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Monday, January 13, 2014

Welcome back!

Hello! I'm back from a three-week blogging break, which was by far the longest break that I've taken since starting Cup of Jo seven years ago. Thanks for coming back! How are you? It was a rare treat to be able to step back and think in an overarching way about the site, and I'm excited to be rolling out a few changes. Here's the plan...

This past fall, I was feeling pretty burned out. Part of that was postpartum depression (quite similar to what happened after Toby was born—more on that later—and I'm so thankful to have come out the other side). But part of it was that I was so swamped by day-to-day work and upkeep that I didn’t have enough time to write as many longer, more thoughtful posts or produce the types of original series I wanted to. I felt a little like I was on a treadmill!

When we were in California for the holidays, I realized that it might help a lot to bring on a few awesome, likeminded contributors. That way, they can contribute great posts, and I will have more time to write longer posts myself. Overall, the blog will keep the same tone and feel—including family anecdotes and personal posts—but there will also be more original content and series that I hope you'll really enjoy. We're just taking it up a notch, basically!

It will be a very slow and careful process, so everything will look the same for now. My hope is to slowly roll out new elements throughout the year. Please let me know what you think as things move forward! Obviously I want you to be happy and enjoy the site even more.

Meanwhile, I'd love to know: What are you up to these days? What’s on your mind? What are you excited or worried about in your life right now? What would you like to talk about or read about or discuss with other readers? Any topics you'd love to have covered? Or questions you have?

Anyway, I've missed you! And I have so much to share now after being off the internet for three weeks, holy smokes. It was awesome to get a break, but I’m happy to be back! Hope you're having a wonderful month. xoxo

P.S. Blogging as a career.
P.P.S. Thank you so much for the amazing job applications! I'll be reading through them this month and will get back to those of you asap.

(Photo by Kari Herer)

267 comments:

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Barbiekayle said...

Just wanted to say that I hope you enjoy the new steps with the blog. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and feel as if i know you! I love it and I'm sure it will just keep getting better and better. 18 days until I get married and I have read nearly all of your relationship posts and love all the motherhood posts you did last year. Hope you have a wonderful, magical 2014 I'm positive it will be the best yet! Kayley xx

Sara Wetmore said...

Welcome back and happy new year. I love the series you did on work/life balance and love hearing from other moms on how they manage their time. It can be tough. I'm so happy you're back and I can't wait to see what's in store.

PD said...

Welcome back Jo!
I am so proud of you for taking a step back to be able to continue forward. I commend your bravery and am very excited to see the growth and development of your blog with the addition of contributors.
I am very grateful for the break and reflection that comes with the holidays and the stillness that is in winter. It's a perfect time to look inward and discover your path. I am diving even deeper into my dream job as a nature educator and finding that connecting children with nature is a very intimate job. It requires a lot of letting go and allowing the kids to lead me, something I was not expecting, but am not surprised by.

Ramsey said...

As you can see, you were missed and you are loved!

My heart goes out to you, because depression is a beast. Those who haven't experienced it can find it hard to fathom, but when you are in it, it is physical, it is visceral. It cannot just be shaken off. I hope that you are feeling better, and that you soon find the right balance in your life to bring you joy, fulfillment, and some rest when it's needed!!

I think it is a testament to the quality of your work that someone like me, who is well past the baby/young children years, enjoys your blog so much. Reading about your way-beyond-adorable children is certainly great fun, but you also do a good job of covering the other subjects in life, and that gives your blog a wide audience.

Doing more posts about life's difficulties, like depression, infertility, illness, divorce, financial problems, etc., will I think be well-received, since all of us at some point in our lives have bumps in the road.

Good luck to you, Joanna, and welcome back!

Bek said...

Joanna! I've missed your posts! I've been eagerly checking your blog each day :)
Oh holidays are so relaxing and I hope you had a wonderful time with your family!

I really love your motherhood posts - and as a new mum (I have a 15 month old and number two due in May - yikes!) I feel they are really helpful and encouraging! I also love reading the advice from all the commenters :)

Hooray for 2014!

Rebecca Thompson said...

Hi Joanna! I loved the motherhood around the world series, or any posts that highlight different families and cultures/ lifestyles. Thanks and keep up the good work as a mom and blogger!

FEROZ KARIM said...

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anniefargo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anniefargo said...

I'd love to hear more about your perspective on travel choices! How do you decide when to go on vacation, where to go, and with whom!? How do you navigate seeing family over the holidays, making time for trips as a couple or immediate family only, etc.! I think this can be tricky ground, especially for newly married couples and young families.

Love your blog, keep up the great work!

TandN said...

So exciting! I love your Motherhood Mondays posts. I have a five week old now but enjoyed them even before he arrived.

I'd love to read about how you set up bedtime routines with your two boys. It's something we are working on now but I feel like we are making it up as we go along!

nicole narro said...

So happy to read you are back. I love reading your posts and am excited as to whats in store this year! I love watching your family grow. You are incredible!

What's on my mind? All of my friends are getting married and I haven't even had a boyfriend. I've in 3 weddings as a bridesmaid and I don't even have a date. I feel fine at the moment not having a boyfriend because I am ALL over the place (3 jobs and 40 hrs a week at school) but it does make me wonder if one day my dream guy (polyester hippie/mountain man) will ever come true.

Anyways, reading your blog in the morning before work always makes me feel good! Enjoy the week.

Cheers!

hysteric rose said...

welcome back Joanna Goddard. been missing your blog.i'm your biggest fan from kuala lumpur, Malaysia. i cnt explain by words how much your blog posts mean to me. looking forward for the brand new changes soon. keep up a good work & keep on inspired other people. lots of love

Christina said...

I took a two month blogging break over the holidays. I was so overwhelmed with not only the holidays, but also my MBA classes. It felt wonderful! My mind is so clear now. Seems like you are feeling the same way. Glad you are back!

Samantha Green said...

Welcome back! Love this blog and will always come back to read when you post and can't wait to see what you have in store for this year :) xx

Starryeyed said...

Love your blog and glad that you are back! I would love to see some posts on the Tiny Homes movement and on compacting your life - less about commercial aspects. Fair Companies have some great videos on this types of thing. Happy New Year!

Donna W said...

Welcome back, Joanna! You've been missed.:) I'm happy you took a well-deserved break from blogging and that you're feeling like yourself again. I'm a huge fan of all your posts especially your NYC Guide posts, style posts, and the cool things you find around the web.
What's on my mind these days? Hmmm...as much as I try to remain positive, thoughts of my cancer coming back sometimes pop into my head. I'm trying not to let these thoughts control my life.
I'm excited to see what's to come on A Cup of Jo!
Love from Toronto! - Donna

marielaureinalaska said...

Yaye you're back! We've missed you!

Kristen Larson said...

Glad you got a vacation! Those are always a must-have.

Have you heard of the book, How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between) by Mei-Ling Hopgood?

I just got it and I only two chapters through. But I am already so captivated by what the author has discovered. I always loved learning about new cultures, and it just seemed to fit with your blog series: parenting around the world.

I would also love to hear about how you feel sexy after delivering a baby.

Glad to be back!

Megan Rand said...

Hi Joanna! I just love your blog. I have two boys almost exactly the same age as yours. I'm a stay at home mom and not at all chic and successful like you and I have struggled with having two little ones. Oh my goodness, its no joke. Its a comfort to know someone as together as you as also found it challenging!

Tiffany said...

I'd be really interested in reading a post on child sibling spacing - perhaps following different families with different age gaps (children born back to back, with a 2-3 yr gap, 4-6 yr spacing) the benefits to each situation and seeing how the siblings interact with each other, as well as how it changes the husband side dynamic and any notes the moms might have. Also would love to read some recipe posts on making your own baby food (healthy recipes). And a post on the art of putting your baby down sleeping so he/she doesn't wake up. I always mess this one up when I try removing my arm from around baby's neck, it's so hard! Traveling on planes with babies/ young kids would also be a great one! I am intimidated by the tiny bathroom changing situation and the fear of baby crying loudly entire flight syndrome.

Tiffany said...

*Typo: husband wife dynamic

JenniferRBates said...

I love reading your blog and im so glad you are back! My favorite post are those post from around the web. I love finding interesting articles to read!

Vikike said...

Hi I would like to read about postpartum depression, because I had bad bad anxiety with my son, and we are planning another baby and I'm already scared. Other than that: fashion, New York, travelling, make overs, family topics etc! You are my connection to New York city so keep on reporting:) And you are my favourite blogger! Love, Viki from Budapest

stk said...

So glad to have you back! As you posted this summer and fall, I often worried/thought about you (isn't it weird how we can care and have concern for a person we only know from blog posts?!), only because I have a history of postpartum myself and always seem extra sensitive to those types of indicators. So glad to hear you have tackled that hurdle (twice! you are a warrior!) and are refreshed-- you deserved the long break! I started reading your blog in 2012, when I was pregnant with my first son, and was struggling with perinatal depression-- I was so encouraged by your honesty, I had the post bookmarked as a sign of hope-- that hormones are crazy and suck but it'll work out in the end. I am now pregnant with my second son, and I continue to be encouraged by your honesty (and your strength-- despite facing challenges, you seem to carry on with a lot of perseverance and a great attitude, which is super admirable). Looking forward to the roll-out of changes, and happy for you that this can be an opportunity to get back to doing some of what you love most. Much love from Ohio.

Maywyn Studio said...

Welcome back. Prayers the blues will fade. You have been missed.

I'd love to see you explore what appears to be a lack of diversity in blogging on the fashion, art, design, crafts type blog road where we click on for blog hopping. I think its more an Alex article but you are going new.

Trish Allan said...

Joanne, I've been reading your blog for years, and am so glad to have you back. Happy, healthy New Year to you and your family. Looking forward to your new vision for the site.

Alixe Ryan said...

My favorite of your posts are those that educate - whether it be a link to an article on why bringing olive oil could be a neat substitute for bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner party, or a post on renting homes on vacations, or gadget sickness, or how to say goodbye at a party. I love all of the off-the-beaten path posts that seem totally random, but that really make you think and can ACTUALLY be readily applied to daily life. keep it up and happy new year!

Natalie said...

so excited to see you back, joanna! i would love to hear more about switching careers. the prospect of doing so is weighing heavy on my mind this year, and i would love to hear stories about other women who've taken the plunge.

Ceciel T said...

Hooray you're back! Love to quote you to my partner "on cuppajo..., Joanna Goddard said...". Change is healthy. And bravo for your break...maybe a post on taking breaks and not feeling guilty. What about sibling dynamics? Something funny on what we've given up/changed since having kids? How bout getting back to work after staying at home with the youngins? Definitely please keep notes on fashion and style (and nail polishes colors you're into ;)). Love the personal and the motherhood Mondays and the international parenting. Travel with kids is a great topic (talk about different than my pre-kiddo life!). Keep up the fabulous work--it's so appreciated! xoxo

Emilia McGuckin said...

Glad you're back! I looked at your page about a million times while you were gone to use as a guide of sorts for my own new blog. Whenever I questioned the layout or a gadget, I asked my self "What would Joanna do?" ;-)

EmiliaMcG.blogspot.com

Laura Koch said...

I especially LOVED your international motherhood posts. I find other cultural practices fascinating. I hope you are able to find more mothers to share their stories.

Random Sydney Girl said...

Thank you for continuing to write. As a few readers commented, posts on non-traditional families would be so much appreciated. I am a single parent and although your Motherhood series are always enjoyable, it is sometimes hard to read about the traditional loving families who have supportive partners who help with children after work. What about the women who have no help or support, how do they cope all on their own? Would love to read about some of their experiences.

Sonel said...

I thought you may be suffering from ppd . As someone who is currently going through Postpartum Anxiety for the second time you learn to recognize that look in a mothers eye when all isn't as it should be. When I saw the smile on your face from your recent vacation pictures it finally looked real. I actually felt a little of the anxiety lift for a moment because I thought if she can come out of this misery, I will too. There is always a light at the end of this postpartum tunnel, it's just making yourself hang on until you get there. I would live to read more from other mothers who suffer through what is supposed to be such a happy time.

whitney @ thecurtiscasa said...

So glad you took a break and are feeling refreshed!! Can't wait to see what the new plan brings. And to answer your question, my husband and I are in a big transition time! We are both in new jobs (finally found our careers 5 years post-college), sold our house and are house-hunting for our next place.

Renae said...

Welcome back! You were definitely missed! Looks like there are some exciting changes coming, please just make sure you do whatever you need to do to stay healthy and happy, as I know how rough, to put it very mildly, it can be after baby.

For posts suggestions: I love your posts about your family/life. As a mom (of an almost 2 year old) I would love to know tips in dealing with a picky eater (though Toby seems to eat a variety of foods), dealing with a bored toddler if stuck at home due to weather or illness (there are only so many episodes of bubble guppies or Thomas the tank engine we can watch), how to stay connected to family members that live far (like a flight) away, and how to every so often be "me" instead of "mom". I would love posts about the importance of friendships - in your 20's, 30's, 40's 50's etc - and maybe how they change as a woman ages. I would greatly appreciate any tips on how to look pulled together, or - aiming higher, chic, on limited time or energy, - including how to wear a scarf and not look 30 years older than I am. I am always drawn to posts regarding how to juggle everything in life and any organization tips. Love your book posts/suggestions - keep them coming please!

Renae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Scancella said...

I'm glad you are back and I hope the new year starts off well for you. The thing I like the most about your blog is the honesty. I always feel like I am talking to a real person when I am reading in. You have a way of making me feel like I've known you and have a window into the pat of you that is unique to you. I truly enjoy the real feel.

I found your blog one night while googling about how to make a decision about having a baby. You had someone guest author for you or something and it described to a T what I was and still am to some degree feeling. It is a subject that not many seem to be talking about. I would actually love to see some articles on maybe how people made the decision to either have kids orcnot after being in that stuck place....especially since I'm still there to some degree.

I'm sure whatever you decide to write about will be great if you keep with the same type of tone you've teen writing with. I truly enjoy and look forward to reading your blog daily.

Lucy Jane said...

So glad your back :) I love your interview posts and series, and I'd love to hear from people who have gone through a dramatic career change as that is something I am trying to attempt at the moment,. To hear about people's experience setting up new businesses would also be amazing and I bet you could pull a few strings with some pretty awesome and inspirational people for us to hear from! Xx

Anna said...

Welcome back, you were missed! So glad to hear that you've had time to think and reassess and work out the best way to proceed. I am sorry to hear about your depression. I hope you know how much your readers value your honesty and courage in talking about the experience of motherhood, and the challenge of combining this with a creative life. The blog is such a wonderful combination of frivolous pleasure, cultural sampler, and real human insight - more of the same, please!

Elizabeth said...

One of my biggest goals/resolutions is to get my blog seriously growing. I'm getting it designed and have been taking a blogging e-course, but any tips are always appreciated. :)

iamorim said...

I am a portuguese 20 year old and I have been reading your blog for years now, the only one i still regularly read! It's so weird how i can relate so much to you, even if we're in completely different stages in life (and an ocean in between)! Please come back, always! :) ... most of us are gonna be very thankful you did!

MegFeller said...

I love this blog so much, it is my favorite of the ones I read on a regular basis! I look forward to the changes coming because I am sure they are going to be great. I love the post about motherhood. My husband and I are at the "we're not trying but we are not preventing" stage right now and are soon moving into the "trying" stage. Any advice would be welcome.

Alison said...

Glad you took a rest! We all need a good vacation. Also happy to hear you are feeling better! As always, thanks for your honesty and sharing your life with us. I missed your posts, welcome back!

Merissa said...

Hello Mama! This touching article on parenting made me think of you:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/07/opinion/blow-the-passion-of-parenting.html?_r=1&

Christina Egan said...

Hi Joanna! So glad you had a lovely break... it's so nice to step away from work once in a while :) I am planning my wedding this year, and I frequently refer to the lovely posts you've put up in the past on weddings... colored dresses, shoes, hair, invitations.. I love, love them! If you are looking for any topics to revisit this year, I'd love to see more on bridal fashion, wedding traditions, and marriage. Thank you!

Christina Egan said...

Hi Joanna! So glad you had a lovely break... it's so nice to step away from work once in a while :) I am planning my wedding this year, and I frequently refer to the lovely posts you've put up in the past on weddings... colored dresses, shoes, hair, invitations.. I love, love them! If you are looking for any topics to revisit this year, I'd love to see more on bridal fashion, wedding traditions, and marriage. Thank you!

Lesia Joukova said...

You are absolutely wondeful. Thank you for that post about depression, it's very informative!

And welcome back!

http://taleofthegreat.com

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ally said...

Yay! New year, new you!
I also have two little ones, and recently found myself in an interesting position: power mom. I struggle with the need for my focus to be at work - but with a 4 year old and a one year old, my thoughts are usually with my kids. Anything "me" comes in last - always. If I can't order it online, doesn't happen, and this is so counter to what we're (hopefully) instilling in our children: to be present, and unplugged. I know I'm not alone here, right? While I'm setting a good example for both my daughter and my son by being a leader (momma can do it), I feel like I'm failing other messages. And P.S.I don't consider celebrities for realistic examples of balance.

Jodi said...

Love reading your blog, and have loved all the content the past few years. Most of all, I've thoroughly enjoyed the series you do - mothers around the world. Sharing people's stories (and your own!) really keeps me coming back. Love the originality you bring to the blog world.

Cheryl said...

Welcome back! I know I"m coming in a little late -- but I'm really excited for 2014 and what you'll be doing :) Hope you find a great editor for the blog, and lots of talented contributors. Glad you were able to take a step back and recharge. You're truly one of my favorite bloggers. And we're all here for you and the wonderful things you write about and share. For me, I'm having a baby in 3 weeks! Your baby registry post REALLY helped me btw, thank you so much. I'm worried about losing myself and all the creative goals I've set for myself this year and into the future -- one being to really improve my blogging and writing and sharing. My life is about to change - ah! I love anything and everything you write about, so no big topic requests. Just keep up the greatness. I'll be reading! ;) - Cheryl

Anna said...

I really love your blog and so glad you're back. My favourite posts of yours are about relationships, kids, babies… yours and other ppls. Your posts are really endearing and there is no one else I can relate to quite like you (on the internet). I also like seeing how regular people 'make life work' like the post you did on the couple that live in that really small apartment and also mum's living around the world. I have a lot of questions at the moment about how does life change when people have a baby? Do people ever regret it? I also would love a post on how couples met and fell in love. (I have a pretty good one if you need :)

a owens said...

Please still keep blogging about mom stuff!
Since you became a mom, I have loved your blog even more.
I wish you would blog about mom stuff everyday, I love your outlook- you are so real

love you!

Anna said...

Hi Jo, Love your blog.

A topic I'd love you to write about is pre-nups! Romance killer, kiss of death or realistic precaution? From all points of view and hindsights including women with money, men with money. I'm mostly interested in the women with money, partner with no money situation. Should you put your money where your mouth is when you say 'forever'? And how much money is enough money worth protecting, $1M plus or $100K plus?

Marielle Harrington said...

Welcome Back! I so enjoy your blog. I love you fashion posts, parenting articles and songs to get your weekend started. :)
A challenge we are currently facing is one of unemployment and the challenges of starting a new career and the strain it puts on a marriage/family. Might be topic to explore as I know many are faced with this challenge today. Thanks!

Marielle Harrington said...

Welcome Back! I so enjoy your blog-your fashion posts, parenting articles and your songs to get-the-weekend-started are a few of my favorites.
Currently we are dealing with unemployment and starting a new career and dealing with some of the challenges it places on a marriage/family. Might be a topic to explore as I know we're not the only family in the situation. Thanks for your passion and authenticity in your writing.

Kari Herer said...

I love your blog and flattered. Thank you!

So little to do, So much time to do it in said...

Hi Joanna! I really enjoy reading your blog and am looking forward to reading in 2014!

As a 26 year old who is still trying to work out what I want to do in life, I would be really interested in finding out different womens' career pathways, particularly ones who are doing a job they love!

Really pleased you had a restful break, and thank you for your blog :)

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Stephanie said...

JO! So glad you're back. You blog is my favorite, wholesome, hilarious, smart, down-to-earth easy read. As for what I'd like to hear about... if you have any experience with heartbreak, I'd be all ears. My picture perfect, wonderful, love-him-so-much-my-heart-wants-to-burst other half and near fiancé literally just moved out when I wasn't home. And with no warning signs. The story is here: http://covetliving.com/wise-words/i-loved-i-lost/ - but you're the wisest lady I know... any words of wisdom to bounce back from something like that? Thanks in advance and much love, Stephanie

Jennifer of JennySue Makeup said...

I think it says a lot that you are already doing a lot of things right by having this many comments coming back from a 3 week blog break!! I love your site and can't wait to see what's to come. Happy New Year!

Caroline Hadley said...

Congratulations on the time off with your family! I think that a series on different people and different sorts of relationships (romantic, mainly) would be really great to see. I'm 23 and am planning on getting married in the next few months. As a girl-power-having-it-all, independent, college-educated New York liberal, I never thought I'd be getting married, or even be in love, at this age, but life happens and I got really lucky! Some people, both friends and not have had strange reactions to my fiance's and my plans (for example, asking very publicly on Facebook if I'm pregnant, as that seems to be the only logical reason why we would be getting married), while others have been surprisingly supportive and just plain excited! Neither of us see us as too young, it's just not part of the equation: we love each other and want to start our life together. To stop myself ranting, I think it would be interesting to see interviews with couples who made unique or not so unique relationship choices: eloping, getting married at a young age, living together for decades without being married, long distance for years, having two separate homes, etc. It would be insightful for lots of different people to share their stories and the choices they've made. All the best!

Unknown said...

I hope you are feeling better!
Just in case you forgot about it today: you are an amazing person! You have 2 incredibly beautiful kids and you care so much about them, you seem to be a great wife, you are really beautiful and you have an amazing blog.
Just focus on being happy, we'll be ok.
:)

Rose said...

it's great to have you back- I have been reading your blog for a very long time and while some blogs have become less relevant or interesting to me over the years, yours has always remained a real joy in my day.

We are at quite differnet points in life but I think you write about having a young family in a really honest, engaging way and I find the posts really interesting as a thirty something non Mum- who would like to be one day!

I would love to contribute to Cup of Jo at some stage, I live in London so I don't know if that is something you'd ever consider but if you would, I'd love that.

Ofri said...

you are an Inspiration.
Ofri

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