Dear Crissy

I am a blogger

In 1996, at age sixteen, my parents purchased our first home computer. We actually used a Commodore 64 in years prior, however, our ’96 Packard Bell brought with it my first experience with the internet. I was hooked, immediately, and by the middle of that year, I was publishing content online in the form of a web diary. For those of you who are internet dinosaurs, think Angelfire.

Oldschool Blogging

Keeping an online journal in those days entailed coding each page by hand and manually creating navigation links to the previous and next posts. It was time consuming, and hardly sophisticated, but I operated within a very small community of like-minded young women, all blogging (we didn’t have the term, yet) in a really raw and minimal way. It was new and amazing.

I am a blogger

By 1999, I had registered my first domain,, where agai I wrote about my life, posted my terrible angst-filled poetry and shared photos with my readers. Within one year, I had sold my first personal domain name to Electronic Arts for $8,000. They wanted the domain for an alternate reality game they were developing called Majestic. The concept fizzled, and I found on the auction block when they allowed it to expire. I purchased the domain again, for $8 (I kid you not) from GoDaddy, and just few couple years ago sold it once again, this time for $5,000, to a company now owned by Google. Crazy, fluke-awesome first domain name choice, right?


Through the years I’ve done a lot of different things online. I have blogged, obviously. I used to record audio diaries and upload the files to my website for readers to download (long before I ever heard the word podcast). I’ve vlogged, and even ran a web cam in my dorm room. It really must have been the most excruciatingly boring three frames per minute viewed online — ever. I also sold my photography and mixed media artwork on eBay with fair success for a couple years.

But, it always circled back to blogging. Blogging, blogging, blogging. Some strange urge not only to write, but write for an audience.

In 2005, I registered It was long before I dreamed of becoming a mother, and really, Dear Crissy was just another of my many web endeavors. There were periods through the years when I was active here, and times when the blog was offline. The ups and downs really track perfectly with the ups and downs in my life.

Dear Crissy

vintage, circa 2007

So, while I have been at this for a very long time, it wasn’t until 2009 that I became conscious of a community of “mom bloggers.” I mean, OK, I knew about Dooce, but beyond that? I was oblivious.

A New Perspective

So, I decided to revive Dear Crissy in 2009. I was unhappy in my career and I wanted not only a place to create, and write (and use my college degree, finally), but also to perhaps make a supplemental income for our family. I was thoroughly inspired by some of the mom bloggers I saw when I looked around, and wow, was I motivated!

As I think back on period, and the things I have learned while trying to wiggle my way into the mom blogosphere, I am somewhat emotional. You did NOT think that you were going to make it through a Dear Crissy post, without reading the E word, did you? Yes, I am emotional, because I feel like I have finally, finally, finally found my thing. I have been fortunate enough to turn something I absolutely adore into a legit career, and I know that I am on the right path now, because for the first time, it just feels right.

From this day forward, when someone asks me what I do for a living? I am going to tell them that I am a blogger.

After I confidently declare that I am a blogger? Well, I guess I’ll be prepared to deal with the inevitable question.

“You’re a what?

    72 Comments on “I am a blogger”

  1. I’m a dinosaur too and remember the good old days of angelfire, lol! I love your blog and I loved reading your blogging story. I get funny looks too when I tell people I’m a blogger :)

  2. Love hearing the stories of how we all started… I can relate to that 1996 time period.. it was when my brother introduced me to the entire world of the internet and I haven’t looked back since…

    BBSing, IRC, Angel Fire, and so much more…

    Just wish I would have discovered blogging sooner!

  3. What a great and inspiring post. Isn’t is the best when you find THAT thing that makes you totally happy and doesn’t ever feel like work? I feel EXACTLY the same about blogging. It’s such a great combination of everything I love.

    So glad you found your calling – you are such a wonderful addition to blogging and we are all enjoying your blog :)

    Will you be at BlogHer this year?

  4. OMG this brought back so many memories! I remember the Angelfire days, like you I started back in the day before blogging was blogging and you did everything manually! This post makes me want to go to he wayback machine and get some screenshots of my “blogging” back then, too bad the images wouldn’t show still.

    Great post!

  5. For the past nearly year I’ve religiously followed your blog and one other. Okay, so for the most part I’m a lurker, but I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog.

    In fact, when it became obvious to my husband and I that I would not be returning to work due to health issues, you really inspired me to quit laying around with the blanket over my head – some times literally – and do what I’ve always wanted to do – share my thoughts on books with the world. Though it’s taken me a bit to really let go of my “baby” and share, I’m so glad that I have.

    Thanks for being an inspiration!

    • Angieleigh, thanks so much for that sweet comment. I am so glad that you enjoy my blog, and I am excited that you were inspired to start your own. I’m off to check it out now!

  6. I am chugging along and trying to get there. I really feel like this is my thing too. There is nothing else that I’ve done so willingly and with such dedication – for free. Other than being a mother and wife! :) I excitedly pour myself into my blog and hope to one day create a career from it.

  7. …just happened upon your site for the 1st time yesterday & it’s very lovely. I’ve tinkered here & there — you have A LOT to explore, wow! Anyhey, I’m really amazed that you were able to take it so far in just over a year. I’ve been at it for awhile, (3 years) maybe just now figuring out how to do it & what I need to do to grow my audience. So, I am so impressed with what seems like laser focus that you have and your blog has. Kudos! I too, feel that same sense of needing to communicate to an audience, not just a journal (though I have gajillions of those)! I am a minister & a speaker so I gets lots of opportunity to communicate that way, but blogging is the new level of *fun* that I’m seemingly not able to get enough of! I’m very encouraged & hope that one day when-i-grow-up-as-a-blogger I can be like you. =)

  8. I looooove this post. I stumble through my words when people ask me what I do all the time. I’ve recently adopted the term ‘food writer’ but it sounds so … not me. Blogger it is!!!

  9. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  10. Thank you for the thought-provoking and seriously inspirational post! I am pregnant w/ my first kid and what you touched on in New Perspective is yelling at me so loudly, how can I not listen? I want to be a stay-at-home mom and I have been blogging (off and on like you) for 12 years. While I know it won’t be easy and I’ll need to hustle, I’m up for the challenge of being a momblogger and I hope to become as successful as you. I found your website by accident on the day I decided to pursue my endeavor, So THANK YOU!!! a million times over, you are truly an inspiration!

    P.S. congrats on your newest pregnancy!

  11. What a delightful, candid post about your journey! It’s so important to know that blogging, like everything else in life that is important, IS emotional and has those ups and downs you mentioned.

    It’s clear why you’ve done so well. Congratulations!

  12. Ok, so far since following you I’ve:

    1. stopped auto- DM the crap out of my new followers
    2. stopped putting my link in my comment signature

    Can I get a little love on how the heck to get 40k twitter followers (up 6k in a month)? Is it because you’re just that good, your kids are that cute, and your content rocks? Cuz I want to be A Blogger too. :)

  13. I said that a few times and people are like What? You’re a blogger? What’s that? So sometimes I just say I’m a writer. It works better that way.

  14. I’d like to eventually be able to say that I’m a blogger. I mean, I am a blogger, but not one that makes any income at all. I started blogging a few months ago on a topic that I’m passionate about. Isn’t that what counts?

  15. I love this post! I started blogging in 2005, and it’s only this YEAR that I’ve started telling people that I’m a professional blogger. I’ve explained how I earn money with my blogs to a whole lot of people, and it’s with pride in my voice. I found something I love to do and while it isn’t making me rich, it’s making me feel very fulfilled. What else can I ask for? :)

  16. I have to ask, you are not the only blogger that has been around that has referred to something like this.

    What is happening? Where are the places to keep in touch with what is being said? Obviously, we can get responses like yours, but were do we get the first hand info?


  17. Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been writing online on & off for 5 years and in January decided to really commit to this. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  18. Fantastic reflection post. Your history is amazing… you’ve come a long way, Crissy! What really amazes me? That you’re just now calling yourself a blogger. Because I’ve thought of you that way for a while.

    Just last night at a party someone asked me what I do. I knew, for the first time ever, that “Stay at Home Mom” wasn’t the answer anymore. As always, I expressed that I’m a mom first. But work? I’m in social media. I blog as a part of my career.

    It felt SO good to have a career that I’m proud of and can handle along with being a mom. And to explain it so clearly to people I talk with? That was amazing, too.

    What a fantastic community we have!

  19. You most definitely are a blogger. You really make it look effortless – but I know that most things that appear effortless actually require a lot of skill. Thanks for what you do, I love your blog!

  20. What a fun post! We got our first computer in maybe 1982 or 1983 and I went online for the first time in 1989. No web then… but I fondly remember IRC. =} My first web page was on Geocities. (Athens/Acropolis anyone?)

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I always chuckle when I see people who brag that they’ve been blogging for 2 or 3 years. ;)

    • Loved this post! It is inspiring me as I work on stepping it up with my blog (bit by bit). Were you ever on livejournal? I wish I had saved all my posts from back in the day…

  21. Hi Crystal, thanks so much for commenting! I love the story about your friend referring to you as a Mommy Blogger, that is so awesome, and it must have felt good!!! :)

  22. Blogging is wonderful, isn’t it? I do enjoy it so much. Funny thing is, I enjoy waiting tables, too. I do it two nights a week, and I will not give it up.

    So I guess I’m a waitress. I’m fine with that.

    • Congratulations on your success and that you have found your perfect place with blogging. It’s bloggers like you and blogs like yours that make me want to tell the world I am a blogger, thanks for being a great example of a quality blog/blogger!

  23. Hah ha! Same reaction I get when I tell people I’m a blogger. What is that?! I love your walk down memory lane! So cool when you finally find your niche in life! :)

  24. This is so great Chrissie! You can actually make a living out of this and love it? Awesome. xx

  25. I strive to write for an audience, though mine is very minimal :) I’m glad you’ve found a great spot in the mom blogosphere. I’m trying to wiggle my way in there, but I’ve only been *mom* blogging for a couple months. I had previous websites… but that was a completely different circle of the internet full of cam girls and internet gossip… I’m glad to be in this wholesome place :)

  26. that’s so awesome, Crissy. I’ve felt much the same way about blogging – the urge (NEED) to write, and to share it with SOMEBODY. Congrats on your continued success! You’re one of the bloggers I ‘look up to’ in the mom-blogosphere and I appreciate your honesty!

  27. Wow. When I entered into this whole adventure in January, I knew your name almost immediately. Hearing where you came from is pretty inspiring! I had a completely different picture of your origins…

    Congrats on your success!

  28. Crissy, I just find it utterly amazing what you and other bloggers accomplish while raising a family. My husband ‘had’ to buy a computer because of his work – he’s a commercial photographer. I’ll never forget the day he sat me down in front of it to show me some of the programs he had installed. I was in awe but didn’t have the time to pursue what it offered other than using it to ‘type’ the kids school reports on it. I didn’t hear about blogging until I picked up a Time magazine years later and read an article about blogging and had the same reaction. So I looked it up on the computer and from then on I was hooked. Thanks so much for your post – I loved every word !

  29. Love it! You go Chrissy!

  30. That made me feel so old. I can relate to the Packard Bell and I remember Angelfire. Seems so long ago.

  31. I love this post! Especially the, “You’re a what?” When I tell people I blog, they get that blank deer in headlights look.

  32. I’ve never heard of a commodore before. I honestly didn’t have a computer until after high school in 2000. My husband had an angelfire site that he never took down and I discovered it soon after we began dating. He was so embarrassed that I saw it, he actually called Angelfire to have it taken down because he couldn’t remember his login. LOL. I remember blogging out of high school on Xanga and Live Journal. I’ve got to say your blog is on my top 10! Keep up the awesome work!

  33. I can’t wait til I can say that! I always tell myself my goal is to be a “Dear Crissy” :)

    Keep it up. You inspire many!

    • Honored that my blog inspires you. The inspiration I gained from my favorite blogs last year really fueled me. That said, your goal needs to be to be the BEST Courtney/Crunchy Beach Mama you can be. I think your blog is rad btw!

  34. From my experience, I am thankful for ladies like you. There are many successful bloggers out there that don’t really respond one on one with others. I admire that with as many followers and fans that you have, you make an effort to respond to us and be apart of the community of bloggers!

    I have been following your blog (one of my faves) since I started blogging (almost) a year ago! Woot! And will continue to because I love how well rounded you are with PR AND staying personal.

    Congrats on your success!!

    • I adore talking with all of you–it’s a huge part of why I love what has happened in the past year. There are times when I can’t respond to every comment, email, or Tweet, but I absorb it all, and I really feel like I have a circle of awesome mom-friends. Love that!

      Thanks for commenting, Hanan!

  35. Crissy,
    This was so beautiful. My dad bought our first apple computer in the late 80’s and by the early 90’s we were well into our first IBM as they were referred to back the. I used to type all of my dad’s work on DOS. Remember that? Anyway, I hope to have the success you have had at blogging someday. You are truly inspirational.

  36. OMG I remember that layout!! And it inspired me but I could never find it again. THAT WAS YOU?! Niiiiiice.

    • That’s really funny that you remember the layout, Jenny! I felt kind of crummy posting that, because I think my blog looked better in 2007 LOL!

  37. This is so timely! Just the other day at the park, I saw a mom that I hadn’t seen in a while. She asked me what I was doing with my time. I said, I was still doing photography, but I was “mostly blogging.” She laughed. She said, “What, do you make money doing that?” And I confidently said, “Yes!” And I enjoy it.

    • YES! I would high-five you if I could. I love that. I am kind of afraid to start using the word “blogger”, but, I am going to do it. I finally feel like I can.

  38. I love your blog and I’m so glad you have stuck with blogging all these years even though the term blog is a new thing. You were a pioneer and just didn’t know it at the time. You touch on a variety of topics and that keeps me coming back to read more.

    I remember when the internet (it wasn’t called that back then) was this network used by the government, NASA and labs. I grew up in the Bay Area and my Dad was in the surplus electronics business so we knew alot of the folks who used the network.

    I was so excited when the World Wide Web became available for everyone. I remember when the library at my college got connected. It opened up a whole new world of information and I knew I was witnessing a new age of communication. A new age that would bring endless opportunities too.

    I have always loved to write and recently started a new phase in my life. I got married. I no longer need to work a fulltime job which is great since we have a daughter with special needs. I work part time and my obligation will run out in about 2 years. I love to craft, DIY and decorate. So I thought I would give blogging a try and I love it. Writing and doing “my projects” have always been therapy for me. But I always kept my writing very private. It feels good to write for others and share my ideas. I am hoping that at some point my blog will provide a little income so I can continue to spend more time with my daughter. But, I’m not in a hurry and know I have a ton to learn. I really appreciate more experienced bloggers like you that are so willing to share information and advice. I want to do this right. I want to provide quality content (not spam) and inspire others.

    Thanks for paving the way for us.

    • Denise, it sounds like you know what you want, and you are inspired, and motivated enough to get there. Keep at it, you CAN do it! Thanks so much for commenting!

  39. I have trouble using the “B” word when I’m asked what I do. It never fails, I wiggle my way into the words “freelance writer” because for some reason, it doesn’t invoke the strange looks and eye rolls that “blogger” does.

  40. You are impressive! Keep up the great work :) I hope that one day *sniff, sniff* I may be half the mom blogger (with a 1/4 of your followers) that you are today. You are priceless.

  41. Congrats on finding what you really want to be doing – it feels so good to realize that!

    It’s amazing how many people don’t know what a blog is. I get the “a what?” question a lot too. Finally I just say that I own a website lol.

  42. I love how you own it. I too feel like I have found my calling, but I don’t just say I blog. I say I’m a blogger, and social media strategist and occasional spokesperson. Mostly I get a “What? Does that mean you hang out on Facebook all day?” Yes, yes it does. ;)

    • Kelly, I haven’t owned it, until this moment. I am exactly the same, and end up giving two or three descriptions of my “jobs”, usually leading with “freelance writer.” I’m ready to throw the B word out there, though. :)

  43. I think I followed you through most of that ( and were my most memorable sites back in the day) and went through the same thing. WordPress is definitely easier, but I still look back on the days of handcoding my site fondly. Because I’m old. ;)

  44. Believe it or not, I didn’t own my first computer until I was married. Couple years after that (2004) I started my first site on Tripod which I used mainly to post pictures of our new baby. I only updated it a few times per year. While surfing the internet one night in 2007, I discovered my first blog (4tunate). This amazing Mama of quads was blogging about her life. I thought to myself, if a Mom of 4 can find the time to share online…surely I can eek out a few posts. That was the birth of Life Down Our Lane :)

  45. Chrissy, a nice site you have here. I started out blogging daily and soon found that it stressed me, so now I invite guests over on a regular basis to discuss their books, or industry experts to share tips. I interviewed a prolific reader and that one will post in a few days. Lot of fun! Continued success with yours~

  46. This is a great way to get to know you. I always get the “what’s that?” lol

  47. I love it. I had a geocities page in 1998 and started journaling online in 2003. It’s been a lot of fun and after I had my son, much like you I ‘found’ these amazing mom bloggers and the community behind it was phenomenal. I am proud to be a part of it. SO glad you are being fulfilled in what you do! It’s the best feeling!

  48. Yay Crissy! I think its wonderful you have found your path! I know exactly how you feel because I feel the same way. It’s amazing!

  49. What a great post. My friend was just reminding me the other day about how I was the first person she knew in College that had a personal computer. I don’t have the long history blogging that you do but I loved having websites and would make them for all sorts of reasons.

    Congratulations on being a “Blogger” – defintely a worthy profession!

  50. Wow, just a year??? The mom blogging community is a very unique one, isn’t it? Glad that you are a part of it!

  51. Congrats Crissy! Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to know that you are doing exactly what you were meant to do? :)

  52. You certainly ARE a blogger! You have come so unbelievably far in one year since reviving Dear Crissy. What a motivation. Love ya, Crissy!

  53. Hopefully people are better informed now and blogger won’t be such a foreign word. Try telling people in 1992 that you are a computer programmer of multi-media training programs that run on a laser disc connected to a computer. It was like I was talking in a foreign language.

    I am glad you have found the thing that inspires your life. I would like to blog more but right now I find it an effort because I am not creative in the writing department. I know if I just keep trying it will be easier later, it is just like an up hill battle with me….but I am going to keep trying.

  54. I really enjoy reading your blog. I love how you cover so many different topics. I enjoy your passion for it.
    I feel the same way about Blogging – that I have finally found my home. I started off with Prodigy Internet and got aol for my 13th birthday some 17 years ago… :O!!
    I am glad you found (and come back to) something you really love. I look forward to reading more.

  55. I just recently found you and I am in love!!! A blogger you are, SO happy to be a follower!!!

  56. Back in the 90’s I was running the NYC division of an international association for internet professionals, and was fascinated by Social Media and networking. I got quoted in Wired and although I was in the space for awhile, the response to being quoted there, immersed me in the ‘community’ of the internet even more and I was hooked as well! I’m actually the only person I know who actually worked on a Tandy once! Talk about obscure!

    Great post, I always find it interesting to know the how and why of how the blogs that I like to read emerged!

    My mom always told me I should be a writer, and me being a rebel wanted to be a cardiologist, but she turned out right after all! ;-)

    There is something very empowering about finding your niche!

  57. I’m a dinosaur. /facepalm Earlier today I found my Saturday morning cartoons are “classics” and now I’m a dinosaur for having used angelfire. I actually wrote the user guide to SEAchat which is the original platform of role-playing before MMORPG’s came out and we thought THAT killed the imagination of table top gaming. Okay, now I’m a dork too.

    I don’t know what the difference between a blogger and a writer is, I still just consider myself a writer.

  58. Awww I am emotional for you! LOL No seriously it makes me happy to see someone happy and finally doing what they love most even if I don’t know them personally. I would love to be able to say “I’m a blogger” in response to what I do for a living. For now it’s my hobby ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

  59. Congratulations Crissy! How exciting for you. I must be oldschool as well, I created Angelfire sites as well.

  60. Devin! You rock. You know, I am sure I have told you this a million times before, but you should really be doing audio or video on your blog. You are charming, witty, and FUNNY, and you should be seen and heard. I envy those talents!

  61. I LOVE THIS! Im glad you were able to find your niche in life! Very inspiring. Very happy for you. I’m a BIG fan of you’re blog! Keep up the amazing work!

    xoxo – Natalie Lyn

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