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. Happy Blogversary. I’ve been reading since almost the beginning.

    Your foray into contributors provided some interesting insight to my reading habits. I became a scanner when you had contributors. Apparently I come here for your voice, and when it became more of a group blog, I didn’t enjoy it as much. It’s been refreshing since you went back to mostly you posting.

  2. Since New York! I remember vividly your family waving goodbye to the Atlantic Ocean. Happy anniversary :)

  3. I would loooooooove a parenting podcast from you and your husband. I sometimes without even realizing it wonder, “WWDMD?” — “What Would Design Mom Do?” I’d love to hear whatever you guys have to share.

    I found Oh Happy Day probably in 2005, and from her I found you! You’re still two of my top favorite people to follow online. Congrats on 9 years of inspiring me so much!

  4. Aw, happy blogaversary! I have been reading since June was born (I think the post that brought me here was her newborn shoot with her on the bookshelves!) and it has been my favorite blog ever since. I have always appreciated how sincere and open you are to starting conversations – even touchy, tricky ones – and I look forward to being part of whatever you come up with next!

  5. Hi Gabrielle! I’ve been reading since right before you moved to France. Your blog is one of the first I started consistently reading. I would LOVE to hear a parenting podcast with you two. I don’t have kids yet, but I love podcasts, am always thinking about kids for the future, and I am so drawn to the intentional thought you put into parenting. I keep meaning to comment that I would love a series from Ben on this, as I think you mentioned that he came up with the reading day, which I just love the idea of! Cousins week, doing regular check-ins with each kid, and that sort of thing, also catches my attention whenever you guys mention it. I would love to hear you both expound upon these concepts!

  6. Gosh I’ve been reading since just before you left France. I found your blog when looking for blogs about living in France. Both of my children are in a French immersion program at their school, and the idea of moving abroad is so interesting. I love your blogs and your living with kids series.

  7. yay for nine! i think i started reading your blog on a daily basis when you moved to france. and lo and behold you moved to oakland, my hometown! my favorite posts have always been about your family and family life. thank you gabrielle for creating this wonderful place in the internet! i’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy visiting this site everyday!

  8. I started reading probably around that time you started! I was looking for valentine ideas and I posted an idea I made and you put it on your blog. I was so flattered! You are a daily read for me and an inspiration. Thanks for all you do! I really admire how your blog has evolved from an everyday creative resource into also a platform for discussion of important topics. I’m excited to learn what you will do next!

  9. Happy anniversary!! I love blogs and always will, I hope the medium stays around! You’re one of my all time favorite internet friends and I appreciate your voice in my life so much. I’d love to hear a podcast on parenting from you and Ben Blair!

  10. I’ve been reading since Colorado. Your blog is my favorite by far!! I love the Treehouse posts the most, it’s been a fun watching you transform your home into something so unique and beautiful. Thank you for inspiring me with your ideas and design.

  11. Congratulations on 9 years! I have been reading since New York. I was hooked when you posted about updating the front door /porch of your rental house. I adore the living with kids series and the children’s book reviews. Yes, please! to the parenting podcast.

  12. Hello! I’ve been reading since the New York days. Back then I was living in NJ. though I lived in the city from 2002-05 so we might have overlapped! And I would subscribe to your parenting podcast in a heartbeat.

  13. I LOVE podcasts and I think yours would be wonderful. Please do it! I have a 40 minute commute to work and podcasts actually make it an enjoyable time. I’ve been reading your blog since you announced your pregnancy with Flora, so 6 years? I look forward to every post. Thank you so much for all of the hard work you put into your blog. I have read you and Cup of Jo for many years and I think for similar reasons…I always know your content will be beautiful, heartfelt, interesting, and often gives me something serious to think about. I think both of you do a fantastic job really encapsulating what women want, do and think about right now. You are a such a lovely role model–a working mother, an innovator, an artist–I love your perspective on life. Congratulations on 9 years and here’s to many, many more!

  14. Happy Blogiversary! I’ve been ready since 2007. Your blog is one of the few that I read consistently. I would also love to listen to a Design Mom podcast. Congrats on nine years…and look forward to many more.

  15. I still remember the very first day your very first post went up and thinking…oooh…she’s awesome!

    Nine years later, who would have thought we’d both be here, we’d become friends, share our families’ growth (yours a little more than mine), our families’ moves (yours a little more than mine), spend a week in Ethiopia together, survive a horrible night of intestinal distress, help sell the most amazing scarves to support women, become actual business owners, and root each other on personally and professionally through so many changes.

    You’re amazing Gabby, and you deserve all the success that’s come your way and that’s yet to come. Look forward to more amazingness in your tenth year.


  16. I’ve been reading since November 2008, when my first daughter was born and I’d hang out on my laptop while nursing her. Yours is one of the few blogs I read consistently and I have to thank you for so many good ideas: We have two Design Mom-style toddler beds in our house and your book is on my bedside table. I had honestly never paid much attention to design before reading your blog; you’ve had such a profound influence on my everyday life — who would have thought before this era of blogging began?

  17. Yes to the podcast! I love to learn from veteran parents. What more important thing is there to discuss?!

  18. Happy Blogiversary! I’ve been reading since your days in New York and your blog is one of the only ones I always keep up to date with :)

  19. Big Congrats Gabby!! I’ve been a daily reader since the NY days, 7 or 8 years!!! Not sure how I found you, but you have been a constant in my life. I’ve loved watching your journey and have been inspired by you along the way. The France years were a big highlight! I’ve loved your honesty, your realness, and your tips and tricks. Other standouts for me: your posts on how to style family photos, oil pulling!!, your Friday posts where I always find something interesting, your incredibly cute kids, your family celebrations, your personal struggles and triumphs!! I am incredibly grateful that started this blog, and shared so much of your self with us. Thank you!

  20. Please, please start a podcast series!!

    I started reading a little over six years ago, while on maternity leave after my daughter’s birth. This blog is such a source of inspiration–personal, home, family, and more.

  21. Gabrielle,
    Reading your blog has been like getting a letter from my best friend, every day. As a lot of people have already said, you are so wise and kind, and the way you handle difficult topics, without avoiding them, is something that keeps my faith in humanity in tact. At the risk of sounding dramatic, your blog has been a really important place for me to come at times when everything else in my life has been an uncontrollable disaster. And I read your blog when life is good, too! Thanks for opening up your heart and home for those of us who need that friendship. I really love you.

  22. Happy Anniversary! I’ve been reading Design Mom for the past 7 years. You have built a supportive, thoughtful, intelligent and compassionate community on here that my new mother self was so grateful to find 7 years ago and now a mother of 3 kids, I keep coming back as you share so much of what is good and worthwhile to think about. Thank you Gabrielle and many thanks to your husband and your kids for all their contributions and hard work, too.

  23. Happy Anniversary to one of my very favorite blogs!!! I started reading just a a few years ago, and you quickly became part of my top five…along with some excellent company…Catherine Newman, Ashley Hackshaw, Andrea Dekker, Cathy Zielske – all helpful, insightful, unique and powerful women, like you!

    I love your “secrets of” posts, and just gave them their very own bookmark on my favorites list. Looking forward to reading (or re-reading) them all!!! REALLY love your house tours and living with posts.

    You are a treasure, Gabrielle!!!

    1. How could I forget my favorite part – A Few Things. You’re an amazing curator and always find a great mix of goodies for us to feast on!! :-)

  24. Nine years- wow! Way to keep at it!
    I remember the first time I ever found your blog- someone else had linked to the April Fool’s post that Ralph wrote announcing that you’d had June- complete with a fake baby picture and name :) I had just started to discover blogs at the time and have been reading yours ever since!

  25. Happy blogiversary!
    I think I’ve been reading for about five years maybe? I do remember when June was born, but I think I was reading for a bit before that. I don’t remember how I found your blog (maybe from Jordan’s), but I’m really glad I did!

    Kristi | Be Loverly

  26. I think I have been following you for around 2 years. I found you through A Cup of Jo link about packing lunches! Since then I look forward to your daily posts. As a fellow “design mom” on the West Coast (I’m a landscape architect in Berkeley) I love the windows into how you incorporate your design sense into your daily life, and the local references! Congratulations!

  27. Happy Anniversary! I’ve been reading for 7 or 8 years, since you were in NY, and to be honest, your move to France is one of the big things that inspired us to do the same, and in about a month, we’ll make our big move to England! Thanks for curating this great site — it’s the one blog that’s been a consistent for me since I started reading them when my babies were little. :)

  28. Congratulations Gabrielle! Happy Anniversary Design Mom!
    I have been reading your blog for more than 3 years, and you have been my inspiration to start my own blog just 1 month ago.
    I would like to wish you another 9 years of happiness and blogging!!

  29. Nine years! Woot woot! Congratulations.

    I’ve been reading since just before you left New York. I have no idea how I came upon your blog, but I’m so very glad I did. Despite being a food blogger (and food editor and cookbook author) I read your blog more than any one that’s food related. It’s inspiring, kind, and without judgement… something that is so hard to come across in an online space these days. I always feel as though you are being descriptive not prescriptive when you share your thoughts and feelings on a topic, and it’s so refreshing. I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring for you.

    Oh, and a parenting podcast would be wonderful!!

  30. Kate the Great

    I’ve commented on this strain of thought and I’ll say it again– I began reading while you lived in New York and I lived in Utah. You had no pictures in your posts, and some of your posts were only a paragraph long. I read you for your writing, and was thrilled to find that your photos are charming as well.

    You very quickly became my favorite blog, but I didn’t admit it to myself until your Times’ listing. I miss your blog when it had no commercials, but I keep coming back even though you’ve still got them. Even when I stopped blogging, I continued to read you.

    I cherish your book, but I also consider it to be a great source of inspiration and a great tool– it’s got all sorts of notes in my handwriting and flags in orange and green sticking out from the sides of the book. I shrieked with thrilling joy when it arrived in the mail as a surprise from a very thoughtful friend. My husband was discouraged– he had bought a copy for me and was going to give it to me for Mother’s Day.

  31. Congratulations on nine years! I’m going to be nine years this coming April . . . and I think, wow, that’s a long time. Also I think, how much longer is this blogging business going to last? ;D

  32. Congratulations!!! I read your blog for quite a while now, i don’t remember exactly but it was a while before Flora June was born. Coffee breaks in the mornings would not be the same without you, and I even keep my husband updated with the whereabouts of the Blair family. Lots of love from Buenos Aires, Argentina!

  33. I’ve been reading since you moved to France. My favorite series are living with kids, call it a day and growing a family posts. I would LOVE a parenting podcast from you guys, especially with rotating guest moms.

  34. YES to the podcast. That would be fantastic. I’ve always wondered what your and Ben’s habits/methods/traditions are when it comes to parenting, and I loved reading about a few in your book. Hugs!

  35. Started reading while you lived in France. Subscribed via feed reader immediately and have read every post since!

  36. Parenting podcast please! I’ve read this blog long before having my baby, or even thinking of having her. Love it, and grateful for the wonderful inspiration it provides.

  37. I love reading your blog. I usually read sneakily at work! I started reading before Flora June was born and followed along since then! I even won a vintage pearl giveaway once and I cherish the necklace I got with it. I think a podcast sounds awesome! I would appreciate one that I could listen to while my kids are around (like while Im cooking or something) without having to worry about bad language or topics that are not suitable for little ears (not that I want a “kids podcast” just something that could be on w/o worry! Does that make sense?) Thank you for all the great posts and inspiration and positivity!

  38. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

    You blog is the only one I check daily. I think I started reading when you were in Colorado. I just plain enjoy you and everything you include.

    Thanks Gabrielle!

  39. Congrats on your anniversary! I began reading when you were contemplating the move to France. I found your blog via name-blog readers who loved your kids’ names (that’s also how I found Girls Gone Child) – the power of name enthusiasts!

    I’ve always enjoyed the permutations your blog undergoes and your willingness to try new things is a great inspiration. I know they don’t always work out, but just the act of trying something is empowering.

  40. Happy Anniversary! I think that I have been reading since 2008?! I actually got the idea to name my daughter June from Flora June!

  41. I started reading when you were pregnant with June and I was pregnant with my third (now we have six). I enjoy your family photo and lifestyle/education posts the most. And I am slowly savoring your book! I have trouble keeping up with podcasts and don’t know if I could commit to another one – the 4-5 I follow are pushing it. One thing I especially love about your blog is that it has stayed fresh. A number of other blogs I’ve followed in the same period have lost steam, but you’ve been able to take your interests and what’s going on in life and keep coming up with new, thoughtful posts.

  42. I want to add my congratulations to the well-deserved chorus of praise. I long for Tuesdays so I can check out the new Living With Kids feature, and I am so amazed you remain consistent with it no matter what else is going on in your busy life. I have discovered so many other impressive women and their blogs through you. I love how you stand up for yourself and your truth in the comments, while never being disrespectful to others. I am in awe of you as a mother of six and an entrepreneur. I think I was most blown away by your posts on struggling with depression, because if I have ever thought someone was ‘perfect’, it was you, and your openness really moved me. Finally, I live overseas and I appreciate a cosmopolitan fellow American. Your blog is a ray of sunshine in my week and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work. Weiter so!

  43. It seems my first comment got eaten, but I stumbled upon your blog when you still lived in New York. I was pretty newly married and definitely newly pregnant with my first. We had just moved to Washington DC where I started my dream job, and was also just pregnant. And soo soo sick. I loved reading your birth stories, and recognized myself in one. The mom spoke of the deep depression she was in while pregnant, and I realized that was me too. The second my son was born those feelings of depression went away. I was just grateful that mom shared her story so I could recognize what I was going through and explain it to my husband. Luckily I haven’t had that with my other 2 kiddos.

    Thanks again for what you share!

  44. Happy Anniversary!

    I’ve been reading since right about the time you moved out of New York. The first post I remember is of your family portraits where you were all wearing the very vibrant blues and greens.

    I love the Growing a Family, Day in the Life, and Living with Kids ‘guest’ posts, as well as many of your own personal posts. I always come looking for your round-up posts on Fridays and enjoy clicking my way through the list. I liked the regular contributors’ writing just fine, but that isn’t what I come to your site to read, and I found myself visiting far, far less when you had them posting so frequently.

    I probably would not listen to podcasts. They’re just not my thing.

    Congratulations again on nine years!

  45. I have been reading since you lived in New York and have loved your blog for years! I love the interesting companies you have showcased that I never would have found otherwise. I love your Living With Kids features and your candidness about your struggles with depression, among many other things. I wish you many more years of blogging success!!! And you inspired me to get a table covered in sheet metal!!!

  46. I can’t remember exactly the first post of yours I read for it is that long I have been reading your blog (maybe 7 years or so). I have loved traveling with you and celebrating the birth of your daughter to the recent unexpected graduation of your son that has me re-thinking maybe our sons plan for University. I have loved your creative Christmas cards, do-it-your-self post, to birth stories. I love how when you battled with depression you laid it out on the table for all to see and showed your readers it is OK to suffer from depression. Congratulations on 9 years!

  47. I know I’ve been reading since New York! I’m not sure how I found you in the beginning, but you’re one of my favorite voices on the web. Thank you for all of your hard work!

    I think a podcast would be awesome. I am in the middle of launching one right now too (called Bringing Up Betty – hopefully the first episodes will be available later this month) and just know that they are a ton of work! Right now podcasts are one of my favorite mediums… I love to listen while I fold laundry or do dishes. I’d love to hear you and Ben Blair chat about parenting! Mine focuses on the truth about special needs parenting, in case you’d like to tune in. :)

    Anyway, congrats on your nine years! I’m happy you’ve been around.

  48. I’ve been reading since you were in France, I believe. I love the Living With Kids series, your children’s book recommendations, travel related posts, random life topics and the more serious conversations you bring up- as well as the good comments. Oh, as well as your Friday posts! Your blog is one of my favourites!

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