MANY places and activities that I (and my kids) love… the National Arboretum, Great Falls, all of the museums, Dumbarton Oaks, Adventure Theatre, Arena Stage, Watkins Regional Park, day trips to Baltimore, Nats games… Really, the fact that I have a whole website dedicated to all the great things to do in DC says it all.
7. I really, truly love what I do. And despite what it might seem, it’s not all just getting out and doing fun stuff with my kids. We do have loads of fun and get to do some pretty awesome things, but I also spend more time on back end and “business” work than adventuring. In the end, though, it’s all incredibly satisfying and, like I said, I love it. That’s important in doing something like this (or any job, for that matter). When you care about something so much, you want to make it the best it can be. KFDC might not get deeply personal, but it’s still a reflection of me and two little people I love most in this world. So, I care a ton. I really hope that translates on the reader end, too.
There you go, seven random musings. Now go try to win the giveaway.
Giveaway: To celebrate 7 years of KidFriendly DC, you have a chance to win a CertifiKID voucher for one of the following: A 2-night Chincoteague Island, VA Escape (the deal valid March 31 – May 4, 2017), 4 Tickets to Erth’s Dinosaur Live at Strathmore, or 5 Tickets for the Bunny Hop Train Ride on the Maryland Scenic Railroad. (Be sure to read all details on all of them!) To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite place or activity that you learned about from KFDC. This giveaway will run through March 5, 2017, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!