Nine Years

Muir Woods

Photo and text by Gabrielle.

Friends. It’s my blogging anniversary! Nine years ago today, I started Design Mom (here’s a link to my very first post).

Nine Years!

Over 6000 published posts. And another 60+ in drafts from over the years that may or may not ever see the light of day.

There are all sorts of related things I want to talk to you about. Things like the awesome phone call I had this morning concerning a super cool new series for the blog. I want to tell you about the insanely talented designer I reached out to for a blog redesign. I want to tell you about the podcast on parenting that Ben Blair and I are thinking about starting. (Sidenote: Would that interest any of you?). I want to to discuss blogging in general; how it’s changed, how it’s remained the same.

I would love to reminisce too! I want to remember when I used to have “guest moms”. I want to think about the first house tour (there have since been 195!), the long-running Secrets to Living Well column, the DIY posts. I want to ponder 2013 — the year I had a ton of regular contributors. I want to make a list of significant blog moments (things like the first giveaway, and the first award). I want to think about all of the different people who have helped make this website grow and thrive.

And I want to hear how long you’ve been reading! Are you new to Design Mom? Have you been reading since New York? Do you remember when Flora June was born in Colorado? Did you start reading when we lived in France? Do any of you remember the Ask Design Mom posts?

I’m fully aware that this blog would be nothing without YOU, the readers. And I’m forever grateful. I mean it from the bottom of my heart (and understand how cheesy that sounds, but it’s true). Thank you for reading!

P.S. — One of our favorite families is visiting from Utah, and we’re spending the day in San Francisco, but I’ll be thinking of the remarkable Design Mom Community all day, and promise to jump into the conversation as soon as I’m back at my desk.

118 thoughts on “Nine Years”

  1. Dear Gabrielle, happy anniversary to awsome you and your awesome blog!!
    i’ve been reading since you were in France. Living in France myself and having lived in the States some years ago, I found your American perspective on my country interesting and I liked to follow your adventures. I follow a few US blogs, a cup of Jo and yours is how I start my day, I read your posts in the quiet morning, before anyone is up. I loved La Cressonnière and love, love the Tree House.
    I would be interested in podcasts on parenting, as I’m a parent and am always interested in how other parents are coping. I loved your post about the readathon (sadly, my husband would never go for it). I’m looking forward to more posts! A bientot!

  2. Happy Anniversary, and thank you for the consistently high quality content! I’ve been reading for a year and a half, but I’ve also gone back and read through much of the archives as well. My absolute favorite feature you ever had was your celebration video series–love love love. And I would vote a “heck yes!!!” to the parenting podcast.

  3. congratulations!!

    I’ve been reading since Lisa Valentine Clark did her first (only?) guest mom post. Probably nine years ago?! Yours is one of a handful of blogs I’ve read consistently since my first reading. Thank you for keeping it top-notch.

    Your growing a family posts are some of my favorites and they helped me prepare for my own births. (One of which I keep meaning to submit…)

    Congratulations again!! I love your blog!!

  4. I don’t know how long I’ve been reading, maybe 3 years? I found you through a pin on interest that had a picture from one of your Living with Kids moms. I have to say I’ve been loving your blog so much more ever since you started writing again and got rid of the contributors at the beginning of last year. You are a very classy writer!
    And I would love the podcasts if they were good. I’ve listened to pod casts where it seems like the couple did not think beforehand what they would say and most of the minutes was “hmms” and “ahh, yes, uh-huh, ok”.
    Anyways, one of my favorite blogs!

    1. Yes, a well-produced blog can be amazing and makes all the difference. I think that’s part of the reason I like Gretchen Rubin’s podcast “Happier” so much. and I agree that Gabby’s writing is preferable to that of contributors…

      1. Please think of the contributors’ feelings with these comments. Sometimes you just get used to a blog being a certain way. I dont think there was anything wrong with their writing, its just that they werent what you came to Designmom for. Actually, I have always thought they were rather harshly treated.

  5. Happy Anniversary, I have been reading since Colorado. I love how you curate interesting articles, introduce all different kinds of moms to each other, and do the home tours. But most of all, before my children, you gave me hope that you could have kids AND beautiful spaces.

  6. Happy Anniversary! I have been reading since NY and I have learned so much from you! When I started reading, I never dreamed I would be a mom – so fortunate I stockpiled your good advice in advance!

    Cheers, friend! Look forward to thousands more posts!

  7. Happy Anniversary! I’ve been reading for about 6 years now and have loved all of the different perspectives you’ve provided, from Colorado to France, and now in Oakland. My favorite posts are the ones from your heart–the random ones (like you had just yesterday) that alllow us readers to see what you’re thinking.

    Thanks for all of your hard work these past 9 years. Here’s to many more!

  8. I’ve been reading since you lived in New York. Since my oldest is 8 years old, it must have been sometime after he was born that I discovered your blog. So you have been a regular part of my life for almost my entire time being a mom (I now have three kids). It’s been lots of fun to follow your family on your various adventures and I have learned a lot from you about thoughtful and mindful parenting (and living).

    I would definitely love to hear a podcast from you and your husband about parenting. It made me think of the NomNom Paleo podcast. That is one of the few I listen to that is created by a couple and I think they do a really good job with it. It must require a ton of time to be so well-edited but it definitely makes me look forward to each new podcast that is released.

    Congratulations on your blogiversary!

  9. lagadou delphine

    Un très bon anniversaire de France, Brest. Bravo pour votre superbe blog, votre énergie et votre enthousiasme.

  10. I’ve been reading since a short while before June was born. I don’t even know how I arrived at your blog – probably through design interest – coming from a designer family (but nothing like that myself…). Keep on the good work or as we here in Germany say Mach weiter so!

  11. Hmm, good question. I’d have to go back and scan the posts. I know it was before little June but I don’t recall New York except in retrospect, so somewhere in that window. You’re the only blog from my list “back then” that is still going and I still read.

  12. I started reading when you were in CO. You were the first blogger to ever respond to a comment and I was so flattered.

    I would be interested in podcasts, esp about parenting the older years or family tradition type stuff. I feel like the market is flooded before kids reach school and then not much.


  13. I believe I started reading your blog a little while before Flora June was born, but I don’t remember how I landed here.

    My favorite things are –
    Design posts (bedrooms, reading nook, tree swings, entry, etc.)

    Activities with your family that would be good for others to try or learn about (read-a-thon, stairs in CA, travels, moving to another country!)

    New ideas you are trying or thinking about or challenges you are experiencing. I enjoy not just the topics but the comments from others as well.

    Few Things posts

    Of course, there are a lot of other things you post that I enjoy, and I wish you could post more often! I have to say your blog is one of my absolute favorites.

    As a mom of older kids (ages 16-23), I’m not too much into the birth stories and probably wouldn’t be interested in the parenting podcasts.

    Congratulations to you on your anniversary and I look forward to reading your blog for many more years! All the best to you and your family!

  14. Happy blog anniversary! I’ve been reading a very long time. I remember when you had a lot of holiday promotions and ordered a personalized book for my daughter after seeing it featured here. She must have been 4 or 5 and she is now 13! I love your design posts and the house tours and LOVE your Friday links!

  15. I started reading your blog after learning about you in the BYU Alumni magazine. You were living in France at that time, and I have been following you ever since. I very much enjoyed your life in France blogs since my daughter taught ESL outside of Paris one school year, and I visited her for a couple of weeks. The progress on your French cottage is unbearably slow to me (probably slow for you too!); I’m eager to learn what you do with the insides! Your children’s book recommendations have been helpful for this Grandma. And I like the shared house articles; the most impressive one to me was the one designed especially for the autistic child. Phenomenal! Inspired!

  16. I’m a first time commentor, although i’ve been reading since you were living in France (i’m french & was expecting my first kid at the time, so it was fitting perfectly with my interests:)
    As i’ve recently discovered podcasts (thanks to Serial), I would really enjoy one from your!
    And, most important, happy anniversary to you!

  17. I have benn reading since right before you left for France. I love the home tours, your family life, decorating your homes, a few things, watching your kids grow up, family adventures, and your sweet relationship with Ben Blair.

  18. I’ve been reading since your Colorado days. Blogs have come and gone, and I mostly don’t read many anymore, but I’ve consistently come back to you because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’re the classiest there is! Never pushy with your opinions, always respectful of your readers, terrifically gracious and appreciative… Also: YES on the parents podcast with Ben Blair. With three growing boys (11, 9 and 4) I need all the help I can get! Thanks for writing.

  19. I’ve read since I had a really boring college job (so since the NY days)! Back then it was so much easier to read through archives since there wasn’t as much content. I’d venture to say I’ve probably read every single Design Mom lost, at least skimming. We started holding our own Christmas Recital and loved that tradition, but it has gotten increasingly harder since our friends all started having kids/we moved for grad school and our new friends all had kids. We took a year off last year, but we’ll be moving next year and it’s something I want to start again. Do you still do it? Burlap wrapped pineapples (I think that idea was in the same post as the recital) is our go-to co-worker gift. It’s worked for 7-8 years now!

    I remember in the early days making the connection that you were Jordan’s sister, and then there seemed to be lots of other Utah-related blogs I would put together that they were all connected.

    I’m impressed that you’ve kept at blogging. Not many high quality blogs have been able to keep at it. I’d love to see more entertaining and party ideas (especially grown-up and sophisticated party ideas that work around or include kids).

  20. I’ve been reading maybe 4-6 months? Not long before your book was published. I don’t remember how i made it here but very glad I did. I like how you write about tough topics mixed with other things. I like the Friday links (I get a lot about American issues from it, I’m a Canuck), and I enjoy the peeks into others lives through the various birth stories or house tours or whatever. I went back to read more about the France home and I may go back and read other stuff too if I ever find elusive time.
    I like your “voice”, I like how you respond to negative commenters! I don’t think I would listen to a parenting podcast (simply because I only have 1 child and I find a big family likely would have very little intersect). I want to check out your book one day soon.

  21. happy anniversary! i’ve been here since a couple weeks before you left new york and i’ve loved every minute. i love your voice and your passion for kindness and the human existence. you’re one of my very, very favorites! i’ll be here till the end!


  22. I have been reading since late 2007. your blog kept me company in the wee hours of the night while I was breastfeeding my first child. I have thoroughly enjoyed every move, birth story, house tour, and personal post. Thanks for sharing, it’s been a joy to get to know the Blair family!

  23. I can’t remember exactly when I first started reading your blog–2007? 2008?I only read it for a couple of months when it was on the blogspot address, so whenever that was. Yours was the first “professional blog” I read–it was on one of my friends from Utah’s blogroll, and I thought it sounded interesting. Yours was also how I found all other blogs I now read regularly, either directly or indirectly. For awhile, I thought that I wanted to be a blogger myself, and I even purchased a domain name inspired by yours (–it was supposed to be about architecture + motherhood). It’s funny to think back on now. At the time I wasn’t a mom or an architect (yet). It would be several years before I achieved either of those goals. Now I’m happy to say that I’m both. :) Happy blog anniversary!

  24. I’ve been reading since you were pregnant with June! I was a freshman in college and had just gotten into blog reading…yours was one of the first that I read consistently and haven’t stopped since! I really love the wide range of topics you cover and how open and accepting you are. I definitely feel like I know you in real life. Congrats on 9 years! (SO impressive) Keep it up!

  25. Congrats! Yours was one of the very first blogs I had ever read. I did not even really know what a blog was! I have been reading for about 9 years!!! Up at night, nursing my newborn. I have always loved your honesty, the celebration of beauty and family and women. You really do inspire me as a reader. Your voice is true. ❤️ Congratulations!!

  26. Congrats on your ninth year! I’ve been reading your blog, one of the first I discovered, since New York. Thank you for all your wonderful posts. You and your family are an inspiration. Here’s to many more years to come :)

  27. I would love to have a podcast that you and Ben Blair put together! That would be amazing and I would definitely listen + subscribe. You guys are so in sync, I’d love to learn from you guys!

  28. I’m pretty sure I started reading right before your move to France. I loved hearing about all of your adventures there and now about your adventures in California!

  29. I started reading from an article that you wrote for Real Simple. I loved your writing style, so I searched your blog and was instantly hooked. That was probably 5+ years ago. This is the only blog I read on a consistent basis! I love living vicariously through someone else! I also love the idea of a big family, so that is another factor that attracted me. My girls are 14 and 18, so I have watched them grow along with your oldest children. Keep up the good work!!

  30. Happy Blogiversary, Gabrielle! Nine years is such a wonderful accomplishment, congratulations. I’ve been reading since France and I can see how much work and careful attention you put into this space. It’s a delightful place to visit. Thank you.

  31. I started reading while you were living in France. I have 3 blogs I read daily and you are one of them Design Mom. My favorite is still Living With Kids. Also, I would LOVE a parenting pod cast from you and Ben Blair. I was actually just thinking to myself I wish Design MOM shared parenting tips. Things I would like covered…1. How you handle screen time (social media/television/movies. 2. How you encourage positive sibling relationships. Thank you for everything Design MOM!

  32. I’ve been a Design Mom reader for eight and a half years. I originally came to your blog via our mutual (?) friend Allison Johannesen Anderson and have never missed a post! Happy Blogiversary!

  33. I’ve been reading since right before you moved to Colorado. I think it was the New York photo shoot that lured me in to your blog. I think it would be awesome if you and BB did a podcast. I need a good one to add to my list. Thank you so much for what you do here on DM. It’s my very favorite blog.

  34. Wow! 9 years is amazing. I found your blog when you were in France. I think I discovered you around June or July of 2014. I love (and love) the lovely photographs as well as the fun blog posts. I love the “Living with Kids” series. I was very moved by Sharon Miller’s raising kids in Israel post. That one made a huge impression on me. It’s nice to see how people live across the world. :)

  35. Congrats! I have been reading (and enjoying) since 2009 — and I do remember (and long for!) the Ask Design Mom posts. :) It’s been a joy to see your family growth and adventures over the years — and compare it to mine! — looking forward to what’s ahead!

  36. I think I first came to your blog in 2012, from Gretchen Rubin’s blog. We need more upbeat podcasts, so go for it, launch your podcast! Incidentally, I love Gretchen Rubins podcast, so check it out! It is short and to the point, yet personal. Love it.

  37. I’ve been reading for eight and a half years! I started reading when I was a new mom and poor graduate student living away from my home state for the first time. Four kids kids and five states later I still check in nearly every day. Thank you for continuing to put out such great content!

  38. Congratulations! I would definitely be interested in listening to your podcast. Lots of podcasts are 1 hour, but I find myself often wanting one that is just 20 minutes or 30 minutes, for a short commute or drive.

  39. Happy Blogaversary! I’ve been reading you for at least six or seven years and have loved seeing you transform the site, share your beautiful children with us and all your interesting thoughts on such a wide variety of things —

    I also feel forever grateful to you for highlighting a video I made years ago about parenting and children with special healthcare needs. It was thrilling to see the numbers shoot up to over 5,000 in about fifteen minutes! Since then, it’s been seen nearly 50,000 times, so you provided that initial momentum. Since it was intended for families with newly diagnosed children, I am just so thankful for that.

    Happy blogging and onward!

  40. I have been part of this blog, and kind of only this blog, since you were pregnant with June. We have grown with you and the kids, and our darling June. Though Betty kind of also has a special corner in my heart. I love, love, love Olive us series. Just wish there were more happening soon, and sooner. Hope to see more and more of your work in the coming years. You are doing great!

  41. I would love to listen to a podcast by you and your husband. I love, LOVE podcasts and listen to about 3 hours of podcasts a day (insanely long commute!). I enjoy hearing your husband’s parenting ideas (plank challenge, reading vacations) and would love to get to know you both as a couple more. Do it!!!

  42. Happy Anniversary! I’ve been reading since you were in New York. I love your writing and was really happy when you went back to just writing the blog yourself – you’re a great writer and I think you excel at getting your readers engaged. I enjoy just about everything you write and love that you bring up current events and issues that I may not think about otherwise. I love the design posts and Living with Kids, and I’d love it if you brought back “Ask Design Mom”.

  43. Been reading since 2008 so the New York days. I stumbled upon your site for advent calendar inspiration of all things.

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