My love of storytelling and blogging began in kindergarten, with riveting tales of girls named Sophie.
This is Sophie. Sophie made the stars. She turned purple. She had long legs. Sophie had nineteen eyes. The End.
In grade 3 I wrote letters to my parents in a weekly home journal. It’s hilarious to look back and see what’s important at age 9.
You’re a fantastic drawer. Yes, I did spend time with you at the hockey game. I’d love to go to B.C (Kootnies) for summer holidays. 1 1/2 weeks is a long time, for me it is. I’m excited too! Do you really think we could go to Discovery Zone for my birthday? I hope so. I love baseball lots. Your right! Baseball does give you lots of exersize! Thank you for renting movies for us to see. Did you read fast like me when you were little? Did you have books like today when you were little? When are we going to talk about my birthday together? I love you lots and lots and lots. I better stop writing or else my hand will fall off. I hope you write back. Love, Nicole. P.S. Do you think I’m good?
(I was a liar, I hated baseball. I was also totally fishing for compliments.)
In grade 5 I started filling pages of paper with tall tales and murder mysteries. My mom saved these stories over the years, tucking them away into a rubbermaid container under the stairs that moved with me to my first apartment at age 18.
“What’s the big deal about this house?” asked Cal.
“There was a murder in that house,” Dan started. “People say they’ve seen Old Man Anderson’s ghost hunched over and roaming the yard of his house, looking for the murderer. Plus, police can’t find his body.” said Dan spookily.
“Well, I’ll go in.” said Cal. So he opened the door.
CRREEAAKK went the door. He closed the door behind him. CRREEAAKK.
It was pitch black.
“RREEAARR!” screeched a black cat just as Cal stepped on the cat’s tail. “Man this is scary.” whispered Cal.
“AAEEEAAA…” moaned Old Man Anderson.
“Who’s there?” yelled Cal, worried.
(Spoiler alert…Cal doesn’t make it to the end of the story, womp womp!)
In junior high I became fast friends with a group of nerdy girls like me, and we wrote our own version of Lord of the Rings with ourselves in the story. Angsty inside jokes and our crushes on Legolas and Aragorn fill the pages. Reading them now makes me cringe and cry laugh. No excerpt for you here, because it would make you blush!
My first online blogging experience began when I was dating Nathan. As a surprise gift to me for our 4th dating anniversary, Nathan started blogging under the title ‘Nate & Nicole. The Life and Times of Us’. After revealing it to me, we wrote it together and filled it with ridiculousness and awkwardness that makes my heart happy.
Nicole: You poked me!
Nathan: I’m sorry! Will you ever forgive me?
Nicole: It really hurts! I’m going to have a bruise!
Nathan: So you not going to ever forgive me?
Nicole: What do you want for breakfast?
Nicole: Go have a shower.
The last post on this blog documents the day we got engaged. After that, it fell by the wayside and we didn’t pick it up again. I fell into a black hole of Pinterest wedding planning, and when we were finally out the other side, I really missed writing and I had free time to fill.
Thus began Dutchie Love. It started as a journal read mostly by family, but through posts about music, books, our weekends, work on our house, and other tidbits, random people started leaving comments which was strange but also kind of thrilling and encouraging.
I started talking regularly with a handful of local bloggers over social media, and worked up the courage to meet them in person over coffee. I saw what they were doing with blogging, became inspired and encouraged (still am), and went to Blogpodium with them. They’re a part of my tribe, for which I am forever grateful. They lit a fire within me (still do) and I started posting to my blog regularly.
For a time, it was everything and I loved it. Endless creativity, community, and the flow of words upon words. Companies started reaching out to me to do collaborative posts which was flattering and exciting, though in all honesty, I wrote for free in exchange for a good or service, and after a while it didn’t sit right with me and it wasn’t what I wanted for my blog.
Then this happened, and things changed. I got tired, I felt hollow, and blogging felt inauthentic while I was figuring out how I felt about life. I lost my passion for words and storytelling. It was a piece of myself that I needed to internalize to move forward. I kept telling myself ‘After Europe’.
It’s now ‘After Europe’, and while sketching in a visual travel journal during our trip, the spark came back. I can’t say I have life any more figured out than when I quit blogging earlier this year, but I’m ready to start sharing a piece of myself again.
This time around, I’m going to ‘take my blog back’ so to speak and refocus primarily on documenting life as it happens. Most likely I’m going to start with a boatload of Europe content, a Freyja update (holy moly she’s a year old later this month, when did that happen?!), an introduction to the company I started with my family earlier this year, and all the things in the space between.
I missed this, and I’m so happy I’m back.