One Year Blogiversary, and yes, there is cake.

One year ago in July, DJ and I moved across the entire country to this foreign land of the Bay Area. We greeted this new adventure with excitement and welcomed the change gladly. We soon figured out that if there is an antithesis to small town Indiana, it was probably our new California abode. Don’t get me wrong- Indiana will forever have a soft spot for me, it’s just different here. Like a child uncovering their five senses for the first time, I began exploring this new playground in awe. The mountains, the trails, the people, the events, the diversity, the buzz, the food, ohhh the FOOOD! I felt that I couldn’t do justice relaying to our parents all we were experiencing. So, I decided to start this blog. I started a diary, a virtual documentation of our memories, travels, and general happenings. I never intended or expected for anyone to read this outside of my mom, DJ’s mom, and maybe a couple girlfriends back home (hence the super unoriginal blog name- I didn’t realize that actually being creative was a thing). I, quite honestly, had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The first thing I didn’t realize was how incredible the WordPress community is. I actually didn’t even know there was a community when I began. When I received my first comment I was blown away- someone in Baltimore cared about something I wrote?! It baffled me. Then it began extending to Canada, Ireland, etc. etc. and of course, my beloved India. I began my own exploration through the world of blog, and the writings of so many resonated within me. I began to see the vulnerability, the talent, creativity, and the genuine hearts that create this virtual world; this is truly a special place.

This inspired me to share a bit of my own heart. Little by little the blog has also been my space to cope with the ups and downs of this past year and to just write. Which, if you are an author around here, you understand the cathartic nature in writing alone.

I reflect on this year and from traveling across the US with DJ, to creating our new home from scratch, to questioning my faith but finding it again, to studying endless hours for my NCLEX, to passing my boards, to visits from families and friends, to holiday festivities, to the epic meet & greet, to DJ and I both beginning our new careers and everything in between…..I realize this blog has been pivotal.

Not only have I made and gained priceless friendships that I can’t imagine life without, but your words of encouragement and love have lifted me on the darkest days. Receiving texts from family and friends saying me sharing struggles inspired them always caused me to raise a brow …… And there exists maybe one of my greatest lessons I’ve learned through blogging: There is something beautiful about embracing the struggle. There is something kindred in vulnerability. My walls and my desire to present a certain image to the world is slowly crumbling away because I now understand that very facade has actually kept me from growth. But I would not have grown without you. Each of you. From the other bloggers out there to the friends and family who have supported this endeavor, and especially DJ, who has allowed me to be so candid about our life.

So…

JJ, Katie,  Miranda, Cassie, Terri, Natalie, Cyranny, Nikki, Jena, Debbie, Myra, Anna, Steph, Amitav, Kalpana, Lisa, Jennifer, Anna, Kat, Chrissey, Frilly, Caralyn, Sophia, Jen, Jess & Roman, Samantha, Lathi, Tara, Rhiannon, Chelsea, Heather, Kiran, Ju Lyn, Lyss, Taylor, A Patient Nurse, Miriam, Lyndsay, McKenz, Suz, Elizabeth, Rach, Allie, Katy, Sijo, Kimberlee, TaralynnChiara, Caroline, Alifya, Tialla, Jess, Nicole, Jenna, Sarah, Kori, Amy, Niki, Marcia, Rossy, KrystalKristin, Cheila… (Uh oh, I know I’m missing others!) and those without blogs that leave the sweetest words…

I just want to say thank you. I celebrate this blog, not because of me, or my life, but because of you and your impact on my life and so many others. Thank you for inspiring me with your own writing and vulnerability. Thank you for sharing your world too. Thank you for the incredibly thought provoking, hilarious, and beautiful conversations. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for loving me, with my horrible jokes and sushi littered posts, THANK YOU

Now, we can’t celebrate without cake, AMIRITE?!

Wednesday, I whipped down up to SF to celebrate with my girl, Annie, before she heads back to Korea (CUE THE TEARS). She is super on board with my wacky ideas, like idk, getting a cake to celebrate your blog? This totally began as a joke, but we rannnn with it. Any excuse for cake, AMEN?! 🙌🏻

We first headed to the oldest Restaurant in SF, Tadich’s Grill. This may be one of the most wonderful meals I have had in SF so far (which says a whole lot, because we have basically ate our way through SF).

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After having the most phenyumonal meal you can imagine, we went back to her glorious apartment that overlooks the Bay and took pictures with a cake I ordered from Sugar, Flour, Butter bakery (highly recommend if you need a bakery in the northern Cal area).

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I said I didn’t feel right about not having a glass of red wine in the picture if I was being true to myself. So we pulled out that Cabernet for the photo ops 😉

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This red velv cake did not stand a chance against us. I wish I could have shared a piece with everyone! 

All my love… 

xo ❤

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128 thoughts on “One Year Blogiversary, and yes, there is cake.

  1. Lolll happy blogiverssary!! (I feel like every time i comment here i start out with an Lol bc at some point your not funny jokes end up actualy being kinda funny ❤😂)I totally agree with you — creating my blog changed my life too & now i think i will always have one :)) love this post with you & your wine & the prettiest cake ever ❤ ❤ (p.s. bday cake for your blog is totally acceptable in my eyes!)

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    1. Hey girl! Thank you soo much!!! I love that you actually enjoy my not-so-funny-maybe-sorta-funny- jokes 😉 And YAYY! I am so glad you agree that bday cake is acceptable.. makes me feel better and a smidgeon less ridiculous. Hahha. Hope you had the best weekend!!!

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    1. Thank you so much!!! Indianapolis is actually a lot of fun!!! We were in a SUPER small town, but the city is a blast. There are gems anywhere you go, right?!? Plus we miss the space, the quiet, and of course, family and friends. Those are certainly hard to top! While this is good for our stage of life now I wouldn’t be surprised if we find ourself back in the midwest at some point. Maybe we will meet one day! Thank you for stopping by ❤

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  2. Congratulations! Thank you for the shout out. You are truly enjoying the Bay Area and all that it has to offer. I learn of new places to eat and cute restaurtants to check out from your awesome posts! Wish you many more years of happy blogging! Kalpana

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  3. Oh, wow!! Happy anniversary. It seems like you had fun 🙂 You look gorgeous too. Thank you so much for mentioning me. I’m happy I get to follow your journey for many years to come ❤

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  4. Congratulations! I adore that cake, & I love the idea of celebrating with it. You’re adorable! Mason took a turn yesterday, & I’ve felt really down about it & some things on my mind. This post & your shoutout really brightened my spirits. Thank you. XO

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    1. Hehe- thank you, Kori! So silly, but the cake was soooo good.

      And noooo, this actually just made me tear up. This breaks my heart. 😦 I need to catch up on your posts ASAP. Oh man I send you such big hugs and prayers. Ah, keep us posted.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay. Now I’m feeling unappreciated around here. I never even thought of getting/making myself a cake for the one year anniversary! Sometimes I think I just don’t love me any more!
    Seriously though..you are one of the reasons I still love blogging. Your enthusiasm, honesty, compassion, and friendliness always brightens my day. If I believed in reincarnation I’d want to come back as someone just like you!
    Thank you for sharing everything so far and please, please don’t stop. We’d miss you terribly!

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    1. Lolol. You crack me up! But lemme say- you DEFINITELY need to get yourself a cake for your one year blogiversary, or second if it’s closer that… I am going to hold you to it! You best believe it!

      and Oh my goooodness, you are too kind to me, Elizabeth!!!! This may be the sweetest comment of all time. Thank you, thank you. You have no idea how much this means to me! I am so thankful for your love & support. Thanks for blessing my little part of the web with your humor and beautiful personality. Sending big hugs! XO

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      1. I’ve tried being really over-confident about myself. It would work except I have this horrible part of my brain. She’s brutally honest with a penchant for sarcasm. Every time I tell myself how wonderful I am I hear this derisive snort and then her voice setting me straight. Don’t tell her but I’d gleefully strangle her…except she’s right!

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      2. Awww hahah, I beg to differ with her! However, I have a feeling that sarcastic side also lends to your tremendous sense of humor sooo maybe we don’t wanna eliminate her just yet. But I still think you should be over confident. Lol!

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      3. My son Pete has a wide sarcastic streak. He’s funny as hell. Given that she’s sarcastic I’ve begun to question if I’m really his mom. The biggest difference is he’ll admit when he jumps to smart ass prematurely.

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    1. Lol- girl, OF COURSE!!!! You are one of the reasons I love blogging so much- your love, support, encouragement….. there are no words to express my gratitude… but yes…. that cake was unfairly good. Like “oh I’ll have a slice”…. (a few minutes later there is only half the cake left). Hahha.

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    1. Aw, of course, Kimberlee! You are too kind!!!! Thank YOU for your sweet comments, and also, I absolutely adore your writing & perspective in life, so thank you for sharing that with us! ❤

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  6. So happy for you! It really is hard to believe that you can connect with people all over the world, and even people in your own backyard, in our case! Your blog is one of my favorites to read and will continue being so for the next year and many years to come. I love your little cake and I hope that you had an extra piece for me!

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    1. Thank you, love!!!!! I know isn’t it just wonderful?! I had NO idea that this would reap real friendships and truly be a life changing “hobby”. You have no idea how much your comment just made my day. I still am just blown away that people give a flying fruitloop about our lives, but your love and sweet encouragement mean the world. And girl- I had TWO extra slices for you! That cake was unfairly good! XX

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    1. Awww, thank you tons & tons, Rhiannon!!!!! You have been one of my very first blog friends- so thankful for you, your perspective on the world through your words and your camera lens. So thank YOU for sharing your world with me. It’s inspiring. XOX

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  7. Mack, words cannot describe how proud and happy I am for you! You are by far one of the sweetest, hard-working, most genuine and humblest blogger! I am constantly inspired by you, your blog posts, and the conversations we have had to become a happier and loving individual. I can’t believe it’s only been a year! You are so successful and seem so experienced with the blogging world, I was convinced you’ve been blogging for more than a year! I know that these days with your new job, life has been hectic. But know that you have the Almighty Father, your amazing husband DJ, your family, your readers (including me!!!) supporting and cheering you on! I can’t wait to see what this next year awaits you in your life. I feel so blessed that I have been a part of your blogging journey. Here’s to one and many more! xoxo Steph

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    1. Steph!!!! You, my dear, know how to make my day. You truly have the gift of encouragement, and I am beyond thankful for your friendship and all our conversations. They are the type of conversations that have challenged me in the best way as an individual and have caused me to grow tremendously. There are no words to express my gratitude to you, sweet girl. Sending ALL my love & big hugs! So thankful for youuuu!!!!! XOXO

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      1. Ahhh of course of course! I am and will always be there for you! Sending you an email has been on my running to do list for a long time. I’ve been hoping to catch up with you and talk about our wellness journey and faith. Hopefully we can talk soon!!! I’m so thankful to have found you through blogging as well!!! Xoxo Steph

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Aww Mack, congrats! I’m SO glad to have met you here on WordPress! Thank you so much for the shoutout too! I LOVE the cake and adult beverages you had in SAN FRANCISCO! San Francisco is one of my favorite cities ever! They have the BEST food! I really want to move there one day. I wish you many more years of blogging! Lots of love and hugs! 🙂

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    1. Lisa!! Thank you so much ❤ I'm incredibly glad to have met you here! You are one of my very first "blog friends", and I have soooo enjoyed our conversations and bonding over Texas & SF love! Hey, even if you don't move here, it's always here for you to visit, and I would be happy to give you the grand tour (the grand food tour that is…… I have quite a list as you know 😉 )!! Sending all my love and big hugs! XO

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  9. CONGRATULATIONS MACK!!!! And, they’re good jokes; always good jokes 😉 This post makes me super happy- isn’t it brill how much a blog can mean to you! And how uh-mazing the community is. Lots and LOTS of love (and envy of that cake) 💕

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    1. Hahhaha- thanks, girl!!!!!! I am gonna take your word for it (about the jokes 😉 ). I cannot agree with you more!! It truly is amazing how much a blog can mean to you- whenever I am about to write or read others’ posts I tell DJ I’m gonna spend time with my “blog baby”. Hahha. The community is just tremendous. Truly blows me away! Sending you all my love & wish we could have a big piece together. Some dayyyy!!!!!! XO

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  10. Hi Mackensie , many congratulations on one year!! It was a big move to the unknown for a young couple starting their careers , but exciting too. It was a new playground and you are covering so much of it! You have a LOT more followers than you dreamed of but with your fabulous blog I am not surprised at all. I love how you embrace the low points and high points of your life on here. You are welcome , we are glad to inspire, challenge , share with you, laugh at your jokes and love you. Love I think is the common denominator that bring us all to your blog. Willing you to succeed in your endeavors. Thank you for the shout out, It is very sweet of you 🙂 I’m glad you got to meet with Annie (sad she is leaving) Tadich grill looks an awesome place , I will put it on my list! Oh my gosh what a view from Annie’s apartment! The two glasses of champagne add to the view. Your cake is awesome!! I love that it has your beautiful website logo on top. I love the pics of you, such happiness with a friend, ( I need a pic of your dress! The top part is gorgeous ) We can have a virtual slice of cake to share your first year! ( I am one year here too since July 5 ) Thank you for everything , thank you for being you , and thank you for coming into all our lives. Love to you, Terri xoxo.

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    1. Thank you sooo much, sweet Terri!!!! You are the epitome of the sweet encouragement I am talking about- your words, comments, and love have meant the world to me in the last few months. I think our friendship here was quite timely as I began this new job! You have been such a light during this difficult season.

      Ohhhh Definitely put Tadich Grill on your list- it was phenomenal. I keep telling DJ we need to go back ASAP. She seriously has the most GORGEOUS view of all time. We slept with the door open and the breeze from the bay was perfection. This dress is one of my favorites- it was actually my rehearsal dinner dress from BCBG! I am so glad you want to share a virtual slice with me, celebrating YOUR one year too ❤ Sending you all my love! XOXO

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  11. Celebrate! Dance to the music! And you do dance- to the music of life, love, food, laughter, lazy days and hectic days, the music of worship and joy, cute purses, ice cream and nature. And you have shown all of us how to dance, too. Let’s all celebrate. Thank you for a wonderful year! Now I have a challenge for you-maybe you’ve thought about this-but why not add some video of you to the blog! Wouldn’t that be fun? Best!

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    1. You’re the besttttttt, Aunt J!!!!! I love your zesty, fun comments ALWAYS. This is the sweetest ever. You have truly been there from the start, and have been SOOO encouraging to keep me going. Ooooo I definitely will have to consider that- wheels are turning!! Wish we could have shared some of this cake together. Sending hugs!!!

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  12. Oh Mack, I completely love this post. YAY!!!! Congratulations on your one year blogiversary! Love that you and Annie celebrated with cake. 🙂

    I am honored to be one of the friends tagged in your post. You are a shining heart, and the way you shared yourself is truly touching to so many – I know it. Funny, I was just thinking of you! You wrote something beautiful on my blog one day, and I just reread it!! Would it be ok if I include this as a testimonial on my website? (If yes, can you tell me your occupation title? ❤ )

    "Debbie, I just wanted to stop in and say I have been thinking about you lots lately! I started my new job and realized something about myself……… I am super, super hard and unforgiving of myself. Immediately I started thinking back to so many of your wise words about the importance of self- forgiveness. You are a light and I'm thankful for the love you share in this world. Thank you for always giving of yourself so others may discover how to heal parts of their own selves as well. Sending you tons of love <3"

    My spiritual mentor John-Roger has a great quote, "Perfect vulnerability is perfect protection." You are such an example of how vulnerability and divine support go together. I love you, Mack.
    Blessings to you and DJ, Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww Debbie!!!! I don’t even know where to begin!!! You are so so sweet- and yes, absolutely, I would love for others to know the way you have made an impact in my life and I’m sure many will resonate with the same ❤ And my title is BSN, RN . Hope you are having the most beautiful week. xxoo

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  13. You and your friend are absolutely beautiful!

    I’m so glad you started a blog. The photography is super hard and even all the effort with the cake decoration. You’re a boss! Girl- your writing is incredible. I really admire, again, your ability in the midst of new super hard (you’re so smart you’re definitely a nurse) dedication to a blog…and running! (I only run if there’s traffic or a fire 😉 )

    But I do love reading about your life and it makes me really happy that we met – and most of all – that you love Jesus!

    And one more thing? Is that your apartment? Because your view is LEGIT!!! Fancy pants… 😉 Makes me wish I was called to CA instead of BA hahahaha!

    PS- If you’re ever up for an international vacation you’re invited!!

    Happy birthday dear!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, loveeeee!!!!!! You are TOO sweet, this comment just made my WHOLE day. You have no idea how much this just encouraged me!! Bahaha have you ever heard someone say “If you see me running, you should better run too”?! Ohhh wait, I think I have a link…..https://www.pinterest.com/pin/322851867010694847/

      Lol!

      And girl, Nooooo. This is Annie’s apartment!!! It is absolutely gorgeous though, right?!?. I loved staying the night there because we would sleep with the door wide open and have the breeze from the bay come in.

      I WOULD LOVE THAT! I have the travel bug so badly. So I most definitely think I’ll take you up on that if work ever allows me some of that PTO. Thank you, thank you!!!! XOX

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahaha! I remember the American struggle with PTO!

        Sleeping with the breeze in CA is fab! I miss that too! 🙂

        I LOVE that t-shirt and if I can ever find one I’m buying it!

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      2. Hahahaha! No the PTO in the US is horrible- and they always bothered me on vacation. Here you get way more time and they leave you alone 😀

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  14. Thank you for the fabulous year of blogs from you. I was a bit sad, ok real sad, a year ago when we left you and DJ in San Francisco at the hotel realizing you were going to be so far away. What I didn’t know then is that you would provide me a beautiful glimpse into your amazing life out there. The glorious pictures and clever writing with all the wonderfully described details have kept me oh so much closer to you two and that has been one of the best gifts you could ever give me. No words to say how blessed and thankful I am for still feeling like you are almost just as close as you were when you were all Ohioans! Love you and DJ and here’s to another amazing year of you blogging!

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    1. Awwww Mom!!!! You’re the bestttt ❤ You have been such an encouragement, and I truly would probably not be blogging without you!! I am so thankful for you! And wow- so crazy that the hotel goodbye was a whole year ago!! What?! It has been so much fun sharing these adventures with you! I'm also so thankful I've had you to go through these bumps with too. Sending you so much love. Can't wait until you guys can visit again or we can go back to Ohio ❤

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  15. Congratulations!!! Wow the year flew by. I remember the very first time I encountered your blog and the first post I read was the one about your wedding and I remember calling Roman to come over next to me and read it with me! Lol From all your inspirational and spiritual posts to delicious food recipes to your adventures and nursing journey– it’s amazing to see with how far you’ve come with everything! I’m glad I have met a sister in Christ who continuously inspire me and also inspires me through the whole medical field thing! Lol Congratulations again Mack, it’s been an amaaaazing year for you and we thank you for sharing all of it with us! Looking forward to many, many more posts from you!!!

    Love,
    Jess

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    1. Isn’t it INSANE how quickly a year goes?! It blows my mind! You are so so sweet Jess…you are truly one of those friendships that I just think is a Godsend. Your encouragement with the craziness of the nursing transition and your prayers… I can’t even describe how much they meant to me!! I’m so thankful for your friendship, sweet conversations, and also I love that I was able to vicariously travel basically the whole world through you and Roman!! Sending big hugs & all my love! XO

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    1. Thank you so much, Allie!!!! It’s been SUCH a blessing to get to know you too. I absolutely adore reading your posts and keeping up with all your happenings (and cakes, hehe)!

      Ahhhh YES, girl! It’s 100% happening!!!

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  16. Oh my goodness!!!! Congrats on ONE YEAR!!! 😀 And I was the same at first, I never thought someone would actually be interested in my blog but the WP community is so down to earth. I’ve never felt as welcomed as I did here. I agree n friendships, I’ve found so many and am continuing meeting more bloggers from different regions all across the world! It’s amazing! ❤
    And I think it's so awesome that you got a cake to commemorate this milestone! Congrats love! And how sweet of you to mention me! *tears* T_T ❤
    Keep blogging girl, I want to keep supporting you and I hope this blog takes you far in both the blogging world and all your endeavors !!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rossy!!!! Right?! Isn’t this community just the BEST. It is truly amazing how this little virtual world is connecting such real hearts & real lives. And OF COURSE I’d mention you, you have been such a sweet encouragement to me! Plus you have helped me improve my make-up game big time 😉 Have such a great week!!! XO

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      1. Well thank you doll, your advice and realizations that you’ve had have helped me more times than I can count. ☺️ and nah, I barely know how to do my own makeup lol.
        Have a fantastic week doll!!

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      2. Awww, that means the WORLD. Uhm, YES you doooo! I think you’re quite the expert! I always love reading your reviews of sephora/fun fit fab. They are the best. Hope you are having a great week too 🙂

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  17. Happy anniversary!! I LOVE your blog and I am so glad that we have connected ! I hope that one day I can make it out there to visit and you can give me a tour! 🙂 I also love the cake! That was an awesome idea and the pictures are all great!! Congrats and here’s to many more years! Thanks for the sweet shout out!

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    1. THANK YOU, Tara!! Yay- the comment came through. Haha. Aww, thank youuu!!! I absolutely love YOUR blog, girl- it’s been one of my favorites to follow from nearly the very beginning! Thanks for the sweet words and conversations always ❤

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  18. Happy One Year Blogaversary!! Like so many others who have commented here, I’m so glad we got the chance to connect 🙂 You truly are a warm and genuine person, and you attract so many people here because we love seeing what you are up to (and eating lol!). I hope the cake was amazing and congrats on a milestone 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Jen!!!!! You’re the best. I do have to say your blogs is 100% one of those that really has helped me find the strength in being raw & real. Your genuine posts resonate with me big time, and I’m very thankful for you here! (oh and there is that food factor too, lol!). The cake was too darn delicious, and thanks for the love & support since nearly the beginning!! XO

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    1. Thank you so much, Amy!!!! Red Velvet is just the best isn’t?! The other type I’m obsessed with is lemon curd, but I knew Annie was obsessed with red velvet too! Ohhh that’s the JK Rowling place, right?!? Now I am most definitely going to have to get RV there when I go someday!

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  19. Happy blog anniversary!! I had no idea that you’d been blogging for under a year when I started following you! How fun to catch you close to the beginning of your blogging adventure! Also, that’s such a cute idea to celebrate with cake! Red velvet is the best for sure. Congrats, girl!

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  20. Congratulations! I am so happy that we connected through the blogosphere! I look forward to every one of your posts, and your kind words you leave on all of mine bring such a smile to my face! You are amazing! Keep it up! xxx

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  21. YESSS I was looking for this post (as I’ve been trying to catch)!!! So many “aw’s” as I was reading the entire thing- you are such a incredibly amazing writer always speaking from the heart, you’re sweet and kind, and I just love ya to bits!!!! But most importantly I am SO thankful that MackMarie.com exists and that it’s you behind it! I’m grateful and blessed to have come across your blog, follow you and DJ on your all journey’s together, and the best part- MEETING YOU IN PERSON! Dream come true!!!! Congrats my sweet sweet girl!!! I hope many more years of congrats and cakes are to come!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

    xo, JJ

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    1. **blinking really hard trying not to cry** Omggggggg. You are the sweetest. You are TRULY a reason in and of itself that I am so thankful for blogging. Your friendship alone is SUCH a tremendous blessing from this whole thing, plus your blog is one of my faves as you are well aware. I am SOOO thankful for you, girlfriend. I always love our conversations and I still am convinced that us meeting (and Andrew too) in RL was actually a dream. Sending you big big hugs, wish I could have shared the cake with ya!!!

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    1. Aww, Nikki!!! You are so so sweet. Thank you so much- blogging is such fun isn’t it? I always love your posts too- so inspiring and relatable. Plus you are so wise, girlfriend! Thanks for stopping by ❤ I hope you are having a great summer!

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    1. Isn’t it crazy?! I can hardly believe how fast it has flown. I am so thankful to have met you, Myra! You were one of the very very first people I met here. And thank you for the sweet words- You always are such an encouragement and you ALWAYS have the best recipes in the world. ❤ Thank you tons for stopping by ❤

      Like

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